Episode 33: The Beginning of Progress and Escape


Early the next morning after I started training with Amelia.

 I was on my way to her room. The women’s dormitory is forbidden to boys. It’s not an open prohibition, but a tacit understanding…or so it seems.

 Of course, the men’s dormitory is also women’s restricted.

 However, there are still people who meet each other through the eyes of others.

 I’d heard rumors about this, so I would normally invade the women’s dormitory from the front. Since it exists relatively close to the boys’ dormitory, I quickly reach the girls’ dormitory and head to Amelia’s room. I’ve already figured out Amelia’s room through my own investigation (I asked Elisa).

 By the way, it seems that Amelia has a one-person room. She said that it’s like that because she’s one of the three great nobles, but for once it’s just fine.

“Trainee Amelia! Wake-up time! You have one minute to get ready!”

 Piiiiiiiiiii, whistle, and even more so, the bottom of the frying pan in my left hand with the ladle I’m holding in my right hand, Kang Kang Kang! And keep ringing.

 This metallic sound and whistle sound actually works quite well.

 In fact, when we were working on Ainsworth-style boot camps, the sound was so traumatic for everyone. Of course, I was one of them. However, after a while, it’s a strange thing with humans to be able to wake up with a reflex.

“Umm….no….it’s only five o’clock…but…?”

“What are you talking about? I told you the response should be Ranger!”

“U…hmmm…hmmm…? Well, the…? Eh…?”

 Amelia came out, rubbing her eyes, holding a small stuffed bear and wearing a cute pair of pajamas with stars scattered everywhere. By the way, the nightcap on her head was also matching her pajamas.

 Normally, it would be polite to compliment her on her loveliness.

“Amelia. That stuffed bear is cute. And those pajamas are very cute, as well. I especially like the nightcap.”

 I’m tempted to say that.

 But I’m an instructor and Amelia is a trainee.

 That’s what it means to be strong. I need to immerse myself in hard training, and I need to face myself. That’s why I……..needed to be ruthless because she’s my dear friend.

“What the hell are you doing! Hurry up!”

“… Re, Ranger!”

 Perhaps understanding the situation, Amelia quickly returns to her room and begins to change clothes with a flurry. 

“You’re……..late.”

“Cause I wasn’t told you were going to be doing this early in the morning and…”

‘I told you the response was Ranger!”

“Re, Ranger!”

“Well. Let’s just do a quick 20-kilometer run in the morning. You’ll be fine. I’ll be running alongside you as a pacemaker. Let’s go, then!”

“Re, Rang…..”

“You’re losing momentum!”

“Ranger!!”

 So today, we continued our training.

 ◇

When I came back to the dormitory after that, I was caught by the head of the women’s dormitory, Sera-senpai, who took me into the counseling room.

 I was impressed that she had a lot of things on her mind when she came banging on the desk to question me.

” So what are you doing? What about that odd behavior?”

” Odd behavior, eh?”

“Yes. Not only did you break into the girls’ dormitory with an open mind, but you’re also making metallic noises and whistles…that’s a big deal!

”Mm……..It’s true that I didn’t pay enough attention to the surroundings. I’m going to go around this evening to apologize to all the students in the girls’ dormitory.”

“Well your sincerity is good, but don’t do it in the future.”

“The Ainsworth method of waking up?”

“I don’t care what it’s called! In the meantime, stop going into the girls’ dorms! Just in case it’s an unspoken no-no!”

“But is it okay to meet in secret…?”

“It’s well … it’s a tradition. Besides, it’s important not to bother the people around you. From now on, if you want to do anything, just meet up outside the dormitory.”

”…..Well that’s true. It seems that I didn’t pay enough attention to this one thing. I’m sorry.”

 I bow my head deeply.

Apparently, having decided to imitate my master, I’ve gone a little out of control. This isn’t an army, this is a magic academy where students live and study. It would be my fault for not being completely considerate.

“Be……..I hope you understand otherwise!”

” Yes. I will use a different approach to handle Amelia in the future.”

“Hmm. You’re taking care of her. It’s strange to see you as the coach of the three noblemen for so many reasons…”

“Well yes. She said she wanted strength.”

“Well, the Magic Swordsman Competition is special.  Also, this upcoming holiday, why don’t we go buy some new flowers?”

“Mmm….holiday….”

 I’ve become friends with Sera-senpai, going out on holidays. We talk surprisingly well together, and she’s been a big help to me in many ways, but I’m an instructor now. I guess we should focus on Training Cadet Amelia here.

“I’m sorry … there’s a lot going on until the end of the Mage Swordsman Competition …” –

 “I know you’re on the steering committee and you’re busy…

“But during the summer holidays, there’s plenty of time for that. How about then?”

“…hmm. Well, time will tell. But give me some time, okay? You’re the first male member of the horticulture club, so you’ll be learning a lot.”

“Roger that.”

 I bowed again at the end and I parted with Sera-senpai.

 Now I could plan to go bug hunting with Clarice and go shopping for flowers with Sera-senpai for the summer holidays.

 Hmmm … isn’t this just like a student? 

 Hahaha!

 ◇

“Mm, whos’ that?”

 Lunch break. Today we didn’t gather in the school cafeteria because everyone just had to run an errand.

 By the way, since the trainee Amelia is trying to escape (she left while glancing at me at the end of the morning class), I plan to secure her later.

 As such, I bought lunch at the purchase and came to the rooftop to have a meal once in a while…….but just there…….Mr. Allium was standing there alone, staring at the sky.

”………”

 There was nothing to ignore. He might have some thoughts, but I decided to take the initiative and talk to him.

“Hi. Hello, Mr. Allium. Nice day, isn’t it? Not a cloud in the sky today.”

“It’s you.”

“Are you alone? Usually you seemed to be with your friends…”

“Sometimes you need to be alone.”

“Right. Well, that’s true too.”

 Standing next to him, I started my own meal.

 Then he glanced at me and bowed his head to me. It was a deep one, and I knew immediately that he really did feel sorry.

“I’m … sorry.”

“Is this about that incident?”

” Ah. Even though the teacher said a lot of things to me, I did a terrible thing. It’s not something I can just apologize for but I’m really sorry.”

“I accept your apology. I was a bit unpopular at times, too. It’s mutual, Mr. Allium.”

“…call me Albert. You may call me by my name.”

“Then I’m okay with Ray.”

“Okay…..”

 Silence again. He had witnessed my abilities, and besides, I had told him that I was the Ice Blade Magician after that debacle. It had been a long time since I’d seen him since I’d promised to keep quiet about it then.

“Hey, aren’t you going to compete, Ray?”

” In the Magic Swordsman Competition?”

“Oh … you could…”

“As I told you, I can’t do it. My magic domain overheating, you know?”

“yeah that’s that…So, even you haven’t reached the top of the world? The truth of sorcery…”

“Yeah. I’m still developing. And so are the other seven great magicians. Even the highest level of magicians does not necessarily mean that they have a complete grasp and understanding of magic. It’s only in the framework of being human.”

“…Hey, what am I supposed to do? Up until now, this noble bloodline was all that mattered to me. But………in reality it wasn’t. I was just conceited in this small world of nobility… a fool…”

 Was that what he was thinking about?

 I knew he was thinking about something as he fought his way through the intramural qualifiers. I could see that he wasn’t conceited like he had been, but rather just determined to move forward in a steady manner. That’s probably why he was able to fight well in the match against Amelia.

 But Albert still has a lot of doubts.

 Therefore, I…..I’ll tell him what I think.

“Albert. You will become stronger. Stronger than you are now. If you recognize that fact and face yourself, you can go further.”

“…Are you sure about that?”

“Yeah. I’ll vouch for you. The Magic Swordsman Competition has been confirmed as well, right? You can make it.”

“Well I guess I’ll just have to start all over again.”

“Right. This academy is a place where you can start over again and again. This is because this is not a battlefield where the slightest wound can cost you your dignity or even your life. That’s why I’m rooting for Albert as well.”

“…I see. No, you’re that kind of guy.”

 With that, he throws a carton of milk at me and leaves the rooftop without further ado.

“Is this good?”

“Yeah. I don’t need it. Just a little thank you.”

“Okay. I’ll take it.”

 He is not yet completely looking forward.

 His mind is wandering.

 But I’m sure he will continue to move forward, struggling and progressing just like me.

 And so I spend this time alone, looking up at this clear sky.

 But I still have things to do… so after a quick lunch, I went out to secure Amelia as soon as possible.

 ◇

“Hmm….”

 It’s inefficient to search through this crowded school compound searching for traces of Amelia with an empty stomach.

 That’s why I……………………………………..release a bit of my abilities.

 When I followed Amelia’s prima materia that I remembered, I arrived at an empty classroom at the far end of the school building.

 When I opened the door with a rattle, I found Amelia quietly having lunch at the back.

“‘H-……..How did you find me here! No matter how much it’s too soon!!?”

“I used my abilities a little.”

“What…? You’re going that far!”

“It’s the instructor’s duty to secure the escaped trainee.”

“Ah ha ha no, I didn’t mean to run away, did I? I just want to have lunch by myself…”

“The answer must be Ranger! Now, I’m going to add a penalty for escaping today. Your muscles will be sore tomorrow, but good luck with that.”

“No, no! Ughhhhhh!”

 I quickly close the distance and hold onto her hand tightly as Amelia tries to escape through the back door of the classroom.

“Ah……..”

“Well, let’s go, shall we? I won’t let go of this hand until we get to the training grounds.”

“No, it’s just… it’s embarrassing, but…”

 When I looked closely, I saw that Amelia’s face was red. But if I let go of her hand, she would try to escape again. It might be conspicuous, but I have no choice but to let her go.

“Be patient. Then let’s go, Trainee Amelia! Hurry up!!”

“Ughhhhhhhh!!”

“How many times do I have to tell you that the response is Ranger!!”

“RE, RANGAERRRR!!”

 So, with Amelia’s reluctant hand in hand, we headed for the training ground.


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