|Author: Shizuku||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3673 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1744 words|
I keep hearing Miss Annabelle’s chalk rubbing against the blackboard. This is my first alchemy lesson, but I can’t focus at all. And I know exactly why.
A few days ago I learned that she’s my mother’s pupil, and she wanted to see Natalia for some reason. I had classes so I couldn’t go with her, but when I was free I went to check on them…and found Natalia straddling Miss Annabelle on the ground.
Seeing that made me imagine an ‘adult’ relationship between them, so I ended up running away. Natalia told me it was all a misunderstanding afterwards, but that sight is still burned into my mind.
Whenever I look at Miss Annabelle, I picture it again.
On top of that, sometimes when I look at the back of the classroom I see Natalia, wearing a suit that’s really different from her usual uniform. Mr. Damuel had gotten her a job as temporary instructor, and as part of her remuneration she was allowed to listen in to classes like that.
I didn’t really mind that, except that it was a bit awkward to have someone so close to me watching how I acted in class.
“And so channeling mana into the alchemy cauldron and manipulating its contents forms the basis of alchemy.”
My brain can’t process anything Miss Annabelle says or writes down on the blackboard.
“Does that mean I can’t work on something bigger than a cauldron?”
“If you’re able to control mana in an area that big without losing precision or agility, you can. You’ll just need to find a different medium to carry your mana there.”
I’ll have to ask Natalia…no, I won’t be able to focus at all. I’ll ask Chris to teach me.
“The cauldron’s job is to contain the materials in an environment easily accessible to the alchemist. So if you have a way of carrying mana effortlessly to something bigger, you can work on it. Alcohol is commonly used as a conductor, mana travels easily through it, and you can easily evaporate it without damaging your product, so it’s quite versatile as long as you take the proper precautions. I guess that applies even outside of alchemy.”
Natalia’s body was created with alchemy too, so as her owner I really should know this stuff, but I just can’t understand complicated things like that. Natalia can use alchemy herself too, so I feel like there’s not much reason for me to really learn it in depth though.
“An important part of alchemy is being able to picture how mana is transforming your materials, and how to control it better.”
I had inherited Natalia’s ownership from my mother, but I’ve never performed maintenance on her, not even once. She always tells me she can do it on her own though, so it should be fine.
Still, I’m supposed to be in charge of her now, so I really should know how to do it. And also…if I’m doing maintenance on her…umm…I guess she’ll have to strip. I’ll get to see her without clothes, and even touch her…beautiful skin… And then1…
Just imagining that was making me excited.
Wait no, I have to stop. I’m still in class, I need to pay attention even if I don’t understand a word.
“I’m sorry Olivia, I have some business to attend to, so I can’t spend lunch with you.”
“Young… Olivia, I have to prepare for my next lesson, so I apologize but you’ll have to have lunch without me.”
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And so, both Chris and Natalia are busy and I ended up having lunch only with Amy, something that hasn’t happened in a long time.
“Well, I guess they’re busy then.”
“Yeah. I really didn’t think I’d see Natalia as a temporary instructor though. She also came to classroom B. Her lesson was really easy to understand, I’m sure it’ll be good advertising for the books.”
Amy thought of money even while having lunch. I’m a bit impressed with how she can connect even the simplest of things to business.
“Everyone is getting busy now. I guess it makes sense, classes are taking up, and the school festival is getting closer.”
I ask that, not knowing what she meant, and she looks at me in disbelief.
“Huh, Olivia, you don’t know about the school festival?”
“Uhhh…I feel like everyone in my class mentioned it, but I don’t know anything about it.”
“Seriously? Olivia, special cases like me aside, what do people come to the magic academy for?”
Amy sighs loudly, starts massaging her temples and asks that, sounding almost desperate. Even I knew the answer to that though.
“What do they come for? Studying magic, right?”
“Yes, studying magic, basically getting a path to be employed as magicians in the future. Not to mention that Ingralowe’s Magic Academy is the best in the country, so there’s a lot of students who want to become the number one magician. To help with that, during the second term of every year there’s a school festival where the students can show off their skills.”
Amy then mentions how there’s a tournament for students to battle it out, research expositions, and various other events where students can try to show off their skills and eventually secure a future position.
She also says something about giving those without connections an entryway, and a fair display of everyone’s talents.
“I’m assuming you’d like to take part in the tournament? All school years are combined there, so you might face some strong opponents.”
“That does sound fun, yeah.”
Sometimes we have mock battles during our lessons too, but the only one who has a chance at winning against me is Mathias. I’m sure I’d still win if we weren’t limited to the spells we learned in class.
Natalia is always trying to protect me too, I guess I still look like a defenseless and unreliable child. Maybe she’ll finally acknowledge me if I beat someone strong from a higher year? Yeah, I definitely should give that a try.
“Alright! I’ll take part in the tournament!”
I’m preparing my afternoon lesson in the staff room, and talking with Damuel I get told something I wasn’t expecting about the school festival.
“The Young… Olivia can’t take part?”
“Um, it’s not that she can’t take part per se…”
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But then he looks away awkwardly. Maybe it’s something a bit complicated.
“Ah, if it’s something I shouldn’t know it’s alright, you don’t have to tell me.”
“No, that’s not it. I actually think it might be better if you tell Olivia.”
Damuel quickly shakes his head, saying that’s not it.
“As you’ve probably heard, the school festival is there to help students find work. Those in classroom A are already known for being strong or have good family names, but those in classroom B and C tend to be lower class nobles, or just commoners, and especially those in their last year need a little boost to get out there. They’re the ones who mainly take part in the events, and if someone with the ability of Olivia were to go up against them…”
“Ah, I get it now.”
Olivia only gets to fight other students during practice for lessons, and she usually wins against all of them. I can even see her beating students from upper years.
If she took part in an event meant for average students, or maybe even below average, she would completely destroy their standing, and make them seem vastly inferior in the eyes of the audience.
“The reason why all years are allowed to take part together is so that those who are just starting out can see the difference between them and their seniors, basically motivating them. Even that is at peril if Olivia were to participate though.”
It was almost painful hearing Damuel talk about that. I can easily picture Olivia wiping the floor with her seniors.
“She has a right to participate if she wants, obviously, but once she does the school festival will lose its meaning entirely.”
Yeah, I can see that.
Not to mention that Olivia wants to become an adventurer later on, and all she needs for that is to register at the guild, there’s no need for her to peddle her skills to third parties. All students of the Magic Academy have a right to participate in the festival, but if she does…all other students won’t be able to find a job at all.
Treating Olivia fairly would put everyone else at a disadvantage. She gains nothing from participating, and takes everything from the rest. I can’t allow that to happen.
“Understood, I’ll talk to Olivia.”
“Thanks again. I feel like you’ll be able to convince her more easily than I could.”
“Just leave it to me. I might be a temporary instructor, but I’m still part of the teaching team now, not to mention I’m Olivia’s maid. It’s my duty to stop her from making foolish choices.”
“I’m glad you think so.”
Damuel bows to me in gratitude. That’s all he had to say, so he turns back to his desk and takes out his boxed lunch. Maybe I should grab a bite too. I don’t need to, but it makes me feel better.
I take out my own lunch, and then look around. Damuel’s lunch box looks normal on the outside, but it’s packed full of carefully planned bites.
“Your lunchbox looks rather elaborate, Mr. Damuel. Do you always eat like that?”
“Ah, yes. My wife loves cooking, and overthinking things for me.”
I didn’t know he’s married.
“She sounds like a wonderful person. Having a happy marriage is invaluable.”
“Well, I guess. Yours looks good too though.”
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He smiles awkwardly, and then praises my lunchbox too.
“Well, being a maid is still my main occupation after all.”
“I’m sure you’ll one day become an amazing wife as… Ah, I’m sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
Damuel quickly bows and apologizes to me. I guess he forgot I’m a magic automaton. But I guess things are better this way.
It’s just…being treated like a girl still catches me off-guard. All things being said and done though, I’m still a guy at heart with no interest in dating another guy. Not to mention that I’m not human or a living being in the first place, so there’s no point in thinking about it.