|Original Source: Syosetu
|Word Count: 3342 characters
|English Source: Re:Library
|Word Count: 1664 words
Life at the Magic Academy goes by fast, and now there’s only one month left. Today the festival is happening again, where students come out to display everything they’ve learned.
Though like always, there’s no way I’m going to participate.
“Come on Natalia, let’s go already!”
“Don’t be so impatient, we still have plenty of time to spare.”
The tournament starts in the afternoon, so we should just go then.
That said, this is her final year here, so I offered to walk around with her which put her in a really good mood. Clarissa is on one of her outings again too, so it’s a rare occasion to hang out without having to worry about her.
Olivia drags me by the hand into the crowded festival. The first place we visit is Annabelle’s magic device display. There’s even more items on display compared to last year, and the crowd there is also bigger.
“That’s a really big crowd, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, it seems Chris did a lot for the laboratory.”
It seems like after Plum’s creation by Christina, a lot more people began studying magic automatons. I actually also rode that bandwagon a little too, going to the laboratory to help around while learning a bit myself. That’s how I built those rudimentary arms I hid inside my skirt before.
“Olivia, Natalia, welcome.”
After dealing with a group of visitors, Christina comes out to greet us.
She’ll be returning to the Barnard household after graduating. She had the option of going to the capital to a research company there, but apparently her father is going to build a new facility in his territory to bring in more attention to it, and she’ll continue researching alchemy and magic devices there.
“Is Plum still tending to the visitors?”
There’s so many visitors that the students alone can’t take care of them all, so Plum has also been helping.
“Sadly yes. She was really looking forward to seeing you again too, Natalia.”
“It’s alright, even if we don’t get to talk now I’m sure there we’ll get another chance soon enough. Not to mention that seeing Plum working so hard fills me with pride as her older sister.”
Plum still looks rather robotic most of the time, but I feel like she’s starting to understand emotions. I have no way of knowing whether she has gained consciousness or not, but that doesn’t change the fact that Plum is my sister.
And I can’t not be proud knowing that she’s here being a big help and interacting with a lot of people.
“Wait, isn’t that Amy? What’s she doing here?”
Olivia points somewhere, and looking there I see that Amy is also here for some reason, dealing with the visitors.
“There’s a lot of students who have agreed to work for Amy’s company after graduating, and they’ve sold the rights to the magic devices they built to her. So now she’s here helping to boost the sales to potential customers.”
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I see, this is certainly a good place to sell items like that. She really is built like a merchant.
We’ve also agreed that after Olivia’s graduation I’ll sell the rights to the books I wrote to Amy. I haven’t really been doing the best job with them lately, and I won’t have any reason to keep writing after Olivia graduates. I’ve also made plenty of money these last three years, so I don’t really mind selling them off.
“Oh, so you two came too.”
And then Annabelle also comes out.
“Miss Annabelle, congratulations. I can see you’ve become a highlight of the festival.”
“It was all thanks to you, mheheh.”
“By the way, I was looking around for a bit but I can’t see it… You aren’t putting it on display?”
The magic device I helped build had been completed, so I thought it would be shown here, but I don’t see it amongst the items on display. I really think it was a big example of technological innovation that deserves to be shown though.
“Oh, that was more of a passion project for me, and I don’t think it’s stable enough to really show it to the public, and also…” Saying that, Annabelle’s voice lowered into a whisper. “It could get annoying if it brings the wrong kind of attention to this country’s research projects.”
“That sounds like the main reason.”
It was best to not let our country’s research projects stand out too much.
And as Annabelle mentioned, while it’s true that the project came into shape, I’m the only one who can use it properly and without danger, and considering how much mana it requires it’s only operative for a short time. There’s a lot of downsides that detract from calling it a true success.
“I’ll keep working on it though. But it’ll be a bit painful to lose capable helpers like you and Chris.”
Annabelle has that thin smile that’s always on her lips, though her eyes seem to cloud over slightly as she says that. I feel slightly bad for leaving, but at the same time it feels nice to be held in such high regard by her.
“I’ll also keep working on it on my end. If I make a breakthrough I’ll make sure to let you know.”
“Please do so, mheh.”
But still, I really feel like there’s little that can be improved further with the materials I have. If they really want to improve on the design they’ll have to find even better materials, or revise the design from the ground up.
We leave Annabelle’s section then, and we go through the Academy with Olivia in the lead. She takes me to the rooftop, which is the highest spot open to the public during the festival, and gives us a high vantage point from which we can see the multitude of visitors and displays.
“You can really tell just how many people have come from up here.”
Considering how difficult it is to move around in this world compared to my past life, it’s impressive that so many people managed to gather from all over the country. But that also goes to show just how important Ingralowe’s Magic Academy is.
And soon Olivia would graduate from here.
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Olivia is leaning forward with her hands on the rail, letting the view in, and I talk to her from the side.
“Hm? What is it?”
Olivia restrains her hair so the wind stops moving it around and turns to me. She looks really beautiful right now, and she reminds me a lot of her mother Ophelia.
“How do you feel about these three years?”
“They were really fun.”
She replies instantly with a smile, and without complicating things. Everything could be summed up with that simple and short reply.
Sure she might not have the best grades, and there were some hardships to overcome, but even factoring that in, the total of the three years could still be summed up with that word, fun.
“I’m glad to hear that.”
Someone once said that a year as a student is far more valuable than any year one lives as an adult.
Maybe that’s just adults looking back with rose tinted glasses, but when I think of Olivia’s three years here, I’m sure that they’ll be a valuable source of memories, knowledge, and support for the rest of her life, so I hope she can make good use of them.
“Ah, Young Lady, what would you like for lunch? It’ll still be a while until the tournament, but it might be best if you eat earlier.”
I figured eating right before a lot of activity might be a bad idea, but Olivia just looks at me like I’m talking in a foreign language. Did I say something odd?
“I didn’t tell you? I’m not taking part in the tournament.”
Did she get really sick without me noticing?
“Olivia is graduating this year so I really thought this would be a tournament for the ages.”
The tournament’s placement matches had started and multiple students duked it out to gain a spot in the arena.
“Why won’t she participate!”
Marize shouted loudly while using her signature rapid fire spells.
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After she lashed out at Olivia at the start of the year, the two of them eventually began to train together for the rest of the semester, then during the mid-year break she trained alone, and then they resumed training together during the second semester. Her skills had improved considerably during that time, pushing her ahead of all other first year students. As much as she hated to admit it, Olivia had been like a teacher that taught her more than any of the other teachers at the Academy.
So she wanted to win against Olivia during the biggest event of the year, showing she had surpassed her master.
But contrary to her expectations, Olivia would not take part in the tournament. They had not made any agreement beforehand, so it was hard to really fault Olivia, but Marize was still irritated as she had thought it was obvious for Olivia to participate.
Even with Olivia absent, the participants of the tournament were quite skilled though, and seeing Marize’s confusion they would certainly exploit that opening.
“You’re wide open!”
Just as one of the students was ready to strike Marize on the back, they were engulfed in white flash and blown away.
“While I understand how you feel, this is no time to be getting distracted.”
“Wh-why are you…”
There was no reason for him to be there, so Marize could not hide her bewilderment.
He was walking with a calm demeanor, white frost spreading with every step he took. Controlling ice was his signature move.
“It’s a shame that Olivia isn’t here, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up the victory.”
As he said that, the entire arena was covered in ice and snow.