Editors: Hocchibi, Miyuchi
Chapter 4: The collapse of normal days, the vestiges of the past
The next day—
“WOAH CRAP! Late, I’m gonna be laaaaaaate!!”
A familiar scene unfolded on the street to the academy.
Needless to say, the shouts originated from Glen.
This time around, the hands of his watch had not been wrong. He was genuinely late due to oversleeping.
“Damnit! I forgot that the human alarm clock had gone to the capital yesterday!”
Hoisting a slice of bread in his mouth, Glen desperately dashed out of the mansion.
“More importantly, why do I have to teach classes during a day off!? This is why I didn’t want to work! Long live unemployment!”
In any case, I can’t be late, or I’ll have a slightly annoying person nagging me. For now, I’ll just need to try my best to get to the academy as fast as I can. If it goes well, I’ll barely make it on time.
Starting from Serika’s mansion, Glen dashed along the road leading to the academy, ran through several alleyways, before finally arriving on the main road.
And when Glen arrived at the symbolic crossroads—
He felt something was out of place, and suddenly came to a halt.
It was strange for no one to be here. Although it was still fairly early in the morning, this crossroad would always have a few ordinary citizens passing through. However, not a single sign of life could be felt. Something was clearly wrong.
“No, this is…”
There’s no doubt about it. There’s a faint trace of magical power in the surroundings. It’s a barrier to keep people away. Though the duration of this kind of barrier is limited, an ordinary citizen with low mental-defense will avoid the center of this crossroad without realizing.
…What is this kind of thing doing here?
My temples are burning, warning me of danger. It’s been a year since I last felt something like this hasn’t it?
Glen focused his senses, and cautiously looked at his surroundings.
“…What do you want?”
Though his voice was soft, the tone behind it was anything but that.
“Come out. It’s pointless to hide any longer ya know?”
Glen looked at a corner of the crossroads with a piercing gaze.
“Oh…I’ve been found haven’t I? Even though I heard you were a third rate magician… Aren’t your senses a little sharp?”
The air twisted like a mirage, and from it, a man emerged.
The most noticeable characteristic of the short man of unknown age, was his unkempt, curly hair.
“Let me first congratulate you for seeing through my magic. However… why did you look over there? I’m here you know?”
Glen turned around to face the man that had appeared behind him.
“Erm. May I ask who you are?”
“No no, I am not someone whose name is worth remembering.”
“Well, if you have no business with me, could you please step aside? I’m kinda in a hurry.”
“Hahaha, it’s fine it’s fine. There’s no need to hurry you know? Please, just relax, and take your time.”
Towards the man’s continued rebuttal, Glen raised an eyebrow?
“Hey… did you not hear me when I said that I was in a hurry?”
“Like I said, everything’s fine. After all, your destination has already been changed.”
“Yes, your new destination… is the afterlife.”
In the instant, that Glen froze in place, the short man began chanting a spell.
“<Rot · Decay · –”
O-, Oh crap—!?
Feeling the magic power on his skin, Glen entered a cold sweat.
He had allowed them to make the first move. Although Glen hadn’t lowered his guard in the slightest, he hadn’t expected his opponent to act so quickly. At this point, with Glen’s need for a three-stage chant, there was no time for counter-magic.
Not to mention, that spell is—
It was a combination of two fatal spells. Furthermore, the incantation was cut to this extent. The ability to cut incantations whilst combining them at the same time was proof of a first-rate magician.
“—Crumble to dust>”
The short man completed the three-stage incantation.
And the frightening power of the spell was about to be released—
At the main entrance of the academy surrounded by thicket of woodland and metal fencing stood a strange entourage of two people.
One of them looked like a delinquent from a large city, whilst the other, wearing a dark-colored coat, gave the impression of a gentleman. In contrast to the delinquent who carried nothing in particular, the dark-coated man carried a massive attaché case.
“Will that Kiarel guy be able to kill him off?”
“Of course he will. That man has never failed to eliminate his target before.”
“Kekeke. Well then, that means…”
“At this moment, there are no instructor-level or greater magicians present at this academy.”
“Kahahaha! So that means the cute lil’ chicks of that class are the only ones left right!? Alright, come, come, and let onii-san show you his love!”
<TL Note: A play on words; ‘cute’ 可愛い, and ‘to show affection/love’ 可愛がってあげる, use the same kanji, ‘kawai’ 可愛>
“Let’s just leave Kiarel to his devices. We have our own job to do.”
The mannerisms of the two men were polar opposites of each other. If this were a normal occasion, they would surely draw a lot of gazes. However, for some reason, there was not a single person to be seen today.
“Aight. Brother Reick. As expected it doesn’t look like we can just walk in through the front.”
The delinquent man looked around the main entrance of the academy. Despite how empty the arch-shaped main entrance looked, there was some-sort of invisible barrier that prevented them from entering. He tried knocking on the barrier a few times, but nothing seemed to change. It was a barrier that prevented those not registered with the academy from entering.
“Stop playing around Jhin. Hurry up and try the unsealing spell that man delivered to us.”
“Oi, you people, identify yourselves!”
A guard exited the guard post was located right next to the main entrance after seeing the two men.
“There’s a special barrier that’s been casted using the academy’s terrain, so only people related to the school can—”
Then, the delinquent man called Jhin pointed his finger towards the left side of the guards’ chest, and muttered a single phrase.
In an instant, the guard’s large frame shook fiercely. It would be last phrase he heard in his unfortunate life.
“Erm, alright, this should be it.”
Jhin did not spare even a glance for the guard, who collapsed like a puppet whose strings were cut. He took out a charm from his pocket, and read the runic chant that was inscribed on it. Soon, a sound like shattering glass rang through the surroundings.
“Ohhh-, it’s just like our research said! As expected!”
Confirming that the invisible barrier had disappeared, Jhin began to frolic around like a child.
“Heh, that man’s work is simply perfect.”
“Well, he did spend so much time after all. Now then, let’s report in.”
The two infiltrated the academy grounds through the main entryway.
Jhin took out half of a gemstone, and put it by his ear.
“Yea yea. Everything here is okay, okay. Feel free to close it anytime.”
After several seconds, the sound of metal erupted from the front gate. The barrier of the academy was reconstructed.
“That man is really scary.”
The man wearing the dark-coat, Reick, showed an icy smile.
“To think that he had completely grasped the official security system of the empire…”
“Well that’s a shame isn’t it? Hehe, this rumored magical fortress is gonna disappear off the face of the earth you know?”
“Now then, let’s go.”
The two men turned to face the academy.
Directly in front of them was the main building, whose annexes looked like outstretched wings.
“Our target is classroom 2-2 at the second floor of the east section.”
Sistina gripped her pocket watch tightly.
The current time was 10:55. Today’s lecture was scheduled for 10:30, which means that 25 minutes had passed since the lecture was supposed to begin.
Yet, Glen was nowhere to be found. Simply put, he was late.
“That guy… recently his lectures have been really good, so my opinion of him got a teensy bit better, but this is why—Geez!”
Sistina complained in frustration.
“But this is pretty rare isn’t it? Recently, Glen-sensei has been working hard to not be late.”
Lumia, who was sitting beside her, tilted her head in wonder.
“That guy didn’t mistake today for a rest day did he?”
“It can’t be…Even Glen-sensei won’t make such a mistake…… right?”
Even Lumia, who trusted Glen completely, couldn’t deny the possibility.
“Ah, I should’ve known, a useless person is always useless… Alright, I’ll have a word with him today.”
“Ahaha. Don’t you mean ‘another word’ and not ‘a word’? Sisti.”
“Don’t pry on the details!”
Sistina leaned her cheek against her hand and looked around the room.
Originally, there were a lot of free seats in this classroom. However, now it was fully seated. There were even people standing in the back of the classroom to listen to the lecture.
“That guy… He’s become popular recently hasn’t he?”
“That’s because sensei’s lecture are really easy to understand. The content for bachelor students like us are a given, but he’s even able to convey the master-level content in an easily comprehensible manner. Also, unlike the other instructors, he explains the theories that are otherwise skipped.”
“Hah… Well, it’s true that after listening to that guy’s lecture I’m even able to improve my understanding of the basics… but I don’t think there’s any more to it.”
Seeing that, Lumia showed a knowing smile towards Sistina.
“…What? What is it Lumia?”
“Sisti, you’re feeling a bit lonely after Glen-sensei got popular with everyone, right?”
“Wha…What did you say!?”
“I mean, in the beginning, even though the two of you were just arguing, weren’t you the only person who talked to sensei? But now, everyone can easily talk to sensei. So you feel like you’ve gotten distant from him, right?”
“H-, Him talking with more and more girls in none of my business okay!? Lumia, don’t you think you’re misunderstanding something?”
“Hm? I didn’t say that he was talking to girls though.”
Touché. Knowing that Lumia had gotten the better of her, Sistina showed a sour expression.
Though she didn’t see Glen in that way, it was true that the only one to talk to Glen in the beginning had been herself. Now that that guy had become the center of everyone’s attention, she couldn’t help but feel a bit disheartened. It was all the more so when he was talking to another girl. A maiden’s heart was truly complicated.
“A-, and what do you think…?”
“Yea. Weren’t you interested in Glen-sensei since the beginning? Don’t you feel a bit disheartened? By this situation I mean-”
“I feel… happy, I think?”
“Now that everyone understands that Glen-sensei is an amazing person… I’m very happy.”
It was what Lumia earnestly believed. When Glen became recognized by everyone around him, she was happy to the point where it seemed as though she was Glen herself.
“…I can’t help but feel like there’s a difference between us… as women.”
Sistina pressed her hand against her face and sighed. On the other hand, Lumia simply tilted her head in puzzlement.
Then, the classroom door was flung open, and someone began to walk in. It was then—
“Ah, Sensei, what the heck are you thinking!? You’re late again you know!? Geez…eh?”
Sistina had prepared to quickly berate Glen, but after seeing who walked in, she immediately stopped.
In place of Glen, there were two people. One was a man that gave off the vibe of a delinquent, and the other was a man dressed in a dark coat.
“Ah, it’s here huh—. My, everyone, thank you for your passionate studying! Work hard you young ‘uns!”
Suddenly, an unknown duo entered the room and addressed the class.
“Ah, about your teacher. Well, he’s a bit busy with somethin’ right now, so we’re here as his replacement. Nice to meet ya’!”
“Wait… Who exactly are you people?
Sistina, who had a strong sense of justice, stood up from her seat, and fearlessly walked up to confront them.
“This is the Alzano Imperial Magical Academy. Outsiders are not permitted here okay? How did you guys even get in here in the first place?
“Oi oi, if you wanna ask questions, ask them one by one okay? I’m not educated like you guys!”
It seemed like the delinquent man had a wild mood, and couldn’t be reasoned with at all. Sistina went silent, showing a bitter expression.
“First, about us hm… We’re something like terrorists I guess? Basically, we’re a group of sca—ry onii-sans that have a problem with the empress-sama.”
“Then, about how we got in here… we killed some pitiable guard-san, broke that bothersome barrier, and then came here to trouble you, you see? How’s that? All o-kay with you guys?”
A commotion began to stir through the classroom.
“D-, Don’t joke around! Answer me seriously!”
Sistina shouted at the man, her shoulders trembling in anger.
“But it was really really the truth ya know~”
The delinquent man raised his arms into the air in a funny manner.
“The guards working at this school are all magicians that have been extensively trained in combat! They wouldn’t easily lose to someone of the likes of you. Also, the academy’s barrier is something that the best of the best magicians can’t even hope to break you know!?”
“Ah-, is that true? Well than I guess this super famous magic academy isn’t too big of a deal. Maaan, I’m really disappointed!”
“…If you keep up this attitude of yours, then there are things I can consider doing alright?”
“Eh? What? What is it? What are you planning to do? Tell me tell me.”
“…-! I’m going to knock you unconscious and hand you over to the police! If you don’t want that to happen then hurry up and leave this academy…”
“Kyaa—, we’re going to be captured!? Oh no—oooooo!”
Seeing that the duo had no intention to leave, Sistina steeled her resolve.
“I’ve given you a fair warning okay?”
She refined her internal magic power. Using her breathing techniques and focus, she adjusted her mana biorhythm.
Then, she pointed her finger towards the man— And chanted the black magic [Shock · Bolt].
“<Oh thunder spirits’—>”
However the delinquent man’s chanting completely overwhelmed hers.
Sistina saw a flash of light emit from the man’s finger.
And at the same time, the sound of the air being ripped apart and the wall behind her being pierced by something could be heard.
“<Ka-Bang> <Ka-Bang> <Ka-Bang>”
What followed were more three flashes of light, which grazed Sistina’s neck, hips and shoulders.
Unable to move, Sistina’s body dripped with cold sweat.
Frightened, she turned to look at the wall behind her. There were small clean holes the size of coins. The wall had been pierced through so cleanly that one could see what lay on the other side.
What frightening penetrating power.
Needless to say, Sistina and the rest of the class understood the real form of the magic that the man had chanted.
“No way… Could that be… The spell you used just now was… [Lightning · Pierce]!?”
The black magic [Lightning · Pierce].
It was a military-grade offense magic that would pierce through one’s target with a flash of lightning. Based on appearances, it wasn’t too different from [Shock · Bolt], however, its force, speed, penetrating power, and range wasn’t comparable. The spell [Lightning · Pierce] could pierce through thick reinforced metal with ease. Furthermore, the amount of electrical current in the spell was far greater than [Shock · Bolt]. If it was used on an ordinary person without any magical resistance, they would definitely die from electrocution, regardless of where the spell actually hit. Unlike its simple appearance, it was a spell that carried a dreadful amount of killing power. The spell’s existence on the battlefield had once rendered bows, guns, and even metal useless.
“W-, Why…Such a dangerous spell…”
Sistina’s legs began to shake in fright. Soon, her knees failed to support her, and she fell to the ground.
“N-, Not to mention…The spell was cut to such a short one-stage chant, and it could even be repeatedly fired…”
Although it looked like he was playing around, the technique that the man used required extraordinary skills. Anyone who had experience with magic could understand this.
At that moment, all the students in the room understood that they could not win against the man before them. There was simply too big of a difference in combat power. Even if the entire class worked together as one, they wouldn’t even be able to threaten this man. The difference in power between the two groups as magicians, was despairingly large.
“Could it be… that you guys really are…?”
“I to-ld you that already didn’t I? That we’re terrorists. This academy is already under our control, so remember to act real mature and human okay? Ah, right right, if there’s anyone who plans to resist, step right up alright? I’ll give you a painless death.”
Not a single student even considered it. . After all, [Lightning · Pierce] was a military-grade magic — a magic that was employed by army magicians for use in wars. The only thing that could combat military-grade magic was military-grade magic, and at present, none of the students amongst the class could use it. The professors and lecturers at this school had been forbidden to teach military-grade magic to the students here, since they haven’t even received the qualifications of a bachelor. It was deemed that – for the students who hadn’t fully matured as magicians – the lethality of military-grade magic was simply too high.
Thus, the offensive spells that the bachelor students learned were limited to [Shock · Bolt], which knocks its target unconscious, [Flash · Light], which blinds the target, and [Gale · Blow] which blows the target away with a gust of wind. They were all spells that were considered non-lethal.
Using elementary-grade magic to fight against an opponent who could cast [Lightning · Pierce] with a one-stage chant, was like fighting with a water gun against an opponent armed with a handgun. As for whether or not Sistina would stay alive… it could very well be decided on a whim of the delinquent man.
Then, though it was late, the classroom entered a state of panic.
Soon after the room fell into a state of chaos—
“Shut up, you brats are being annoying. Do you want me to kill you?”
The man pointed his finger towards the students and threatened them. In an instant, the classroom returned to its original silence. Feeling the genuine murderous intent of someone that had killed a countless number of people, the students went mute and shivered in fear.
“Oh-, good kids, good kids. As expected, a classroom has to be quiet—”
“Now then, I have a question for you good kids. Will you hear me out?”
The students off the class all lowered their heads in fear.
“Well in here you know, is there a girl named Lumia-chan? If you are could you raise your hand please—? And if anyone knows could you please tell me—?”
Murmurs quickly spread through the classroom.
“…W-, Why Lumia…?”
The students of the classroom conversed each other with desperately strained voices.
‘Why did they name Lumia specifically?’ The class was troubled by this.
And when the name had been called, some students unconsciously turned their gaze towards one side.
“Ah-, I see. So Lumia-chan is on this side of the class right—? Hmpf, which one of you is it, I wonder?”
Having noticed this, the delinquent man had walked to the section that Lumia sat in.
“Are you Lumia-chan?”
The man leaned his head forwards towards Rin, who was seated two seats behind Lumia.
“Then, do you know who Lumia is?”
“I-, I don’t…”
“Hm? …Really? I really don’t like liars you know…?”
Rin seemed like a frog being swallowed by a snake. Her body trembled in fear, and teardrops trickled down from her eyes.
At this moment, Sistina signaled to Lumia through her gaze. If she didn’t do so, there was no telling when Lumia – who gripped her fists tightly in resolve – would stand up and admit her identity.
(You can’t Lumia. You’re going to be killed.)
(It’s alright, just don’t move!)
After this short conversation through eye and head movements, Sistina pressed her hands against her trembling knees, and stood up.
“Y-, You people, what do you plan to do with this girl named Lumia?”
Seeing that the girl had once again confronted him, the delinquent man showed an amused expression.
“Do you know Lumia-chan? Or are you Lumia-chan?”
“Answer my question! What the heck are you guys plan—!?”
“Shut up, you little brat.”
Though he had displayed a relaxed attitude until now, his expression suddenly turned freezing cold, as if he was a viper.
“Hm, let’s start with you then—”
Without a since trace of doubt, the man pointed his finger towards Sistina’s head—
“I am Lumia.”
In that moment, Lumia stood up from her seat.
The man paused.
Losing interest in Sistina, the man turned away, and walked in front of Lumia.
Realizing that she had survived by the skin of her teeth, Sistina once again fell to the floor.
“Ah, so you are Lumia-chan… Well, actually I already knew.”
“I mean, investigating before we do something is just common sense right? That’s why I recognized you immediately you see!”
“Then, why didn’t you just start with me….”
“Well, if you decided not to fess up immediately, I decided that I would play a game where I would ‘Ka-Bang’ unrelated people one-by-one, until Lumia-chan admits her identity, or until someone else tells me.”
Lumia had nothing to say in response. This man had clearly gone mad.
“Ah, but don’t worry. I’m not going to do that anymore. “Since Lumia-chan revealed herself on her own, I won’t slaughter them okay? To sell out your friends in order to save yourself, or to reveal yourself in order to save your friends…. Oh, that indecisiveness is really great ya know! That’s why what you did was nice, Lumia-chan. Fine Play!”
Angered by the applauding man, Lumia’s expression twisted into a never before seen state.
“Playtime’s over, Jhin.”
The man in the dark coat, who had stayed silent until now, opened his mouth to speak.
“I will bring this girl over to that man. You continue with phase 2 of the operation. I’ll leave the people in this classroom to you.”
“Ah—Geez, this is really troublesome. Hey brother Reick, do I really have to use [Spell · Seal] on all of them? I think it’ll be fine either way, since they’re all small fry. Even if they decide to all attack at once, they’re not going to even touch me you know? Rather, wouldn’t you say that they’re already been totally pacified?”
Jhin looked around the classroom.
All the students avoided meeting his gaze.
“This is the plan we’ve decided on. Don’t mess around.”
The delinquent man turned his head in annoyance.
“Would you like to follow me? Lady Lumia.”
Reick attended to Lumia in an arrogant fashion.
“It’s not like I have a choice right?”
With unwavering resolve, Lumia faced the man head on.
“It’s good that you understand.”
“…Could I have a word with her?”
Lumia turned her eyes towards Sistina, who continued to tremble on the floor.
“Fine. However, don’t try anything funny.”
Reick did not show even the faintest hint of negligence. Lumia, feeling the full pressure of his sharp gaze, kneeled down next to Sistina, and met her gaze.
“…I’ll be going now, Sisti.”
None of Sistina’s cries could be vocalized. There was only the faint movement of her lips.
Even so, Lumia seemed to understand what she wanted to say.
“I’ll be fine. Also, sensei will… Glen-sensei will definitely save everyone.”
She couldn’t understand why Lumia declared such a thing.
Nor could she understand why she had mentioned Glen.
However, there was not a single trace of doubt in Lumia’s expression.
Lumia, as if she was trying to comfort Sistina, raised her hands towards Sistina’s face… It was then—
“…Don’t touch her.”
Accompanied by an intense murderous intent, Reick lowered his sword towards Lumia’s neck. There was no telling where the sword had come from.
Lumia’s hands abruptly stopped in front of Sistina’s face. Witnessing the situation unfold, Sistina released an uncontrolled yelp.
“…Why must I?”
Despite the sword hovering over her neck, Lumia replied in a calm and fearless fashion.
“That doesn’t matter. Just don’t touch anybody, especially the magicians. Otherwise I’ll cut your hands off immediately.”
“…At this point, I won’t try to resist.”
Lumia bitterly pulled her hands away. A sense of reproach could be felt in her voice.
Without replying, Reick nodded once, as if signaling, ‘I’ve already let you talk, so come with me now’.
Knowing that it was no use to delay the inevitable, Lumia stood up. Then, Reick said something that shook her to the core.
“Anyway, it seems that you people have some sort of expectation for the person named Glen Ryders… I suggest you give up on that sort of pointless hope.”
“Hey, brother Reick. Who is this Glen-sensei person?”
Hearing Reick’s declaration, Jhin butted in.
“It’s the name of the temporary instructor who is in charge of this class. You should at least remember that much.”
“Ah— Glen huh? It was that small fry named Glen huh, okay okay, I remember now. Kekeke, Glen-sensei really is unlucky isn’t he?”
Hearing that, Lumia remembered what Jhin said about him ‘being busy with something’.
“You people… What did you do to Glen-sensei?”
“Ah-, about that Glen-sensei, he was killed off by one of our guys you know?”
“Our guy uses a crazy magic called Alchemy-Mod [Piercing Acid Poison] you see. Even though acid and poison are completely lethal elements on their own, that perverted guy decided to combine them out of some crazy interest. That guy is really horrifying when he deals with his prey you know? Even I couldn’t help but feel a bit grossed out. Well, the people of that town back there should’ve discovered some unidentifiable and messed up corpse about now, and there’s gonna be this hu-ge fuss about it.”
“You’re kidding… S-, Sensei…”
Glen was dead. Leaving aside Sistina whose heart was already in shambles, even Lumia – who had put up a strong front the entire time – turned pale in despair.
“Now then, come with me.”
Lumia raised her head to face the man that urged her to follow.
The prior despair was nowhere to be seen. It was an expression that firmly believed that Glen was safe.
“…What a tough lady.”
With a hint of admiration in his voice, Reick left the classroom.
Lumia took a deep breath, and followed behind with a firm resolve.
A crowd of people were gathered at the crossroads leading to the academy.
They stood a fair distance away as they murmured to one another about what was before them.
“That’s… terrible. Has the police not arrived yet?”
“Oi, what should we do? Is that guy still alive?”
“Well… I can’t really tell… but if he’s really alive, it might be more painless for him to just die here and now…”
“Mm… h-, how horrendous…”
“I can’t… This is terrible… It’s just far too terrible… Ugh…I can’t look any longer…-!”
“Damned…devils…This must be the work of some devil…-!”
At the center of the crowd of people—
—Was someone who had been beaten to the point where his body was full of lumps. Then, at some point, he had been stripped naked and tied in a in a turtle shell bondage. The sight was accompanied with embarrassing drawings all across his body that made the evil intentions of the culprit clear. Not only that, a fresh flower had been stabbed into his behind, stuck to his crotch was a postcard that wrote ‘super small’. It was an unconscious, short man.
“Tch—what is happening!? Just what the hell are they planning to do! Goddamnit!”
At the main entrance of the academy—
After confirming that the guard that lay on the floor was no longer breathing, Glen banged his fists against the ground.
“Even though I’m supposed to be an academy personnel, this barrier is blocking me off… The specifications of the barrier were changed. Just what kind of idiot would do something so damn annoying!?”
Should this be considered lucky or unlucky? The culprit’s barrier which led people away had taken effect, so there was not a single person in the vicinity of the academy. Glen chose to calm down and reevaluate the situation.
“Well… the identity of the people behind all this is clear. It’s the Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society… that good-for-nothing group of idiots.”
It was something that Glen had learned after he overturned that short man’s ambush, and stripped him down to shame him. Engraved on his short-sword was the insignia of a snake, and the same detestable insignia had been tattooed on the man’s arm.
The Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society. One of the oldest organizations that existed in the Alzano Empire. For the sake of investigating magic, any sacrifice would be forgiven. No, rather, it was necessary. ‘The most advanced human beings – the magicians of our organization – should be the ones to guide the world on its course, and anyone who is not a magician of our great organization is nothing but blind, foolish, ‘livestock’ — they were a group of fiendish magicians that carried out this rotten modus operandi. In order to bring their outlandish beliefs to fruition, they waged many conflicts against the imperial government, in which bloodshed was washed away with more bloodshed. They were the worst terrorist organization, and subsequently, the darkest face of the magical world.
After realizing that the man he had knocked out was part of that organization, he cast the white magic [Sleep · Sound] to put him to deep sleep, the black magic [Magic · Rope] to restrain his hand and feet, and the black magic [Spell · Seal] to render him unable to use magic. Overall, the amount of restraint he had used was overkill. No matter how irredeemably evil his opponent was, he couldn’t bring himself to kill them. That’s why he had decided to kill him on a societal level. It was definitely not something he did because he got carried away.
Anyhow, due to Glen’s efforts, the man was powerless for the time being.
When the police see the insignia on his arm, they’ll immediately hand him over to the government, who will then imprison him before transport. There shouldn’t be any problems.
“Then, I got a bad feeling about everything and came to school, and then this happened.”
The guard had been killed, and the academy had been completely sealed off. Seeing that the one that had attacked him belonged to the Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society, it was evident that this was no mere coincidence.
Basically, the people from the organization had specifically chosen to attack the academy today, knowing that all the lecturer-level or above magicians would not be present.
There were several places in the academy that were overseen by guardian golems. However, given that the academy’s security system had fallen under the enemy’s control, the golems won’t be able to properly serve their function.
“But… what is their goal? For what reason did they decide to attack this academy?”
Is it the magical texts that were kept in the basement of the library? Is it the magic tools in the sealed storehouse of the museum? Sure, those things are extremely valuable, but is it something that warrant an organization like the Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society to come?
“Damnit… Even though those guys are a group of idiots, they’re not something that the town’s policemen can deal with… the only ones with a real fighting chance would be the Imperial Court Magicians. So hurry up and pick up Serika!”
Glen pressed half of a gemstone next to his ear, and infused magic power into it a countless number of times. It was a communication magic tool that he could use to contact Serika, however, Serika wasn’t responding at all.
“What the heck is she doing!? Could it be that she overslept!? Oversleeping is the worst thing you can do as a proper member of society you know!? As someone with responsibility, how could you be this unaware of yourself, you idiot!”
Glen roughly shoved the gemstone into his pocket.
“Now then… what should I do.”
Glen retrieved a charm from his knapsack. It was something that he had found on the short man as he was stripping him, and had taken with him. By the way, this charm was the reason that Glen rushed to academy immediately after dealing with the man.
“I don’t want to say this, but this is probably used to get through the sealed barrier.”
However, based on the formula inscribed on it, it’s a consumable magic tool, which means it can only be used once. Once I enter the academy, I won’t be able to leave until I hunt down the culprit.
So if I use this, I’ll be sealed inside the academy on my own—
“No… It’s too dangerous.”
Not only that, I don’t know anything about the enemy force. If we’re talking about the magicians from the Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society, then they should be absolute monsters who specialize in combat magic, and who can each take on thousands of people. Going up against them without a plan is the same as committing suicide.
Then I should wait until the Imperial Court Magicians arrive.
“…I don’t really have any other choice do I?”
In the first place; If I use this, then the Imperial Court Magicians are going to waste a lot of time trying to get in. No, in the worst case scenario they won’t be able to dispel the barrier. After all, the one who invented this barrier is a first-rate magician whose power is at the level of a god.
“However… how long will the Imperial Court Magicians need to get here?”
If I rushed to the police station now, I’ll probably have to convince some lazy officer who won’t believe me for some reason. Then, they’ll have to do the documentation for contacting the army and the ministry of magic — No matter how many times I think about it, it’ll take too long.
There’s no guarantee that the enemies inside won’t harm the students during that time. Normally speaking, the students would have value as hostages, but common sense doesn’t apply to a group like the Wisdoms of the Heavens Research Society. It won’t be unreasonable either to say that they took over the academy to use the students as sacrifices for some ritual. Although the students are just novices, if a couple dozen of them – who each have plenty of magic power – were sacrificed, then they’d probably be able to summon a pretty powerful devil. They might even be able to refine high-class Orichalcum. That depraved group of fiendish magicians aren’t beyond doing that.
“Damn… Just what the heck are they planning? Should I have used mind-reading magic before knocking that idiot out…? Well, I didn’t have the time for that, and it’s not like my mind-reading technique would have an effect of a magician of that level anyway.”
Anyhow, without knowing the enemy’s objective, there was no way for Glen to form a plan of action.
“I can’t do this. As expected, I can’t make any rash moves on my own. I should go to the police office and contact—”
Just as Glen turned to leave.
A beam of light cut through the air.
It seemed that the identity of the beam of light that had pierced through the walls was—
“Is that…[Lightning · Pierce]!?”
It was not a spell that could have been casted by the students, so it had undoubtedly been casted by the enemy. There was no telling what kind of person had used such a frightening spell inside the bounds of the academy.
After a short time, three more beams of [Lightning · Pierce] shot through the air.
Had it been pointed at a crowded area, then dozens of people would die.
Glen stopped in his tracks. His heartbeat suddenly rose to an intense pace.
‘Are the students alright?’, ‘Did anyone die just now?’ Glen won’t stop sweating.
It wasn’t like he had an especially deep connection with the students. The only reason he had associated with them in the first place was because of his job as a lecturer. Although he didn’t really understand why the students have tried to strike up a conversation with him as often as they could recently, but that’s all there was to it. He didn’t even know the favorite food of a single one of them. It was like they were strangers.
However, he couldn’t help but feel extremely anxious.
The strangest thing was that the faces of the two young girls repeatedly flashed through his mind. It was the annoying group of two he had become involved with since he had become a temporary instructor.
What if the spell just now had been pointed at one of them?
What if they became like the pitiful guard who lay dead beside him? Their limbs would be like those of broken puppets, and their bodies would be thrown aside.
Standing before the two corpses, what would he think?
“Hmpf… they’re not related. I should go contact the higher ups, that’s the best way to do this.”
As though he was cutting off his feelings, Glen turned his back against the academy, and ran.
My destination is the police station in town. There shouldn’t be any reason for me to hesitate.
“What’s your group’s goal? What use do you have for someone like me?”
Asked Lumia. A genuine anger could be felt in her voice, as she trailed behind Reick.
“Shouldn’t you of all people know the answer to that? Lumia… Or should I say, Princess Alumiana.”
Hearing what she had been called, Lumia gasped for air. However, she regained her composure after a brief moment.
“I don’t know where you learned about my lineage from, but you should understand that I no longer have any value as a princess.”
“Of course I know. In the first place, you are an existence that shouldn’t be alive. However, with due thanks to the mercy of the current empress Alisha, you are still present here and now.”
Reick turned his head and stared coldly towards Lumia.
“You have value because you are a person who isn’t supposed to exist, yet continues to exist.”
“Even a taboo existence like yours, which should have been discarded a long time ago, has value when given the chance. If certain people are used at the right time, then it is possible to shake the very foundation of the royalty and imperial governance that is present currently. Furthermore… the generals of my organization are very interested in that special trait of yours. Do rest reassured. Since you are important, they’re unlikely to try anything dangerous. At the very worst, you are a target. Consider yourself lucky.”
An unbearable chill came across Lumia, and she reflexively held her shoulders.
In the face of this man, whose morals defied that of a human being’s, she instinctively felt disgusted.
“I understand that your objective is me. If that’s the case, then no one else is related to this… Sistina…and everyone, please release them!”
“You truly are an admirable lady. Despite hearing what I said, you still worry for others. Perhaps it’s something that runs in the bloodline?”
In a somewhat moved manner, Reick replied to Lumia.
“However, though it is regrettable, it is something that cannot be negotiated. Although they are mere hatchlings, we finally managed to get our hands on a large amount of young magicians of great vitality. I have a few companions who would like to use them as materials for their experiments.”
“How… How could you…. Do you people still consider yourselves human!?”
“Human? How idiotic can you be. We are magicians.”
As if to signal the end of the conversation, Reick didn’t say anything more.
Lumia pressed her hands against her chest, and muttered Glen’s name.
“Come on, over here. Hurry it up~”
Sistina was crudely thrown onto the icy, hard floor.
“W-, What do you want-!?”
Sistina’s hands were placed behind her back, and restrained by the black magic [Magic · Rope]. As a result, she was unable to stand up.
Lying on the floor, Sistina turned her head to look up towards the delinquent man – Jhin. Jhin looked at Sistina – who squirmed on the floor like an earthworm – with a lecherous and excited gaze.
Once the dark-coated man – Reick, left the room with Lumia, Jhin restrained remaining people in the class with [Magic · Rope], and casted the magic [Spell · Seal] on each of them, which sealed the activation of magic, thus, completely robbing them of their ability to resist.
Once he had completed this task, Jhin suddenly seemed to have an idea, and dragged Sistina out of the classroom. After that, he cast locking magic of the entire classroom to trap the students inside.
Finally, in a threatening manner, he brought the defenseless Sistina here.
It was the magic experimentation room. It appeared that there was a magic formation experiment the day before, and a pentagram had been written on the floor using chicken blood. Sistina lay at the very center of the pentagram, as if she was a sacrifice to summon a demon.
“Bringing me all the way here… What are you planning to do with me!?”
As if to suppress her inner anxiety and fright, Sistina lashed out at Jhin.
“Hm? Isn’t that obvious? Since there’s nothing to do, and since there’s free time to kill, I decided that I would take you for a go.”
“I managed to find a fine gem after all this trouble, so wouldn’t it be a waste to not try it while I still have some free time? Kukuku…”
Jhin responded as if he was listing out his plans for lunchtime. Hearing that response, Sistina was left at a loss for words. Although the things he said were vulgar and crude, she wasn’t innocent enough to not know what he meant. A cold, frightful shiver found its way up her back.
“Y-, You… What are you…”
“My—, I actually kinda like immature brats like you. I’m like a lolicon I guess? Kya~haha, I’m gonna get arrested aren’t I—”
Jhin heartily laughed without a care for Sistina, who turned pale in fright.
“Hmpf, but do I really count as a lolicon if I have a craving for you? I mean, aren’t you already of marriageable age? What do you think?”
“Stop messing around! “I-, I’m the lady of the Phebell house you know!? If you dare lay your hands on me… my father won’t forgive you!”
“Wahhh—, I’m so sca—red. But, that doesn’t really matter. By the way, what is the Phebell house? Are they really great or something?”
Without a care for what the name Phebell was supposed to mean, Jhin pinned Sistina to the floor.
Her body was sealed. Her magic was sealed. No matter how frustrated she was, she couldn’t put up any resistance.
It was as if she was actually a tribute to summon a devil.
“…Do what you want.”
Though the tone was angry, her voice was soft.
“If you want to treat me as a tool to vent your frustration, then do what you want, but remember this. One day… I will absolutely kill you with my own two hands. Even though I can’t do it now… but I will chase go to the ends of the world if that’s what it takes to kill you. I will clear this humiliation… in the name of Phebell.”
Faced with Sistina’s gaze that was sharp as the reaper’s scythe, Jhin – as if he was stared down – suddenly quieted down.
And suddenly, he exploded into hysterical laughter.
“Wh-, What, is there anything strange!?”
“Hy—aHAhaha! No, you see—”
Jhin rubbed away his tears, and said:
“Actually, I think it would be boring to try to make fun of someone like Lumia-chan.”
Sistina felt uneasy towards the suddenly change of topic.
“Lumia-chan looks like a weak girl at first glance, but she’s the type of person who can steel her resolve at any moment. No matter how much suffering, pain, or torment people like her go through, their spirits will never break. At least, not until they kick the bucket first. I can understand that much about her.”
Why do you understand that?
If she asked, she might get a bone-chilling response, so she decided against it.
“But, you are different.”
“What did you say…!?”
“You look like a strong person at first glance… but you are actually hella fragile. All you are is a little kid who desperately tries to hide her weakness behind a mask. Simple girls like you are my favorite ones to break, I mean, if a delicious bottle of wine can’t be opened, then all it does is make people feel bad right?”
Sistina’s blood rose to her face at Jhin humiliating words.
“You think that I will submit to you…?”
“Ah, you will, and it’ll probably be easier than I thought.”
“Stop screwing around! I am the prideful Phebell’s—”
“Alright alright, then how long will you be able to keep up I wonder—?”
Jhin – without a single moment of hesitation – ripped the top of Sistina’s uniform apart, revealing the white underwear and skin underneath.
A hoarse sound escaped from Sistina’s throat. The feeling of her skin being exposed to the chilly air gave her a vivid glimpse of the incoming development.
Little by little, the fatal combination of fear and hatred welled up inside her heart.
<TL Note: Illustration; not as bad as it sounds>
“Hyu—! Your chest is a bit modest but isn’t you skin really pretty! Oh my, it’s standing up…Hm? What’s wrong? Why did you go quiet all of a sudden? That’s no fun.”
Like I would lose to someone like him. Like I would submit to someone like him! I am the prideful lady of the house Phebell. As a magician, isn’t my body is nothing but an expendable tool?
Trembling on the floor, Sistina desperately tried to convince herself.
However, what came out of her mouth was the complete opposite of her thoughts and reasoning.
The moment she uttered such, was the moment where there was truly nothing that she could do. Her hidden dream of giving her first time to the person she truly loved would thus come to an unreasonable end. Her body trembled uncontrollably as tears trickled from her eyes.
“Ah, uhm… Please… Only this… Just don’t do this… Forgive me…”
“GyAHAHhaHAHA—! You broke down a bit too quickly, just like I said! HyAHAhahahaHA-!”
After suppressing his maniacal laughs, Jhin looked down at Sistina with a cold gaze.
“Sorry but no can do… Since I gotten this far already, how could I stop now?”
“…Stop…. Stop… Father… Mother… Help… Somebody help….”
“Ukeke, you’re really the best! Now then, I guess it’s time for me to dig in!” (Itadakimasu)
Sistina desperately moved her body as Jhin’s hand rapidly approached her skin. Then—
The door opened in an untimely fashion.
In the doorway stood a man.
It was Glen.
Seeing the two bodies stacked on top of each other, Glen awkwardly shook his head.
“Sorry. I’m interrupting something important aren’t I? Well then, please take your time…”
Saying that, he slowly closed the door—
“Don’t just close the door and leave! Help me out—!”
Hearing Sistina’s shout, Glen reluctantly opened the door and walked inside.
“Ah—, as I thought, it was like that huh? You know, that kind of sickening development? And here I thought you consented with each other, and were about to advance into a ‘Damnit I don’t want to see this just explode or something’ kind of development…”
On the other hand, Jhin – who had been surprised at Glen’s entrance – quickly retreated from Sistina, and turned to face Glen.
“Who the hell are you-!?”
“I’m kinda an instructor of this academy. Also, let me warn you as a kinda-sensei. What you’re doing is kinda a crime you know? No matter how popular you are, this is kinda…”
Glen’s way of talking was somewhat sloppy. It was a manner that made him seem as if he was talking to a delinquent student.
Sistina remembered. She had called out to Glen for help in that moment of desperation, but his opponent – the man named Jhin – was actually an extremely powerful magician. Though Glen was a competent instructor, his power as a magician was lacking.
“Shut up-! Where the hell did you crawl out from you shit-!?
“Oi, don’t treat people like cockroaches. It’s disrespectful to cockroaches you know!?”
“No one even said that you know!? More importantly, just how deep does your self-deprecation go!?”
If Glen and Jhin fight with magic… then Glen will die for sure. Since Glen can only use three-stage chants, there’s no way for him to fight against Jhin’s super-high speed one-stage chant.
“D-, Don’t…! Sensei, run!”
“First you tell me to help, now you tell me to run. What do you want?”
“Just hurry up and go! You’re not this guy’s match!”
“You’re too late-!”
Jhin, who had recovered from the shock, pointed his finger at Glen.
Glen’s hand hurriedly moved to follow — but it was already too late.
Jhin’s incantation was completed in an instant. The bolt of lightning that protruded from his finger mercilessly—
The black magic [Lightning · Pierce] didn’t activate.
The bolt of lightning that should have appeared in accordance to the completed chant was nowhere to be seen.
Jhin chanted the spell again, but the result was no different.
“Wh… What’s happening… hm?”
It was then that Jhin noticed what Glen carried in his hand.
“The fool… arcana tarot card?”
Number 0 of the 22 great arcana cards. The fool.
“You bastard… what the heck is that?”
“It’s my special magic tool.”
Glen showed the image on the card to Jhin, and said:
“By reading the magical formation created by modifying the image of the card, I can activate a certain magic. That is —- With me as the center, I can completely seal the activation of magic within a certain area.”
“Unfortunate isn’t it? Regardless of how fast you can chant a spell, none of it matters anymore.”
“Sealing the activation of magic… from a distance?”
It was true that there was a spell that could seal the activation of magic. It was the black magic [Spell · Seal]. However, that spell required a charm to be activated. Furthermore, the incantation for the magic would have to be written directly on the target, and had to be directly granted a magical effect. The spell would only function with this specific procedure. That’s why it wasn’t something that could be used during a battle.
On the contrary, all Glen needed to do was glance at a sheet of paper to perfectly seal the activation of magic within the area.
“D-, Don’t fuck with me. The hell is that!? I’ve never heard of this kind of bullshit magic before!”
“Of course you haven’t, cause this is my original magic.”
“Original magic!? You bastard… Are you telling me that you’ve already reached this level!?”
Sistina, who had seen the entire situation unfold, shuddered uncontrollably. She couldn’t help but be struck with wonder.
If one could seal the activation of magic from a distance in a battle between magicians, then it was an invincible power. It was a completely one-sided game. Even if Glen could only use the three-stage chant, his win rate would still be one-hundred percent. No, if he fought with this original magic, then there wouldn’t even be a need to use the inefficient one-stage chant.
Jhin began to sweat. He realized that he had been trapped inside Glen’s technique.
“But well, I actually can’t use magic either.”
Sistina and Jhin widened their eyes in surprise.
A mysterious solemnity enveloped the surrounding space.
“Well, I mean, I’m in the area of effect as well aren’t I? Since the magic centers around me.”
“W-, Wh—What’s the meaning of all this then!?”
Sistina could no longer hold back her words.
“GyAHAHAHAHa—!? Are you stu—pid!? Sealing your own magic as a magician, how are you gonna fight then!?”
“Huh? I mean… even if you don’t have magic, you still have your fists right?”
Glen relaxed his neck, and said something that was unbecoming of a magician.
Suddenly, Glen leaped forward with an explosive kick.
Covering the distance between them in an instant, Glen jabbed Jhin’s face is a razor-like movement with his left hand, which was immediately followed by a straight from his right.
The lightning-fast one-two strike sent Jhin flying towards the wall with a thud.
“Eh? No way… What—, was that movement…”
I completely missed it. Sistina looked dumbfoundedly at Glen.
Glen slanted his body, slightly bent his back, and rotated the back of his hands towards the direction of his opponent — A stance that was akin to ancient martial arts. With light steps, he cautiously stared down Jhin.
“Y-, You shit—!”
Getting up on his feet, Jhin furiously charged towards Glen.
However, Glen – as if trying to cover Jhin fist from above – initiated his counterattack.
His punch came like a loosened spring, and with a force of a raging wave –
At the instant Glen’s fist once again connected with Jhin’s face, Glen deftly shifted his body weight and kneed Jhin’s flank. Then he grabbed Jhin’s shoulder and chest and performed a sweeping kick at his feet, followed by a shoulder throw to send him flying.
Jhin cried out as he slammed against the wall again.
“M-hm, I’ve gotten rusty haven’t I? Well I haven’t done this in a while.”
Glen murmured as he cracked his knuckles.
“Y-, You bastard…”
Jhin – his nose now bleeding – rose unsteadily to his feet.
“What’s this? Are you surprised? Actually, a while back, I learned a bit of martial arts from a nearby dojo…”
“Don’t screw with me! Although the arrangements are a bit strange, wasn’t that the imperial army style martial arts? Not the mention that it’s at a fairly high-level… You shit, just who the hell are you really?”
“Glen Ryders. A temporary instructor.”
Jhin opened his eyes wide in surprise, as though he was seeing a ghost.
“Glen, you say…. you’re him!? Could it be that Kiarel actually lost!? You’re kidding…-!? How could a magician of his level…-!?”
Wait, it’s not impossible. Sealing the activation of all magic within an area… It’s something that was downright stupid for any ordinary magician, but… His abnormally high level of martial arts was most likely prepared under the pretense that he would fight using this sealing magic. Before this man, the more talented the magician, the more powerless they become.
“Damnit! Stop it already, stop fucking with me-! Even though you’re a magician, you’re settling this with a fistfight!? You shit, do you have no pride as a magician!?”
“Do you dislike being beaten by something other than magic that badly? Geez, I don’t have a choice I guess. Well then, why don’t I show you the legendary magic called [The Iron Fist of Magic – Magical☆Punch]? Now keep your eyes peeled.”
Glen’s fist rapidly approached Jhin, who was frozen in shock.
“The Iron Fist of Magic—”
In response to Glen’s punch, Jhin moved both arms to guard his face.
Glen then moved his leg in an upward arc. Breaking through the gaps of Jhin’s guard, Glen stuck the side of Jhin’s head with a tornado-like roundhouse kick.
Viciously struck, Jhin fell to the floor in an exaggerated motion.
“Let me explain. [The Iron Fist of Magic – Magical☆Punch] is a spell that uses some magical-like force that I don’t know about. It raises the power of my punch about two times, and its force is comparable to the kick. Anyway, it’s an amazing punch of magic.”
“Rather… it’s not a punch, but a kick… right…”
“Damnit… I of all people…! To a … stupid guy like….-! Gaha….”
Leaving behind these last words, Jhin’s consciousness faded to black.
Sistina felt a bit of pity for him.