“Today your senpai is going to come to teach you magic and chat with you. Have some fun, okay?”
“Sensei, who’s coming?”
“Listen and be surprised! He’s said to be the best newcomer among the younger magicians – the famous Alfred Reinford!”
“I always wanted to get taught magic by him.”
I’ve been continuing my prep school life without any particular problems. In the morning on a fine early summer day, Hack-sensei suddenly begins to talk about a guest lecturer who’s going to teach us. It sounds like he’s a high-achieving, young magician.
“I wonder what kind of person he is.”
“It looks like you’re really not messing around. Klimt, for you to not know about Alfred Reinford…”
“Is he a celebrity?”
“Of course. With the condition of it being limited to magicians, though. …But look, we’re magicians, so yeah.”
“I hear about such a man for the first time.”
“Klimt, you’re truly amazing. Despite even Edgar Tretter focusing on him.” Bruno is looking at Edgar Tretter while commenting.
He’s right, Edgar is excitedly speaking with the students close to his seat.
“Edgar, you are aiming to become a magician equal to Alfred-sama in the future, right?”
“Correct. I want to become a magician who chases after him, and eventually surpasses him.”
“If it’s someone with your level of ability, I’m sure Alfred-sama will directly call out to you, Edgar.”
“That’d be nice.”
“I’m totally sure it’ll happen, Edgar.”
Since Edgar is usually a bit calmer than this, he must be idolizing that Alfred guy quite a bit. For that prodigy to lose his calm to such an extent; I’m sure Alfred is an amazing magician.
“I think, in a certain sense you’re a big-shot as well for not knowing Alfred-sama, Klimt.”
“Is that so?”
“Yep, I guarantee it.”
And then the special lesson with the famous magician Alfred began at long last.
“What a cool man.”
“God doesn’t give with both hands, eh?”
Certainly, the young magician standing in front of me is tall, albeit not as tall as I am, has a handsome face, and smiles in a way that gives others a good impression. Because of that, the majority of our female students are charmed by his looks.
“I see. He’s definitely an amazing person.”
On the other hand, Bruno and I sense just how amazing he is from just his presence. It’s difficult to explain why he’s amazing, as I can only describe it as the unique intuition of a magician.
“It looks…like we’ve got a lot of excellent magician fledglings this year.” Alfred addresses us with a gentle voice.
I hear that the number of moody and arrogant people among the higher-ranking magicians isn’t low by any means, but his calm way of speaking immediately succeeds in giving us all, regardless of gender, a favorable impression of him.
“If I remember correctly, you were Edgar-kun, right?”
“Yes! I’m Edgar Tretter!”
“You don’t need to be so nervous. You guys will also become adventurers in a year. Once that happens, you’ll be equal to all other adventurers.”
For the usually calm Edgar to be so tense… I suppose it’s proof that Alfred is excelling that much as a magician.
Once you leave the prep school, all adventurers are equal. Many of the students are deeply moved by that statement. But…
“(What’s wrong, Klimt?)”
“(He is someone saying some harsh things. It is probably because he is kind, but…)”
“(Harsh? You mean Alfred-sama’s statement just now?)”
At a glance, the statement that all adventurers are equal sounds nice and shiny. But, that equality only refers to an equality in the chance of succeeding. Adventurers also have equal chances to fail and die, or to retire and move on into their second life. I suspect that he wants to say that the adventurer world is a place where birthplace and difference in social standing play no role.
“(I suppose you can also consider it like that. You’re unexpectedly discerning, Klimt.)”
“(You can cut out the unexpectedly there.)”
As I’m whispering with Bruno, I suddenly sense the look of someone. Once I follow it, I see Alfred meaningfully smiling at Bruno and me.
“(We were found out?)”
“(Well, he’s an amazing man in various ways.)”
It’s a special lesson, but the part about him telling about his past adventures in the first half is no different from other magicians. Next we go out on the schoolyard for some personal tutoring, but the one in the center of attention is Edgar Tretter, as might be expected.
Since he’s a prodigy, it’s inevitable!
Next, Bruno gets some tutoring as the one said to be the second strongest in our magician class.
“Your future also looks promising.”
“But, my mana growth is a bit…” Bruno honestly admits that he can’t win against Edgar while glancing at Alfred.
“That’s no reason for you to be disappointed. Your mana has been increasing well, and you’re still 14 years old. Your mana should continue to grow for a good while.”
Bruno looks also very happy to be praised by Alfred.
Afterwards Alfred continues to give individual training, following the order of mana capacity, and I come up as fourth from the bottom. Well, my current mana capacity is simply that low.
“Hm───m, you’re a slightly tough case.”
Don’t tell me! He’s not talking about it being a tough case for me to make a living as a magician, is he!?
“Sorry, that’s not what I meant. There’s just some parts that make it hard to imagine what kind of magician you’re going to become.”
“Hard to imagine?”
So he means the advice about what training regimen would be best or what direction to follow as a magician he’s given my classmates?
“What should I do?”
“Hm───m, I feel like you’ll become a magician where the experience and knowledge I’ve cultivated until now won’t apply. It’s even possible that my advice would do you more harm than good. I think it’d be best for you to proceed in a way that feels the best for you.”
Is that going to be of any use?
Even though it was one of the few, special lessons, it ended with me receiving a somewhat incomprehensible advice from Alfred.
I wonder what my future looks like.
＊ ＊ ＊
“Yo, Al. Good job with the babysitting duty.”
“Teach. If you keep pushing work you don’t want to do on your pupils, it’s going to impact the level of respect your pupils have towards you.”
“Sorry ’bout that. I’ll treat you lavishly in exchange. Just accept this as lil’ payment and fix up your level of respect, okay?”
“Why yes, thank you.”
“It sure is nice to have a cheap pupil.”
“Is it? Then, please bring me teach’s prized gem of a wine.”
“Hey! Master! Cancel that order!”
“Burkhart-san, you promised your pupil to treat him lavishly. What would people think of you as a teacher if you broke that promise?”
“Absolutely right, master.”
“Master, you just want us to quickly use up the prized wine, which has been stored away for a long time now, as fast as possible, and buy the next prized wine, don’t you!?”
“I won’t say that it’s bad to set wine aside, but in the end wine exists to be drunk.”
“I got it… I’ll help out with emptying it! There’s no point in leaving the bottle half-empty anyway!”
I’m a fairly renowned magician, but since the work accompanying that popularity is a pain in the ass, I usually push it on my pupil. Well, as a matter of fact, my pupil is highly praised as number one of the young magicians, so I was sure that the prep school would be happier with him handling the lesson anyway. It’s definitely not because I considered the brats of that adventurer prep school to be a pain to deal with, or anything like that.
Since I’ve treated him with plenty of expensive wine as an apology, we should be even. In reality it’s a wine I wanted to drink after letting it lay for a bit longer, but…
“So, how was it?”
“It was an array of fairly outstanding talents.”
“If I remember correctly, Edgar Tretter is in that class? I remember the adventurer guild’s geezer bragging about his expectation of that boy.”
A magician’s grade of excellence as a graduate also influences the profit they bring to the adventurer guild. So it’s quite understandable for them to pay attention to promising talents.
“It’s no exaggeration to call him a talented student.”
“Humph, talented student, eh?”
If I remember correctly, Edgar Tretter is rumored to be a prodigy appearing once in a decade, but according to Al he’s a talented student? It’s probably not wrong, but I kinda feel like the title of a prodigy appearing once in a decade is a lie.
“It kinda makes me feel like asking why my exceptional pupil calls him a talented student then.”
“Let’s see, I’ll tell you if you sponsor another cup.”
Al usually doesn’t drink that much, and yet he’s quite a good drinker. Moreover, since he’s such a damn picky drinker, he friggin’ always goes for the expensive stuff. I suppose I’ve got to give up on the prized wine we opened just now.
“It’s a great wine. Especially its aroma.”
“You can stop with the wine evaluation, and tell me about Edgar instead.”
“It’s simple. Edgar Tretter has had a big amount of mana as a child, allowing him to reach advanced level early on. Even now his mana continues to increase, and he’s not affected by the ideology that firing big spells is the best as commonly believed by magicians with big mana pools. He’s also eager to improve his magic accuracy. He’s repeatedly investing great efforts into increasing the number of spells he can use. He appears to be the top student of the magician class, which basically means he’s seriously tackling his studies of magic, too. I’m pretty sure that he’ll become a great magician and adventurer. And even after retiring, I believe that he’ll be in high demand at many places. He’s a hard worker with a calm character, and he’s also capable of meshing with others.”
“Ain’t that a perfect mark then?”
Unlike me during my prep school time, he doesn’t have any flaws, does he? Even compared to Al…that guy sounds like he’s naturally skilled and knows how to deal with things. I’ve also heard that he’s liked by his classmates and teachers.
“Isn’t he similar to you?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“How is that not the case?”
He’s excellent and cooperative. To me it sounds like Al and Edgar are similar.
“I don’t know how to describe it, but right, he’s got no outstandingly shining individuality.”
“What’s that about?”
“It’s difficult to explain… Magicians like Edgar appear once every few years. They’re definitely superior, but that superiority remains in the range of what’s expectable.”
“Isn’t that fine?”
Among the magicians with a big amount of mana exists a fixed number of weirdos, messed up personalities, and folks unable to work with others. Even if such people might be outstanding prodigies, they’re hard to use for anything.
“But, it’s somehow not enough. Isn’t it dull? Such magicians won’t leave their name in history, will they?”
“It’s more than enough if magicians like the one you’re talking about appear once in several decades, you know?”
Something like heroes are unnecessary in these peaceful times.
“In short, you don’t want to take such a boring 『talented student』 as pupil, correct?” I ask Al half in jest.
Al laughs it off while nipping the wine in his glass. Since Al has already become an adult, I don’t think it’d be a problem for him to take a pupil, but for some reason he doesn’t feel like doing so.
I’m sure Edgar Tretter isn’t to Al’s liking.
“I also believe that it’d be great if some day a pupil appears whom I could teach all I know.”
“So you’re saying now’s not the time.”
“But, there was a student who piqued your interest more than Edgar in the special lesson. Correct?”
I’m Al’s teacher, so I can tell what he is thinking to some extent.
“Yeah. I think his potential hasn’t shown itself yet. Since it might be me just imagining things, I won’t tell anyone, even not you, Teach…”
“Hm───m, you spotted such a guy in that class, huh?”
It’s not like I’ve actually seen them for myself. So I can’t contradict Al’s opinion.
“Besides, he’s not someone I could teach anyway.”
“What kind of person is he then?”
“I feel like he’s the manifestation of Great talents mature late. Besides, even without me teaching him the ropes, I think he’ll become strong on his own. And someday he might surpass me as well. He might come to challenge me to a duel once he’s grown strong. I’m really looking forward to that.”
Afterwards Al wouldn’t mention anything further about this matter. It looks like he doesn’t plan to tell anyone about this mysterious newcomer.
“Well, it’d be great if that anticipation proves to be right.”
Since I’m bad with passionate stuff like measuring your strength with a younger magician who’s grown up, I’ll leave them to their own devices. Still, that damn Al has downed more than half the bottle of my prized wine!
Though, I’ve drunk the other half.