Great Wise Man's Beloved Pupil - Chapter 16
Four days after the cafeteria flooding incident.
Alfie and I were having our breakfast whilst chatting before the morning classes.
Sadly, we both failed to make any friends besides each other so we were still facing each other during the breakfast. We may have stood out in many ways but at the end of the day, we were still a couple of commoners surrounded by a bunch of nobles. So, it didn’t come as a surprise that no one would want to befriend us.
O-of course, I didn’t mean to say that I was lonely, no, not at all! (Who cares about feeling lonely anyway?)
I tossed a piece of bread into my mouth before scanning the area around us.
“I have to say, I’m surprised. Everything seems squeaky clean even after yesterday’s disaster.”
“Even though this school is filled with well-groomed nobles, random squabbles and magic fights do happen quite often. The teachers must be already used to handling these kinds of incidents by now.”
“So that’s why they rushed in so fast back then.”
“That aside, the damaged furniture and facilities are all refurbished as well huh.”
There were some magic spells that’s capable of manipulating the form of matter and rearranging its composition. Thus, it was possible to mend tools and structures with the use of magic. Even so, the materials needed for repairs were still necessary, only the workforce of craftsmen could be replaced by magic which also boasted higher efficiency.
“… Maybe the high school-fees and expensive tuition is probably because of the cost of the regular repairs?”
“Maybe. Usually, those who were well-off since young tend to be rather insensitive about the property damages in situations like this. They would probably go on rampages with zero restraint in all sorts of places. Well, maybe unless there’s some valuable work of art around.”
“Ah, so it’s just like last time?”
“I mean, who would think of using magic in the middle of a crowded cafeteria otherwise? Especially when it’s filled with a bunch of tableware and students loitering around.”
Unlike defense magic, most attributed magic had offensive properties. Luckily, Blue Hair was just using the water attribute. Had it been the fire attribute, the situation would have been much more severe.
After that, the topic shifted to the things about our classroom.
Although the Genius School of Magic was known to most as the highest standard school for mages, it also offered various other classes unrelated to magic, as it’s still a ‘school’ in the end.
There were classes for Language, Mathematics, Geography, History and many other common class subjects which you would find in any other school. Additionally, there were classes for Politics, Economics and Arts as well. There was even a class for Social Etiquette, which I found quite surprising.
Nothing happens on a whim in the classes of the latter half.
Mages were considered to be one of the most important personnel for the country. The graduates of the Genius School of Magic in particular, were seen as golden eggs that would become the backbone of the country in the future. In addition, the majority of the students came from aristocratic backgrounds.
Some of these graduates become military officers that play a key role in national defense while the others mostly take up various administrative posts in the governing body. They wouldn’t be capable of pursuing such important careers without the in-depth knowledge of relevant subjects. Hence, it was natural to have classes in politics, economy and the like.
As far as political science and economy was concerned, Obaa-san had already briefed me on most parts. Being the great sage, Obaa-san firmly believed that general knowledge was crucial for magicians. She really taught me a lot of things on that matter.
But since she had been holed up inside the ‘Dark Forest’ for a long time, her basic knowledge was somewhat outdated. But thankfully, there hadn’t been many political reformations from her time up till now. So, she could still handle it by polishing her knowledge on the differences, since the baseline political frame-work remained the same throughout all this time. The same went for the subject of economy, since the roots remained unchanged, I was somehow able to get past that as well.
However, she was completely out of the loop when it came to arts and etiquette classes.
Students from aristocratic households were usually trained in arts and etiquette from an early age as a part of their basic education. And I, a commoner boy from a rural village, had nothing to do with those things, nor would they be of any use to me in the future. Besides, I never had any interest in them to begin with.
“Thankfully, the grades for art and etiquette classes are separated from the overall grades of other classes. It looks like we’ll be safe as long as we manage to reach the basic standard score.”
“That’s true, but that doesn’t mean we can just ignore them. There’s a chance you’d fail if you don’t manage to get past the standard score.”
As commoners, both Alfie and I felt greatly relieved after receiving a brief explanation about this from Zest. Although Alfie had previously attended a noble school back in our hometown, he had only learned the bare minimum when it came to etiquette and there wasn’t even a class for arts to begin with. Commoners aside, the level of education even among the nobility would vary among the rural aristocrats and the aristocrats in the capital.
Putting the arts and etiquette classes aside, I was particularly dissatisfied with the lack of martial arts classes. While there was a class for regular fitness exercises, there were no fighting classes that were dedicated for mock combat.
“Basically, the foot soldiers take up the vanguard of the battlefield. It’s enough as long as you have enough strength and flexibility to avoid enemy attacks, and basic stamina that’s needed for the march.”
The recent trend among the mages was pretty straightforward. [How to cast a more powerful spell, faster than your opponent] –as simple as that.
Casting time played an important role in a battle between mages. Regardless of how powerful the spell may be, if the casting time were to take longer than average, then it was bound to be interrupted by the opponent via any spell with a shorter casting time. For example, Melons-chan’s [Wind Strike] and my [Full Pressure Cannon] that were used during the magic power test were generally easy targets here. Even if there’s a solid vanguard covering from the front, there were simply so many ways to interfere with the spell casting.
“Fufufufu, I’ll be smashing those presumptions to smithereens.”
“You look like a total villain with that strange look on your face right now.”
“Anyway, you should come train with me next time. I have been planning to do some combat practice for a while now.”
“Sounds good. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of close combat class too, though it wasn’t as much as you.”
Despite being a genius with four attributes, this guy was still so diligent and hard-working to the point that it could garner anyone’s respect. Although his magic alone was strong enough, he still considered the melee aspect of combat, just like me. What’s more, while I was being trained by a Great Sage like Obaa-san, Alfie was self-taught in most things. And yet, he still came close to me in terms of skills in combat. He really is just too much of a genius.
“… And it wasn’t just skills.”
“Hm? Did you just say something?”
“Ah, it’s about time, let’s go back to the class.”
Alfie brushed me off and got up to his feet, I also followed suit and prepared to leave the cafeteria.
“I finally found you, Reese Louise!!”
A sharp voice echoed through the cafeteria hall.
──And it had Blue Hair.
As soon as he saw me, he pointed his finger my way and shouted.
“Reese Louise… you bastard, I challenge you to a duel.”
Eh? What’s this all of a sudden?
Suddenly the entire cafeteria was engulfed with pin drop silence. Blue Hair’s boisterous entrance left everyone startled. Even the person himself seemed to be dumbfounded by the sudden silence as he stood still with his mouth hanging open.
“Weren’t you supposed to be serving your punishment?”
Blue Hair, who seemed to be lost in his own world, was brought back to earth by the sound of my voice.
“What was your punishment anyway?”
“Zest-sensei only told me to clean the yard by myself.”
Alfie replied to Blue Hair before I could,
“Well… isn’t that… rather difficult?”
“I mean, the size of the school building is already this big. So, if you think about the school yard, it’s pretty amazing that it only took him 3 days.”
The school grounds were vast enough to fit an entire town inside. It was certainly a heavy punishment to order one person to clean the entire school yard by himself.
“Well thanks to my magic, It merely took three days.”
The blue hair boasted while proudly sticking his chest out.
“It’s because water attribute magic has [Cleanse].”
While ignoring me, who was feeling out-of-place with this whole situation, Alfie turned to explain Blue Hair’s words further.
Cleanse was a very enviable aspect of the water attribute which made it really easy to clean all sorts of smears and stains. It was quite handy, especially for housewives. Most were envious of those who had mastered this skill due to how convenient it was in washing dishes during the winter.
“I mean, without that he wouldn’t even be talking here after three days. They must have taken that into consideration before deciding the punishment.”
“Enough with the small talk! Reese Louise, let’s duel!”
“Sure, let’s go.”
“Huh? What’s with the fast response!”
What? Now I’m the strange one?