[Translator – Anwen]
A research group created by six problem children, led by Jake.
Aside from Jake, it was a group of students who had no dreams or futures and were students who were repeatedly held back.
There was a time when they, too, were noticed as brilliant talents… If only they had the spirit to try again, they could have made great achievements.
But they took their hands off the competition. In a way, they were the only losers in the fierce competition.
“This can’t be. There must be something wrong.”
Jake shook his head. This may have been possible for Amy, but it should have been impossible for Black Magician to lose to a freshman who had just enrolled.
“Yeah. I didn’t lose. I just got unlucky.”
So far, the students Jake had forced to drop out had excellent grades. How could Shirone even compare? Jake felt he was just unlucky.
‘Doesn’t everyone go through a day like this in their lives?’
‘It’s not over yet. I’m a Class 4. I’m naturally different from those backstabbers who use Anti-Magic.’
After reading Jake’s deadly atmosphere, Shirone tensed. Jake’s Spirit Zone, which turned into a star shape, was felt by Shirone through synesthesia. It felt as if hundreds of archers were aiming their bow at him.
‘What do I do? I haven’t learned magic yet.’
He was able to resist Anti-Magic because it was a battle fought using the Spirit Zone, but a magic battle was a completely different story.
There was no way Shirone, who had not mastered any offensive or defensive magic, could face Jake.
Jake called forth wind between his palms and pressed them down to compress. Then the air began to rotate in the form of a disk. It was Windcutter, a magic that could easily cut through tree trunks.
“I’ll take your arms first. Then your legs.”
Just as Jake was about release the Windcutter, someone grabbed his shoulder from behind and turned him around. The person touched his body at the same time Jake sensed their approach through synesthesia. The speed at which the person moved was inhuman.
Amy’s face appeared right in front of him with eyes glowing red. As her fist smacked his chin, the scenery in front of him shook.
To a mage who was not well-rounded physically, physical attacks were like rat poison. And in addition to that, being attacked by a punch that contained the power of Schema would do even greater harm. Their Spirit Zone would not be able to withstand it.
Amy got on Jake’s stomach and threw out a barrage of punches. The power of a single strike was like being struck down by a big stone.
“What did you say you were going to do to me? I dare you to blabber again, you bastard! Say it!”
Jake’s head snapped side to side as if it were close to being yanked out. Worried that something terrible would happen if left as is, Shirone ran to Amy.
“Amy, stop it! He’s going to die at this rate!”
“Let go of me, you bastard! You must have thought I was easy to target, Jake!”
“He’s going to die!”
Jake heard the conversation as his consciousness slowly started fading away. He no longer felt pain, only a dull shock traveled from his face to his body whenever Amy struck.
‘Die? I’m going to die?’
The fear of death awoke Jake’s mind. He covered his face with his arms and shouted at the top of his lungs.
“H-Help me! Just spare my life! Please!”
Amy’s eyes watered. She had almost lost her eyes. She had been on the brink of going blind. Remembering that she had been shamed by this good-for-nothing scum, she felt her blood boil even hotter.
“I will never forgive you! You sick bastard!”
“Amy, please stop!”
Shirone tried to pull Amy back with all his might. He felt like he was pulling out a wooden stake stuck in the ground due to her Schema. But, when he pulled her one last time with a forceful tug, Amy fell back and crushed Shirone.
“That’s plenty enough, Amy. Please stop it.”
Shirone was breathing hard. When he came to his senses, Shirone felt something soft and tender against his arm. Realizing that he was pressing Amy’s chest, he hurriedly pulled his arm away.
Amy was unresponsive. She was only shivering sporadically as she exhaled and inhaled roughly. Her body was clearly reacting to how she was feeling, so Shirone, feeling sorry for her, gently hugged her waist and softly said.
“Amy, because of me—”
“AHH! That felt soooooo refreshing!”
Amy bounced up, ramming Shirone’s lower abdomen with her butt.
Shirone turned around, clutching his abdomen. If he had been hit a little further down, a horrible situation he did not wish to further imagine could have happened.
“What’s wrong? Are you not feeling good somewhere?”
He was able to avoid the vulnerable spot, but a cold sweat broke out on his forehead because the impact poured downwards. But he did not show it.
“No… It’s nothing.”
“Hehe! Of course you should be. I know how light I am.”
There was no way that Amy, who had been a very curious girl since childhood, was unaware of Shirone’s ‘state’. It was a sign of her own friendliness, as she was poor at expressing emotions. It also reflected Shirone’s success trying to quietly overlook the dangerous collision with Amy a minute ago.
“Anyways, what now?”
Shirone changed the subject and turned to the members of Black Magician. He didn’t notice while they were chaotically fighting, but after assessing the situation after things had settled down, he noticed the condition of the boys was serious.
All of them fainted with bloody noses, and Jake was crawling on the ground, half-dead.
After examining their wrecked faces, Amy decided to cover the situation at this point. She wanted to expel them from the academy, but if the case grew bigger, Shirone’s identity could be revealed.
“Let’s head down. They’ll lay low now that they have something to feel remorseful about.”
“But Sharelle is probably on her way.”
“What? Did you perhaps tell the teacher?”
“Of course. How can I come alone when you’re in danger?”
Amy sighed, facepalming. She could accept the fact that she was humiliated, but Amy thought that she could at least enjoy the victory. However, she was bummed out by the fact that the incident had already been reported to the teachers.
Shirone was deeply moved. The reason Amy was disappointed was because she was trying to keep his secret.
“Thank you, Amy.”
[Translator – Anwen]
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“You came here all by yourself because of me. But don’t fret over it. It doesn’t matter if my secret is revealed or not. I’m just glad you’re safe.”
“No, I didn’t……”
Amy avoided eye contact, scratching her cheek. There were times when she felt neglected in the freewheeling atmosphere of the Karmis family. She yearned for human affection. She wandered through the back alleys to search for it. Shirone’s kind words made her happy, but at the same time, she couldn’t completely digest them.
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“Hmph! Who said it’s because of you? It was only because I could handle these guys on my own. In fact, I’ve been thinking of doing this for a while now… I just had the perfect chance to carry out that plan today.”
Amy’s cheeks were completely red. Shirone was satisfied. He felt like he knew what she was like.
“Kekeke, you’re so childish it makes me cringe. You call yourself geniuses? As if. You guys are just a bunch of ignorant kids.”
Jake stood up with his hand against a tree. His face was a mess, but his eyes were full of malice.
Amy placed her hand on her waist and spoke.
“You are really pathetic. If you can’t even stand up properly, just stay sprawled on the ground. Are you a pervert? You like being punched by me that much?”
There was no such thing as defeat in Jake’s mind. After all, it was money that ruled the world. He may have lost this fight, but he still had strong financial power.
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“You think everything is over? No, this is just the beginning. Let’s be honest, you can’t actually kill me, can you? Kill me if you’re so confident. You guys will never graduate as long as I’m here. I’ll destroy you guys through any means necessary!”
Shirone was appalled. However, Amy, who had dominated the back alleys since she was young, knew people like Jake all too well.
“Kill you? Why should I kill you? I’d only be wasting my time on a guy like you. But keep this in mind… I won’t kill you, but I can still beat the living daylights out of you.”
Jake flinched as Amy walked towards him with a clenched fist. No matter how hard he tried to stay strong, his body remembered the fear afflicted by her previously.
“…Do you think I’m scared?”
“Did someone say something? Since you’re up and talking, I should beat you again. I still haven’t gotten over what you did to me.”
Jake choked up seeing Amy’s dramatic motion of rolling her shoulders, and his face was distorted in fear.
A shrill fricative/sound was heard from the sky. Shirone looked up, but the other two knew without looking.
It was a noise unique to Spatial Warp, an upper-level of teleportation magic.
The moment Shirone thought starlight was shining in the sky, the flash quickly bent and came down to the place where he and the others were.
Sharelle landed with two instructors.
With a restless heart, Amy glimpsed at the instructors’ faces. Then she let out a small sigh.
It was Siena of the Ice and Thadd of the Flames.
‘Ugh, of all the possible teachers…’
Along with Ethella, the youngest instructor at the magic academy, there was no way they would handle this incident lightly.
“Amy! Are you okay? Are you hurt anywhere?”
Sharelle ran to Amy with a crying face.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m not so easily beaten, you know.”
Sharelle didn’t miss a small change as she had a sensitive personality. Amy’s bangs, which flowed down as if slightly covering her right eye, were burned.
Although she had thought that Amy’s hairstyle was too retro compared to her pretty appearance, Sharelle’s heart ached when her friend’s hair, which she’d been sticking with for six years, was ruined.
“Why is your hair like that? What happened?”
“Oh, geez! I said it’s nothing. By the way, is it already past 7 o’clock?”
“What do you mean? Do you know how long we’ve been looking for you? I wouldn’t have arrived in time without the instructors.”
The sun had set and it was getting dark.
As the surroundings became dark, Thadd casted a fire magic. The ball of flame soared up and lit up the surrounding area like a small sun.
‘So this is the Fire Sun magic.’
Shirone admired the glowing sphere in the sky. The heat wasn’t felt even though the surroundings brightened as if struck by broad daylight.
This was impossible without converting thermal energy into light energy. According to a book Shirone read, the Fire Sun, unlike its appearance, was an advanced skill and was mainly seen on a battlefield.
Thadd approached Amy with a tearful face.
“What’s going on, Amy! How could a brilliant kid like you do such a foolish thing…”
Thadd, who was only vulnerable to women, did not seem to care about Shirone. In particular, Amy’s grades were first place, her family was first class, and her appearance was also top one, so he couldn’t help but worry.
Disgusted by Thadd’s attitude, Siena turned to Shirone.
“Shirone, can you explain what’s going on?”
“Oh, umm, the thing is…”
“Let me tell you what happened.”
At Jake’s words, the instructors turned their heads. The person who was responsible for the incident said he would explain it. It was questionable whether something went wrong in his brain after being punched so hard numerous times.
But this was also part of Jake’s calculations.
He would only be hit with disciplinary actions. A school that needs the funding of the Ardius family would never be able to throw him out.
On the other hand, what about Shirone? Jake heard clearly about Shirone having some kind of a secret in the conversation a while ago. And along with Amy’s behavior to cover it up. That meant there was something fishy going on.
“I called Amy out. But since her skills are far superior compared to mine, I had no choice but to use Anti-Magic… But it was fair play. The emotions that had stacked up over time eventually led to a battle for pride. As you can see, it’s only our side that has been seriously injured.”
Siena spoke with a disgruntled look.
“Are you telling me to believe that? You guys broke the academy rules.”
“I’m not saying I did anything good. But think about it. If Amy’s a victim, why didn’t she report this? Since they’re trying to cover up this incident, they must be also guilty of something.”
“What the hell are you saying?! What do you mean we’re trying to hide something?! You were the one who threatened to kidnap Shirone!”
“Haha! But did we actually kidnap him? We did not. Moreover, Shirone didn’t inform the teachers after reading the note we sent. What do you think this means?”
“You… You bastard…”
Amy couldn’t refute. It would not be understandable to anyone who did not know the actual circumstances behind the matter. After all, Shirone, who had not been kidnapped, came running without reporting to the instructors. However, if she were to tell the truth, Shirone’s secret would be revealed.
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