Chapter 5: Siegfried’s Shadow (3)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
Translator’s Note: I was looking at the illustrations in the book and noticed there was an insignia with an ‘L’ on the cadets’ training gear, and so I’ve decided to rename Rowan Military Academy to Loewen Military Academy in my translations.
Mahoro had wondered how everyone had known that he hadn’t returned to the Blocks when roll hadn’t been called yet, but he found out the reason the next day. According to Zach’s information, the owls at the entrances of the Blocks tracked whether all the cadets had returned on time. They weren’t ordinary owls, but familiars that belonged to Professor George, the Magic Arts instructor. The Platinum Three were first notified of the curfew breakers, and they were responsible for finding them. Apparently their privileges came with additional responsibilities.
I have to write an apology about my actions… It’s like I’m a troublemaker…
News spread throughout the Academy about Mahoro breaking curfew, and cadets like Jack from his class would clap Mahoro on the back and say, “You look quiet, but you’re pretty ballsy!”
Mahoro had never written an apology about his actions before, and he wasn’t sure what to write. In between lectures and tutorials, he would add a few sentences, endlessly writing words that essentially said I promise to never do it again. The Commandant hadn’t given him a deadline, and so he spent three days on it until he finally finished writing the full three pages.
“Come in,” said the bright voice when Mahoro knocked on the door to the Commandant’s office during noon recess. Mahoro said, “I’m sorry to disturb you,” and entered the office to hand his written apology to the Commandant sitting at her desk. Her hair colour today was violet. The office was bright and filled with sunlight; the walls were lined with rows of decorative plants whilst piles of documents and files covered a large desk. He couldn’t see the broom that she rode anywhere, nor any strange magical-looking tools.
“Are you finished? Good, good.” The Commandant accepted the written apology and roughly skimmed it before burning the papers in an ashtray. A yellow flame appeared, startling Mahoro.
“The flame is yellow. It appears you are truly sorry for your actions,” the Commandant said with a smile. Apparently she could tell by the colour of the flame whether he had learned his lesson.
“Mahoro Baldwin, it seems that you are struggling with every subject but Magic.”
Mahoro had been captivated by the smouldering flame in the ashtray, and he ducked his head. “I’ve never used magic before, and I wouldn’t know if I’m proficient with it or not…” he said dejectedly.
The Commandant gazed at him with wonder. “I see, so you’ve never used it before. Is that why you had made such a strange expression then? You saw nothing when you held the stone during your examination? With that amount of magical power, I would have thought you had the capability to see… So you are a complete beginner when it comes to magic?” she asked in a quiet voice.
“When an individual with a magic conduit holds a magic stone, magical spirits will gather around the person. When you held the stone at the examination, a tremendous amount of spirits gathered around you. It is such a shame that you weren’t able to witness such a magnificent sight,” the Commandant said, a rapt expression on her face.
Mahoro hadn’t known that such a thing had happened.
“Oh, but you don’t have to feel bad that you can’t see them. Most people can’t. Setting aside your magic power, you’re really doing quite poorly in your other subjects. Well, I suppose it does balance out. Cadets like Noah who can do pretty much everything also come with their own sets of problems. But I will need you to work a little harder, otherwise you may need to stay during the winter holiday for supplementary lessons.”
Mahoro became depressed at the shocking news delivered without hesitation. He wanted to at least get away from lessons during the holiday.
“By the way… Do you really carry the Baldwin bloodline?”
Mahoro tilted his head in confusion at the sudden and serious change in her voice. “My parents died when I was very young, so I’m not entirely sure… But Lord Samuel had been kind enough to take me in as his ward.”
Mahoro answered the question in a low voice, worried that she perhaps suspected that he hadn’t descended from the Five Noble Families. He himself felt undeserving of such a prestigious name, and he had never once been brought to a Baldwin family gathering.
“Hmm… I see. It’s nothing really, just a niggling thought that I had. You have spirits other than earth spirits that collect around you. Perhaps you could be— No, I should keep it to myself for now. I only ought to say it once I’m convinced that it’s the case.” The Commandant gave a wink with her mysterious words.
Mahoro slumped his shoulders—it was like she had said, Tune in next time, at the most anxiety-inducing part.
“But I’m shocked that you broke the barrier. I put up what I believed was quite a strong one, you know.” The Commandant leaned back in her chair and smiled. Mahoro looked back at her blankly.
“Ohhh, did you not realise it? You broke the barrier at the lake yesterday. You haven’t learned any spells yet, so you wouldn’t have known, hmm? But how did you do it?” she asked, full of curiosity.
Mahoro recalled what had happened that night and remembered the invisible wall, which he had completely forgotten about.
“Umm… I think that I said, ‘Open up,’ and hit it, and it broke…” Mahoro answered awkwardly.
The Commandant lost her words and looked up at the ceiling.
“I see. So quite a dangerous person had come to our midst. Well, Mahoro…”
The Commandant got to her feet, smiling as she went up to him. She was wearing a deep plunge T-shirt and shorts that showed off her legs. Her clothing was not characteristic of a Commandant at all. Standing in front of him, she was much taller than Mahoro.
“Could you be a spirit of the stones?” she asked with a serious look on her face.
Mahoro answered with a “Huh?” in return. He didn’t understand what she had said.
“Just kidding, that can’t be plausible. But it is curious though~ I do feel a magic stone coming from you~” the Commandant said in a low voice as she stared at Mahoro.
“Magic… stone,” he repeated slowly.
Speaking of which, Noah had said something very similar.
“Well, I suppose we’ll understand one of these days. All right, you may leave now. For Heaven’s sake, please don’t break any more barriers. I had to stay up all night afterwards to put it back up again.”
She shrugged a shoulder to crack it and waved Mahoro off to leave. Mahoro didn’t particularly want to stay in the office, but there was something that he was dying to ask, and he quietly brought it up.
“Umm, Commandant. Why is your hair colour always different?”
He wondered why he would see a different colour depending on the day. At his artless question, she simply answered, “Because I change it by using magic.”
“When I don’t do anything, it’s white. How old do I look to you?” she asked in amusement, and Mahoro pondered it seriously.
“You look to be about twenty-nine years old.”
Mahoro thought that she could be in her thirties, but to be safe, he gave a lower estimate of her age. The Commandant burst into laughter.
“Too bad, but I’m seventy years old. I’m unmistakably an old gran. I look young, right? I’m using a secret spell.”
Mahoro was astonished. She looked so young, but it was all a deception. But now that he thought about it, she would have to be that age to be a Commandant.
“Oh, is that so…? I have white hair too, and I was wondering if we were the same.”
Mahoro had hoped to find the reason why his hair was so white, but apparently it wasn’t related. But now that he heard that magic could change people’s hair colour, he found something to be hopeful for. It was a lot of trouble dying his hair.
“Ohh? So you normally have white hair… Then perhaps you really are…” The Commandant stared at Mahoro as she whispered, lost in her thoughts.
They exchanged some civilities afterwards, and Mahoro left the office. Perhaps the gentle presence that he felt from her was due to her true age.
Mahoro walked briskly through the hallway and saw Noah at the end of it. He wondered if he should call out to him, but he heard someone call his name from the bottom of the stairs, so he opted to go down it instead. He couldn’t see clearly due to the distance, but Noah appeared miffed when he changed course…
Dr Mary had been the one calling Mahoro’s name. She was wearing a pale blue dress underneath her white doctor’s coat, and her legs were long and beautiful.
“Were you at the Commandant’s office? Were you acquitted of your charges?” Dr Mary smiled with her voluptuous red lips and sidled up next to Mahoro.
“Yes, I am very sorry for all the trouble that I caused.” Mahoro tried to leave after giving a nod, but Dr Mary had smoothly caught his arm in her grip. She pushed her ample bosom against him, and Mahoro went into a panic.
“If you’d like, you’re welcome to come to the Counselling Room. A few days have passed since the incident. You are in need of some counselling.” Dr Mary smiled, and Mahoro was forced to follow her down the hallway.
Mahoro didn’t think that he needed counselling, but her grip was surprisingly strong, and he couldn’t free himself from her. He reluctantly followed her to the Counselling Room located on the ground floor of North Hall. The room was mainly white inside, furnished with a small sink, large shelves, two cosy-looking sofas, and a table ornamented with cabriole legs. There were flowers on the table, perhaps to soothe her patients.
Dr Mary showed Mahoro to the sofa and went to make some herbal tea. “Don’t worry, I’m someone you can trust to support you,” she murmured. “Your guardian is a Lord of the House of Baldwin, Samuel, yes? I am acquainted with him. In fact, he asked me to look after you here.”
Despite there being a sofa across from where he sat, Dr Mary came to sit next to Mahoro. She leaned in to nestle up to him, and Mahoro shifted his body away, feeling flustered. If she was an acquaintance of Lord Samuel’s, he wondered if she knew about Siegfried and what had happened to him. He had heard that the topic was strictly forbidden, but perhaps she wouldn’t mind talking about it given their connections.
“Umm, I believe that… Lord Siegfried had been enrolled at this Academy…” he ventured, drinking his cup of herbal tea, and Dr Mary looked pleased.
“Yes, of course, I know him. It is such a shame that he withdrew from the Academy… He had been an excellent cadet. His aptitude for academics and magical arts was outstanding.”
Mahoro leaned his body forward with his eyes sparkling. He was incredibly delighted and impressed to hear about his dear Lord Sieg. He was someone who stood out at the top even among elites.
“Siegfried loved to spend his time at the Library. He particularly loved books on philosophy.” Dr Mary looked up at the ceiling. “There are rumours that there’s a sealed room hidden somewhere there, that it holds some high-level grimoires. Perhaps that is how he had learned summoning magic,” she said, as if remembering something. “Oh, dear, I’m sorry. Summoning magic is banned by the kingdom. Please don’t pay it any mind. Forget everything that I said just now.” Dr Mary took Mahoro’s hand and smiled.
Had Siegfried found a sealed room in the Library and obtained the forbidden magic there? Now that he had this piece of information, it was imperative that he visit the Library.
“Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me.” Mahoro nervously finished the rest of his tea. He thought that she would ask if anything was troubling him, but Dr Mary just simply allowed him to leave.
She’s really alluring… Like too sexy to be staff… There aren’t many women here, but I won’t be attacked, will I?
Mahoro left the counselling room and scratched the back of his neck. He had to hurry because lectures would be starting soon. He walked briskly through the hallways, making the decision to visit the Library after lectures.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.