V07 Chapter 3: Night of the Prom

TL/N: Slightly delayed due to my finals… Although this chapter have plenty of fan-service to keep us all going~

Translator: Huapollon

On a certain day, a jovial mood enveloped the female locker room of the magic academy.

“Hehehe… The big day is finally here…”

With her academy uniform removed, Wendy stood in her undergarments as she brought out an elegant gown from a wooden chest. She pressed the gown against her bosom, covering her pearly skin and slim figure.

“Theresa, how is it? Considering the nature of the prom today, I had a quality gown specifically prepared for me.”

It was a beautifully tailored red gown, one that would easily be seen as pretentious for anyone of a lesser air. However, for the aristocratic Wendy, the gown was a perfect match.

“Wow, what impeccable workmanship! As expected of Wendy… a lady of the ducal house of Nablesse is certainly of a different breed.”

Theresa unclipped her skirt and let it smoothly slide off her feet before removing her blouse, revealing her voluptuous figure underneath. Liberated from the constraints of the fabrics, her two impressive mounds bounced freely in the air like pudding.

“By the way, here’s my evening gown… Thoughts?”

Theresa lifted up a violet gown that exuded an air of maturity.

“…I-it’s quite impressive.”

“Thanks! Now, I now feel a bit more confident with my selection, especially with your endorsement…”

“N-no… I wasn’t talking about your gown… Of course, your gown is also impressive, but…”


Wendy glared intensively at a certain part of Theresa’s body, to which Theresa cocked her head in confusion.

“…Huh? Lynn, your gown…”

Theresa looked over to Lynn, who was secretly changing into her gown in the corner of the locker room.

“Uwaa!! D-don’t look…”

Sensing Theresa’s gaze, Lynn reflexively hid away the green gown in her hand. Yet, even in her haste, Lynn was still in her undergarments. Both her sleek back and her cute shapely buttocks, barely covered by her panties, were visible to all.

“M-my gown… is too old… b-but, this is the only one I have… I didn’t want a gown as terrible as this to be seen by Wendy and Theresa…”

“Hehehe… Don’t worry about it.”

“Not to mention, your gown gives off quite the vintage feel. If I have to guess, it was carefully preserved and passed down through your mother’s, grandmother’s, even your great grandmother’s generation… right?”

“Huh? Y-you can even see that…? Incredible!”

“Keep your head up, Lynn. You should be proud of your wonderful heirloom. If anyone cannot see value in your dress, then they may as well be blind.”

“T-thank you… Wendy… Theresa…”

Lynn let out a heartfelt laugh.

“Speaking of which… Rumia, where has Sistine gone?”

“Ah… She is currently helping Re=L change.”

Rumia gestured with her gaze further in the locker room as she unfastened her lace necktie. With her skirt removed and neatly placed by her feet, her alluring thighs and white undergarments were revealed.

“Hey, Sistine! Let’s see which one of us have the better gown…”

Wendy turned to Sistine with her usual air of competitiveness, only to be silenced when she noticed Re=L.


Wendy, as well as Lynn and Theresa who followed her gaze, were stunned by the sight before them.

◇ ◇ ◇

“Seriously, everyone is being too caught up in the festive spirit. Why can’t anyone understand my feelings…?” Glenn grumbled as he gazed out through the southern windows, at the guests walking down the corridor of the western atrium.

He was currently lazying around in his tuxedo.

It was the day of the prom. While the prom itself was scheduled to start in the evening, the academy was awash with enthusiasm after the classes were done.

Carriages had started to line up at the academy entrance not so long ago, bringing students of other magic academies, officials within the imperial government, and aristocrats to the prom.

Members of the Student Council were tasked with welcoming and guiding the visitors, bringing them to lobby of the multipurpose hall.

The enemy had already infiltrated the academy and had disabled the magic security system.

With such a thought, Glenn could not help but feel anxious. While Glenn believed in Eve’s conclusion that ‘the enemy will certainly aim for assassination, and bystanders would not be caught up’, Glenn had experienced firsthand the fanaticism of the researchers and could not be overly optimistic.

Everything would’ve been better if Celica were still around…

Incidentally, Celica had sustained crippling injuries to her ‘aether body’ in the previous ruins expedition and was forced to rest at home. If Celica were to use any magic under her current circumstances, even her life would be held in jeopardy.

Tsk… I can’t ask for the impossible… Either way, I should get myself ready…

At that moment, Rumia was changing in the female locker room, closely accompanied by Re=L. From afar, Eve had continued her covert protection of Rumia since the previous day. Compared to himself, Glenn knew that Re=L and Eve were better suited for the task, but he still could not easily shake off his worry.

Under his growing anxiety, Glenn planned to make a trip to the female locker room.

“Teach, did you wait for long?”

However, he was interrupted by a young lass who had appeared before him.

“Sorry… It took me quite a while to change…”


For a moment, Glenn was unable to see the lass before him as Rumia.

Rumia was dressed in a moderately elegant pink gown, which could only be described as a perfect match for her figure. While the dress itself was not anything worth mentioning, her elaborate hairstyle, light makeup, and modest jewelry reflected her excellent tastes and altogether struck a perfect balance. Her preparation undoubtedly amplified her beauty and charisma, giving off an air of maturity that few could imagine for the usually innocent Rumia.

The current Rumia would not put any dance to shame. Rather, her debut at the prom would certainly draw many invitations from others.

“Hehehe… Seriously, your collar and tie are crooked… Here…”

Rumia chuckled as she drew close to Glenn and used her adept hands to fix his collar.

During all this time, Glenn’s gaze remained fixated on Rumia, while the gentle aroma of her hair tickled his nose.

The usually foul-mouthed Glenn appeared especially obedient.

“…It’s now good. Huh? Teach? What’s wrong? Umm… Is there something on my face?”

Rumia curiously cocked her head at Glenn, who continued to stand silently in a daze.

“…No, it’s nothing. I was just surprised by your appearance,” Glenn replied with his actual thoughts, as he felt a hastily made excuse would certainly fall apart.

“Ahaha… Teach is such a flatterer… Still, I am very happy. Thank you.”

Rumia felt her face flushed red at the compliment and happily laughed.

“Sisti and Re=L had already gone ahead to the event hall. Shall we follow?”

Huh? That Re=L… What was she thinking about leaving Rumia alone?

Glenn felt the onset of a headache.

As Rumia’s personal security was required to make timely adjustments to any sudden emergencies, Glenn was given full authority for his part. In a way, Eve seemed to have trusted Glenn more than he had initially believed.

Re=L was to participate in the dance contest while remaining on standby for Eve’s orders. If anything were to happen, Re=L were to follow Eve’s instructions sent through the magic communication device. As such, Eve had full command over Re=L’s action over this operation, making Re=L no different from a marionette.

In other words, Re=L’s departure from Rumia’s immediate vicinity were all under Eve’s plan, who was undoubtedly monitoring the entire situation from some inconspicuous corner in the academy.

Isn’t this a bit too lax? What is she thinking? Does she really understand the priorities of this operation? Such would be what Glenn would have thought.


However, on this day, Glenn could not help but follow Rumia with his arm in hers.

Still, it was quite the surprise… I have already known Rumia to be beautiful… but I didn’t know her to be this beautiful…

On their way to the event hall, Glenn secretly stole a few glances at Rumia’s face as they chatted. Regardless of his thoughts, Glenn could not see Rumia as anything else but an angel.

“Hehehe… I am certain you will be quite surprised by Sisti and Re=L’s transformation!”

“Ah… Really…”

Glenn was at a loss for a reply.

Since Glenn had always lived with the gorgeous Celica, he had never thought he would ever be overwhelmed by the beauty of another. Yet, Rumia’s dazzling appearance had taken him by storm.

While Rumia’s gown and jewelry were definitely quality adornments, they were still far from the highest tier. Even so, Rumia’s beauty had reached unfathomable heights.

I am feeling a growing desire… to see Rumia in the ‘Gown of Fairies’…

Glenn knew that it was not the time to hold such a thought, yet he could not suppress his desire.

◇ ◇ ◇

Glenn and Rumia walked hand-in-hand into the multipurpose hall.

The dance had yet to officially start, but the entire hall was bustling with activity.

At the front, the conductor led the music club in a performance to match the atmosphere, while many pairs had begun a light-hearted dance to the music.

Under the dazzling light of the chandelier, well-dressed students socialized in the periphery. Many of them wore unfamiliar faces, likely guests from other academies.

Further back, Student Council President Liz was greeting the officials of the imperial government.

“Wow! What a classy event! Isn’t all this a bit too extravagant? I thought it was just a pretend social event to entertain the students…”

While most of the participants were just young children, the scale and lavishness of the event were able to put even aristocratic dance parties to shame. It was a fantastical scene that left Glenn completely speechless.

“Hey! Teach!”

Catching sight of Glenn, some students began to flock to him.

“We’ve heard that you’ll be participating in the dance contest with Rumia, right? Quite a few students had already added you to the ‘Unfortunate Accident’ list.”

The youth who revealed a bright smile was Kash, one of the students in Glenn’s class and known to be a leader of sorts among the male students. He was dressed in a poorly-fitted tuxedo, likely a rental from the academy given how tight a squeeze it was for his relatively large frame.

“S-say, what is this about that dangerous sounding list?”

“Oh right, Teach made the list because there was a rumor going around that said ‘For the sake of a profit, Teach stole the idol of the academy’.”

“As always, you are beyond help…” Wendy, the twin-tailed girl dressed in an impressive gown, let out a fatigued sigh.

As expected of one with an aristocratic upbringing, Wendy walked with perfect poise into the event hall.

“Seriously, just when there finally happens to be a dance worthy of my presence, I find a complete lack of quality partners. Everyone I’ve met is brusque and lacking in etiquette, even forcibly trying to invite me to dance… I really wish someone would teach them a lesson on how to properly interact with ladies!” Wendy scoffed with her face turned to the side, to which Kash and Rumia revealed a pained smile.

“Speaking of which… Teach, since you are only trying to win the champion’s purse, I’ve thought of a great strategy…” Kash revealed as he laughed mischievously, peering close to Glenn’s ear, “I have mobilized the entire class to participate in the upcoming dance contest!”


“I call it ‘Operation: Screw with Teach’s purse IN DANCE PARTY’!”

T-to think Kash came up with something like this…

Glenn glared at Kash in anger.

Incidentally, Glenn strove to win the dance contest with Rumia.

According to the initial plan, winning the contest was for Rumia’s protection, by having Glenn near her at all times. On the other hand, it was due to the unique nature of the Academy Prom. As the event was intended for socialization, proper etiquette dictated that a participant should at least aim to accept one dance. Therefore, participants who repeatedly refuse offers were generally asked to leave the venue, in the sense of ‘why would you participate in the event if you aren’t going to properly socialize?’. Yet, active participants of the dance contest were permitted to refuse offers, to avoid interlopers messing up the rhythms of the pair. As such, winning the dance contest would allow Rumia the right to turn down every offer until the end of the event. Overall, it was a plan that took full advantage of the dance contest to maximize Rumia’s protection.

“Yup, I am such a genius! Everyone is fired up for the dance contest! Although the pairs were decided by lottery, Kai and Rod were crying tears of joy as it will be their first dance with girls.”

“…That’s just sad,” Glenn sighed at Kash’s description of his plan.

“Haa~ If only Professor Arfonia came…”

“Kash, that would be a bit too unrealistic. Professor Arfonia is still recovering… More importantly…!” Wendy declared as she pointed her finger toward Glenn, “As a lady, I won’t easily give up the ‘Gown of Fairies’ to anyone! Consider this an official declaration of war! Ahaha!!”

“Teach, just so you know… I’m Wendy’s partner, as determined by lottery.”

“…I-in other words, I lost before the dance contest began.”

“That’s too much!”

Wendy let out a deep sigh of despair, while Kash was left dismayed.

“Seriously, I am very busy… Why must I…”

“Don’t worry about it! Shouldn’t you know best how important it is to socialize as a magician?”

Not far back, Gibul approached while grumbling about Kash’s forcible recruitment, while Cecil tried his best to placate the negative attitude.

“Hehehe, go easy on us, alright? Teach, I am quite confident in my dance skill, so I won’t easily lose~”

“Umm… T-Teach… If it is alright with you… M-may I have a dance with you a-after the… No, nevermind…!”

Nearby, Theresa smiled with her usual cheerfulness, while Lynn hid behind in anxiousness.

“Hey! You, over there, stop!”

“Uwaa… Darn it! We’ve been found! Rod, let’s make a run for it!”

“Ah, yeah!”

Kai and Rod ran from the tables after being discovered by the event supervisor for sneaking a few bites.

Other arrivals included Alf, Picks, Caesar, Annette, Bella, and Kathy, all students in Glenn’s class. Everyone seemed to have decided to participate in the dance contest.

“Hmm? The most important one…”

The excessive noisy silver-haired preacher and the cataclysmic chariot were curiously absent.


A wave of gasp echoed from one corner of the multipurpose hall and spread across the entire venue.

“…What happened?”

Glenn looked toward the ‘epicenter’, where the focus of everyone’s gaze had gathered. It was a pair of dancers who danced wonderfully to the music club’s performance.

Even from the distance, Glenn could easily identify Sistine from the pair. Her silky platinum hair and elegant white gown were a mesmerizing sight, not losing even the slightest to Rumia’s charm.

Sistine’s partner was a short youth, with bright blue hair that reached his shoulder. Even a male like Glenn was momentarily captivated by his appearance. The youth was like a mannequin, wearing a tailored tuxedo with a cool expression. His meticulously accurate steps responded wonderfully to Sistine’s lead as the two twirled gracefully on the dance floor.

Sistine’s lead was masterful, but the youth was an excellent dancer himself. While his steps felt a bit mechanical, his accurate moves and cool expression gave off an irresistible charm.


“H-how cool! Who is that charming gentleman?!”

“Oooh~♡, do we really have such a cool guy in our school?”

“N-not good… I am feeling something well up inside me…”

“D-don’t do it, Loozel! That is a forbidden path~!”

“Yeah, I guess it can’t be helped if a boy is this cute…”

“Loozel, nooo!!”

The cute boy had not only elicited a flood of gushing from the female students, even some of the male students fell for him.

Finally, Sistine and the youth had finished their dance. Under thunderous applause, Sistine took the youth by his hand and made their way before the stunned Glenn.

On close inspection, Glenn had finally identified the youth.

“You are… Re=L? Really?!”

“Yep.” The cute youth, or rather, Re=L, coolly replied.

“Hehehe~ What do you think? Were you surprised? Just so you know, I had used all my wonderful knowledge to dress her up this well!”

Everyone glared jealously at Sistine, who puffed her chest out in pride, for monopolizing Re=L.

“My intuition had told me that just a slight bit of makeup would easily make Re=L the most handsome partner! I am very proud of my intuition!”

Sistine taunted Glenn with her gaze.

“Speaking of which, I will be participating in the dance contest with Re-L.”


“What? Do you have any objections? As far as I know, there are no rules preventing pairs of the same gender, and I want to wear the ‘Gown of Fairies’!”

“Ah… W-why would I have any objections…?”

Sistine’s strong desires for the ‘Gown of Fairies’ forced Glenn to back down. Nearby, Rumia let out a pained smile.

“Have you seen it? Re=L is incredible! I had only just taught her the dance, yet she was already able to perform it splendidly! At this rate, I am certain we will have a shot at winning the contest!”

Sistine was already an excellent dancer by herself, while Re-L’s mechanical responses coupled perfectly with her fluid style. If they were to enter a match together, Glenn and Rumia may be the ones who ended up losing.

“Rumia, let us have a fair contest! I understand your desire for the ‘Gown of Fairies’, and I feel terrible for doing this to you… However!” Sistine declared as she turned to Rumia with an ambitious smile, “As fellow students, I won’t let you win the ‘Gown of Fairies’ without a fight! Even if it were you, I will not give any handicaps!”

“Ahaha… Yes, I understand. In that case, let us both do our best!” Rumia replied with a pained expression.

Rumia knew that Sistine had no ill intentions. If anything, Sistine was jealous when she watched Rumia and Glenn dance earlier, therefore she only hoped to throw a wrench in their apparent honeymoon. All in all, her participation in the dance contest was the result of her own denseness to her true feelings.

“Also, Teach! To use the dance contest for your own personal gains, how shameless could you be?! For the sake of making you into a model teacher, I must defeat you here!”


Why is she completely gung-ho about this contest…?

Glenn looked at Sistine with confusion.

Re=L tugged slightly on Glenn’s sleeve as she looked at him with sheepish eyes.

“Glenn, I will do my best to learn ‘dancing’. Let us dance together in the future…”

“Wait, aren’t you learning the male’s role?”


Re-L blinked blankly a few time in confusion, not sure about what Glenn meant.

“Now, Re=L! Let us have another dance before the dance contest starts! Hehehe~ I will use this opportunity to demonstrate to the audience why we are the favorites for the dance contest!”

Sistine took Re=L’s hand as they headed over to the dance floor. While walking, Sistine continued to cast taunting glances at Rumia and Glenn.

“Seriously… Why is everyone screwing around…?”

Faced with the spontaneous participation of his students, Glenn felt his head was close to exploding.

Nearby, Rumia looked at the complicated expression on Glenn’s face before letting out a small laugh.

“Still, I feel as if my heart is racing…”


“To be honest, I have been looking forward to this day…” Rumia lightly whispered, “To be able to dance with ‘him’ during the Academy Prom, and then ultimately earning the rights to don the ‘Gown of Fairies’… Such has always been my dream since I was very young. However, I am a special existence, and anyone who is together with me would certainly be caught in my misfortunes… As such, I had always been afraid of the legend.”

However, if it were you…

Rumia stared attentively at Glenn, all the while wearing an innocent but complicated smile, reflecting the maiden’s own complicated heart.


“Hehehe~ Hopefully, this will be a memorable evening…”

Rumia’s innocent and pure hopes for the prom had once again stabbed at Glenn’s heart. He had more than once thought about telling Rumia the devious plots that were unfolding in the background.

Darn it… I am not sure if there were any better alternatives… However, I hope this won’t end poorly…

Glenn knew the best path was to do everything in his power to prevent the event and dismantle the prom.

However, Glenn had always known that Rumia would certainly have a difficult life with the Researchers of Divine Wisdom on her back. Therefore, Glenn personally wished for Rumia to at least have a few happy memories whenever possible. For this evening, Glenn was unsure if he had the ability to help Rumia realize this small desire of hers.

Darn it! Although it will be risky, this is the only way to go! Our tentative plan is to have a super happy ending that would even make the gods jealous. Let’s do this!

Could the ‘Sorcerer of Justice’ really make this dream a reality? Regardless of his own misgivings, Glenn had already decided to do his utmost to make it happen.

“Yes, that’s right! Let us have a memorable evening…” Glenn replied with a wonderful smile.

◇ ◇ ◇

Sorry. Sisti, I’m sorry…

Although it was a relatively sudden proposal, Rumia did end up accepting Glenn’s invitation to the dance. Knowing what Sistine had felt for Glenn, Rumia felt an intense remorse for her actions.

Only one night… For just this one night, I hope you will forgive my selfishness, Sisti…

Yet, during Glenn’s relatively forceful invitation, Rumia had acquiesced to her selfishness and her dream, through which she had finally came to recognize her true feelings – her overwhelming desire to share a dance with Glenn during the Academy Prom.

For just this one night… let me be together with Glenn…

Rumia followed Glenn with a bright and happy smile, with her complicated feelings tucked away deep in the recesses of her heart.

◇ ◇ ◇

“Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to our annual Academy Prom, may you all have a wonderful time…”

With each their own thoughts, Student Council President Liz had officially declared the commencement of the Academy Prom.

The conductor led the music club in a majestic performance as the participants paired up for dances.

The tables were covered with delicious food and drinks of all sorts. With small plates of food in hand, participants of all age and walks of life mingled, while waiters masterfully navigated through the crowd with refreshments. After a few lighthearted chats, those who felt compatible with one another would then proceed to the dance floor and join hands in a dance. With this, the jovial night began.

Not a single soul know about the plots behind this dazzling stage… I wonder whether you’ll still be able to put on such smiles if you had all known…

Glenn gazed coolly at the crowd before him…

“Really, Teach? Can you not be such a glutton? You are giving a bad impression of our school!”

Glenn held four plates in his hand as he wolfed down mountains of food. At the sight, Sistine could not help but lecture him.

“How annoying! Do you know when was the last time I had a decent meal? I will die if I don’t properly replenish my own stores! Ah, what the heck are you doing?! Who said you could take it?! Give me back my meat! S-stop…!”

“Y-you should be the one to stop!”

Glenn and Sistine entered into their usual exchange.


Nearby, Re=L simply stared fixedly at the large ‘tower’ of strawberry tarts stacked on her plate. Without a word, Re=L revealed a tinge of satisfaction in her usual sheepish expression.

“Ahaha… I guess we will end up like this regardless of the occasion…” Rumia muttered with a complicated expression as she looked out at them.

On the other hand, with Kash in the lead, Kai, Rod, and the other boys of Glenn’s class raced to invite girls to dance, only to be spectacularly turned down one after another.

Wendy and Theresa, experienced in social gatherings, appeared somewhat annoyed by the countless overtures from the boys.

Elsewhere, Cecil, with his appearance as a ‘cute boy’, instantly became a sensation among the girls, where the constant stream of invitations had left him completely dizzy.

Lynn stood afar and restlessly looked to Glenn, appearing as if wanting to say something.

Surprisingly, the usual aloof Gibul seemed particularly engaged with the teachers from other academies, discussing magic theories with a strange enthusiasm, perhaps contaminated by the social atmosphere.

After about an hour later, Liz made an announcement with a magic-amplified voice.

“Ladies and gentleman. The preliminaries of the annual Academy Prom’s dance contest shall commence. Those who have registered and those who wish to register, please proceed to…”

There were three rounds of preliminaries and three rounds of the actual contest. Each round was to last roughly thirty minutes to an hour. The contestants were generally asked to register before the event, but the registration stayed open until the start of the preliminaries, for those who found pairs during the event or guests from other magic academies.

The preliminaries were done with multiple pairs, where the judges gave ‘stars’ to the outstanding pairs. At the end of each preliminary round, the total number of ‘stars’ were tallied for each pair, and the top pairs with the most ‘stars’ advanced to the next round. After the three rounds of preliminaries, the top six teams were selected to participate in the contest proper.

For the actual contest, three pairs were to compete in each round, where the judges would give a numerical score to their performance. The top pair of each trio of pairs would then proceed to the finals.

After three rounds of preliminaries and two rounds of dance contest came the final round, where the two top pairs competed against one another for the title of champion. The champion was then given the right to don the ‘Gown of Fairies’, to which the pair would perform one final dance for everyone. For the students of Alzano Imperial Magic Academy, and for all participants of the Academy Prom, the ‘Gown of Fairies’ was an unprecedented honor.

As the contest commenced, those who wished to bring honor onto themselves made their way to the stage of the first preliminary.

Glenn and Rumia, Sistine and Re=L, as well as all the students in Glenn’s class… Everyone was ready to give it their all for the chance of becoming the champions.

◇ ◇ ◇

“Hmm… Look’s like we survived the first preliminary.”


With the first preliminary complete, Glenn let out a sigh of relief. Nearby, Rumia also revealed a bright smile.

“Seems that Sisti and Re=L have also easily advanced through the first preliminary… Looks like things will get interesting~”

Darn it… This is turning out to be worse than I had thought…

Looking over the contestants, Glenn broke into cold sweat. He realized that he had gravely underestimated the ‘student participants’. The skill of the contestants was at a surprisingly high level, with many young ladies who had experience in social dances like Theresa. More importantly, many of the contestants had spent long hours practicing, even the students from other academies.

I guess everyone is fascinated by the ‘Gown of Fairies’… Darn it, this means that we don’t have the slightest leeway in terms of mistakes…

As it happened, Wendy was counted among the young ladies with prior experience in social dances.

“Ehhh?! Why must someone as skilled as I suffer the embarrassment of not clearing the first preliminary?!” Wendy ranted as she bit down on her handkerchief in frustration.

“Ah… Just for the record, this loss is actually not my fault…”

“Darn it! I know already!!”

In the first half of the first preliminary, Wendy’s graceful steps had entranced all onlookers. As for her partner, Kash was a neophyte at dancing, but his physical endurance and astuteness had allowed him to keep up with Wendy. For the most part, Wendy and Kash were ranked among the favorites to win the contest.

However, just as the audience held that thought, Wendy had ended up tripping over her own dress during the finish. Simply put, Wendy’s habit of messing up at the most critical moment remained the same as always.

“Yeah!! We have cleared the first preliminary!!”

“Darn it! Just when we had the opportunity to hold hands with girls…”

A mixture of joy and grief echoed around Glenn.

“Haa… Why can’t you all calm down a bit…” Glenn signed as he revealed a troubled face.

“Excuse me… I had taken the opportunity to observe the first preliminary, and I was deeply touched by your splendid performance,” a single youth declared as he approached Glenn, “Granted, the contestants this year were all very impressive. However, I can confidently state that you two are a cut above the rest.”

The youth had a gentle face. He was dressed in a tailored tuxedo and appeared the same age as Rumia – roughly fifteen or sixteen years old. However, this was the first time Glenn had met him.

“Apologies… My name is Kite Aries, and I am a student at the Kleitos Magic Academy,” the youth confessed while presenting his student ID and invitation, “If it is alright with you, may I get your names?”

“Ahaha~ Thank you for your praise. My name is Rumia Tingel, and I am a second-year student.”

“Glenn Radars. A teacher at Alzano Imperial Magic Academy.”

Rumia happily gave her reply, while Glenn remained distrustful of the youth’s intentions.

“Rumia-san? I was absolutely entranced by your earlier performance, almost as if I had witnessed the descent of an angel…!”

The youth had completely ignored Glenn as he began to shower praise upon Rumia.

What is with this guy? Is he trying to hit on Rumia?

Glenn suspected that the youth, as a participant from a different academy, was not informed of the scene between him and Rumia. In other words, the youth was merely attracted to Rumia like a moth to a flame. Granted, the Academy Prom was meant for socializing, so the youth’s actions were justifiable. However, such overtures proved to be problematic for Rumia’s protection.

Just as Glenn was about to interject in an attempt to drive away the youth like others before him, he heard a voice through his magic communication crystal.

“Glenn, the youth in front of you is one of the targets for this operation, ‘Demon Hand’ Zaeed… I’m certain of it.”

Eve’s clear voice caused Glenn to suddenly freeze.


“Hey, watch your emotions.”

Glenn could only shudder at the thought of the enemy appearing right before him.

“Hmm…? Glenn-sensei… Are you alright?” Kite, or rather, Zaeed, asked with an icy smile.

It was a smile that sent shivers down Glenn’s spine.

“T-this bastard… Could he really be…?”

“Yes, it’s just as you thought. Zaeed knows full well that his cover has been blown. Even then, for him to appear so brazenly before us, it could basically be taken as a declaration of war.”

On the opposite end of the communication crystal placed in Glenn’s ear, Eve seemed utterly ecstatic.


“Eve! I will take him down now! Back me up!”

Glenn moved in front of Rumia as he signaled Eve through the crystal. His hand slowly reached toward his concealed handgun, while he unleashed his killing intent through his gaze.

“Glenn, wait. Ignore him for now.”

It was an unbelievable order.

“Huh?! Are you serious? What the heck are you thinking?!”

“It can’t be helped… Although it is highly classified intelligence, I think it would be best if you know… There happens to be another mastermind behind ‘Demon Hand’ Zaeed, one that we have yet to determine the identity. From our intelligence, that mastermind has deep ties with the highest echelons of the organization and has accompanied Zaeed on this operation…”

Eve’s words had hit Glenn like a sledgehammer. After all, it was the first time he had ever heard of a true mastermind.

“Eve…! Why did you conceal such an important piece of intelligence? Do Albert and the others know…?!”

“To unveil the mastermind, we need to provide the appropriate bait. As for Zaeed, you must ignore him for now. Do not worry, the princess’s protection is perfect. Zaeed won’t have any chance of harming the princess before we close our trap!”

Eve had simply brushed off Glenn’s question.

On the other hand, Glenn was completely baffled by Eve’s actions.

If Eve’s intelligence had already determined the exact cover Zaeed would use in his infiltration, why hadn’t she shared it with the other operatives? Is there any reason why she withheld such a critical piece of intelligence? That can’t be right…

Glenn had countless questions that he wanted Eve to answer.

“…Darn it! The protection of Rumia should take the highest priority! We need to immediately neutralize Zaeed, or outright eliminate him!”

“Glenn, no. That is an order. On top of protecting the princess, we are to unveil the mastermind behind Zaeed. That is the full objective of this operation!”

Eve was unshakable in her will.

“I should mention that Bloodline Magic ‘Ira’s Flame’ hones itself on negative emotions… If you attack Zaeed, you will draw all of the focus onto yourself and neutralize my protection. I am certain such an action would play perfectly into their hands.”

“…Darn it!”

“Glenn, do not worry. Zaeed and the mastermind had already learned of my presence. Therefore, they know that any attempt on the princess will result in their death. At the same time, they likely deduced that I am searching for the mastermind and would certainly ignore Zaeed for now. Like I said before, Zaeed’s appearance amounted to nothing more than a simple declaration of war.”

It was a fragile balance created from the diverging intentions of its participants. Although Glenn wanted to eliminate the threat before his eyes, he knew that he could not act rashly. As such, Glenn could only begrudgingly grind his teeth in frustration and pretend to be relatively calm before Zaeed.

“Heh… Things had turned quite interesting. Glenn, with the current stalemate, aren’t you curious how they plan to assassinate the princess? Certainly, with my presence, they simply have no chance.”

Glenn could not help but be mad at Eve’s attitude.

“…Is that so? You are participating in today’s dance contest with your favorite teacher?”

“Yes. We had practiced quite hard for this contest.”

Nearby, Rumia and Zaeed continued their lighthearted conversation, with Rumia unaware of the frustration in Glenn’s heart.

On the other hand, Zaeed gave a taunting glance at Glenn, revealing the cruel nature beneath.

“Then, Rumia-san. After the contest is all over, may I ask you for a dance? I also hope to make this a memorable evening…”

“Ah, sounds good. A simple dance shouldn’t hurt. I shall look forward to it.”

“Thank you. With that, I wish you both the best of luck in the dance contest!”

Darn it… To think he would ask for a dance… Is this their backup plan?!

Glenn had completely fallen for it.

If we lose the contest, we will no longer have any right to refuse invitations to dance… If we remain obstinate toward the invitations, we would be ejected from the venue, thereby creating an opportunity for the enemy…

Glenn was convinced that the enemies were lying in ambush outside the venue. The moment that Rumia leaves the venue would be the moment of her death.

We still can’t confirm the safety of the campus! I only hope Albert and the others are successful in their task… Otherwise, if even a single enemy eludes them, leaving the venue is tantamount to suicide.

However, if he acted out now, Glenn would certainly be ejected from the venue.

If I act now, all the negative emotions will focus on me, thereby also provide them with an opportunity.

If the Academy Prom turned to chaos, Glenn would end up attracting the focus of the negative emotions, thus creating an opening for the mastermind. As long as they were able to disable Eve’s abilities, even for a split second, their chance of a successful assassination would be greatly amplified.

Certainly, I would not so easily let ‘Demon Hand’ Zaeed approach Rumia…

After all, the reputation of ‘Demon Hand’ Zaeed was threatening by itself. Even the slightest touch by Zaeed’s ‘hand’ would certainly spell doom for Rumia.

Not to mention, with the mastermind still a mystery. Anyone who danced with Rumia could be considered a possible threat.

Additionally, with the sheer number of people in the venue, whoever was found next to Rumia at the time of the assassination could easily end up as collateral damage.

If Eve wasn’t obstinate about unveiling the mastermind… If Eve had let us know the full extent of her intelligence before the operation… If the enemy has the slightest flexibility in maintaining an ‘assassination’… If the school was properly informed of their plot… All of this would not happen!

The swirling thoughts made Glenn feel as if his head was about to explode.

“Then, Glenn-sensei, I sincerely pray for your success in the dance contest,” ‘Demon Hand’ Zaeed stated as he reached out his hand.


A wave of uncertainty washed over Glenn.

For now, Zaeed should not have any reason to harm Glenn, as Glenn’s sudden death would cause the suspension of the prom, thereby interfering with their plans.

However, for the rumored ‘Demon Hand’ Zaeed, who was known for his repeated assassinations of high-ranking officials, and whose skills were still shrouded in enigma, accepting his hand was an undeniable risk.

I can’t overthink this! Let me use my life as a gamble for Rumia’s… and everyone’s… safety!

With his own death, Glenn had hoped that Eve would then be able to deduce the nature of Zaeed’s skills. Granted, such an outcome certainly won’t be in Glenn’s best interest, but it would provide protection for Rumia and everyone else.

“…Yes, I am absolutely confident in our victory, if only to keep flies like you away from Rumia, ‘Demon Hand’.”

Glenn did not say the words ‘Demon Hand’ out loud. He only used his mouth to make out the motions before forcibly taking the outstretched hand of the youth.

“To think you would unhesitantly accept my ‘hand’… I’m impressed by your bravery, ‘the Fool’.”

Likewise, Zaeed also did not enunciate the words ‘the Fool’ as he revealed a taunting smile.

For a moment, the temperature around the two plummeted, with both seemingly standing on thin ice.


Next to the pair, Rumia looked at Glenn from the side with a perplexed expression.

“This dance had proven to be a huge success! Everyone seemed to be enjoying it quite well.”

“I have yet to miss a single Academy Prom, but this one had proved to be the best of them!”

“The conductor and the music club’s performance had been incredible. This arrangement was simply astounding!”

“Yes, the performance is perfect. I could feel my soul quivering in anticipation!”

Elsewhere, for the guests who were still left unaware for the developing plot, the jovial atmosphere continued to grow.

◇ ◇ ◇

At that moment, three silhouettes stood atop the unlit ceiling of the event hall. It was Albert, Bernard, and Christoph.

“Hahaha~! Wow, it’s quite the rare opportunity to see so many beauties gathered in a single place, yet I am stuck…! Hey, Albert-kun, would it be alright if I go for a quick swig or two?”

“Be serious about this, old man. Otherwise, I’ll give you a bullet to wake you up.”


Unlike the chatty Albert and Bernard, Christoph had his eyes closed in meditation, and below his foot was a lightly glowing pentagram. Christoph had used his field magic to surveil all corners of the campus for enemy movements.

“Speaking of which, Christoph, how’s it going? Have you gotten any hits?”

“No, nothing so far…” Christoph revealed with a sigh but still full of confidence.

“Bernard-senpai, Albert-senpai… Although people may think of me as a coward for saying this, I’m still opposed to this operation.”

“Don’t worry, both Albert and I hold the same opinion,” Bernard affirmed with a shrug.

“I’m aware of Eve-sama’s abilities. She is an undeniable genius, one that I won’t be able to reach within the confines of my life. However, this entire operation seemed haphazard and unnecessarily risky, a fact that I believe Eve-sama herself is deeply aware. Altogether, it seems as if she is a…”

“…fame-seeker, right?” Albert interjected, to which both Bernard and Christoph turned, “That woman is in need of some immediate achievements, and the result of which is this haphazard operation.”

“Oh? Albert-kun, you have also noticed?”

“Huh? Please explain…” Christoph asked with a perplexed expression.

“Christoph, when you first saw that woman, Eve Ignite, casting her Bloodline Magic, did you not have any opinions?” Albert stipulated as he stood cross-armed and looked to Christoph, “Highly destructive, quick casting within her field, immediate response to aggression, and extensive intelligence network… Altogether, these skills form the perfect repertoire for ‘single combat’… a repertoire on which the reputation and power of the ‘Crimson Duke’ House Ignite were built upon.”

“To keep with their tradition, House Ignite must always sit at the pinnacle of the magic society, be it fame, glory, or position.”

“Wait… Are you implying that Eve-sama only made this haphazard plan to garner achievements? By purposely making it a difficult mission, she is trying to maximize her glory?! How could that be…”

Christoph reflexively furrowed his brows, to which Albert nodded in confirmation.

“Not only that… From what I was able to deduce, Eve is withholding some intelligence from the rest of us. In other words, Eve is not only trying to eliminate the threats, but also planning to do so in single combat.”

“T-to think she is going that far…”

“Hmph, that woman has always been a cunning one. However, despite our own misgivings, we should still do our best to make the operation a success. Such is the problem with military hierarchy.” Albert coolly stated.

“‘The Magician’ Eve-sama… I had always wondered why she needs to go so far…”

“As one who saw her growing up, I should at least offer you a proper perspective… Let’s just say that she also has her own reasons, and she didn’t have any other options…” Bernard explained with a stroke of his beard, “Within the Imperial Court Mage Corps, there are various departments and research divisions… Of which, the Special Operations Annex exists as the elite among the elites, specialized in dealing with covert tasks and magic cases. As with the case of an elite combat group, Special Operations is deeply entrenched within the war hawks faction of the Imperial Government. As such, having a scion of House Ignite serving as the chief could be considered a tradition.”

“Yes, I am aware that the chief of the Special Operations Annex, ‘The Magician’ with the code number of one, had always been monopolized by members of House Ignite.”

“However, Eve also happened to be born a bastard from the liaison between her father and a commoner girl. She was only elevated to heiress after her elder sister lost the ability to use magic due to a fateful incident.”


“As you are probably aware, the prestigious House Ignite is relatively conservative in thought. So it is not hard to imagine the resistance from the dynasty toward having Eve, a bastard tainted with commoner’s blood, take over House Ignite. Chris-kun, I hope you can understand,” Bernard divulged with a shake of his head and a complicated expression, likely reminiscing about Eve’s childhood, “Regardless of how she is now, she had quite the struggle to reach her current position. She craves recognition from her dynasty, which resulted in her fame-seeking behavior. She used to be an idealistic and kind child, but the reality of her upbringing shaped her to be the cool and calculating person today.”

“To think there was this much history…”

“That child had to do everything in her power to survive, and her overbearing demeanor reflects her inner uncertainty. As such, I cannot abandon her…”

“…That’s enough, Bernard.”

At that moment, a person appeared with arms and legs crossed, leaning on the oeil-de-boeuf window of the multipurpose hall.

“I am who I am… It has nothing to do with my family, my father, or my dynasty.”

“Eve, why are you here? Weren’t you in charge with the security within the venue?”

“Don’t worry, my field remains active. More importantly…” Eve rebuked Bernard’s warning before turning to Christoph, “Christoph, Isn’t it about time?”

“Yes, they’re here! My field has detected activity!”

“…Ugh, so those bastards have finally arrived.”

At that moment, Christoph had detected the threats quickly approaching.

“Three targets. The location and details of the targets are as follows…” Christoph explained as he flicked a crystal to each of the three.

The crystal recorded the intelligence gathered by Christoph’s field.


With the information disseminated, the operatives confirmed the details.

“Hmm… So how should we go about doing this?”

“The targets are approaching from three directions. The most effective method is to focus down each of the targets in sequence with all of our operatives.”

“That won’t work. Doing so would allow the remaining two to sneak past our defenses. In that case, I would be forced to engage in combat, which would disrupt our overall plan,” Eve immediately refuted the suggestion, “Here’s my order. ‘The Star’ shall proceed north, ‘The Hermit’ shall proceed west, and ‘The Hierophant’ shall proceed east. I believe with everyone’s ability, winning shouldn’t be a problem?”

Eve spoke with a tone that permeated the incredible conviction she had with her plan.

“Hmm… It shouldn’t, but Chris-kun is not specialized for single combat, his potentials are best expressed in a team. I do not think it is wise…” Bernard openly expressed his disapproval at Eve’s plan.

“No, I think this would be for the best. Let us stick with Eve’s plan…”

On the other hand, Christoph seemed to have acknowledged the deployment.

“Yes… Then I leave everything in your able hands, my trusted comrades.”

Eve purposely emphasized the final part.

“Haa~ When there are so many cute girls waiting for me inside, why must I waste time fighting against those annoying bastards… If only our enemies were cute girls themselves…” Bernard mumbled as he stood up with his back to Eve.

“…Don’t die, old man.” Albert whispered as he patted Bernard’s shoulder, before departing toward the assigned direction.

“Yes, everyone, good luck.”

Christoph also revealed a dispassionate smile.

With everything settled, Albert, Bernard, and Christoph each went their way into the darkness.

◇ ◇ ◇

In the eastern gardens of the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy, the lively herbs that thrived in the soil had all since wilted.

“Fun time~♪ Work time~♪”

A lass dressed in a revealing gown skipped lightly toward the multipurpose hall, as if out for an evening stroll.

“Beautiful princess~♪ Dreamy princess~♪ May our fun be endless~♪ And the moon ever flawless~♪ Come out and play under the starry night sky~♪ And let me sing you a lullaby~♪ Beautiful princess~♪ Dreamy princess~♪ May I witness your sadness~♪”

Despite her burning passion, the air around her continued to chill. White puffs appeared out of her enticing lips with every breath, and any herbs nearby were instantly frozen.

“The winter night~♪ The loving night~♪ Beautiful Princess~♪ Dreamy princess~♪ May I witness your sadness~♪”

The lass suddenly paused her steps.

About a dozen or so meters ahead of her, a youth had appeared in her way.

“…This path’s closed. Your opponent is me.”

Christoph confidently stood before the lass, and his entire body exuded an intimidating aura.

“Hehehe~ What wonderful joy~♪ Good evening, beautiful boy~♪”

The lass revealed a twisted smile as she performed an elegant courtesy. Her eyes contained an unfathomable and inhuman darkness.

“Come, ‘the Hierophant’-san~♪ Dance with me for fun~♪ Your friends are terribly bold~♪ To abandon you in such crippling cold~♪ This is a tragedy, yet this is a comedy~♪”

Almost instantaneously, the surrounding air dipped to frigid lows.

“Yet, worry not, you shall not be forgotten~♪ For I shall keep you forever in my ice coffin~♪ And love you for all eternity~♪ For all eternity~♪”

At that moment, a twister of ice and snow swirled around the lass, glittering brilliantly under the moonlight. The ground started to creak and crack from the sudden freeze, while the herbs had all became entrapped in a prison of ice.

Her emotionless eyes betrayed the extreme madness within her soul, and, when combined with her surrealistic beauty, the lass could easily be seen as death incarnate.

“…’The Winter Empress’ Glacia of the Researchers of Divine Wisdom’s First Order ‘Portals’. I’m sorry to say this, but you will not be able to defeat me. I will give you one chance to withdraw…”

Christoph did not show the slightest hesitation.

“…The cute little birdy chirps~♪ The caged little birdy chirps~♪ Haa~ What a terrible tragedy~♪ The ignorant birdy chirps~♪ What a terrible tragedy~♪”

The surrounding air continued to chill, now reaching far below zero.

The runes etched all over Glacia’s pearly skin began to glow as she poured more and more mana into her spells, increasing the ferocity of the ice storm that enveloped her.

The surrounding had long reached the chilling hell of the Ninth Circle ‘Cocytus’. For anyone who had not prepared defensive magic ahead of time, the temperature would freeze the blood and arrest the heart – a fatal outcome.

“Sleep, my little magpie~♪ Let me sing you a lullaby~♪ Embrace the winter, my little chickpea~♪ And sleep for all eternity~♪ Eternally‧Lastingly‧Peacefully…?”

Glacia sang the spell as she channeled her energy toward Christoph. At that moment, a blast of ice and snow hurled its way forward, to which Christoph calmly threw a few pieces of emeralds and planted them around him in a circle.

“…Instant Field Magic [Emerald‧Circle]!”

Immediately, magic veins connected the pieces of emerald, and a glowing pentagram appeared on the ground. Above the pentagram, a transparent green shield appeared and deflected the onslaught of the blast.

It was the famed gemstone series of Field Magic developed by House Flowel, the family from which Christoph hailed.

Field Magic was a subset of Ritual Magic that required complex preparations and arrangements to use. However, House Flowel had developed an advanced form of Field Magic that achieves the same effects with significantly simplified preparation – an ideal spell for close combat. Incidentally, Christoph happened to specialize in defensive Field Magics.

The strength of the Gemstone Field Magic [Emerald‧Circle] was equivalent to ten Black Magic [Force‧Shield] and have a significantly larger area of effect. It was undeniably one of the strongest defensive magic available among the Imperial Court Mage Corps.

However, the blast of ice had opened a crack in Christoph’s impenetrable Field Magic, and, before long, the entire field shattered under the weight of the spell.


“Hehehe~ It’s useless, we are in Cocytus~♪ Where all motion freezes~♪ Molecules, atoms, and magic~♪ Everything freezes~♪” Glacia bragged as she smiled at the stunned Christoph.

“Let me welcome you once more, my dear Christoph. Welcome, to my palace of ice!”

Cold air continued to radiate out from her body as countless pillars of ice rose up around her, each glittering under the moonlight.


Christoph’s proud defense had been easily crushed. Shaking off the momentary shock, Christoph once more took out a handful of emeralds as he prepared his new Field Magic.

◇ ◇ ◇


In the western pavilion of the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy, Bernard held his head in his hands as he kicked the nearby pond in frustration.

“Why must my opponent be you…?!”

Bernard’s opponent from the Researchers of Divine Wisdom was a middle-aged male, roughly thirty to forty years old. He had a large build that towered above Bernard, with wide shoulders and well-sculpted muscles. It was an appearance unusual for a mage – more fitting for a fighter or a monk. Although he was wearing a robe befitting a magician, his muscles had ripped through many of the seams.

“What’s with all that muscle?! Gross! I am about to die from utter disgust! Darn it, I knew I should’ve forced Eve to assign me to the east! At least the one over there had the appearance of a cute girl! Hey, is there any chance all that muscle is just a cosplay costume, and you are actually a beautiful girl beneath? No way, right?”

Bernard stomped the ground in anger.

However, the male simply ignored Bernard’s outburst.

“…I am honored to have you as my opponent, ‘The Hermit’ Bernard… Or rather more accurately, the man originally held the distinction as ‘The Strength’ within the Special Operation Annex.” The muscular man announced.

“Hmph… That is quite an old tale…”

Bernard furrowed his brows at the mentioning of ‘The Strength’.

“Your exploits had spread far in the underworld, about how you had reached the pinnacle of Combat Magic.”

Combat Magic was a form of magic that focused mana onto one’s limbs and unleashed upon the opponent’s body for an explosive result. It was an amalgamation of magic and close combat that required a magician to have a gift for magic control and be willing to abandon the safety of distance. While it was a very intimidating field, those who have said to have mastered it would be known for their unbelievable power.

“Known for your explosive power that could plow through everyone with ease… With some even saying that your transient destructive capabilities even rival that of Celica Arfonia. In the Religious Wars some forty years ago, you and ‘Double Lightning’ Zelos inflicted massive casualties on the enemy forces.”

“Hmm? Did that happen? I don’t quite remember myself~” Bernard quipped while rubbing his chin.

“Consider this fate… Let me be the final witness to your legendary Combat Magic. Bernard Jester, let your death serve as fodder to my growth! Smash!”

The male made an extremely short chant. He raised his fists up as runes began to glow on his arms. His whole body crackled as if being turned into a bolt of lightning.

“Uwaa… So you are also a user of Combat Magic…” Bernard mumbled as he gave an irate gaze at the male entering combat stance, “Very well, since you so nicely asked, I guess I wouldn’t mind playing with you a bit.”

Bernard begrudgingly raised his two fists, and, with a slight chant, enveloped his fists with flame.

“…’Howling’ Zet of the Researchers of Divine Wisdom’s First Order ‘Portals’, let us have a good fight!”

“I’m just Bernard now, go easy on me~”

In an instant, the two left only a blur from where they stood as they collided with one another.



As the lightning slammed into the fire, the air all around them reverberated from the shock of the impact. For a moment, the two seemed equal.


However, before long, Zet’s fist slowly forced Bernard’s fist back, until Bernard was completely pushed away for several meters.



Bernard gasped with shock, while Zet seemed oddly satisfied.

“You should really stop holding back, Demon of Alzano. I hope to witness all of your legendary strength… Before you die.”

“N-not good. This bastard isn’t a simple pushover…”

Although Bernard spoke with his usual humor, his smile seemed to crumble ever so slightly.

◇ ◇ ◇

“Hehehe~ May you be Albert Fraser-san?”

In the dark forest, a single youth appeared and gave a light bow to Albert.

“Greeting, I am Weiss Cernus, a member of the First Order ‘Portals’. May I have your acquaintance… although I doubt it would last ‘long’.”


“I have heard a great many tales about your exploits. As such, I am more than enthusiastic to meet the famed trump card of the Imperial Court Mage Corps.”

Albert remained silent. His sharp eyes remain focused on the creature next to the youth named Weiss.

“Huh? Are you curious? Looks like even someone as strong as you could not ignore it…” Weiss quipped, almost as if enjoying Albert’s curious reactions.

The one that stood next to Weiss could only be described as a monster.

Although it has the semblance of a human, its shoulders were thrice as wide as a regular human, and its obsidian-colored body was covered with well-sculpted muscle. It had a long meandering neck, with a pair of massive wings protruding out from its back. Altogether, the creature reminded Albert of the oil painting that depicted scenes from hell…

“Yup, just as you probably have guessed… This fellow is a ‘Demon’.” Weiss proudly declared to Albert.

“Are you a demon summoner…?”

“Yes. This is the demon that I had summoned. It’s not one of the small fries, but a relatively high-ranked one… You know, the famous ones.”

Demon were beings that came from the collective conscious of humans. They were born in times of epidemic, drought, famine, storm, earthquake, eruptions, and other uncontrollable natural disasters. They could also come from negative emotions avoided by men like betrayal, jealousy, lust, and wrath. Although they started as just figments of imagination, the amalgamation of belief and terror gave form to these creatures – an existence only possible in a world dominated by magic.

In short, demon summoning is the process of giving form to the imaginary, providing flesh to otherwise mythical existences. Thereby, bringing creatures that would otherwise never exist into the world.

“Hahaha~! Now, ‘The Star’ Albert-san, I’ve heard much about your strength, but that is only related to humans. Would you be able to do anything to the collective fear of humankind?”

It certainly wasn’t a hard question, such a battle was impossible to win. After all, the notion of demons was so foreign and powerful to mere humans that by definition it could not be overcome.

“…’Mad Count’ Narkis, right?” Albert calmly remarked.


“The name of this demon is ‘Mad Count’ Narkis, one of the thirty-six lieutenants. It serves under the sixth king ‘Black Sword’ Maevis as the head of its Black Sword Knights. Of course, the one you have is just a copy. The real one follows the command of Maevis, sounding its horn atop the headless chariot on the eternal battlefield, turning the land into a sea of blood and bringing war to every corner of the world.”

“Huh? To think a magician like you would be familiar with the unholy scriptures, or rather, demonology. Either way, you are the first to see through my demon so easily…” Weiss happily praised, “However, it is still pointless! As long as I control the true name of the demon, I would not easily yield it to you! While a mere copy, it is still a high-ranking demon, you won’t easily win against…”

“…How many people have you sacrificed?” Albert inquired with a chilling tone.


“Although it is just a mere copy, it still requires an incredible amount of effort to maintain its flesh and existence. Achieving this feat needs countless souls to sacrifice. Tell me, then, how many lives have you sacrificed to that beast?!”

Albert’s voice exuded an incredible and barely contained rage.

“I no longer have any mercy for you since the moment you declared yourself a demon summoner. Come, evil creature, let me show you the true meaning of fear!”

“Pfft… Ahaha~”

Toward Albert’s declaration, Weiss let out an earnest laugh that could not even be stifled by his own hands.

“S-seriously! To think ‘The Star’ Albert-san would have such a wonderful sense of humor! I had thought you would give some expert remarks, but you only uttered pointless drivel. In that case, I ask you to rein in some of that empty bravado…”


Without waiting for Weiss to finish, Albert swiftly finished his spell and launched a bolt of Black Magic [Lightning‧Pierce], from which a bright light cut across the darkness.

As the bolt approached, the demon simply waved his arms and caused it to dissipate.

“I see. Since you can’t win against the demon, you tried to attack its summoner. Such an obvious trick… Do you honestly believe humans could surpass demons?”

Golden Beasts‧Racing cross the Land‧Soaring in the sky…!”

Albert completely disregarded Weiss’s question as he turned to cast Black Magic [Plasma‧Field]. It seemed to be an attempt to eliminate Weiss in an area of effect attack.

“Didn’t I tell you that it won’t work?!” Weiss howled.

At the same time, black lightning began to surge forth from the body of the demon. The black lightning not only consumed Albert’s plasma, but also reflected it back toward him.

It was one of Albert’s greatest close combat spells, a powerful B-ranked military spell. Yet, it was easily countered by the demon.


The reflected attack soon made contact with Albert, as a loud explosion rang out from where he stood.

◇ ◇ ◇

“Oooh… Really now… Looks like we can wrap this up even earlier than I had thought. To think the Imperial Court Mage Corps was this weak…” Zaeed muttered as he leaned on the wall of the event hall, revealing a devious smile.

◇ ◇ ◇

“How shallow… I knew that you would’ve thought that way. My strategy is perfect, and you foolish mages will not escape my trap. I shall enjoy your futile struggle…” Eve speculated as she stood on the roof of the event all, giving a shrewd chuckle.

◇ ◇ ◇


At the same time, a certain individual had seemingly seen through the foolish laughter of the two. Under the cover of the darkness, the individual sneaked silently into the event hall.

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V07 Chapter 2: Prom Preparation and Selfish Thoughts

Translator: Huapollon

The 7th ‘Lykaian’ Garrison was located in the southeastern hinterlands of Cantare, one of the three major regions within the Alzano Empire. Given its proximity to the Kingdom of Rezalia, the garrison had to remain vigilant for roaming demon beasts that wander across the border. As such, the garrison was known to boast the elites of Alzano Imperial Court Mage Corps among its ranks. The official designation of this elite garrison was the ‘7th Border Regiment’, under the nominal command of the Imperial Eastern Cantare Army’s 3rd Division.

The 7th Border Regiment of approximately five hundred veteran mages was led by Knight Commander Mihail ‘Demon Lord’ Judeau. Day and night, they fought against the demon beast incursions and endured rigorous training. Consequently, the 7th Border Guards numbered among one of the few elite regiments within the relatively peaceful Alzano Empire. However, there should be an emphasis on ‘were‘, as the regiment in question had effectively ceased to exist one fateful night.

“W-what… H-how?!”

With a fatal wound, Mihail laid flat on the ground as he looked at the scene before him with abject horror.

“One more here~♪ and one more there~♪, and up goes one of their homes~♪, this is fun!”

“Really? I rather think of all this as boring. I’ve heard this is one of the few elite regiments within the Empire… to think they were so fragile. Perhaps they are lacking calcium in their diets?”

Dead bodies to the left, right, front, and back, piled up into towering mountains of flesh. It was a surrealistic scene of hell built by the corpses of the Empire’s most elite soldiers, and at its center stood a young lass and a muscular man. It was truly an absurd sight.

“Darn it… to think something like this could happen! Wiped out…! In less than ten minutes, my 7th Border Regiment was… completely… wiped out… It must be a nightmare…!” Mihail lamented at the unbelievable sight.

“Ah~ Sowwy… I feel like we did a terrible thing.”

A well-dressed youth in a tuxedo suddenly appeared behind Mihail with an apologetic face.

“Let’s be clear, I did try my best to stop them~ After all, I told them that there was no reason for us to attack this garrison when we could’ve just as easily circled around… Over and over again!”

“Huh? Y-you are…?”

“Ah, to tell you the truth, we have some business in Fajite and were only passing through here. It was clear that taking the mountain path east of here would be shorter. However, due to their willfulness, we were delayed for almost half a day with this senseless slaughter. Haa… How could I possibly explain all this to Zaeed? How bothersome…”

The youth’s odd monologue left Mihail completely lost for words.

Without a thought for Mihail, the youth continued his speech.

“Seriously, Glacia, that lass, rambled about ‘mountain paths are hurting my foot’ and skipped out… and Zet, that hulky man, muttered something along the line of ‘I want to find strong opponents’ and came here to test himself. Babysitting those pair of kids is quite stressful… I am sure you understand, given that you are the commander here…”


Are these people for real…?

Do they mean to say that they merely came here… on a stroll?

All this slaughter was just a byproduct of their stroll?

For a silly reason like this… They wiped out the elite Imperial 7th Border Regiment?!

“Then again, on closer thought… I doubt we had to take such a roundabout way…”

At that moment, the atmosphere around the youth changed. The previous visage of a cheerful gentleman made way for a cruel and venomous expression.


Mihail had finally noticed.

Unwittingly, a giant monster had appeared next to the youth, towering above any mere human.

“Come, eat up, my servant.”

With a snap of the youth’s finger, the monster extended a pair of massive wings, revealing the twisted faces of boys and girls as it drew the soldiers’ souls toward their open mouths.

“Wh-…? Ah… Aaah!!”

The monster ate the souls voraciously.

It was a terrible scene that could make anyone nauseous on sight. Immobile on the floor, Mihail looked upon with fear and despair, with tears streaking down his face as he shivered uncontrollably.

“…The quality of the soul is not bad. Thanks to your generosity, my servant will grow even stronger. As expected of elite imperial mages, you must’ve trained them wonderfully. Simply splendid! I bet you would’ve done excellently as a farmer, or any position that requires perseverance.”

The youth lightly patted Mihail’s shivering back.

“Still… I was hoping to indulge my servant a bit before we head to Fajite…”

“Uuu… N-no… P-please…”

The gigantic monster raised Mihail into the air with its muscular arms.


Then, accompanied by a final howl of despair, the 7th Lykaian Garrison was erased from existence.

◇ ◇ ◇

The day after he had begrudgingly decided to obey Eve’s instructions, Glenn led Rumia to the academy courtyard.

“Umm… T-teach?!”

“Come, Rumia, let us practice our dance together.”


“Sorry, I might be sounding a bit too forceful. Still, since we are going to dance anyways, we might as well see that you end up wearing the ‘Gown of Fairies’… Is that too much to ask?”

“O-of course not… B-but…”

Rumia’s face was dyed beet red as her eyes stared nervously at Glenn’s hand that gripped hers. Ever since the previous day, Rumia has had difficulty dealing with Glenn’s overwhelming attitude.

Within the courtyard, there were many others busying themselves with practice. Among which included pitiful boys who wanted to participate but have yet to find a willing partner. Incidentally, they were planning to score their partner within the courtyard.

“H-hey… Look… I-isn’t that…?”

“Y-yeah… The rumors about Rumia participating in the dance contest… were real?!”

“Our beautiful angel… Uwaa~ What an envious sight!”

“Say, how did she end up with that idiotic teacher?”

“Teacher must die! No mercy!”

All the gazes were focused on the pair that had walked into the courtyard with their hands interlocked. For many, the news of the beauty who had been rejecting everyone suddenly accepting a suitor was a terrible shock.


Under the envious gazes and the heat transmitted through Glenn’s palm, Rumia could only gaze down embarrassingly at the ground as she walked.

On the other hand, Glenn seemed to revel in the attention.

This is good… With the rumor of Rumia gaining a dance partner firmly entrenched in the collective consciousness, interlopers would stay clear from asking Rumia for a dance, and her security would be easier to manage. Sadly, this will result in some unpleasant rumors… But I guess it can’t be helped.

On that note, more than worrying about Rumia’s security on the day of the dance, Glenn currently had a different headache to deal with in the form of a young lass.

“Hey, why are you following us…?”

“Why do you care? I am only here to give you a bit of an instruction.”

Glenn gave a glance at Sistine, who was trailing behind him.

Her irritation at the development was reflected clearly in her crossed arms and stinging glare.

Next to Sistine stood the sheepish Re=L, who had her head cocked to one side in curiosity at the exchange. She simply tagged along like a little duckling following the mother duck.

“Huh? Instruct… for what?”

“Surely Teach knows little about the proper etiquette of ballroom dancing, right? At this rate, I fear that you would end up embarrassing Rumia. In other words, I am willing to spend my precious time teaching you the basic footwork, be grateful!”

“T-then why are you acting so reluctant? Almost as if you are scrutinizing my actions…?”

“Hmph!” Sistine scoffed as she turned her face away with her arms still crossed.

“Haa… Ah, that’s right! White Cat, I’ve heard Professor Fosil recently published a new thesis on archaeothaumatology!”

Glenn tried to forcibly change the subject to clear the air with Sistine.

“T-that was quite a groundbreaking thesis! No need to worry about us when you have such a masterpiece waiting for you in the library! I think it was an analysis for a wall art of some sort, where they demonstrated the markings as ones used by the ancients for different intonations of speech. If their hypothesis was correct, then the wall art was definitely…”

The method of using a recent paper on archaeothaumatology to redirect the attention of the archaeothaumatology otaku was somewhat of a thoughtless ploy, if not altogether underestimating the individual in question.

“I’ve already read it.”


“The thesis you mentioned, I was one of the first to lend it from the library and had finished reading it ages ago!”

“Ah, is that so…”

Glenn could only let out a pained sigh at the inevitable failure of his ploy.

“Umm… Sorry about everything, Sisti… It’s all my… fault… To think this would happen right before Sistine asked…”

“Y-you aren’t at any fault! I-if anything, the fault lies with the lowlife teacher planning to use Rumia to make money!”

Sistine quickly responded to Rumia’s sincere apology.

“E-either way, Teach! I will ignore your sinister intentions for now! However, I will not forgive you if you embarrass Rumia in front of everyone! Got it?!”

Ah… I guess her anger is understandable… After all, I’m seen as using her best friend for making money… Still, why must I always act the bad guy?

Glenn sighed as he glanced at the obviously irritated Sistine.

“Listen carefully, Teach. For the Academy Prom this year, you will be performing the Sylph Waltz, set to the first through seventh movements of the Sinfonia di Sylphide. Due to certain reasons, the especially problematic eighth movement will not be within the itinerary, so we can breathe a sigh of relief. From my knowledge, this piece originated from the traditional war dance of a certain nomadic tribe…” Sistine lectured with her right index finger raised and her left hand on her waist.

Glenn listened halfheartedly as he reminisced about a distant time.

Sylph Waltz… How nostalgic…

◇ ◇ ◇

“Hey, Glenn-kun, music and dance contain an incredible power within them…”

Such was a phrase that reverberated within Glenn’s mind.

It was a memory of the late silver-haired girl, an operative of the Imperial Court Mage Corps with the code number of three, ‘The Empress’ Sara Silvers.

“Music and dance have the power to touch people’s soul, the essence of the body. They could easily infiltrate deep into the very core of one’s being. As such, with music and dance, one can even command another’s body and soul, do you not think that is incredible?”

Perhaps due to her upbringing as a member of the southern nomadic tribes, Sara especially enjoyed singing and dancing – and certainly talking about music.

“There are even specialized magic that tap into this power, many of which have a rich and colorful history that could be traced all the way to the Ancients. In other words, they were the same magic used by our ancestors… Pretty amazing, right?! So…”

With the countless times Sara had repeated this topic, Glenn simply sat nearby with an irritated expression.

“…Can’t you be a bit more serious, Glenn-kun?”

At the sight of an annoyed Glenn, Sara puffed her cheeks up in anger and began to lecture.

“Wasn’t the mission this time to infiltrate a dance where we act the role of newlywed aristocrats?! They will easily find out if you cannot dance!”

“Haa… How troublesome…”

Glenn glanced annoyingly at the angry Sara.

“Say, aren’t you only excited because you’ve heard the dance will be conducted to the Sinfonia di Sylphide?”


Although it was just a wild guess, Glenn’s words ended up hitting right on the mark. At the sudden revelation, Sara’s strong enthusiasm was slightly blunted, and she shirked back.

“Ah… I guess I’ve been found out?”

“After all, the Sylph Waltz originated from the traditional war dance of your tribe, right?”

“Ahaha… Yeah, so it is hard to contain my enthusiasm…”

Sara was the daughter of the chief of the esteemed Silvers tribe, whose tribe was evicted from the neighboring Kingdom of Rezalia due to religious persecution. In other words, she was the princess of a powerful tribe and was of an incredibly high social standing.

Many of the Silvers tribe were massacred by the Rezalian Templars during the eviction, and those few who survived the genocide were scattered to the wind. Consequently, Sara fights for the dream of rebuilding her tribe and returning to her homeland.

“Although the song has seen a great deal of rearrangement to suit the needs of a courtly setting, I am still excited for the opportunity to dance to the Sinfonia di Sylphide… No, the ‘Baile del Viento’.”

“Hmph… Aren’t you making too much of a fuss for a mere dance?”

“Uuu… Glenn-kun, clearly you do not know the significance. The ‘Baile del Viento’ is a divine dance used to enter communion with the King of the Sylphides… Even for a battle priestess like me, it is not a dance to be performed at will.”

“Really? Well, I wouldn’t know either way…”

“Precisely! The ‘Baile del Viento’ have eight forms in total. The first form ‘El Primero’ to the seventh form ‘El Séptimo’ of the dance are a demonic dance that imbue the warriors with the blessing of the Sylphides, riling them into a frenzy and providing them with the courage to endure the upcoming battles. After the battle, the eighth form ‘El Octavo’ of the dance is a holy dance that removes the blessing of the Sylphides, allowing the warriors to safeguard their souls from the madness of battle. Without the eighth form, the warriors would slowly lose their sense of self, and eventually, devolve into crazed beasts.”

“Yeah, yeah… Thank you for all that pointless trivia. Seriously, all these southern nomadic legends are quite annoying…”

“Ah, that’s right! Since we are practicing our dance anyways, why don’t I take the opportunity to teach Glenn-kun the proper ‘Baile del Viento’? All eight forms of it!”

“Huh?! H-how did we come to this?!”

“Hehehe… After all, the ‘Baile del Viento’ needs a proper partner to perform. Since at its essence, the dance requires the dancers to entrust their souls to their partners, so a dependable partner is a must!”

“That sounds utterly suspicious! Forget it, I don’t have the interest to learn some…”

“Come and stand up Glenn-kun! Hehehe… Firstly, place your hand in mine, and set your right foot there… Yep! Now, we turn like this…”

“Hiyaa?! D-don’t turn meee! M-my head is getting d-dizzy! H-hey, tooo faaast! It is tooo faaast! S-slow dooown!!”

◇ ◇ ◇

“Are you listening?!”

Glenn was suddenly snapped back into reality by the piercing voice of Sistine.

“…Ah, right. What were you saying again?”

“I was just explaining the difficulty of the Sylph Waltz! As for the steps, just follow what I said earlier…”

“Ah… Yeah, yeah… You are talking about this step, right?”

Glenn’s unenthusiastic attitude only served to further enraged Sistine.

“Uuu… Do you really understand?! This is the Sylph Waltz! It is an even harder dance than the infamous Noble Waltz’s First Step!!”

“Yeah, yeah… I got it already.”

“For Rumia, I have taken time out of my busy schedule to teach you how to dance, so can you at least act seriously for once? Huh? W-what’s so funny?”

Sistine inquisitively gazed at Glenn, who revealed a suspicious smirk.

“Nothing at all… I am just thinking how I will finally be able to knock you down a peg or two~”


Glenn’s words completely went over Sistine.

“I am telling you that I’ll be fine. Don’t worry. The contest will be determined by the Sylph Waltz, right? Although I cannot promise victory if it were some classy dance competition, as far as the student dance contest goes, I will certainly not lose.”

Glenn’s inexplicable self-confidence continued to irritate Sistine.

“That’s quite the confidence! In that case, let me see how well you can dance!” Sistine declared as she reached out her hand toward Glenn.

In terms of etiquette, such was the action of offering an invitation to another for a dance.

“So, may I have this dance?”

“Tsk… How bothersome…”

With the gauntlet thrown, Glenn could only begrudgingly accept Sistine’s invitation. In a way, this would prove to be an excellent opportunity for him to demonstrate his skill.

“Sisti, Teach, are you both ready? We shall begin~”

Rumia skillfully operated the record player in the corner of the courtyard, placing a large circular record before adroitly setting the needle on top.

Soon, the record player began to play the first movement of the ‘Sinfonia di Syphilde’ through its large speaker. It was a grand and elegant piece, with a hint of its nomadic origins between its majestic tunes.

Certainly, the first form of the Sylph Waltz was the easiest of the eight. It was one where even a mere amateur could master with the slightest training.

Sistine glared intently at Glenn, who stood listless opposite of her, occasionally yawning out of apparent boredom.

Hmph… Let’s see how you’ll survive all the turns! Pray that you won’t break a bone after I am done with you!

Sistine revealed a devious smile. Certainly, Sistine had the utmost confidence in her own dancing, which she had continuously practiced since very young to prepare her for her eventual debut.

Although I was always toyed by Teach… I am certain to win this time around!

Sistine had long lost track of her original thoughts as she prepared to savor her revenge.

Initially, Sistine had tried to encourage Rumia to participate in the dance with Glenn. However, with Rumia’s surprisingly effective persuasion, Sistine herself was goaded into inviting Glenn and failed. At that moment, Sistine convinced herself that her partner need not be Glenn.

Yet, when she saw Glenn and Rumia affectionate practice, followed by what would certainly be an affectionate performance during the prom, Sistine subconsciously felt the need to intervene.

Her conflicted thoughts aside, Sistine also felt the need to knock Glenn down a notch or two for all the trouble that he caused her and saw the challenge as the perfect opportunity to do so.

Come, let me see how terrible of a dancer you are, Teach~ ♪

With the prelude coming to a close, Sistine gave an elegant bow, to which Glenn replied with a sloppy bow. The two then stepped toward each other, before connecting their hands.

With their posture set, the dance finally commenced.


At that moment, Glenn suddenly jerked Sistine close to his body, with the earlier lethargy nowhere to be seen.

“Let’s go!”

Glenn began his steps, forcibly sweeping along the unprepared Sistine in an altogether energetic glide.


Sistine was completely taken by Glenn’s initiative and felt as her body was caught in an inescapable maelstrom. The abnormally brisk rhythm and steps, the aggressive leaps, the intense twists and turns, and the exaggerated leans made the world spin around Sistine. Soon, Sistine was overwhelmed with adrenaline as her heartbeat resonated with the rhythm of the music.

“H-hey… Teach… Wait-…”

Sistine found herself out of breath, trying her hardest to escape from Glenn’s clutch. However, with Glenn’s tight embrace, she was unable to budge and could only haplessly follow Glenn’s lead.

Before long, a wave of white washed over her eyes, as her feet became tangled in the endless twirls. However, Glenn immediately came to the rescue, embracing Sistine’s body with an incredible force and continued the dance enthusiastically toward the very end.

“Hey, look… there…”

“Wow…! What moves…”

Glenn’s incredible dance moves left not only Rumia speechless, but also has slowly brought countless onlookers to attention.

“Is that really the Sylph Waltz?!”

“At a glance, the form seemed to resemble the Sylph Waltz… But it feels ‘rough’…”

“A-although it isn’t elegant… it is filled with passion…!”

“W-why… Why can’t I seem to turn away…?”

Although Glenn’s wild steps lacked the same elegance of a veteran dancer, it contained a raw energy only found in rustic lands.

W-what is this…? I have never seen such a Sylph Waltz…

Sistine was already reaching her limits.

T-too intense! I can’t breathe! The dizziness… the blood… my whole body feels hot… my heart seemed to quiver…! What is this feeling of exhilaration?!

Sistine wanted Glenn to stop this abnormal dance, yet at the same time, she could not force herself to act. Slowly, Sistine felt a growing impulse to entrust everything to Glenn.

W-what is with this dance…? J-just what is this…?

Glenn’s aggressive style eroded Sistine’s thoughts as her consciousness slowly became murky. On her forehead, droplets of sweat gathered one after another.


Before the stunned onlookers, Glenn made a cool finale as the piece came to its end.

“Haa… Haa… Haa…”

With racing hearts and scorched skin, Sistine was overwhelmed by adrenaline and satisfaction as she laid demurely in Glenn’s arms.

Clap! Clap! Clap!

Loud applause soon erupted from the surrounding.

“Hahaha… How about it? Aren’t I great at dancing?”


Glenn only had to whisper those short words into Sistine’s ear before Sistine recovered from her trance and immediately leapt away from Glenn.

Her whole body felt incredibly hot. Only at that moment did Sistine realize the sheer reluctance at parting, and the overwhelming sensation made her turn beet red.

“I had a colleague from a while back who was especially enthusiastic about dances. As such, we had much practice together, so I am quite confident in my skills. So? What do you think?” Glenn gloated with a confident smile.

On the other hand, Sistine was left completely speechless.

“Perchance, does this colleague of yours hail from the southern grasslands?” Rumia asked.

“Oh? I’m surprised you noticed, Rumia.”

“Yes, rather than calling your dance an elegant interpretation, it would be more accurate to call it the original – the traditional dance of the southern nomads, right?”

“Yes. What I performed was the spirit dance of a certain tribe called the ‘Baile del Viento’, the original piece on which the current Sylph Waltz was based. From my personal experience with the ‘Baile del Viento’, the Sylph Waltz was undeniably easy, so much so that I could barely contain my yawns.”


Sistine clenched her fists in frustration.

Watching Sistine and Glenn’s exchange from nearby, Re=L suddenly moved before Glenn.

“Ah, Glenn is… too soft. Let me be your opponent.”

“Oh? What brave words, Re=L. I am surprised that you know how to dance… Very well, I guess this master dancer will entertain you… Ahhh~?!”

However, Re=L wrongly assumed that Glenn and Sistine were wrestling, and simply threw Glenn into the air with a single swing.

“Kyaa! T-teach! R-Re=L, don’t toss our teacher!”


With that, Glenn and the rest returned to their usual bickering.

“Uwa… A strong competitor has appeared…”

“Hmph… We won’t lose! Let us practice!”

Nearby, Glenn’s incredible performance had ignited the competitive spirit within the winners in life who were fortunate enough to land a partner.

“””Teach. Must. Die! No mercy!!”””

In contrast, those unfortunate losers without a dance partner silently cursed at Glenn.

“Ouch… Seriously, that Re=L… Forget that, shall we go practice, Rumia?”

“Ah, sure! However… If Teach will end up dancing seriously, I am not confident enough in my own ability to keep up, so please be gentle…”

“No problem. I also think my earlier performance was a tad excessive.”

With that, Glenn took Rumia’s hand and began their practice.

Glenn’s steps contained the same passion as before, but seemed to give off a significantly more tamed air.

While Rumia did have some initial difficulty keeping up with Glenn, she was soon able to match Glenn’s pace and slowly resonated with his steps.


All around them, gasps of amazement saturated the air.

As expected of a former royalty, Rumia’s performance was on an altogether wholly different level.

Despite Glenn’s overwhelming energy, Rumia was able to maintain a grip on the pace, while at the same time, using masterful steps to fully accentuate his performance. It was a splendid combination of Glenn’s raw passion and Rumia’s elegant air, like two birds of a feather – one that could only be described as a ‘match made by heavens’.

“Dancing looks… fun? They seemed to be enjoying themselves, although I do not understand it well.” Re=L muttered.

Nearby, Sistine watched over Glenn and Rumia’s performance with conflicted emotions, from which a single thought arose.

Perhaps, Teach and Rumia… could actually win.

Certainly, no other competing pair could match such incredible partnership.

Consequently, Glenn and Rumia would certainly win the dance contest, and Rumia would don the ‘Gown of Fairies’. It was the thought of her best friend dancing happily and fondly with Glenn.

It matters little to me… After all, Rumia had always looked up to Teach… and even I wanted her to invite Teach to the dance… If so, why? Why do I feel so terrible inside…?

Just as Sistine was bombarded by these unfamiliar feelings, Re=L looked over to Sistine.

“Sistine, you look down… Is something wrong?”


Sistine suddenly thought of something.

“That’s right, Re=L, hear me out… Do you want to give Rumia and Teach a pleasant surprise?”


◇ ◇ ◇

During the evening, Glenn stealthily arrived at the warehouse district in southern Fajite.

Although the person in question didn’t want to come, there was simply no alternative.

I think… the arranged meeting spot was… here?

Glenn silently arrived at the front of a large wooden warehouse.

On the massive wooden door, Glenn briskly wrote three runes with his own blood that unlocked the seal. The door slowly creaked as its internal mechanism began to churn. As the door opened to its mechanism, Glenn squeezed through the small opening it offered.

Without caring about the automatic door that closed behind him, Glenn ventured into the dark chamber covered by wooden crates of all size and shape.

Plop. Plop. Plop.

The crisp sound of footsteps echoed in the deserted chamber.

From the depth of the chamber, there was a small clearing surrounded by crates, where several early arrivals waited. The gentle glow of candles illuminated their faces.

“Hey, Glenn-kun!”

Among the early guests, a sturdy elder man that exuded the air of a youth waved to Glenn with a smile. His face reflected the air of a weathered veteran, but his smile revealed a seemingly childish side.

“Long time no see, you brat! Still alive and well?”

“Boss… ‘The Hermit’ Bernard… Seriously, you never change.” Glenn stiffly responded to the elder man.

The elder man in the uniform of the Imperial Court Mage Corps was ‘The Hermit’ Bernard Jester, with the code number of nine. He was one of the most experienced operatives within the Imperial Court Mage Corps Special Operations Annex, having survived countless ordeals, and was known for his peculiarities. He also happened to be Glenn’s combat instructor during Glenn’s time in Special Operations.

“I am glad to see you are healthy and well, Glenn-senpai.”

Nearby, a youth revealed a gentle smile while sitting atop a tall wooden crate. He had the appearance of a cute boy accompanied by an air of logic and wisdom. Although his subdued behavior made him seemed mature, he was only a few years older than Glenn’s students.

“Christoph, have you come as well?”

He was ‘The Hierophant’ Christoph Flowel, a colleague of Bernard within Special Operations and holder of the code number of five. Although young, Christoph was a master of field magic, with few within the whole Imperial Court Mage Corps his equal.

“…Glenn, Slow.”

Further inside, there was ‘The Chariot’ Re=L in her Imperial Court Mage Corps uniform, sitting with her hands clasped around her legs on the warehouse floor.


Finally, leaning on the right wall was ‘The Star’ Albert, seemingly in deep contemplation with his arms crossed.

They were all colleagues of Glenn during his time in Special Operations as code number zero, ‘The Fool’, and his frequent companions on missions.

Faced with the gathering of his former companions, Glenn was at a complete loss for words.

“…Senpai, I am deeply sorry for our actions.”

Christoph was the first to apologize.

“Yeah. Sorry about this, Glenn-kun. Even we were surprised by such a haphazardly planned operation. Seriously, what were the top brass thinking?!”

The other members all knit their brows in frustration.

“Not to mention, they even forcibly conscripted Senpai… I am certain Senpai have your own misgivings. However, as all the other operatives of Special Operations are all preoccupied with their own missions, we somewhat lacked the hands to complete this mission on our own.”

“So just count this as doing us a favor! Please?!”

Christoph and Bernard’s words made Glenn open his eyes wide with surprise.

“Boss… and others… Are you all not mad about my desertion from the military?”

Bernard and Christoph contemplated for a moment at Glenn’s words.

“Ah… As for that, Al-kun seemingly had already given you quite the scolding in our place, right?” Bernard chuckled with his fist resting on his chin, “If you must know… Certainly, we understand that the situation had brought you much grief, perhaps even overwhelming for one so young. However, I would have really liked if you had reached out to us, even if just to let out all your steam.”

“There are still many within the Special Operations that are critical of Senpai’s actions. To be honest, even I have certain reservations myself.” Christoph added, with an almost eerie calm to his expression, “However, despite all that you’ve done… you are still one of our brothers-in-arms. I have always believed in the Senpai that would go out of his way to protect others.”

“I-is that so… Then, how to say this, I’m sorry for my actions…”

Seeing his former comrades to not hold a grudge for his desertion, Glenn felt a wave of remorse wash over him.

“Now… I think that is enough for nostalgia. Let us return to the operation at hand.”

Sitting atop a table in the back, ‘The Magician’ Eve clapped her hands at the scene before her.

“What operation, Eve?” Re=L asked, apparently never told of the operation.

“Hehehe… Nothing, Re=L. Don’t bother with the details, since you probably won’t be able to understand anyway. Just follow my instructions and you’ll be fine, alright?”

“…Yes, got it. Listen to Eve.”

Nearby, Glenn seemingly wanted to speak, but Eve simply brushed him aside and started the strategy meeting, specifically on Rumia’s protection detail during the Academy Prom.

“First, I wish to confirm the objective of this operation. During the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy’s annual Prom, we are to both prevent the princess’s assassination and capture the assailants alive.”

Utterly unrealistic.

Although Glenn was familiar with the ineptitude of the top brass at strategic planning, the sheer optimism was on a whole different level for this mission.


“Of course! What would we do if they are launching a suicidal frontal assault, and bystanders get caught up in the crossfire? It will nearly be impossible to prevent casualties in that case. Therefore, I am still for informing the school and closing down the Academy Prom.” Glenn immediately answered with a poignant demand.

“…As for that, not necessary.” Eve calmly rejected.


“The enemy have reasons to keep this from escalating beyond an ‘assassination’. After all, this is a unilateral action taken by the ‘Progressive’ faction within their organization… If they launch a frontal attack, they will openly signal their break from the organization and set themselves up as targets to be purged, making their accomplishments moot. As such, it is a certainty that they must keep this operation covert, without leaving any implicating evidence.”

“…And so, an ‘assassination’?”

“As long as the mastermind behind this operation remains their Second Order ‘Adeptus’, we can expect no harm to come to bystanders. Therefore, we will take full advantage of their limitations and strike them at their weakest, using the Academy Prom as bait. Are you finally satisfied, Glenn?”

Eve’s sharp words had made Glenn’s temporal vein bulge in rage. The air between Eve and Glenn immediately turned tense.

“…How many?”

“From our intelligence, one from Second Order ‘Adeptus’ and three from one from First Order ‘Portals’. We will be fighting six on four, so it should be easily manageable.”

“…Are you sure there are no faults in the intelligence?”

“Huh? When have the intelligence I’ve obtained ever been wrong?”


With that, Glenn was forced into silence.

“Looks like you are finally out of excuses. I should also mention, of the enemies we will face, the greatest attention should be given to the one from Second Order ‘Adeptus’, the mastermind behind this operation. We have already confirmed his identity, and it is a name with which I imagine everyone is familiar – ‘Demon Hand’ Zaeed.”

Upon hearing the name, Glenn’s eyes completely shot open. Even Albert’s expression turned stiff.

“Really… To think our opponent will be lead by that ‘Demon Hand’… What a sticky situation.” Bernard exclaimed.

“‘Demon Hand’ Zaeed… Certainly an infamous one, known for his ability to assassinate his target without drawing any attention, be it during travels, speeches, or social events. Even his methods are exceedingly diverse, with records of using knife, garotte, blunt weapon, and martial art. To date, several high-ranking Imperial officials had died by his hands, despite the extensive security in many cases.”


“While his main Modus Operandi remains elusive, we should be fine. Since… I am here.” Eve declared as she raised her left hand in front of the group.

At that moment, a small ember appeared in midair.

“Bloodline Magic [Ira’s Flame] is a floating ember that could detect negative feelings within a certain radius and locate the individual in question. No one in this world could take another life without displaying some negative feeling. No matter how practiced and suppressed is the killing intent, the killer would certainly reveal themselves at the moment of strike, and my ember will latch onto them. After all, humans are still creatures, and therefore cannot eliminate their biological reactions. Of course, this will all be done within my field.”


“I will prepare Bloodline Magic [Seventh Garden] in advance. With that, as long as anyone wishes to kill the princess, my flames will immediately eliminate the individual… Of course, leaving the assailant with just his life.”

“Tsk… Could this really be done?”

Glenn may have some reservations, but he already knew the answer to his question. If there was anyone who could do it, Eve Ignite certainly could.

Incidentally, during Glenn’s time in the military, the Researchers of Divine Wisdom had on more than one occasion attempted to eliminate high-ranking officials within the imperial government, and they had all been foiled splendidly by Eve. After all, Eve was, for all intents and purposes, invincible within her field.

Eve gloated as she basked in Glenn’s begrudging acceptance.

“My [Ira’s Flame] and [Seventh Garden] will ensure the safety of the entire Academy Prom.”

“In other words, as long as it is within the venue, Rumia will be perfectly safe?”

“Yes. However, I am certain the enemy are not fools. They should have already deduced my presence at the Academy Prom and planned accordingly. If ‘the Princess is impossible to assassinate within my field’, they will certainly try to create a scenario where the princess would be forced to depart from the venue. For that…”

Afterward, Eve happily shared her elaborate battle plans.

Atop the rickety table, Eve laid out a detailed map of the surroundings, with predicted paths for the enemies’ advance and the corresponding ambushes, along with numerous contingency plans. After walking everyone through the plans, Eve issued her orders.

In summary, the plan was to keep Rumia within the protection of Eve’s field, with Glenn and Re=L guarding inside the venue. Any external attack would be intercepted by Albert, Bernard, and Christoph stationed outside the venue.

“Wow, I have to say this is quite the splendid plan, Eve-chan.”

“Yes, with this plan, we will ensure both the princess’s safety and swiftly neutralize any threat.”

After Eve’s explanation, both Bernard and Christoph gave their approval.

“…So how about it Glenn? Weren’t you the one who incessantly nagged me about ‘getting bystanders caught up in the attack, so it is best to cancel the Academy Prom’? With this, don’t you think your fears were completely unfounded? As long as we know they are limited to ‘assassination’, we can easily formulate the perfect trap.”


Glenn was left completely speechless.

“There was an ancient proverb… You must enter the tiger’s den to catch its cubs. Remember, we are already forced into a corner on this matter.”

Glenn had nothing to refute Eve’s sound logic.

With Eve, Albert, Bernard, Christoph, Re=L, and even Glenn on patrol, it would be nearly impossible for the enemy to infiltrate and assassinate Rumia, especially when they number no more than four.

Glenn’s reason screamed that failure was impossible.

If such was the plan presented before the military high command, they would certainly approve it unanimously, especially considering their pressing need for intelligence on the enemy. Even the Queen herself could find no reason to veto this operation. After all, the monarch must not show weakness.

However, what is with this terrible feeling of uncertainty? Have we overlooked something critical…?

Despite Eve’s flawless plan, Glenn still held some reservations.

Glenn propped his palms on the wooden table and stared intently at the plan, the formation, and the predicted approach.

No matter how ‘Demon Hand’ Zaeed perform his assassinations, Eve’s perfect defense was impossible to break. If the intelligence held, Glenn and the others vastly outnumbered the assailants. Therefore, unless Glenn could point out a flaw with the plan, the operation was a certainty.

…Darn it!

Unable to find any flaw, Glenn bit down on his teeth in frustration.

“…I understand your worry.” Albert uttered while still leaning on the wall with arms crossed, breaking his silence that had lasted for the whole meeting, “However, the die was cast. No matter how reluctant you are, there is no longer any chance of backing out. Just do everything in your power to achieve the best possible outcome. Then again, we can promise you that we will never underestimate the threat, and we will do our utmost to ensure the safety of those you want to protect… even at the cost of sacrificing our own lives.”

“Albert… you…”

Hearing his usually stoic friend’s elaborate words, Glenn was momentarily at a loss for how to respond.

“Hmph… Do you think you have any right to say that now? Huh?”


“If you understand that much, then just spare me the theatrics… Just remember, if anything happens to Rumia and the others of the academy, I will finish off Eve first and then come after you. Got it?”

“Fine, I will leave myself to your judgment when that time comes.”

The two almost seemed to come to a head with their back to each other, as if irreconcilable enemies.

Nearby, Bernard and Christoph simply revealed a complicated smile as they shrugged their shoulders at the scene. Incidentally, Re=L was already deep in sleep.

After all, the night was young.

◇ ◇ ◇

Elsewhere, the four members of the Researchers of Divine Wisdom gathered in the depth of the Fajitean catacombs, where they detailed their plan at the Academy Prom in two days’ time.

“Hey… Are you sure this plan would work, Zaeed?”

“Yes… As long as you follow my instructions.”

“Hmph… What an interesting magic, even now I am unable to figure it out.”

“If you didn’t♪ see for yourself♪, you would certainly♪ think so♪. Zaeed’s assassination was always like this~♪ It is very very special~♪.”

“Seriously, could you even call this an assassination?”

The four secretly plotted the assassination of Rumia.

“Speaking of which, ‘The Magician’ Eve… Her Bloodline Magic has proved quite problematic in the past… as if specially made to counter ‘assassins’. Are you sure this will break through her defenses?”

“Certainly, I have my own ways of defeating ‘The Magician’ Eve. After all, we still have another…”

◇ ◇ ◇

“…’Demon Hand’ Zaeed will definitely be brought down by my plans.” Eve confidently muttered as she strolled down the empty street after the meeting, “They thought their camouflage was flawless… Hehehe~ But I have seen through it all.”

In actuality, Eve had withheld a critical piece of intelligence from Albert and the others.

“I had always known that behind ‘Demon Hand’ Zaeed, there was another…”

◇ ◇ ◇

“…Although that may be the case, given ‘The Magician’ Eve’s capabilities, she is very likely to have sensed the true mastermind behind me, ‘Demon Hand’ Zaeed…”

◇ ◇ ◇

“…Because I know all about their plans, they will not escape me.”

◇ ◇ ◇

“…Because she sensed it, she will certainly be helpless to our plans.”

◇ ◇ ◇

“…The participation of Albert and the others are not necessary. I will certainly unveil the mastermind behind all their plans. I will do this for the glory of House Ignite, with all the resources and power provided to my house.”

◇ ◇ ◇

“…No matter how strong House Ignite may be, no matter how flawless ‘The Magician’ Eve may be, they will never unveil the mastermind behind our plans.”

◇ ◇ ◇

The two, albeit distant from one another, held similar yet contrasting convictions…

“For this battle… the final victory belongs only to us, the Imperial Court Mage Corps.”

“For this battle… the final victory belongs only to us, the Researchers of Divine Wisdom.”

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V07 Chapter 1: The Secret of the Wall-Pounding Invitation

TL/N: This is just a friendly reminder for everyone to let me know if you spot any errors or typos within the translation. Remember, it is all for the sake of a pristine translation.

Since quite a few asked… For those who have been wondering about the spellings for character names, I generally prefer to use the English spellings of character names provided through the official Japanese sources, (ie. rokuaka.jp or the author’s own blog/twitter) so they are as correct as the author intended them to be. (Which means, the author intended for the extra ‘n’ in Glenn, and for god knows why, intended for Re=L to be spelled in such an awkward way. I kid you not: Here is where you can see the English spelling of Re=L provided by the official Japanese website for rokuaka.)

Translator: Huapollon



Rumia broke out of her trance as someone called her name.

“What’s wrong? Tired already?”

With a turn of her head, Rumia saw a platinum-haired girl with a gentle smile. It was her best friend, Sistine, with hair as white as liquid mithril.

“No, nothing… I was just a bit lost in thought.” Rumia replied with a complicated smile while fixing her blonde hair.

Currently, the pair was at Alzano Imperial Magic Academy’s multipurpose hall, nestled in the southwestern part of the campus.

In three days’ time, the multipurpose hall would play host to the annual ‘Academy Prom’. As such, the Student Council members, the Prom Committee members, and student volunteers all busied themselves with the preparation. They cleaned the hall, shuffled furniture, set up decorations, and arranged the supplies in anticipation of the event.

“Sorry about this… I do feel like I’m responsible for dragging you into this…” Sistine apologized with a lowered head.

Given her close relationship with the Student Council President Liz, Sistine would frequently help the Student Council out on various miscellaneous tasks. On this occasion, Sistine was entrusted as the representative and overseer for the student volunteers, serving as the vital liaison between the volunteers, the Student Council, and the Prom Committee.

Rumia, seeing how hard her best friend worked, decided to lighten Sistine’s workload by volunteering.

“Especially when Rumia and Re=L have no duty to assist with the Student Council…”

“It’s alright, Sisti. I don’t mind it at all. In a way, isn’t working together quite fun?” Rumia emphasized, hoping to ease her best friend’s feeling of guilt.

Certainly, Rumia did earnestly want to help her best friend out in her time of need. Even though her body was exhausted by the constant physical exertion, her heart was happy.

“Rather, I would like to thank you for letting me join in the preparation.”

With that said, Rumia turned to clean the candelabra.

“W-what an angel…” Sistine muttered as she was touched by Rumia’s kindness.

“Sorry to interrupt, Rumia-san… May I borrow you for a moment?”

At that moment, a male student came over to Rumia. From his appearance, it was clearly one of the infamous womanizers on campus.


“Haa… Not again…”

Pausing her hand on the candelabra, Rumia cocked her head as she turned to meet the boy. Nearby, Sistine could only let out a deprecative sigh.

“Rumia-san, have you decided on the one who will accompany you to prom?” The boy asked with a sweet smile.

“Ah… No… I haven’t thought much about it…”

“Really? It would truly be a shame for one as beautiful as you to not attend…” The boy confessed, “In that case, would you like to attend the prom with-…”

“Ah, sorry. Thank you for your offer, but I must respectfully decline.”

Rumia apologetically lowered her head with clasped hands.


The boy’s smile turned completely stiff. Even he could not imagine receiving such a flat-out rejection.

“Uwaa!! D-darn it! Rumia-chan is impossible!!”

In the end, the boy ran away while crying loudly.

“Seriously, flippant guys everywhere…” Sistine sighed at the scene that unfolded before her, “the ‘Academy Prom’ was never such a frivolous event… At its core, it was an event for social interactions, where people would demonstrate their learned manners… mumble mumble…”

The ‘Academy Prom’ was a traditional event that was held annually at the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy. The event was designed to foster a sense of camaraderie among the students and to network with the guests, among which included the academy’s notable alumni, students from neighboring magic academies such as the Kleitos Magic Academy, and high-ranking officials and aristocrats within the imperial government. From time to time, even the Queen herself would grace the event with her presence, bringing a rare regal air to the event.

“While there will be a dance contest during the ‘Academy Prom’, this is just-…”

“You mean the dance contest where pairs would compete in performance and skill?”

Sistine gave a somewhat irritable nod in reply to Rumia’s question.

“Yeah. The one where the female champion receives permission to don the ‘Gown of Fairies’… There’s even a legend about the gown…”

“The legend in which the pair’s relationship will be blessed with eternal happiness, right?” Rumia repeated the words of her mother from a long time ago.

“Yes, and because of the lousy legend, those scheming boys are all buzzing around Rumia like flies! Argh! What a bother, each and every one of them!!”

Sistine scoured the multipurpose hall with annoyance. Her sight soon befell upon a few loitering boys who were neither volunteers nor organizers staring at Rumia from a distance, with their intention to invite Rumia to prom as plain as day.

Under Sistine’s intense glare, the boys hastily scattered away while avoiding any eye contact.


Incidentally, no one has yet invited Sistine to the prom, painfully true to her nickname of the ‘Mithril Fairy’. (Author’s note: Mithril is very beautiful, but also incredibly hard and difficult to handle.)

“Still, Rumia sure is popular…” Sistine mumbled while looking over at Rumia with an envious gaze.


“So… Rumia, who do you plan to attend the prom with?”


The suddenness of Sistine’s question made Rumia pause her hands.

“Didn’t you sit out last year’s competition as well? I would expect you, a former royalty, to have amazing dance technique… so it was somewhat regrettable that you chose not to participate.”

“Oh… right.”

“Not to mention, the evening gown that only the female champion is permitted to wear, the ‘Gown of Fairies’… Haven’t you said that you really wished to wear it once? Why not just invite someone as your partner?”

Rumia was left speechless by Sistine’s words, seemingly deep in thought.

“Y-yeah, I really do want to wear the gown… but, you know, the legend…”

Rumia gave the same lukewarm response as always.

“The legend in which the pair’s relationship will be blessed with eternal happiness, is it? I’m surprised you would mind it that much… To think you were such a romantic~” Sistine chuckled at Rumia’s reply, “Seriously, Rumia, that legend is nothing but an unfounded rumor! From purely the standpoint of magic theory, such an effect is simply impossible!”

As such, Sistine began to espouse her reasoning.

“Given the requirement that the pairs are made from willing partners, we could deduce that the chemistry between the pairs to be good. When you include the long hours each pair must practice to achieve respectable results in the contest, it was simply no wonder that there is a greater likelihood for the pairs to end up together!”

“Perhaps Sisti is right… But I think I’ll probably pass on the dance contest this year. I’ll just dance a bit for fun and then enjoy the festivities from the sideline.”

This time, Sistine was the one left in thought for a moment.

“Well, i-in that case…” Sistine hesitantly muttered as her fingers twirled her platinum hair while looking longingly at the distant, “W-why not invite… Glenn?”


Rumia blinked her long eyelashes and stared blankly at Sistine when the suggestion was made.

“W-well, d-didn’t you always say that you like him? As long as it is with our teacher, I d-don’t think you would need to mind the l-legend! This way, y-you would have a chance to w-wear the ‘Gown of Fairies’. N-not to mention, we w-would also dissuade those annoying boys from prowling around!”

Rumia looked at her best friend with a complicated smile, clearly seeing right through Sistine’s maiden heart.

Seriously… Sisti sure isn’t being honest with herself…

Rumia knew that Sistine had feelings for Glenn. In other words, Sistine herself really wanted to partner with Glenn for the dance, but she won’t acknowledge her own feelings. As for the legend, although Sistine openly declared her skepticism, she could not hide her romantic thoughts.

However, since Sistine had always wanted to become a ‘great magician reminiscent of her father and grandfather’, she could not consciously choose a partner like Glenn who was the very antithesis of the term ‘great magician’. As such, Sistine wished to help Rumia and Glenn get together, thereby eliminating the troublesome thoughts from her mind.

For her to be this dense… In a way, I couldn’t help but be worried about her future…

But still…

Rumia let her imagination take hold. She thought of the scene where she and Glenn embraced each other in the dance contest, then winning and donning the beautiful evening gown.

Ah~ That would be… great…

The very thought of her dancing with Glenn made Rumia’s face beet red and her heart aflutter with joy. It was a future filled with happiness, and Rumia came to see the realization of such a future worthy of any amount of dedication.

N-no… I shouldn’t hold such unrealistic expectations…

However, Rumia had once made a vow to herself. One she made soon after being exiled from the imperial household and taken in by the Fibels, where she was given the warmth of a family. Thereafter, Rumia vowed that if one day, she and Sistine would share the same desire, she would unhesitantly yield it to Sistine for all the kindness the Fibels had shown her.

“Although it is an opportunity, I am still hesitant to appear under the gaze of a large crowd…” Rumia said as she revealed a mischievous grin, “Perhaps it would be better if Sisti and Teacher partnered for the dance instead?”

“Wh-… M-me?!”

Sistine was left completely flustered, her voice warping oddly from the surprise.

“W-why must I d-dance with that s-sort of vulgar b-bastard, devoid of any dignity afforded to a mage?!”

“Don’t you really want to dress in the ‘Gown of Fairies’?”

“Ah, o-of course! After all, that elegant evening gown is the object of envy for all the female students!”

“In that case, why not invite the teacher as your partner? Especially since you do not believe in that silly legend, right?”

“Y-yeah… but why does it have to be that bastard?”

“Well, don’t the two of you share a decent understanding? As I recall, during the ruins exploration a while back…”

“T-that… It’s all because of his gullibility!”

“If I remember correctly, weren’t you a solid dancer yourself? I’m sure you will definitely perform splendidly as a pair with Teacher.”

“No way! For one, that person is incredibly lazy, I am certain he won’t be moved by my invitation.”

“In that case, why not make him a Bento? I’m certain you can win him over with food.”

“Y-yeah… I guess…”

At Rumia’s suggestion, Sistine also realized that it would not be hard to bait Glenn, who was always neck deep in debt and forced to diet.

“S-say… Rumia, would it really be alright for me to dance with Teacher…?”

“Ahaha~ Don’t worry! You should just simply kick back and enjoy the event after toiling for such a long time in preparation. After all, your happiness is my own.”


With Rumia’s encouragement, the thought of ‘Dancing with Glenn’ slowly sprouted in Sistine’s mind.

“R-right… While we are students, we definitely should aim to wear the ‘Gown of Fairies’ at least once… Not to mention, I doubt I would be able to find another partner for the contest than Glenn…”

So be it!

Sistine clenched her fist with resolution.

“Yeah! Let’s try to invite that bastard to prom!”

“Hehehe… Good luck, Sisti!”

Rumia snickered at Sistine’s newfound determination, as if a fledgling had finally sprung wings.

“By the way, the invitation doesn’t have any deeper meaning! Once again, I definitely do not believe in that silly legend, and I am only participating in the dance contest for the evening gown! I only chose the teacher because I couldn’t find an adequate partner, that’s all!!” Sistine repeatedly emphasized with a face dyed red with embarrassment.

Yet, Rumia could only wryly smile at Sistine’s lack of honesty with herself.

“Hey, kids! Looks like everyone is working hard!”

At that moment, Glenn suddenly appeared before the two.

“By the way…”


At Glenn’s surprise appearance, Rumia and Sistine were left in a temporary state of panic. However, Rumia soon recovered and began to egg Sistine on.

“Sisti, now’s your chance!”


Sistine took a deep breath before running before Glenn.

“T-teacher! Ahh… A-although I d-don’t mind who is my partner… b-but since there w-wasn’t anyone particularly good, s-so out of n-necessity, w-would you like t-to-… Huh?”

However, Glenn simply sidestepped Sistine and marched straight toward Rumia.

“Umm… T-teacher? W-were you looking for me…?”

Rumia was unconsciously forced back by the air of intimidation emitting from Glenn.

One step… Two step… Three step…


Just as Rumia backed herself into the wall…


Glenn slammed his palm into the wall and peered his face close to hers. (1)

At a distance where they could feel each other’s breath, Glenn stared intently at the confused Rumia before revealing a confident smile.

“Hey, Rumia. For the upcoming dance contest… Would you mind dancing with me?”


Sistine and Rumia were taken aback by Glenn’s uncharacteristic and forceful request. At that moment, the surrounding students began to chatter.

“I know that many had already tried to invite you to the prom… However, I will not let anyone else take you, so let me be your partner!”

“Ahh… T-teacher…?”

The sudden proposal had even thrown the usually calm Rumia into a daze.

With her back to the wall and her side blocked by Glenn’s right arm, Rumia could not hope to escape. Overwhelmed by nervousness, Rumia tightly clasped her hands before her chest. Sweat poured out as her heart raced uncontrollably. Even her face burned as if being roasted by fire.

“By the way, I do not care what you decide. If you refuse, I will simply fail you!”

Rumia was unsure how to respond to Glenn’s ultimatum, which sounded like a joke despite Glenn’s intense stare.


Rumia looked to Sistine for help.

“I-isn’t this great?! Hasn’t Rumia wanted to dance with Teacher? J-just be honest with yourself! Ah… As for me? W-well, I n-never particularly wanted to d-dance in the first place! Ahaha…”

Sistine had completely lost her composure.

“Yes, I will definitely make it worth your while and let you don the enchanted evening gown… the ‘Gown of Fairies’… So just agree already!”

“Ah… B-but…”

Just as Rumia attempted to escape to the left, Glenn blocked her off with his other hand.

“Let me say this… you won’t escape.”

Glenn moved his face even closer, staring directly into Rumia’s eyes, such that Rumia felt as if her very soul was being sucked into the depth of Glenn’s gaze.

Between her own thoughts, her vow to her best friend, her aspiration as a child for the gown, and the legend that accompanied it, Rumia face was burning up and her beating heart felt close to exploding. With Glenn’s high-handed invitation, Rumia’s thought was left completely in disarray, and she nodded passively in reply.

At that moment, the famed unconquerable beauty of the academy, Rumia Tingel, had just been conquered.


Rumia suddenly realized her own thoughtless actions.

“Uwaa!! Really?!”

“S-so Rumia-chan could be conquered this way?!”

At the same time, all hell broke loose among the male students, smacking the walls with flowing tears.

“Nice, Rumia… However, to be honest, it didn’t matter whether you had agreed or not! Since I had already submitted the entry forms with our names on it! So just submit to fate! Ahaha!!”

Glenn released his arms as he let out an obnoxious laugh.

“Umm… Sisti… Sorry, I-…” Rumia apologized to Sistine while trying to calm down her own racing heart.

“D-don’t worry about it! Wasn’t I w-who made the s-suggestion to have you dance with our teacher? N-not to mention how high-handed the teacher was with f-forcing you to partner with him. Rumia is definitely without fault!”

Sistine was left completely shaken by the events that had transpired.

“B-but teacher! W-why Rumia?! Why are you so adamant and forceful about it? C-could you really believe in the legend and wish to do that to Rumia…?”


Sistine’s anxious questioning caused Glenn to turn serious for a moment.

“Hmph, wasn’t it obvious? Money, it’s money! I am aiming for the champion’s purse! Was the announcement of the cash reward true?”

Glenn revealed a devious smile at Sistine.

“Yeah~ My wallet is quite deflated for the month, and among the students, only Rumia would help someone like me.”

“I k-knew it… T-trash…!”

Sistine glared at Glenn with a rage-filled gaze. Yet, at the same time, her voice regained an unusual semblance of calm, which neither herself nor Glenn realized.

“W-what is it, White Cat? Do you have some issue with me? It’s just the Academy Prom, so who I partner with is my own business. Not to mention, there isn’t anything barring me from participating in the dance contest.”

“T-that may be the case, but there should be some limits to the shamelessness! Teacher’s attitude toward female students is absolutely horrible!” Sistine lectured.

“Hahaha~ White Cat… You know it’s not nice to be jealous of your more popular peers, especially one that gets constantly invited to dances. Try not to act so petty, alright?”

Afterward, Glenn had said something that he absolutely shouldn’t have.

“Really… I’ll find some boy from Kleitos Magic Academy to go ‘dance with the poor White Cat’… I’m certain Roldo or Kai would love to-…”


It was a development that everyone was familiar with…

“You biiig idiot…!!”

“Gyaa~ W-why?!”

As a strong burst of wind shot out from Sistine’s left hand, Glenn was sent flying into the air before landing on the floor with a thud. As always, Glenn was brought down by Sistine’s spell.

Seriously… I’ve made quite the scene this time…

Glenn held back his own thoughts.

Although I feel sorry for Rumia and White Cat, this invitation cannot be avoided….

Rather, Glenn had his own reason for the overbearing insistence. Specifically, it was all for the sake of Rumia.

Yes… I will definitely protect Rumia… and this academy… I will certainly not let that ugly bitch get her way…!

As Glenn slowly recovered from Sistine’s attack, he recalled a certain event that had transpired.

◇ ◇ ◇

At an earlier time…

About half an hour before Glenn would forcibly invite Rumia to the prom and was subsequently blown away by Sistine.

“Ah~ How bothersome~” Glenn grumbled as he was led down the hallway by a female student, “Do I really have to do this…?”

“Isn’t all this your own fault?” The female student chuckled mischievously as she turned to look at the grumbling Glenn.

She was a mature beauty, with a calm and insightful gaze. The name of this clever and witty student was Liz Filmer, the talented Student Council President.

“Fine… I got it already.” Glenn responded unenthusiastically.

After repeated salary reductions, Glenn had finally reached the point where he had to instead pay the school. To rid himself of the debt, Glenn had agreed to assist in the preparation of the Academy Prom, or so it was decided by the academy.

“Darn it, from manual labor, to market research, and then to outreach… They are really a bunch of slave drivers…”

“However, everything is proceeding well, thanks to your efforts.”

“Still, I wonder what underhanded trick you pulled to ensure my participation! It almost feels as if my workload were determined at the start!”

“Oh? What could you possibly mean?”

“You even got Celica to say ‘Work hard for Liz, or you won’t get dinner’… What did you do to win her over?”

“Nothing at all… Just that I had visited Professor Arfonia a few days back, while she was recuperating from her injuries in the recent ruins expedition, and simply praised how incredibly thoughtful Glenn-sensei was…”

“Y-you… sly fox!”

Then again, wasn’t Celica being a bit too easy?

This clever girl, Liz, was a year senior to Sistine, and had always tossed problematic tasks over to Glenn after getting acquainted with him from an earlier encounter.

What did I do to deserve this misfortune?

Glenn did not understand why the able Student Council President would always bother him with one problem after another. Incidentally, the usually calm Student Council President seemed uniquely energetic whenever she teased Glenn.

However, such was a story for another day.

Glenn was carrying a large pile of documents pertaining to the upcoming Academy Prom, begrudgingly serving as Liz’s draft horse.

◇ ◇ ◇

Soon, the two made their way to the large lecture hall in the eastern part of the magic academy.

As they entered, they were greeted by the members of the music club seated in their respective sections. With instruments ranging from violins to cellos in hand, the members seemed to be rehearsing their pieces for the upcoming performance.

Certainly, the Academy Prom was one of the few opportunities for the music club to perform in public, so everyone was diligently practicing.

“…That was truly a wonderful performance.” Liz praised after listening to their rehearsal nearby, “At this pace, I am certain tomorrow’s performance will be a splendid success!”

“Hahaha! As the club advisor, I have to admit that I’m quite happy to hear such praises!”

The man standing near Liz gave an enthusiastic nod.

It was a well-dressed middle-aged gentleman of relatively corpulent proportions. Although sporting a sizable beer belly, the man seemed to appear more jolly than decadent. The man’s name was Lawrence Tartaros, and he served as the advisor to the music club on top of his official position as a professor of magic.

“Oh? We have a guest conductor?” Liz inquired while looking over at the unfamiliar face in the front of the band.

“Yes. Unfortunately, the original student conductor had injured his wrist, so we decided to invite a renowned conductor in his place.”

“Oh, I am sorry to hear that… Although I am somewhat relieved that you were able to find a substitute conductor on such a short notice. After all, the quality of the overall performance rests heavily on the quality of the conductor.”

“Hmph! It’s just a person twirling a small wooden stick, how hard could it be?”

Having been forced to work as a gopher, where he was forced to run errands and carry heavy loads all day, Glenn held little enthusiasm for the inspection of the music club and quickly began to grumble.

“Wasn’t the whole purpose of the Academy Prom to eat, drink, and dance? Who would even care about the quality of the performance? It would make little difference if we just played some music from a record player…”

“Speaking of which, this rehearsal piece… Is it not the ‘Sinfonia di Sylphide’ that we use for the dance contest? Although I do sense that it is an arrangement.”

“Ahaha~ So you noticed? As expected of the Student Council President, what excellent perception! Or dare I say, ‘excellent ears’?”

Lawrence let out a hearty laughter at Liz’s discerning ears.

“Arrangement? I couldn’t tell at all!”

“Regrettably, I doubt we could finish our rehearsal for the eighth movement of ‘Sinfonia di Sylphide’, so we will only have the first seven movements ready in time for the Academy Prom.”

“I think it is sufficient to perform only the first seven movements. Rather, I do feel curiously energized from listening to the performance. It is a wonderful arrangement that not only remained faithful to the original, but also will foster a festive spirit at the Academy Prom. May I ask who made such a wonderful arrangement?”

“To tell you the truth, the one who made the arrangement was our substitute conductor.”

“Huh? What a busybody… Seriously, I am quite envious, especially when he only needs to scribble a few dots on a piece of paper and call it work.”

Glenn’s uncouth remark seemed to have doused the sophisticated discourse between Liz and Lawrence.



Liz revealed a chilly smile in response and made Glenn shudder where he stood.

Liz was someone who always maintained a calm and kind demeanor around campus, which made Glenn forget a fundamental fact – that Liz was an individual one dared not to cross.

“Student Council P-President, seeing that you will be busy with the discussion, this lowly gopher of a magic teacher will take his leave to help with the furniture!”

With that said, Glenn quickly scurried away.

◇ ◇ ◇

Later, in an equipment storage not far from the lecture hall, Glenn sat with his back to the wall. As expected, Glenn had little intention to actually help the students carry the furniture.

“Ahh… How tiresome… How could I possibly keep working?”

Glenn drowsily looked on to the many volunteers busy transferring the decorations and furniture from the storage to the multipurpose hall.

“Uwaa! Re=L sure is strong!”

“Mmn… Easy.”

There were a few familiar faces among the volunteers. Other than the sheepish Re=L, Glenn could also see Kash and Cecil, all students in Glenn’s class.

Being a girl, Re=L should be helping Rumia and the other girls with wiping down the candelabra in the multipurpose hall. However, out of considerations for her great strength that would unwittingly damage the candelabra, she was dispatched to assist with the furniture instead.

“Darn it! I will definitely not lose to Re=L!!”

“D-don’t do it, Kash! Trying to imitate Re=L is simply madness!”

Re=L easily carried an impressive stack of tables as she passed before Glenn. The sheer amount of wooden tables gave off the appearance of an impressive wooden tower. Nearby, Kash wanted to imitate Re=L, only to be stopped by Cecil.

“Seriously… What’s the point of all that effort…” Glenn muttered as he gazed over.

At that moment, one of the volunteers suddenly put down the chairs in his hand and walked over to Glenn. His sharp gaze glared at the indolent Glenn.

“…Huh? What is it-… Wait, you?!”

Glenn irritatedly looked over to the volunteer, before gasping in surprise.

“I see you are still as crass as ever, Glenn…”

Lifting the hat that cast a dark shadow over his face, the man revealed his obsidian-colored hair and eyes as sharp as an eagle.

“A-Albert?! W-what are you doing here?!”

It was ‘The Star’ Albert, an agent of the Imperial Court Mage Corps with the code number of seventeen.

“Follow me, we need to talk.”

◇ ◇ ◇

Albert soon brought Glenn to the rear of the academy.

It was in a dimly lit coniferous forest, with not a single soul nearby.

“I sense an anti-personnel ward set up nearby. What exactly is going on?”

Albert brushed off Glenn’s question and focused on removing his disguise. Almost as if performing a magic trick, Albert quickly switched out the laborer’s overalls for the black-clad uniform of an imperial mage.

Albert then turned his attention to Glenn with a sharp glint in his gaze. After a moment’s pause, Albert broke the situation to Glenn.

“Impossible… They plan to carry out the ‘Assassination of Rumia’ during the Academy Prom?”

“Yes. The Researchers of Divine Wisdom has finally started to stir.”

Glenn was completely shaken by the news, while Albert kept his characteristic calm.

“D-don’t be silly, this is completely different from what I was told! Haven’t you reported that those people won’t have any designs on Rumia?!”

“Calm yourself. The situation changed.”

While the agitated Glenn was shouting in rage, Albert coolly responded with no change to the timbre of his voice.

“Just like there are war hawks within the imperial government, the Researchers of Divine Wisdom is not completely monolithic themselves.”


“They had recently split into two factions… for which details are still sparse, but seemingly occurred some time after the ‘Project: Revive Life’ incident. The two factions are the ‘Conservatives’, largely made up of the veterans of the organization, and the ‘Progressives’, composed of many new recruits.”

White Alchemy [Project: Revive Life] was a forbidden ritual that allowed for the revival of the dead. It was an original magic created by the late genius alchemist Sion Rayford. Yet, with Sion’s passing, the magic itself no longer existed in the world, and the whole project has turned to the realm of fantasy. (2)

Incidentally, for some unknown reason, Rumia’s unique ability could recreate the magic.

“It is common knowledge that the Researchers of Divine Wisdom had their sights set on the princess. However, the ‘Conservatives’ only desire to capture the princess alive, while the ‘Progressives’ wish for the assassination of the princess.”


“Under investigation.” Albert snorted.

The veil of secrecy surrounding the Researchers of Divine Wisdom was proving to be a huge headache even for Albert.

“Either way, after everything that had transpired at the White Alchemy Research Institute, the organization as a whole decided to tentatively leave the princess alone and the friction between the two factions had temporarily rescinded. However…”

“…The ‘Progressives’ who had strongly opposed the policy shift had gone rogue?”


“Darn it all…!”

As always, the actions of the Researchers of Divine Wisdom remained as unpredictable. However, given that the organization was filled with extremists, it would prove unrealistic to expect them to function under normal logic.

Yet, more importantly…

“Glenn, where are you going?”

“Isn’t it obvious?”

Under Albert’s intense pressure, Glenn paused his footsteps.

“I will immediately report this to the headmaster. Now’s not the time to hold some silly Academy Prom! I will see the prom canceled! Canceled!!”

“About that…”

Glenn had little intention to listen to Albert and dashed toward the academy.


However, a large wall of flame reaching high into the heavens burst forth and blocked his way.


The unnatural flame was clearly the product of magic. Glenn quickly leapt back from the scorching heat.

“Albert! You bastard! What do you think you’re-…”

“It’s not me.” Albert coolly rebuffed Glenn.

“…I can’t let you do that, Glenn.”

A young woman suddenly appeared from the depth of the coniferous forest.

The young woman seemed to be younger than twenty, with an appearance of roughly the same age as Glenn. She had a head of brilliant crimson hair, braided and tied in a side tail. Her gait had an air of elegance, yet at the same time, cold and distant. Her fuchsia-colored eyes reflected a sharp glint, while her mouth curved in a haughty crescent.

Dressed in the uniform of the Imperial Mage Court Mage, she stood cross-armed as she glared Glenn down with a chilly gaze. It was a sight Glenn could immediately recognize.

“Y-you are… Eve! ‘The Magician’ Eve…!”

‘The Magician’ Eve Ignite was Glenn’s superior within the Imperial Court Mage Corps and the chief of the Special Operations Annex with the code number of one. Incidentally, she was also a scion of the prestigious House Ignite, a ducal house with a long and illustrious history within the empire.

“Long time no see, Glenn. I am quite happy to meet you.”

“Hmph… Only you I do not wish to meet…”

“Oh? Am I being hated? Even after all I had done for you?” Eve snickered.

“Don’t tell me you forgot! A year ago, during the incident with Jatice, weren’t you the one who plotted to have Sara and me serve as baits, while barring Albert from coming to our aid?”

“Yes, that is correct. So?”

Compared to Glenn, who was doing everything to suppress his rage, Eve looked particularly pleased.

“Huh? Surely you do not plan to pin Sara’s death on me? Way to pass the blame when you should know best that what happened was completely your own fault. You were the one unable to protect her, so don’t go around blaming others. Such a pitiful sight is completely unbecoming for a mage…”



Glenn gritted his teeth as he tightly gripped his fist. His eyes burned with unbridled rage, glaring straight at Eve.

“Certainly, I concede that I was at a slight fault for the inadequacies in personnel assignments, and consequently, I lost a wonderful pawn like Sara… Not to mention, we also failed to eliminate ‘The Justice’ Jatice, leaving a permanent blemish on my otherwise pristine battle records. How disappointing…”

“Y-you bastard…!”

“Leave that aside for now, we should talk business.”

Eve completely brushed aside the fuming Glenn.

“Let me say it now, the Academy Prom must go on. We, the Imperial Court Mage Corps, will carry out a clandestine operation to eliminate those interlopers.”

“Huh?! What are you saying? Are you mad?!”

“This assassination plot will be carried out by the members of the ‘Progressive’ faction, the Second Order ‘Adeptus’. As such, this is the best opportunity to capture them alive and obtain important intelligence about their enigmatic organization. How could we possibly let this slide?”

Eve’s ambitious but risky plan left Glenn momentarily without words.

“…You can’t be serious! Do you plan to turn the academy into a battlefield? At least use our brain a little! If there is the slightest mishap, let alone Rumia, everyone at the school may get caught up in the fighting!”


Eve glanced at Glenn with a disappointed look.

“…’So’? What do you mean by ‘So’?!”

“Haa… You clearly do not understand the importance of the task at hand. As expected of the coward who was unable to properly protect even a single girl and deserted the army.” Eve coolly scoffed at Glenn with knitted eyebrows and a slight shrug of her shoulders, “In the history of the empire, there had always been a notorious organization that prowled in the shadows of society. Outwardly, the organization claimed to champion ‘a world ruled by splendid mages’. Yet, from the fragments of intelligence, their objective is something much greater, much more sinister. It is an objective that could adequately be summed up in two words… Akashic Records.”

“Yeah? What about it?”

“Lately, that organization had experienced a shift in its operations. Although we are still in the process of investigating, we could conclude that it would definitely contribute in some ways to further their goal of obtaining the Akashic Records. If we let them have their way, the consequences will be unfathomable. As such, obtaining reliable intelligence is of the utmost importance… We simply have no room to continue hesitating.”

“Just for this, you plan to use the Academy Prom as a fishing rod… to use Rumia as bait? All for a bit of intelligence?”

“Both the imperial government and the military high command had already authorized this operation. Even Her Majesty had ultimately relented, despite some initial hesitation… Hehehe~ I am thankful to live under such an enlightened monarch.”

“You bitch…! What did you do to Her Majesty?!”

House Ignite was a powerful aristocratic dynasty renowned for its many splendid mages serving the Alzano Empire, for which they held the unique distinction of being the leader of the war hawks within the imperial government. As a reflection of their political might, the current head of House Ignite has a permanent seat on the imperial privy council, the highest executive apparatus within the imperial government. If House Ignite applied even the slightest pressure, then surely even the Queen…

“You had always been well-versed in the machinations of the government! I am certainly you used some underhanded method on Her Majesty to make things go your way!”

Eve did not say anything in reply and simply revealed a complicated smile.

Even the wise Queen was not omnipotent. Troubled by the ongoing border conflicts with the nearby Kingdom of Rezalia, the Queen certainly could not give much attention to internal affairs.

Not to mention, the operation was not planned out of spite for the Queen’s authority, but rather out of loyalty to the imperial household and the empire. As such, the Queen would be hard pressed to refuse.

“Hey, Albert… Do you also approve this absurd operation?” Glenn angrily asked Albert.

Albert remained silent for a moment.

“I do not personally approve. However, I could not refute the benefits of the operation, and I will dutifully carry out my tasks.” Albert calmly replied.

“…Oh, is that so? I guess I was wrong about you. Don’t show that face of yours around me in the future.”


Glenn turned away from Albert.

“I could care less about what the government thinks. I will now go inform-…”

“Wait! The operation this time is top secret. If you plan to reveal it to anyone, we will have to silence you where you stand.”

“So be it, let’s see who’s afraid of who… Do you honestly think you have any chance of winning against me in close quarters?” Glenn openly threatened Eve as he reached for ‘The Fool’ tarot card in his coat.

“Oh? Have you forgotten my other title?”

Eve let out a condescending laugh. All of a sudden, walls of flame burst forth from three directions – left, right, and behind Glenn.

At that instant, Glenn had already realized his loss.

Bloodline Magic [Seventh Garden]?! Darn it, I’ve been had! This area had long been under Eve’s influence!

Bloodline Magic was considered a form of Original Magic, but was inherently different from the basis of Original Magics that relied on the uniqueness of the soul. Instead, Bloodline Magic was transmitted by bloodlines. As such, while Original Magic was commonly limited to only its creator, Bloodline Magic was inherited from one generation to the next.

Among the Bloodline Magic known within the Alzano Empire was House Ignite’s Bloodline Magic [Seventh Garden]. It created a field that allowed the user to omit casting for flame spells within a designated range. In other words, as long as they stood within the field, Eve would not need to chant or manipulate mana, and could easily burn her enemies to ashes by pure will.

Understandably, Bloodline Magic [Seventh Garden] was a mana-intensive spell that required a sizeable amount of preparation, and it only works with fire.

However, as long as the preparations were in place, and the enemy unwittingly fell into the field, the power of Bloodline Magic [Seventh Garden] was beyond compare. Within the field, Eve’s spell activation speed was even faster than Albert, perhaps even the fastest in the entire world.

With Bloodline Magic [Seventh Garden] activated, Glenn’s Original Magic [The Fool’s World] could no longer serve any purpose.

“The ‘Crimson Duke’ nickname was one that has accompanied House Ignite for countless generations – a symbol of our unparalleled might in close quarters. Glenn, you have no chance of winning against my flames!”

Eve teased Glenn with a small ember at her fingertips.

On the other hand, Glenn wracked his brain for a method of escape… yet nothing came to mind. After all, the current situation was no different than having a blade placed on his neck.

“D-darn it!”

Glenn resigned to his fate as he sat cross-legged on the grass, leaving his judgment to Eve.

“Then again, taking you out certainly wouldn’t be wise. There are still uses for even a useless pawn like you… So discarding you at this point would be somewhat of a waste. However, you seemed to not care to listen… so I guess that it would be best to just show my hand.” Eve reluctantly declared.


With a snap of her finger, the walls of flame disappeared from sight.

“Say, I’ve heard your little sister, Re=L, quite enjoys the school life.”


Glenn was somewhat baffled at why Eve would mention Re=L.

“Although it had only been a short while, she is acting more and more like a human… despite her peculiar origins.”


A coup suddenly hit the mind of Glenn. Eve’s word clearly hinted that she knew about Re=L’s real identity. However, within the whole of the imperial government, only Albert should know about Re=L’s secret.

Albert, did you really…?!

Glenn turned suspicious at Albert, only to swallow his words at the last possible moment.

N-no! Although that fellow was someone who focuses only on the result, he is not one to betray his own allies. In that case…

As expected, the seemingly calm Albert glared at Eve with incredible anger.

“Do you two honestly think you can keep a secret from me? Do not underestimate my intelligence network… That being the case, Albert, your concealment was absolutely perfect. Rather, if your partner wasn’t Glenn, I doubt I would ever be able to find out.”

D-darn it… so I let the secret slip somehow?!

With Eve’s words, Glenn could only blame himself.

“With that said, Glenn, if you reveal the details of our operation to the academy, I will report Re=L’s real identity to the higher-ups.”

“Bitch… How much do you know…?!”

Glenn was completely red with anger. His whole body shook with his barely suppressed rage.

“Re=L may be an oddball, but she is an excellent pawn. I would hate to lose her, especially since she is the first successful case from ‘Project: Revive Life’… However, if I were to hand her over as a lab mouse to experiment, do you not think there will be much that we can learn?”

Although Glenn really wanted to give Eve a slap, he had come to realize that he had lost to Eve. With Re=L as a hostage, he no longer had any other options.

“Don’t act so afraid. Even I am also reluctant to part with Re=L. As long as you do not interfere with my operation, I will leave Re=L alone. Granted, I would certainly welcome your help in the matter. Therefore, let me give you my orders, ‘The Fool’ Glenn.”

“Huh? Why must I listen to your orders? I am no longer an agent!”

“Hmph… Stop acting like a dumb mutt! I don’t have that much free time to waste.” Eve sighed with annoyance as she flung back her hair, “Imperial Military Law Chapter VI, Article IX, on matters of emergency conscription. Surely you had not forgotten my authority as a Knight Commander? Don’t think you could escape public service just because you are no longer on the military’s payroll, Sir Glenn!”


“Seriously… Could you act at least a bit more cooperative? Don’t forget, the survival of the princess and Re=L rests in my hand.”

“Go to hell…”

Ironically, the demons of the underworld would probably act no different from Eve. However, in the face of insults, Eve instead smiled, seemingly satisfied with Glenn’s begrudging acceptance of the power dynamics.

“Now, to recap the details, the enemy organization aims for the life of the princess during the Academy Prom, and we plan to capture them when they do. Therefore, it is imperative that the princess attend the Academy Prom, and, at the same time, we must not bar suspicious individuals from approaching the princess. As such, the princess will need to have a personal protection detail. From purely the standpoint of the Academy Prom’s guidelines and regulations, the best way to serve inconspicuously as her bodyguard would certainly be-…”

◇ ◇ ◇

Glenn had finally returned from his reflections of what had transpired just half an hour ago.

That’s right… I will need to enter the dance contest with Rumia, and win my way straight to the top. This is the only way to remain inconspicuous by her side, while at the same time preventing suspicious individuals from approaching. Not to mention, the more Rumia and I stand out, the easier it would be for the enemies to notice. In other words, it will also lower the risk to the rest of the student body.

Understandably, Glenn was not happy with the development. Under the circumstances, Glenn was completely dancing in Eve’s palm. Without any freedom, Glenn could only act like a marionette with Eve holding the strings.

So be it… But remember this, Eve… I will definitely get my revenge!

Glenn set his mind to welcome the challenge.

Ugh… more importantly…

Yet, for now, Glenn had to deal with his wobbling vision as the floor rapidly closed in on his face. For a moment, Glenn had forgotten that he was sent flying by Sistine’s spell.

Ugh… The floor looks quite painful… Maybe I should use something as a buffer…

With a helpless sigh, Glenn readied his heart for the impending impact.

(1) A popular confession maneuver called kabedon (壁ドン). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabedon

(2) White Alchemy: A combination of White Magic and Alchemy. (Aka. Healing + Creation to allow for Project: Revive Life) “白金術: 白魔術と錬金術を利用して、生命神秘に関する研究を行う複合術のこと。”
Source: http://rokuaka.jp/special/

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V07 Prologue: The Aspiration of a Certain Day

TL/N: …And so the new adventure begins, Rumia shippers rejoice~!

Translator: Huapollon

It was a memory from many years ago… when I was just a child.

My mother, Queen Alicia Septima, came to the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy on her routine inspection of the empire.


With my hand in hers, I accompanied Mother into the magic academy’s main hall and was absolutely entranced by the sight that unfolded before my eyes.

The bright chandeliers hanged from the ceiling and walls, while the glittering candelabra basked the white tables and a vast selection of dishes on top with a gentle glow. Nearby, musicians in tuxedoes played a cheerful tune, where pairs of girls and boys in splendid clothes danced the night away. Surrounding the dance floor, prom attendees enjoyed a lighthearted chatter.

Everyone laughed and enjoyed their time at the joyous occasion. To me at the time, the sight of the academy’s main hall was a scene out of fairy tales.

“Hehehe, are you surprised? Erumiana, this is the famed ‘Academy Prom’.” Mother explained to me, “This prom is an annual tradition held at the magic academy. It felt like yesterday when I had enjoyed the festivities as a student at this academy… Quite nostalgic…”

“Really…? So even Mother had taken part in this prom…”

“Of course! Shall we look around, Erumiana?”

Hand in hand, we toured the ‘Academy Prom’. Certainly, it was a tour that felt surreal and dreamlike, or perhaps it could simply be considered as a reflection of the wondrous event itself.

At the center stage of the Academy Prom, there appeared to be a dance contest as pairs twirled to the cheers of the spectators. The stunning environment was infectious, and, despite standing a fair distance away, my heart was set aflutter by the jovial atmosphere.

“If only Renillia-oneesama could come as well…”

Just as I was feeling regret for my dear sister, who was unable to join us due to poor health, loud cheers and applause erupted in the hall at the appearance of a pair of students on stage. The pair basked in the gentle glow of magic, as if receiving a wonderful blessing from the heavens above.


At that moment, I could not help but focus on the female partner of the pair. More precisely, I was enraptured by the splendid dress she wore.

“H-how b-beautiful…”

The wondrous dress further amplified the already dreamlike state. Its litheness was reminiscent of a gown worn by angels, while its long sleeves fluttered in the wind like the wings of fairies. Countless gems dotted the surface in the same way stars dotted the night sky, and, under the brilliant light above, glittered with an almost mysterious light.

The surrealistic scene immediately entranced me.

“Hehehe~ Do you like that dress, Erumiana?” Mother spoke to me with a hint of nostalgia in her voice, “I am not surprised that you would be attracted to that dress – the ‘Gown of Fairies’.”

“Gown of Fairies…?”

“Yes. It is a gown that would appear at every ‘Academy Prom’ since the prom’s inception. Only the female partner of the dance contest’s champion pair would be granted the privilege to wear it for the night. It is a dress adorned with magic – the symbol of the undisputed champion.”

Legends told that the dress was the masterpiece of a powerful fairy. It would remain beautiful and pristine no matter how many years had passed, and it was enchanted with the ability to fit whoever that should wear it. Furthermore, the embedded magic allowed for the amplification of its wearer’s beauty and charisma.

“Although I do not quite understand… but it seems the gown is quite impressive.”

“Hehehe~ To tell you the truth, I had had the opportunity to wear it… when I was a student in this academy.”

“Huh?! R-really?! Mother had worn it before?!”

“Yes. It was with your father – The man who had passed away before you came to age – as a dance partner that we were able to triumph in the contest and gained the privilege to wear the gown… It was a wonderful memory for me to this very day.”

“With Father…?”

Mother looked exceptionally happy when reminiscing about the memory from a long time ago.

“How envious… Mother, I also want to wear that gown one day!”

“Huh? Does that mean Erumiana plans to enroll in the magic academy in the future?”

“Yep! I want to wear the Gown of Fairies, just like her… and just like you, Mother.”

It was a silly goal, but one reflective of my youth at the time. Despite my selfish declaration, my mother gently patted my head as she turned to me.

“Hehehe~ Is that so? Then you must learn to be mature… and master the dance… and, most importantly, find the splendid other half of your life worthy of your hands.”

“…Other half?”

I did not understand Mother’s profound words at the time.

“Hey, Mother. Why would I need this ‘other half’?”

“Hehehe… To tell you the truth, Erumiana, there happened to be quite the legend surrounding the gown…”

It was a legend that foretold of the wearer’s partner…

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S01 Chapter 3: Magic Instructor Glenn and His Story of Recklessness

TL/N: Happy Lunar New Year everyone, and here’s my red envelope for y’all~

On other note, you have all spoken through the polls, and the results were quite surprising (70% to 30% at the time of writing). In the case of overwhelming majority, I will put the last chapter of the side story on hold for now and proceed to Vol 7. Worry not, I will work on the last chapter sporadically and will likely have it released before Vol 7 is complete. For those who are curious, the final side story is parent visitation day, which is covered in the rokuaka manga, so read the manga if you wish to spoil yourself early ;p.

Translator: Huapollon

“Haa… What to do…”

On a certain night in Celica’s house, Glenn, a teacher at the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy, let out a deep sigh.

“It could clearly be made this way, and I shouldn’t have any problems with the alchemical cauldron… but still…”

Glenn looked over the book in his hand.

“Even then, I still do not understand ‘why could it be done?’.”

Glenn let out another sigh, before leaving the book face-down on a nearby table and went to bed.

“Haa… What to do…”

Repeating the same words, Glenn drowsily looked around under the flickering candlelight.

The walls were filled with shelves of magic tomes with little or no decoration. The room was originally Celica’s study. When Glenn was young, he had immersed himself in reading every book possible, eventually turning the study to his own bedroom.

Knock. Knock.

“Hey, Glenn, it’s me.”

As Glenn reminisced his childhood, Celica invited herself in after a few knocks without waiting for Glenn’s reply. In Celica’s hands was a wooden tray, with a tea set and a full pot of tea on top.

“I made some tea. Care for a drink?”

“…Mmn. Sure.”

What was the point in knocking if you are going to invite yourself in anyways…

Glenn suppressed his urge to retort and simply accepted Celica’s goodwill. He knew very well that there was little point to ask.

“Hehehe~ Here we have some high-quality tea from Ecoeur. Be thankful when you drink it.”

“Honestly, all black tea taste the same to me.”

“Hmph… What an unsophisticated fellow.”

Despite her words, Celica proudly laid out the tea saucers on the wooden tray, filtered the tea through a sieve, and poured the tea into a preheated cup with an altogether fluid movement. A warm and fresh fragrance permeated the surroundings and tickled their noses, dispelling any doubt in the quality of the tea leaves.


Celica gently added a teaspoon of sugar to one of the cups and, with a light stir, passed the cup over to Glenn.

It’s delicious… Definitely an excellent tea.

The moment the cup touched his lips, rich aroma and subtle flavor washed over him. Even for a neophyte like Glenn, the quality of the tea was startlingly obvious.


Glenn was reluctant to admit to Celica’s excellent tastes. On the other hand, Celica seemed to have noticed Glenn’s inner turmoil, to which she simply smiled broadly as she enjoyed the elegant aroma of the tea with a few graceful sips.


At that moment, Celica noticed the book on the nearby table. With her free hand, Celica picked up the book and looked at the open page.

“Ah! Isn’t this the academy’s alchemy textbook?”

“…Huh? Yes. My class has an alchemy experiment scheduled for tomorrow.”

“I see, so you are making the lesson plan for class. You are certainly looking more and more like a respectable teacher.”


Celica revealed a slight grin at the bumbling Glenn as she continued to sip tea.

“Oh, how nostalgic… ‘The synthesis of red magic crystals’? The curriculum is getting harder by the year….”

In her free hand, Celica flipped through the book in-between sips.

“…Hmm? From raw crystal ores? Ah, I see… You will be using an alchemical cauldron. Certainly, this is much simpler than what we used to do. So this is what they mean by the advancement of knowledge… Yeah, it’s hard to stop progress.”

Celica let out a chuckle as she placed the book back on the table.

“In my opinion, I still consider the correct way to synthesize red magic crystals to be through reconstitution, although others would probably see the method as antiquated. Not to mention, I haven’t heard many performing the reconstitution method as of late.”

“Reconstitution, is it?” Glenn blankly repeated Celica’s words.

“Hey, Glenn, do you still remember the reconstitution method?”

“…Isn’t that obvious? I used it countless times after you had taught me the process.”

“Right. Still, it feels like yesterday… The excitement on your face when your first synthesis succeeded-…”

“S-stop it!” Glenn interrupted the giggling Celica with a face dyed red by embarrassment.

Hmm… The reconstitution method…

Celica’s words had provided Glenn with a flash of inspiration.

Certainly, with the reconstitution method, the theory behind the synthesis could be easily understood.

At the core of alchemy was a science where matters were broken down to their ‘fundamental components’ and rearranged. This entire process could be represented through a series of alchemical formulas from reactant to product, of which the formulas for the reconstitution method provided the most concise and legible representation of the process.

By comparison, the alchemical cauldron was the preferred method for modern magicians by virtue of its simplicity, where the students only had to dump the reactants into the cauldron, chant the required spell, and operate the cauldron according to predetermined instructions to obtain the product. However, in doing so, the students would be left without any understanding of the theory behind the alchemical process.

Still, even if I want to teach the reconstitution method… How could I go about obtaining enough catalysts for the whole class?

The reconstitution method required the use of catalysts in its synthesis. Sadly, with the widespread use of the alchemical cauldrons, catalysts were considered obsolete and nearly impossible to find on the open market. Furthermore, catalysts have a short shelf-life, which meant Celica likely wouldn’t keep any in stockpile. As such, Glenn would need to prepare all the catalysts on his own.

Making catalysts is an incredibly tedious and time-consuming process. Not to mention, I will need to prepare enough for the entire class, with plenty of spares for each student. Looks like I won’t be able to avoid an all-nighter tonight…

Glenn let out a deep sigh as he looked blankly at the clock in the corner of the room.

“Speaking of which, I think I had forgotten to lock up the laboratory in the basement today. Since I have not done an inventory check on the alchemical catalysts in a while, it wouldn’t surprise me if things felt fewer than before.” Celica, who had been watching Glenn from the corner of her eyes, openly hinted as she drained the rest of her cup.

“…What are you implying?”

“…Nothing,” Celica replied as she stood up, evading Glenn’s suspicious gaze, “Well, since we are finished with tea, it is about time for me to sleep.”

With that said, Celica proceeded to clean up the tray.

“You should also go to sleep soon. Staying up late is the ultimate enemy of a healthy life… Ehehe~”


Celica gave an insinuating glance at Glenn before hurrying out of his room.

The room descended into silence once more as Glenn eyed the open book on the nearby table.

“Hmph… How silly…” Glenn scoffed as he lay back down on the bed, “Pulling an all-nighter to make enough catalysts? Why should I dedicate so much of my time on those brats?”

After Glenn had finished mumbling, he plowed his head into the pillow with his legs crossed.

“The alchemical cauldron is enough for those brats! I’m going to sleep! Good night!!”

With that said, Glenn closed his eyes.


◇ ◇ ◇

The following day, in the academy’s alchemy laboratory.

“For today’s experiment, we won’t be using the alchemical cauldrons! Instead, we will be completing the alchemy with the classical reconstitution method!” Glenn loudly declared at the front of the classroom.


Glenn’s sudden announcement caused the entire class to riot.

“Not another one of his outrageous announcements…” Sistine sighed as she massaged her temple in resignation to Glenn’s usual antics, “I don’t want to be the one to pour cold water on your plan, but in case you have forgotten, synthesizing the red magic crystal through the reconstitution method requires the use of catalysts. Just so you know, we don’t have enough time during class to make the cataly-…”


At that moment, Glenn brought a large metal chest on top of the desk.

“Not to worry, I didn’t forget about the catalysts. I had already prepared enough catalysts for our entire class.”

“Huh? H-how…?”

“Well! I just happened to know someone who specializes in creating catalysts! As a favor, I had asked him specifically to provide me enough catalysts for everyone! Aren’t you all amazed at my connections…” Glenn proudly declared.

Curiously, Glenn had dark circles around his eye and was helplessly wobbling around as if deprived of sleep.

“Once again, we shall be synthesizing red magic crystals by the reconstitution method, and I will fail anyone who does not participate.”

“How tyrannical…”

“Sisti, don’t say that. I’m sure teacher has his own considerations.”

Glenn’s overbearing attitude somewhat irritated Sistine, but Rumia was able to calm her down. Although other students were also at a loss, with Sistine and Rumia won over to his side, Glenn’s plan slowly gained momentum.

“I-I object!”

The one who stood up trembling with anger was Wendy, a student in Glenn’s class known for her twin tails.

“The reconstitution method is an antiquated scheme that even laypeople could perform! It is definitely not a fitting method for aspiring magicians like us!!”

“Considering how clumsy you are, I bet you just want to avoid doing anything more than operating the alchemical cauldron.”

“S-shut up, Gibul!” Wendy snapped at the glassed youth, “R-regardless! I hope to use the alchemical cauldron in conjunction with spells to synthesize products! It is the only method I deem worthy of true magicians!”

“True magicians, is it?” Glenn mumbled as he nodded to himself, “Very well, I understand. Since you so insist, I will let you use the alchemical cauldron.”

Glenn’s candid compromise caused the entire class to riot once more.

“…However! Instead of the red magic crystal, your assignment will be to synthesize a violet flame crystal.”


Wendy suddenly froze at Glenn’s words.

“N-not a red magic crystal, but a violet flame crystal? T-that is too unfair! We haven’t even learned the synthesis of violet flame crystals or its procedure for the alchemical cauldron! How could I possibly make something like that?!”

At that moment, Glenn took to the blackboard behind him and wrote out two long formulas filled with various symbols and numbers.

“Above is the alchemical formula for red magic crystals, and below is the formula for violet flame crystals. Look, the compositions of the two crystals are basically the same, with only variations in the amount of water and fire elementals. Wendy-san, are you saying you have no way of synthesizing something so similar to the red magic crystals?”


“Once you understand the alchemical formulas and theories behind the synthesis, you would be able to freely synthesize any product you wish through the alchemical cauldron. The fact that you know how to synthesize red magic crystals but not violet flame crystals proves that you do not truly understand the basic theories behind alchemy. Are those real magicians you spoke of people who perform alchemy on mere superficial knowledge of the discipline?”


Unable to counter Glenn’s sound logic, Wendy reluctantly drooped her head in resignation.

“If there aren’t any other objections, we shall proceed with the synthesis by the reconstitution method. Despite it behind a relatively antiquated method, I believe it is the best way for you all understand the logic behind alchemical formulas.”

Glenn revealed a wide grin as he walked across the front of the students’ desks before reaching the reactant stockpile at the corner of the room.

“Don’t think too much about it and give the reconstitution method a try, I promise you that you will all be pleasantly surprised. After all, the red magic crystals made through this method are vastly different from the naturally occurring crystals…”

In one smooth movement, Glenn opened the stockpile cabinet and froze in place.


One of the reagents necessary for synthesizing red magic crystals by the reconstitution method was a type of mineral called ‘pyroxene’.

“We are out of… pyroxene?”

Glenn’s entire expression was stiff, with drops of sweat coursing down his face.

“Wow… T-to think not even a single piece of pyroxene remained…” Sistine exclaimed as she peered into the cabinet from behind Glenn.

“Ahhh! B-bastard! Isn’t pyroxene a basic reagent in alchemy? Who the heck forgot to restock pyroxene?!”

“Umm… T-teacher, what is wrong?” Rumia worriedly asked.

However, Glenn remained unresponsive to Rumia’s question as sweat continuously poured out of his head.

“Oh? Teacher, looks like you are in a bit of trouble there~” Wendy smugly declared, “Ah well, since we are out of pyroxene, I guess we will have to return to our original plan of using the alchemical cauldron and raw magic ore in the synthesis of red magic-…”

“…Self-study.” Glenn suddenly proclaimed.


“The class is to do self-study for an hour!”

“W-what do you-…”

“Baaastard!! I won’t give up…!!”

However, Glenn completely ignored Sistine’s question as he kicked open the laboratory door and dashed down the hallway, while fully strengthened by White Magic [Physical•Boost] to almost a destructive degree.


Glenn unleashed a bone-chilling howl as he dashed out from the academy, down the streets of Fejite, and all the way to the merchant’s district.

“Hand over all your pyroxene now!” Glenn loudly screamed upon entering the shop for reagents.

“Ah! A robbery?!” The shop owner shirked back at Glenn’s aggressive demeanor.

“Stop talking nonsense and give me all the pyroxene you have!”

“Y-yes! H-here! P-please, just spare my life!”

“Stop talking in a way that could be misunderstood! I am asking you to sell me your pyroxene!”


“How much?! I don’t have the time so just name your price! If I waste too much time, my catalysts will be wasted!”

“Uhh… B-by market price, I can sell you pyroxene for 18 Lyr and 5 Clys…”


18 Lyr and 5 Clys, meaning 18 gold coins and 5 silver coins.

“Y-you serious? Why would some pyroxene cost so much?! That is almost a month’s wage for me!”

“S-still, the price of pyroxene is at an all-time high… N-not to mention, it is for a whole barrel…”

“…Huh? Barrel?!”

“Look, that barrel over there. It is filled to the brim with pyroxene.” The shop owner said as he pointed to a barrel that stood about as tall as Glenn.

“…Are you brain-dead?! Why would I ever need that much pyroxene?! I only need 5 kilos at most, enough to fill this small jar! Just scoop a bit for me!”

“S-sorry, but we are not a retail store… We primarily serve as a wholesaler…”

“Don’t joke around! What could I possibly do with that much pyroxene?!”

“Ah… The market street in the southern district should have some retail shops…”

“Do you know how long a round trip would take? I am very short on time!” Glenn retorted as he scratched his head in frustration, before throwing his bag down on the counter, “Argh…! To heck with it! Just get me the barrel!”

“Yes! Thank you for your patronage!”

“…So be it! Looks like I will be chewing on Cerotte trees for this whole month, and just when I had finally received my paycheck yesterday! D-darn it all!” (1)

The shop then spent a good fifteen minutes processing the order.

“Come on! Hurry up!!”

“Don’t be impatient… We need to follow strict guidelines when processing goods used by magicians, as the required paperwork is quite detailed.”

As soon as the transaction was complete, Glenn pocketed his now deflated wallet and set the barrel on his shoulders.

“Huh? Are you planning to carry the barrel by yourself?!”

“How else would I carry it back?”

“Don’t you have a wagon or cart?”

“Don’t be silly! Ugh… H-heavy… Even with the body strengthening, it is still quite difficult to carry…”

“…S-safe travels.”

Glenn didn’t pay any additional attention to the stunned shop owner as he exited the shop while cursing at his own misfortune.

“Right over there! We had received reports from the neighbors that this shop was being burglarized!”

“There were also reports of screams from shop owner…!”

At that moment, several Fejitean town guards rushed over and stood in Glenn’s way.


Glenn’s face turned pale at their arrival.

“L-look! The bastard carrying a whole barrel of goods! I’m certain he is the robber!”

“Filthy robber! We shall teach you to cause trouble in Fejite!!”

“Ah, w-wait… I had bought this barrel full of pyroxene…”

“Don’t lie! We had already received the dispatch!”

“Also, what idiot would buy that much without preparing a wagon or a cart?!”

“Everyone had already heard the shop owner’s scream!”

“We will listen to your excuses back at the guard post! Now, surrender yourself peacefully-…”

“H-heck no!” Glenn shouted as he dashed down the road at an incredible speed.

“Ah?! The robber is making a run for it!”

“After him! Now!”

“There’s no time! I don’t have the time to deal with you all…!!”

With all his mana unleashed, Glenn’s body strengthening reached a whole different level. As the crushing force bore down on his bones, Glenn raced back to the academy.

“Ahhh! Why do I always run into these things?! Oh… What I would give to return to my freeloading days!”

An agonizing scream echoed through the town of Fejite.

◇ ◇ ◇

“Haa… Haa… N-now…!”

All the students stared curiously at Glenn, who had just returned and was catching his breath at the front of the classroom.

“Haa… Haa… D-does everyone have pyroxene and catalyst now? G-good, let us t-then start the experiment so listen up e-everyone! Chop the pyroxene into smaller pieces, then place the pieces into the mortar and pestle to grind them into a fine powder…”

“Umm… Teacher? I have a question.” Sistine asked as she raised her hand.

“Haa… Haa… W-what is it?”

“Umm… Are you alright?”

Sistine’s gaze fell to the side of the classroom, where an abnormally large barrel sat.

“S-so you are… Haa… Haa… Asking if my b-body is fine? O-or asking how… Haa… I am currently feeling?”

“Uhh… A little of both, I guess…”

“It should be quite obvious that both are not fine!!” Glenn yelled with tears streaking down his face.

“Of course…” Sistine sighed.

“D-darn it… Just when I was finally able to live with a bit of dignity… To end up having branches for lunch again…”

Rumia tried to comfort the weeping Glenn, but Wendy just looked upon Glenn with indifference.

“Hmph… I concede to your stubbornness… To think you would pay out of your own pocket for such an antiquated experiment…” Wendy mumbled as she gazed down at her laboratory bench, “Still, to go so far… Perhaps there is really something to be gained through this experiment…? I guess it can’t be helped now…”

Before her were the pyroxene and catalyst neatly packaged inside a piece of paper, as well as various alchemical glassware and a small lit stove, the standard equipment for alchemy shy the alchemical cauldron.

“Haa… All the effort I had spent mastering the alchemical cauldron in order to defeat Sistine… put to waste by that whimsical teacher…” Wendy grumbled under her breath as she picked up the pyroxene and began cutting.

Under Glenn’s guidance, the students were able to steadily proceed through the experiment.

They poured the pulverized pyroxene into a flask containing a special magic solvent, heated the flask until the pyroxene had fully dissolved, and then chilled the solution. Afterwards, the students added the necessary reagents, followed by repeated purification to shed the impurities, all the while carefully observing each change to the solution.

At the same time, Glenn continuously wrote on the blackboard at the front of the classroom.

“With the reaction just now, the solution turned from this to this… Two of the spirit elementals have been moved here… While the substitution for the earth and air elementals occurred in this order…”

Glenn drew a large arrow on a blackboard filled with countless numbers, symbols, and formulas. At the end of the arrow, he wrote a new formula, then crossed out parts of the formula with a new symbol noted above, followed by the results of the substitution.

“As you can see, these were the series of changes that had just occurred. I would like you to pay a close attention to the formula here. Doesn’t the resulting formula look familiar? Yes, this is the alchemical formula for red crystals. As such, the solution should start to turn red at this point.”

“I-I see…”

The students nodded along to Glenn’s explanation. They had finally come to appreciate the reconstitution method, since it would have been impossible to comprehend the separate steps through the rapid reactions within the alchemical cauldron.

“Note that the current state is still quite far from the final elemental composition of the red magic crystal. As such, we will need to add a trace amount of crimson lead to bring the elemental composition up to par. However, please be careful when adding the crimson lead, as one slight mistake in the quantity will turn the whole batch to waste.”

With that said, Glenn began to walk around the laboratory benches to supervise the students’ experiments.

“Sisti, this is quite fun!” Rumia whispered to Sistine as she weighed the crimson lead on a scale, “Although the process is quite troublesome, it does feel nice to see the synthesis of red magic crystals step by step.”

“Y-yeah!” Sistine replied as she carefully placed the weight on the opposite end of the scale and waited for the reading to stabilize, “It is a surreal feeling to see how this solution turns into a red magic crystal… Rumia, you were right…”

Sistine let out a sigh of relief as the scale settled at her desired value.

“Every step in this method is very clear. I think I understand now, as long as we do not add water elemental powder on step three, we would end up with violet flame crystal.”

“Right. As expected, Teacher is quite impressive!”

“…Mmn.” Sistine muttered a reply while looking over at Glenn.

Glenn’s lessons were known for their quality.

When he had first arrived at Magic Academy, Glenn would not treat his lessons seriously. Now that he had worked in earnest, Glenn was able to give quality lectures that bridged the theoretical with the practical. Incidentally, Glenn’s ‘resentment of magic’ remained the same as always and he would often speak of it with scorn in class.

However, Glenn seemed particularly candid with the experiment today, without the usual pessimism and resentment. Despite the thick dark circles around his eyes and the instability in his gait, Glenn remained focused on the lecture. For the sake of the experiment, Glenn even paid out of his own pocket for the pyroxene and, from his obvious lack of sleep and his unconvincing lie about a friend, pulled an all-nighter to prepare the catalysts.

What could have possibly driven that magic-hating teacher this far…?

Glenn’s sudden transformation left Sistine both surprised and confused.

◇ ◇ ◇

“Now, most of the preparatory work should be done. What’s left is to slowly inject mana into the solution.”

“Ugh… Not this!”

“I hate this step the most!”

The students looked at the small metal syringe and the cylindrical filter placed on their desk with unease.

“Although you all probably know the procedure, it doesn’t hurt to remind you all again. First, clean the syringe with holy water, then draw a bit of blood from your veins, and finally strain the blood through the cylindrical filter. With that, the clear magic serum could be collected on the collecting dish below.”

At Glenn’s explanation, the students all revealed a crooked smile. Using one’s blood in magic experiments was relatively common, but that doesn’t make it any easier for the students to draw blood from their own bodies.

“Afterwards, you only need to add a few drops of the serum to the solution. Once you are all done, I will write out the specific formulas on the blackboard to explain the phenomenon. Now, please begin-…”


Just as Glenn finished his explanation, a sudden outburst came from one of the students.

“I absolutely refuse!” Wendy protested.


“Why must I do harm to my own delicate skin for this pointless experiment?”

“Hey, Wendy… What are you saying? Haven’t we drawn blood multiple times before? Why are you bringing that up now?” Sistine rebuked her after being completely fed up with her selfishness.

“She is just being spiteful.” Gibul sneered in reply to Sistine’s words, “She is quite clumsy. By having her work on such convoluted multi-step experiments, she ended up being the slowest of the class!”

“S-shut up, Gibul!” Wendy retorted with her face bright red, “E-either way, I am absolutely against it! If my body were to be injured by this experiment, would you be able to take responsibility?! I-it is definitely not because of my s-slow progress at all!!”

With tears in her eyes, Wendy bit down on her lips in frustration.


Glenn let out a deep sigh.

Among the students in Glenn’s class, Wendy was ranked third in overall grade, right behind Sistine and Gibul. Born of a highly conservative aristocratic family, Wendy greatly valued her pride and could not tolerate her mediocre progress.

“I guess it can’t be avoided… Let’s just use my blood.”

All of the students’ gaze gathered on Glenn once more.

With Glenn’s usual lethargic demeanor, everyone expected him to brush it off with a ‘whatever you want’. As such, everyone was understandably stunned by his uncharacteristic remark. In a way, his remark showed how much he desired for the students to finish this experiment.

“Let me know if there are any other problems. The experiment is close to its end, so bear with me just a little bit more!”

“Ah… W-well, if you say so…”

Dejected, Wendy let her gaze fell to the side.

Glenn didn’t seem to particularly mind and coolly tied a tourniquet around his right arm before drawing his blood with the metal syringe in his left hand.

Ugh… Between the lack of sleep and fatigue, I think I am suffering a bit from mana deficiency. Even a single vial of blood is making me lightheaded…

Glenn barely managed to stay focused as he handed over the blood-filled syringe to Wendy.


“Umm… Can this really be used in the experiment? B-because, you know, using the teacher’s blood makes me feel d-dirty…”

“Is that how you see me?! Are you trying to make me cry? If you are, I will really cry for you!”

“…I’m joking.”

Wendy received the syringe with her face turned away.

“Umm… T-teacher…?”


Turning his head to the voice, Glenn was met by the ponytailed Lynn shyly standing behind.

“Umm.. S-sorry… But c-could I ask for a bit of blood as well?”

Lynn was wearing a mask, with an audible cough from time to time. She was clearly sick. As such, she would be exempt from drawing her own blood by the academy’s own guidelines.

“Alright, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.”

Glenn revealed a calm smile to Lynn as he took the syringe from her and drew another vial of blood.


Another wave of dizziness washed over Glenn. Once again, Glenn remained stalwart as he handed the syringe to Lynn.


“T-thank you very much!”

At this scene, the male students started to stir.

“Ah! T-teacher! Could I ask for a bit of blood as well?”

“I am also sick~”

“To tell you the truth, I am feeling somewhat under the weather.”

“Huh? Strange… I think I am running a fever…”

Glenn simply stared blankly at the clamorous students.

“Hey, that’s enough guys!” Sistine interjected as she stood up from her desk, “Stop making trouble for our teacher! Take care of something as insignificant as that by yourselves! Don’t you have any pride as magicians?!”

“Fine… We will take care of it our-…”


Glenn’s simple answer made the whole class descend into silence.

“It can’t be helped if you are all sick… I… will share my blood with you all… Be sure to last until the very end, alright?” Glenn continued with a surprisingly serene tone.

“N-no, it was only meant as a joke…”

“Here, pass me the syringe.”


Under the intense pressure emitted by the emotionless Glenn, the students nervously passed over the syringes.


“Alright, next.”

“Umm… T-Teacher, I think it is better if we do it ourselves…”

“Hahaha~ No need to show off! Just leave it to your teacher!”



“Good, next.”

“W-wait a moment! Teacher, are you sure it’s fine if you draw that much blood?!” Sistine nervously protested Glenn’s odd behavior.

“Don’t worry about it. I am rather feeling refreshed with all the blood draws.” Glenn replied with a peculiar smile.

The bizarre development was causing a sense of unease within Sistine.

“Good, next…”







◇ ◇ ◇

“Hey, Celica! Is it time yet?”

“Hahaha~ Calm down, Glenn. Alchemy requires patience.”

Glenn suddenly found himself in a grey world, where he was performing an alchemical experiment with Celica. For some odd reason, his gaze was shorter than he had thought, but he felt no sense of discomfort.

“Finally, we will pour in the sodium hydroxide through the glass tube to neutralize the solution… One… Two… Three… Good. Now, open it up and see~”

Glenn eagerly opened the lid of the metallic case and retrieved the glass vial within.


The moment the glass vial came into view, Glenn’s eyes beamed with excitement.

“I-is this really a red magic crystal…?”

“Impressive, isn’t it?”

“Yeah! I have never seen a red magic crystal as awesome as this-…”

◇ ◇ ◇

“Teacher! Please wake up!!”


The grey world quickly dissipated with vigorous shaking, and Glenn found himself back in the real world.

“Huh? Where am I…?”

Around him was the familiar sight of the Academy’s alchemy laboratory, while Glenn himself was lying flat on the ground.

Sistine was kneeling on the floor as she shook Glenn. Closely behind her, Rumia and the rest of the students anxiously looked on.

“T-teacher… Y-you have finally woken up… W-with how sudden it was…”

Rumia let out a sigh of relief.

“Ugh… What happened? The last thing I remembered was the red magic crystal finishing up.”

“What? No! There are still many steps left! Have you gone senile?”

Ignoring Sistine’s incessant chatters, Glenn slowly stood up and shook his groggy head.

“Seriously! Why would you give so much blood when you are under the weather? Are you trying to get yourself killed?!”

“T-Teacher, we have tried giving you an erythropoietin injection, but it doesn’t seem to be very effective. How are you feeling right now?” Rumia asked with a worried tone.

“Better now. I probably fainted from the sudden decrease in blood earlier, but I should be fine now. Sorry for worrying you.”

“…Good. Don’t do anything silly like that in the future!” Sistine berated Glenn with the same critical tone as before, “Still, stop making us worry so much! Although your efforts are commendable, you should at least know your limits!”


“Are you really feeling well? You had been acting weirdly all day, perhaps it would be better if we call quits on the experiment and head to the infirmary.”

“I already told you I’m fine! Everyone, head back to your benches and continue to experiment!”

Seeing Glenn had recovered, the students slowly made their ways back.

“Umm… White Cat?”


“For all the trouble I’ve been causing… Sorry.”


“You are really a cute and bright pupil. I have to say that it is an honor to have a student as excellent as you…”

“””Uwaaa!! H-he really has lost it!!”””

“Y-you! What did you m-mean by that?!”

The students began to riot once more, with Sistine’s voice ringing above everyone else.

◇ ◇ ◇

Once everyone calmed down, the experiment proceeded smoothly under Glenn’s supervision after his dogged insistence to continue.

The students had distilled the solution through a glass still, which yielded a red distillate. The distillate was then poured into a glass vial and placed in a metallic box.

“…At this point, we have finished the alchemical formula specific for Red Magic Crystal. As long as you understand the process up to this point, you should be able to synthesize most flame attribute crystals of the seventh order through the alchemical cauldron with ease.” Glenn explained to the students after everyone’s experiment has been placed in the metallic box, “Up next is the irreversible crystallization step. In other words, it is the step where we ‘grow’ the crystal.”

Glenn wrote out the key points on the board before turning to the students.

As the experiment was nearing its end, the students all seemed particularly restive.

“Everyone, don’t get overconfident now… Waiting for the crystal to grow is also a critical component of the alchemy. Even the slightest change in temperature, humidity, or shock will disrupt the process. So please remain calm.”

“Glenn Radars!! Y-you bastard!!”


The door was thrown open with a loud bang as Halley, another one of the academy’s teachers, burst into the room. The force of the door caused the whole room to tremor.

“W-were you the one who made a mess to my herb garden?! I heard you were the one who was stomping around my garden! I won’t forgive you this time! Duel me!!”

“Haven’t I said to remain calm?! So calm the heck down!!”

In one smooth motion, Glenn rushed over to Halley and shoved a blackboard eraser right in his mouth.


With that done, Glenn paid no further attention to Halley, who was rolling on the floor in pain. Instead, Glenn anxiously turned to the nearby metallic box and opened the lid to check up on the students’ experiment.

“I-is it safe? Did the earlier shock speed up the crystallization? L-looks like… We are good.”

After checking all the vials, Glenn let out a breath of relief.

“Teacher is definitely… overworking himself.”

“Seems like it.”

Rumia revealed a complicated smile, while Sistine gave a deep sigh.

“Y-you bastard… Glenn Radars, are you trying to kill me?”

Halley finally pulled the eraser from his mouth and angrily marched over to Glenn.

“Huh? Ha-…something-senpai? Why are you here?”

“Y-you… Must you provoke me whenever we meet?!”

With veins bulging from his forehead, Halley gripped Glenn’s collar.

“I have heard you were the one who flattened my herb garden! How do you plan to compensate me for the damages?”

“Ah… So that was your herb garden… Sorry, I was busy at the time…”

Glenn lowered his head in apology.

“I will repair the garden for you later, so… Could you forgive me?”

“N-no! It’s also because you always looked down on me!”

“No, how could that… possibly be?”

“What was with that hesitation in your answer? What did you mean by that?!”

“Actually, Hard-gay-senpai is one of my role models in teaching!” Glenn said with a refreshing air.

“That is one of the worst mess-ups of my names you had ever come up with!!”

On the other hand, Halley was fuming with anger, seemingly reaching a boiling point. He pulled off one of his gloves and thrown it at Glenn.

“Now, pick up the glove! I demand a duel!”

“…I got it. If it would please you.”

Under the anxious gaze of the students, Glenn reached out toward the glove.


At that moment, Glenn seemed to have suddenly noticed something and dashed for the windows, stepping on Halley’s glove in the process.

Just to mention, stepping on the gloves of another mage was considered a grave personal insult.


Halley was left speechless by anger.

…How terrible.

The students seemed to be unified in their opinion.

However, Glenn did not pay any attention to the students or Halley. Instead, he stood with his eyes glued to the window, as if staring into apocalypse itself.

“I-it’s raining! W-why must it rain?! D-darn it! At this rate, the humidity will affect the experiment… No, I cannot let that happen!”

Glenn picked up the small dagger on the table and made a small cut to his finger.

“Let’s use Black Magic [Air•Condition] on the wards at the four corners of the room to create a field that lowers the humidity… D-darn it, will I make it in time?” Glenn muttered as he swiftly wrote runes on the wall.

“G-Glenn Radars… Y-you bastard!!”

Halley gripped Glenn with trembling hands.

“Ah! Thank heavens that you are here!” Glenn cheered at Halley’s presence, “Come and help me finish the field! Or rather, get to it already!”

“Idiot-… W-why must I do what you say?”

“What are you waiting for? Hurry up! Do you need me to spell it out for you? Are you really that dumb?!”

“Is that how you ask for a favor? Don’t be unreasonable…”

Oddly enough, Halley seemed to have calmed down with Glenn’s barrage of insults.

“Please! The students’ experiment will be done soon! We can leave the duel till later!”


With the ‘students’ at stake, even Halley could not easily refuse.

“I will definitely chop you into pieces after this…” Halley grumbled as he started to write out the runes in another corner of the room.

“Haa… W-we’ve made it!”

The drizzling sound of rain came from outside.

Glenn let out a sigh of relief as he slowly collapsed onto the floor.

“…Now, Glenn Radars, are you resolved?” Halley asked eagerly while standing before Glenn, fully prepared for combat, “Let us fight outside, I hope you won’t use the rain as an excuse.”

“…Got it.” Glenn replied as he slowly stood up. “To tell you the truth, I do not like to fight. I had experienced too many days of hurting others and getting hurt. Why couldn’t people be nice to one another? I will probably never know…”


“However, if battle were the only way for us to resolve our difference… To save my beloved coworker from the dark feelings, I will take up the mantle! Ready yourself, Ha-…something-senpai!”

“Why are you making it sound like you are on the side of justice? What exactly is wrong with you?!”

Not able to wait any longer to deliver his revenge, Halley opened the laboratory door.

Curiously, a small shadow snuck in from the hallways, right between Halley’s legs.


Glenn leapt toward the shadow the instant he laid his eyes on it.


Halley was also knocked over by the diving Glenn.

“H-hot! HOT!!” Glenn roared as he held the tiny shadow in his hands.

“F-fire rat? W-why would there be a fire rat here?” Sistine exclaimed as she laid her eyes on the intruder.

“N-not good! The summoned fire rats have all gone out of control!”

Screams could be heard from a neighboring classroom.

“C-could it be that something went amiss in the summoning class?”

“D-darn it! Who was the idiot that messed up?!” Glenn lamented while grabbing onto the fire rat, “With this guy around, the surrounding temperature will undoubtedly spike. Haven’t I said before that I need the temperature to remain constant?!”

“T-teacher, I have some bad news…” Rumia announced as she looked out into the hallway, “M-more are coming…”

A massive swarm of fire rats was charging down the hallway, straight for Glenn’s class. The fire rats have a pair of big watery eyes and were considered by many to be a cute little monster. However, to Glenn, they might as well be the demon incarnate.

As the swarm of fire rats entered the laboratory, the surrounding temperature quickly rose.

“This is not funny! We are so close to completion! I won’t let you ruin the experiment!”

In a wild frenzy, Glenn began to scoop one rat after another.

“S-stop, you will get burned like that!”

“At least cast White Magic [Tri•Resist] on yourself first-…”

“There isn’t the time!!”

With countless fire rats in hand, Glenn tried to evict the horde from the classroom.

“Haa… Teacher really is foolhardy…” Gibul mumbled as he stood up from his seat, “Have you forgotten? Fire rats fear the cold since their metabolism will seize if it gets too low. In other words, a simple Black Magic [White•Out] will take care of them…”

With that said, Gibul raised his hand toward the scurrying fire rats.

“Hey! W-wait!! The experiment won’t survive the cold!!” Glenn yelled.

However, it was too late.

“‹Silver mist of winter›…!” Gibul uttered the single phrase spell.

As such, Glenn could neither hope to prepare his three-phrase defensive spell in time nor, with his hands full of fire rats, pull out the tarot card to activate Original Magic [The Fool’s World].

“I won’t g-give up!!”

Devoid of other options, Glenn courageously blocked the cold blast from Gibul’s left hand with his body.


“D-don’t mind me!” Glenn barked as his whole body shivered from the freezing wind, “…E-everyone, use White Magic [Tri•Resist] and c-clear the fire rats o-out!!”

As he gave the orders, Glenn’s body slowly started to keel over. The lack of sleep, the physical fatigue, the low grade mana deficiency, the blood loss, the burning, and the freezing had all taken their toll on him as he finally reached his absolute limit.

“Afterwards… Ah, s-sorry… I… think… I’m done…”


Glenn fell onto the ground.

“T-teacher?! P-please wake up!!”

“Haa… This is partly your own fault! You boys, come help out! We need help bringing him to the infirmary!”

With the voice of Rumia and Sistine receding from his consciousness, Glenn slowly faded into the darkness.

◇ ◇ ◇

In the end, the crisis with the fire rats was successfully resolved. After Glenn had lost consciousness, the other class had arrived to help, and, under the excellent command of Sistine, the students were able to capture most of the fire rats.

Fortunately, the experiments were unaffected by the commotion.

The field that Halley helped establish in the laboratory was more effective at stabilizing the temperature than previously thought. In a way, the students were able to avert disaster thanks to the first-rate magician Halley.

“Uwaa! Cool!!”

“Is this really a red magic crystal?!”

Later on, the students removed their glass vial from the metallic box and were awed by the sight of the crystal within.

“H-huge… To think red magic crystals could get so large…”

“…It is quite a surprise. Even natural crystals rarely reach such sizes.”

“The crystal is really pretty… The light passing through the deep crimson interior is mesmerizing.”

“It is completely different from a natural crystal, since there is no impurity to be found within… So it is no wonder why you would consider it as pretty.”

The students took the crystals out from the vial and carefully inspected them in the light. With the unexpected surprise that exceeded their expectations, the students were clamoring in excitement. If they had instead used the alchemical cauldron, the resulting crystal would be no larger than a pebble.


At that time, Wendy stood away from the jubilant crowd, quietly examining her own red magic crystal. Although the size was slightly smaller than her classmates’, she was nevertheless euphoric at the result, especially considering her usual clumsiness.

“…Glenn, was it?”

To be honest, Wendy never particularly enjoyed Glenn’s lectures. As his lectures tend to veer heavily on the practical aspects of magic, Wendy, who was raised on the conservative values of an aristocratic magician family, had always seen them as inelegant and plebeian. As such, Wendy had more than once thought about requesting a transfer to a different class.

“…It doesn’t hurt to stay for a bit longer.”

However, touched by Glenn’s courageous acts in saving their experiment, Wendy thought to herself with upturned lips as she tightly gripped the red magic crystal in her hand.

◇ ◇ ◇

In the infirmary, Glenn slept soundly on the bed.

“Really… How is it that he always cause others worry…”

Sistine had been complaining for a while.

“He needs to develop a calm judgment for what ‘he can do’. Otherwise, he will surely face regret one day.”

“Ahaha… I’m sure he understands…” Rumia consoled the nearby Sistine and reached out to pat Glenn’s head, “Thank you, teacher, for always giving it your all.”


Glenn revealed a calm smile as he slept, likely having a pleasant dream.

◇ ◇ ◇

“I-is this really a red magic crystal…?”

“Impressive, isn’t it?”

“Yeah! I have never seen a red magic crystal as awesome as this! It is as brilliant as the sun in the skies above~”

(1) For those who are curious, Cerotte trees (シロッテ) are Glenn’s infamous emergency rations when he runs out of money, as shown here in episode 5 of the anime.

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S01 Chapter 1: Bastard Magic Instructor Goes Beyond His Limits

TL/N: There has been some discussions on discord regarding this, but I would like to put it to the general readership to decide. Basically, would you like me to finish all the chapters of the side story first? OR proceed to vol 7 first and come back to wrap up the remaining side story (this vote would only affect one side story, the one about parent visitation day, already present in the manga) between vol 7 and 8 instead? Vote here: http://www.strawpoll.me/14925651


“Ugh… Seriously! The nerves of that guy!”

On this day, Sistine seemed particularly enraged.

With her beautiful visage twisted by anger, Sistine paced back and forth in the empty hallways of Alzano Magic Academy’s main building as her whole body trembled uncontrollably. Her loud stomping unleashed her rage on the hapless floor beneath, where a curious shine reflected the extent of its abuse.

“Try to calm down, Sisti.”

Rumia followed closely behind, trying her best to calm the fuming Sistine. In contrast to Sistine, Rumia appeared surprisingly calm.

“How could I possibly calm down?!”

Sistine pressed her hand against the nearby window and gave Rumia a menacing glare.

“What the heck was ‘it’s getting dull, so let us call it a day’ supposed to mean? There was another whole twenty minutes till the end of class! What does that moron of a teacher take his job for?!”

Unsurprisingly, the cause of Sistine’s anguish was none other than a certain new teacher at the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy – Glenn Radars.

“However, wasn’t he able to cover all the material? Not to mention, the quality of his lecture was excellent. So, Sistine-…”

“That’s not the problem! The problem is with his attitude and irresponsibility!”

Exactly as Sistine said, Glenn was notorious around the academy for his poor behavior. The criticism levied toward him were endless, among which included not performing laboratory experiments, not conducting research, skipping staff meetings, avoiding cleanups, teaching students inappropriate spells, playing pranks on others, demonstrating a clear disrespect toward magic, and, last but not least, displaying excessive laziness. Understandably, most of the teachers at the academy held Glenn in a terribly low regard.

Incidentally, Glenn tended to remain serious during class, and his classes were well-known for their quality. As such, Glenn was able to retain his position despite constant protest, although it was hard to say for how long.

“Seriously… I warned him day after day to shape up, but he never listens!”

Being polar opposites, the honor student Sistine and the apathetic Glenn were like oil and water. Whenever Glenn was nearby, Sistine would unabashedly chastise him like a mother scolding a child. Even now, Sistine had just came out from a quarrel with Glenn and was clearly still agitated by the encounter.

“Rumia, you too… You are being way too soft on him! He wouldn’t behave like this if you had also admonished his appalling behavior from time to time!”

Met with the anger of her best friend, Rumia simply revealed a calming smile.

“Hehehe~ I bet Sistine is just worried about our teacher, right?”


Taken aback by Rumia’s sudden remark, Sistine froze completely as her face started to cramp up.

“You know… Worried if our teacher keeps on acting that way, he would one day be fired…”

“W-wait! Rumia, y-you are definitely m-mistaken about something! Y-yes… D-definitely mistaken!!” Sistine hastily refuted Rumia with a bright red face, “W-why should I care if h-he gets fired or not?!”

“Huh? Do you hate our teacher?”

“Probably… n-not.” Sistine murmured under her breath as she turned her eyes away to evade Rumia’s curious glance.

Sistine did not hate Glenn. Even if Glenn was a lackadaisical and worthless bastard, Sistine could not bring herself to hate him from the bottom of her heart. This was because Sistine has come to know the ‘real’ Glenn through a certain incident the previous month.

“I know Sistine scold our teacher out of care, but hasn’t it been a bit over the top as of late?”

“O-over the top? Me?”

Rumia gave a light nod to Sistine in affirmation.

“You already know what Glenn is like, so it doesn’t hurt to cut him some slack from time to time. After all, you may end up becoming hated if you criticize him whenever you two meet.”


With Rumia’s response, Sistine settled down and reflected her actions in the recent days.

Rumia’s words had a certain truth to them. Typically, Sistine would just let out a long sigh whenever Glenn did something out of the ordinary, but recently, she seemed to be particularly less tolerant in her encounters.

“…To tell you the truth, I had quite a few misfortunes as of late.”


“My new notebook was completely painted black, my hair got mysteriously stained with ink during laboratory class, and the snacks I was saving for later suddenly disappeared… So, I guess I have gotten slightly tense.”

“Ahaha… But still, it’s wrong to redirect your anger on our teacher.”

Sistine could only passively accept Rumia’s criticisms.

“Why not go apologize to him? Just to mention, our next class is the magic combat practicum, so let us head over now or we may end up late for class!”

With that said, Rumia began to walk down the hallways, before urging Sistine on with a smile.

Seriously, I can’t win against her logic…

On top of her discerning eyes, Rumia was able to remain composed regardless of the circumstances. As such, Sistine had always looked up to Rumia.


With a sigh, Sistine decided to follow after Rumia.

What she said was certainly true. Despite our teacher’s hatred of magic, he nevertheless gave us excellent lectures, so it doesn’t hurt to be a bit more forgiving of his actions from time to time. I guess I should try to be more like Rumia and carry myself with patience…

◇ ◇ ◇

“T-to heck with patience…!!”

Sistine’s voice echoed in the academy courtyard, the location of their magic combat practicum.

It was a warm and comfortable day, with clear blue skies stretching all the way to the horizons. In short, it was the perfect day for an outdoor class.

“Hey, y-you! W-what is that?!”


Faced with Sistine’s sudden outburst, Glenn turned around with a baffled expression.

“Is something wrong? White Cat, don’t just start shouting at random. Try not to be so jumpy every time~”

Just to mention, Glenn seemed to call Sistine ‘White Cat’ for some reason, but no one seemed to particularly know why.

“H-haven’t I told you to stop calling me a cat-… No, now’s not the time for that! W-what is that t-thing coiled around your body?!”

Glenn blankly looked at himself. At a glance, it looked like a thick rope, but the ‘rope’ seemed to have a triangular head, two bright eyes, and a forked tongue that would come in and out of his mouth. It wasn’t hard for anyone to identify the ‘rope’ around Glenn.


“Of course I know that! What I really want to know is why do you have a huge snake here?!”

“It’s for today’s class.” Glenn calmly replied.

Ahh… Not again.

Sistine knitted her brows from a brewing headache.

Glenn had always acted in strange and inexplicable ways, usually with an uncharacteristic calm.

“T-teacher… I-isn’t that snake dangerous?” Rumia asked as she approached Glenn out of fear for his health.

Certainly, among the members of the class, Rumia was one of the few known for her fearlessness. The rest of her classmates, including Sistine, stood as far away as possible from the snake.

“If that snake is poisonous-…”

“Don’t worry, Rumia.” Glenn declared with a face full of confidence, “This here is called the Ranaudo snake. It is one of the snakes reared by the academy, and it has been defanged. Not to mention, this type of snake is naturally docile, so it won’t bite.”

“Umm…” Rumia seemed somewhat reluctant to interject, “It is currently biting your head.”


Glenn stood there in a peculiar silence for a few moments.

“Kiyaaa! It huuurts!!”


Having been bitten by the snake, Glenn rolled fervently on the grass while unleashing a painful howl.

“Y-you bastard! How dare you bite me?! That big mouth of yours is going to get someone killed! Stop joking around! P-please stop! I beg you… P-please let go of my head!!”

The students looked at the pitiful Glenn with blank stares as he pleaded with the snake to release its grip.

“Ugh… B-bastard… b-bondage p-play is against… t-the rules…”

The snake used its massive body to tightly bind Glenn, through which dreadful creaks could be heard as Glenn writhed underneath the crushing force.

“Haa… You are really beyond help…” Sistine sighed as she raised her hand to recite a spell.

◇ ◇ ◇

“U-ugh… I a-almost died there! D-darn it, Celica… What was that about it being docile? It is a natural born disaster!”

Glenn feebly stood up after tossing aside the snake paralyzed by Sistine’s spell, Black Magic [Shock•Volt].

“Umm… Could we end the silliness and get back to class?”

Sistine tried her best to remain calm and forgiving. After all, Glenn’s antics were nothing new, so there was no reason to get angry. However, despite her best efforts, she could not stop the veins on her forehead from betraying her inner thought.

“Ah… That’s right! Today’s topic was ‘the art of poison in magic combat, its use and defense’.”

With the snake knocked out, Glenn finally got back on topic, and the students huddled closer to listen.


From the corner of the courtyard, Glenn brought over a blackboard and propped it on a tripod. Taking out a piece of chalk, Glenn wrote down the title of their lesson on the blackboard.

“If I am not wrong, in your minds, combat between magicians, that is, magic combat, is a fast-paced battle of wit and knowledge. A battle where both sides rely on offensive spells, conjuring up fire, lightning, and ice as they try to outmaneuver their opponent and, at the same time, try to protect themselves with appropriate defensive spells. Am I right?”

Glenn jotted down the keywords in his explanation before turning to the students.

“While this isn’t particularly wrong, it is largely a romanticized version of magic combat that does not reflect the realities in the field. Instead, I will teach you about the true key to victory, the use of ‘poison’.”

“Hmph! Isn’t getting poisoned just means one lacked vigilance?” Gibul, one of the students in Glenn’s class sporting a pair of glasses, scoffed at Glenn’s words, “Poisons are largely confined to dispersive magic, so a simple Black Magic [Air•Screen] would be able to block any attempts. Not to mention, even if one did get poisoned, there is always White Magic [Blood•Clearance] for detoxification. It is hard for me to see how ‘poison’ could be as you described.”

“Mmn… Gibul is absolutely correct. Artificial poisons are limited to dispersive spells, so unless the user had overwhelming magic or the opponent was completely negligent, it could not count as an effective way to victory.”

Yet, despite Gibul’s comments, Glenn revealed a confident smile.

“Then, what about natural poisons?”

“Natural poisons?”

“For example, venomous serpents or insects. Creatures that come with a natural poison would require a matching antidote in addition to detoxification magic. Wouldn’t that prove much difficult to overcome?”

“Of course not! How could anyone possibly inflict a natural poison on their opponent during magic combat? Certainly, they wouldn’t stuff the poison in a syringe and throw it at their enemy!” Gibul replied as he shrugged his shoulders.

However, having seen through Gibul’s response, Glenn smiled as he tapped on something with the tip of his shoes.

“Then… How about this?”

The students curiously swarmed around to take a look. At the tip of his feet was a small glass box, and inside was a tiny serpent. As everyone’s attention was focused on the large snake earlier, no one had noticed the tiny one on the ground.

“This little fellow is a Cucina snake, a truly venomous serpent. Although it is tiny, this serpent has a ferocious bite and long fangs, where even the soles of some thinner shoes could easily be pierced. I won’t be able to let it out, since it is quite dangerous.”

Some of the students took a step back after hearing the words ‘truly venomous’.

“Think about it, if I made this tiny serpent into a familiar and, when we entered combat, secretly have it released to bite my opponent in the foot. How do you think it will end?”

With Glenn’s words, Gibul face seemed to turn rigid, likely brainstorming a possible counter.

“B-but, as long as the opponent is properly prepared, I am certain it is possible to prepare the antidote beforehand…”

“Really? Have you forgotten that the antidote must match with the natural poisons? Are you planning to bring every possible antidote with you to the battlefield? Considering the weight, are you willing to forgo magic tools? At the same time, when will you have time to take the antidote? Certainly not when you are busy chanting offensive spells, right?”


“Not to mention, a simple paint on the serpent will make it difficult to distinguish the type, thus turning your preparations moot. Lastly, if the serpent was a modified species using white magic and alchemy, how would you know if your antidotes even work?”

“Ugh… H-however, everyone should be able to detect a serpent creeping up to them…”

“Huh? Remind me again, who was it that was focused on the large snake and completely neglected the existence of the tiny one?”

Gibul was left utterly speechless.

Other students also quickly checked their legs out of fear that a snake would slither up.

“Either way, these are the mere basics. Certainly, a professional mage would not stoop to such tactics. However, for magician assassins, they generally have a wide repertoire of poison. Doesn’t sound really honorable, right? For the mighty magician to be taken out by a single drop of poison. Yet, I assure you, such occurrences are far from rare.”

Glenn then turned his attention to the rest of the students.

“Either way, familiarizing yourselves with the use of poison in magic combat and its appropriate counters are very important. For those who wish to work in civil services, this knowledge isn’t absolutely necessary. However, for those oddballs who wish to enter ‘Imperial Court Mage Corps’ or something similar, such knowledge may save your life one day.”

As expected of Glenn.

Sistine could not help but be impressed with Glenn’s lecture. In just a few short minutes, Glenn had made the students painfully aware the importance of poison during magic combat. If it were any other instructor, they would have certainly dismissed natural poison as something unethical and dishonorable for a magician. Yet, for Glenn, his lectures have always been grounded in reality, and Sistine was thankful for it.

“I see…” Sistine muttered under her breath as she let out a sigh, “Is that why teacher bought the large snake today? To teach us the importance of poison?”

“Huh? Of course not.” Glenn immediately refuted Sistine’s conclusion, “Honestly, I doubt I had to go to such lengths if it were only to teach you guys the dangers of natural poison.”

Sistine was taken aback by Glenn’s statement.

“Also, didn’t I mention it earlier? That fellow was reared by the school and has already been defanged. How could a useless snake like this possibly be of any worth to our lecture?”

Glenn picked the large snake up from the ground and turned it to Sistine.


Sistine took a step back to Glenn’s confrontation attitude.

“T-then why did teacher bring such a large snake to class?”

“Huh… Isn’t it obvious?” Glenn said with a puffed chest, “To see the looks on young maidens’ faces as they scream in horror~”

“I can’t imagine a worse reason!” Sistine lamented with her hands gripping her head.

“Before you two arrived, both Lynn and Wendy were crying splendidly… I almost dare say that it could awaken a new fetish~”

Glenn revealed a disgusting smile.

“Shut up, y-you pervert! P-pervert!!” Sistine shouted as her entire body quivered in anger.

Ah… Here it comes again…

The entire class seemed to let out a sigh in agreement.

“I have had enough! Do you not have a single ounce of pride as a teacher of the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy?! Listen carefully, your lackadaisical attitude will damage public confidence in the academy-…”

“H-how annoying! Why must you always drone on and on? Just leave me alone, idiot!”

As expected…

Faced with this anticipated development, the students winced at one another. Yet, the scene felt slightly different from the usual.

Unlike before, where Sistine would march right up to Glenn and unleash a torrent of words, Sistine seemed to be keeping her distance today. While her words were as harsh as expected, they seemed to lack the usual fervor.


Glenn seemed to have also caught on to Sistine’s curious behavior as he glared at her with suspicion.

“W-what are you staring at?”

Her jabs also seemed to lack their usual sharpness.


Glenn remained silent, seemingly deep in thought. He looked down at the large snake in his hand and then to Sistine before reaching an epiphany.

“Oh? Could you be…?”

Glenn smirked as he brought the large snake closer to Sistine.


Almost instantaneously, Sistine’s zeal evaporated as she drew back with a pale face.

“What a splendid response, certainly better than anyone else in class. White Cat, are you really that afraid of snakes?”

“W-what? O-of course I am n-not afraid!” Sistine retorted as she evaded Glenn’s gaze.

How obvious…

Having discovered an unexpected weakness of Sistine, Glenn revealed a devious smile.

“Yes, you are absolutely correct… I have definitely gone too far, and I will reflect my actions.”

Glenn slowly approached Sistine, with the large snake in hand.


Sistine reflexively drew further back, but her feet refused to budge from the sheer fear. As she tried to get her feet to listen, Glenn crept closer and closer.

“You have always thought to advise me, but I foolishly ignored your words… Oh, what shame I brought to the most noble of professions!”

“A-ah… Uuu…!”

“I know it might be late, but will you forgive me?”

Glenn reached his hand out with the snake coiled around his arm.

“As long as you will forgive me and accept my handshake, I will vow to correct my foolish behavior!”

Glenn revealed a bright but obviously deceptive smile.

“Uuu… S-snake… D-do not… C-close…”

Glenn peered closer with the snake in hand.

“I am saddened… When I clearly wish to make amends, why do you reject me?”

“D-didn’t I say… s-snake?”

“Huh? Could you repeat that? I didn’t quite catch it~”

Glenn turned his ear to Sistine.

“P-please, d-don’t come over here…”

“Huh? That’s odd… Could there be something wrong with my hearing?”

Glenn continued to push closer.


Something seemed to have slowly cracked within Sistine’s mind.


“Huh? What? I didn’t…”

“I told you to stay away!!”

Sistine finally couldn’t bear with it anymore, and immediately raised her left hand toward the approaching Glenn.

“‹Great spirit of the wind›…!”

Without a single hesitation, Sistine chanted her spell.


There wasn’t any time for Glenn to prepare a defensive spell as a powerful burst of wind smacked right into Glenn’s face.


Glenn let out a girlish scream as he was blown away into the air, before tumbling back down onto the ground, only to come to a stop when he smacked into the trunk of a nearby tree.

“Y-you… Why did you suddenly chant that spell? Isn’t it a bit of overkill? Was that really necessary?”

Glenn seemed to be unable to stand up from the severity of the injury. He simply laid flat on the gravel road with a slight twitch from time to time.

“S-shut up! It’s all his fault!”

Sistine dashed over with tears at the corner of her eyes.

Rumia was unsure how to comfort her best friend and followed closely behind.

“W-what a distasteful prank! Y-you definitely deserves to get f-fired!”

Despite blasting Glenn with magic, Sistine remained furious. In her rage, Sistine reflexively raised her foot to kick a small pebble nearby.

“Sisti! S-stop!”


Rumia was too late as Sistine had already thrown out her foot.


Her foot seemed to have shattered something with the kick.


When they remembered their lesson, the students quickly realized the only object that could possibly shatter.


“Ahhh! S-snake! The snake is set loose!!”

The first students to realize began to scramble from the courtyard.

With a face as pale as a sheet, Sistine nervously turned to look near her foot. She saw the tiny serpent exit through a small crack in the glass enclosure.


At that moment, Sistine was completely paralyzed with fear.

“Sisti, it’s dangerous! Get away!”

Rumia’s warning was to no avail.


The serpent immediately sank its fangs into Sistine’s foot, and, as the fangs pierced through the thin shoes, Sistine felt an intense jolt of pain.


The poison was quick to act. A burning sensation coursed through her veins and enveloped her whole body. Sistine’s heart began to race uncontrollably, and her consciousness slowly gave way to darkness. With a slight wobble, Sistine felt a certain litheness to her body as the ground quickly rose up to meet her body.

“S-Sisti! W-wake up!”

Barely cognizant on the ground, Sistine heard the frantic cries of her best friend.

“I-idiot! H-hey, wake up!”

Soon, Sistine heard a second, restless voice as she felt herself being lifted up.

◇ ◇ ◇

In the academy’s infirmary.

Professor Celica Arfonia watched helplessly over to the comatose Sistine on the infirmary bed.

“I-is it… impossible?”


Celica gave a nod to the anxious Glenn standing nearby.

“H-hey, don’t joke like that! Are you not the great seventh-ranked magician on the continent? I’m certain you would have a remedy! Please!”

Glenn gripped Celica’s shoulders with a pained face and pushed her against the glass cabinet, desperate for a cure.

“Although we seventh-ranked magicians are close to monsters, we are not gods. Even we could not revive the dead.” Celica said as she meekly shook her head.

“D-darn it!”

After releasing Celica, Glenn turned to punch the nearby wall out of frustration.

“There may be a way to save her.” Celica divulged.


The sudden ray of hope made Glenn quickly turn to Celica. However, Celica remained stern.

“What is the way? Celica, tell me!”

“Your life.”

“My… Life?”

Glenn was taken aback by Celica’s answer.

“To call upon miracles require equal sacrifice. Glenn, are you willing to give your life for hers?”

Celica’s question made Glenn pause for a moment, before turning to the comatose Sistine.

“She… still has a future.”


“Yes. If it is for the sake of her future, take my life as you will!”

Glenn faced Celica with a resolute look on his face.

“I… wanted to hear that…”

Touched by Glenn’s determination, Celica wiped away the tears at the corner of her eyes.

“Could you not just kill me off like this?!”

At that moment, Sistine leapt up from the bed and protested.

“S-Sisti, don’t get up! Hurry, lie back down!”

Rumia tried to push Sistine back down on the bed, but was completely overwhelmed by Sistine.

“Professor Celica, why did you also partake in the prank?”

“Ah… I guess it’s for the ‘boldness of youth’?”

Sistine felt slightly faint from Celica’s words.

“I always wanted to use the phrase ‘take my life as you will’ at least once~”

“…Mmn. I wholeheartedly agree… It is quite romantic.”

“S-stop, you problematic pair of mentor and pupil!”

Celica served as a professor of magic arts at the academy and Glenn’s mentor. Having come in contact with Celica through Glenn, Rumia and Sistine had realized the rumors of her being a ‘cool beauty’ was completely unjustified. Rather, the mentor and pupil were cut from the same cloth.

“Ugh… It’s hurting again…”

Perhaps from the sudden burst of excitement, Sistine’s previously stable condition relapsed as she felt a wave of nausea wash over her.

“Do not worry. While the tiny snake may be venomous, it wasn’t a fatal poison. Regrettably, the academy ran out of the specific antidote.”


“Without the antidote, you will suffer from fever, fatigue, nausea, headache, and peripheral numbness for the better part of a week. Granted, there is always risk of the conditions suddenly taking a turn for the worse – even death, but they are largely limited to patients with poor constitution. So, sleep easy and just take the week off.”

“Huh? D-death?! Umm… Is there no antidote available in the town?” Rumia worriedly asked Celica.

“It would prove hard. The antidote for Cucina snake’s poison is the ‘Roulade Flower’, but the flower is currently out of season.”

“…I see.”

“Alternatively, a few tend to bloom in the ‘Lost Forest’ on the north side of campus, but they are generally quite rare and only come into bloom at night, thus not really worth the trouble. Personally, I haven’t received any reports of recent sightings, so my suggestion is for you to simply sleep it off.”

With that said, Celica left the infirmary.

“Ugh… I-it’s hot… It hurts… N-nausea… c-can’t breathe…”

“Sisti… H-hold on!”

With a sad look in her eyes, Rumia tried her best to comfort the suffering Sistine.

“…Mmn. Either way, White Cat, get some rest for the week.”

Glenn slightly shrugged his shoulders and gave a seemingly irresponsible advice.

“S-seriously, whose fault was it… that I turned out this way…”

“Of course it is your own. Weren’t you the one who broke the glass box?”

“Ugh… R-right.”


Glenn took his leave, with his robe draped over his arm.

“Heh… It should be nice to have a week without your nagging.”

“Ugh… H-how could you say something like that…? R-remember this…”

“Hahaha! I already have forgotten it.”

After leaving those words, Glenn left the infirmary.

◇ ◇ ◇

In the evening, Rumia secretly snuck out the dormitory in her school uniform and headed to the Lost Forest.

Even while knowing that ‘the Lost Forest contain many dangerous monsters’, that ‘It’s forbidden for students to enter’, and that ‘It may be a fruitless endeavor’, Rumia nevertheless decided to venture forth in search for the Roulade Flower. She could not simply stand by and watch her best friend suffer. Contrary to her reserved appearance, Rumia was quite the brave soul inside.

Rumia quietly made her way to the north side of campus and reached the entrance of the dense Lost Forest.

“Uuu… As expected, it’s scary.”

In the darkness, the ancient trees of the forest swaying in the wind gave way to the sight of dancing monsters, stretching all the way into the depth of the abyss. The chilling winds consistently reminded Rumia of the stillness of the night, only to be punctuated by the harrowing cries of owls. Even the fragrance of the aging woods gave Rumia an incredible sense of unease as she peered into the otherworldly scene.

“Everything will definitely be fine.” Rumia softly encouraged herself as took her first steps on the damp soil and made her way into the forest.

I am a magician, and a magician could definitely overcome such trifles.

Rumia constantly reminded herself to be brave as she began to explore the vast forest with a small light at her fingertips.

◇ ◇ ◇

However, her biggest mistake was assuming the dangers of the forest to be mere ‘trifles’.

“Haa… Haa…”

Rumia leaned on a nearby tree, lacking even the strength to scream. She has been completely backed into a corner.

Rumia attentively gazed into the pitch darkness before her. Having confirmed ‘its’ existence, a crushing fear gripped her heart and made her hair stood on end. Faced with certain death, Rumia trembled and sweated uncontrollably as her breath became erratic.

Accompanied by a low growl, ‘it’ stared with a pair of glowing eyes as it slowly approached from between the trees. Its razor sharp teeth and claws glimmered in the dim light.

It was a shadow wolf, a ferocious monster known to lurk in the deep recesses of the forest, and far beyond the abilities of Rumia to handle.

Aah… W-what to do?!

When Rumia first encountered the shadow wolf, she calmly chased it away with an offensive spell, but that in itself was a mistake. Although Rumia was skilled with white magic, she was weak with black magic. For the cunning and wizened wolf, her attack had fully revealed her inability to defend herself. As such, the wolf reevaluated her as a ‘prey’ rather than a mere ‘observational target’, and continued to chase after her.

“‹T-thunder sprites•Pay heed and strike•With your electric shock›…!” Rumia chanted the Black Magic [Shock•Bolt] in its three phrase form.

From Rumia’s fingertip, a weak bolt of purple lightning shot out toward the pair of eyes. However, the wolf simply dodged the bolt with a single leap and continued to approach. The futile struggle repeated for a few times.

Ahh… I-it’s no use… I am o-out of mana…

With continued use of spells, Rumia was soon beset by mana deficiency.


Likely sensing an opportunity, the shadow wolf pounced on Rumia. Faced with certain death, Rumia impulsively closed her eyes and turned her face away.

Sorry, Sisti…

Moments before its sharp teeth and claws made contact with Rumia’s soft skin, a single voice ran out in the silence.

“‹Ferocious thunder emperor, pay heed•Brilliant lance of light•Pierce›…!”

When the three phrase chant was complete, a streak of light drew a line across the darkness. It pierced through the wolf before Rumia, killing it instantly.

“T-that was…?”

The light was from Black Magic [Lightning•Pierce], a spell used to penetrate through heavily armored foes.

“…Rumia, are you alright?”

From far in the darkness, a single silhouette appeared with a lit fingertip.


Having been utterly terrified by her experiences in the forest, Rumia ran toward her savior with tear-filled eyes.

“T-teacher! T-thank you! It’s all thanks-…”


Instead of her desired hug, Rumia was flicked on the forehead by Glenn.

“O-ouch…” Rumia cried as she rubbed the red mark on her forehead.

“You idiot! Why did you come out here in the middle of the night?” Glenn angrily lectured Rumia, “Don’t you know the rules? Students are not supposed to come to this forest! Seriously, if I haven’t made it in time, you would’ve been eaten by that mutt…”

“B-but… I have to help Sisti! Ignoring Sisti’s plight is too painful for me, not to mention the risk of the condition suddenly taking a turn for the worse. I couldn’t simply sit by and let her suffer!”

“So you also came out to find the antidote? Still, you should know better. How do you think White Cat will feel if something were to happen to you?!”


Rumia could not think of any arguments to refute Glenn’s logic. However, something else caught her attention.


Speaking of which, why is Glenn out here?

Rumia could not hide her curiosity at Glenn’s inadvertent slip of tongue.

“Teacher… What do you mean by ‘also’?”


Glenn was clearly reluctant at providing an answer. His eyes dodged Rumia’s as he mumbled under his breath.

“Could it be that teacher is also worried about Sisti and came out here to find the antidote?”

“O-of course not! Why should I c-care what happens to White Cat?” Glenn nervously replied.

At this obvious deception, Rumia could not help but laugh.

“I-I’m here b-because… Umm… A s-stroll! Yes, I am out here for a stroll!”

“In the middle of the night?”


“In a place like this?”


Glenn remained obstinate with his excuse.

“N-not to mention, if I get lucky and find that antidote… I am certain it could be sold for a high price! A n-nice little side income, t-that is all!”

After Glenn one-sidedly gave his justification, he turned around and briskly walked into the forest.

“More importantly! Rumia, are you here to find the antidote? I will be worried if you went alone, so I will let you tag along with me! Let’s hope we will chance upon the antidote during my completely normal stroll.” Glenn said as he appeared to take a large step forward.

“Really… Can’t you be a bit more honest…?”

The childish Glenn gave off the air of reliability and silliness at the same time. At his suggestion, Rumia decided to follow closely behind.

◇ ◇ ◇

Since then, the pair continued to search the forest for the antidote – although Glenn insisted that it was a stroll. In the process, they were attacked a few times by monsters, but Glenn easily chased them away with military-grade spells. Granted, Glenn’s shortest spells still required three phrases, demonstrating a clear lack of talent. However, Glenn had excellent tactical judgment to compensate, skills expected for a veteran of countless battles.

No… Teacher is actually…

Everyone knew about Glenn’s intense hatred of magic. As such, between Glenn’s colorful past and his skillful use of magic to defeat his enemies, Rumia could not help but feel slightly conflicted inside.

“Hey, are you tired?”

At that moment, Glenn noticed the odd behavior of Rumia and stopped to check up on her.

“I’m fine.”


Glenn stared blankly at Rumia’s nervous headshake.

“Let us take a break.” Glenn suddenly declared.


“Although that is the case, nights in Fejite are notoriously cold regardless of the season, just standing in place will quickly rob us of our heat. While the uniforms do come with basic heating enhancements, there are still limits to its ability. It may be annoying, but let’s start a campfire.”

“T-teacher, wait a moment!” Rumia called out to Glenn as he began to search for kindling nearby.


“I-I am fine! So please don’t worry about me.”

“Idiot, I am the one tired and in need for a break.”

Glenn’s words may sound cold and heartless, but everyone could tell it was a lie. Even the densest of people could realize that Glenn simply wanted Rumia to get some rest.

Teacher, seriously…

Despite the awkwardness, Rumia was very happy for the care Glenn had shown her. Rumia knew that while Glenn may act silly and difficult on the surface, he was actually a gentle soul underneath.

“…In that case, let me help with the fire.”

Rumia revealed a bright smile, and followed after Glenn to collect the kindling. Before long, the pair piled the kindling together, and lit the campfire with magic.

As the small ember dispersed the curtain of darkness, Rumia mused how this light provided a refuge in an almost alien landscape. While they rested, the flickering light casted long shadows on the nearby trees, giving the appearance of dancing silhouettes in the distant.

“To think you wore so little coming into the woods at night. Idiot, it’s no longer a matter of being cold or not…”

Rumia stared blankly at the flame as she sat near the fire place under the cover of Glenn’s overcoat. In the frozen night, Rumia felt an incredible warmth wash over her.

◇ ◇ ◇

Plop. Plop.

Strangely, Rumia felt a rhythmic shake, as if she was sleeping in a cradle.

“…Uhh. Huh?”

At that moment, Rumia noticed a slight discrepancy. She felt a pleasant warmth, but the flames were nowhere to be seen.

“…Have you awoken, Rumia? Sorry about it, but it will be dawn if we keep staying there.”

“I… fell asleep? Huh?”

Rumia slowly recovered her consciousness and had regained awareness of her surroundings.

“Between your first trip into the woods and the being exhausted of mana, you were probably more tired than you think. Not much of a surprise, considering the sheltered life you have been living…”

“T-teacher?!” Rumia suddenly let out a piercing cry that echoed through the woods.

Rumia was shocked at her current predicament. Having fallen asleep, Rumia didn’t realize that she was being carried on Glenn’s back. Glenn seemed undisturbed by the sudden outburst and continued to walk through the woods.


On the other hand, Rumia was beet red from her proximity with Glenn. She became even more flustered when she recalled that the earlier heat was from Glenn’s back.

“Umm… T-teacher, please let me down! I am better now!”

Partly troubled and partly embarrassed, Rumia pleaded with Glenn to be let down.

“Don’t force yourself. How could you be fine after using all that magic? You were only inches away from full blown mana deficiency.”


“The symptoms should manifest after a while. If my assumptions are correct, you should not have the strength to walk, so just rest.”


Disregarding her racing heart and nervous thoughts, Rumia was able to confirm her own state. Glenn was absolutely correct. If she wasn’t distracted by the fact that she was ‘being carried by Glenn’, Rumia would have noticed that her whole body felt as heavy as lead.

Undeniably, it was caused by her excessive mana use, in which the symptoms were consistent with that of early stage mana deficiency. Even if Glenn did let her down, she would certainly be unable to walk.

“I-I understand… Then… I will trouble Teacher for a bit…”


This can’t be helped…

Rumia constantly reminded herself, but her face remained warm, although less than the scorching sensation from before. As her maiden heart raced in her chest, Rumia anxiously brainstormed possible excuses for when Glenn notices.


Despite her worries, Rumia still unconsciously hugged Glenn tightly. From behind, she felt Glenn’s shoulders were amazingly wide.

“Seriously, you always cause trouble for me… Are you doing it on purpose?” Glenn muttered, without any consideration to Rumia’s feelings.

“S-sorry. T-teacher, are we continuing today’s stroll?” Rumia asked with her head turned away in embarrassment.

“Mmn… I suddenly feel like trekking a new trail!”

“In the middle of the night?”


“In a place like this?”


Glenn continued to walk deeper into the forest.

“Umm… T-teacher, since you are probably tired as well, why not call it a day?”

“What are you talking about? How could I cut short my chance to carry a cute female student on my back? No matter how you feel, I won’t let you go so easily~”


Glenn revealed a sinister smile to Rumia.

Seeing through Glenn’s obvious lie, Rumia could only let out a stifled laughter. She knew very well that Glenn weren’t the type of man to take advantage of her.

Rumia knew that while Glenn tended to act silly and difficult, he had always been the same Glenn as during her ‘crisis’. Sadly, the rest of the students, unfamiliar with Glenn’s past, continued to treat him with disdain. Yet, precisely because of Glenn’s kindness, a certain feeling of guilt washed over Rumia.

Sisti, I’m sorry. Just for this moment, forgive me…

Rumia tightly hugged Glenn from behind and rested her head upon his as they continued to walk.

◇ ◇ ◇

After a while, Rumia finally recovered enough stamina to walk on her own two feet. Her two eyes scoured the surrounding for the antidote.

“Ah, Teacher! I have found it!”

Not sure how long they had searched, but the skies were slowly dyed with a murky light. In the darkness, the gentle glow of the flower revealed itself between the roots of the tree, almost hidden from view.

Although the flower was somewhat damaged, it would suffice as antidote.

Glenn carefully removed the flower before turning to Rumia.

“Hmph… To only find a single one after a whole night of searching, and a damaged one at that… I doubt I can sell it on the market. It can’t be helped, although it is a waste, let’s use it on White Cat… W-what?”

“Hehehe… Nothing.”

Rumia’s profound smile made Glenn somewhat troubled.

“…Either way, let’s head back. It’s regrettable I wasn’t able to finish my new trail.”


While Glenn was walking away, Rumia called out to him.


“I am not sure what you mean.”

Glenn stopped to turn and looked at Rumia with a blank stare. Rumia simply couldn’t help but confront the dishonest Glenn.

“Teacher definitely deserves the happiness of being with someone, so there is no reason to act cold.”

Glenn suddenly froze at Rumia’s words, as if an arrow shot through his knee.

“Although teacher tends to be childish from time to time, teacher nevertheless worked extremely hard for my sake… T-therefore…”


“E-even if the whole world is against teacher… I-I will definitely be by teacher’s side…”

Hearing Rumia’s confession, Glenn could not help but let out a pained laughter.

“Idiot, don’t suddenly blurt out such an embarrassing speech. Hehehe… By tomorrow, I bet you will be wallowing in shame.”

“I-is that so…?”

“Either way, let’s head back. You must be tired too, right?”

“Ah… Y-yes.”

Glenn turned around and slowly led them toward the exit of the woods.


For a moment, Rumia felt as if she had heard a slight whisper from Glenn.

◇ ◇ ◇

“Rejoice! White Cat!”

In the morning, Glenn threw open the door to the infirmary with a bang.

“Rumia and I have found an antidote, so we brought it over! Ahaha… Best be gratef-… huh?”

Glenn went silent as he noticed Sistine was nowhere in sight.

“Huh? Where is Sisti? I was pretty sure that she should be sleeping in the infirmary.”

Unlike the surprised Rumia, Glenn was focused on the object laid out on Sistine’s infirmary bed.

“…This is?”

Flowers. Glenn reached out to the bouquet of flowers.

“T-teacher…! T-this is?”

“Hey, is this supposed to be a joke?”

Even for Glenn, with his meager knowledge of botany, the symbolism of white flowers was not lost on him. They were flowers meant for the recently deceased.


A gentle wind blew through the open window, as the curtains fluttered in the wind.

“There is always risk of the conditions suddenly taking a turn for the worse – even death.”

Glenn suddenly recalled Celica’s words from earlier.


Definitely Impossible.

How could this be?

Yet, Glenn could not unequivocally deny that it wasn’t the case.

…Too late.

…I wasn’t able to make it on time.


Glenn froze still for a few moments.

“…Idiot!!” Glenn shouted as he sunk his fist into the bed, “How could you die without my permission? D-don’t be silly!”

“Umm… T-teacher?”


“Y-you…! Don’t you have a whole future ahead of you?! How could you pass away for such a lousy reason?!”

“Umm… Teacher? I-…”


“D-darn it… W-when I thought about the future stolen from you, I couldn’t help but…”

“Again, teacher… Please stop-…”

Smack. Smack.

“Darn it… It’s all my fault… If I…”

“Hey, Teacher!”

Smack. Smack.

“Hey, what’s the deal, stop bothering me! I don’t have time-…”

Glenn angrily turned to the annoying and disrespectful person behind him.

“Kiyaaa!! Z-zombie!” Glenn let out a scream as he leapt toward the nearby wall.

“W-who are you calling a zombie?!”

Before him was a perfectly well Sistine.

“Huh? What’s all the ruckus?”

At that moment, Celica arrived at the infirmary.

“Hehehe… I see, looks like it’s a small misunderstanding.”

Celica’s mouth curved into a crescent as she joined Rumia on the side.

“While I did mention the school is out of stock, I never mentioned anything about my own personal stash. Although it made me go all the way back home, I was able to finish Sistine’s treatment, so rest easy.”

“I-I see… Then, what are those flowers for?”

“Ah. It seemed Kash made a mistake with the bouquet when he came for a visit. Seriously, to think he could make such a silly mistake.”

On the other hand, the beet red Sistine faced Glenn as she trembled uncontrollably.

“Umm… Teacher? L-looks like I made you unnecessary worried… D-despite the misunderstanding, t-teacher still went out of your way to search for the a-antidote. S-seeing how pained you were, I-…”

…am thankful. was what Sistine wanted to say, but she was unable to finish her thought.

“Sorry! It’s my fault! I shouldn’t have taken revenge by painting your new notebook black! I shouldn’t have accidentally gotten ink on your hair during class! I shouldn’t have munched on your snack! I am really sorry! P-please, do not haunt me and r-rest in peace!!”

“Y-… You idiot!!”

The shout of a maiden, followed by the scream of a male echoed through the academy.

It was simply another normal day, and all was well within the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy.

Main MenuNext Side Story

S01 Chapter 2 Append: Sistine’s Light Novel

SPOILER: Not recommended you read this side story until after you read Volume 5.5’s (The first side story compilation volume) 2nd Side Story: Wandering White Cat and the Forbidden Notebook.

TL/N: A little something to complement the 2nd Side Story for the New Year. It is a ‘short side story’ (if you could really call it that) from Fantasia Bunko Dragon Magazine’s November 2017 Issue, and is meant to be an excerpt of Sistine’s light novel that was central to the 2nd Side Story.

p.s. Here is an unboxing video for the November 2017 issue and is what a typical issue would entail, in case you are curious. (This Side Story was shown at 2:44)

Credits: Special thanks to Poinu for the Japanese raw.

“S-stop! Don’t fight over me!!”

Mistine, with mesmerizing hair as beautiful as the purest of mithril and as wondrous as the evening moonlight, which fluttered in the wind like the waves on the shimmering Saint Ledoria Sea, shouted out to the pair. Her delicate and bewitching features that could even usher jealousy from goddesses were dyed with a deep and sorrowful expression, on which a single drop of tear gently trickled down like a falling pearl.

“How could I possibly back down…? Oh, Mistine, the princess who had stolen my heart!”

“…It could not be avoided. This is a fight preordained by fate… Now, let our swords sing!”

“Haa… If only I could answer both of your loves… But alas, that could not be so…”

Just as Mistine was at the limit of her despair, a gallant figure showed up atop a white stallion.

“Everyone, cease your fighting!”

“Grey-sensei! You had come! Not once had I stopped believing in you!”

“Do not call me Grey-sensei… Call me ‘Mistine’s beloved one’, for that is my new name!”

◇ ◇ ◇

Sistine’s Journal

Uuu… I had failed to win this year’s Newcomer Literature Award.

★ Story
★ Character
★ Writing

I was certain my work exceeded all others in these criteria… Who else could write a story with such passionate and vivid details?

Then, it’s a problem with the style? After all, the judges were all writers from a bygone era, so they may not have been able to truly appreciate my work…

As I thought, perhaps it would be better to adapt my future works to their taste? No, that would do my boundless talent a grave injustice! Who are they to judge my work when they read it through colored lens?!

Ugh… Either way, I could not concentrate on writing in class… especially with Rumia sitting right next to me.

S01 Chapter 2: Wandering White Cat and the Forbidden Notebook

“Rumia, have you found it?”

“No, not yet. Sorry Sisti.”

The bookshelves were tightly packed with an impressive assortment of books, with the serene smell of aged wood permeating the air. At one corner of the bookshelf, Sistine and Rumia carefully combed through each row with care.

“I should be the one apologizing for making you search with me.”

Standing atop a wooden ladder, Sistine searched through the top shelves. While down on the floor, Rumia scanned across the lower shelves.

“Do not worry, Sisti. Wasn’t it your important notebook? So I definitely wanted to help.”

Rumia gave a gentle smile to alleviate Sistine’s remorse.

“Are you sure the notebook was lost in the academy’s library?”

“Mmn… I am certain.”

“We didn’t see it on the tables, nor did we find it in the lost and found… Likely, someone thought it was part of the collection and placed it on the shelves.”

“Quite likely. Still, that would mean we have to search through all these books…”

Climbing down from the ladder, Sistine used a light spell to illuminate the dark aisles filled with countless books.

“Perhaps, it is impossible to find the notebook…” Sistine said with her head drooped low in despair, without a bit of her usual enthusiasm.

“We will definitely find it, Sisti. A goatskin book with a leather clip and no title on the cover, just that alone is quite eye-catching. I will definitely help you search for it no matter how long it takes, so do not despair, alright?” Rumia did her best to encourage Sistine.

“Uuu… Thanks, Rumia.”

With Rumia’s kind words, Sistine could not help but feel emotional as tears gathered in her eyes.

“By the way, Sistine, why are you so worried about the notebook? What did you write in it?”

“Ah? T-that…”

It was a pretty simple and straightforward question. However, for some odd reason, Sistine seemed reluctant to say.

“Ah, it contains… Umm… My thoughts and research on a certain magic formula! Yes! I recently thought of an interesting formula…”

“Oh, I see! As always, Sisti is impressive!” Rumia said as she gazed at Sistine with admiration.

“B-but, the theory is still incomplete. Until I finish sorting out the problems, I do not wish for others to see… S-so…”

“Yes, it certainly is important to prevent others from taking a peek. Do not worry, Sisti, even if I find the notebook first, I won’t look at the contents. I promise.”

“Ah… T-thanks, Rumia.”

As always, Rumia’s angelic kindness and friendship touched Sistine’s heart.

“Then, let us start our search. Since there were quite a bit of rumors circulating about this library…”

“Yes, best not waste any time. Although the rumors are probably groundless, they are still somewhat worrisome.”

“I’ll start from the shelves from over there.”

“Then, I’ll start from here. If we still haven’t found the notebook after thirty minutes, let us meet up back here.”

“Mmn. Good luck.”

The two went their way as they searched for Sistine’s lost notebook.

◇ ◇ ◇

Alzano Imperial Magic Academy, headmaster’s office.

“Huh? Rumors about the library?” Glenn replied with a tone that permeated with feelings of how problematic, sounds boring, and wants to head home, “B-but I need to hurry home today, there is a book that I am dying to read-…”

“Glenn Radars! You bastard, show the headmaster some respect!” Halley, one of the teachers at the academy, loudly berated Glenn.

“Halley-kun, calm down. Glenn-kun, don’t be like that and let me finish first. The situation is worse than you think.” Sitting behind the headmaster’s desk, Rick calmly told the fuming Halley and the indolent Glenn.

“Glenn, have you heard about the rumors? Recently, there had been some strange happenings at the library…” Celica said with her arms crossed while leaning on the nearby wall.

“Mmn… I have heard a bit.” Glenn replied with a sigh, “It was said that during the hours of twilight, the empty library would echo bone-chilling laughter from within. There was also the sighting of a young ghost, and that books would fly uncontrollably in the sky. However, all of it were just unconfirmed rumors, and it all started after the library received a sizable donation of books.”

“Yes. If it was only limited to rumors, then we wouldn’t be worried about it. However, a reliable source has confirmed that the rumors were indeed true.”


Celica’s confident reply made Glenn utterly dejected.

“Regardless, I would like to ask Glenn-kun to investigate the strange occurrences at the library. Would you accept this task?”

“I don’t really want to… Why pick me?” Glenn unenthusiastically replied.

“Because, you seemed to have the most free time.”

“Ugh! It’s hard to counter such sound logic.”

Headmaster Rick’s poignant response made Glenn hold his head in anguish.

“Not to mention, Glenn, you are an ex-‘that‘ right?”


“In case anything happens, you are the ideal candidate to take care of the problem… Such are the reasons why I deemed you to be the most fitting for the job.”

Headmaster Rick looked at Glenn with clear eyes as he held back on the details in Halley’s presence. Understandably, as an ex-Imperial Court Mage, Glenn was among the few in the academy staff who had the experience to tackle thorny tasks.

“Hmph! I always feel you overestimate this man’s ability! After all, he is only a mere third-ranked magician and a third-rate teacher! I have reservations about his ability to complete this task!”

However, both the headmaster and Halley agreed that Glenn was too laidback. Although it was said his lessons were of decent quality, Glenn’s attitude toward magic remained the same as always. As such, most of the senior teachers at the academy held a poor opinion of him.

“I agree! Ha-…something-senpai is completely correct! How could I possibly be up to such a difficult task? Senpai, help me convey that to the headmaster!”

On the other hand, Glenn himself did not mind what the other teachers thought of him, and his thick-skinned response only served to further amplify other teacher’s disdain for him.

“…B-bastard, I’ll remember this!”

As usual, Glenn did not mind Halley’s insults and attempted to use him to get out of the time-consuming task.

“That reminded me! If you are talking about someone who is capable and still have the free time, don’t we have Celica? Why not have Celica take up the task?”

“If I gave it to Celica, we would probably find the library a smoldering crater by tomorrow.”

“Ugh! It’s hard to counter such sound logic.”

Headmaster Rick’s poignant response made Glenn hold his head in anguish.

“Hahaha! Rick, now you are wrong about me there. Even I wouldn’t destroy the entire library. At most, I would only leave the interior beyond repair.”

“Oh, in that case, headmaster, just leave it in her able-…”

“S-stop, you problematic pair of mentor and pupil!” Halley finally couldn’t sit still anymore, and interjected into the conversation, “Please be serious for a moment! That is a historical library you are talking about here! Do you know how many precious books are in its vast collections? They served as the cornerstone of research for over four centuries, from the time-…!!”

“Halley, don’t be overdramatic. Isn’t it just a room filled with old moldy books? I have always thought those old books as particularly bothersome.”

“Umm… Celica, here’s a thought…”

It was hard for Halley to believe the one standing across from them were the same magicians who sought after the truth of the world. At their subsequent discussion, Halley’s face turned deadly pale.

“Speaking of which, it is a good opportunity. Once we take care of the problem, let us bake some sweet potatoes.”

“I see, it would not only take care of the old books, but also allow us to enjoy a wonderful meal. Certainly, two birds with one stone.”

“What ‘two birds with one stone’?! The loss would be astronomical! Do you plan to make all the magicians on the continent into your enemies?!”

“I will head to town to buy some fresh sweet potatoes.”

“Hmm… Where did I keep the fuel whose fire could even melt steel?”

“Hey! Stop, you two. Please don’t do this…!”

Unable to convince the two from their preparations, Halley finally broke into tears.

“Of course we were joking, Halley-kun. How could you possibly think we would be capable of something like that?”

“That’s right, Hard-gay-senpai, it was nothing more than a light joke.”

“Y-you bastards!! Also, Glenn Radars! Even if you have to mess up my names, at least avoid the insults! Do you really hate me that much?”

Just as the trio erupted into a chaotic banter, the door of the headmaster’s office slammed open with a bang.

“T-teacher, help! R-Rumia… S-she’s-…!” Breathless and pale, Sistine dashed into the headmaster’s office.

◇ ◇ ◇

“Rumia disappeared?”

At dusk, Glenn briskly walked down the path dyed red by the setting sun, with a worried Sistine in tow.

“…Have you carefully looked? Are you sure she hasn’t lost her way in the library? After all, the library is quite large, and some parts of it are as complicated as a maze.”

“I have already looked, but I still cannot find her!”

“…And she hasn’t returned to the dormitory by herself?”

“Rumia’s book bag still remained in the locker room. Not to mention… We had an agreement. She wouldn’t have abandoned me and head back first.”

“…I see. Darn it, this is certainly an annoying confirmation.” Glenn said as he clicked his tongue in frustration.

Between the strange occurrences in the library and Rumia’s disappearance, Glenn could not deny that the two were related.

“W-what could we do, teacher? I-if something happened to Rumia… I-…”

“Calm down, White Cat. Let us first investigate the library before jumping to conclusions.”

As Glenn paused his footstep to ease the worries of the tearful Sistine, he looked up at the old building standing before them.

The Alzano Imperial Magic Academy’s library, an ornate and aged library complex composed of the main building, the nearby annex, and an extensive underground repository. It has served as the cornerstone of the magic academy and has helped to fuel magic research for centuries.

With a vast collection exceeding fifteen million books, the library was second only to Holy Elizareth Church’s underground archives in the neighboring Kingdom of Rezalia. Among its collection were countless archaeothaumatology papers, tablet translations, ancient magic tomes, and rare books not found elsewhere, books both scholars of magic and non-magic disciplines treasure beyond life itself. It was a bastion of knowledge.

“Have you heard about the strange occurrences in the library?”

“Y-yes, I have heard the rumors, but I do not think of them as anything more than rumors.”

“Now that is your mistake. With the sheer amount of magic tomes, forbidden tomes, and unofficial records, it would not be farfetched to have strange occurrences from time to time. After all, the process of writing books taps into the collective subconscious of humans and magicians in order to construct an understandable model of the universe, who knows what effects that would have on the physical world.”

“H-how could that be…”

“From the rumors, it seemed the library had attracted some sort of malevolent spirit, although we do not know of the specifics.”

“…M-malevolent spirit, is it?” Hearing the term ‘malevolent spirits’, Sistine could not help but repeat it in confirmation, “In other words, are you suspecting that a malevolent spirit hid Rumia?”

“My intuition tells me such is the case.”

Glenn has honed his intuition during the years at the Imperial Court Mage Corps, as such, his statement held a certain weight to it.

“If we are unlucky, we may even have to fight against the malevolent spirit. Hey, White Cat, have you learned the exorcism spells?”

“White Magic [Purify•Light], Right? Yes, we were taught it in class.”

“As expected of an honor student. The spell will only affect malevolent spirits, so do not worry about the safety of the surrounding books. If you feel even slightly threatened, use the spell to protect yourself.”

“Ah, got it.”

“Now, are you ready, White Cat? Let us go and rescue Rumia! Don’t fall behind!”

Sistine gave a strong nod in reply before following Glenn into the library.

…Although I know the risks involved, I do not feel even the slightest nervous.

With Glenn willingly marching into the danger for Rumia, Sistine could not help but feel a slight tightness in her chest.

The two walked through the front door, and Glenn walked over to the receptionist to confirm that Rumia remained missing. Afterwards, Glenn and Sistine arrived at the floor where Rumia was last seen.

By that time, the library had just closed for the evening, so the two were now alone in the entire building. To keep its vast collections safe, the library had few windows to let in sunlight. Now that the library was closed, the lights were also turned off, leaving the entire building in pitch darkness.

Glenn and Sistine quietly walked down the complex and confusing network corridors with light at their fingertip.

Step, step, step.

The vacant halls echoed the footsteps of the two, creating an eerie atmosphere where even a pin-drop could be heard.


Behind Glenn, Sistine looked particularly nervous. If it weren’t for the light at their fingertips, the endless darkness would have consumed them. Not just malevolent spirits, the darkness made Sistine imagine unforeseeable terror hiding in ambush within, as if at any moment, a monster would leap out at the unsuspecting pair.

“Hey, are you scared?” At that moment, Glenn asked in a sarcastic tone as he turned to Sistine, “What happened to your usual vigor? Your face looks surprisingly pale… If you are afraid of ghosts, feel free to head back.”

Just as Sistine felt he looked somewhat reliable, Glenn reverted to his usual insensitivity.

“Seriously, I would be lying to say I am not afraid. However, I am not afraid of ghosts or malevolent spirits.” Sistine replied with a sigh, “What I feel is the innate fear of the darkness. It is not something to be ashamed, but rather, it is something that I could easily overcome as a magician.”

“Hehehe… Such brave words… I bet you are just afraid of monsters, right?” Glenn said as he let out an irritating laugh.

Perhaps he wanted to clear up the atmosphere, or perhaps it was just another display of his usual lack of tact around girls, either way, his unsavory remarks had irked Sistine to no end.

“Not to mention, with modern magic theories, ghosts and malevolent spirits no longer held the same enigmatic existence as they did in the past, and methods to deal with them had been developed accordingly. Why should I ever be afraid of them?”

“Tsk… You are no fun. Why can’t you act at least a bit afraid?”

Seeing his attempt to poke fun at Sistine fell through, Glenn could only respond with a click of his tongue.

“Maybe teacher is the one who is actually afraid?” Sistine said as she went on the counterattack, fully aware that her actions were somewhat childish, “If you are afraid, just head back and leave the rest to me!”

“Hmph! Stop saying nonsense. Who do you think I am? Let me tell you, I am the most brilliant genius of the entire world – The Amazing Teacher, Glenn Radars!”

“…I am absolutely speechless. What sort of person would call themselves ‘amazing’?”

“If I were to teach it, the whole class will obtain a perfect understanding on the theories behind ghosts! After all, I am too familiar with the material, so much so that I would end up feeling bored whenever someone shared ghost stories!”

Glenn shrugged his shoulders with a smile, completely ignoring Sistine’s interjection.

“Should I set it as the topic of our next class on White Magic? This way, I could show you how pointless it is to fear ghosts?”

“Haa… Got it already, you are not afraid of ghosts.”

As their verbal jousting slowly cleared up the tense atmosphere, Glenn suddenly stopped his footsteps after noticing something peculiar.


With the rhythmic sounds of steps gone, an eerie silence descended upon the pair.

“T-teacher, w-what is it?” Faced with Glenn’s odd behavior, Sistine asked.


“Huh? W-what is strange?”

“Hey, White Cat. The place where Rumia disappeared that you mentioned. It was around section ‘G-8’, right?”


“Are you certain?”



“W-what are you getting at?! What have you noticed?! Stop beating around the bush!”

At that moment, Glenn pointed to one of the shelves. Near the top of the shelves was a plate with the etching ‘G-1’.

“Ah? That’s strange…” Sistine muttered as she noticed the inconsistency as well, “Why is it still section ‘G-1’ here? Didn’t we already gone past G-1 a while ago? Given how long we walked, we should be somewhere near section ‘G-8’ by now… So, w-why?!”

“Just so you know, the sign for section ‘G-1’… This is the third time I have seen it.”


Sistine froze at Glenn’s words.

“I thought I was mistaken when I had seen it the second time… But it seemed I wasn’t wrong.”

“You’re joking… R-right?”

“If only I was…”

Glenn carefully surveyed the surrounding with an anxious look on his face, bereft of his usual indolent attitude.

“Ugh, then that would mean… W-were we…?” Sistine nervously asked as the colors drained from her face.

“Yes, we have been walking in circles. In other words, we are currently trapped in a closed-loop.”


Without the sound of footsteps to break the silence, the ringing of Sistine’s ears felt incredibly loud.

“Y-you’re lying! I’m certain it was all just a mistake!”

Sistine stubbornly rejected the painful reality and broke into a dash.

“Ah, hey! I-idiot! Don’t go running off by yourself!”

Glenn worriedly chased after Sistine.

Sistine recalled the layout of the library as she ran between the shelves, making a turn at the large intersection before continuing her sprint down the aisles.

“N-no way…” Sistine muttered in despair as the plate with ‘G-1’ appeared in front of her once more.

“…Seriously! White Cat, you need to calm down! It would be problematic if we get separated!” Glenn shouted as he caught up with the dumbfounded Sistine.

“Haa… We really ended up back here. I did feel that the direction was a bit off when I was chasing after you. At least this explains why Rumia did not return.” Glenn grumbled as he glared at the plate with furrowed brows.

“T-teacher, w-w-what should we do?! A-are we trapped in here for the rest of our lives?!” Sistine loudly cried as she became awash with anxiety.

“White Cat, calm yourself! This is not like you at all. What happened to your usual confidence?”

On the other hand, Glenn remained surprisingly calm when faced with the problem.

“Recall your lessons! How is a closed-loop explained by the prevalent magic theories? It does so by isolating the space and connecting its two ends, but the equations for such a complicated magic is usually full of discrepancies. We will be able to escape the moment we find one of the discrepancies. Don’t forget the second law of magic!”


As expected of our teacher.

Sistine let out an appreciative sigh at how Glenn was able to remain calm.

“Then, let us start the search for a discrepancy in the closed space.”


At that moment, an unnatural sound caught their attention.


“…What is it?”

The pair held their breath as they listened.

Clatter. Clatter.

“T-the books… are shaking?”

“W-what?! What the heck is going on?!”

Clatter. Clatter.

All of a sudden, the books flew off the shelves at terrifying speeds.

“Kyaa! T-teacher! The b-books are flying!!”

“Calm yourself! Couldn’t flying objects be easily explained by prevalent magic theories?”

“B-but still!”

“I guess you really are afraid of ghosts~”

“Wh-…?! O-of course not!”

Just then, the countless books in the air lunged themselves at the bickering pair.

“Tsk! Bastards!!”


Faced with the malevolent attack, Glenn quickly scooped up the nearby Sistine with his arms and ran. Only moments later, the torrent of books smashed into the spot where the pair had just stood.

“Wait-…! T-teacher?!” Sistine, held in Glenn’s arms, shrieked as the scenery turned to a blur, “Ahhh! L-let me down! Let me down n-now!! Kyaa! D-don’t grab there!”

Sistine was beet red as she tried to struggle free from Glenn’s awkward carry. However, Glenn was too focused on their escape to care.

“D-darn it! I knew nothing would come out of work!!”

Along with brisk footsteps, Glenn’s outrage echoed loudly in the abandoned hall.

◇ ◇ ◇

Huff. Huff.

“L-looks like there are no more flying books…”

Remaining ever vigilant of his surroundings, Glenn gasped for air at a place flanked on three sides by shelves.

“D-darn it… Looks like we are completely caught up in the events foretold by the rumors.”

“Umm… Teacher?” Sistine said with a voice tinged in anger.


“So… If everything is fine, could you please let me down?”

At that moment, Glenn realized that he still had Sistine in a princess carry.

Sistine had her slender body scrunched together, with her face turned away from Glenn. Likely seething with anger for being forced into such an embarrassing carry, Sistine’s ears glowed bright red even in the darkness.

“Ah! S-sorry about it. Umm… Could we save the lecture until later?”

“I’m… not particularly angry.” Without turning toward Glenn, Sistine replied as her foot returned to the ground.

Haa… I’m done for. There is definitely a lecture waiting for me afterwards.

Although Sistine was right to be mad, the lecture would nevertheless be painful for Glenn. For now, Glenn suppressed his worries and forcibly turned to the more pressing matter at hand.

By chance, Glenn caught a glance at the plate on the nearby shelf, with the words ‘H-9’ clearly etched in.

…Hmm? Somehow we got out of the closed-loop? Strange. It was a one-way loop rather than the usual two-way loop. If then, why couldn’t Rumia simply return?

Not to mention, most of the rumors did not result in any lasting damage, which is why the occurrences did not surpass the level of being mere rumors. Then, why only Rumia ended up disappearing?

Just as Glenn was trying to make sense of everything, Sistine suddenly reached out and tugged at Glenn’s arm.

“…What is it?” Glenn scoffed after having his train of thought derailed by the interruption.

“It appeared.”

“…What appeared?”



Glenn turned his attention to the direction Sistine was facing and froze.

It was neither a hallucination nor an illusion. At the end of the dark hallway, a white silhouette slowly floated toward them – a real ghost.

“It has appeared.”

“So it has.”

Their voice sounded surprisingly calm.

“…It really has appeared.”

“…Yes, it really has.”

Their voice continued to sound surprisingly calm.



For a moment, an uneasy calm remained between the two as both stayed silent.

“Huh? T-teacher?”

All of a sudden, Glenn tugged on Sistine’s hand as he broke into a dash toward the opposite direction… And smacked headlong into the shelf behind him.


Bang! Glenn fell down onto the ground after a loud slam.

“Hey, teacher! What the heck are you doing?! Now’s not the time to be fooling around!”

“Ugh… I forgot that it was a dead end behind us.” Glenn coolly stated as red marks in the shape of books covered his face.

While Glenn acted indifferently as he dusted off the dirt on his shirt, the white silhouette continued to approach them.

“H-hey… It’s getting closer!”

“Tsk… You are utterly helpless.” Glenn calmly said toward the panicking Sistine, “Either way, it’s a rare opportunity, so let us practice combat against malevolent spirits.”

“Ah… Huh?! A-are you meaning to say…”

“Yes, White Cat. Hurry up and use White Magic [Purify•Light] to take care of that malevolent spirit.”

“M-m-me?! B-b-but…!”

“Hey, didn’t you say you aren’t afraid of ghosts? Or was all that a mere bluff?”

“Ugh… F-fine.”

Glenn’s words had forced Sistine into a corner.

With her face covered in cold sweat, Sistine stepped forward and raised her left hand toward the white silhouette as she began the chant.

“‹O-oh M-merciful… L-light•C-cleanse-…•P-purify… L-land›!”

Nothing happened.

For chants with complicated runes, a magician must maintain good control over the intonation. However, the current Sistine could not seem to perform the chant correctly with her poor concentration and inaccurate intonation. As such, her chants could not properly activate the spell.


“‹O-oh… M-merciful… •C-cleanse t-the…›!”

Yet the result remained the same.

With the repeated failures, Sistine quickly descended into silence.

“White Cat, why are you stuttering in your chants? Don’t tell me you really are afraid of ghosts?”


“Seriously, what was with that ‘Why should I ever be afraid of them’? Serves you right!”

“S-shut up! I-I am still just a girl! Even if I know the theories, they are still scary!” Not able to refute, Sistine shouted with tearful eyes.

“I think that is enough fun for now. Stand back and let me show you how it is really done.”

Glenn raised his left hand as he took a large step forward and began to chant with a dignified pose.

“‹Oh Merciful Lighaaa•Cleanse the Fuwaa•Purify the Laaa›!”

Of course, nothing happened.



All of a sudden, Glenn tugged on Sistine’s hand as he broke into a dash toward the opposite direction… And smacked headlong into the shelf behind him.


“Wait. Teacher, could you be…?” Sistine confidently concluded as she looked at Glenn, who was rolling on the ground with his hands in his face, “…Afraid?”

“Huh? H-hey, care to say that again?”

“Stop pretending! You are definitely afraid, right? I am sure you are absolutely terrified of ghosts!”

“H-how could that be true? S-seriously…”

Ah, that’s it. We are done for.

Sistine felt a wave of dizziness wash over her.

“Speaking of which, you had an almost uncharacteristic calmness earlier, but I bet you were really just scared stiff, right?! When you told me not to get separated, you probably were just afraid to be left alone, right? Right?!”

“S-stop it!! There are some things that shouldn’t be said out loud! Why must you demolish my self-esteem like this?! Are you trying to make me cry?!”

“What happened to ‘feeling bored whenever someone shared ghost stories’?! How shameless could you be?!”

“S-shut up! I-I am still just a boy with a maiden’s heart! Even if I know the theories, they are still scary!”

“Bleh! What a nauseating remark!”

Just as the two were in the middle of their exchange, the white silhouette made its way in front of them.

“…Leave this place.”

The translucent youth had an expressionless face, yet its eyes gave off a bottomless hatred.




The screams of the two echoed in the abandoned library.

“N-nooo, d-don’t come closer!!”

As the ghost reached out its hands toward Glenn, Glenn instinctively grabbed Sistine and leapt.


With a second boost off the right shelf, Glenn was able to reach all the way to the ceilings. High up in the air, Glenn made a somersault before bouncing himself off the ceiling with his foot and landing directly behind the menacing ghost.

Now that a path had opened up to him, Glenn bolted away from the ghost at top speed.

Glenn had pulled off an almost impossible maneuver, with an agility that could only be described as inhuman. It was essentially the reaction of a cornered beast.

However, Sistine, who was forced to endure through this painful maneuver, had suffered tremendously.

“Kiyaaa!! Aaah!!”

With the entire scenery turned to a blur and receded around her, Sistine could only struggle helplessly in Glenn’s arm.

Just then, the surrounding books began to rattle once more.

“T-teacher! T-The books are c-coming!!”

“Daaarn it!! Why won’t it leave us in peace?!”

The fear had seemingly exceeded Glenn’s ability to reason.

“V-very well, let us end this!”

Glenn suddenly stopped his footsteps, dropped Sistine onto the ground, and turned around. Pulling a crystal out from his coat, Glenn gripped it tightly with his left hand and then covered it with his right.

“T-teacher… Is that…?”

“Modified Black Magic [Extinction•Ray]’s Initiation Medium.”


“Hahaha! With Celica’s ‘spell that could even fell gods’, mere ghosts are nothing to it!!”

“W-wait! Spells like White Magic [Purify•Light] which does not affect the physical world aside, won’t we risk the spell blowing in our faces if you chant a highly dangerous spell like Modified Black Magic [Extinction•Ray] while mentally impaired?! Given the magnitude, won’t the entire library go up in smokes?!”

“Enough! It should still end if everything, including those annoying books, gets obliterated, right?!”

“W-wait! You’re being too hasty!”

As Glenn began the chant for Modified Black Magic [Extinction•Ray], Sistine desperately urged Glenn to reconsider.

“Huh? Teacher… Sisti… What are the two of you doing?”

Just then, a familiar voice came from behind them.



The two turned around and saw Rumia looking at them with a tilted head.


“Why are you here…?”

Then, a second voice came.

“Ah? Are you two friends of Rumia-san? If so, I deeply apologize for my earlier actions.”

The ghost of a white youth, without the same malevolent air as before, gently floated next to Rumia.

“Ah, Leitz-san. That reminded me, was this the book Leitz-san was searching for?”

Having noticed the white youth, Rumia showed him the book held in her chest.

“Oooh! Y-yes! That’s the one! So… Umm… Have you taken a peek inside?”

“Do not worry, I didn’t look.”

“T-thank you very much, Rumia-san! You have my most earnest gratitude!” The youth exclaimed with tearful eyes.

“What is…”

“…Going on?”

Glenn and Sistine were completely lost by the scene before them.

◇ ◇ ◇

Glenn let out a sigh after hearing the explanation from the ghost named Leitz Nich.

“In short, you are a spirit who had possessed that book in Rumia’s arms, and the one behind the recent strange occurrences in the library. Your reason for causing havoc was to prevent people from reading the book. Does that sound about right?”

“Yes… It is my earnest wish to not let anyone read that book.” The ghost replied with an apologetic voice, “After the library received a new shipment of books last month, they performed a massive reorganization of their collection, and I became separated from the book. As such, I could only patrol the entire area and scare away anyone who came. For my actions, I am very sorry.”

“T-that aside… How did you get so close to Rumia? Did you do anything to her?” Sistine inquired with a tinge of anger.

After all, more than anyone else, Sistine was worried about Rumia’s safety.

“About that… I had originally planned to scare her away with the closed-loop, the flying books, and my own personal appearance. However, she was not the slightest afraid and was obstinate in her search for her best friend’s lost item.”



Leitz’s words left Glenn and Sistine speechless.

“Since it was pointless to scare someone that was not afraid, I decided to instead explain the reasons for my actions, and we agreed to both help in each other’s search.”

“Ehehe, it really is nothing~ After all, closed-loop, flying books, and even the appearance of the ghost could all be explained by the modern magic theories.” Rumia said as she let out a chuckle, “Given how familiar teacher and Sisti were with the theories on ghosts, I’m certain Leitz-san wasn’t able to scare them as well.”

“…Ah, yes.”

“T-that is true.”

Faced with Rumia’s unwavering conviction and brilliant smile, Glenn and Sistine was at a loss for words.

“S-speaking of which, what exactly is written in that book? So much so that you could not afford others to see?” Glenn asked while looking at the book in Rumia’s arms.

“It’s a novel.”

“A novel?”

“Yes, it is a novel I wrote when I was young.”

“Ah! Now that you have mentioned it, the binding of the book does look more like a notebook than a published novel…”

“Oooh!” Suddenly, Sistine interjected with a loud shout, “Novel! Leitz Nich! C-could you be the famed fiction author Leitz Nich-san’s ghost?!”

“Ah? Who’s that? Someone you know?”

“How could you be so dull? Leitz Nich-san was a critically acclaimed fiction author, and the genius behind popular works like ‘The Seeker of Romance’! In addition to the memorable plots of his novels, he was best known for his descriptive power, through which he could breathe life into a purely fictional setting. It was after reading his works that I-…”

All of a sudden, the excited Sistine abruptly stopped talking.

“It was after reading his works that you… What?”



Glenn stared blankly at Sistine’s inexplicable silence.

“To think even in the current era, there is still a fan of mine… I am very thankful that fate has brought us together.” Leitz said with a slight blush, “But as far as being a critically acclaimed fiction author goes, it was only attributable to my later works. When I was young, about the same age as my current appearance, the novels I wrote could only be described as ‘terrifying’…”

“Oh? So even a professional author had such a dark past?”

“Yes. For example, a protagonist with countless cheat powers and, despite being anti-social and aloof, somehow ended up with a harem of cute and beautiful girls waiting on his every whim. In another instance, no matter how much conviction the antagonist held, with the slightest persuasion by the protagonist, the antagonist will be shaken in his belief. In time, the antagonist will end up defeated both physically and psychologically by the protagonist, ultimately capitulating to the protagonist in atonement. For his achievement, the protagonist was showered with praise wherever he went.”

“I agree… the plot does sound sketchy.”

Glenn’s face turned somewhat stiff upon listening to the outline.

“When I was close to death, I had instructed my wife to have this novel burned. However, the novel somehow escaped destruction and ended up as part of the library’s collection. If anyone reads this book, I would die of embarrassment!”

“Aren’t you already dead?”

“Therefore, as long as this novel exists, I will never find rest! Ah, what could I possibly do?!” Leitz lamented as he held his head low.

“Yet, we could not simply burn the book.” Rumia said with a complicated expression as she turned to Glenn.

“I agree, although its literary value is low, but from your words earlier, it is a famed author’s personal sketchbook. Beyond its value as a collectable, it serves as an important historical reference into the society of the time. As a scholar myself, it pains me to see the book destroyed.”

“It’s rich coming from the guy who wanted to vaporize the library just moments ago.” Sistine poked fun at Glenn’s surprisingly reasonable statement.

“Then, Leitz-san…” Glenn continued, brushing off Sistine’s remarks in the process.

“What is it?”

Glenn pulled a bound book from within his coat and handed it over to Leitz.

“This book is?”

“Never mind that, just read it and see.”

Despite being unsure of Glenn’s intentions, Leitz nevertheless opened the book and began to read.

“I-is this…?”

Soon, the originally pale ghost turned beet red, all the while mumbling “Wow…” and “This is too much…”.

“Teacher? What is that book…?”

“Just wait and see.”

Upon Rumia’s question, Glenn gave a confident nod in response.

◇ ◇ ◇

In the end, Leitz finished the entire book and let out a long sigh.

“T-that was incredible…”

With that said, a ray of light suddenly descended upon Leitz.

“Ah… It really was incredible… Compared to this book, my childhood novel could be considered a literary classic.”

“That’s right, Leitz. Just remember, there is always someone beneath you.”

“Ahaha! I had always felt such thoughts as improper. Nevertheless, I feel liberated and no longer have any lingering attachments to this world.”

“Ah… Is that so?”

“Mmn… I think this is goodbyes. Everyone, although we had only known each other for a short while, I am glad fate had brought us together.”

In the end, with a face filled with bliss, Leitz disappeared into the light.


With the last flicker of light, only the book that Leitz had read remained.

“Spirits trapped in the mortal worlds are not limited to malevolent ones. There are those that are simply tethered to the world of the living by lingering attachments. Therefore, it is possible to exorcise them through a simple conversation. I think this will work great as the topic for our next class~” Glenn proudly declared with a smile as he picked up the book left on the ground.

“To be tethered to the world by a dark past… Still, this light novel is impressive in its own way.”

Glenn smirked as he quickly flipped through the pages.

“Even on a second pass, it is still terrible! The protagonist is a complete Mary Sue!” (1)

“Teacher… What is that book?”

“This? It is a novel that I found during the lunch break on one of the library shelves. Although I usually don’t read stories like these, I found this novel particularly fascinating… and not in the good way!”

Glenn handed the book over to Rumia as he tried to suppress his laughter.

“It felt like a novel written by one of the female student, something about a forbidden love with a teacher. The plot is absolutely terrifying, and shows that author does not have even a shred of literary talent.”

“Is that so?”

“The drama is overly exaggerated, with the entire story feeling contrived, and the plot lacked any coherence. Then, there are the characters… Pfft!”

Glenn could barely hold his laughter as he began the summary.

“The story opens with the female protagonist’s point of view. She was both beautiful and intelligent – the perfect female in every way, and, despite having many hot guys falling for her, she did not show the slightest interest. Then, there was this teacher, who also fell for her. The teacher is usually just a worthless man, but would go to incredible lengths for her when the time calls for it. F-finally, the protagonist would c-cap it off w-with ‘Ah, I am such a sinful woman’.”

“Uwa… To have a reliable and mature man chasing after her… Isn’t this the perfect fantasy romance for every young maiden?” Rumia replied with a wry smile.

“Hmm? Do you also enjoy this type of fantasy?”

“Ahaha! I am also a girl you know! Of course I am interested in this type of fantasy.” Rumia said as she turned to Sistine, “Isn’t that right, Sisti?”


For some reason, Sistine looked deadly pale as she stood in the darkness, with sweat pouring out of her forehead.

“Speaking of which, I wonder who actually wrote this book. There was no title on the cover, nor was there the author’s name.”

At that moment, Sistine started to slowly wobble over, as if possessed by something.

“The book’s binding was also quite curious. It has a goatskin cover with a leather clip, so it is closer to a notebook than a novel. Now that I had a closer look, the paper seemed new and the ink doesn’t seem completely dry, so the work looks recent. Huh? The book is blank halfway through? Was it only written so far? Strange, how did a book like this find its way into the collection?”

Glenn continued to mutter as he examined the book. Without him noticing, Sistine had already gotten behind him as he reached the final page of the book.

“Oh? The last page seemed to have the author’s name! Let me see… Sisti-…”


Strangely enough, Glenn felt a sudden wave of exhaustion flow over him as he lost consciousness, accompanied by what could only be described as the pain of a thick book landing on his head.

◇ ◇ ◇

“Hey, Glenn, are you awake yet?”

Slap. Slap.

A few light slaps on the cheek brought Glenn back from the murky darkness.


As he opened his eyes, Glenn first saw the inverted face of Celica and the starry night sky behind her. On the back of his head, Glenn felt the softness of Celica’s thighs and realized that he had fallen asleep on Celica’s lap.

“W-where am I…?”

Glenn slowly sat up to check the surroundings. Apparently, they were in the field outside the library.

“I have heard from the two girls. Congratulations, Glenn, for wonderfully bringing Rumia-chan back.”

Rumia and Sistine stood behind Celica, looking at Glenn with worried eyes.

“To think you had resolved everything before we charged in with our exorcism gear. As expected of my pupil. It was truly a feat worthy of praise.”

“Alright, you can stop now.”

Glenn shyly pushed away Celica’s hand that was patting his head.

“Still, I have to say that you got overconfident in the end. I heard from the girls that you were knocked out by a book that fell from one of the shelves. Best take care in the future.”

“…Is that so?”

Glenn turned to the two girls behind Celica.

“…Ah. Y-yes.”

“Exactly, teacher! R-really, to think you messed up in the end! Ehehe!”

Rumia laughed with tearful eyes, while Sistine seemed oddly suspicious.

“Either way, the book bruised your head, but I had taken the liberty to heal you up.”

“I see… Tsk, so I got overconfident in the end.”

With that cleared, Glenn began to look around.

“Speaking of which, what happened to that book? Hey, Rumia, White Cat, do you know where that book went? The one I had earlier?”

“Huh? Ah… T-that… W-where could it possibly have gone?”

“T-to think it disappeared! Really, where did that book go? H-how curious…”

Rumia laughed with tearful eyes, while Sistine continued to seem oddly suspicious.

“…? Forget it. Still, to have books unnaturally fall off shelves or disappear, I wonder if it was all just a coincidence… Either way, I hope it was not caused by some unresolved mystery.”

Glenn did not delve deeper into the matter. He simply stood up and stretched his tired bones, before turning to the library.

“I guess anything this ancient is bound to be a lair for spirits… Best not visit too often in the future.”

“T-that’s right. The library is quite the terrifying place. Ahaha~”

Sistine’s awkward laughter lightly echoed in the vast night sky.

Later on, new rumors arose in the library of a young ghost that gave a bone-chilling laughter as she wrote in a suspicious book. However, that is a story for another time.

(1) A Mary Sue is an idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character. Often, this character is recognized as an author insert or wish fulfillment. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue)

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S01 Chapter 5: Heavens, the Lonesome Witch

TL/N: Will be out of the country until November 15th, don’t look for me. ;p

p.s. This was one of my favorite side stories in the volume (My other favorite is up next, then the trudge through three I didn’t care much for), and was certainly fitting to have it released after Vol 6 release to provide some closure for the entire Celica arc. So, enjoy.

p.p.s. ver 1.1 of Vol 6 is out with new fixes in case you want an updated version for your collection (Including the long-awaited name fixes to match the official names.)

In the bone chilling wind that could cut the skin like a knife, a single woman stood.

Her golden hair fluttered in the intense wind, while her alluring figure was tucked under a long black robe – the uniform of the Imperial Court Mage Corps. The woman simply stood motionless as her body and robe were buffeted by the freezing wind.

At a glance, the woman should be no more than twenty. Her beauty was mesmerizing, yet permeated a certain darkness. Obscured by the drifting threads of golden hair, her eyes were bloodshot and filled with an unnatural weariness for life.


Standing opposite to her were three who wore matching uniform, the same as the woman’s. Yet, their peeling skins were pale, their eyes were feverish, and their body emitted a putrid smell. They had long been turned into mere thralls of the Lich and had been plucked from the natural cycle of life.

The three who stood before the woman were all people she knew – companions who she had fought alongside mere months ago. However, seeing the terrible end of her former companions, the woman, Celica Arfonia, did not seemed to display the slightest sorrow.

“Haa… How pitiful.” Celica scoffed as she coldly stared down at them.

The three emotionless thralls raised their hands toward Celica and began chanting with a dreadful whisper as they tapped into the magic they had mastered in their lifetime. Flashes of purple lightning, bolts of flame, and waves of extreme chill all struck where Celica stood.


Facing the overwhelming power that sought to consume her, Celica just nonchalantly narrowed her eyes.

◇ ◇ ◇

A few days ago, in a neglected room where several empty wine bottle and broken shards of glass littered the floor.

“…To liberate a certain village from the terrors of a Lich? Ugh… Is that my mission?” Celica listlessly stirred in her bed as she leaned on the magic communicator.

She was dressed in a black negligee, with the straps loosely dangling off her shoulder. Her ample chest, slim arms, and voluptuous thighs lay uncovered by the thinly veiled fabric, revealing her sensational figure as she lay prone in bed. While her eyes drifted in and out of focus, she flashed a seductive smile with heavy breaths and flushed skin… the very definition of depravity and decadence.

“Yes. Imperial Court Mage Corps Special Operative, Code 21 ‘The World’ Celica Arfonia… The Imperial Government deems this as a highly time-sensitive matter.” From the other ‘end’ of the crystal came the voice of Queen Alicia Septima, “To liberate the village from the Lich, I had already sent out ‘The Strength’, ‘The Temperance’, ‘The Sun’ and… ‘The Tower’. However, we have not heard back from any of them since…”

“…Oh?” Celica gently stirred her body, finally showing an interest in the topic.

“Those four are among the strongest of the Mage Corps and are definitely first-rate mages. It pains me to say this, but from the various intelligence we have been getting, they are all likely…”

“Hahaha… Killed by the Lich? I guess it can’t be helped, considering those small fries.” Celica could not help but let out a genuine laugh, to which Alicia’s tone turned severe.

“Don’t say that, Celica. At the very least, they are your companions.”

“…Companions? Alice, would you ever call the ants by the roadside your friends? Hehehe~”

“Celica, you shouldn’t treat others with such contempt…”

“Haa… It is a fact that they are weak, so how is it wrong to tell it as it is?” Celica let out a contemptuous chuckle, “That reminded me… ‘The possibly-collapsed Tower’, Henrietta, tactlessly challenged me to a ‘duel’ the other day. I got a tad serious and beat her up in full view of everyone… Hahaha… That was a really fun fight! Her humiliated face was absolutely priceless. I wished you were there to see it, Alice!”


Faced with the angry Alicia Septima, Celica tried to reply in an appeasing tone.

“…Come on, don’t be angry Alice. Henrietta was the one who challenged me, and it was an honest ‘duel’. If anything, I only accepted the challenge to follow the proper custom.” Celica spoke of her co-worker like disciplining a misbehaved child, “Something about ‘the strongest mage’… You know, isn’t that girl just an idiot? Of all the people she could have challenged, she chose me. Considering both the difference in experience and rank, there was simply no way for her to win.”

“I don’t mean that…! Why? Celica… what happened to you? I knew you were aloof, but it was never this bad…” Alicia Septima’s worry made Celica somewhat defensive.

“…Hmph. Keep to your own business, Alice.”

“Were you drinking again today? How many times have I told you to stop drinking that much?!”

“It’s just a bit of alcohol… This lousy body of mine is completely immune to that kind of weak poison. Hahaha… Even a little harm isn’t bad from time to time… D-darn it all…”


Celica muttered her own anger and frustration.

“I… have no way to help you… I can’t even be by your side… My position of Queen will make you subconsciously reject me. I… have no way of reaching your inner heart, for which I am regretful.” Alicia Septima said, having sensed something was stirring in Celica.

“…Ah? What are you talking about, Alice?”

“There has to be someone… who would unconditionally stay by your side and interact normally with you…”

With that said, silence descended upon the conversation as Celica quietly contemplated Alicia’s words.

“…Pfft. Hahaha… Hahaha…!!” Before long, Celica broke the silence with a loud laughter, “Alice, what are you talking about? Listen careful, I am ‘strong’. Therefore, I have no need for someone like that. If anything, they are just a burden to me. Why would I ever rely on a ‘weakling’ like that? Right?”

“Celica… I-…”

“…It’s good. I am fully briefed on the mission.” Celica forcibly cut short what Alicia Septima wanted to say, “Lich… an accursed undead magician that rely on stealing the life force of others to achieve eternal life – a disgusting creature. Hahaha… Just thinking about it makes my blood broil. I got it, Alice… Just leave the bug extermination to me. I will completely purge that Lich from this world.”

◇ ◇ ◇

“…‹Get lost›!”

Celica used just two words to activate Black Magic [Plasma•Cannon], [Inferno•Flare], and [Freezing•Hell] in tandem, all high ranked strategic spells. Thick stream of lightning, flood of scorching flame, and wave of crippling chill easily brushed aside the thralls’ spells.

It was Triple Harmonics, one of Celica’s greatest techniques.

A thunderous explosion shook the nearby village as the companions-turned-thralls were erased from the world.

“Haa… Weak… You guys are way too weak.” Celica let out a condescending laughter, “To think the elites of the Mage Corps – ‘The Strength’ Illas, ‘The Temperance’ Turi, and ‘The Sun’ Crea – would be such pushovers… Hahaha… No wonder you all died so easily.”

Her shameless barrage of insults toward her ex-companions continued and seemingly without any remorse.


With her back turned to the scorched hills, Celica continued her way north to the village.

Along the way, all the houses she passed had their door tightly shut.

“Hey, chief! It’s done, open up!”

Celica knocked on the door, and, soon, a middle-aged man reluctantly opened up. The man was the chief of the village.

“I had taken care of the thralls of the Lich. The village should be fine for now.”

“Oooh… R-really? I-incredible! T-to think there was really someone who could defeat them… The village is saved!” The chief joyously cried.

“…Haa. Don’t get ahead of yourself. We are still far from getting rid of the Lich.”

Celica sighed as she shrugged her shoulders.

“Liches are magician who had used forbidden magic to turn themselves into immortals, through which they gain an incredible amount of magic power. They are beings that had casted away their humanity for the sake of immortality, but ultimately, are shackled by their need to absorb living souls. In my opinion, they are quite the superficial existence.” Celica scoffed, “Therefore, to maintain their need, they are forced to stay near populated centers with their thralls… such as this village.”


“However, there are many ways to kill an undead. After all, the very concept of ‘undead’ indicates the shallowness of their search for immortality, and, after achieving immortality, they are fiercely protective of themselves. As such, Lich rarely hunt for souls by themselves and rely on their thralls to do the dirty work for them~”

“Thralls… is it?”

“Yes. If a Lich takes away enough soul from a human vessel, the person will become a thrall. They are minions who follow the Lich with absolute obedience and will do their bidding in the hunt for souls.”

“T-then… the villagers who had disappeared up till now… t-they are all?” The chief asked as blood drained from his face.

“Yes, they are almost certain to have died. Perhaps sucked dry, perhaps serving the Lich as a thrall… Regardless, they are all beyond help now.” Celica gave an apathetic reply.

“N-no way… How could I tell that to their families…”

“Who knows? Maybe tell them to suck it up? Ah, they could always ask the Imperial Government for some welfare. You sure you don’t want to give it a go?”

Celica flung her hair back without a care in the world.

“Either way, Lich are certain to perish without souls. If we eliminate its thralls, the Lich will eventually be forced to hunt by itself. As long as we kill it then, everything will be wrapped up perfectly.”

Celica revealed a bone-chilling smile, to which the chief could only gulp.

“At the current moment, there are still thralls to kill. Although they are just trash, the process will take some time. Honestly, this is why I hate Lich eradication missions.”

“C-could the Lich run away during that time?”

“Nope. I won’t bore you with the technical stuff, but basically, Lich could not wander far from the site where they descended into an undead. Pretty worthless existence, right? From the previous reports, the earliest records of the Lich started at this village, so likely, this village is its origin.”

With that said, Celica uncaringly turned and began to walk away.

“…Therefore, I will need to stay around for a few days. Is that alright?”

“Ah, mmn… Certainly.” The chief nervously replied, “Y-you are the savior of this village. Your magic has given our humble village hope. I am certain the entire village will welcome you in open arms.”


Suddenly, Celica paused her footsteps.

“P-please… save us, Celica-sama.”

“…Mmn. Just leave it to me.” With a quiet reply, Celica walked away from the chief’s house.

“Hmph… What savior… what welcome… bastard!”

Celica slowly made her way to the small, reclusive hut at the edge of the village.

“To think he had the gall to spew out such a blatant lie.” Celica cursed as she kicked the jug lining the side of the road.

Cellica knew perfectly well. She was not welcomed at the village and was treated as a monster of the same, or perhaps even greater, magnitude as the Lich.

When Celica arrived at the village the day before, all the villagers who saw her avoided contact with her, almost trying to hide themselves away. Even now, no villager dared to come and greet her, and everyone had their doors bolted shut.

Not to mention, Celica had to kill three companions of hers, and that fact had made the villagers even more fearful and hateful of her.

How annoying…

“When they are just a bunch of defenseless ‘weaklings’…!”

Certainly, the villagers were not completely at fault. Despite the long history of magic, it remained a wonder for the usual layperson and was frequently equated with demonic powers. Therefore, to the layperson, a person who could freely use magic at will was seen as an object of fear.

Moreover, there was another reason for their fear…

“To think bad rumors about me had spread to such a remote village…”

The other day, she had heard a distant villager mutter that name – ‘Ashen Witch’.

The nickname was meant to signify how she would turn everything into ash wherever she went, an avatar of destruction and death. As such, in the eyes of the unenlightened villagers, Celica was a being no different from the Lich.

“…Hmph. The gratitude of mere ants means little to me. My job is simply extermination. Not to mention, I got to say that wiping out those trashes with magic was quite satisfying~ I should seriously savor the feeling a bit more the next time around~”

However, contrary to her spoken words, Celica’s heart was quite despondent.


With a click of her tongue, Celica took to the road once more with unspoken dissatisfaction.

“Ah, Big Sis!” A sharp voice stopped Celica in her tracks, “Are you the ‘Sorcerer of Justice’ that have come to rescue us?”

Celica turned her head to the sound with a face full of irritation, only to find a small child of around ten-years-old behind her.

“…Who are you?”

“Me? I am Glenn, Glenn Radars!” The youth responded with sparkling eyes.


At that moment, Celica remembered. When she first arrived in the village, in contrast to the sharp glares of the villagers, only this youth looked upon her with awe and anticipation.

“You… do not fear me?”

Celica gazed at the youth, Glenn, with half-closed eyes. Her blood-shot eyes emitted an unbearable pressure, toward which anyone would avoid eye contact.

“Huh? Why would I? Didn’t Big Sis come to protect us? So Big Sis is definitely a gentle person~ I am certain of it.”

However, no matter how Celica tried to shoo the annoyance away, Glenn continued to look at Celica with an innocent smile.

“Even earlier, I had seen it from atop the tree! Big Sis was able to easily defeat those kidnappers! Mmn… As I expected, Big Sis is the ‘Sorcerer of Justice’ that came to rescue us, right?”

Faced with the dense brat that did not take her cues, Celica was boiling with rage.

In her anger, she activated her pre-chanted magic.

Immediately, the chantless magic created a massive pillar of fire that reached into the heavens. It consumed the youth and, with a loud explosion, tore through the ground. As the flames dissipated, and the air returned to its usual calm, the ground surrounding the youth was scorched, but left the youth unharmed.

“Get lost, I will aim for real next time. I especially hate annoying brats like you.” Celica declared as she gave Glenn an icy stare.

“Uwaa! Awesome! Big Sis is really cool!”

Contrary to Celica’s expectations, Glenn began to clap in excitement.

“That was ‘sorcery’ right?! I have seen it in the book! I’ve heard ‘sorcery’ could do everything! It can protect everyone from harm and bring happiness to all! I wish I could do something that powerful and cool!”

“…You brat.”

On the other hand, Celica’s rage has reached a critical point.

“Hey, Big Sis! Could you made ‘sorcery’ do anything else? Please show me! Come on, just a peek, pretty please?” Glenn begged Celica like a kid begging for candy.

His gaze was filled with innocence and curiosity, and his words were brimming with conviction. To Glenn, Celica was the ‘savior’ of the village, and the ‘Sorcerer of Justice’ spoken in legends.

How… annoying.


Celica was unsure why, but she was unable to bear the innocent gaze of the youth.


Glenn let out a sharp cry as his small body fell hard onto the ground.

“…Get lost, or I will really kill you.”

Celica had kicked Glenn away with a powerful kick.

“Hmph… you deserved it.”

Celica glanced at the fallen Glenn from the corner of her eye. Feeling satisfied, Celica tried to turn to walk away. However, the satisfaction proved fleeting.

“Ugh… O-ouch… W-why?” The pained voice of Glenn came from behind.


At that moment, Celica was filled with regret and worry. Her heart ached from an unknown pain.

“…B-big Sis. A-are you not t-the Sorcerer of Justice? H-here to protect us?”


Faced with the youth’s question, Celica could only run away.

“D-darn it! T-that brat! No… don’t look at me with those eyes! It almost made me remember that person… D-darn it!” Celica muttered as she ran through the village, with not a soul to hear her words.

◇ ◇ ◇

…I had a dream.

Since that day, I had lost count of how many times I have had this dream.

It was a story from over two hundred years ago, or about two hundred years since I had ‘awoken’ in this world. It was something that had happened when I was halfway through my four hundred year journey.

On a scorched and accursed battlefield, I stood next to her in the apocalyptic world.

“…I-it’s done, Celica.”

She said lying down on the ground, while her body was awash with blood.

Next to her, her trusty sword was stabbed into the earth, resembling a grave marker. She had received fatal wounds beyond the limits of any healing, but still looked at me with a smile.

“F-finally, we had d-defeated the E-Evil God… Hahaha… A-as expected, C-Celica is r-really strong. I a-am certain, C-Celica is the S-Sorcerer of Justice…”


The regrets after a desperate battle, the joy of victory… none of it mattered.

“P-please don’t die… Ellie.”

I only gripped her, Eliethe’s, hand and wept. My usual cold visage had long been cast away.

“D-don’t die… and leave me alone… in this world…”

“C-Celica… T-this is as far as I will go.”

Eliethe’s tears were not from the fear of death, but grief for leaving me alone in the world after her death. She was, even on her death bed, an ‘indisputably good person’.

“D-don’t say that…! I want you to keep on bothering me! Although I was always cold to you, but honestly…!”

I clenched Eliethe’s hand, hoping that my grip would keep her tethered to the world.

For a magician who had mastered the logics of the world, my futile actions were the very epitome of foolishness. Even so, I continued to grip her hand in mine.

“I don’t want to be alone again! No matter how annoying, no matter how detestable, I still hope for someone to stay by my side… I have already had enough of the loneliness, so…”

I no longer cared about my appearance, or even the pride of a seventh-ranked mage. I was disappointed with myself, for only realizing how much I had liked her the moment she was about to die. So I wept, and I kept weeping away.

“P-please… don’t leave me… I… like… you.”

“I know… Ahaha… You are obstinate and prideful… certainly not s-someone to speak y-your mind.” Eliethe rubbed my face as if trying to calm a crying baby, “B-but do not worry, t-the Celica I know is a k-kind and loving person, and, one day, t-there will be someone who will stay b-by your side.”

“No! Before I had met with you, I was always alone!”

It was a time two-hundred years before I had met Eliethe, or four-hundred years from the present.

When I first woke up on a scorched earth… I could not remember who I am or what I had done. Only my name.

The first years of my ‘awakening’ was… wonderful. I had met friends and even had a lover. I was able to embrace love and enjoy the happiness of a woman.

However, one day, while having my own body examined by magic, I was discovered to be un-aging. Everyone was terrified at my abnormal existence and ran away from me.

Even the one who had declared his eternal love and vowed to stay with me till the end of days cursed me as monster and abandoned me. Ironically, that was just after I had happily ordered my wedding gown. It was the first time I had cried so hard.

Even so, there were still some, albeit quite few, people who were willing to stay by my side. Unlike me, they were all humans – ones unable to resist the flow of time, slowly age, and finally…

After dozens of years had passed since my awakening, I stood before their graves with a bundle of flowers in hand, looking not a day older than when I first arrived in this world. Everything was just as the accursed examination foretold.

Soon, I started to exhibit exceptional magic power. The people around me feared, envied, and avoided me. From that moment on, I grew more and more alone.

“O-other than you… no one w-wanted to stay by my side…!”

I… had always been alone.

Even from now on…

“D-darn it! If I had known how painful this would be… t-then from the very beginning, I shouldn’t come in contact with anyone…! I can live perfectly well alone… so why, m-must I be with someone like y-you?!”

“…Celica, I-I’m sorry… R-really really… s-sorry.”

Eliethe continued to shed tears for the lonesome me… for this selfish woman.

Everything would then turn dark, and I would be left to contemplate my own loneliness.

The dream would end, and the warmth in my hand would slowly vanish. No matter how I tried to keep her, the warmth would always slip away.

In her final moments, I regretted that the only words to come out from my mouth were my own selfish desires.

“That person probably has seen through my selfish being.”

I would awaken to such regrets, and would continue to lie in the bed without a wink until first light.

Such was how it usually happened.

Yet, today was different.


The warmth in my hand… did not disappear. Even as my surrounding turned dark, and I could no longer see her face, the warmth remained.


As if she was next to me. As if she had forgiven my selfish behavior.


My surfacing consciousness once again floated away. As if I was in a children’s cradle, I found myself in a restful sleep for the first time in hundreds of years.

◇ ◇ ◇

The chirping of birds signaled the beginning of a new day as the morning sun tickled Celica’s half-open eyes.


Celica stirred from her slumber with a head full of disheveled hair.

She was in a small wooden house chosen for her temporary stay in the village. It was a building of shoddy construction and the bare minimum of furniture. At the center of the room, Celica had slept in the wooden chair, with her head on the table.

Without moving a muscle, Celica just gazed blankly at the morning sun.

What… did I do last night?

As the grogginess slowly left her, the memories of the night returned.

Ah… right. I had come to remember that fellow again…

From time to time, the chains that bind Celica’s heart would come loose, and, with it, the surge of suppressed emotions would all come bursting out at once.

As such, Celica had simply wept on top of the table, all the way until sleep.

Even in her dreams, Eliethe had appeared, and Celica ended up crying once more.

It was a matter of great personal embarrassment to Celica. As one nicknamed the ‘Ashen Witch’ and holder of the strongest ‘The World’ title in the Imperial Court Mage Corps, Celica was ashamed for her behavior.

Celica had kept a search field up in her vicinity, which was magically connected to Celica herself. If anyone trespassed into the field – no matter how familiar, Celica would immediately be alerted to the presence and be ready to counter.

Aaah… After all, my current appearance is quite undignified.

Celica continued to ponder as she lay motionless.

However, that was a wonderful sleep, and I feel extremely refreshed. I do feel a slight ache in my body, but that was probably from my poor posture. It should have been many years since I had such a restful sleep.

I am sure it was thanks to the warmth that still remained in my hand. Yes, it was thanks to this warmth that I was able-… wait.

Something is odd. Why is the warmth from my dream still in my hands?


Celica suddenly had her half-asleep eyes shot wide open and swung her head up.

Only now did she notice, on the opposite side of the table, the youth from yesterday, Glenn, was asleep at the table with his outstretched hand in Celica’s.


Celica reflexively pulled her head away from Glenn’s and stood up in shock, while the mysterious blanket on her back slid onto the ground.

With her hand back by her side, Celica felt the warmth in her palm drain away.

As she suppressed her longing for the warmth, Celica turned to the sleeping Glenn.

“Hey, you! Why are you here?!” Celica shouted almost hysterically.

“…Mmn. Huh?”

Having a hand suddenly pulled away and then shouted at, Glenn could not help but wake up. Glenn rubbed his eyes as he looked straight at the nearby Celica.

“Ah~ Big Sis, good morning~”

“Skip the greetings. Answer me now! Why are you here?!” Celica angrily shouted at the half-asleep Glenn.

“Big Sis forgot to lock the door last night. When I peeked inside, I found Big Sis sleeping on the table after having cried… and then…”

Celica was fuming. She did not think this brat would be able to see the ‘weakness’ she had always hid away. For the ‘strong’ Celica, it was beyond what could be described by ‘embarrassment’.

“Don’t barge into someone else’s house, and don’t worry about me! Are your purposely trying to get yourself killed?!” Celica declared with her hand pointed at Glenn.

It was the hand located closest to the heart, the hand meant to use magic. As long as Celica was willing, Glenn would have lost his life. Celica only needed to report that he was caught in a battle with the Lich, and she would be able to avoid any punishment. In short, his life was in Celica’s hands.

“No can do~ Because, as long as Big Sis stays at the village, I am the one assigned to take care of Big Sis.”

“Haa?! Who made you come?! Don’t be nosy!”

“Not to mention, Big Sis was injured. So I was worried.”


Celica’s left wrist was still wrapped in bandages, with medicinal herbs within. The previous night, Celica’s sudden emotional outburst led to her cutting her wrist with a knife. The pains of the repeated cuts allowed her some emotional respite from all the turmoil, and the act had long turned to an addiction.

To a magician, such injuries were of little consequence, as a simple healing spell would be enough to reverse the damage.

However, from the carefully made knot and the well-dressed wounds, Glenn’s worry and care for Celica was clear as day. Even to calm a crying person, it was still quite excessive to hold hands for the entire night. At the least, Celica would never consider such actions.

“…W-why? Why would you go to such lengths for me? Even after all I had done to you?”

“Umm… I can’t just sit idly by and do nothing. Not sure why, but I cannot see Big Sis as an outsider.” Glenn shyly mumbled, “Big Sis, have you had many painful memories of the past? I think I understand a bit of the sadness, loneliness, and bitterness… therefore…”

“Wh-…?!” Glenn’s words were quick to anger Celica once more, “D-don’t be silly, what could you possibly know about me?!”

Celica walked up to Glenn and gripped him by the collar of his clothes.

“Do you know how many years I had lived?! Four hundred years! Four hundred! Could you imagine the insanity that came from such loneliness?!” Celica shouted loudly at the youth, not realizing her anger came from the trueness of Glenn’s words.

“B-Big Sis?!”

“Haa… Isn’t it better for me to just die? Yes, I thought that too! How many times have I tried to commit suicide! But, every time, that voice would cut in at the very last moment! ‘You mustn’t die’, ‘you still have unfinished missions’, ‘it is an important mission’… How the heck should I possibly know what mission it is if I cannot remember it?! Without my memories from before four hundred years, of who I was and what I had done… yet because of this inexplicable nudging, I couldn’t even choose death!!”

Following Celica’s outburst, silence returned to the room.

With a quick contemplation of what she had just said, Celica could only give a dry laugh.

“Hahaha… What the heck was I saying to a brat… how pointless.”

Celica slowly released her grip on Glenn’s clothes and fell back on her chair. With her left hand pressed against her temple, Celica looked up at the ceiling.

“…Get it now? I am just a crazy old lady. You would do better to not associate yourself with someone like me…”

“Big Sis…”

With that said, Celica was certain that the youth would forever disappear from her sight. After all, if she were in Glenn’s shoes, Celica would certainly not take care of a crazy lady even if the village asked her to. Yet, to her surprise…

“I think… I get it.”

Glenn remained.

“Although I do not know Big Sis’s mission… nor do I understand Big Sis’s pain and loneliness, I think I can empathize.” Glenn said as he looked straight at Celica, “After all, living alone is painful for anyone.”

“…Enough, brat, stop saying that you understand.”

“But, I understand.” Glenn replied, “Because, I am also alone.”


“From when I was very young, both my mother and father had died from a disease that had ravaged the village. Fearing for their own lives, the villagers all shunned me. Now, I live alone.”


“Even for me, I would cry from time to time because of my loneliness. So I am certain Big Sis’s loneliness and pain exceeded my own by dozens, if not hundreds, times more.”

Silence once more enveloped the room, and the air had become stifled by sadness.

“…I will return, Big Sis.”

“…Seriously, don’t bother.”

Glenn did not care for Celica’s rejection and made his way to the exit.

“Big Sis, I hope you will feel better… To see that day, I will do everything in my power.” Glenn muttered through the half-closed door as he took his leave.

“…” Celica simply remained silent with her head turned away.

Clack. The door was reluctantly shut.

Even with the presence of the youth gone from the room, Celica remained silent.

◇ ◇ ◇

Since the encounter with Glenn, Celica fought silently every day.

The thralls of the Lich, monsters that were once villagers, assaulted the village day after day and night after night. They would not relent until they have consumed all the living.

Certainly, with the abnormal strength of an undead, the thralls were all no different from monsters. If any villagers were to encounter them, the villagers would surely be torn asunder.

However, for the greatest mage of the Imperial Court Mage Corps – Celica Arfonia, the thralls were nothing but pushovers. The sight of the one-sided slaughter would make anyone pity the thralls.

Not to mention, all the thralls that had attacked were former villagers. In other words, the three ex-mages that Celica had erased on the first day were the strongest of the bunch.

Although… something about these attacks feel off…

Celica was slightly baffled by the thralls’ repeated attacks. However, Celica did not give it much further thought and simply erased them were they stood. Day after day, her cold-hearted efficiency at taking lives frightened the villagers and fed to her annoyance.

Yet, as the world was dyed red by the dusk.


After cutting them down with her usual spells, Celica slowly made her way back as the ashes of the thralls scattered to the wind. As usual, not a single villager offered Celica a word of thanks.

Following the deserted trail, Celica soon arrived at her small wooden dwelling on the edge of the village and entered without a knock.

“Celica, welcome back!”

Near the table, Glenn received Celica with a bright smile.

“…You idiot, didn’t I told you to hide in the cellars when the thralls attack? Although I had a ward cast upon this house, you should always assume the worst…” In contrast to the happy Glenn, Celica gave a somber reply.

“Don’t be a worrywart! As long as the Sorcerer of Justice is here, no evil shall harm me!”


It will be safe as long as Celica is here.

Celica could not help but let out a sigh at Glenn’s staunch belief.

“How many times do I have to tell you? I am not a sorcerer, but a magician. Not to mention, magic is not omnipotent.”

“Uuu… I don’t really understand the difference between the two…”

“In the simplest terms, inexplicable phenomenon like being able to fly through the sky with just an umbrella in hand (1) or being able to pull a cookie from nothingness is considered to be ‘sorcery’. On the other hand, if the procedure relied on scripts or chants that follows the ‘logics of the world’, such as to create a cookie from its components or to use wind and gravity manipulation to fly through the wind, it is considered ‘magic’. The former is just a figment of imagination, while the latter is grounded in clear logic.”

“Ahaha, let’s leave the confusing explanations till later. Dinner is ready, Celica! Today is mushroom stew… I am honestly quite proud of how it turned out~”

Glenn lit the nearby stove and heated up the stew before scooping out two bowls. Sitting opposite to one another, Glenn and Celica began to have their dinner.

“Umm, Celica… how does it taste?”

“So-so.” Celica curtly replied, but her actions spoke otherwise.

As Celica took spoonful after spoonful, Glenn simply looked on and smiled.


Celica hastily turned her head aside in an attempt to avoid Glenn’s gaze.

Slurp. Slurp. The rhythmic sound of eating filled the small wooden room.

Neither Celica nor Glenn said a word as both continued to enjoy their dinner in silence.

When was the last time I had a warm and hearty meal like this… ten, no… twenty years ago?

Celica thought to herself as she greedily consumed the meal.

I will return, Big Sis. That was Glenn’s innocent promise that day, and, since then, he has come to visit Celica every day. At first, Celica was at a loss for what to do. Certainly, it was quite the shock for Celica when Glenn turned up the following day.

No matter how Celica threatened or insulted him – even with the physical intimidation, Glenn came to visit without a grudge. In the days since, Glenn had been looking after Celica. Faced with his obstinacy, Celica finally gave up and let Glenn do as he pleased.

…It’s quite strange. Since this little brat barged in on my life, I am no longer plagued by my vices.

Her broken and frozen heart was slowly being thawed. Although still troubled by her immortality and forgotten mission, Celica no longer sought release through self-destructive behavior.

Perhaps, a life like this isn’t that bad?

The question arose in Celica’s heart, to which the answer soon presented itself.

Yes, a life like this is undoubtedly comfortable, I won’t lie. This warmth… It was like that time with Ellie…

Unwittingly, the corners of Celica’s eyes began to redden.

“…Celica, what’s wrong?” Glenn worriedly asked, having noticed the minute change in Celica.

“Idi-… Seriously, don’t look…” Celica said as she frantically covered her eyes.

“N-not to mention, your face is covered with dinner,” To change the topic, Celica quickly took up a napkin and reached out toward Glenn, “Here, don’t move…”


With arm outstretched across the table, Celica wiped the corner of Glenn’s mouth.

“There. Seriously, even though you feel quite reliable, you are still a brat at heart.”

“…Ah!” Glenn remarked at the sudden appearance, “Celica, did you just smile?”


” Celica is already very beautiful, but your beauty is amplified tenfold when you smile~”

“…Horny brat. It’s a decade too early for you to say such things to a girl.”

Although Celica gave a stare at Glenn, it lacked the usual malice with her face bright red.

“Ah, that’s right… Celica, how is your mission coming along?” Unlike the flustered Celica, Glenn asked in an innocent tone.

“Hmm… I think it’s almost time.” Celica tried to calm herself down, “Between the amount of thralls I had defeated and the amount of missing villagers, the Lich should be running low on thralls under its command and will soon be coming to hunt by itself. As long as I vanquish the Lich then, everything should be resolved.”

“Is that so… Does that mean it’s almost time to part with Celica?”

It was a thought Celica tried not to think, but what Glenn said was certainly true. Once the Lich was defeated, Celica would have to part with Glenn – to end these wonderful days and return back to a life of loneliness.

“Celica… will be alone again.”

A somber atmosphere descended on the small wooden hut.

The youth’s silent mutter reflected Celica’s own desires. From which, thoughts of regret and longing for more sprouted in Celica’s heart. Unwittingly, a certain request slipped from Celica’s mouth.

“When everything is over… Would you… like to stay with me?”

“…Hmm?” Glenn inquisitively tilted his head at the question.

“…No, nevermind.” As if breaking out of a trance, Celica immediately corrected herself.

What the heck was I saying?

Celica let out a long sigh as she held her head in the palm of her hand.

To become so clingy when shown the slightest warmth, am I really such a cheap girl?

Not to mention, what is this fellow to me? A Friend? …No, I clearly do not wish to create such a barrier in our relationship. Then, a lover? Have I come to love him and wish for him to be my companion? …No, even with how weird I am, there is no way it is love with this brat…

“…Really? Could I stay with Celica?” Glenn excitedly asked as Celica continued her inner conflict.

“Ah… No, sorry. It was a slip of tongue.” Celica said in a whisper as she avoided eye contact with Glenn.

However, Glenn did not seem to catch Celica’s reply.

“Thank you, I am glad. I had always wanted to stay with Celica.” Glenn let out a bright smile, “Because I was  always alone, I had always wanted to have a ‘family’. I… would love it if I could be family with Celica.”


Glenn’s glittering eyes made Celica speechless.

Family, is it?

Celica’s conundrum has been wonderfully answered. It was the answer she sought in the hundreds upon hundreds of years – a simple answer that filled the void in her heart.

“I see… Certainly, being family with you is quite the enticing offer.” Celica laughed heartedly, as if all her worries were finally blown away.

“Hey, Celica. When we become family, will you teach me magic?”

“Hmph, enthusiasm alone won’t cut it.”

“Not to worry! I will definitely work hard, so I could one day become a sorcerer like Celica!”

“This again? Didn’t I tell you that I am not a sorcerer, but a magician-… Fine, I will teach you magic.” Celica shrugged her shoulder in reply as she gave up attempting to correct him.

In her heart, Celica knew that one day, she would come to regret the decision she made this day. The youth lived on a different time from Celica and would eventually disappear from her life. However, for the fear of the pain on that distant day, should Celica abandon the happiness before her? In the long years, Celica had always chose loneliness out of such fear, but was she truly satisfied with her choice? Was she truly happy?

Perhaps it is not wrong to treasure the present…

Even if they had to separate one day, the wonderful memories of their days together would remain. Although her curse shall continue to plague her, Celica would be able to keep on living with the warmth she would gain through the days spent together with Glenn.

…To be with someone in the present, and live the life to the fullest.

On that day, the four-hundred-year old lonesome witch has finally discarded her fear of the future and embraced the present. Yet, little did she know that the day she has dreaded would happen so soon in the future.

◇ ◇ ◇

“What do you mean?!” Surrounded by the entire village, Celica shouted loudly as she held the chief by the collar, “Glenn… was kidnapped by the thralls?! How could that possibly have happened?!”

On that day, Celica went about her usual routine, cleaning up the thralls that marched on the village. As usual, when everything was done, Celica made her way back to her small reclusive hut where Glenn was supposed to be waiting with dinner.

However, the hut was deserted, and Glenn was nowhere to be found in the village. With a sense of foreboding, Celica searched frantically, before chancing upon the information that Glenn was taken by the thralls.

“That isn’t possible! I had a powerful magic ward set up around the house! No unwelcome guests should have been able to approach!”

“…E-even if that is the case. I am certain that I saw the thralls take the child away…” The chief responded with sweat pouring out from his face.

“N-no way… Does that mean he left the house on his own will? But why…?”

With sheer disbelief, Celica could only clench her fist and grit her teeth as a wave of anxiety washed over her.

“…Umm. Celica-sama?”

From nearby, a somewhat apprehensive villager approached with a piece of paper in hand.

“The thrall that had taken Glenn-kun… left this note behind.”

“What?! Give it here!”

Celica forcibly ripped the note from the villager’s hand.

To the ‘Ashen Witch’, Celica Arfonia.

It’s time to end this once and for all. Come to the location written below, where I will wait for you with your cute little lover.

p.s. Your cute little lover was not harmed, since he is an important ‘bargaining chip’. However, if you do not show, I am certain you know what will happen to him.

On the back of the note was a rough sketch of the location.


Celica let out a deep and menacing laugh after reading the note. Her eyes revealed a murderous glare.

“I see… After all that effort to achieve a flawed form of immortality, aren’t you a bit too eager for your death? What a stupid Lich we have here…”


Without paying heed to the terrified villagers, Celica simply walked away with a flick of her robe.

“If that’s how you want to play, I will personally erase you from this world, foolish undead…”

Like a demon king, Celica went her way shrouded in murderous aura.

◇ ◇ ◇

On the north side of the village, there was a hidden villa tucked away in the middle of the woods.

It was a villa protected by numerous wards, and, without the note to guide her, Celica would certainly not have noticed the secluded villa.


Standing atop a cliff, Celica gazed down at the villa below.

At a glance, it was quite clear the villa was the lair of the Lich, and, within, Glenn was held captive. Having been summoned by the Lich itself, Celica knew the lair was filled with traps. Magic traps, wards, and summons – there were countless possibilities. All of which allowed a weak defender to overcome powerful enemies, to say nothing about the defender being a powerful Lich.

If it were the usual Celica, she would certainly not enter through the front, but rather, use grade-A strategic magic to bombard the villa from afar. However, Celica was hamstrung with Glenn captive within the villa…


Celica was the highest ranked mage on the continent and was confident to overcome any traps. Not to mention, Celica had many cards up her sleeve for when the situation turn dire.

However, even with the vast difference in power, Celica could not act overconfident in a battle between mages. Within history, there were countless examples of a weaker mage triumphing over the strong. As such, it was always prudent to minimize the risks involved.

“Tsk… So it’s like fighting with chains…”

With a step, Celica leapt from the cliff as she chanted her spell.

Certainly, working with a handicap from time to time isn’t that bad.

As she activated her gravity spell, Celica landed gently on the ground below before making a dash at the gate.

With a loud explosion, Celica blew apart the front door of the villa. Summoned beasts, golems, puppets, and thralls awaited her in the great hall, with the various wards and traps activating to her presence.

Among which, there were wards that limited Celica’s magic, wards that froze Celica’s feet to the ground, wards that explode on contact, and wards that activate a death curse on approach. At the same time, Celica had to deal with the summoned beasts’ sharp claws and the swarms of thralls. Moreover, there were even archaic mechanical traps, such as pitfalls, snares, piano wires, poisonous gases, and wall spikes. For Celica, it was a journey through an encyclopedia of traps.

Yet, faced with traps that even the proud elites of the Imperial Army would not be able to overcome, Celica calmly proceeded. She blew apart Magic beasts, cleansed the thralls, dismantle the traps, or simply use her overwhelming power to blow everything apart.

…Hmph, for some reason, my body feels extremely light, as if nothing is beyond reach.

If it were the usual Celica, she would certainly be troubled by the sheer number of traps. However, the current Celica was like a changed person and performed feats with incredible accuracy. No matter the difficulty, Celica would simply breeze by.

In the most clichéd term, I guess this is a case of “Becoming stronger because I have someone I wish to protect”…

Celica could not help but reveal a sarcastic smile at her revelation.

Glenn, don’t worry… I will certainly bring you to safety.

With an unshakable conviction, Celica dashed through the villa’s halls. Celica’s will burned brighter than any trap that sought to snuff her out.

As such, Celica failed to notice a strangeness that the usual coolheaded Celica was certain to notice. She did not question why the mansion was filled with such an extensive repertoire of traps that could crush even the proud elites of the imperial army with ease. It was a setup seemingly made in full anticipation for her arrival, taking advantage of her unique characteristics and weaknesses. With her head filled with the desire to bring Glenn to safety, Celica simply brushed aside all traps that stood in her way.

“…Haa. To think you would be unscathed after all that…”

At the depth of the mansion, a robed youth awaited her.

“Are you the Lich?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

With his answer, Celica reached into her robe and readied her stance for combat.

Behind the robed youth and restrained by multiple spells, Glenn floated in midair.


“Doesn’t seem to be turned into a thrall… Are you alright?” Celica had expected as much.

“Isn’t that obvious? If I had killed the youth and turned him into a thrall, you would wipe us out without hesitation.” With that said, the robed youth pulled out a large scythe and rested the blade above Glenn’s neck, “I do not wish to lose my only bargaining chip.”

“That’s quite the fancy toy you got there.”

“Hahaha… as you probably realized, this is the sorcerous weapon ‘Death’s scythe’, where even the slightest cut will rob him of his life. No matter how brilliant a mage you are, you would not be able to stop me before I take his life.”

Sorcery was not bound by the laws of the world. As such, even with Celica’s fastest spells, she could not be certain to eliminate the Lich before harm was done to Glenn. With the Lich holding Glenn hostage, Celica could only look on helplessly.

“So, I guess, if you want to save the youth, kill yourself?”

“I expected as much.”

Celica let out a long sigh.

“Certainly something a third-rate immortal could think up.”

“I think that’s enough. Even standing here, I could feel your overwhelming killing intent. If anything, i am quite terrified of you.”

The robed youth let out an apprehensive smile.

“N-no, don’t listen to him!” Glenn shouted with eyes filled with tears, “Don’t worry about me and beat the crap out of-… ah?”

Seeing the scythe touching the hairs on the back of his neck, Glenn let out an involuntary gasp.

“Now, hurry up and kill yourself!” With a devious smile, the robed youth barked as he tossed a dagger to Celica’s feet.

At a glance, the dagger was clearly enchanted, with runes lining the blade.

Celica gazed at the dagger with icy eyes.

“…Fine, it can’t be helped.” Celica replied with a shrug.

“C-Celica, no! I won’t accept it if you were to die!” Glenn pleaded with Celica with tear-filled eyes, but Celica only revealed a confident smile in return.

“Don’t worry, Glenn…” Celica said as she bend down to pick up the dagger at her foot, “Because, I will protect you.”

At that moment, Celica activated the ‘device’ kept in her breast pocket.


The robed youth was flabbergasted. In the blink of an eye, the scythe in his hand has snapped in two and the trapped Glenn was now next to Celica.

“W-what just happened?”

“Let’s just say I asked time to stop for a bit, since you were so darn cute~”

Celica chuckled as she toyed with an old watch in her left hand.

“This is my unique magic tool, named after the goddess of time, the pocket watch ‘La Tilica’. It frees me from stream of time and allows me to pull off amazing feats. Impressive, isn’t it?”

It was Celica’s trump card. Each use consumed a rare and expensive ‘Temporal Crystal’. As such, Celica could not abuse the tool. However, given its incredible power, it was certain to tilt the balance of any fight in Celica’s favor.

“T-temporal magic? How could it possibly be? Any magic that stops time is fundamentally flawed. With the second law, however long you stop the world’s time, your own body will be stopped for the same amount to compensate for the difference. So, how could you possibly be moving now?”

“Which is why this is my personalized magic. If I had to give it a name, let’s just call it ‘My World’.”

With that said, Celica raised her hand toward the robed youth.

“Now, it’s punishment time. The crime of raising a hand at my Glenn isn’t light, you know~”


As the robed youth anxiously raised his hands in protest, Celica made her move.

“‹Just die›!”

With overwhelming speed, Celica unleashed ‘Prominence Pillar’. A column of fire rose up around the robed youth, consuming him in the flame.


With a final yelp, the robed youth was erased from the world.

“In the end, it was a mere third-rate Lich through and through.”

After spatting out some final insult, Celica turned to Glenn.

“Are you alright? Was it scary?”

“Celica… I…”

With tear-filled Glenn dove into Celica.


Celica knelt on the ground and received the hug.

“Everything is over… from now and forevermore, I will keep you safe-…”



A streak of blood rolled down the corner of Celica’s mouth, with a sudden jolt of pain felt in her left chest. At the time, Celica could not figure out what had happened.


Glenn silently backed away.

“Ugh… Ahh…”

Celica collapsed onto the ground with only her arms to prop her up.

In Glenn’s right hand was the enchanted dagger, and Glenn himself was doused in Celica’s blood. The curse imbued on the dagger was now coursing through Celica’s blood, paralyzing her entire body.

“Ugh… W-why Glenn…? Why did you stab me?” Having realized what Glenn had done, Celica pulled herself apart and, with tear-filled eyes, pleaded for an answer.

“Hahaha… To think the invincible ‘The World’ Celica Arfonia would be so gullible!”

At that moment, a girl appeared from the shadows behind the column. She wore an identical uniform to Celica – the uniform of an Imperial Court Mage.

“H-Henrietta…? Are you not ‘The Tower’ Henrietta…?”

With wide open eyes, Celica appeared to have finally understood everything.

“That’s right… I thought I was forgetting something… You were not among the mage thralls I defeated… Everyone had been turned to thralls, only you I wasn’t able to find.”

It was always a slight discrepancy. However, given how insignificant an existence Henrietta was to her, Celica did not hold the interest for long.

“S-so, everything that had happened was because of you? Are you the real Lich, and that robed youth earlier was one of your thralls?”

“That’s right, Celica Arfonia… I have been reborn as a Lich, through which I had cast away the shell of mortality and received incredible magic power… all in order to defeat you!!” The Lich, Henrietta, loudly declared as she stared down on Celica, “Using puppets to stage the appearance of a Lich, cutting down my ex-companions, carefully perfecting the scenario… Although everything took quite a bit of effort, I was finally able to have my vengeance!!”


“Yes, before you had joined the Imperial Court Mage Corps, I was the strongest among the mages and admired by all. However, you stole my position with ease and dominated with an overwhelming experience that none could compare, as if mocking my life-long efforts… Not only that…”

Henrietta marched over to the paralyzed Celica and forcibly pulled her chin up, “You… are an ‘Immortal’! Not one of those fundamentally flawed undead and vampire… but a living and breathing ‘Immortal’!”


“I will slowly waste away through the passage of time. Even with the best of magic, I will still be confined by my age and die. However, you… not only do you have overwhelming power, but also enjoys eternal beauty and youth… You have long reached a point where I could only dream…!!”

Henrietta angrily gritted her teeth as her shoulders trembled from the rage.

“Unforgivable… Absolutely unforgivable! I should have been the chosen one! How could I have lost to someone as lowly as you? Why must I forever stay in your shadow! I won’t allow it!”

“H-Henrietta… You…”

“Enough, Celica. As long as I could defeat you… Surpass you… Everything I did would have been worth it. Even if I had to turn into this unholy Lich – a mere third-rate immortal, as long as I defeat you, I can prove to the world that I am stronger!”

“H-how… pointless…” Celica retorted while bearing with the pain of a pierced chest.

“Ah, that reminded me. Celica, there was something I wanted to show you.” With a gleeful smile, Henrietta announced as she snapped her finger.

From behind the columns, countless humans entered through the doors.


Celica was stunned by the scene. She had met each and every one of them.

“H-how…? W-why?”

At the head of the group was the chief of the village, and beside him stood the man who handed Celica the note. Each and every one of them were villagers of the village. The air of the living had long vanished. With pale skin and soulless eyes, their bodies emitted a putrid odor.

“Ahaha… Did their arrival shock you? From the very beginning, I had the entire village as my thralls.”


“Ashen Witch, Have you forgotten my nickname? I am the ‘Puppeteer’… an expert at making puppets that could deceive people of their authenticity. In other words, I could create thralls to deceive you with ease!”


A terrible premonition washed over Celica. She anxiously turned around, hoping her premonition would be proven false.


When her eyes met Glenn, Celica saw a youth with pale skin and empty eyes. The living and smiling Glenn was no longer there.

“Aaah!!” Tears poured out of Celica’s eyes as she loudly cried out, “Glenn! Ah… Glenn…!! How could you-… Uwaa!!”

“Hahaha! Serves you right, Celica! To realize the one that you had opened your heart to was a mere corpse! Hey, how does that feel? Hahaha!!”

Henrietta’s triumphant laughter accompanied Celica’s tears.

“Even with the whole village firmly under my control, you probably would have easily crushed them. Therefore, in order to defeat you, I had to find a weakness… It was then that I realized, beneath all the stubbornness, you are still just a woman.” Henrietta proudly declared, “After I had observed you for so long – you, the immortal Celica Arfonia and the invincible ‘Ashen Witch’ – I have finally learned about your weakness…”


“The strongest? Nay. You are weak beyond compare. Having an unshakable fear of others harming you, yet yearns for a companion to cure you of your eternal loneliness… You heart is more brittle than anyone else in this world…” Henrietta pulled the helpless Celica up and whispered in her ear, “However, you continued to lash out at your surroundings and ignored your weakness, or rather, stubbornly believing in your own supposed ‘strength’. ‘Because I am stronger than anyone else, I did not need others’, is that how you tried to convince yourself? Hehehe, what pointless pride.”

At Henrietta’s sharp words, Celica tightly clenched her fists.

“You are certainly stronger than anyone in this world, and, as long as you kept pushing everyone away, no one would dare to approach you. Yet, in reality, you are just a paper tiger, or rather, a castle of sand sitting on a beach… your strength is just a fragile illusion.”


“Therefore, when faced with an existence that could accept you and unconditionally stay by your side, you would open your heart with the slightest kindness. I had hoped to find an opening from that…”


“Nowhere in my wildest dreams did I think you would come to rely on him! Hahaha!! I bet you were really looking forward to the future with Glenn!”

“S-shut up!!”

Celica swung her fists at Henrietta, but Henrietta easily stepped back to avoid the powerless swing.

“Think about it! No matter how much you abused him, he would remain calm and understanding, even caring for you and staying with you. Do you honestly believe someone like him could possibly exist? What an idiot! To think you couldn’t even figure out something as simple as this with four hundred years of life! Hahaha!!”

“Shut up! S-shut up, shut up, shut up!! How dare you-… I will kill you!!”

Celica flung away the tears in her eyes and raised her left hand toward Henrietta. In her anger, she tried to activate her powerful spells.


A crushing jolt of pain coursed through Celica’s entire body as blood vessels burst open through every pore. With blood gushing out of her every orifice, Celica once again collapsed on the ground.

“Really? Did you really just try something as stupid as that? Face it, you are already done for!”

“Y-you… what did you do?”

“It’s just a simple curse. Whenever you try to use a spell, the curse will inflict unfathomable pain on your body as it is forced to self-destruct… Hehehe…”

Henrietta revealed a devious smile.

“With this, the ‘Ashen Witch’ no longer exists… Without your destructive spells or your command over time… you are now just a regular ‘woman’, right?”

With that said, Henrietta gently snapped her finger as the former villagers crowded around Celica.


The villagers forcibly flipped Celica on her back and pinned her limbs to the ground.

Celica, who was no different from a regular woman without her magic, was completely restrained by the thralls and no longer able to move.


“It’s simply wonderful to see how pitiful you look right now. Do not worry, I won’t let you die so easily. I need to make you suffer all the humiliation and pain the world have to offer before you die, to return the humiliation I had suffered hundredfold!!” Henrietta revealed an ecstatic expression, “To start things off, let me rob you of your dignity as a woman!!”


“To have you completely and utterly assaulted, abused, and demolished! That proud and dignified Celica Arfonia surrounded by the undead, legs pried open and forced upon by rotten corpses… Then, after being stained from head to toe with fluid pouring out from every orifice, I would have you beg and cry at my feet. Ah, what an unbearable bliss!” Henrietta declared as she quivered in anticipation, “Afterwards, I will have you collared, then have you mate daily and train you to be obedient like the female swine you are. Once you are completely broken, I will finish everything by taking my time to slowly kill you. Afraid?”

Silence. As if accepting her fate, Celica remained still and quiet.

“Ah, but I am not heartless. I bet with your attitude, you probably haven’t had much experience the opposite sex. So for my magnanimity, I will have the youth you loved to be the first to mount you. Be grateful, you filthy pervert!”

Without a hint of emotion, Glenn lumbered over to the restrained Celica. At the same time, the surrounding male thralls reached out their hands, intent on violating Celica. Without magic, Celica could only meekly await her terrible end.

Nearby, Henrietta revealed an elated grin as she gazed on the scene, brimming with the confidence that she had finally triumphed over Celica.

Yet, just as she was about to savor her hard-won victory, a tornado of fire circled around Celica and erased the thralls surrounding her.


“Henrietta, are you finally done with your drivel?”

As the flames dissipated with the ashes of the thralls, Celica slowly stood back up from the ground.

At that moment, the surrounding thralls leapt toward Celica like a flood of rotten flesh. However, with a simple flick of her arm, Celica threw out a wall of flame that burned down all the remaining thralls in the room.

“N-no way… How?! The curse should have rendered you unbearable pain and destroyed your body whenever you attempted to use magic!! How the heck could you even cast that spell?!”

“For something as trivial as this, I only need to endure…”

The curse assaulted Celica relentlessly as her body was forced to self-destructed. With blood gushing out of her every pore, Celica was enduring incredible pain – pain enough to drive anyone mad.

However, Celica’s indomitable will kept her mind clear and focused as she unleash spell after spell at her assailants. Like a demon lord reborn, Celica’s eyes glowed with palpable rage while she stared at the stunned Henrietta.

“Hmph… How dare you toy with me! Although, you are certainly the first to force me into such an unseemly state… Ugh… and that alone is worthy of praise.”


At Celica’s piercing words, Henrietta involuntarily shirked back as her heart was gripped by fear.

“‹Return thyself to the cycle of providence•…›”

Shrouded by a demonic aura, Celica began her chant.

“‹The five elements to the five elements•…›”

“That spell-…! N-no, I won’t let you succeed!!”

Henrietta’s face turned deadly pale at the incantations and instantly launched a spell to interfere with Celica’s chant. However, with a light snap of her finger, Celica activated a defensive spell that counteracted the interference. Despite blood gushing from Celica’s body with every action, her concentration remained unbroken as she continued her chant.

“Ah… H-how could this be… No way…”

Before Celica’s sheer overwhelming power, Henrietta realized that she had no chance of victory. It was no longer a contest between magicians, since to Henrietta, Celica’s might was no longer within the definition of a ‘magician’.

Why did I ever oppose her? Why did I even want to surpass her? To make Celica my enemy was probably the most foolish decision I had ever made… Since, even if an ‘ant’ become a ‘cockroach’, there was no way for it to overcome a ‘dragon’.

In Henrietta’s heart, such thoughts and regrets began to sprout.

“‹…Sever the links woven between images and truth›!””

With Celica’s chant completed, a massive surge of magic power gathered at the palm of her left hand.

“H-how-… How dare you…! Disappear back to your graves… you trash…!!”

As she raised her palm toward Henrietta, Celica noticed the shambling Glenn nearby and, for a moment, was overcome with a tinge of hesitation.

“…Modified Black Magic [Extinction•Ray]!”

However, in the end, her hesitation went with the spell that poured over the pair. In a blinding flash of light, Henrietta and Glenn were helplessly erased from the world.

With Henrietta’s defeat, everything was finally over. Due to the overwhelming backlash from using the spell [Extinction•Ray], Celica’s body was on the verge of total collapse as she lay helpless in a large puddle of her own blood.

“…I guess I was somewhat pushing it this time.”

Celica couldn’t believe she had made it through in one piece, with her limbs still attached and well. It was an ending that could only be described as a miracle.

Tsk… Darn it… I will need to dispel this annoying curse, then proceed to heal myself.

…Still, it may not be too bad for me to just lie here like this.

Celica gently closed her eyes as tear streamed down her face.

For four hundred years… Since I first awoken on that scorched field, I had always been lying and deceiving myself… I was blind, but now I see…

Celica no longer wished to hide her true self.

Henrietta words had shattered the false veneer she wore.

Celica now understood that she was just a ‘weak’ human. When she had to endure the curse and loneliness of ‘eternity’, Celica sought to be ‘strong’ so she could cast all others away. Yet, despite her overwhelming power, Celica Arfonia was just a ‘weak’ human at her core.

Even recently, Alicia had accused her of treating others with contempt. It wasn’t because of any one of action in specific, but rather her overall unapproachable demeanor. Through her own device, Celica immersed herself in an eternity of loneliness. Her heart had long hardened to human relations.

During their exchange, Celica could only remain speechless to Henrietta’s sharp words as they tore her false veneer asunder. Even the youth, whose departure Celica had steeled herself for, perished under her spell.

The repeated emotional coups had drained Celica of all her remaining will to live.

Hahaha… I had enough! The omnipresent sense of mission and the inexplicable immortality… none of it matters anymore. Perhaps it is better to just let everything end like this.

If the countless wounds were not promptly healed, Celica was certain to bleed out. Having never had the courage to take her own, Celica saw this as a perfect opportunity. Despite the ceaseless nagging of her inner voice, Celica simply did not care anymore.

Ellie… hopefully we will finally be able to meet again.

As Celica thought that, a sarcastic smile appeared on her face.

Who am I kidding… the place for my soul is undoubtedly hell.

In a hidden villa surrounded by countless traps and wards, no one would know of Celica’s fate nor would her corpse ever be found. Even in the end, Celica remained a lonely soul, and she could only laugh helplessly at the irony of her own death. As her consciousness slowly drifted away, a small voice pierced through the silence.

“P-please… help me…!”


With her ears unwittingly touching the floor, Celica noticed the voice that came from below.

“Someone… anyone…”

At first, Celica thought it was just a hallucination, but soon dispelled the thought. There was clearly someone below begging for help.

“Who could it be… to disturb my final moments?”

Celica picked herself up from the ground and slowly wobbled over toward the source of the sound.


Soon, she found a hidden chamber tucked away behind a false bookshelf. In it, Celica found a stair that led down below.

“What is this place…?”

Having already made it so far, Celica decided to continue on, and wobbled her way down the stairs.

“Please… someone save me…!”

From the stairs, Celica could make out the voice of a child.

“A trap…? Not that it matters. At most, I will finally meet my end.”

At the bottom of the stairs, Celica was met with a large door.

“Tsk… To have the door sealed by magic. Isn’t this going a bit too far even for a trap?”

“Please help me…”

From the other side of the door was a desperate cry for help. Even if it was a trap, Celica felt bad ignoring the plea.

“I guess it can’t be helped…”

As Celica prepared her spell, the curse activated once again, bringing considerable pain to her body.

“Ugh… how painful. If this is a trap, won’t that mean I bled for nothing?”

As she spat out profanities, Celica soon completed her spell and opened the sealed door.

Inside, she found a room filled with an impressive selection of experimental apparatus. Cauldrons, herb satchels, alchemist tables, flasks, and a large magic calculator – a researcher could want for nothing more. At the center of the room, the silhouette of a bound person could be seen on a raised dais.

“…Who goes there?”


The youth tied on the dais was not that much different from Glenn in age. For his resemblance to Glenn, Celica could not help but feel a tightness in her chest. However, she knew very well that the one before her was not Glenn.

“Help! Big Sis, please help me! I… don’t want to hurt anymore! Please let me go from here, I beg of you! I just want to go home…” After noticing Celica, the youth began to shout with a hoarse voice.

“…Do not worry, I won’t hurt you. Just to mention, I probably have already finished off the person who was torturing you.”

At a glance, the youth did not seem to be a thrall, but a living breathing person. After Henrietta was killed, thralls tied to the Lich could not continue to live. In other words, the youth tied before Celica was a real human.

Perhaps it was a kid taken from the village… But why wasn’t he turned into a thrall? Ah, maybe this kid had some sort of special property, so Henrietta wanted to use him for an experiment… Seriously, how much of a problematic trash could she be…

Celica thought of such a hypothesis when she saw the many experimental tools lying around.

After Celica cut the youth loose, the youth leapt and hugged Celica tightly at waist.

“T-thank you, Big Sis… It was terrible… I almost thought I wouldn’t have been able to make it… Thank you… Uuu…”

The crying youth overlapped with her memories of Glenn.

“…What is your name? Who were your parents…?”

“Ah…? That… Ugh… my head hurts…”

Celica’s question made the youth hold his head in agony.

“I-I can’t remember anything… W-who am I?”

“…My sympathies.”

It was likely a side effect from the terrible magic experiments. From the tools themselves, Celica was able to predict the youth to have experiments directly involving the brain. If anything, it was a miracle for him to even be alive.

Yet, despite his memory loss, the youth was likely the only survivor of the entire village.

◇ ◇ ◇

“…So? Have you remembered anything?”

Celica brought the nameless youth back to the deserted village.

“Sorry, Big Sis… I do not remember anything… Where are we?” The youth anxiously replied after looking around the village.

With his response, Celica could only let out a sigh and drop her shoulders.

“…There is no one here. Am I really a resident here? B-Big Sis, will I really need to live alone in this village?” The youth nervously pulled at the corner of Celica’s robe with shaking hands.

The youth had lost his memories, and no one is left alive in the village to take care of him.

Celica looked at the worried youth shaking uncontrollably out of fear – a sight that brought back memories of a certain someone.

“Umm… Big Sis, what will I do?”

This child could only rely on me… Therefore, I must not die… Is that it?

Celica has come to a decision and turned to the youth.

“Then, will you come with me?”


“Living alone will be quite lonely, right?”

It was a question that could be meant for both Celica and the youth.

“Staying in this deserted village will be very difficult, not to mention it may be fate that had brought us together. So, want to come live with me?”


The youth gently nodded his head.

Certainly, for the youth, there was no better alternative.

“Although, it would be problematic if you don’t have a name… then…” Celica thought for a moment before announcing, “Glenn… From this day forth, your name will be Glenn Radars.”


“Mmn, isn’t it a great name?”

Hahaha, what a farce… In the end, I still could not give up on Glenn… How shallow and weak a woman am I,,,?

“…Big Sis? Why are you crying…?”


Celica wiped away her tears and forcibly revealed a smile toward ‘Glenn’.

“Do not need to worry so much about me, Glenn. I… will definitely protect you…”


Like that, the two walked hand-in-hand out of the deserted village.

◇ ◇ ◇

After eradicating the Lich, Celica left the Imperial Court Mage Corps.

Having gained a person she wished to protect, the ‘Ashen Witch’ no longer needed to live a life of destruction. Certainly, it was nothing more than one-sided self-satisfaction for Celica, but at the same time, it was a form of salvation.

Since then, after the passing of many years.

In Celica’s Kitchen.

“Seriously, why do I have to cook for you? How troublesome… and I still have a class to prepare for. Hasn’t it always been ‘you cook and I eat’… mumble mumble mumble?”

“Stop complaining. Do a bit of housework or I will boot you to the street, you bum!”

Glenn continued to stir the pot as he grumbled, to which Celica let out a long sigh.

“Speaking of which, Glenn… Why did you decide to make mushroom stew?” Celica asked as she peered at the content of the pot.

“Ah? It just happened that mushrooms were cheap in the markets today, and stew is quite easy to make… Is there something wrong?”


The mushroom stew was what made Celica reminisce about the time in the village… but in the end, it had nothing to do with this ‘Glenn’.

Since our return, we had tried countless methods to cure his amnesia. Yet, all of it ended in failure. Although… I can’t say whether it was a good thing or bad thing.

Celica thought to herself as she looked at Glenn’s back.

“Ah, Celica, could you at least set up the dishes? Since I am already doing so much today, you should probably come and help out with something.”

“…Isn’t that what I do every day? And when have you ever help set up the dishes for me?”

“Ahaha… I didn’t catch that~”

“Haa… this fellow.”

Celica picked up the dishes from the cupboard and took a look at Glenn from the side.

The youth I had picked up on a whim has already grown so much. Certainly, since that day, there wasn’t many dull moments, and time flew by before we noticed.

Yet, I remained the same as always – the inexplicable immortality and the nagging sense of mission. Without the slightest clue about my ‘mission’, I will remain the same as I always has been, living a life with no end in sight.

Everything around Celica was constantly changing. Even the ‘Glenn’ before her would eventually disappear with the passing of time. In her heart, Celica knew that one day, she would come to regret the decision she made that fateful day. However, until then…

“Hey, Glenn.”

“Ah? The stew isn’t ready yet. Just wait patiently, you glutton!”

“No, I am not talking about the stew. I just want to say that I am really happy to have met you. The wonderful times we had experienced were certainly real.”


“No matter what happens in the future, that alone will not change. Just by recalling memories of these wonderful days, I will definitely have the courage to continue to the very end. Thank you.”


At that moment, Glenn revealed a complicated expression and was unsure how to properly respond.

“Ah… Hahaha!! W-what is wrong, Celica? Did you eat something weird? Or have you finally gone senile? Ahaha!!” The confused Glenn so gave way to laughter.

“…Mmn. Perhaps… After all, I am already quite the granny.” Celica shrugged her shoulder in response.

“Hey, you are definitely not old. If you are no longer around, who will cook for me? For the record, today was a special occasion! I won’t be cooking for you every day… Not to mention, I plan to leech off you for quite some time into the future… so bear with me.”

“Ahaha, seriously? Just go kill yourself!”

“Hmph… How could I die so easily? I am as resilient as a cockroach!”

The two continued their lighthearted banter as they finished preparing dinner.

That day, the mushroom stew was especially delicious.

“Hey, Celica, how does it taste? I am honestly quite proud of how it turned out!”

“…Mmn. It’s delicious.”

Sitting on the far side of the table, Celica revealed a calm and blissful smile.

(1) Mary Poppins *facepalm*

V06 Afterword

Hello, Taro Hitsuji here.

Now that Roku de Nashi Majutsu Koushi to Kinki Kyouten’s sixth volume has officially been released, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my editors and everyone in the publishing company, as well as all the readers who had faithfully supported the releases. Thank you all for your continued support!

Sixth Volume. We have gone a long way since the series started.

As shown by the cover, the sixth volume’s focus was on Celica, just like part of the Memory Records of Bastard Magic Instructor.

Now, with the main story, we have finally cast the spotlight on Celica, who have a large role in the main story. In a way, this volume could be said to be a turning point, as all the pieces had finally came together for the journey ahead.

Who was Lumia? What was wrong with the imperial bloodline? Who were the Researchers of Divine Wisdom? What was the Akashic Records? What were the ancients? Who was Celica? As all these questions slowly get answered one after another, the larger picture slowly comes to be… I hope that readers will continue to follow the development.

Therefore, please take care of me in the future.

On other notes, I recently thought…

Was the White Haired Records really like this? (Rolls Eyes)

R-really strange how it came to be like this. At the beginning, when I first submitted my draft, I only thought about writing a story about a lazy teacher surrounded by a bunch of cute girls, and then would occasionally pull off something grand and make the girls go “Kyaa❤!! Sensei!!”. Things about sky castle, about akashic records, about conspiracies, about ancient civilizations, none of these chuuni-esque elements were in the original draft!

“If I keep on writing like this, I doubt the story will last long, and the publishing house really wanted to serialize the story.”

I recalled when the White Haired Records released its first volume, my editor asked me how I would proceed on with the story…

Only then, did I hesitantly reopen the ‘Book of dark past’ that I vowed never would see the light of day again… (Pukes blood)

Taro Hitsuji

◇ ◇ ◇

Illustrator’s Afterword

With Glenn’s messy hair, how could anyone recognize him if I don’t include a ponytail?


(* ̄△ ̄)Kurone Mishima

◇ ◇ ◇

Translator’s Afterword

Huapollon here~

I am taking this section hostage for my own purposes.

I can’t believe it took me half a year to get everything finally translated, but here you go, with all the pretty redraws I could muster solo.

My interest in this series largely came as a result of the anime, as found the story to be engaging. (But mostly it was because, as I came to realize in the recent months, the platinum-haired MC…) Seeing the project was abandoned by all groups involved back in March, I decided to carry on the torch and translate the LN into English.

And then came the choice. Should I start from the beginning to ensure consistency? Pick up from where the torch was dropped? Or start from wherever I decide most fitting?

After weighing my options, I have came to three realizations:

1. I felt there was no need to retranslate Vol 1 already done by another group and,
2. The safest spot to pick up the series was Vol 3, since the previous group left it undone mid-Vol 2, but that would mean I had to pick up on Riel’s Arc. (And let’s be honest here, Riel’s Arc in Vol 3 and 4 was a bore. You can agree to disagree ;p) Which means…
3. People will be wondering what happened after the anime series is over, and finding the anime series a good summary of the early volume, I could always pick it up from where the anime left off.

After some contemplation, I decided to begin my translation from Vol 5 Vol 6 after counting the remaining episodes in the cour and made my best estimate to where the anime will end. (My own fault mostly, I didn’t think the anime would reach Vol 5, and thought it was going to wrap up at the end of Vol 4. So two chapters in, and lo and behold, the anime hits Vol 5’s Sistine’s arc, so… in adherence with my belief, I put that on hold and started Vol 6.)

Long story short, 6 months later and I finally bring you Vol 6 of RokuAka.

As for where to go from here, I will definitely begin my translations from the first volume of Side Stories, since there are 2 stories that I find interesting to bring to the English audience. After the 1st Side Stories Volume, I will then push forward to Vol 7, and then 8, and then the 2nd Side Stories Volume, and finally, Vol 9. What about the half-done Vol 5, you ask? Well, you already got the spoilers, so I am in no hurry to see it done ;p.

Once again, my goal is quality, because if I am going to commit to something, it better be archive quality.

Thank you for reading my translations,

Huapollon, signing off.

p.s. Do you love Ye Olde English? I know I sure do~

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