Chapter 7: Shift in Relationships (3)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
As Mahoro helped the injured cadets up, the Commandant rushed over on her broom from the Main Building. She surveyed the destruction and went to help heal the injured with Professor George and the older cadets who could use recovery magic.
Zach, who had been standing next to Mahoro at the time, sustained burns to his arm, but it was back to normal with the Commandant’s recovery magic.
Mahoro had lacerations on the hand he used to hold his wand, and Oscar healed it for him with his magic. When the blood stopped, Oscar gave Mahoro a pat on the head.
“You’re making a face like the world is ending. You didn’t do any of this on purpose, so don’t be so depressed.” Oscar gave Mahoro his usual bright smile. Receiving kind words when he was depressed only made him feel worse, and Mahoro couldn’t bear to raise his head.
The Commandant looked at the burnt field all around them and nodded at Mahoro. “This is quite the unfortunate incident. Mahoro, come with me to my office.”
Mahoro trudged after the Commandant, feeling forlorn and wretched. His wand was confiscated, and he received peculiar looks from all the cadets, even the older ones.
Mahoro went to the Commandant’s office and took a seat on the sofa.
“—Well now, what shall we do about you?” the Commandant groaned in a pained voice.
Mahoro turned pale. He hung his head and murmured, “I’m sorry, I’ve done something inexcusable…”
“I would say that it’s not usual for a cadet to lose control of his magic at the first tutorial. But for you, the issue is of magnitude. Honestly speaking, that magnitude of power is inconceivable. Even from this window here, I could see pillars of fire shooting up through the air.” The Commandant pointed at the window and laughed with a hint of self-derision. From the office window, Mahoro could see one corner of the training grounds.
“Well, I suppose that we should be thankful that no one had died. There is no magic in the world that can revive the dead. I really ought to have been there at the tutorial, but I never expected you to display all that power from your first lesson.” The Commandant rested her chin against her hand as she pondered.
If she decided to expel him, he would have no choice but to accept the decision. People had been injured, and he hadn’t been able to rein in his magic on his own. Mahoro was most terrified at the fact that he had hurt people with his magic. He never knew that he possessed so much power inside him.
Mahoro slumped in on himself like a prisoner waiting for his death sentence. The Commandant had her arms crossed and her eyes closed like she was carefully deliberating his judgement.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door, and Mahoro shook with a start. The door opened without waiting for the Commandant’s response, and with Noah leading the way, he, Leon, and Oscar entered the office.
The Commandant observed the three new faces. “I didn’t call you here, and yet here you are,” she said, sounding pained.
Noah ignored her. He barged right in, sat down on the sofa next to Mahoro, and faced the Commandant. “Commandant, you won’t expel him, will you?”
Noah had leaned forward to press his question, and the Commandant made a wry face.
“I believe that he has some kind of special power,” he continued. “An amplification, perhaps. When I used my magic next to him, my power was incredible. It was much more powerful than usual.” Noah’s eyes sparkled as he made his appeal.
“I also felt it,” Oscar added, standing behind them.
“Commandant, would you allow me to be his personal magic instructor?”
Noah’s remark was wholly unexpected. Mahoro was surprised, but Leon and Oscar were struck speechless behind him. The Commandant made a face like she had swallowed a bug.
“…First I’ll say that I won’t expel Mahoro from the Academy. I will put him under surveillance, however. It would be a big problem if his power goes out of control inside of the Academy.”
Mahoro was relieved on one hand at the Commandant’s words, but also disappointed. How should he report to Lord Samuel that he had been placed under surveillance?
“Next, Mahoro will only receive private tutorial from now on when it comes to magic. The difference in power is much too great between him and the other cadets. And lastly, I shall be the one in charge of his private tutorial as the Commandant. Noah, I understand that your magic is incredible, but here, you are still a cadet after all.”
Noah snorted at the Commandant’s withering glance.
“But well, feel free to give him your attention on a personal level,” she laughed with a smirk.
Noah nodded, “Understood.”
Mahoro didn’t understand what it was that he understood.
He looked at the Commandant in dismay. It was fortunate that he wasn’t expelled, but what would happen to him from now on?
“This is something you’re only supposed to be given when you enter your third year here, but I will grant you a special exception. Mostly because you will need one at your side to constantly monitor you.”
The Commandant took out her wand and started drawing something on the floor that resembled a magic circle. She recited an incantation that he had never heard before and tapped the floor with her wand. Mahoro had heard his name several times during the incantation. He peered curiously at what was happening and saw billows of smoke rising from the magic circle. Something had appeared.
Mahoro jumped up at the sudden sight of a white creature. There was a pure white chihuahua in the middle of the magic circle. It wagged its tail, rushing over to Mahoro with its large ears and cute, round eyes.
Noah burst out laughing as his shoulders shook. “A chihuahua, huh? Well it’s an upgrade from a white hamster.”
The white chihuahua climbed up to the top of Mahoro’s head and started trembling.
Mahoro didn’t know what to think about the chihuahua shivering on top of his head, and he looked at the Commandant quizzically.
“A familiar. He is a little small, which worries me though. The Academy grants each of the Third Years a familiar that suits them. That is when cadets start to learn advanced magic, and the familiars keep a lookout to ensure that nothing goes out of control. Now form a blood contract with your familiar. That will link him to you and your magic conduit.”
Mahoro followed the Commandant’s instructions and offered his finger to the white chihuahua on his head. Abruptly, the chihuahua gave it a sharp bite.
Mahoro frantically pulled his hand back and saw his finger bleeding. He trembled from the savage attack, but this was apparently the blood contract.
“This little one will always be by your side. If you’re about to lose control, he will immediately alert me. He is a familiar and does not need to be fed every day. Occasionally he will absorb your life force, so do refrain from an unhealthy lifestyle.”
That was the explanation that she gave, but unlike the other dogs he had seen before, this chihuahua only kept trembling, and it made Mahoro worried.
“You should give him a name,” the Commandant said.
After some thought, Mahoro came up with a name.
“All right, you shall be Albion.” It was a name that meant white.
When the Commandant had said that he would be under surveillance, he had thought that an adult would be following him around all the time, but a chihuahua probably would not cause him much stress.
“Very well. Albion, I shall leave him to you. Mahoro, for the rest of today, you shall be confined to your room. And the rest of you lot, begone, begone.” The Commandant clapped her hands together—the signal that their talk was over.
It felt a little anticlimactic that he had not been expelled nor ordered to write another apology. Mahoro stepped out into the hallway with Noah, Leon, and Oscar.
The chihuahua on his head was lighter than he thought. Maybe he was scared of Noah and the others because he kept trembling in fear.
Mahoro turned around, and Noah grasped his shoulders.
“You should join the Magic Society.”
Mahoro had to lean backwards from the fierce intensity that Noah used to approach him.
“You have something about you. It’s what makes me so attracted to you.”
“Oi, you’re only just interested in him because he has a power that amplifies magic.” Leon frowned and grabbed Noah’s arm.
Noah retorted without any shame. “That’s right. So what if I am?”
Leon faltered, and the two of them glared at each other for a while, the atmosphere tense between them. Leon was always so serious, and Mahoro wondered if Leon was worried about him.
Albion started whimpering pitifully on top of his head. Oscar started laughing at the dog who was trembling and whining, and Mahoro turned red. He felt like he had resonated with Albion’s whimpering just now. Was the familiar also linked to his own feelings?
As if to intervene between Noah and Leon, Oscar said brightly, “By the way, Mahoro, didn’t you say that you wanted to join the Magic Society? But you never came to the clubroom to apply. If you’re still interested, would you like to join? I would love to have you there too. We can make an exception this year and admit an extra cadet. It’s more fun when there are cuties in the club.”
For a moment Mahoro thought about joining, but then he imagined himself losing control of his magic at the club, and he became depressed again.
“I’m sorry, thank you for the kind invitation, but I have no intentions of joining… Err, I’m very sorry for all the trouble that I caused. Please excuse me, I need to go.” Mahoro gave a nod and trotted down the hallway. He had caused an awful accident on his first day of Magic tutorial. He feared for what could happen in the future, and his steps became as heavy as lead.
“Mahoro! Are you okay!?”
Zach had been worried sick waiting for Mahoro to return to their room, but when he saw the familiar on top of Mahoro’s head, his eyes turned into hearts.
“What the!? Is that a familiar!? What happened!? Omigod, it’s so cute! It’s so tiny! Let me hold it!”
Zach rushed towards the familiar, and Albion instantly jumped down from Mahoro’s head and hid under the bunk bed. Apparently he was frightened. He was far too different from the other familiars, and it made Mahoro worried.
“Oiiii, come on out~” Zach peeked under the bed and called out several times to Albion.
“Zach, I’m sorry. It was my fault that you got burned…” Mahoro apologised to Zach who was trying to get Albion to come out.
“Huh? Oh, don’t worry about it! I’m totally fine! I don’t even have a scar from it. But wow, your magic was bloody incredible, I couldn’t believe it. The Baldwin bloodline sure is something.” Zach laughed heartily, showing no sign that it had bothered him. “I’m fine with it, but Keyes sure looked pretty gutted watching you. After seeing how great your magic is, it might fire him up—especially now that he knows that you’re a rival.”
Mahoro furled his eyebrows at Zach’s chatter as Zach recalled the scene from earlier.
Mahoro laid himself down on the bottom bunk and pondered the day’s events. He had never wanted to injure the other cadets at the Academy… What would have happened to them if no one had recovery magic? He thought that magic was frightening all over again, and he deplored how he would fare in his future Magic tutorials. Now that he really thought about it, magic was a weapon employed in the military. Of course, it would be scary.
Mahoro felt a little calmer now that he was lying down. And as if they were synchronised, Albion slowly emerged from under the bed. He curled himself on top of Mahoro’s belly and fell asleep. Albion was a familiar, but he had both a warmth and a weight. With the feeling of Albion on top of him, Mahoro pretended to sleep.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.