- I passed the interview to become a residence assistant at my college, which means free housing and food! (To put into perspective, this is $4000 per semester).
- A repeat, but there was a massive formatting issue in the last chapter, where the most of the chants in chapter 5 that were cut-off from the actual text (including Glen’s iconic chant). This has been fixed for chapter 5! Please re-read the relevant section of the chapter for the full experience if you’d like, and please inform me through comments/email/discord if this happens again in the future!
- Sistina’s being ‘feisty’ has been changed to ‘cheeky’, although the meaning is slightly different, it flows much better in conversation. The other chapters have been updated to reflect this.
Editors: Hocchibi, Miyuchi
Chapter 6: The reason I was unmotivated, when I was unemployed.
Let us briefly talk about the man named Glen Ryders.
About ten years ago, Serika, who was a member of the imperial court magicians at the time, picked up a certain boy, who had lost his family in a certain incident, on a whim. That boy was Glen.
For the sake of allowing this boy to live his life to the fullest, Serika had enlightened him to ‘magic’, and ever since then, Glen had been captivated by the mysterious world of magic. Although he didn’t have any special talent as a magician, he studied with a strong passion. Glen, who had loved magic from the very depths of his heart, was also showered with familial love by Serika.
Finally, Glen was accepted to Alzano Imperial Magic Academy, and it was during his time there that Glen discovered his peculiar talent. For some reason, Glen had a particularly strong affinity for techniques relating to stasis or stagnation of changes. Stasis and Stagnation, such was Glen’s “personality”. However, there was no use for such a talent for magicians that set their sights on creating change.
<TL Note: Spoken as ‘personality’, read as ‘magical affinity’>
As graduation approached, Glen, who was having trouble writing his graduation thesis, used his “personality” to create a certain original magic. Thus, [The Fool’s World] was born. Glen, who was a mediocre magician, and who didn’t have any particular achievements, used this technique as the basis for his thesis.
However, the magicians of the world saw no use for such magic, and mocked Glen for it. The heartless professors set fire to his thesis, and at the very end, there was not a single record left of Glen’s magic.
Yet, there was an organization that found a unique use for his “useless” technique, and that was the famed and prestigious Imperial Court Magicians. They were the empire’s strongest group of magicians that served as the personal sword of the empress.
After Glen’s graduation, he was secretly taken away by the imperial court magicians. Serika was moved to tears, and gave her support and blessings to Glen, who had finally earned a splendid eminence. Glen was proud that his power would be used for the sake of the people.
Glen’s hell began—
Suddenly, Glen awoke. He felt terrible all over. His head shook uncontrollably, and a pain rang through his body as if it were fissured. However, the pain served as proof that he was still alive.
“Where is… this…?”
It seemed like he had been sleeping on a bed. The smell of antiseptic filled the air. Judging by the clear-white color of the rooms, this was the academy’s medical room.
“Ah…are you awake…?”
Sistina sat on a chair beside Glen’s bed, and pressed her outstretch palms against his body. Her hand shined with the warm light of the healing magic [Life · Up].
“…T-, Thank god… I thought that you might be done for…”
The corners of Sistina’s eyes began to fill with tears.
“You idiot… geez… You really are an idiot… To do something so unreasonable…”
It seems that Sistina had moved him all the way here and provided emergency treatment. Glen looked at his own body. His wounds were all covered in blood-soaked bandages.
On the other hand, Sistina’s condition looked worse for wear. The color of her face was nearly matched her hair’s as a result of having moved the Glen, who was severely injured, all the way here. Her pretty face had been spoiled in such a manner. On top of that, it was likely that she had been casting [Life · Up] the entire time that Glen was unconscious. Her expression was dyed in dreadful fatigue, and the cold sweat and pale face were symptoms of mana deficiency sickness.
“Stop… that’s enough… I’m fine… already…”
Seeing that Glen was trying to get up, Sistina hurriedly moved to stop him.
“T-, There’s no way you could be fine! Your bleeding might have stopped, but not all your wounds have closed you know!?”
“To begin… you used a lot of magic power to cast [Dispel · Force]… you, if you keep forcing yourself like this, you’ll die you know…”
“And you would be dead before that! Just be obedient already!”
“Hah… Geez, I’m still fine alright? Usually, I store magic little by little in this magic crystal, so I still have magic power to spare.”
Saying that, Sistina showed the crystal pendant in her hand to Glen.
“In any case, you’re the more important one here, since there’s still one more enemy… so I need to do everything I can to help you recover…”
Understanding Sistina’s reasoning, Glen sulkily turned his eyes away.
“My bad… I’ll leave the recovery to you… sorry…”
“Hah… it would be great if you could act this way normally…”
As she gasped for air, Sistina continued to cast [Life · Up].
However, how could they continue like this? It was a strange situation where the enemy could attack at any time. If he was placed in the position of the enemy, he would definitely had taken this opportunity.
Trying to break the nervous, solemn atmosphere that permeated the air, Glen murmured.
“By the way… how… did you figure out what I was planning…?”
“Are you talking about overlapping the ‘dispel’s? It’s regrettable, but I think that I can understand sensei’s ‘rather unique’ thought patterns.”
She sighed again. It was one of the countless times she had sighed since meeting this man.
“If you really wanted me to run away on my own, then you won’t gone through the trouble of asking me how much magic power I had left. You won’t have said ‘alright then’ when you suddenly pushed me off either.”
“Haha… I thought that… It wouldn’t work… seven times out of ten…”
“It’s quite like you to do everything you can to not say ‘I believed in you’ at a time like this, isn’t it sensei… Geez.”
“You really are… excellent…”
“But I’m cheeky?”
“Don’t steal… my lines…”
Sistina felt a bit relieved. If he could retort in such a way, then it showed that he was fine for now. Of course, it was still necessary to bring him to a real doctor or white magic specialist for immediate treatment.
“How do you feel sensei?”
“It hurts… My entire body hurts really bad… I want to cry.”
“This is already good by comparison you know? I adjusted the output of [Sleep · Sound] to numb your body you see.”
“It hurts… I’m gonna sleep… In any case… I won’t be able to do anything… right now…”
“Uwah, your attitude really does change quickly doesn’t it?”
“You… If the enemy comes… while I’m still asleep… leave me here and… run… alright?”
“There’s no way I can do that… Sensei?”
By the time she responded, Glen had already fallen asleep.
It seems that he lost consciousness once again.
From henceforth, the time passed peacefully.
‘Please don’t let the enemy attack at this time.’ As she prayed to the gods that she normally wouldn’t pray to, Sistina continued to sustain the effects of [Life · Up]. Allowing her consciousness to zone off, she adjusted her breathing, and continued to slowly release her magic power.
How much time has passed since then?
“…I wanted to be… a magician… of justice…”
Suddenly, a small voice rung through the room. Sistina, whose consciousness had zoned off, pulled herself together once again.
Turning her eyes toward Glen, she found his eyes slightly open.
However, it seems that his conscious was still absorbed in some faraway land. He stared blankly at the ceiling.
“That’s why, I thought that… my dream had been fulfilled… that time…”
“The first person… I was proud.”
What kind of dream was he seeing?
Glen murmured to no one in particular, and said things that no one could understand.
“But… by the second… I couldn’t help but think… that it was a bit strange…”
“…By the third… I clearly… realized….”
Sistina silently listened to Glen.
“Everyone… called me… a hero… It’s true that… I saved… a lot of people… but… I’m really… not suited… for that… kind… of thing.”
After that, Glen’s murmurs stopped, and he once again fell into unconsciousness.
Sistina couldn’t understand the meaning behind what Glen said. All she could do was try to guess what he meant through the bits and pieces of information. It seems that he was once part of the imperial army, and he was a magician who had an original magic that specialized in combat. On top of that, his hate for magic was overbearing, and he had a one-sided view that ‘magic was a tool for murder’. Finally… his murmurs a moment ago.
And so, whilst maintaining the healing magic, Sistina absentmindedly thought about the irresponsible and carefree man named Glen, who failed to be serious at any occasion.
How long have I been asleep?
There was a sound from corner of the consciousness, that rung somewhere in the pitch-black world.
It was the sharp sound that was like pieces of metal clashing against one another.
Just what kind of sound was that?
As if rising from the quagmire of memories, he realized the true identity of that sound.
Glen, whose consciousness had been fully restored in the instant, immediately jumped off the bed.
“––!? How long has it been!?”
No one answered. Looking down, he saw Sistina, who had overworked herself, sleeping soundly on the edge of the bed. The only sound that reverberated through the room was that of the sharp metal clashing against one another.
I’ll confirm the situation later.
Glen reached into his pocket, and took out the ringing gemstones that had received a call, and put it to his ear.
“Is it Serika?”
He could feel the relieved voice coming from the gemstone.
“Thank god… I was worried you idiot.”
The voice from the stone was a bit shaky.
“I tried contacting you countless times, but you didn’t respond… so I thought something might’ve happened…”
“Sorry. There was of trouble, but I’m alive somehow.”
“… Did you fight the enemy?”
Serika’s voice seemed to harden up.
“…Ah, there have been some new developments cause of that. About one of the enemy magician… I killed him.”
“… I see.”
Glen ignored the seemingly apathetic voice coming from the other side, and continued.
“With this, all the enemies whom we know about have been neutralized. What’s left is the magician that we haven’t confirmed… and they’re probably the person behind all this. I’m afraid that the student that was taken away is also with them. Any progress on your side?”
“We tried teleporting from our side, but it didn’t work. As we suspected, the academy’s teleportation formation was destroyed. Geez… how much time, money, reagents, and catalysts do they think is need to make even one teleportation formation. It’s the property of the nation, so treat it a bit more carefully… Though, it’s pointless to say such a thing to terrorists.”
“… I see, that’s a shame. If you were here then I’d feel reassured.”
“That said, the imperial court magicians are finally moving. The Fejiti sub-division for anti-magic-terrorism is on the move, but, as of now, they’re having a lot of trouble dispelling the barrier that’s sealed the academy in. It’ll be a while before they’re able to charge in.”
“Those guys actually came? …Rather, it seems that even the imperial court magicians aren’t able to dispel it easily hmm?”
“Ah, to be honest, the instigator behind this incident’s ability in this field… as in their ability with spatial-type magic, is that of a genius that is hardly matched in history. Even I have to admit that I haven’t studied enough.”
“For real? For you to say that much…”
“Well, you should know that the magic I specialize in is in the field of combat. I can slaughter a god or two, but I’m not suited to intricate things like this. The seventh rank… it can be reached by giving everything, even your humanity, to researching magic, but limits of magic aren’t that shallow.”
Hearing Serika’s self-loathing murmurs, Glen felt distressed. ‘Should I have come to a decision sooner?’, ‘Should I have saved that charm?’ For a brief moment, Glen lost himself in thought.
However, it was true that by charging in without caring for the result, he had managed to save Sistina. If he hadn’t neutralized the two dangerous magicians quickly – especially that inhumane delinquent man – then there was no saying what would’ve happened to the fifty students that were held hostage.
What’s done is done. What matters is what I do from here on out.
Glen pulled himself together and continued to question Serika.
“About the possibility of a traitor in the academy… did you find anything?”
“Nothing. I went through the professors and lecturers one by one but there wasn’t anyone who had disappeared. All of them are confirmed as present.”
“No, the possibility of a traitor still exists. For example, there are ways for one to steal the formula for the magic security system, and then collude with those guys.”
“In any case, the identity of the enemy that infiltrated this academy still can’t be confirmed.”
My head hurts. Neither the enemy’s intention nor their identity was known. So how should I deal with this? To start with, just where is that guy hiding in this academy? This academy is large. Aside from the campus buildings, there’s also the mysterious forest, the ancient ruins, and the underground labyrinth. The day would be over before I could look through all of them.
“Damnit… What the hell is their goal!”
As Glen began to swear and shout.
“By the way, there’s one thing that’s strange about this….”
Said Serika, As though she had an idea, Serika said such.
“What is it?”
“Using the monolith-type magic calculation machine in the capital, I investigated the magic circuitry through the academy’s barrier… and I discovered something strange.”
“As of now, the barrier that seals the academy doesn’t have any function to allow people to get out. The settings of the barrier were modified so that there isn’t any method to do that.”
“Huh? How could that be possible? Those guys prepared keys to get in you know? Isn’t it a given that they also prepared keys to get out?”
“That would normally be true, but to the very end, the barrier is set so that it is impossible to get out. From a practical standpoint, it is also impossible to forcibly destroy it.”
“Then, how do these guys plan to get out after achieving their goals?”
“How should I know?”
“Don’t say that so—”
Then, a single possibility flashed through Glen’s mind.
Glen took his watch out of his pocket to check the time, but it seems that it had been damaged in the battle with the dark-coated man. The needle of the clock had stopped at 12 o’clock.
“Serika, what time is it right now?”
“Just tell me. My watch is broken.”
“…Right now, it just hit 5 o clock. So why do you need it?”
In other words, I slept for about five hours. There’s something clearly unnatural about this. That dark-coated man had attacked immediately after my battle with Jhin, without giving me so much as the time to catch his breath. Although it’s possible that the enemy had lost track of us during all that, it’s unreasonable for them to have not found us by now.
“Hey Serika, is the teleportation formation really broken?”
“Hm? If it can be used, then shouldn’t it be obvious that it’s broken? Even though we activated the formation on this side, there was no response from the one over there. Also, didn’t we establish that destroying the teleportation formation would be the first thing that—”
“What if they didn’t break it, but changed the magical composition instead? If they changed the setting of the formation at the academy to not connect to the capital, but somewhere else, where they’d already made another formation in advance, instead, then—”
“Ahaha, that’s impossible you know? Teleportation formations are crafted to solely teleport to a specific location. Destroying it is one thing, but to change the complete structure of a teleport formation in order to alter the settings is something that even I wouldn’t—”
“What if it was the person who took control of the academy’s barrier? He’s a genius of spatial-type magic that even impressed you right? If it was that guy, would it still be impossible?”
Hearing Glen’s question, Serika was momentarily at a loss for words.
“No, how could that… that’s impossible… but… if it was that guy, then…”
“Serika, if you were that guy, and you could use any methods that you pleased, how long would it take to change the settings of that formation? A rough approximation is fine.”
“Mm-, if the required knowledge was studied beforehand, and the tools and reagents were all prepared in advance… then, assuming I had the same skill as that person it would take about… five… no, six… hours?”
“––That’s decided then!”
“Ah, oi!? What’s dec—”
Glen forcibly cut the connection, and return the gemstone to his pocket. Then, he found ‘the fool’s’ card at his bedside, took it, and jumped off the bed.
Checking the condition of his body, he could feel the pain of pulling against his closing wounds, but it was enough for him to move. If he were to move vigorously, then his closed wounds would probably reopen. However, he could only be thankful that he had recovered to this extent.
“Thanks, Sistina. It’s good that you were here.”
Glen ruffled Sistina’s hair, and rushed out of the medical room.
“They probably followed this kind of scenario.”
Pondering such, Glen dashed as quickly as he could through the academy grounds.
Although his wounds reopened with each step, and he began to bleed again, he paid it no mind.
“First, the person behind the scenes snuck into the academy the day before, and found somewhere to hide, most likely in the underground maze. Then, last night, Serika and the other professors left for the capital using the teleportation formation. After that, the person began to make their move, and spent the entire night messing with the academy’s barrier.”
Glen turned the corner, and the courtyard of the academy came into view.
“Next is changing of the teleportation formation’s settings. Since it would take a lot of expensive reagents and special tools to do that. It was probably impossible to move those in the day prior, as bringing in such specialized equipment would probably draw the notice of the academy’s staff. That’s why, they were probably brought in by the dark-coated man and the delinquent today. Following the plan, the two of them would imprison the students and secure Lumia, and at the same time, the person behind the scenes would start altering the teleportation formation.”
Breaking through the courtyard, Glen charged through the forest path and set his sight on his destination.
“However, the person behind the scenes made a miscalculation, and that would be that I would suddenly defeat his three co-conspirators. That guy put his full attention into changing the formation. So the reason why they didn’t come pursue me in the few hours that I was incapacitated… was because they didn’t have the time on their hands to do so. If they could complete the formation, then they would be able to take Lumia and retreat. So by the time the people outside unsealed the barrier, they would already be long gone. No… this bout is a lot more one-sided than that. If they detonated an explosion crystal after they left and blew the gathered hostages to smithereens, their pursuers would be forced to spend a lot of time identifying the corpses, and it would make pursuing Lumia even harder. Those guys are the kind of people who would to do that, aren’t they?”
Basically, this was an abduction that targeted Lumia specifically.
If they made it seem like a terrorist bombing, then they would be able to brilliantly mislead the public eye.
“But it’s too soon to make any conclusions. There are two inconsistencies with this scenario.”
The first is Lumia. If all they wanted to do was abduct her then they wouldn’t have to go through this roundabout way. They could just do it normally. Maybe they were wary of being tracked, but this is overkill. So the real reason they’re after Lumia is still a mystery.
Second, is regarding the traitor from the academy. In order for this plan to work, there has to be a traitor. It wouldn’t work if someone was merely conspiring with that group, as otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to clear the initial condition of ‘infiltrating the academy’. However, Serika said that there doesn’t seem to be any traitors.”
“Maybe I’m rushing too much…”
He couldn’t help but feel he had made a wrong judgement. However, the most likely place for there to be a teleportation formation – was the teleportation tower. That was reason enough to go confirm.
Then, Glen’s thoughts were abruptly confirmed.
As the dignified appearance of the pure-white tower came into view, he saw a countless number of golems lined up unnaturally on the final section of the forest path.
The golems were humanized giants that looked as though they were a pile of rocks.
They were the guardian golems that protected the academy. These golems were usually simple stones on the roadside that became part of the academy’s scenery, and would automatically form and compose itself in an abnormal situation in order to intercept any intruders — That was the kind of system that they functioned under.
The fact that the golems, who originally had that sole purpose, were unnaturally gathered to defend the tower, means that—
“Yeah, bingo! However… it’s always like this in the end isn’t it…”
Glen wanted to cry.
In any case, the golems seemed hard to deal with. Noticing Glen getting closer, the golems prepared themselves to intercept him. As if it was a given, all the golems allied themselves with the enemy. Such is what it means to fully grasp the academy’s internal security system.
“Hey, I thought this was gonna happen you know!? Move aside you mobs-!”
Steeling his resolve Glen charged towards the mobs and began to chant.
“<Oh Crimson Lion · With a torrent of rage · Roar and infuriate>–!”
The first to strike has the upper hand.
The black magic [Blaze · Burst].
Glen threw the fireball that formed in his left hand at the golems.
The fireball that moved swiftly in a curved arc – landed a direct hit.
Accompanied by an explosion sound, the fireball that struck the center burst into wildfire and created an intense gale.
The golem that was pulverized to dust, but—
“Daah—! These guys are tougher than I thought!? And they’re hella heavy as well!? Ah, this is so troublesome-!”
All of the surrounding golems were only slightly burnt on the surface. None of them had lost their balance despite the intense gale that erupted from the explosion.
Although a direct hit would defeat one, originally, [Blaze · Burst] was a magic that had low restrictions for distance. As a result, it was a spell that – proportional to its force – used a large amount of magic power.
If he used [Blaze · Burst] on each and every one of these golems, Glen magic power reserves would probably dry up first.
“Oi oi, what should I do now!? Hey, what should I do, Glen!? R-, Right, if [Blaze · Burst] wouldn’t work then I could use [Lightning · Pierce] to pierce through them— As if a tiny holy like that would do anything, am I an idiot!? Then I should just use my super sure-kill [Extinction · Ray] to — As if I could!? I’ve already used the catalyst, and I don’t have enough magic power to use it-! Ah geez, what should I dooo—!?”
Glen, who started to panic slightly due to his impatience, shouted to himself as he continued to charge towards the golems.
The distance between him and the golems closed little by little.
“Calm down… think… I need to think. Calm down and think. There has to be a magic that would allow me to break through this situation… Calm down… think… pfft, as if I have the time to think right now—!”
By the time he realized it, he was face to face with the golems.
The golems, that boasted a body 2-3 times the size of that of a human, were within striking distance of Glen.
The golems turned their eyes down towards Glen, raised their fists in unison — and swung down towards Glen.
Fatal and powerful attacks, a single of which had enough power to pulverize Glen into dust, rained upon him.
“Gyaaaaa-! Ah I don’t know anymore! I’ll just break my way through somehow!”
As he created out, Glen dodged the fists that came from above, and jumped to the side to dodge the swing of another arm from the front, and slid across the floor to avoid another attack from his flank.
There was no time for petty tricks.
As the gust caused by the heavy strikes pushed against him, Glen nimbly navigated through the gaps between the golems.
The only things moving Glen’s body were his trained sense of intuition and his controlled breathing.
Crash, crash, crash—
The crushing sound of the stone fists striking the ground resounded through the academy.
The pavement was turned inside out and formed pillars of dirt. Countless craters were formed on the grounds of the academy.
The stone slabs and gravel that were sent flying under the force of the strikes, relentlessly struck Glen from all directions.
One of the stone fists would occasionally graze against Glen’s body and shatter his bones.
Glen’s body was riddled with blood and dirt – yet he ceased to stop for a single moment.
Facing the army of golems that came crashing like a tsunami, Glen – as though he was treading on a tightrope – danced through the gaps between the golems and continued to break through.
The entrance to the tower was right before him.
However, the distance seemed to stretch for an eternity.
“Ah-, geez. After this I’m definitely asking the academy for work injury damages, goddamnit…”
Accompanying the clicking and clacking of his feet against the floor, Glen climbed the seemingly endless spiral staircase of the teleportation tower.
And at this crucial moment, his body refused to listen to his demands.
“Damnit… why did this have to happen to me… this is why I don’t like working… After this, I’m gonna go back to being a shut-in NEET… and live by leeching off Serika…”
If he didn’t continue to spout these idle complaints, his consciousness might fade at any moment.
By some miracle, Glen had managed to break through the defenses of the golems, and successfully infiltrate the teleportation tower.
However not only did his old wounds reopen, his body was also riddled with new bruises and wounds. The flowing blood slid down the stone walls of the tower to create a scarlet-colored line.
Finally, Glen arrived at the end of the dim, spiral staircase.
Before him was the lobby of the highest floor — the room where the teleportation formation was.
Glen kicked open the door. The inside of the room was dimly lit.
“I have arrived! Oi, you’re here right? Stop messing around and let’s bring an end to all of this.”
“…Sensei!? That voice is sensei!”
Lumia voice could be heard from a dark corner of the room.
“T-, Thank god… So you’re safe!”
“If you think this is ‘safe’ then you need to go see a doctor…”
With a retort, Glen strutted into the room.
And his eyes gradually become acquainted with the darkness.
Finally, from the darkness, emerged a delicate-looking man who looked as though he was in his mid-twenties. It was a handsome young man with smooth hair, a refreshing and cleanly face, and dark blue eyes.
I don’t recognize him. In my short time here as a temporary instructor at this academy, I don’t remember seeing this guy even once. So it seems like there aren’t any traitors in the academy, not that it manners now though.
“So you are the person behind all this?”
“Mhm, that is correct.”
The young man returned an unfazed reply.
“…I do say, it’s a sin to have that kind of pretty face, and you’re going to add a couple more on top of that? … Even the kind and charitable Glen-sensei wouldn’t take this standing up you know? For your punishment, I’ll have you eat my fist. Prepare yourself.”
“Hahaha, as a fellow educator, I have to say that it is unadvisable to enact physical punishment.”
Glen confirmed the surroundings of the young man. As for pre-activated object such as magic tools — There wasn’t a single one to be seen.
The young man didn’t seem to have any plans. All he did was stand in place and glare at Glen.
The first to strike wins, such was Glen’s judgment. He took out ‘the fool’ without hesitation.
Although it was anticlimactic, but he confirmed that his original magic [The Fool’s World] was activated. As a result, regardless of what kind of special technique this man had in store, it would all be futile. It won’t be able to activate.
“Shame for you, but it’s my w—”
“—I have won.”
However, the young man announced his victory first.
“Is this a practical joke by the gods? To think that, in the end, it would become this kind of game.”
“Oi, what is that supposed to mean?”
“To be honest, I am not a magician that is suited to battle. Originally, I wouldn’t be able to win against you no matter what. However, it is because you activated [The Fool’s World], that victory is in my grasp.”
“Stop messing around and answer me! What the heck do you…”
Now that his eyes had fully adjusted, he was able to grasp the situation of the room.
Lumia was behind the young man. She was trapped on the magic formation using magic, and her ability to use magic was sealed. The formation she was on was the teleportation formation, which settings had already been modified, and activated. It seems like the formation had a time restriction placed upon it. Once the indicated time any existence that was on top of it would be teleported to its preset destination. The shining rune-letters on the formation relentless moved towards zero.
This is fine. It’s still within the range of my expectations.
The problem is was the young man. At his feet was a magic formation similar to the one that Lumia was on. However, for some reason, the magic power circuit — a line of light, traveled across the ground and connected the two formations. And then, after grasping the identity of the formation by reading the language, Glen was stunned. The formation was—
“The white magic ritual [Sacrifice] — the soul-exchange ritual?”
The young man showed a calm smile.
“In a short while, Lumia-san will be transported to my colleagues through the teleportation formation. That acts as a fuse for activating this formation, which is tied with my soul. By consuming my soul, the formation will mold a large amount of magic power — that will destroy the entirety of this academy through an explosion. Since my soul as a high affinity for magic, it will undoubtedly display that kind of force.”
“Yes, I am a bomb.”
“W-, What do you think you’re doing, you bastard—!?”
Towards the young man who said that as though it was a given, Glen couldn’t help but shudder.
“Did you plan to die from the start!?”
“Yes, that is the meaning of my existence after all.”
Then, Lumia painfully cried.
“Please… stop this already! Huey-sensei!”
It was a name that he heard before.
“If I remember correctly, you are my predecessor… the one that went missing…. Ah, so that’s what happened!”
“Why do you have to do this, Huey-sensei! You were such a respectable teacher! Even though you’re not the type of person to do this…-!”
“Sorry, Lumia-san. It’s a shame, but I was originally this kind of person.”
Seemingly ashamed, Huey lowered his gaze and said.
“Should a member of royalty or a relative of a government authority attend this academy, my task is to kill them in a suicidal act of terror. For that purpose, a human bomb was placed here as an associate of the academy over ten years ago. That is me.”
“You’re kidding… You prepared to target someone whose entry to the academy couldn’t be confirmed?”
“Mhm, that is the case.”
“Tch… That’s right, you guys are the Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society… a group of idiots that would seriously do this kind of thing.”
Glen loathsomely said this.
“You are correct. If Lumia-san had not attended this academy, then I would continue to freely continue my life as an instructor. So it’s truly a shame that my organization set their eyes on her.”
“So what? Is Lumia actually the lady of some esteemed family?”
“It’s fine. You don’t need to say anything. I’m not interested after all. You’re just you.”
Lumia, who was about to bitterly say something, was stopped by Glen.
“However, isn’t this a tad strange? You guys are trying to abduct Lumia now right? Wasn’t your original goal to ‘kill’?”
“Mhm, that is true, but Lumia-san’s circumstances and unique characteristic are a bit special. The higher-ups of my organization have a great interest in Lumia-san. That’s why the plan was changed at the last moment, and that is also why this plan feels rather sloppy and understaffed. The extra condition of ‘destroying the academy’ is merely because it would cause great damage to the imperial government in the long term. Now then, that is enough explanation. Let us begin our main topic, shall we?”
The young man — Huey, as if testing Glen, looked him straight in the eye.
“If the teleportation formation trapping Lumia-san is dispelled, then my self-destruct formation will not activate either. In other words, this is a game of whether or not you can dispel the teleportation formation within the given time. By the way, you’ve most likely noticed this already, but killing me wouldn’t do either. If you kill me, then both of these formations will activate automatically.”
“… As if I would fall for that kind beginner-level magic trap.”
“If you didn’t use [The Fool’s World], then you would have been able to dispel the Lumia-san’s formation with time to spare. However, you used [The Fool’s World]. During its effective period, you wouldn’t be able to work on dispelling the formation. In the end, you may only begin after [The Fool’s World]’s effects end… It’s quite a large loss of time.”
Glen had realized that he had had made a large miscalculation. That’s why all he could do was reaffirm the rules.
“I don’t know your proficiency will dispelling magic, nor do I know how long the effective period of your [The Fool’s World] is. However… there are about ten minutes before the teleportation formation activates. Even with my experience, if I began dispelling it now, I would barely have time to spare…”
“You are at a crossroad. Knowing that you don’t have enough time, you can try to save Lumia-san and the other students and die in the ensuing explosion together. Or you could forsake everything and run away. There is a large labyrinth beneath the academy, and running there would yield a large chance to survive the explosion… if it was only you that is.”
It was true that, even if he left immediately to bring the hostage students and Sistina to the underground labyrinth, there wouldn’t be enough time. If he wanted to be saved, then he would have to forsake them and run straight for the labyrinth on his own. However, this option never even crossed his mind.
Glen raised his eyebrow and closed his eyes. Ignoring the sweat the trickled from his body, he continued to stay solemnly silent. It was extremely vexing that his own original magic [The Fool’s World] was eating up the time, second by second.
“Sensei… please run.”
Lumia pleaded to Glen.
“If everyone’s going to die… then at the very least, you alone should…”
Glen continued to stay silent. The room was silent enough that one could feel the heartbeat of its occupants.
“Sensei… please… I’m begging you….”
Regardless of what Lumia said, Glen ceased to move.
The few minutes passed as though it was an eternity.
At a certain moment, Glen suddenly opened in eyes.
It was when the effect of [The Fool’s World] ended.
Glen immediately bit his right thumb, and dashed to the teleportation formation, where Lumia sat.
“Not as single trace of hesitation. How admirable.”
Ignoring Huey’s words of praise, Glen looked closely at the formation before him. Lumia was trapped in a five-layered circular formation. If he couldn’t break through all of them, then Lumia wouldn’t be saved. An enormous amount of magic power flowed through the formation, and it was also equipped with magic amplification circuits. As a result, it was impossible to dispel it by counterbalancing the magic power using his own through [Dispel · Force].
In the end, the only way to dispel this is to destroy the composition of the magic itself.
“<Oh the power of the beginning · Through the flow of my blood · Create a path>!”
He chanted the spell for the black magic [Blood · Catalyze]. By treating his dripping blood with magic power, he created a simple magic catalyst. Since Glen couldn’t perform high-level control that used magic power itself to write words, he had no choice but to use his own blood to write the dispel formation directly on top of the outer layer of the teleportation formation.
He shook his arm to cause blood to flow, and allowed it to trail down his hand and to his fingers. Using all five fingers, he furiously continued to write.
“How fast. Did you already form a route and mental image of how to dispel this in the few minutes leading until now?”
Huey, impressed by Glen’s hand movements, murmured to himself.
Lumia, seeing Glen, who continued to work on dispelling the formation in a bloodcurdling display, desperately protested.
“Sensei, no! Run! There isn’t any time!”
“Shut up and be quiet!”
However, Glen refused Lumia’s protests, and continued to write with his blood.
“<End oh heaven’s chains · With a basis of silence · The constraints of reason shall be released>!”
Using what was left of his magic power, Glen activated the dispelling black magic ritual [Erase]. Accompanying a metallic sound and a gust of wind, the outer, first, layer was destroyed into particles of light.
Next is the second layer. I’ve spent about one minute to get this far—
“Sensei! I’m begging you, please leave me and run away!”
“Don’t be selfish you idiot!”
Taking a step forward, Glen roared out as he moved onto the second layer.
“You’re not the only one! That white cat girl and the other students… there are still a lot of people at the academy! How could I leave all that behind and run away!?”
Seeing the second layer, Glen stopped his finger and grit his teeth.
“You bastard, the formation is clearly more complicated…”
Basically, it meant that the formation would become more complicated as he progressed further, and the difficulty of dispelling it would rise proportionally.
“Huey was it? I’ll be sure to hit you hard after all of this is over.”
“I understand. Then I will prepare myself for it.”
Despite his abusive language, Glen continued to tirelessly move his fingers.
“You can’t, sensei… At this rate, sensei will… sensei will-!”
Lumia looked toward Glen, who worked on dispelling the formation with undivided attention. He appeared to be suffering intensely from mana deficiency sickness. No life or warmth could be felt from the color of his skin. He was already at the brink of death.
“If you use anymore magic, you will die!”
“Ah, then white cat will be really happy won’’t she.”
“No… Why…? No one will blame you even if you run away you know…? You didn’t do anything wrong…”
“Ah-, geez, just shut up!! Stop distracting me and stay quiet!”
“Why? Why would you go this far? To the point where you stake your life…”
Did he remember something from Lumia’s question?
Glen continued to work, but he remained silent.
“… I remember.”
“Until I had that strange dream just now, I forgot it all. The reason why I looked up to magic!”
Marking that the last words, Glen once again chanted [Erase].
The second layer was successfully dispelled. The shattered fragments from the broken formation scattered into the air.
Glen took another step, moved towards the third layer… and threw up blood.
Lumia cried out.
Glen ignored this, and continued to work with shaking hands.
“Ge-ho… it’s nothing noteworthy, just some childish thing! With the flying castle in the sky as the stage, the magician of justice defeats the demon king, and saves the princess… There was a children’s picture book similar to this right!? The reason I learned magic was because I really, really looked up to that magician of justice you know!?”
“… Picture book? That… could it be, ‘The Magician of Melgarius’…?”
Glen’s lips curved distortedly.
“Haha-! Isn’t it really dumb!? Ah, I was really dumb! How many years of my life have I pointlessly wasted for a dreamy kid’s story like that!? I really wasted it all away!”
Glen seemed like he would spit blood at such thoughts. Whilst actually spitting blood, Glen confessed everything.
“Geho-… guh-… But in the end, I just can’t give it up! My dreams have long since shattered! The magician of justice in the picture book is a huge lie! In reality, the world of magic is layered in blood! Despite that, I still can’t give up! No matter how much time passes, I still can’t give up on this worthless fantasy of being a magician of justice!”
Glen stared at the formation before his eyes in disgust.
“What kind of magician of justice would I be if I couldn’t save anybody!? If I run away now… just what is my life supposed to mean!? To give my life to being a magician of justice… I know it’s pointless! But I just don’t want to all be worthless!”
“So stay shut! I’m not doing this for you, nor am I doing this for the students! I’m selfishly doing this for myself and only myself! Do you have any complaints goddamnit!”
Make it. Make it. Make it. Glen desperately suppressed his impatience, calmly drew the dispelling formation, used the magic power in his entire body to cast [Erase]— The third layer was successfully dispelled.
I did it. Glen’s spirits were uplifted by this result, and he was progressing at a better pace than he expected.
He didn’t believe that he would be able to get this far in the eleventh hour.
There were two layers left. Glen triumphantly moved onto the fourth—
Then, it suddenly came. Because it had been going so well, he had failed to notice.
Glen felt something in his body splitting apart.
In the next moment, Glen threw up a large amount of blood at once.
“Gyaa-!? S-, Sensei!?”
Seeing Glen collapse to the floor, Lumia cried out.
“…a….Ah? Guh….a….Goho, Gaha-!?”
His body won’t move. His fingers won’t move. His strength quickly left his body, and his consciousness began to quickly fade. His concentration had already shattered — Even if wanted to continue dispelling the formation, no solutions would come to his mind. What he was doing, what he should do. All of this became estranged in his mind as though it was veiled by a fog.
What happened? To think that he would be the one whose time limit reached first.
Thinking about it, he had long since exceeded the limit. How many times had he pushed himself to do things that would surely chip away at his lifespan?
And once he realized this, it was all over. His couldn’t move a single finger.
It was the end— Glen had clearly grasped that. There was no way he could catch up in this condition.
“I… really… couldn’t do it huh. Hahaha… I see… I guess… that’s right huh…”
Despair equivalent to that of when he realized the true nature of the magic world, took ahold of Glen’s heart.
He believed that he wouldn’t be able to do anything more. He understood that he wouldn’t be able to save anyone.
Despite that, he didn’t give up.
Regardless of past or present, it didn’t change.
No matter how unsightly, no matter how futile, in the end, the only thing he couldn’t bring himself to do was to give up.
This was no longer beliefs nor righteousness. It was simply Glen’s stubbornness.
That’s why, Glen, whose near-dead was pushed by his unshattered will, desperately crawled towards the fourth layer… It was then.
Lumia’s outstretched hands barely touched Glen’s cheeks.
“Because you didn’t give up sensei… I was able to catch you.”
“Sensei… please take this.”
It was in that moment.
Suddenly, Lumia’s began to shine, and the place where she touched began to heat—
The gentle breeze swayed her glowing hair, and the surroundings were filled with particles of light.
Her gentle smile guided towards Glen made her seem like an angel—
Then, in the next moment.
With a ‘don’ sound, Glen’s body flowed with an enormous amount of magic power.
The pain that dominated his body a moment earlier disappeared as though it were a lie, and his senses seemed to sharpen. He had never experience such a thing before. His body heated up, as though he were engulfed by a flame.
Then, from that heat, came an overwhelming feeling of omnipotence—
His mind and body were restored. His body whose line had been cut, began to move again. He couldn’t feel any magic being used by Lumia. In the first place, her ability to use magic was sealed.
If that’s the case, the there was only one possibility for this miracle.
Supernaturals. In extremely rare cases, there were people who possessed special powers that could give birth to miracles without relying on the power of magic. However, they were believed to be the reincarnation of the devil, and were the victims of such a mindless belief even today. There were even fanatical groups that existed for the sake of hunting them down.
“Lumia… you, could it be… that you’re… a supernatural!?”
Furthermore, he had heard of a rumor about this power before. With direct contact with their target, they would be able to use their will to amplify their magic power by ten or more times. The world’s strongest living magic amplification circuits.
People who possessed extraordinary powers that alone could overwhelm a complicated magic ritual that took tens or hundreds of steps—
Glen forcefully pulled back his faded consciousness, furiously berated his previously downtrodden heart, and returned to dispel the formation. At a speed that left himself at awe, he completed the structure of the dispel-formation, and chanted the magic for [Erase]. As if it was a given, the fourth layer was successfully dispelled.
Then, the teleportation began to shine, and began make sounds that foretold its activation. The transfer sequence began.
“Damn, damndamndamn! Make it!”
I don’t even care if I die after this—
Using magic power to the extent of wearing out his brain and organs, moving his finger to the extent of crushing his muscles, allowing his blood to flow as though he were trying to dry out his body, Glen entered the final spurt—
“Make it in timeeeeeeeeee—!”
After completing the final word, Glen immediately began to shout—
“<End oh heaven’s chains · With a basis of silence · The constraints of reason shall be released>!””
Light, wind, sound, all of them disappeared like a heinous mirage.
The time indicated on the teleportation formation had reached zero.
At the same time — the formation was completely dispelled.
Lumia — was here.
In the silence that signaled the end of everything, only Glen’s strained breaths could be heard.
“…Is this, my loss?”
Breaking the silence, Huey released a short sigh.
“How strange. Even though the plan failed… I can’t help but feel relieved.
“…Hmpf. So you were scared of dying?”
“No, there is that, but… I suppose that I’m happy that the students came out unscathed. That’s what I think.”
“And? Is there… anything else you want to say?”
“… Just one.”
“What is it?”
At Glen’s urging, Huey voiced his inner problems.
“What exactly should I have done? Should I have died like the organization command me to… Or should I die after defying the organization? Even at this juncture, I still cannot find an answer.”
“How should I know? Isn’t it your fault for not choosing your own path and following what the organization told you to do?”
“To choose… my own path? Is that so?”
“What I mean is that you should clean after your own messes you bastard. Although I sympathize with your circumstance… Don’t blame everything that you’ve done on the organization.”
“… How cruel. But… well… I suppose that it is as you say. It would be great if I had met you sooner. Right now, I can’t help but feel somewhat empowered.”
“Is that right? Well, clench your teeth alright?”
Glen swung his arm forward and relentlessly struck Huey’s cheek.
The force was enough to send Huey flying. He rolled across the floor several times, and fainted.
“… My oh my.”
Then, with a shaky, floaty feeling, Glen’s vision began to fall towards the ground.
With that sight as his last, Glen’s consciousness faded.
“Your dreams aren’t pointless you know?”
Lying down in the pitch-black darkness, he heard someone’s voice.
I don’t really know.
“It’s true that… your dream may have come in a different scene and form than you yearned for, but I’m sure that your dream has saved a lot of people.”
I don’t even know whose voice this is.
But it feels like someone I know.
“I am one of the many that you’ve saved. Although I feel quite lonely… it can’t be helped that you don’t remember me. However, I… three years ago, from the moment we met… have adored you.”
Something is getting close to my face. I can smell a sweet fragrance.
I feel a soft warmth and gentle touch against my forehead… I think.
As I thought. I don’t get it. I don’t remember.
“Sensei… thank you.”
- Lumia’s term ‘adore’ is fairly ambiguous. It can also mean ‘to yearn for’, ‘to long for’, ‘to love dearly’ in different contexts. Although ‘adore’ is the most likely usage here. (Board your ships?)
- Updated version of the typeset cover.