Chapter 38: School Events

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Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3390 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1685 words
Editor(s): Fire

The cat-eared lady who appeared in the front gate had shoulder-length chestnut hair, glittering green cat eyes and a round face, her amiable smile giving her an innocent appearance.

There were many other races apart from humans in that world. Just like Emela was an elf, or Mariana a fairy, that lady was part of the Meou Tribe. Visually they were not too different from humans, though they never grew as tall, only having cat ears and a tail as difference. They were excellent at spotting moving objects and had quick reflexes, as well as good night vision.

「Ah, sorry if I startled you. I’m Hinata, one of the instructors of this academy. And you are?」
「I’m Mira.」

The Meou lady introduced herself as Hinata. Her appearance was more on the cute side than beautiful as she smiled. Mira thought she had already grown used to seeing Meous, but seeing Hinata smile like that made her heart beat faster for a moment.

Given that Mira currently had the appearance of a young girl, Hinata showed her a more defenseless and honest expression. Since Mira had barely ever encountered that expression in the past, it always caught her off-guard.

「So you’re Mira. That’s a really cute name.」

Hinata’s smile turned even cuter as she looked more closely at Mira, examining her clothes.

「Isn’t that one of those popular Magical Girl clothes? Do you want to become a spellcaster?」

Still smiling, she asked casually. Arkite Academy was known as the best place for anyone who wanted to learn the ins and outs of being a spellcaster.

Hinata’s first impression of Mira was that of a young girl aspiring to become a spellcaster in the academy.

「Not really, because I already am one.」

Completely clueless as to the impression her appearance instilled, she gave the unexpected reply. When Hinata’s guess was mistaken, she knit her brows slightly with a questioning look.

「Oh really now? I’m sorry. But ah, can I ask what type of spellcaster you are?」

Trying to gloss over her mistake, Hinata asked again. Mira was not bothered by it, instead standing upright and proudly replying:

「I’m a summoner.」

As soon as she heard the reply, Hinata’s smile froze over. Summoners were known as the least performing class in the academy, sometimes referred to as a useless set of skills with no future.

「I see… Mm, well, hang in there.」

Hinata truly believed that being a summoner was no reason to belittle oneself as she encouraged her. After all-

「I’m also a summoner. I’m actually the summoning instructor of Arkite Academy. Right now the situation is…well, you already know that. But Creos is working hard, even if it costs his sleep, to perform the old methods to form contracts. Apparently, there’s a really high chance of success too, so…let’s just do our best.」

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Hinata was a summoner, just like Mira. That also explained why an instructor like herself was walking around outside the academy during class hours.

The way things were now, all of the students with an affinity for summoning that also had one for another class would go with that one, and if they had no other option, they would ditch the summoning classes and take regular studies and graduate that way. There was plenty of prestige attached to graduating from Arkite Academy, so they did not need to take classes for a useless skill.

Because of all that, there would only be summoning classes two or three times a week. The only students being stubborn ones who did not want to give up on their affinity for being a spellcaster, or those who attended only out of plain curiosity. That meant that Hinata had a lot of free time outside of classes, so most of the time she would end up running errands for other instructors, or going to buy supplies or helping with anything she could.

「Hmmm. So it also happened here.」

From what Hinata had said, Mira could guess that the decline of summoners had even reached the academy. That would end up influencing future talents as well.

But she also found out that Creos had put the things she left him to good use. By now, with that equipment and a Magic Bomb Sealing Stone, it would be a simple matter to learn how to summon a Dark Knight and a Holy Knight, the fundamentals for a summoner. After that, their improvement would depend solely on how much they trained their summoning skills.

「The number of students capable of summoning an armed spirit has been increasing lately too, though only one at a time due to safety concerns. I’m sure it won’t take much longer before our time to shine comes.」

Hinata spoke with a fervent voice while Mira knit her brows with a complicated expression while groaning lowly.

A Magic Bomb Sealing Stone was plenty to defeat an armed spirit, but without anyone to help with that, their use carried some danger. Equipment to reinforce one’s endurance and physical strength could compensate for that, but they only had one set. On top of that, they could not expose students to danger.

That was why Creos was accepting volunteers, one at a time, to let them form contracts with armed spirits. With that hope in sight, many people wanted to volunteer, but most of them were still waiting for their turn.

「I wish there was something I could do as a summoner myself.」

Saying that, Mira brought her left fingertips to her chin, closing her eyes in deep thought.

Was there anything she could do for the next generation? One thing was to mass-produce the Magic Bomb Sealing Stones, but that would require a decent sum of money. At least Solomon and Creos could help with figuring something out on that front.

The problem was the body reinforcing equipment. It would be best if she could put some together with things she already had, but they would have to be strong enough to resist armed spirits. The only one she had like that, was already in Creos’ possession, though there might be some left in the tower.

「Mira! Miraa!」

The next option would be to build them from scratch with Refining, but when her thoughts reached that far, her shoulder was violently shook and her mind returned to reality.

「Wha… what happened?」

When Mira opened her eyes, she saw Hinata looking at her from close up.

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「This! Isn’t this an Operator’s Bracelet? The symbol of a high-level adventurer?」

Saying that, Hinata held Mira’s left hand while she stared with round excited eyes at the bracelet in Mira’s arm.

「Well, yes?」

Technically it was something else, but explaining that would be too troublesome so Mira just replied affirmatively. Since being an adventurer did fulfill the conditions to have an Operator’s Bracelet, she figured it would be fine to simplify it that way.

「At the moment I formed contracts with Dark Knight, Holy Knight, Salamander, Dryad and Wyvern. Did you form contracts with anything more than those?」

Mira did not understand the reason behind that question, but seeing her eyes full of expectation and hellbent intent, Mira instinctively replied with Yes. When Hinata heard that, her cat-like eyes lit up having found a secret weapon and held Mira’s hand with both of hers, kneeling in front of her.

「I beg you. Please help me.」

Since she was kneeling, her height was lower than Mira’s, so her eyes were upturned as she asked. A sight like that would normally not affect Mira at all, but this time it was different. Hinata’s cute cat ears kept folding back and up again.

「I don’t know what you need help with, but just leave it to me!」

From the earlier conversation, Mira could only guess it was something related to summoners, so she agreed to help, pitying her descendants.

Almost pulling her hand, Hinata invited Mira into the academy grounds, heading straight into a building inside the center faculty.

During their way there Hinata explained what was happening. Apparently, a monthly event called the spell examination was going on that day. It was essentially what its name suggested, and according to the results, the availability of different installations and budget for magic wares for each faculty would be decided. The examination was split into categories for the different classes, where each would display the skills they learned.

While the examination technically did not rank all the different faculties, it did assign points to each, which then could be considered a type of ranking. And every month, the summoners would rank the lowest. The reason for that was that each time Hinata was the representative of the summoners, and due to her limited skillset there was not enough variety and it became repetitive. On top of that, the academy did not have other summoners available for it.

That was why she had asked if Mira had formed more contracts than herself.

In other words, it would be enough if Mira could summon anything more than the five names she had listed. But when Mira heard the whole story, she decided that was a prime opportunity to restore the dignity of summoners, so she began thinking of the highest level summonings she had, and weeded out the showiest ones.

(I have to show them summoners are the strongest. In that case, I could go with the Dragon Emperor Isenfald, he was an honest and good child after all. Though if I want to go with a really showy one then maybe the Rainbow Spirit Twinklepum…but…hmm… The more I think about it the harder it is to choose…hmmm.)

「By the way, is it really okay for an outsider to participate in an academy’s event?」

After a lot of thinking, Mira realized that and asked her. Was it really okay for an adventurer that was not a student there to show up in an event that would decide how things would go the next month?

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Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3490 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1772 words
Editor(s): Fire

「Yeah, I don’t think there’s a problem with that. The idea behind the examination is to show the potential of a given set of skills, so even if an outsider can demonstrate something really incredible, then it’ll show what future students could do.」
「Hmmm, so that’s how it works.」
「Yup, that’s how it works. I’ll go update who the representative will be, so wait here for a bit.」
「Alright.」

Mira was led into a room in the large building, where she sat down on a couch and began looking around. The floor was covered in a gray carpet, the walls were painted white, one of them having an analog clock showing it was 4:20. The ceiling was not too high up, with a white orb giving off its faint light to illuminate the room. As far as she could see, it was arranged like a safe guest room. Though there was a whiteboard left in one corner of the room, so maybe it was something more.

Mira took out her usual apple ale from her Item Box and heaved a deep sigh after one sip.

「I’ll also have to do my best.」

She muttered to herself as she thought of how Creos was working hard while giving up his sleep time. As she did, her face looked more like the elder of the Tower of Summoning.

「Sorry for the wait.」

By the time she had thoroughly enjoyed her apple ale and finished it, and the clock showed 5:10, Hinata returned.

「You’re registered now. I’ll look forward to seeing you there.」
「Well, just trust in me.」

Mira was full of confidence as she stood up, following Hinata to the location where the examination was taking place.

They were in a waiting room in a corner of the hall. The participants were there, wearing robes and accompanied by helpers. One of the participants noticed Hinata and turned towards her.

「Well well, look who’s here, it’s the best summoner this place has. You look pretty confident for someone who was the last in arriving here.」

The young man wore a red robe, a clearly mocking smile covering his delicate features. Hearing him, the other participants also turned towards her, some of them looking at her with pity or sympathy, or just plain disgust in others. Hinata just waved and asked Mira to follow her while pulling her hand towards an empty seat.

The man in the red robe clicked his tongue, then when he saw the magical girl sitting beside Hinata he knit his brow.

「Hey little girl, that seat is only for participants.」

He spoke with a disdainful smile, his assistant standing beside him having a similar expression. The other participants in robes began whispering things like ‘You better don’t pick a fight with him’, ‘What a lack of respect’, or ‘Now she’s done it’ and other variations, though none of them had the same scornful expression as the one in the red robe.

From those reactions, Mira could feel that the ill wind blowing against summoners was worse than she had imagined. And also that there would always be someone who found joy in ridiculing summoners anywhere she went to.

「I-it’s okay. She’s the representative this time.」

Just a moment earlier Hinata was enjoying herself talking with Mira, but now her lips were sealed into a straight line. Mira could feel her trembling in frustration, but whether it was the right thing to do or not, that was the result of their actual strength. There was a clear hierarchy of influence there.

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「I see. All types of learning institutions will be the same. Always filled with mediocre people who can’t measure their own strength and claim to be the best as their only way of gaining validation.」
「What was that?」

After a glance at the man in the red robe, Mira called him mediocre. Being called that by a summoner, the lowest ranking class ever, whose numbers were less than insignificant, a slight darkness manifested in the man’s eyes.

「She’s just a child, she hasn’t matured yet.」
「Hmph, all the more reason for me to say something. It’s an adult’s duty to teach common sense to a brat who doesn’t know what she says.」
「Hey now, stop it already.」

Paying no attention to the girl in a white robe sitting nearby, the man’s pride was hurt as he glared at Mira, trying to intimidate her. The man in the green robe then tried to restrain him, but that made the man in the red robe contort his face even more.

Hinata was growing more distressed as the situation escalated. She had not expected Mira to speak directly against him.

「Quite grandiose words for the person with the least common sense in this room. Even a goblin would know better than you.」
「Hey, shut it already. Just who do you think I am!」
「An adult that doesn’t behave like one.」
「You b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲!」

Unable to contain his rage anymore, the man jumped on his feet driven by his emotions. Hinata’s body twitched seeing that, which made the man’s lips contort into a twisted smile of derision.

「Thanks for waiting. Please proceed to the hall now.」

As the air grew tenser, a door opened and a senior female student who worked as staff for the examination called the participants. The man in the red robe shot a murderous glance at Mira, then clicked his tongue as he left the room.

(Well, I was also an adult that didn’t behave like one though.)

Mira drooped her shoulders disappointed in herself while Hinata bowed to her in apology.

「I’m sorry I made you go through that…」

Hinata tried to force a smile while saying that when a white shadow appeared to her side. Mira looked up to see what it was, and saw the girl in the white robe standing close to Hinata.

「Mary…」

Hinata turned to look at her too before saying that. The girl referred to as Mary looked like she was just slightly below twenty. She had long, light blue hair, with ornaments in the shape of a cross fastened to it in the middle. She looked like a quiet girl.

「You should’ve known this would happen, Miss Hinata. What were you thinking bringing a girl like her to stand alongside him?」

Contrary to her appearance, her voice was stern as she reprimanded Hinata. Then she turned to look at Mira and said ‘Don’t pay attention to him’ with a smile. Mira stood up while just saying it was not a problem.

「Also, is she really going to be your representative?」
「Mira is a high-rank adventurer, and she has many more summoner contracts than I do.」

Hinata never intended for Mira to go through that, so her ears were flat against her head while her tail hung lifelessly.

「Even if she’s an adventurer…」
「Well, I think it’s okay. I don’t mind at all, so you don’t have to worry. The same goes for you Hinata.」

Mira interrupted Mary before she could finish and smiled at the downcast Hinata. Mary forgot the rest of her sentence as her interest in Mira grew, she looked like there was much more to her than her appearance suggested.

(I wonder what it is about this girl. There’s the way she speaks too, but she just doesn’t seem to act like a young girl.)

While thinking that, Mary smiled while remembering King Solomon. Maybe they were some sort of partners.

「Either way, he acted really confident, that guy. Who is he?」

After acting like everything was fine, Mira asked about that man in the red robe. There had to be a reason for him to act so arrogantly.

「Well…」

Hinata’s ears sprang up a little as she quickly explained who he was. His name was Kairos Beltran. He was part of a well-known spellcaster family in the Arkite Kingdom and the son of Marquis Alphonse Beltran. His arrogant attitude aside, that meant he did have some skill as a spellcaster. Not only that, but ever since he began participating in the examination he would always end up in first place, so he developed a habit of looking down on everyone else.

(He’s your run-of-the-mill idiot noble then.)

Mira sighed to herself. Now that she knew that there were nobles like that in Arkite as well, she considered consoling Solomon the next time she had a chance.

After a slight delay, they crossed the door and came out to a large, circular space that could be described as a colosseum. The ground was made of dirt that had a nice springiness to it, surrounded by a wall around three meters tall. Outside of it, there were rows of seats, occupied by a few dozen people in nice clothes.

The air there was fresh and calm. A man wearing white was standing in the middle, and on the other side of the entrance stood a mannequin wearing armor like a knight. The ceiling was a dome with a loose curvature. The light came from four light orbs floating in midair on the four cardinal directions of the dome, their position illuminating every angle and making shadows basically non-existent, only slightly visible on the walls.

The representatives that entered before were standing along the wall, though only Kairos directed an irritated look at them.

Mira, Hinata and Mary went to the wall opposite to where Kairos stood. In the end, in front of them stood only him and his assistant. Seeing that made Mira laugh internally, but Kairos saw it differently. He believed they had learned their lesson and did not dare to stand in the same place as the mightiest spellcaster that was himself.

But that would be completely irrelevant soon. There was a more pressing matter, Mira had expected the examination grounds to be much larger than that.

The space given for their performances was roughly fifteen meters in diameter, including the seats it reached twenty.

Mira felt agitated as she examined her surroundings, measuring it with her gaze and realizing small was not enough to describe it.



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