We were inside the mana train to go back to Temple. Since it was night already, there weren’t many people on the train.
Charlotte seemed to calmly organize her thoughts, trying to calm her beating heart.
“Anyway, what is that store’s true purpose?”
She was so surprised that Eleris knew the boy’s whereabouts that she forgot that line of thought. It looked like she successfully managed to organize her thoughts.
“Well… I don’t know much about this topic, but don’t wizards usually have a lot of secrets?”
“Hmmm… It’s hard to accept, though. Wizards are usually pretty much weirdos, but….”
Among wizards, being weird was rather common. Even if harmless, there are a lot of people with strange personalities among them.
So, even if one didn’t really understand why they did certain things, since there were a lot of weirdos among the wizards, there might not even be a reason for them to do something as nonsensical as that.
“I should think more about this after I fully confirm that she is indeed protecting him.”
It was still just an oral testimony. No matter if she could send letters or not, as long as she was sure that Eleris was protecting the boy, Charlotte would do her best to protect her.
In Charlotte’s current state, as long as Valier’s safety was confirmed, she would be able to let this matter go, even if she found out that Eleris was a vampire.
“I hope she isn’t some member of a magic association….”
Charlotte let out a mournful voice and tilted her head.
“Sigh…. There are organizations that focus on magic research. They often try to evade the public’s eye.”
Of course, I knew these things. Secret magic associations. It sounded pretty chuuni and I took a liking to it, so I just shoved it into the novel.
Underground magic organizations focusing on magic research and experimentation, or simply advocating the freedom of advancing in the field of magic. There weren’t just one or two of these associations, and their tendencies were widely different. Some were conducting experiments going against any moral code in existence, while others were moving to prevent threats caused by magic from the shadows.
As for Charlotte, she still seemed to have some doubts about Eleris, wondering if she was actually part of one of these organizations.
It was a lot tamer than wondering whether she was a demon spy or not.
“But looking at how she’s running the store…. I don’t think she’d be part of something like the Black Order….”
Curiosity is like a disease.
That would probably fit Charlotte to a T at this moment.
It had been a long day.
Running around different places and leaving Temple even though it was prohibited. Charlotte found Eleris through simple interrogation. It was truly thrilling to see how she reached the truth by taking such simple actions.
Just randomly asking the shop owners about a boy that was trying to sell scrolls led to the creation of a clear movement pattern, and finally setting her sights on Eleris’ shop simply because it was slightly suspicious.
After walking a few more laps outside, we decided to return to Temple. I didn’t actually do any evening training after all.
It didn’t seem like Bertus had tracked Charlotte and me, so he shouldn’t know where we went.
To be honest, Bertus probably didn’t have any time to care about me and Charlotte. It turned out that his people were behind the black market, so he probably had to focus on solving this incident amicably. His head was probably about to explode.
Anyway, Sarkegaar’s trail shouldn’t get exposed.
As soon as I returned to the Royal Class dormitory after exercising, there was a single person waiting for me.
“…Where have you been all day?”
“I’ve been training.”
Harriet de Saint-Owan.
She looked a bit annoyed for having to wait quite a long time for me.
I hadn’t really thought about that “preventing Harriet’s leave of absence” matter, because I was following around Charlotte all day.
“How did it go?”
Well, if the matter got resolved, she probably wouldn’t want to meet me. Why was she waiting for me like this?
There was also Betus who objected to her leave of absence, so it should have been resolved well. Harriet was just… crossing her arms and not saying anything.
“What? Are you actually going to take the semester off?”
“…No, that’s not it. They told me I don’t have to take a leave of absence. They can’t help it if it’s something Bertus requested after all.”
“…Then, isn’t everything well?”
That was what she wanted, so she could have just told me directly. Why did she seem so restless?
“What? Are there any problems? If there are, out with it already. I’m losing it here.”
When I put my hand next to my ear, Harriet’s expression changed subtly.
I felt something very ominous about the way she acted.
“It’s… It’s… My father wants to meet you.”
What kind of nonsense was that?
Harriet was just a kid, but Grand Duke Saint-Owan wasn’t someone I could handle at my current level, you know?
“No, why is your high and mighty father looking for me?”
Harriet’s eyebrows twitched a little at my remark, but it seemed like she gave up getting angry over every little thing I did.
Rather, Harriet fidgeted around with her fingers. It was incredibly cute how she looked at me with upturned eyes.
But why was she looking at me like that?
“I-It’s just…. He didn’t believe his daughter would come up with something like this. So… after I told him what you told me to say, that I can’t take a leave of absence because of this and that,… he asked me… who came up with this,… so…”
No matter how talented and smart she might be, Harriet was still just the cute little daughter of the Grand Duke of Saint-Owan.
She probably only said cute things like “I love you forever, dad! Dad is the best! I wooove you!” to him. Well, she was set up as a character that grew up being loved by her entire family.
So she probably was the world’s nicest, cutest, and most adorable daughter to him. She probably was the kind of girl that would only say things like “I hate you” as a form of rebellion.
Something like “Buy me that! No, I hate that!”
Then his little girl suddenly started saying things like: ‘Father, I believe that it would seriously offend Prince Bertus if I were to take a leave of absence. The Prince even talked to me directly about this matter, requesting me not to take the semester off. If I were to be forced to go against his wishes, I fear for my family’s safety…’
From Grand Duke Saint-Owan’s point of view, this had to be quite the bizarre situation.
So naturally, he must have thought that she was saying something, someone told her to say or made her read from a script, because Harriet was doing something she had never done before. Actually, Harriet did say that she might forget what she had to say, so we did prepare something close to a script.
“…Anyway, I told him it was me who wrote the script.”
“…Oh god. He didn’t believe you now, did he? You aren’t someone that could talk like that.”
Even if she had a good head on her shoulders, she was still too young, so no one would believe bullshit like that.
The child who wasn’t able to even put her opinions into logical sentences suddenly matured, so he thought that there was some force (?) pulling the strings from behind, and that was the correct answer.
So, for some reason, the Grand Duke now wished to see me. Harriet eventually couldn’t resist her dad’s coercion, so she mentioned me to him. That’s why she seemed so apologetic.
You little brat, that was why you’ve been waiting for me until this late at night, looking all fidgety?
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“It’s fine, what happened, happened. So, how did you introduce me?”
Harriet looked into my eyes again, unable to properly open her mouth.
“Surely, you didn’t say something like I’m a beggar with a very dirty personality that beats up people left and right, right?”
Harriet’s complexion grew paler. It seemed like that was the correct answer.
“Come here, you little punk. Seems like you really want to get beaten up.”
As I slowly approached, Harriet wept bitterly while retreating. So the day came when this brat actually let the words ‘I’m’ and ‘sorry’ leave her mouth, huh?
“I’m really surprised that you actually apologized, but you threw me into some deep shit right now, so I’m going to hit you even more now, you know?”
“I couldn’t help it!”
Even if she was acting cute, it won’t help that punk in the least right now.
“Come here, let me give you a finger flick.”
“Ouch! Y-You… really hit me! You actually hit me!”
“Did you think I’d fake it?”
“I-I can’t believe it… How preposterous… You really hit me….”
Harriet looked at me with a bewildered expression plastered on her face, rubbing her forehead. It seemed like her last doubts about my willingness to hit her had finally crumbled.
‘H-How dare you? You didn’t just say you’d flick my forehead? You actually did it!’
That was what kind of expression she was showing me.
Also, she really was the cutest.
“Welp. I’ll keep it at that for now.”
Her face reddened again at my words.
“What’s with that look? You hit me! You bad guy! You bastard!”
Harriet eventually ran back to her room, huffing angrily.
Wednesday, the next day.
I had magic sensitivity training and supernatural power classes on that day. The magic sensitivity training was filled with only the first-years of the Royal Class.
Students majoring in divine powers and supernatural powers didn’t usually have to take these classes.
Of course, I majored in supernatural powers, but I was still taking this class. I planned on sitting through it later.
As magic had its own uses different from supernatural powers.
-Uaaaaaah…. Feeeeeel iiiiiiiiiit….
This class had a teacher that was more like a yoga instructor who made all the students lay down and mumbled some suggestions to them. When I listened to him, I felt somewhat strange and fell asleep. Weren’t we actually getting hypnotized by this yoga master?
Of course, I never mentioned anything about falling asleep, but every time I woke up I felt really refreshed, so I actually liked that class. Actually, the only thing I had to do in that class was standing up on time after being idle all throughout it.
-Feeeel the universe…. Receeeeive… its streeeeength….
It was coming.
The god of sleep….
When I woke up from my slumber, everyone had serene expressions on their faces. It felt weird. If I had to describe it, it felt like waking up after being dead for a bit.
By the way, was that Yoga Master dude actually a wizard? He looked more like a swordsman than a wizard at first glance, though.
“There will be a midterm evaluation next week.”
At those words, all the kids were rather dumbfounded. I was also confused.
Of course, the exam period which would be corresponding to the midterm exams would start next week according to the schedule.
“…I don’t think we’ve learned anything though, so how will we get evaluated?”
Cayer Vioden from Class A posed the question that everyone seemed to have.
How could one evaluate a class in which one only slept? What did he even teach us?
“This course won’t have any exams. We are just checking your performance up to this point.”
Everyone was almost shouting these words. I could understand that we weren’t taking any exams in this class, but what the hell did performance mean? We were never taught anything, but we somehow were supposed to achieve something? That was what everyone seemed to want to say.
“I will check if your magic power has increased. You will be given points the more it has increased, understood?”
Magic power increases. That was the measure of our evaluation.
“As you all should know, during this class, you have been continuously trained to increase your magic power as well as your sensitivity to it. Of course, we should use your magic power increase as the evaluation criterion.”
We weren’t just sleeping.
We were somehow still training while sleeping.
Actually, I didn’t really know why, but the amount of my mana had continuously increased regardless of what I trained in. I started with 9.9, but now it has risen to 11.
It didn’t just randomly rise, the class was helping us increase our magic power.
“Now then, I hope you’ll have a magical time until next week.”
Everyone was just staring blankly at him, as if they just realized how great this yoga master in front of them was.
I could now properly participate in the supernatural power control training as well. The power of my supernatural power was more on the lower side, but the speed at which I could activate my supernatural power could not be replicated by almost anyone in the class.
Of course, there was just one other person who had an even faster activation speed than me. I still needed time to convince myself, after all. However, that person could use their power as soon as they thought about it.
That was Kono Lint’s teleportation. Of course, it was still rather useless, because he’d be naked the moment he used it. He really was a poor guy in that regard.
Anyway, next in line would be Liana de Grantz.
As the King of the winning mentality, that was just too much.
“It’s all good, but it’s just very subtle, to the point where one can’t tell if you became stronger because you are using your supernatural ability or because you’ve been training hard. I heard you’ve been working yourself quite hard.”
During my training, my teacher didn’t seem to be able to tell if I was properly using my supernatural power or not.
Of course, that didn’t really matter much to me, because I could clearly figure out whether my power was activated or not.
I could even feel that the power was developing to some extent.
But in the end, it was still that kind of supernatural power….
This type of ability was like a chuuni’s dream. An ability that developed when one was under extreme psychological pressure. Actually, I already knew that it would be like that.
The power’s development wasn’t that apparent. Then in a crisis it would suddenly evolve and destroy everything around me…. Something like that….
Anyway, it seemed pretty cool and convenient, so that was why I put in that setting. However, I was now feeling the pain, because I was now in a position where I had to practice such a ridiculous power.
In the end, it was more efficient to just get pushed into an extremely dangerous situation to quickly raise it instead of doing this.
That said, I didn’t really want to do something as stupid as actively seeking out dangerous situations, either….
“Oh, Grantz. Your control has definitely improved. Your output has also gotten stronger.”
Liana de Grantz. She was a perfect example of a genius supernatural power user.
It sure would have been nice if I was someone like that as well, whose ability grows quickly even if I just stand still. Of course, it wasn’t like its growth rate was especially slow, I’d say.
In the end, it was my fault for setting up the condition of having to be in a crisis to level it up after all.
There was someone among the supernatural ability class students whose expression grew worse and worse every time he saw me showing off the use of my supernatural power.
6 Heinrich von Schwarz.
I gave him some true education after he questioned my presence in this class when I didn’t even have a supernatural power. Now I could see the guy, who wanted me to get a talent the least, freak out over me actually awakening a supernatural power.
Of course, after he found out that I was quite similar to a mad dog, he didn’t openly argue with me again.
However, every time he saw me, he would turn away his head in disgust.
Harriet was cute, but that guy wasn’t cute at all. I didn’t really intend to play around with him, so I just let him be.
On my way back from class, my eyes met with Charlotte’s, who came out of her private room.
She and I shared a lot of secrets with each other, so it was dangerous if we acted like we knew each other in the open.
I didn’t really greet her, but Charlotte looked at me and slightly smiled instead.
Unlike before, Charlotte seemed to be in a good mood. It looked like she was finally relieved of a heavy burden that weighed her down.
The other guys thought Charlotte was smiling at me, so they seemed a little dumbfounded.
Come to think of it, I had to go to Eleris’ store to pick up some letters.
Of course, I’d only pretend that I went there to pick them up. I’d actually had to write them myself.
I decided that I’d go pick up the letters after the ban on leaving the campus of Temple had been lifted. It was impossible for me to leave without Charlotte, and it would be highly suspicious for us to go out together again.
So, I was back training my swordsmanship with Ellen. Ellen didn’t really seem to care whether I came by or not. When I was around, she’d look after my sword training, and when I wasn’t there, she’d do her own thing.
“Don’t you need to study for the midterm exams?”
Next week, we’d have to take the integrated midterm exams and do our given midterm assignments for each lecture. I didn’t pay that much attention to it, but everyone was studying on their own during the midterm exam period.
It was more than obvious that Bertus and Charlotte were still studying even while they were busy with many other things.
Ellen, on the other hand, was still acting the same as before.
“…Aren’t you lucky that you actually still get to be the top student of the whole school while acting like that?”
I’m 100 % sure that I set her up as a character like that. If it was just brains, then B-2 Louis Ankton would be more superior. However, since that guy was a weakass, he wasn’t able to get any good grades in sports-related subjects. So, Louis Ankton would only rank first for the integrated subjects, that is, written exams, while Ellen would always rank first going by total score, including the grades given by the subjects of individual professors.
Even though I had no intentions on studying a single bit, I still felt weird talking so casually to the person who would snatch the school’s number 1 rank like nothing.
Didn’t I have to study?
No, I think it would feel a bit degrading to realize how much worse my brain would be compared to these kids.
Ellen looked at me standing still and shook her head slightly.
“Aren’t you studying?”
Of course, she was simply asking.
But what I heard was: “You’re not as smart as me, so don’t you have to study really hard?”
That was what that sounded like.
That made me angry for some reason.
“Since you don’t need to study, I don’t either!”
“How does that correlate?”
“I don’t know! Anyway, I won’t do it!”
I went into crazy mode.
Let us happily throw them out the window.
The moment the Gates open, Temple grades and such would become completely useless after all.
I just had to study hard in my own way!
Then the gym door opened suddenly and someone came in.
“Number 11, you have a visitation request.”
It was Mr. Epinhauser.