Volume 8 (School – Revolution Arc) starts.
– A few days following the events at the castle –
Right after Reese was once again able to attend school, she finished moving into Diamond Cottage.
“I-I am incompetent, but please treat me well.” (Reese)
It’s not that I don’t understand her being tense, since she didn’t live under one roof with me before, but she says that as though we were newlyweds. Although I did become an acquaintance of both Princess Lifell and the King, we didn’t confess to each other or get engaged in particular.
Emilia appeared to be mad at my reaction, or lackthereof, when Reese vaguely muttered those words.
“Sirius-sama! To a girl, staying under the same roof is very important!” (Emilia)
Well, there’s no way Reese is simply imitating her excitement about this; she probably is intoxicated by these feelings, having never felt them before. She is at the age where she is oversensitive when it comes to her feelings, so I don’t need to worry about her words.
“Sorry, sorry. By the way, when changing clothes or something, please be careful and hide in a place where you won’t be easily seen. I’ll be sure to be careful as well.” (Sirius)
“It’s not necessary for Sirius-sama to be careful. Here you go, this is the key to our room.” (Emilia)
“Why are you giving it to me when I have the master key?” (Sirius)
Because I’m something like the manager for Diamond Cottage, I have the master key. Therefore, it’s pointless to give me their key.
“That is because… we will always waiting for you if you want to sneak into our room.” (Emilia)
Her cheeks were dyed with red as she blushed, and she ran away while making some kind of delightful cry. I am thankful to Erina for teaching her various things, but she didn’t teach her that, right? She is far too young to have such knowledge, you know.
Since I don’t have any intention to do that in the first place, I politely return the key.
Unlike before, now that all of the disciples are living under one roof, it is a lot easier for us to coordinate our daily schedules.
In particular, Emilia’s burden is reduced. She doesn’t have to travel far to wake me every morning, so she can rest a little more. Furthermore, she has been in a very good mood after moving in. She’s shown even more promise, recently acquiring a new wind magic.
Mock battles with Reus have also changed substantially. I’ve started attacking from all around, and in various ways. In actual fights, enemies won’t only attack from the front, thus it is imperative that he learns to deal with feints and surprise attacks.
Reese is surely at peak condition after reconciling with her father. At first I worried, as she blushed and looked away whenever our eyes met. After a bit of time though, she adjusted to the current situation, even creating a new magic and proactively training it. There’s been nothing but fun, productive days, followed by cheerful conversations each dinner.
Today, we were all up early and gathered in the courtyard. I look away from our target for training, and face the disciples directly.
“We are going for a run today as well. Our destination is that mountain, go at once.”
While we are still continuing our training, three years have passed since we first arrived at the academy.
Entrance exams and interviews for the new school year completed a few days ago, and by now the new students had all finished moving in. When I see new students coming from various races, wearing new robes and gathered in front of the auditorium, I feel a distinct sense of nostalgia, despite it only having been three years since we first arrived.
Though I missed those times, I didn’t miss the most annoying thing that happens during this period.
“Nice to meet you, Senpai. This is too sudden, but will you have a match with me?” (Freshman A)
“Aren’t you incompetent? I don’t care what cowardly methods you use, incompetents should be at the bottom.” (Freshman B)
“This incompetent is the strongest? Strongest suits the name of my family.” (Freshman C)
… New students trying to show off their strength to everyone else and claim dominance.
Why I, who’s known to be colorless, is getting this treatment?
That is because there’s a rumor going around that I’m the strongest person in the school. It’s been spread around that I’ve fought nobles for Reese’s sake, but my abilities were never expressly shown.
According to the well informed underling of Reus, it appears that the rumor seems to spread on its own.
It doesn’t help my case that Emilia and Reus are always by my side.
Emilia is regarded as one of the top three in the school as far as beauty goes, and her physical ability is very high, to say nothing of her magic aptitude. Moreover, because of her courtesy and charm, she is very popular among men and women who don’t discriminate against beastkin, and is said to be the perfect woman.
Meanwhile, Reus has defeated every opponent who challenged him, including those regarded as top of their class in terms of strength, and now is called the strongest swordsman in the school.
‘Taking along these two, what kind of magnificent person is he, despite being colorless?’ …That’s how it become that kind of talk.
Since it is said that I’m training the siblings, the story started getting more and more exaggerated, until it was completely fictional. That rumor gave birth to more, and eventually the idea that I was the strongest in the school was cemented.
There is even strange talk about standing at the top of the school if they defeat me. There was no end to the challenges for me from new students for nearly half a month, last year.
That’s why, the new students who got fooled by these rumors came to challenge me again this year…
“You guys, don’t think about making pass on Aniki before me.” (Reus)
It goes without saying that Reus takes up those challenges instead of me. He just takes the new students across the street, beats them in no time, and that’s the end.
Those who saw this scene judged that it’s impossible to charge from the front, so they attempted surprise attacks by using long range magic and weapons. However, everything was deflected by Emilia’s magic and countered with her [Air Shot], and those who ate it were sent off to the medical room.
“Anyone who makes a pass at Sirius-sama will be punished.” (Emilia)
Since the siblings took care of everyone who tried to fight against me, the credibility of the rumor increased.
I was also targeted when I was alone, so I let them lead me to places away from the public eye, and proceeded to beat them up without reserve. Some would hide a short distance from the road, so I would quickly move out of their view and sneak up on them during their confusion. Putting them in a stranglehold and tossing them to the ground was more than enough.
‘The school is a fierce place once you enter’… that’s what the headmaster told me, but there wasn’t a trace of pity in his voice. He was upset by the decline in talent of the previous years, so he viewed this as a blessing.
By the way, Reese does nothing. There’s no room for her to intervene.
“Today’s dinner is curry right? I’m going to help.” (Reese)
She wanted to take initiative in improving her skill at cooking, and she was diligently working towards that. It was something she was trying on the advice of her sister.
Well, the new students look on her favorably, and the other students like her as well, so it’s not a problem.
Emilia always talks politely and is well liked due to how she cares for her classmates and peers. Reus is strong, but never proud about it. Since he is humble and sincere, it’s easy to socialize with him. Each opponent he defeats becomes his underling, and this has resulted in a strange clique forming. It somewhat ruins the image I have of school cliques from my past life.
Even though I am feared as the master of those two, I am not disliked since I don’t do anything bad. Mark hasn’t changed and is still friendly to me, thus I safely spend my school life in peace.
However, it is understandable that there are people who don’t think well of me. They are primarily the nobles who are former students of Gregory.
When I walk through corridors, meeting and being glared by them, I can hear they mutter incompetent and subhuman if I strain my ear. The term ‘subhuman’ causes me so much trouble, as those two can’t stand the phrase. I have to hold Reus and Emilia by the neck to prevent them from lashing out every time. Don’t you realize that you will be attacked if I don’t stop them?
However, I’m relieved that the nobles just glared at us without bumping at us. We are not hated in the eyes of public, but I can’t help but feel like there is a plot developing.
The school feels normal on the surface, but there is a layer of unrest hidden underneath.
“… Don’t you think the situation in school is kind of strange lately?” (Sirius)
I asked the headmaster about the situation of school today, while going back to the basics and bribing providing him with some pudding. The person himself ate the pudding and nodded satisfactorily.
“Yeah… although the cakes are always great, having pudding now and then is also nice. I’m glad I don’t get tired of the taste.” (Rodwell)
“Thank you very much. By the way, the answer to my question…” (Sirius)
“It is as you say. The one that are weird are the nobles… the former students of Gregory in particular. They’ve become strangely overt with their feelings lately.” (Rodwell)
“Is it still so? It’s troubling that they glare at me every time they walk by. All of these things happened three years ago, hasn’t it been long enough?” (Sirius)
Their humiliation following the [Trade] concerning Reese three years ago is well known, but other than fighting Alstore, I am laying low. It was a natural consequence of the event in the labyrinth that Gregory would be labeled a criminal and flee, so is there any reason for me to be glared at?
“I don’t think it is about what happened three years ago. More likely, this time is about Emilia-kun and Reus-kun. Those guys are people who look down on other races, and promote the superiority of the human one. It doesn’t sit well with them that Emilia-kun and Reus-kun are regarded so highly. You, Sirius-kun, are ostracized because not only are you training those two, you are colorless.” (Rodwell)
Many things happened in the past between the human race and beastkin, as expected lingering emotions about those things still exist. Though the kingdom of Elysion is publicly tolerant towards other races, plenty of nobles within are ruled by pride, and thus look at other races with disdain, beastkin included.
“The impetus of this situation is probably the result of Reus defeated a bigshot known for his dislike of beastkin. They don’t like the idea of a beastkin being at the top, but since things will go poorly for them if they try anything, they can do nothing but glare. Good grief, even though such a thing like the gap between the human race and beastkin is such a trivial matter…” (Sirius)
There was cruel man in the past who advised the King to ban the beastkin from Elysion, as a method to unite the human race. The only difference between the humans and them is their appearance, so they could make up the loss of ability with time. Furthermore, there aren’t any countries that value beastkin such that they would be likely to protest.
Of course, Cardeas wasn’t going allow such a thing. He investigated these injustices, and banished the perpetrators to the farthest reaches of the territories. He may act shamefully around his children, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an excellent king. Unfortunately for him, I can’t see him as anything but a doting parent.
It might look like discrimination against beastkin has decreased, but it won’t ever truly disappear. Gregory’s fingerprints are all over that little discriminatory group.
“That is because it’s easy to recognize Gregory among the group who discriminate against beastkin. Such man chose his students himself. He gathered those who naturally hate the beastkin, and there are a lot of Gregory’s students in those nobles group that glare at you.” (Rodwell)
“I see. I don’t think they will make a move, but I’ll tell the siblings to be careful.” (Sirius)
“Indeed, please put up with it. In truth, those guys are just the start of my troubles. As soon as Gregory gone, other teachers had to succeed his position in that class, though reluctantly. Unfortunately, the students recently said they won’t accept things like taking lessons alongside beastkin, and they mean it.” (Rodwell)
How should I say this, they are very selfish kids. I want to tell them not to enter the school if they don’t want to diligently learn lessons, but there are various circumstances based on each person. It seems like interference may be inevitable, but for now it’s best to stay away from the situation.
“Will it be better if this is reported to their parents?” (Sirius)
“It would be better to some degree, but for many, their hatred of beastkin is learned from their parents. It’s disgusting, but it seems to be a situation where parents forced their beliefs unto their children.” (Rodwell)
“… What a troublesome situation.” (Sirius)
It’s difficult to change a belief once it has taken root. This time though, I think the children can have their mindset shifted, since they are still young. The parents may already be bigoted, but the children don’t have to be.
Though he couldn’t have guessed my thoughts entirely, Rodwell seems to have guessed them to some extent. Upon seeing my expression, his shifted from troubled to triumphant, with an extremely confident demeanor.
“The truth is I am planning an event intended to change the belief of such students. It would be a drastic change, but…” (Rodwell)
He doesn’t fully explain, but he was clearly very confident in his methods. His speech, conduct, and appearance give an impression of being gentle, but Rodwell is also cold blooded. This was clearly demonstrated when he wanted to deal with ‘Dragon’s Fresh Blood’ by himself as retribution. If he is taking, as he said, drastic measures, this must truly be an important situation.
“Which reminds me, why does Gregory treat beastkin and I… no, colorless as his enemy?” (Sirius)
“I don’t really want to talk about it, since it is personal… but you have the right to know after everything he has done to you. Gregory has hated beastkin since the beginning, but he only developed a hatred towards colorless after his father was murdered by one” (Rodwell).
“Is it… a grudge? It’s not that I don’t understand him, but I don’t think it’s fair that he attacks another person just because they are similar to the one he hates.” (Sirius)
“You’re right. However, that is all I know. To tell you the truth, Gregory’s location was confirmed several days ago. I got information that he is hiding in somewhat close to here, in a remote region.” (Rodwell)
It isn’t on any maps I’m aware of, but I do know the town. It’s possibly to make the journey in a single day by carriage.
“Finally? It’s not smart to leave him alone there, given how much blood he has on his hands.” (Sirius)
“I know. This misconduct was all on my watch. I will finish it by my own hand.” (Rodwell)
Although he smiles, he seems considerably angry, to the point where his magical power is stirring. It was his responsibility as headmaster, and he wanted to be the one to deliver justice to Gregory. As such, Rodwell decided to go to the hiding place himself.
“I have finished my preparations, and will be leaving for that location the day after tomorrow. I will be taking Magna-sensei with me, and we will be gone for one or two days. Actually, I have a request, Sirius-kun.” (Rodwell)
“I’ll do it if I can.” (Sirius)
“It’s nothing too difficult. Please make sweets that can last for few days. After that…” (Rodwell)
Is it sweets after all?
For now, I decided to give him a magic tool somewhat like a refrigerator. It has cake inside.
Once school was done for the day and we finished more commissions at Galgan Company, we went back to Diamond Cottage. There, we spent our time in the living room relaxing following a flavorful dinner.
Emilia was knitting, Reus and Reese were playing Reversi, and I was carving a magic formation on a Magic Stone.
I am carving grooves on the Magic Stone using a special stone, but the adjustment is difficult because the stone is so small. Furthermore, it has yet to work even when I manage to carve it successfully. I have attempted many times already, to no avail. Today also…
“… It hopeless. It’s a failure.” (Sirius)
The drawn magic formation is my original magic [Call], but I still failed. It is usable, but it has fatal defect. How many magic stones have I gone through now? I’m fairly well off, but after spending so much on these stones, my savings have considerably declined.
When I dropped my shoulders, my disciples stopped what they were doing and came near me.
“Please do not be discouraged, Sirius-sama. How about a drink for a change? (Emilia)
“Aah, please. Creating new magic formations is difficult after all.” (Sirius)
“It’s not just difficult! If were to succeed, your name would be carved in history.” (Reese)
“It will be alright if it is Aniki! The [Impact] from the other day was awesome, what is Aniki engraving this time?” (Reus)
“It’s [Call]. So far, only my words have been sent out, but if used correctly, your voice can reach me too.” (Sirius)
Emilia, was returning after grabbing fruit juice, exclaimed loudly. She placed the cup down without a sound, intensely staring at the magic stone that I held.
“Sirius-sama! With this, my voice can reach no matter where I am, right?
“Aa, aah… yes, it is. It is usable but there is defect…” (Sirius)
“Could you lend it if it’s not dangerous!?” (Emilia)
I instinctively handed her the magic stone, after seeing her excitement. She held the magic stone against her chest happily, and quickly dashed to her room after she heard the usage method.
By the way, the usage method is to just talk while pouring mana into the stone. If possible, I want to make it usable with the stone’s natural self-contained mana, without needing to constantly supply it with more. It would function similar to a cell phone. Anyway, the improvement is completed.
It is a defective product but as for testing it, they are happily grateful. I waited for her to reach her room, then I invoked [Call].
“Can you hear me, Emilia?” (Sirius)
[–? Ah, yes. I can hear you, Sirius-sama!] (Emilia)
“Say something immediately.” (Sirius)
[Yes, Sirius-sama! Today, sleeping together in your bed…] (Emilia)
Communication was cut off in the middle of her confession.
When I look to my side, Reus was tilting his head and Reese was blushing a bit. Well, in short, there’s that.
“Aniki, why am I hearing Nee-chan’s voice?” (Reus)
“Same? Nevertheless, Emilia is daring. But, is that what’s needed… I wonder?” (Reese)
“The truth is, I want to design a version where only the intended recipient can hear the transmission. The defect in this design is that anyone nearby can hear it as well.” (Sirius)
Right now it acts more as a speaker to transmit the voice to other locations. Though it can be useful depending on the situation, it is pointless at this moment.
We go ahead to Emilia’s room since the communication was cut off, and I enter with Reese’s permission…
“… I want it…” (Emilia)
Emilia was lying on the bed in a strange position, tired from mana exhaustion.
Since she let out her voice without discrimination just now, there’s nothing strange about the mana’s consumption. The effective range of the stone is only the garden, but even with that range, and despite her training to reduce mana consumption for other uses, Emilia was left with low mana.
It is still impractical for common use, as evidenced by the result in front of me. I understand the cause, but in my eyes it’s just another failed prototype.
“It’s alright, Emilia. Come on, make yourself comfortable.” (Sirius)
“Auu… Sirius-samaa…” (Emilia)
I collected the magic stone, and rested her head on my lap as she woke up slightly. It’s a reward for cooperating with the experiment.
Does she realize that her head is resting on my lap even with half-asleep eyes? Her tail is waving. … Maybe I’ll stay like this for a while.
“Emilia, that’s nice. Sirius-san, please let me collaborate too.” (Reese)
“Next is my turn, Aniki. I’m used to fainting!” (Reus)
“It’s not a tool for fainting, you know.” (Sirius)
Although the newly drawn magic formation is not good enough, we will continue doing things at our own pace, even today.
Two days passed following that. The headmaster and Magna-sensei left early in the morning. Officially, they are going to examine a new training ground; obviously the truth is being covered up, given the nature of the mission.
Nonetheless, there isn’t much change in school since the students rarely interact with the headmaster.
As for our class, with Magna-sensei gone we have a substitute, but there aren’t any other changes.
“Advanced level wind attribute magic is far more powerful than its’ previous iterations. It can even change the tides of war…” (Teacher)
I absentmindedly stared at the teacher, who was lecturing on advanced level magic for each attribute, when I heard something out in the halls. It wasn’t very loud, but I could still clearly hear multiple footsteps. I looked to my side, the siblings also sensed something as their ears and noses were twitching.
“Aniki… something is weird.” (Reus)
“I think so too. There’s an unfamiliar smell, but… it’s a very unpleasant one.” (Emilia)
“Do not forget that feeling, and if something happens, do not move immediately. Wait for your chance.” (Sirius)
I intensify my hearing, and scan the school with [Search]… there were more reactions than normal, more people than normal. I sensed people running around not just in the classroom but also corridors, and battles in some classrooms.
A handful of reactions were getting closer to our classroom.
The classrooms in this school have only one entrance. From that entrance, several men rushed into our classroom. The teacher who sensed the situation began chanting a spell, but…
“Too slow!” (??)
One of the men quickly closed in to the teacher’s chest, and forcibly pressed a knife to his throat, thus sealing any movements. Even if one’s specialty is in magic, nothing can be done if the chanting is blocked. The intruders are used to dealing with magician opponents.
The intruders are wearing adventurer clothing, and armed with knives and swords. First restricting the teacher, and then the befuddled students sitting in the frontmost rows, they made sure nobody could move freely. If any of the other students moved carelessly, the safety of everyone in the room was at risk.
This was a process I was well familiar with, I was right in assuming that they weren’t regular adventurers. From their appearance and movement, I’d hazard a guess that they are hired mercenaries. Skilled mercenaries.
While it was quiet and everyone was still, another individual walked into the room, and stood at the teacher’s podium. He was a good looking man, with extravagant clothing; not an adventurer, but a noble.
“I’d appreciate it if nobody moved. If you act untactfully, your sensei here will become nothing more than a corpse, and one of you will be next.” (Noble)
On those words, the students who had begun to chant magic in resistance stopped and sat down once more, realizing the danger that they were in. At the same time, the intruders began dispersing throughout the classroom. There were six in total, counting the noble.
“Now, to those of you who don’t yet understand what has happened, allow me to enlighten you. This school is currently occupied by our leader, Gregory-dono.” (??)
Hearing Gregory’s name, the students began muttering to themselves, discussing the occupation of the school. The noble was visibly irritated by the commotion, but before anything further could happen, Mark stood up in front of the class and spoke loud enough for everyone there to hear.
“Everyone, calm down. Sir, we can’t help but make noise, since we know nothing of the situation. So, please, explain.” (Mark)
“So, there’s a level-headed child among you all. However, I hate such children.” (Noble)
“I am honored to be called so by the intruders.” (Mark)
“Cheh. Anyway, other classrooms are similarly occupied like in this classroom. Stop your hopeless resistance and sit down.” (Noble)
The nobleman spat out his displeasure from the bottom of his heart and told Mark to sit down Instead Mark turned to face the noble. Giving your own opinion without flinching in such situation, as expected of noble’s pride.
“Stop joking! Do you think such thing like occupation of the school will be permitted!? It is treason against the country!” (Mark)
“This is revolution, not treason! When the occupation of school is over, the next will be the occupation of the castle. Yeah, the things done here are just the foothold for our noble cause.” (Noble)
Those eyes are blind to any truth but that which they already believe in. This noble believes he is fully righteous in his actions. It’s similar to someone being a religious fanatic, so devoted to their faith that they accept anything it says and reject any outside information. It’s troublesome having someone like that as an opponent.
The noble, who was drunk on his own belief, raised both of his hands and continued giving his speech as if he was proud about it.
“Gregory-dono rejects foolish beastkin and he proposed to make Elysion into a paradise for the human race. You guys get to be witness to this glorious undertaking. You should feel honored!” (Noble)
Listening the speech just now spoiled my mood.
Foolish beastkin? Paradise for the human race? This stupidity has gone too far. They are the foolish ones, no matter how you look at it. Something like removing the beastkin and making a paradise for the human race is impossible. It would fail immediately even if they tried.
Saying that he didn’t like children, but the person himself is more of a child in all but age.
“I’ll give you further instructions when the time comes. Sit down here quietly until then, and everything will be fine!” (Noble)
The noble looked around the classroom, then he sat on a chair and wiped away sweat with his sleeves. The teacher and students who became hostages were tied up and left on the floor, and they were observed by a mercenary.
Though I can’t move freely, I still analyze the situation while confirming the enemy’s position through [Search].
I had previously heard about this revolution from Zack of Galgan Company.
Revolution or no, I can’t think of it as anything but selfishness, and I don’t think they can gain control of the castle just by occupying the school.
If you think about it, aren’t they holding the children of nobles as hostage?
Nevertheless, the risk is high to aim at school where there are a lot of students. In the current condition, the mercenaries are employed and the matter is proceeding well, but despite their age the students can use magic to a considerable degree. If someone on either side makes a mistake somewhere, this can easily devolve into a situation of violence.
Even so, launching this tactic… while the headmaster is absent? When I think about it, the information about Gregory hiding in neighboring town must be a lie.
It’s good to aim when the strong person, the headmaster, is unavailable. It seems that this wasn’t random choice, but a deliberate crime. Unlike the actions of the foolish nobles I’ve seen up to now, this has Gregory’s influence all over it. I can’t be careless.
So, what should I do when I gather enough information?
The noble in front of us doesn’t seem to know anything useful… so should I make a move soon?
“Emilia, Reus.” (Sirius)
I cover my mouth in such a way that my voice can only be heard by myself and those two, and they turn to look at me.
I use hand signals to designate their targets under the desk, and they touch their tails to me in confirmation.
Now… they said to stop with the pointless resistance, but they said nothing about resistance that isn’t pointless, right?
I slowly stand up.