♪~kinn konn kann konn~♪
The bell rang, signalling the end of school, and almost all of the students left the classroom.
“Apparently there’s a new tea house in the Lind Mall now. Wanna have a look later?”
My best friend Edim casually invited me. A tea house huh? I sure wanna go. Lately I haven’t had much sweet stuff, so my stomach is really telling me to go.
Hm~mm, but I can’t, nope. I’ve still got a mountain of assignments to do. Even though I have to get the report done by the day after tomorrow, I haven’t even gotten through half of it yet. If I go to the tea house, I definitely won’t finish in time.
“Sorry, Edim. I can’t. I still haven’t finished my assignments.”
“I see. Last week you were away with the cold, weren’t you, Jessica. It wouldn’t hurt Baena-sensei to be a little more understanding…”
“Huhu, it can’t be helped, Edim. It’s my fault for not looking after myself properly.”
“Honestly, you’re too serious about these things. Guess I have no choice but to give up on today.”
“I’m fine, so just go invite Miless this time.”
“I see. Then I’ll do that, but… Jessica, you only just recovered, so don’t push yourself, okay?”
Giving Edim a small thanks, I went back to concentrating on my assignment. I’ve been working on this report for days now, but this time I need to get it finished before three days are up.
I wonder if it’s possible…
I’m the type that gets through things slowly and steadily like a turtle, so I’m bad at rushing through things like this. But if I don’t get it done I’ll have to repeat, and in the worst case I’ll even get expelled. Here at Arcudas Magic Academy, each year we have three written examinations and practical exams, and every second week we need to hand in a report. If we don’t score above a certain mark, we won’t be able to advance a grade.
The Arcudas Magic Academy is the pride of the Capital, and a government instition. It gathers talent from across the nation, and its strict curriculum fosters adventurers and mages. Because of that, each year without fail, a number of people will drop out of it.
I can’t allow myself to be defeated. When I graduate, I want to become a court mage one day. Rubbing my gradually drooping eyelids, I drove away the drowsiness.
Sticking at it at my desk, after a few hours of concentration, I finally finished one report. It was already a little dark outside.
Is it this late already? I’ll just do some magical history, and then I’ll head back.
Pulling out my textbook for magical history class, I opened up to the 14th page of the chapter on the basics. The 14th page was the one on magical elements and the demon race.
Elements of Magic――
At present, we recognise fire, water, wood, earth, wind, lightning, light and darkness – a total of eight elements. Each one increases in power as more mana is used. However, the number of cases where humans have been able to use the darkness element is extremely low. To begin with, the darkness element is historically noted as the specialty of the demon race.
A race that was most glorious in the ancient past, but after incurring the wrath of the gods, they perished. In magic, the demon race were said to hold no equal. Even the magic system used today, is alleged to have been created by the demon, Camilla. According to one story, Camilla mastered the use of “Magic Bullets” – magical projectiles that could only be fired by high-level magicians. Furthermore, it is said that she could rain thousands of magic bullets simultaneously, like a shower of meteors. Popular opinion amongst researchers states that such a feat can only be accomplished by those with over 100,000 units of mana.
T-, They’re amazing, aren’t they, these demons. In the entire world, the number of people with mana over 100,000 is so low that they can be counted. If you have over 1,000 mana, you’re considered an adult. And to have 100,000 is…
Even in the field of magical history, the demon race holds a special place. They frequently appear in history, during events of importance.
While I was immersing myself in the history of magic, I suddenly heard a violin.
It sounds like it’s coming from the a first year room.
I moved towards a window in a classroom where I could hear it better. There, I saw a teacher with a violin, and a number of female students around him.
“Alcyune-sensei’s violin is always so lovely♪”
“Truly. His melancholy profile is unbearable~”
Apparently Alcyune-sensei was playing the violin, and his fans were making a fuss.
Alcyune Bo Malferand…
A young teacher that recently began working here. His handsome looks and graceful conduct snatched the hearts of the students in an instant, and apparently he even has a fan club. It’s true that he’s handsome. You could even say that his face is too perfect. But I don’t really have a good impression of him. Everybody says that his eyes are filled with sorrow, but instead I find them scary.
I wonder why.
Sometimes Alcyune-sensei makes frightening expressions. Not like a teacher looking at his students, but more like a predator looking at prey.
But I can’t tell anybody how I feel. I mean, he’s the most popular teacher in school, and I don’t want to make everyone angry. I’m nothing more than a lower-middle class girl, after all.
Oops, the assignments, the assignments. I can’t take it easy here. I headed back to my classroom, and went back to my report. It’s already pretty dark outside. Uu~ I hate this. The road back to the dorm at night is mostly deserted, and it feels eerie.
Aah~ No good, no good. I’m supposed to be aiming for Court Mage. What am I going to do if I don’t have backbone?
Giving my trembling heart a loud encouraging, I did my report.
After a while…
“Is anybody still here?”
I heard the voice of Geil-sensei, my homeroom teacher.
“P-, Please excuse me. I haven’t finished my assignments yet, and…”
“I see. It’s good to have enthusiasm, but the dorms will lock up soon, you know! You should finish up for today, and hurry back!”
Oh crap. Is it already that late? I hurriedly packed my things up, and then left the classroom.
Thank goodness. If Geil-sensei didn’t call out to me, I wouldn’t have been able to go back.
Geil-sensei always makes a round of the school at this time. He’s a good teacher that puts in effort where people don’t see it. Why doesn’t anybody else notice his nonchalant kindness?
Geil-sensei has stubble, and he wears worn-out clothing, so the students all make fun of him. It’s even more noticeable ever since Arcyune-sensei joined our school. But even if Geil-sensei is unfashionable, I definitely, definitely like him better.
Huh? There’s still a classroom with a light on.
While I was on the way back to the dorms, I spotted a light source. It looks like a few people are still at school.
Hehe, it looks like I wasn’t the only one with assignments left over. So I had companions――wait, this isn’t the time to be feeling relieved. It doesn’t change the fact that I still have assignments due.
The next morning, the school was in a clamour when I arrived. The teachers were all walking about restlessly. Of course, it wasn’t just the teachers either. When I looked about, I found that the students at school were whispering to each other for some reason.
What on earth is… Ah-!? Edim and Miless are here. Great timing. Maybe I’ll ask them about what’s happening.
“Edim, Miless, good morning.”
“Hey, do you guys know why everybody is acting like this?”
“Yeah. You see, apparently a girl from Class 1 didn’t come home yesterday.”
“Eh-!? That’s terrible! Could she have been kidnapped?”
“Hm~mm, I wonder about that. Although she wasn’t an adult yet, she was still a student at our Magic Academy. Would it really be that easy for anybody normal to kidnap her?”
“Hey, something similar happened a while ago, didn’t it?”
“Right, right. Wasn’t it a girl from Class 2? But I heard that she just ran away from home.”
Right, a few months ago there was a fuss about a girl going missing. But as I recall, before she disappeared she told a bunch of people “I’m quitting!” and so people concluded that she just ran away.
“Ah, that’s right. Maybe it’s another runaway~”
While Edim and Miless were wracking their brains over it,
“You’re in the way.”
A cool voice suddenly cut through the surroundings. Edim and Miless immediately spread left and right. The other people here also looked away and opened a path.
“Oh crap. That famous delinquent glared at me.”
“T-, That was scary. Especially that look of hers. That rumour about her killing somebody before might be true.”
“Yeah, yeah. There’s also that rumour about her walking about each night looking for prey.”
“Could it be that she’s related to the kidnapping…?”
“”Kyaaa, how scary!””
Edim and Miless hugged each other as they complained. The other students had suspicious expressions too. Everybody believes in rumours too much.
“Jessica, do you know that delinquent?”
Lyris-chan is the same as always. Because of her scary attitude and mysteriousness, everybody misunderstands her, but I know that she’s actually the kindest person out. I tried calling out to her a few times, but it didn’t work. Lyris-chan is like a solitary island, after all.
“More importantly, the bell for class is about to ring.”
“Ah! Oh no! Jessica, let’s run for it.”
We immediately began moving to our own classrooms.
The teacher isn’t here yet.
Looks like I made it.
I see. I guess the teachers are also busy with the disappearance case.
After a while, Geil-sensei arrived.
“Sit down. We’re starting home room.”
All the chatting students looked towards him.
“Ahh, that’s right. I have an announcement for you all.”
Could it be about the disappearance case? For some reason I’m getting a bad feeling about it. I’ve been getting a bad feeling since this morning.
“Sensei, could it be about the disappearance?”
One of the boys in my class suddenly asked that. So it’s not just me that’s been thinking about it.
“No, that’s still under investigation. You should all take care as well, not to make careless speculation. What I wanted to announce was… there’s going to be a new student joining us.”
“Ehh~? A transfer student at this time of year? How rare. Sensei, is it a girl?”
“Huhu, rejoice, you lot. It’s a cute girl!”
“Oh shit, seriously!? Lucky!”
The boys in our class let out a victory cry. Yeah, I know how they feel. Not many people have the foundation for magic. That’s why almost everyone here has known each other for a long time now. It’s really rare to get a transfer student. Probably even more so for it to be a cute girl.
“Sensei, what kind of girl is she?”
“Her name is Timu. She’s fourteen this year, and has been living in Beruga Town. And apparently her magic is self-taught.”
“Self-taught!? That’s incredible. Sensei, could it be that she’s an incredible genius?”
Everybody was shocked to hear that. It really is incredible. Learning magic isn’t something an ordinary person can do. It’s something that you can only do after reading books or studies done by predecessors, and finally learning the foundations. And Beruga is in the countryside, isn’t it. Even though I’m sure there wasn’t anywhere decent for her to learn magic…
“No, according to Timu’s Oneesan, she can only use the basics of the basics. Her Oneesan was incredibly worried about whether or not she could follow our lessons.”
“Ohh~? I see. Then we’ll definitely need to help her out then.”
“Yeah, please do. Everybody, if Timu is troubled, make sure to help her out.”
“No worries, I’ll personally tutor Timu-chan.”
“Ah-, that’s sneaky. I’m better at magic than you are.”
“Honestly, this is why boys are… Sensei, I’ll teach her.”
Because of how rare and curious it was, everybody in class was declaring themselves Timu-chan’s guide. I would have liked to guide her too, but there are too many candidates, so it’s probably impossible.
“Wait, wait. If you lot act like that, you’ll scare Timu. Nichol. Be Timu’s guide please.”
Is this what people call ‘being robbed of one’s dues’?
Huhu, I wonder what kind of girl Timu-chan is.
I’m looking forward to meeting her. It’s Timu-chan’s first time at a school, so I’ll bet she’s nervous. I’ll make sure to teach her all sorts of stuff.