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Chapter 127 – Predicament

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Author: Kaburagi Haruka Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2579 characters
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1370 words
Editor(s): Deximus_Maximus

Bare arms, bare legs. I was in a state that exposed far more of my skin than I was comfortable with. I put the towel on my shoulders with trouble and tried to avoid the people’s gazes as much as I could.

Which wasn’t surprising – the swimming lessons were starting from today.

“Ah, I forgot… I forgot that this thing existed…”

Dressed in the school designated swimsuit, I spit those words as I stood before the swimming area that we created at the riverside of the forest. I could feel all the glances the surrounding people have been stealing at me.

And no wonder… that was something I didn’t want to say, but my swimsuit figure was as lovely as a fairy… it seemed. I hated to admit it, but unlike my usual uniform, this one emphasized my silhouette, and coupled with my doll-like appearance, I gave people the urge to dress me up.

“Hnng, you really are the best, Nicole!”

“Cortina, shut up!”

“Even your abuses are music to my ears now!”

“Get bent, you crappy teacher!”

She had abandoned her lessons and came to rub her cheeks on me. I continued throwing merciless curses at her for that. But alas, even those fell on deaf ears. Even though she already saw me at home, she still showed no signs of calming down anytime soon.

“Come on, you see me naked all the time…”

“But dressing you up feels a different kind of good. Especially because you are quite indifferent to attire in general.”

“But isn’t this just a simple school swimsuit?”

“That’s what makes it worth it all the more.”

“Heeelp, the criminal is here!”

I tore her off me and hid behind Letina and Matisse. It was a bit painful that Matisse still had some small scars left. Maria preferred the self-restoration of the body, so she only healed her enough that there would be no scars left.

It was sad to look at it now, but it couldn’t be helped. Maria wouldn’t let scars remain on a girl’s body. And she even guaranteed that they would go away with time.

“Kh, you managed to escape, huh…”

“Teacher, let’s begin the lesson already.”

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Matisse extended me a helping hand by urging her to start the lesson. Thanks to that, Cortina finally stopped her prank and commenced the swimming class.

It was the start of July, the time where the water temperature wasn’t high, so the children did some stretches before getting into the river.

The water in the swimming pond we made was just as cool, so I could hear the occasional yells of “so cold!”

I also timidly entered the water until it reached my shoulders and let my body adjust to it. If I went in any deeper straight away, my muscles could get a cramp due to its coldness.

“Okay, let’s first submerge ourselves until it covers our head. If you don’t hold your breath properly, you might drown.”

Hearing her instructions, the children submerged themselves in the water one after another. The kids of these parts were somewhat accustomed to the water, but for those who weren’t from here, the simple act of submerging could be a frightful proposition.

Perhaps she decided to start by training them in that aspect first.

The kids pinched their noises and shut their eyes tight as they went under the water. Cortina observed each and every one of them with full attention. Losing focus during the swimming practice could be life-threatening, so she was more focused than usual.

After my body got accustomed to the water sufficiently, I also submerged myself. Naturally, though, my eyes were open, unlike the other kids.

As the water covered my head—my vision blacked out.

“Hah! Where am I!?”

“Ah, Teacher Cortina. Nicole woke up!”

When I came to, I was lying on the riverside rock. It was heated up by the sun and felt really good. Matisse who seemed to have been tasked with my care was looking worriedly at me.

“Are you okay, Nicole?”

“Yeah. Did I faint?”

“Yes. You suddenly floated up so everyone got scared.”

It appeared that while my body got accustomed to the water, my head didn’t and I fainted from its coldness. Cortina had the other students remain on standby in the distance. She couldn’t continue the lesson while a student almost drowned, after all.

Hearing Matisse’ call, she left the students as is and headed my way.

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“Looks like you woke up, Nicole. How are you feeling?”

“Yea, I’m okay. Sorry, looks like I worried you.”

“Well, at least one student tends to faint once every few years, so I’m not really worried.”

“I mean, you should worry.”

While it was pooled water, it wasn’t like the river’s current was completely eliminated. Since the water constantly flowed, the water temperature was relatively lower compared to normal reservoirs.

Moreover, the forest also blocked most of the sunlight needed to heat the cold river, so similar incidents tended to happen on rare occasions. As such, Cortina handled the situation in a skillful and accustomed way.

“I suppose I can’t really continue the lesson now, can I? So can you walk? I have to take you to the classroom.”

“Oh, I think so.”

I stood up and examined my condition. I was a bit wobbly on my legs but I was well enough to walk. I should’ve still had enough juice to last till the classroom.

“I see. Then let’s get changed and back to the school we go. We’ll end today’s lesson at this… Or rather, we haven’t even started it properly, eh!”

Cortina’s joking tone invited laughter from the students. After that, she thrust her finger before my nose and said with a serious expression.

“Once we get back, you are going straight to the medical office for a thorough checkup. We have to make doubly sure that everything is alright.”

“Kaay.”

I could see her point so I had no reason to refuse. No, well, I did have some reservations about doctor Tricia herself, but still.

Either way, such was my failure on the very first swimming lesson.

After school, I headed home with a certificate from the doctor stating “healthy”. Usually, I would either visit the music room where I pretended to do my club activities, or meet with Michelle and head out to hunt, but today Maxwell had some free time on his hands so I decided to visit him for some personal lessons.

My goal was to learn the high ranked Interference magic, Polymorph. And the fastest way to get there was to learn the basics directly from Maxwell.

I received the usual warm welcome with tea and treats and then proceeded to normal magic lessons. It was more practical this way, as unlike school where they only taught you the knowledge, I could get the real feeling of it.

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“Well then, try pouring your magic power into this Magic Crystal.”

“Okay.”

Thus I proceeded to pour magic into the crystal that was handed to me with a docile expression. A Magic Crystal was something that could contain magic power inside of it, and although it was a crystal it was still extremely brittle.

If you broke it, it would disperse the contained magic power through the surroundings, so people often used them as external tanks.

Of course, you needed to put magic power into it first or it would be useless. And doing that was perfect for training your control over magic power.

“I did it.”

After holding it in my hand for a few minutes, I returned the now-full crystal to Maxwell. It seemed that he judged my ability based on my speed and the crystal condition.

“Mhm, not bad.”

“Really? Yay!”

“I suppose we should move on to the next step—Reid, can you bring me the textbook from that shelf?”

“Sure.”

I nodded without much thought and stood up…only to quickly turn back.

“Wait… What did you just…?”

“That was quite a natural response. So it really is you…”

A mean smile appeared on his face. Seeing that smile, I realized that there was hardly anything that could get me out of this mess.



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