Great Wise Man's Beloved Pupil - Chapter 1.2
“Hey Reese, listen, a scout from the capital came for me.”
“Heh, is that so–?”
“Huh!? What’s up with that pathetic response!?”
It was my friend Alfie who opened the front door just now while whining like a little girl. He still had the same handsome face as usual, but maybe because he ran all the way here, his hair was in a complete mess and it kind of felt slightly less handsome than usual, somehow.
“I mean, what if I wasn’t the one chilling in the living room right now? What if it was someone else? Imagine if I was still outside and you just came running in here, shouting for someone who isn’t even at home. You’re so embarrassing.”
“And you’re still being the hateful *my pace* guy as usual.” 1 A Japanese phrase to describe someone who, regardless of how their surroundings may be, always remains calm, going about things at their own pace
“Well, just come inside for now. There should be some dried tea leaves left, I can make a cup of tea if you want.”
“Is this some explicit way of telling me to scram?”
“No, it’s not like that. We just don’t have any tea leaves left.”
Following that, I put some ‘tea-colored hot water’ in front of Alfie who took a seat in the living room.
“… It’s really just hot water. It doesn’t even have any taste to it.”
“It’s just a little dried up.”
Even while complaining, being as thirsty as he was, Alfie still drank the hot water anyway. I also took a little sip of the ‘delicious tea-tasting hot water’ that I had brewed myself afterward.
But I wasn’t lying about the tea at all. The tea leaves that we usually serve for guests were all gone, although I still had a spare stash of my favorite tea leaves left. But that’s something very precious, reserved only for my personal use. Even for my family, I would only serve this on special rare occasions.
“… is it just me or does your tea smell so much better?”
“Maybe our neighbors are also making some delicious tea?”
“So, what do you want? You didn’t just come here to drink hot water, did you?”
Hearing my words, Alfie froze in place with the tea cup tilted towards his mouth. It looks like he forgot the reason why he suddenly rushed all the way here for a minute. He coughed a bit while blushing ever so slightly and slowly put down the teacup on the table.
“Hmm, … actually today, a person from the capital came to the noble school to scout me.”
“I already heard that earlier. Why don’t you be a little bit more specific? Also, passionate and filled with excitement and vigor, be more dramatic, please.”
“Stop being ridiculous!”
“Just say it already.”
“I always lose my own pace when I’m around you! Anyway, the one who came to scout me was a teacher from a certain school in the capital. You’ve heard of the ‘Genius School of Magic’ haven’t you?”
“Let’s see, if I remember correctly, it’s that uselessly luxurious elite school for noble young ladies and young masters, funded by a generous amount of tax-paying citizens’ hard-earned money, did I get that right?”
“… Well, that’s not wrong but, what’s with the spiteful narration?”
“Don’t mind it.”
I took another sip of my delicious tea. Hmm, it was truly so fragrant.
“Ah, I know! That person from the elite school must have heard about your extraordinary talents and went, ‘What a waste to let this kind of talent wilt away in such a rural place! Please come to our school!’ And after you graduate, the name of our school will spread along with your brilliance, and then we will have a huge flood of new students and end up making a lot of money!’ and so on and so forth. Doesn’t it usually go like this?”
“… I mean, some of those might be true but, do you have some sort of grudge against the nobility or something?”
“Well, I do have a bit of a grudge against some of your classmates.”
There were certain people that couldn’t stand the fact that the student council president of a noble school was friends with an ordinary commoner. That student council president himself was also a commoner but no one complains about that because of his needlessly handsome face and unnecessarily excellent grades.
“Well, this is you we’re talking about, Reese. You deserve about half of what you get from them. I mean, now you’re just getting payback! Do you know how many times I’ve had to clean up after your mess?”
“See, this is why we should always have a friend with power.”
“Spouting vulgar things on top of being a criminal.”
Getting back to the original topic.
“So, what’s wrong with that? And the school? Just go to your school on your own.”
“… about that, don’t you feel frustrated?”
“Not at all.”
“Not one bit.”
“You should be jealous!”
“Although I don’t really have a say in this, you’re also being awfully unreasonable, you know?”
“You only realized that now?”
“Ah- I am kind of curious about the delicious food in the capital.”
“That’s got nothing to do with the school!?”
To be fair, probably no one could surpass that ‘loli hag’ in terms of knowledge. Only some have the wisdom that comes with age, or experiences worth generations.
Moreover, only a few people in town knew of the existence of obaa-san in the first place. Even Alfie didn’t know about her. One time, I wanted to introduce Alfie to her but that old woman refused me saying, ‘It’s not my thing to teach such a talented guy’. So in other words, I wasn’t a talented guy… apparently. Well, it’s not wrong but, just a little disappointing.
“Why don’t you just go and explode?”
“What’s with that all of a sudden!?”
“And so? You’ll be going to the school in the capital next month.”
“… This guy really doesn’t give a shit. Does he?”
“Even though we are childhood friends, this is still someone else’s business. Well considering how uselessly handsome and needlessly talented you are, it would be weird if one or two scouts didn’t bother to pay a visit by now.”
“Why does that not feel like a compliment when it’s supposed to be a compliment.”
“It’s a compliment, it’s a compliment.”
“… Damn it, this guy is just doing his own thing all damn the time. Now I feel like an idiot for coming here to brag about it.”
“And you only realized that now?”
“Even if you’re thinking about it, stop saying it out loud!”
“– and that’s what happened.”
“The story aside, how you treat this kid called Alfie sounds more pitiful to me.”
“You’re just imagining things.”
We both finished our tea and let out a delightful sigh at the same time. By the way, this is exactly my favorite type of tea. In other words, this obaa-san in front of me was the main supplier of my favorite tea leaves. I receive them from her whenever she gets too many of them.
“So, what’s your issue again? As far as I can tell, there’s nothing about all of this that would bother you even a little.”
“Do you remember my ‘dream’? Or rather, you know about my goal, right?”
“Well… that’s the reason you asked me to teach you in the first place, isn’t it?”
This was the same old woman that said, ‘I have nothing more to teach you now’ with a distant look on her face. As if that’s true… There was still a lot left for her to teach me.
“So while I was listening to Alfie’s story I thought of an idea. Wouldn’t it be quite fun to do something very flashy in a place where elites from all over the country would gather?”
“– hey now, you’re making a pretty bad face over there you know.”
“What are you talking about? You should take a look at your own face.”
At that moment, the young fellow and the little girl were both sharing the same type of evil smile on their faces.
As the recluse who took someone like me under their wing, both hers and my own pleasant thoughts were on the same wavelength, as expected.
–Life is all about having fun and doing what you enjoy.
This was a concept both me and obaa-san shared.
“You said that there’s a matter to discuss but you’ve already decided on most of the things on your own right?”
“Well, there’s certainly something left to discuss.”
“Let me guess… it’s about money, right?”
Obaa-san was correct. Since Alfie was scouted, he would be provided with a lot of free-of-charge facilities. And on top of having all his tuition and living expenses exempted, he would even receive an ‘extra allowance’ given by the government.
“…Well, in that case, money won’t be an issue for you.”
“Since you’re still ignorant about this, let me tell you, this wild bear is an extremely dangerous magical beast that even first-class hunters would have trouble defeating without the help of a few more people. Single-handedly defeating this thing without a scratch is honestly on a whole new level. It would make any ordinary person go mad just from hearing about it.”
“Ah, I think you mentioned that before.”
Most of the ‘prey’ I caught were either cooked at my house or at obaa-san’s house, so I didn’t really care to seek information about the selling prices of magical beasts. I would only sell some of the raw materials to merchants just to earn some pocket money from time to time.
“That’s right… Since that’s the case, the cost of necessities and equipment is almost nothing. Plus, you’re single so you don’t even need to share it with anyone either. If you hunt three or four more wild bears, that should be enough to cover your tuition for the time being. The only problem is, where to sell it. I wonder if there are enough merchants in your town to cover the costs of the sale.”
Three wild bears huh? The bear stew tasted so delicious that I was a little reluctant to sell them all off.
“Though I do have somewhat of a solution to that as well, I’m sure we can work it out. The next problem is how to get into the school. Do you have any idea what to do about it?”
“Pick a fight with the scout and win.”
I firmly clenched my fists, setting myself up for the only possible solution I could think of.
“…You’re definitely going to get arrested. Stop that.”
My clenched fists slumped down.
“Fine, I’ll do something about it as well. It can’t be helped, since this is all for my cute disciple after all. Besides, it’s not like I don’t have any connections inside the school, luckily for you.”
“Connections? Do you know anyone from the school?”
“It’s not as if I was just a haughty old woman for all these years. I’m good at many different things, you know. I have few old acquaintances, especially the kind that live long. Well, if they hadn’t already kicked the bucket that is. That ‘boy’ back at the academy should still be alive. If he had died, I would have been the first one to know about it.”
That marks the end of the story for today. Obaa-san had already finished cooking during the time we were talking about various things. The bear stew that was made with all the necessary ingredients under the skillful hands of obaa-san tasted absolutely fantastic. Satisfied with the delicacies I had devoured; I finally made my way back home.