[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
This time, it was Klumph’s turn to be surprised. He always thought this, but Alpheas was a friend who knew how to play with people.
“Huh? I did hear that when the path of magic opens up, you gain the ability of foresight. I guess it’s true.”
“It’s not like that. I just had a short interaction with him before… He left a pretty strong impression.”
As rare as it was to encounter such a man of talent around the world, it was even more uncommon to discover someone as talented as Shirone in the magic academy.
Moreover, he could guarantee that Shirone was the only commoner who was in the city of Creas.
“So that is what happened…”
Alpheas briefly described his encounter with Shirone who, at the time, was 12 years old.
After Alpheas finished his story, Klumph began talking about how Shirone joined the Ogent family.
“Hmm… Shirone Arian.”
Alpheas went silent again. But this time, he was actually deep in thought.
“Why don’t you just take him in? Who knows, maybe it is fate. Don’t you think so?”
“Fate is a foolish word and concept. Humans shape their own futures. If you deem whatever happens to you as fate, then at that point, ‘fate’ controls your life. You give up trying because whatever happens is ‘fated’ to be.
It didn’t work this time either.
Klumph pursed his lips.
On one side, his heart pained. It was because he understood his friend’s dilemma.
“You… still haven’t forgiven yourself?”
Alpheas went quiet.
“Despite the sharp stares of the nobles, you probably opened the special admission because of your regret over your youth. But you’ve done enough. You have already raised countless prodigies, so stop dishonoring yourself. Forgive yourself and let go.”
“Huhuhu, there exists arrogance when forgiving oneself. I was someone who trashed the precious talent gifted by god. It’s not something that can be forgiven. I’m just hoping that a person like me will never appear again.”
Klumph let out a deep sigh.
Alpheas was a certified Grade 4 mage and was the headmaster of a prestigious academy, but he was not someone who should’ve stopped there. He was a genius.
‘If only that incident never happened…’
“Keukeuh. Well, in the past, even I found you ridiculously full of yourself. The Myrhe family’s light. For a genius who might only appear once every blue moon to be acting as an old headmaster of an academy… How funny.”
With age, one learns to embrace and accept pain, so Alpheas gave no heed to Klumph despite his harsh words.
“Chuckle! On the other hand, you received the help of god. Who would’ve thought that a once talentless idiot would become a 3rd-class swordsman? I’m quite worried for the future of this kingdom.”
The two broke out cackling.
Talent and effort… It was fair to say that Klumph won in terms of those elements. Alpheas admired him and was simply proud to have Klumph as a friend.
“I’ve thought about this more and more as I’ve gotten older, but I believe ‘genius’ is just a man-made delusion. ‘Geniuses’ are only people who just enjoy something a bit more than most people do… Can that boy comfort me?”
“That’s something only you would know the answer to, my friend. ”
Alpheas walked to the window with a smile.
‘So in the end, does it all come back?’
The talent blocked by a barrier called status had once again appeared in front of Alpheas after four years.
He believed there was no such thing as fate. The future was something that could change and was not pre-determined.
But Alpheas felt a sudden thrill course through his body.
Perhaps… Fate was real?
“…I will accept Shirone into the academy.”
With flowers in full bloom around Vincent’s cabin, Shirone patiently awaited for the entrance ceremony.
Shirone’s admission to the magic academy was a family celebration, so Vincent did not tell anyone about it.
The reason was because he did not want to trouble Shirone in case rumors of it started cropping up.
And Shirone was grateful for it.
The reason why they rejected the Ogent family’s offer to get a house in the city was because Shirone’s parents did not want to bother their son.
The happy times flew by. It was finally time for Shirone to go.
As the deputy butler, Temuran, stood next to the carriage. Shirone said his affectionate farewells to his parents.
“Father, I’ll get going. I’ll write to you often.”
“Yes, my son! Do your best! Here, give me a kiss!”
Shirone scrunched up his face. No matter how young he may look, he was now 17-years-old, so to ask for a kiss from him was a difficult request.
“Kissing now is a bit…”
“If you’re not going to do it, I’ll do it.”
As a pair of meaty lips approached, Shirone’s neck withdrew like a turtle as he raised his head.
Vincent kissed Shirone’s forehead and pulled him in for a hug.
“I’m proud of you, Shirone.”
Shirone reciprocated his father’s firm hug.
With the strong support of his parents, his fear of the aristocratic academy went away a little.
“I will return.”
Leaving his house with his usual greeting, Temuran approached and bowed his head.
“Please, climb on. I will take you to the academy.”
“Yes, thank you.”
Both men were silent during the ride.
Since their positions had completely changed in the span of just two years, both were quite uncomfortable. But Shirone did not forget the fact that Temuran had sided with him, despite Louis’ opposition.
Upon arriving at the main gate of the magic academy, Temuran turned more courteous as he dropped Shirone off. Since it was a place where nobles attended, he had to make sure he acted properly.
“Along with the admission fee, the payment for the school materials has already been settled. Don’t worry about the financial part, young master! Just study hard!”
Shirone politely said.
“Deputy butler, thank you.”
“I am just doing what I have to do.”
“I don’t think I’ve properly thanked you. Thanks to your support, I get to go to this academy. I will never forget this favor.”
“No matter how high a commoner might fly, they are still commoners. They can never go beyond the nobles.”
Shirone raised his head. Temuran had a stern look on his face.
“But this opportunity is not something that just appears. When you enter the academy, many nobles will not like you. Even so, please bear it. Endure it, for it will eventually come to an end.”
It was advice from an orphan who became a deputy butler. It was very Temuran-like.
“Thank you. I’ll definitely become a mage.”
Temuran smiled. This was the first time Shirone had ever seen Temuran smile.
“Follow me if you are ready. Young master was registered as a guest of the Ogent family and accepted through special admission. Let me introduce for you.
Guards stood in front of the academy’s main gate.
He did not know if they were the same ones who drove Shirone out, but even if a person were to change, the philosophy and belief in their place would still remain constant.
“What is the matter?”
“He is Shirone, he was recently admitted to the magic academy. Here is the proof of admission and the identification notarized by the Ogent family.”
The guards who saw the proof of admission did not dare to check the identification. This was because ordinary people were not allowed to cross the gates.
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“It’s an honor to serve you. I’m Marco, the guard of the main gate. I look forward to working with you.”
Considering how he was treated just 5 years ago, Shirone felt strange due to the treatment, but he was no longer a small child.
“Yes. I look forward to working with you as well.”
Temuran turned to Shirone.
“Then, I’ll get going. Please, feel free to contact me anytime if you need anything.”
After receiving the documents from Shirone, he took his first step as a student of the magic academy.
The moment he crossed the gates of the magic academy, he was greeted with salutes. This made Shirone’s heart thump loudly.
‘Alpheas Magic Academy!’
What could he learn here? And what kind of people would he meet in a place called the birthplace of geniuses?
The numerous buildings that were scraping the sky seemed to welcome Shirone.
[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
The academy was using a whole mountain over a site area of 75.425 square kilometers.
When including dormitories, there were a total of 22 buildings. And there were more than 40 training grounds.
Despite the fact there were only 32 teachers, The total number of students attending was 420. And while this may seem low, in reality, this amount was equal to the best academy in the kingdom.
Entering a building where the reception desk was located, Shirone saw students with glowing, radiant faces walking around.
After submitting his documents, while waiting, Shirone looked at the curriculum pinned against a wall.
‘They sure are systematic!’
The Alpheas Magic Academy was run using a system called the Class Ten, where classes 10 to 8 were Beginner classes, 7 to 4 were Intermediate, and 3 to 1 were the Graduate/Advanced classes.
The Advanced classes used relative evaluation, and only 10 out of the maximum 30 students could graduate.
‘Only 10 students?’
Considering that the graduation test was held once a year, that meant 20 prodigies failed every year.
“You must be Shirone.”
When he turned his head, he saw Alpheas, who looked no different compared to five years ago, walking towards him.
Shirone bowed politely, recalling that this place was a magic academy.
“Hello. My name is Shirone.”
“I think we’ve met before. Do you remember me?”
There was no way Shirone could forget the incident that pushed him to dream of becoming a mage.
“Yes, I do. Thank you. I am truly grateful.”
“Well, we’ll get to those talks eventually. But for now, come. You have to go take the entrance test.”
“Hm? A test?”
Shirone was taken aback.
He hadn’t learned anything yet, so how was he supposed to take a test?
“There’s nothing to worry about. It’s just to evaluate which class to put you in. Can you enter the Spirit Zone?”
“Yes, I can.”
It was definitely unusual to enter the Spirit Zone alone.
However, Shirone did it outside of school and without proper guidance, so Alpheas could not extinguish all his worries.
The reason why Alpheas proceeded with Shirone’s application last was because of his age difference compared to the other students.
Due to the nature of this academy, most of the enrolled kids were under the age of 10, if not 14 at most.
Shirone, on the other hand, was 17 years old, so Alpheas adjusted the time to save him face.
‘I should probably teach him from the beginning. The fault lies with my poor judgement. If only he had started a little earlier…’
Alpheas personally guided Shirone.
Despite the fact they had arrived early, other students were also taking the test, so he made a turn and headed to a building where the classrooms were located.
Shirone’s jaw dropped to the ground. It was as if he were exposed to a completely new world as…
Everyone was casting magic.
Even though it was the beginner class, the flashy magic could make a viewer’s eyes roll.
A girl floating about four stories high was having a heated discussion with her friends through a window, while another child was reading three books at the same time with all of them open in the air.
Alpheas watched Shirone’s reaction through the corners of his eyes and smiled mischievously… Because from now on, the real show would begin.
As they entered Class 7, Shirone saw students having a heated discussion. And although they were not casting magic like the kids from before, their eyes were burning with passion. They were so immersed in their conversation that they didn’t notice people passing by.
“Convection energy to bring the atmosphere below freezing point? Isn’t it more effective to condense the refrigerant?”
“But that has the disadvantage of being able to reverse the reaction. How about this? Instead of flipping the directivity of the energy, if we were to rotate the time base…”
Shirone, who was paying attention to the students’ conversation, was suddenly scared.
He knew what topic they were discussing, but he could not understand the details at all.
A loud noise was heard at the end of the hallway, and as a door was ripped open, a girl came out with her ears covered.
The students turned around in surprise, but soon turned their attention back to the matters at hand and went back to focusing on their work.
‘Judging from their reaction, it seems like this kind of occurrence happens rather often here.’
A female student, the culprit of the disturbance, ran to Alpheas with her hands now away from her ears.
“Hoho, yes. It seems like there is a problem.”
“It’s the sound amplification experiment. There must have been an error on the output circuit. I think I need to redesign it.”
“It’s important to balance the input and output. The key is to keep the electric power at equilibrium.”
“Okay, I’ll try again.”
The girl put on her glasses and went back into the laboratory.
As Shirone passed by, he looked inside and saw children of his age having a discussion over a strange magic circle.
‘I feel like I’m in a different world!’
Shirone realized how small the well he was trapped in was.
Everyone here had special talents like him.
Now standing in front of the bulletin, the grades of 270 students were listed down.
In the Intermediate class, there were 42 students listed under Class Four, the highest level in the Intermediate section. And the one in first place was Amy Karmis.
‘Oh? The Karmis family!’
Due to his experience working for the Ogent family, Shirone memorized the names of famous noble families.
Karmis was the 1st-class nobility who lived in the city of Creas.
All the information overwhelmed him, but instead of being scared, his heart thumped wildly.
There were literally infinite competitions.
He wanted to compete. He wanted to challenge himself. He wanted to see how far he could reach.
“Yo! Amy! Wait for me!”
Shirone turned his head.
That person definitely said Amy. And now that he had the chance to see the person in first place in the Class Four Intermediate class, he turned to look, only to catch sight of a pretty girl with red hair and a book in her arms.
At that moment, an unknown tension squeezed his heart.
Trauma. Emotions crashed over him before the memories had the chance to, and after a while, he remembered who she was.
It was the girl he met five years ago in the back alley.