Summer Break (2)
TL: Billy Stevens
Hot and humid . It was the last Friday of the semester .
The students of Hebrion Academy were in high spirits, summer break was almost here! Amidst this boisterous atmosphere, a magic class was about to be in session . Desir entered the classroom and looked around . He could see that Ajest and Romantica were already seated . Pram was not present . As this was a magic class, it was not part of Pram’s curriculum .
“Good morning Desir . ”
“Good morning . ”
“Yes, good morning . ”
After exchanging greetings, Desir stacked his books on a desk next to Romantica and sat down .
“You look tired, did you get any sleep?” asked Romantica, noticing the dark circles around Desir’s eyes .
Desir yawned, “I got up really early because I had a nightmare . ”
“A nightmare? Well aren’t you a special snowflake . You’ve appeared many times in my nightmares . ”
“That’s quite an honour . What do I do in your nightmares?”
“You were the Devil King . ”
“…I see . ”
“If you’re tired, why don’t you eat this? You’ll get in big trouble if you doze off during Professor Brigette’s lecture . ”
“That’s true, thanks . ”
Romantica held out a mint . Desir took it and popped it in his mouth . The cool taste spread over his tongue and throat, instantly making Desir feel more awake . There was still five minutes before class started . Desir turned to talk to Ajest and Romantica .
“Summer break is about to start . Do you two have anything special planned?”
“I don’t particularly . I’m thinking of staying at the academy,” replied Ajest . This lined up with Desir’s memory . Ajest had always stayed at the academy .
“I’m thinking of returning to my hometown . It’s been a while since I’ve seen my parents . I do write to them, but it’s still good to see them once in a while,” said Romantica .
“Ah, that works out then . Your hometown is in the Prilecha Kingdom right?”
“That’s right, the scenery there is very beautiful . ”
Prilecha Kingdom . It was a small country with little territory and a small military to match . However, it had become one of the powerhouses within the Western Kingdom through economic means .
“Good, that works out then,” repeated Desir .
“Why? What are you planning this time?” Romantica had an uneasy feeling as to where the conversation was going .
“I have something in mind for us for the summer break . Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like it will get in the way of anybody’s plans . ”
“Did you even listen to what I said? I’m pretty sure I said I was going back to my hometown . ”
“So,” continued Desir, “our party will be heading to the Prilecha Kingdom this summer . I’ll say this again when we see Pram, but the Golden Ocean Tournament will be held in the Prilecha Kingdom . We will be entering that tournament . ”
The Golden Ocean Tournament . A famous event where young adults competed against each other in combat . Whether it be with magic or the blade, adolescents confident in their abilities could compete without restriction .
This tournament was famous in other countries as well . If you ask anyone what the Prilecha Kingdom was known for, they would give one of three answers: its markets, the beautiful coastline, or the Golden Ocean Tournament .
“If it’s the Golden Ocean Tournament, there will be talented people from all over the world! I don’t think we’d do well,” remarked Romantica pessimistically .
“You should be proud of your skills . It’s not common for someone your age to be a third circle mage . ”
“Oh well that…” Romantica puffed out her chest, “that’s just innate talent!”
“Having confidence is good, but don’t get too carried away . Ajest here is also a third circle mage and Zod, the head of the Magic Tower, accomplished this achievement when he was 3 years younger than you . ”
Hearing that, Romantica lowered her gaze .
“If our party does well in the tournament, it’ll improve our reputation and that will help us in the future . ”
“Indeed…doing well in a tournament that is famous in multiple countries…it would certainly be a good thing,” said Ajest, nodding her head in agreement . Romantica also voiced her support .
“That’d be great! If we were to win, we’ll never be brushed off as a mere commoners party again, will we? I’ve always wanted to try it once . ”
“Yeah . We just need to ask Pram as well . ”
They needed to hurry, as the entry deadline was soon . The Golden Ocean Tournament was starting in 3 weeks .
“In the meantime,” said Romantica happily, “we can rest! I don’t know when we last got a break . ”
However, Desir was having none of it .
“What are you talking about Romantica? We’re training after class today as well . ”
“We need to keep up our training . ”
“Oi, do we really have to? Did you forget that, thanks to me, we cleared the Shadow World?”
“That was then, this is now . ”
“You haven’t forgotten our contract, have you?”
The contract: Members will follow the orders of the party leader . Especially when it comes to training .
“Dirty scammer!” shouted Romantica, coyly turning away with a scoff .
In that instant, Desir saw something overlapping his vision . His ear felt numb, there seemed to be shouts coming from nowhere . Desir stared hard at Romantica .
An eviscerated torso . Gushing blood . Desir felt as though his heart was being crushed .
“What? Why are you staring at me like that?” Romantica’s voice brought Desir back to reality .
‘This time definitely…’ Desir tightly squeezed his eyes shut for a brief moment before opening them again .
“Romantica, we’re doing double training today . ”
“Whaaaaat!?” replied Romantica, losing it, “Hold on, don’t tell me this is because I just called you a dirty scammer?”
Desir did not reply and instead began flipping through his books .
“Pardon me, Mr . Desir . I’m sorry . Some vile words slipped out of this young lady’s tongue . Please forgive this innocent girl . Ah, w-wait! Desir! Where are you going!?”
Desir collected his books and moved to a seat at the front of the room next to Ajest . Romantica panicked and tried to follow . However…
“Hello everyone! What a wonderful morning to study magic!” announced Professor Brigette as she entered the room . Romantica could do nothing except give Desir her best puppy dog eyes from afar .
The Hebrion auditorium was made of stone and, during the summer, was very hot and humid, especially at noon . There were many people gathered in the auditorium . Most were students, but there were some teachers gathered there as well . The crowd was quite noisy .
Justin, the headmaster of Hebrion Academy, made his way up to the lectern and turned on the switch for the loudspeaker . As he took a deep breath, a wave of silence swept through the entire auditorium in an instant . The headmaster coughed for a moment and then opened his mouth .
“There are many scientists as well as many magicians . The magic system developed by Rockhilt has become the basis for modern magic and Zod’s development of enchantment magic has opened a new path for mankind . Many scientists and magicians have contributed to humanity and, as a result, mankind has survived the scourge known as the Shadow Worlds . ”
Justin paused for a breath before continuing .
“I am sure that you, too, have contributions to make . I have every confidence that anyone here could be the next Rockhilt or Zod . The Hebrion Academy, this continent’s most prestigious and largest magic academy, will provide all of its support to you . ”
He looked out to the faces of the students before him . The students bore a variety of reactions: bored, happy, excited, indifferent…
Children will be children . The headmaster smiled, thinking to himself this ancient adage .
“I’ll wrap up my speech now . Let the Hebrion Academy summer break begin . ”
The auditorium erupted with the sounds of departure, the student body disappearing like the receding tide .
After the speech, Desir’s party gathered . They all looked very tired, Romantica, Ajest, Pram and Desir . Unlike the other party members, Romantica was pulling along a very large suitcase . With Desir, Pram, and Ajest staying at the Academy, she was the only one in the group leaving .
“Thanks for this week . ”
“It was all for you Romantica . The stronger you become, the more effectively you can tackle Shadow Worlds moving forward . ”
“Hmph!” Romantica was sulking . She had been forced to train right up until yesterday .
“You’re going to miss your train Miss Romantica . Please don’t delay . ”
“Got it Pram . ”
It was time to go .
“Rest well in the upcoming week . We’ll all meet again in the Prilecha Kingdom . ”
Romantica turned around and left the auditorium without responding to Desir, the sound of her suitcase rolling on the stone floor filled the silence . Romantica walked down the pathway at a slow pace . She continued for quite a distance before turning back to look at Desir . Desir was still standing outside of the auditorium, waving at her .
Romantica called out to him .
“You’re dead if you’re late!
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