Great Wise Man's Beloved Pupil - Chapter 3
I had heard of the rumors, but the structure of the Genius School of Magic really boasted a tremendous scale. It was located quite far from the city center due to the sheer size of the school grounds. And from the looks of it, it could even house an entire town of its own.
The gates seemed considerably large in size, and the large stone walls surrounding the border of the school grounds were also a magnificent sight. Both were made out of materials infused with various types of magic. I started calculating how much it would cost just to build such gates and walls considering the time and effort it would take.
Usually, talent in magic often runs through bloodlines. I won’t go into details right now, but basically, the offspring of people with high magical talents have a high probability of becoming excellent mages as well.
Even so, there are exceptions to everything. Some children of great mages may only have mediocre magical powers, and vice versa, sometimes rare talents might be born to mediocre parents as well. Alfie is a prime example of the latter scenario.
In order to preserve their abilities for future generations, magicians have had many intermarriages between talented individuals. The country itself encourages such acts as the power of mages is a mighty force that is indispensable to the nation.
Magicians recognized by the state are synonymous with power itself. They are awarded noble titles in exchange for their pledged allegiance to the country.
In short, when compared to the commoners, the magical talents within the nobility have higher potential due to the accumulation of generational talents. Even though it’s often described with the one word, ‘talent’, the purity of the term ranges from person to person.
Based on outer appearances alone, I looked more or less like a random villager clad in traveler’s clothes. So, it sounds kind of impossible for someone like me to be able to enter the school of magic with no connections.
At best, I would be accepted through the back entrance, or at worst, I’d be treated as a suspicious individual and be detained by the gatekeeper.
But you see; there’s a famous saying about situations like this.
–When given the chance, be sure to use your connections and political power… or something like that.
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t prepared well enough to serve guests since the arrival happened with such sudden notice. Please bear with this simple tea and pastries.
“Oh, these sweets are delicious. Can I take some back home with me?”
“…Uhh, no problem.”
The man in front of me with a twitching facial expression is the headmaster of the Genius School of Magic, a mage who’s undoubtedly ranked among the top three most powerful magicians in the entire country.
From his appearance alone, he seems like a refreshingly handsome man. Honestly, I imagined him to be more of a doddering old geezer with a crooked wizard hat since he was a headmaster of a school after all. But as soon as I saw him, I immediately knew that the common sense of aging didn’t apply to him; his ears were horizontally stretched out a bit further than that of an ordinary human.
This race of people is Elves. They are the prime example of a long-lived species, with a lifespan that’s nearly double that of humans. Apparently, after reaching a certain physical age, they aged extremely slowly. And so, they are known for their ability to maintain their youthful appearance for a long period of time until their lifespan is expended.
What’s more, regardless of whether they were male or female, most of them possessed extraordinarily beautiful looks. However, because of their trait of being able to maintain a youthful appearance for a long time, they were in high demand as slaves during ancient times.
Back then, they were also often hunted down excessively as pets for exorbitant trading prices. As of now, all countries have prohibited slave trading, with the exception of those who have turned to crime to avoid bankruptcy.
“…So then, could you please hand me the letter that you showed to the gatekeeper?”
“Ah. Obaa-san told me to directly hand this over to you. She said you would understand everything after seeing it.”
After washing down the residue of sweets left in my mouth with a mouthful of tea, I took out one of the ‘items of aid’, which I had received from obaa-san. It was an envelope that had a certain pattern on it with a letter inside. I handed the letter over to the headmaster.
The back of the letter had a wax seal with an intricate design. It seems that obaa-san uses this wax seal for personal matters, so when a letter arrives carrying this seal, it acts as proof of her identity.
When I arrived at the school, there was a garrison by the side of the gate, with a brawny guardsman standing in front of it. Initially, they were looking at me, who was dressed in a commoner’s garb, with a suspicious glance. But it was really funny how his expression dramatically changed after I showed him the letter with the wax seal.
Then one of the guardsmen scurried back inside and came back with a person who seemed to be a teacher. That person was also stunned at the sight of the wax seal on the letter. After all that, I explained to him about the details before he led me here, to the headmaster’s office.
“Hmm, this is indeed the wax seal of ‘Old Master’. I honestly never expected to hear from her.”
Headmaster glanced over the wax seal with a hint of nostalgia in his eyes. He smiled for a moment, undid the seal, and pulled out the letter from inside.
He silently read the contents of the letter for the next couple of minutes, before his eyebrows gradually creased into a frown. He didn’t seem angry, but rather seemed both annoyed and perplexed.
…Obaa-san, just what did you write in that letter?
At that time, she said “Just leave it to me!” with a merry voice and a wonderful smile on her face. But looking at the face of the headmaster right now made me feel a little bit nervous.
That aside, to be called ‘Old Master’ by a person belonging to such a long-lived race? I knew she was over 100 years old but I had no idea of that old woman’s actual age. I wonder how old she really is.
“… Are you aware of what’s written in this letter?”
I shook my head at the question, then the headmaster handed me the letter he had been reading. Did he want me to read it too?
I took the letter and glanced at its contents.
How the hell can you just omit everything?
[It’s been a while, Dist. How have you been? Well since you at least had a little bit of talent to catch my eyes for a while, you probably shouldn’t be dead yet. And if you had dared to become a show-off after becoming the school’s headmaster now, I’ll personally go around exposing all the embarrassing things when you were just a snot-nosed little boy under my wing.]
‘A little talent’ was a rather daring thing to say (or write) about the top mage in the country. Dist was the name of the headmaster by the way, and I’m pretty curious about these embarrassing things that she mentioned. I should ask obaa-san about this next time.
Let’s put aside the idle talk for now.
[Actually, I have a small favor to ask you this time. To be honest, the headmaster has no right to refuse but, I don’t want to be so unreasonable as to force you.]
[The boy who gave you this letter is probably with you right now.]
[Believe it or not, that boy is my disciple. Honestly, I don’t feel respected enough to confer him as my disciple but anyway, he is the one that I’m personally teaching ‘things’ right now.]
[The favor I was asking for is to take that boy to your school.]
[Ah, by that I don’t mean that I wish for you to use your power to forcefully enroll him. And that boy- Reese, probably doesn’t want it either.]
[So, there are two things I wish to ask from you.]
[First, let him take the entrance exam.]
[And second, please give him an unbiased evaluation based on the result of the gets.]
[I should also probably say this in advance, Reese can only use non-attribute defense magic. But he has trained well enough to the point where even you would get hurt if you were to underestimate him. So, I suggest that you give the examiners a fair warning beforehand.]
[Well, that’s about it. Live as long as you can kiddo.]
Unfortunately, I couldn’t read the postscript at the end. Maybe it was written in some ancient script that is outdated. Since the letter was addressed to the headmaster, he’s probably able to read all of it. But I haven’t learned this from obaa-san yet. I will ask her to teach me about this later when I get the chance.
I folded the letter and returned it to the headmaster.
“… I do have a few things that I wish to confirm.”
Taking a deep breath, the headmaster finally opened his mouth.
“First of all, are you certain that you’re the disciple of the Old Master?”
“I mean if you look at it this way; I was taught many things by obaa-san, so I guess that makes me her disciple?”
Even though I respect her very much, I was a little hesitant to call that ‘loli hag’ my master. The way we usually interact was too casual to be referred to as a master-disciple relationship.
“… There are very few who have received guidance from the Old Master. Actually, I’m also one of them. However, as far as I know, there’s not a single person so far whom she referred to directly as her ‘Disciple’… except for you.”
Obaa-san mentioned this before too. It’s basically her principle to not take any disciples.
“It could have been possible for a rare talent that possesses four attributes, but she said you could only use defensive magic with no attributes.”
I’m sorry to say this but I do have an acquaintance with exactly four attributes but that old woman called him ‘boring’ and turned him down.
The headmaster was carrying a grim expression on his face. It was rather different from his previous expression, but it seemed to contain strong emotions.
“… This is probably unbecoming of an educator such as me but I’m undeniably envious of you right now. To be called a disciple by that person, it’s a task that requires a lot of things on the line. It is far more difficult than even becoming the king of a country.
“This tea is delicious…”
“… Ah yes, that’s a pretty big deal, isn’t it? [Crunch!] Oh! These sweets are pretty good too. Let me know where this store is later. I should buy some of these for obaa-san as a souvenir.”
“No, but I’m talking about you right now? Well, I can tell you about the store but…”
While I was busy enjoying the tea and the sweets, the headmaster slumped his shoulders with a look of disappointment. Frankly speaking, I didn’t want anyone to be jealous of me for being the disciple of obaa-san. If I had to make someone jealous, I’d rather be envied for having a cute girlfriend instead.
“Now I feel like I’ve confirmed part of it already. This ‘my pace’ attitude is certainly coming from the Old Master’s disciple.”
“That wasn’t meant to be a compliment.”
Why is it that everyone I talk to always ends up responding this way?