Chapter 12:

CHAPTER 7: THE REFORMS OF GREG SANTOS

The Demon Saint is Missing, so I Ran Away to Another World Vol. 12


**Greg**Bookmark here

After encountering the glaring problems of the Conclave, I couldn’t help but feel exhausted. Look, I’m one of those ‘unorthodox’ teachers—prominently featured in those ‘feel-good’ movies that often use unusual teaching techniques to motivate their students. No, it’s not an innate skill of mine; rather, I was inspired by those movies, and tried my best to copy and integrate those to my style.Bookmark here

However, even if I’m somewhat ‘unorthodox’, I think there’s something wrong with the Conclave’s system of education.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Is this what Princess Noir wanted to tell me when she said that she ‘loves how I teach’? In any case, I had to find her. I wanted to ask a lot of things…Bookmark here

“Look! Look! The prince is here!”Bookmark here

“Kyaa! He’s so handsome as ever!”Bookmark here

“I want him to connect with me…”Bookmark here

Just as I turned towards a corner that led to our room, I was stopped by a sizeable crowd of scholars gathering on that side of the school. They were noisy and excited, as if there’s some celebrity that graced their appearance at the hallways. Much to my surprise though it was Princess Noir, dressed as her ‘brother’, the Prince Hurion Devras.Bookmark here

Ah, what good timing! He’s the one that I need.Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

As much as I tried to squeeze myself into the throng of demons screaming over the demon ‘prince’, the crowd was too much for me to handle. I don’t want to hurt anyone by forcing myself through, neither do I wanted to get skewered by those horns of the students—even by accident, so I just went with the flow of people. Eventually, even with all that hustle and bustle, I ended up in front of the Prince Hurion Devras.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

There’s was an awkward silence between us as our eyes met, even amidst that noisy crowd. For a moment, it’s as if Princess Noir—I mean, Prince Hurion Devras, froze when he saw me.Bookmark here

“Who’s that ugly human?”Bookmark here

“Quiet! It’s the Special Scholar who arrived here a week ago!”Bookmark here

“What does he want with His Highness?”Bookmark here

The negative murmurs continued unabated, though it brought the Prince back to his self. Then, he went over to my spot, much to the excitement of the student scholars—mostly, girls. I think my ears nearly got deaf from the screams as the ‘bishounen’ demon lord approached.Bookmark here

However, much to everyone else’s disappointment, it was me whom he noticed.Bookmark here

“S-Sir—I mean, Lord Greg,” Prince Hurion Devras smiled, “what brings you here?”Bookmark here

“Well, what are you doing here?” was all I blurted out, still not in my mind after those deafening shrieks earlier.Bookmark here

Hm? I’m just doing my rounds to see if there’s any problem with my subjects.”Bookmark here

Ah, yes, that’s right! Speaking of problems, I’m looking for you, Princess—I-I mean, Lady—uh, P-Prince Devra—Your Highness!” Honestly, this situation was not only difficult for the Usarved Princess, but also for people like me—who had to pretend about her ‘other’ identity.Bookmark here

“What seems to be the matter, Lord Greg?”Bookmark here

“This school, this fucking school!” I emphasized the curse, “The Conclave needs to be reformed!”Bookmark here

“!!!” At that moment, the demon lord wasted no time. He quickly pushed me back toward the wall, covering my mouth in the process. Good thing the crowd made way for us, or there would be injuries. As for me, I was surprised by his sudden movement. But, he never let me speak; he leaned closer as he trapped me against the wall, gently lifted my face towards his and whispered,Bookmark here

“Not here. Let’s talk somewhere else, Lord Greg.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

I was speechless for a moment. Amidst the adoring throng of demon girls, I wanted to ask him, ‘What the hell are you doing, Princess Noir?’Bookmark here

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In any case, good thing Shevaun appeared just in time, though I guess she took a while to come and help us because of a bleeding nose. I don’t know how it happened, but the demon chamberlain kept on averting her eyes from us just as we made our way back to our room. Nevertheless, I’m thankful to Shevaun for keeping the crowds off from us.Bookmark here

I’m getting an idea of what’s going on that chamberlain’s mind and the odd behavior of Prince Hurion Devras.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

I’m a straight guy. Fortunately, the prince is just Princess Noir in disguise; it makes their antics less awkward for me.Bookmark here

“So, Lord Greg, what do you want to talk about?” His Highness finally spoke as we sat on the opposite sides of the table in our room. “You said something about reforms earlier?”Bookmark here

“Yes, I did say that…” I answered.Bookmark here

“Can you elaborate on your proposals?”Bookmark here

At once, I brought out a piece of paper, where I wrote my ideas regarding on the reforms I’d like to see implemented. Then I handed it to the demon prince for him to read while I explained.Bookmark here

“First that I’d like to propose, is that we remove the system of punishments here.”Bookmark here

“Meaning?”Bookmark here

“Instead of depriving the failing students of food and leaves, why don’t we reward the successful ones with incentives instead? That way, the failing ones will get encouraged and push themselves to succeed. See, if we punish them, it will only discourage those guys…not to mention, their bodies—though you’re demons—have their limits, too. A mind that is not well-fed will never function well.”Bookmark here

Hmm…I understand that concept, and I guess that one is a good measure.”Bookmark here

“Second, Your Highness, is that we require every teacher in this school to submit a lesson plan every day.”Bookmark here

“Lesson plan?”Bookmark here

“Yes. A lesson plan contains the structure of a lesson to be taught by the teacher for a particular session. Its purpose is to keep the educators from getting lost in the topic, as some students tend to have many questions connected to the lesson itself.”Bookmark here

“Alright, I get your goals for this one. However, isn’t that an additional burden on the teacher?”Bookmark here

“Your Highness, from where I came from, a lesson plan is a must for every teacher. I can volunteer myself to teach my co-workers to make an easy lesson plan if that’s their issue.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

“And connected to the second proposal is the third: the curriculum. A teacher can’t create a lesson plan if they don’t follow a curriculum. It’s basically like a lesson plan, though, while the latter is for each day, the curriculum is for the whole year level each week. This should be planned by the school administration itself, to be passed to the faculty once done.”Bookmark here

“So meaning, you’ll make the administrators do some work?”Bookmark here

“What else should they do, Your Highness?”Bookmark here

“Right…moving on…what’s with this fourth proposal?”Bookmark here

Ah, the fourth one concerns my experience about some of the students here. We should establish an ‘independent’ fact-checking commission that is composed of scholars that are experts in their field.”Bookmark here

“What for?”Bookmark here

“Well, I’ve encountered some student-scholars here that were taught the wrong information about certain things. A proper educational system is useless once the information being disseminated is wrong, so I propose that we establish that independent fact-checkers that is separate from the control of the Conclave’s Head Scholar. Their main goal is to check the contents of the books and lessons for any discrepancy and/or errors, so that the quality of information given to the student-scholars is the right one.”Bookmark here

“But why is this commission have to be separate from the Head Scholar’s control? Isn’t it the Head Scholar the authority in information?”Bookmark here

“I’d have to disagree with that, Your Highness,” I corrected him. “While it is true that the Lord/Lady Head Scholar is an authority, he/she should concern himself/herself in the matters about the administration of the Conclave, not of the information the teachers teach to the students. After all, a single person can’t be an expert on everything.”Bookmark here

“Makes sense…so, this ‘commission’ you’re proposing will be independent so that the Head Scholar can’t use his/her influence to affect the facts being taught, is that it?”Bookmark here

“Yes, it’s one of my reasons, that’s why it should be independent. The members should be elected from their own community of scholars.”Bookmark here

The Prince Hurion Devras was silent. I could tell that he fully understood the concepts behind my reform proposals, and he was thinking of its possible consequences. Then, he took a deep breath, and returned the paper to me.Bookmark here

“Don’t you ever let anyone else see that,” the demon prince told me.Bookmark here

Erm…what do you mean, Your Highness?” I asked. “I’m just curious; is it bad to talk about those outside?”Bookmark here

“Well, it’s not necessarily bad,” the demon lord smirked, “But, if someone else hears us talk about reforms, it can set off conflict inside this place.”Bookmark here

“What?” I couldn’t believe what I just heard.Bookmark here

“Let me explain to you, Sir—I mean, Lord Greg,” the prince fixed his clothes before continuing. “For generations, the Biorno clan has ruled this city called the Saint’s Tower. Of course, their authority extended to the Conclave, which was originally meant by our hero to be a place for ‘freedom’ of thoughts. Lady Cassandra David wanted the Head Scholars to come from all the demon clans of Cherflammen. However, as you can read from our history, it didn’t happen. Once the Biornos—an ancient, but weak clan of succubi and incubi—got hold of the Head Scholarship of the Conclave, they never let it go ever since.”Bookmark here

I was silent all the time as I listened to the prince’s explanation. Deep inside, I couldn’t help but remember some old history back in my own country. We also had that one leader who, after he won the topmost political office in our land, perpetuated himself in power for 20 years. And of course, his reign—as typical of dictators—was marked by abuses and excesses, both by himself and his cronies.Bookmark here

“So what’s that got to do with the reforms the Conclave’s education system needs?”Bookmark here

“Plenty,” His Highness replied. “In the first place, Lord Greg, if ever we’re going to have your reforms, are you willing to become the Lord Head Scholar of the Conclave?”Bookmark here

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I was shocked when the Prince Hurion Devras put up the question of whether I’m willing to become the Lord Head Scholar of the Conclave. It was not in my mind, not even a sliver. Yet, I’m puzzled as to how we got to that point…Bookmark here

“Wh-Why are you asking me that?”Bookmark here

However, instead of answering me, he repeated, “Are you willing to become the Lord Head Scholar of the Conclave?”Bookmark here

“I’m a human, not a demon,” I pointed out, trying to go around the question.Bookmark here

“It doesn’t matter to us; we knew Lady Cassandra David is a human—she even fought against our people before, killed many of us. Yet, she’s the first Lady Head Scholar of the Conclave.”Bookmark here

I froze when I heard that. My goal here was to get my student’s ashes, not to become the principal of a school. I mean, I got no qualms being one, but my friends in Chersea was waiting for me. I couldn’t just take the mantle of leadership without thinking the consequences of my actions thoroughly! What if, by becoming the Head Scholar, I would be required to stay in this place forever?Bookmark here

I never signed up for this!Bookmark here

“Can’t we…just talk to the Head Scholar himself, and propose those reforms?” I offered.Bookmark here

The Prince Hurion Devras shook his head, “I’m afraid that can’t be possible, Lord Greg. For us demons, an idea is the same as the person itself.”Bookmark here

“Wh-What?”Bookmark here

“Look at it this way, let’s say the Lord Head Scholar Emile Biorno represents ‘conservatism’, then he shall be a conservative Head Scholar until the end of his life. Likewise, you’ll end up representing the ‘reforms’, so until you step down from your position or die, then the name Lord Head Scholar Greg Santos shall be connected to the reforms of the Conclave. In short, once you’re gone, there’s a big possibility that we revert to the old ways, wasting your efforts and as the Head Scholar.”Bookmark here

“Wow…I didn’t think you demons think in that manner…can’t your views be changed if it’s for the good of your people?”Bookmark here

The prince shook his head, “Technically, you can. However, it takes time; heck, I’d say it might even require generations of humans for a generation of demons to change their way of thinking.”Bookmark here

“Isn’t that way too demanding?”Bookmark here

Ah, you haven’t seen the worst of us. You see, even if we demons take pride in our Conclave being a ‘place of learning and freedom of thought’, in practice, it isn’t so. In case you haven’t learn of it yet, the demon race reeks of traditionalism. Though we say that we ‘love’ new ideas, those are just some thoughts for us to pass our time. It is not to be taken seriously.”Bookmark here

For the second time, I was speechless. Coming to Cherflammen gave me the impression that it was a ‘progressive’ society, yet, here we were, talking privately about reforms. Well, it’s not that the Prince Hurion Devras was trying to bluff me; he was talking from experience. See, if the demon race wasn’t ‘traditional’ then the prince himself wouldn’t exist. Princess Noir would be acclaimed as the demon lord without a fuss.Bookmark here

However, I don’t think there’s a matter that can’t be negotiated.Bookmark here

“Your Highness, what if I talk to the Head Scholar and slowly introduce to him my proposed reforms?”Bookmark here

“You’re underestimating the stubbornness of a demon, Lord Greg,” the demon prince chuckled. “Haven’t you read it from Chersean history? We fought against the humans for eleven times! And you know that the only way into your lands was through the border crossings of Chersea and Cherflammen. It’s of no surprise that all our invasions ended in defeat, going only by that route. Did we even learn from those? I think not. Look, there’s the growing support for the idiocies of the Knights of Cassandra David to prove that our people was stubborn.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“So, Lord Greg, what’s it gonna be?” the prince asked again, as if taunting me.Bookmark here

From where I sat, I observed the disguised Princess Noir/Prince Hurion Devras. The longer I talked to him, the more I realized it’s as if I was with another person. The Usarved princess—if this was a theater play—was doing a good job in acting as if the prince, her ‘brother’, was a different individual. All in the name of ‘rulership’.Bookmark here

Are these the lengths Her Highness has to take in order to rule? This is too limiting!Bookmark here

A good leader shouldn’t be defined by gender, nor race. A good leader was the one who was willing to take the risks necessary for the benefit of his/her people. But, because of some stupid rules stemming from tradition, these individuals often never get the chance to lead.Bookmark here

And of course, education has a big part in shaping such traditions and beliefs.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“Lord Greg…”Bookmark here

“Yes…?”Bookmark here

“While my sister wanted things to change here at the Conclave, she has brought you to this place to keep you safe from your enemies in Chersea. Think of it, you’re a human. In time, you’ll eventually return to Chersea, to the school you founded there. The troubles you see here are not yours to solve; keep your eyes on the prize, instead. Isn’t it that you want to bring home your student’s ashes?”Bookmark here

“Your Highness, can I ask you something?”Bookmark here

“You may freely speak your thoughts; I don’t mind.”Bookmark here

“Is that Princess Noir’s wish?”Bookmark here

It was now the prince’s turn to be silent. “Wha-What do you mean?” he couldn’t help asking. Surprise was clear on his face.Bookmark here

“It is what it is, Your Highness. You know your sister better than I, so I put up the question to you. Is it truly her wish, for me to just get my student’s ashes and bail out at the first opportunity?”Bookmark here

The demon prince was clearly taken aback. From his eyes, I could tell the hesitation to say whatever was on his mind. “I…”Bookmark here

“I’m asking about your sister, Princess Noir…” I reiterated, preventing her from slipping out of character.Bookmark here

Although caught off-guard, the Usarved princess kept up her ‘male’ persona, “Uh, y-yes…th-that’s wha-what Noir means…yes…”Bookmark here

“Lies,” I was having none of it. “When I woke up earlier, she talked to me. Princess Noir loves how I teach; I can still remember her words. And, after witnessing the problems of this school, it is a mortal sin for me to do nothing.”Bookmark here

“Lord Greg, my sister brought you here to protect you,” the prince pointed out again. “She’s living on borrowed time. Her intention is to be with her teacher, whom she admires, and to save you from those who wants your life! But eventually, Lady Noir will return you…” Prince Hurion Devras averted his eyes from me, as he uttered that last sentence. From that moment, I knew it was the personal feelings of Princess Noir that’s coming out from his mouth.Bookmark here

Well, if the prince would put it that way, then I guess there’s no other option but to take a stand for what I believed in. “Your Highness, Prince Hurion Devras IV of Cherflammen,” I smiled to reassure him, “I’m thankful to your sister’s protection over me. However, let me say something.”Bookmark here

“What is it?”Bookmark here

“My name is Greg Santos, a simple teacher from Earth summoned by the Human Saint. We all know about that fact, yes. However, I’m also that man they call ‘Kuro’, a Chersean military leader who made a name for himself as the ‘Commoner General’, savior of the humans from the mindless undead. Adding to that, I am the king of Cherwind, who—together with Queen Ursura of the Beastmen—unified and ruled the Beastfolk and Humans of that land,” I paused for a bit. “Between acquiring those titles, I’ve went through countless dangers and conspiracies aiming to make my goals fail, and kill me.”Bookmark here

“Your memories returned to you?”Bookmark here

I just chuckled and said, “Things happened, but let’s get back to my point…”Bookmark here

“So you’re saying…”Bookmark here

“Your Highness, I’m still a teacher at heart. It is my duty to be responsible to my students, and attempt to see them successful in their lives. If swords, magic, guns, zombies and saints failed to stop me, a Lord Head Scholar will not. And I won’t stay silent when I see something that needs to be corrected.”Bookmark here

The demon prince just stared at me after that, with his face red and eyes round in surprise. Perhaps he was shocked by my grandstanding, for I also think that I overdid my speech. I mean, I did use some ‘grand words’ to portray my sentiments, thus I might’ve sound underestimating my enemies. However, I guess I got my idea across—if powerful obstacles never fazed me, then what more could the Lord Head Scholar do to stop the reforms I’m proposing?Bookmark here

“So…” Prince Hurion Devras stood from his chair and walked around the room, “…you’re ready to become the Lord Head Scholar, then?”Bookmark here

I gave him a nod. My answer now was surer than the one I said before…Bookmark here

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***The private quarters of Lady Srexe of the Goblins at the Conclave***Bookmark here

Haa…Tama is full! This is the good life!” the orc lady quipped as she let herself fall on the bed of her goblin friend after indulging in her food desires.Bookmark here

“Tama, don’t sleep,” Nari reminded her. “It’s bad.”Bookmark here

“Yes, yes! Tama’lee knows,” she replied, waving her werewolf friend dismissively. “Let Tama enjoy her first meal after weeks of involuntary fasting!”Bookmark here

“I got no qualms about you guys enjoying what you just ate, but…” Lady Srexe took a deep breath before screaming, “What the heck are you two doing in my room?”Bookmark here

“Friends,” the werewolf girl pointed out.Bookmark here

“No!” the goblin countered. “I don’t even know you until recently!”Bookmark here

“Come on, Srex,” Tama’lee coaxed her, “Aren’t we had just gone through hunger and emerged victorious?”Bookmark here

“Special Scholar’s help,” Nari reminded them. “Gave his teacher’s token.”Bookmark here

Ah yes, Tama is about to say that,” the orc girl laughed to hide her embarrassment from the werewolf’s correction.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Lady Srexe, however, was in no mood to laugh. She kept on staring at the other teacher’s token the Special Scholar had given her. Tama’lee and Nari were quick to notice it; prompting the orc to ask, “Srexe didn’t use her teacher’s token?”Bookmark here

“No,” the goblin girl admitted. “This is new, given to me by the Special Scholar while you were out looking for Nari.”Bookmark here

“Hah?!” Tama’lee blurted out. “That’s unfair! The Special Scholar only gave Tama and Nari one token each!”Bookmark here

“I don’t know why he also did that, Tama,” Lady Srexe reiterated. “That human only told me, ‘consider it an investment for our friendship’—something along those lines, and that’s it.”Bookmark here

“Ooh…?” the orc and the werewolf chorused. Tama’lee continued, “So Srexe has made her first human friend?”Bookmark here

“!!!” At that point, the goblin girl’s face was flustered, and she tried to hide it by denying, “No! I have no friends! You guys are the ones who are coming with me, even though I don’t want it!”Bookmark here

“Ahahahaha!!!” the orc girl remained in good spirits even as the goblin kept on her denials. Well, even if Lady Srexe refused to recognize or realize it, all of them knew that they were now connected to each other after going through some bad experiences together.Bookmark here

Haa…Tama thinks that the Special Scholar should become the new Lord Head Scholar,” Tama’lee suddenly commented.Bookmark here

“Hey, where did that come from?” Lady Srexe asked, quite surprised at the orc’s suggestion.Bookmark here

“He’s kind,” the werewolf answered her instead. “And good.”Bookmark here

“Nari summed up Tama’s opinion,” Tama’lee backed Nari’s assessment.Bookmark here

“We failed his test, remember? How can you say he’s good at teaching?” the goblin pointed out.Bookmark here

“It’s because Srexe keeps on begging us for answers in the quiz!” Tama’lee corrected her, “She didn’t listen to the Special Scholar’s lesson, too!”Bookmark here

“Why would I? That man is a fraud!”Bookmark here

“Still don’t believe him?”Bookmark here

“Yes, Nari. Have you forgotten where he came from? That human is a supporter of House Usarved, whose princess—Lady Noir, is a ‘recognized’ authority in the life of Lady Cassandra David! Who knows if that wretched rival of mine planted some false information in his mind and made it seem to be the ‘truth’ about our hero so he can enter this place?”Bookmark here

Eh? And why would Lady Noir do it?” the orc girl raised her doubts. “Lady Noir and the Prince Hurion Devras can always come in and out of the Conclave anytime!”Bookmark here

“Use your head, Tama, even for once!” Lady Srexe hit her lightly on the forehead. “Can’t you remember what happened to the previous Lady Head Scholar Shevaun Ilkes? Of course, the Usarveds wanted to regain control of the Conclave from the Biorno clan after that election disaster on their side. Once they’re back in power, they’d use the Conclave in their conflict against the Knights.”Bookmark here

Hoh…now that Srexe said it, it’s plausible…” the orc, and the werewolf were both beginning to be convinced.Bookmark here

“That’s why, I believe that in everything we do, there should be a proper compensation,” the goblin girl further reinforced her point. “It’s meant to cut the ‘strings’ attached to grant favors and keeps us from becoming anyone’s puppet. You get me, guys?”Bookmark here

Oh…that’s a great explanation, Srex!” Tama’lee clapped her hands. “Good thing Srexe is smart when she’s full; Tama did not realize she is about to be used for ulterior motives!”Bookmark here

“Shut up!” Lady Srexe, as she was not used to getting praised, cried out.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Nari was about to say something. However, they heard someone knock softly at the door. The goblin girl, since she owned the room, took the responsibility of answering the unexpected visitor. Much to her surprise, a demon child—a basic course scholar—stood by the doorway the moment she opened it.Bookmark here

“What?” consistent with her infamous reputation, Lady Srexe asked the scholar in her usual irritated tone.Bookmark here

Err…u-uhm, i-is thi-this—”Bookmark here

“Speak up properly!” she admonished him. “What do you want, brat?”Bookmark here

“Is this Lady Srexe’s room?” the demon child summoned all his courage and asked her in one go.Bookmark here

“Yeah. So why are you disturbing me? Play with your fellow brats?”Bookmark here

Aww…stop bullying the little guy, Srex!” Tama’lee came to the door to check on the commotion and was delighted to see the young demon. “Look, isn’t that scholar cute?”Bookmark here

“Then you eat him if you want to!” Lady Srexe quipped, before turning around and going back inside her room.Bookmark here

“Hiii!” Of course, with the orc girl’s size, it’s impossible for the young demon scholar not to get intimidated when he heard the goblin’s words.Bookmark here

Tama’lee reassured him by rebuking her friend, “Srex, don’t scare the little guy!” However, the goblin girl won’t return to the doorway, so it was Tama’lee who took the opportunity to ask the demon scholar for his purpose, “Tama’s not going to eat the little guy, though Tama is big. But the little guy can tell Tama why a student like you is here. This is the junior scholars’ dormitories.”Bookmark here

Uh…the Lord Scholar Gracchio sent me to fetch Lady Srexe,” the child replied. “Her parents are at the visitors’ lounge at the moment, waiting for her.”Bookmark here

Soon after that, Lady Srexe of the Goblins was in her full scholar’s uniform, hurrying towards the place where her parents were.Bookmark here

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