Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
VOLUME 2 CHAPTER 6: The Everyday Life of the Boy, the Genius and the Problem Child
On the premises of Signos Academy there were many school buildings with many different facilities.
There is even an anecdote that at the very beginning of the Academy’s existence, to accommodate for a vast amount of students the magicians at the time annexed nearby town’s streets and buildings, just so that they could have enough space.
As proof, if you were to look at the town’s layout from a bird-eye perspective, you would see that the western part of the Academy extended greatly into the town premises.
Due to the sheer size of the campus, the Academy could accommodate a total of ten thousand people, student and faculty staff combined.
Thanks to that, the dormitories could be separated from the main school buildings with a great distance, not to mention club rooms and places designated for various kinds of extracurricular activities.
「Is that true, Elvie? You made a promise with the highest Rank Hunter to meet with him again?」
Elvie, who was currently working on the schematic of another magical device at his desk in the club room located in the most remote part of the Academy, looked behind him at his Elf friend, Iori Eisel.
「It’s true, I keep on telling you this over and over, Iori. We went on a quest together and he told me to meet him again once I completed my new gun.」
「But really, the highest rank Hunter? Why would someone like that, who is usually requested by the Royal family or the richest of merchants, come to a town like Hibernia in the first place? And why would he go on a quest with you and wanted to meet you again? Are you sure you didn’t imagine all that?」
「You sure are right in some aspects, but…… How else are you going to explain those Cassia roots that I’m using to strengthen my gun?」
「Ah! This is, well…… Maybe you bought them after cutting on your food expenses?」
Iori frowned when he heard Elvie’s response. He was wearing a scrubs on top of his uniform, with his hands in its pockets.
「I would certainly do that if I hadn’t met Noct-san, but since he split the bonus for the Earthworm in half, I was able to not do that, while also replenishing the missing materials.」
「Truly, that saved you. It looks like it was more or less an ideal job. You should be grateful for that. Wish our club would have a leader like that.」
「You say leader, but still we are allowed to carry on with our activities even though we have less than five members.」
In spite of his delicate appearance, Elvie smiled in a way that was not-in-the-least nice or delicate.
「No, look, I am grateful for that. And for the fact that you invited me in the first place. Thanks to that I can tinker with my devices as much as I want, even though I am an Elf.」
「Aah. Now that I think about, why are you even here? You should have gone with the normal Tinkering Club or Engineering Club or something like that.」
「Hey, were you even listening to what I was saying just now. That’s so like you.」
Iori rolled his eyes in an exaggerated manner.
「I mean yeah, there are quite a lot of options to choose from, but you see, there are lots of dwarves in those clubs, and they are usually really hard-headed and have bad manners. Even if I wanted to use those facilities they simply would not let me, making excuses like: the weak Elves should just sing or dance!, or something like that.」
「Yeah, now that you mention it.」
Elvie nodded his head hearing Iori’s explanation, but still, even if he was aiming at the growth and development of his skills as an individual, inviting Iori to the club was still a bit of a reckless thing to do.
「The room is a mess, our equipment is falling apart, but at least I can freely do whatever I want. And besides, you’re the one who takes care of most of the club’s expenses.」
「Besides, I really liked the idea of that magical gun that you were talking about.」
Although a lot of things Iori spoke about made him feel miserable, he couldn’t help it but to smile hearing that last sentence.
「Yeah, and without you and Mikoto being around, I don’t think I would still be sticking with that idea.」
「Really? It was your ultimate ‘goal’ that made Mikoto and I stick with this club for so long. Then again, I was surprised when you proposed ‘that kid’ to join in as well. Why?」
Sensing the ridicule in his words, Elvie frantically dropped his head.
「Aah, sorry for not asking you guys for opinion first.」
「You thought there was no need since you are the Club President? Or maybe it was because you were asked by the teacher or because you sympathize with him on some level? Does he even know what our activities are? Or maybe you thought that he would back out if he knew? What was your reason?」
Elvie was at a loss for words, suddenly being pressed by Iori like that, but then the door to the club room opened.
「El-senpai, Io-senpai, hello!」
「Hi there, Aru. You’re late.」
Iori raised his hand in response to Aru greeting, a young boy wearing the uniform of the Academy’s elementary school division, wearing a tie in olive color, a symbol of the Liberal Arts course.
The boy joined their club about a month ago, had a lovely, almost girly-like face with fair hair that were trimmed at shoulder height.
「Yes, sorry about that! The ancient grammar class took longer than usual.」
Aru was eleven years old, but since his academic skills were quite outstanding he was allowed to study the more advanced material already, but something in his statement made Iori ask in surprise.
「Aru, didn’t you get a full score in ancient grammar?」
「Yes, but I was asked to help, since people had quite a lot of trouble with understanding the material they needed for their homework, and so they wanted me to teach them.」
Elvie nodded his head hearing that explanation. That’s our eleven year-old boy, who managed to score the nickname of a ‘Genius Problem Child’ for himself ever since he started learning at the Academy.
「And later, while I was on my way here I wandered into the people from martial arts club as they tried to recruit me, the culinary club, and so on and so on, so I had to lose them on my way here.」
「I, I see.」
Elvie laughed hearing Aru’s serious answer, and then he turned towards the girl in black uniform and red ribbon, a signature of the Magical course, who happened to enter the room right after Aru did.
「So, Mikoto, what is this thing that you hold in your hand?」
「…… Fried Dodo bird.」
The girl held a paper bag in her hand, from which a pair of red skewers stood out. From the moment she entered the room, the thing that was most eye-catching about her were the pair of fox ears atop of her head, a symbol of her being a half-beast.
Additionally, she had a fluffy tail behind her, now swaying with joy.
「Mi-san helped me out on my way here, and she even told the cuisine guys to bring us a sample of one of their meals. It was truly delicious!」
「I also got a message from the cooking club. One of their ovens seems to be broken, and so they will bring it later to have it fixed.」
「Oh, good to know in advance.」
Said Iori while taking one skewer from Mikoto.
Since the exchange of money between students in the Academy was more or less prohibited, it was a kind of obligatory custom that various clubs would help each other out for small favors.
Even small clubs could get a hold of founding if their activities were useful to others, and so cooperation was easy and beneficial.
Since Elvie’s club was basically a ‘Magic Machines Development Club’ they would often get asked by other students and clubs to fix their various devices and machines.
「It cannot be helped, then. Let’s go there later.」
「Iori, I’ll leave it to you.」
Elvie took the skewer that Aru gave him in his hand and took a bite off the treat.
The crispy texture of fried chicken was covered in spices, while the meat underneath it was supple and moist with meat juices.
「They are so good, without a doubt. The Cooking Club.」
「Mhm, it is truly interesting just how many flavors the cuisine of this country has.」
「You don’t have things like that in your country, Mikoto?」
Iori asked, and Mikoto fell silent while looking for an answer, folding an empty bag and throwing it away.
Mikoto was an exchange student from a country far away across the ocean to the east, whose inhabitants were totally different from people across the Western continent.
「No, it’s certainly different..」
「Hee, I would like to try some of it one day.」
「If they sell the seasoning, I would like to buy some.」
「I wonder… Maybe instead of searching throughout the country, it would be much faster to ask someone from the Pharmacology Club to help us recreate them?」
「I wouldn’t know about that, sorry I can’t help.」
Mikoto’s fluffy ears fell down a bit when she said that, while Iori put his hand on her shoulder in an attempt to comfort he, and Elvie decided to play along.
「Right, since we don’t have anything particular planned for today. Iori, go the Cooking Club and see if they have any blueprints or schematics for that oven they want us to fix.」
「Mikoto, could you work on the bullet we talked about earlier? You can leave it in here.」
「Mhm, right, El, I’ll go out with you later.」
Elvie held a small object to Mikoto, smiling uncomfortably as he was not at all happy with that concept of ‘going out later’.
Mikoto silently nodded and took the inactive bullet from Elvie, bringing it to one of the vacant desks.
Mikoto then spreads the working cloth over the desk, and put the object that Elvie gave her right on top of it.
She straightened her back, getting to work as her expression stiffend and her lips moved quickly.
After reciting the chant that sounded like it came from her home country, she clasped her hands together and held them up to a certain degree. The surrounding magic began to activate and the cloth on the desk started to react to it.
It was a technique called ‘Spiritual Overload’ peculiar to the country that she came from. When Elvie once asked her how does it work, she said that it gathers the magical power form the atmosphere and applies it to magical circuits of the given object, forcing it to activate.
Originally Elvie would need to erase the magical symbols on the bullet and put a new one on it, but thanks to Mikoto he no longer needed to do that.
Elvie was observing the whole process with interest, while Mikoto started to chant words in her native tongue, making her golden hair shine brightly and glow.
「El-senpai, El-senpai, what is happening right now?」
Aru was looking at Elvie with expectations in his eyes, clearly wanting to be a part of it, so Elvie turned towards Aru and said:
「Okay, so why don’t you practice engraving the runes like you did last time?」
Aru placed his backpack on the ground and took out the tools needed for the job, and then sat down at the desk right next to Elvie’s.
Elvie turned towards Aru who got to his job right away, asking as naturally as he could.
「So, I heard that recently you are taking lots of classes from the advanced level. But aren’t you still on elementary school?」
「I am, but only when it comes to things like physical education or music or other stuff like that.」
So, in other words, Elvie could guess that right about now Aru was taking part in advanced courses almost exclusively.
In the first place, Elvie met Aru for the very first time during the ancient grammar lesson meant for much more advanced course.
At first, when he saw the little boy who was a head-length smaller than him sitting together with people that were in the better half of their teens, for a moment out there he seriously have thought that he might have entered the wrong classroom.
Aru was eleven years old and entered the academy around a year ago, but he was already receiving classes of the same level as Elvie, rather than those of other first years.
He really had mixed feelings when it comes to Aru, for he had finished the elementary level of education during one semester, and because of that he was allowed to take the courses that were meant for higher levels of education.
There was no other student like Aru. At best, there were some who were outstanding in one field or two, but not like this.
He seemed to acquire knowledge at an outstanding pace, making all of the Academy’s classes look deadbeat-easy. Furthermore, since he was allowed to learn the more advanced classes, Aru became the topic of gossips of not only among the fellow students, but also the teachers as well.
Those gossips intensified form the day this adorable boy appeared in the high-school division. From the get-go he was able to understand most of the topics and discussed them with the teacher far better than other students of that level. There wasn’t anyone in high-school division who wouldn’t know about him.
And, due to his unique constitution, this boy’s study was probably on the same level as a magician or even higher than some of them with far less time devoted to his studies.
「Today I was in elementary school, and so I ate lunch together with my friends.」
Elvie listened carefully to the boy’s words, while Aru continued to talk about his elementary school friends, completely unaware of the tension in the room.
「You get along with children of magicians?」
「Yes, with Marca in particular! Since I go to the higher division classes we don’t spend that much time with each other, but I promised her that I will eat lunch together with her, and it was really tasty!」
Aru continued talking in a happy manner, while Elvie was doing his best to pretend to be calm and collected about it.
「They tell me that they envy me for being in advanced classes. I told Marca that I would love it if she was to skip grades as well and go to the same classes as me.」
「So, what did she say to that?」
Aru replied to Iori, who interrupted him out of curiosity.
「She said that she would like to meet with her older brother, who is also in the advanced division.」
With just this one word, Elvie had to utilize all of his self-control to remain calm and change his expression.
「Hmm, Older Brother, you say. Is he refusing to come home?」
「It seems so, but only ever since he got admitted to Signos Academy. Marca wanted to know if he was doing well, and so she decided to enroll here as well.」
「Hm, I see how it is. I kind of want to say something, but at the same time I kind of don’t.」
「I want to help her, but I don’t know anything else about him aside from the fact that he is in the advanced course at this Academy. Io-senpai, do you know anyone who goes by the name of ‘Slaggart’?」
「Slaggart, you say?」
As Elvie tried to grasp a hold of the entire situation, he silently looked at Iori who seemed to be having a time of his life giggling.
He looked convinced, and thankfully he managed to retain his normal facial expression when he said to Aru:
「Hey, Aru, did you know? The name of the headmaster of this Academy?」
「Sure. Seram Slaggart is the current headmaster of the Academy.」
「That’s right. He was a student at this Academy before you were even born, the son of the famous magician Kyle Slaggart. Maybe Marca is somehow related to the Headmaster? –––– Oh well, it is something as equally dubious as the rumors right now, that aside from the headmaster’s bloodline, the son of the Dragon also attends this Academy. Guess it’s nothing more than a hoax.」
「I, Is that so?」
Elvie wondered why Aru would react in a way that he did, while Iori continued his tale.
「In other words, if there truly was someone like that in here, there wouldn’t be those rumors to begin with. The same could be said about the child of Slaggart coming to the Academy at the same time as we did. Or maybe it is just that he changed his name.」
Elvie shot Iori a sharp glare, one that would surely kill if it was able to.
Thankfully, Aru didn’t seem to notice the way that his senpai glared at his friend, for he just dropped his head while feeling down.
「I see. I guess it is really impossible for me to do anything for her the way I am now. She just looked so lonely, so I just wanted to find him to let her know that he was here, safe and sound at the very least.」
「Well, there’s no need for you to feel so down about it. You see, Marca’s ‘Nii-chan’ probably just has his own very unique circumstances to worry about.」
「Thank you very much, Io-senpai.」
Elvie let out a small sigh, small enough for Aru to not notice it, and then picked out a piece of paper from his desk.
「Okay. Aru, could you copy this ancient letter and put it onto the bullet. I need to go to the storage room for a moment. Mikoto, I leave Aru in your care.」
While preparing the next stamp, Mikoto showed her acknowledgement by wagging her fluffy tail.
「Hmm. Oh well, guess I’ll head over to the Culinary Club soon.」
Aru let out a heavy sigh, seeing that he was unable to locate Marca’s brother, and Iori did just the same.