Chapter 3: The Round Table of Souls
After the second exam was over, we were all interviewed about what we did during the practical test.
And so I was also questioned.
”Number 029, why did you use thunder magic in the first test?”
Because it is the easiest way to hit a motionless target without the attack weakening when. And since it strikes from right above the target, there is no wasteful movement.
That was my reasoning, but since I had been a little extreme during the previous test, I decided
to be more reserved now.
“Because that was the magic I am best at.”
The examiners were writing something down.
“Did you not think of using fire magic?”
”Because it wouldn’t ignite.”
The fire magic of the examinees would not have been powerful enough to burn a log at that distance. This wasn’t like lighting a bonfire.
“Now then. Why the close quarters combat during your second test?”
I’ll just lie about it.
“I’d used up all my magic in the first test and didn’t know what else to do.”
They’re writing something down again. Hey, that makes me curious.
I thought about using magic to take a look, but I decided to behave fairly as a student of this examination. Even with this kind of test, it should still be conducted strictly.
And then one of the examiners laughed.
“Well, that was quite spectacular.”
“He was like a hero from a knight’s tale. Though, it’s not very sorcerer-like.”
As I was likely to say something I would regret, I just laughed vaguely.
Then the examiners looked at each other and nodded.
“Your magic power, judgment, and physical strength are excellent. We have determined that you are worthy of being an honor student at our academy. We will issue you a certificate of enrollment, so you can head to the academy when it’s ready.”
And so it was decided that I would be admitted to the Maldegar Academy of Magic as an honor student.
After leaving the examination hall, I returned to the inn while looking at the bustling city of Yi O Yorde, the capital of the Kingdom of Safiede, which is renowned as a magical nation.
Well, I should contact that old hag.
“Yes. What can I do for you?”
The familiar, Taro Kaja immediately appears in the form of a black cat, and I give the order.
“Be alert to your surroundings. Report any approaching lifeforms and demons, as well as any artificial changes in spatial magic, immediately.”
“Yes, sir. All of those categories are clear at this time.”
I make sure that I’m not being magically detected as I meditate in my bed at the inn. I had rented a private room just for this purpose.
Eventually, my consciousness leaves my body and heads for a space where physical distance is meaningless, a virtual room we call the Round Table of Souls.
There are eight seats at the round table, and one of them is mine.
This is a virtual space that was created by our master and cannot be perceived by outsiders. There is a library that contains a vast amount of information, as well as magical devices that perform advanced and complex calculations. It is a base for research and information exchange.
On the other hand, the cost of maintaining this place is paid from our reserve of magic power. So when there is no one left to pay the maintenance fee, this space will disappear.
There used to be eight of us who guarded this place.
But now, there are only three.
After I sit down, I call out to my fellow disciple, who should be here.
‘Hey, Mariam, Mariam.’
At my call, the witch Mariam appears.
Unlike me, she’s an elegant older lady.
‘Ah, Chevaldin. Have you finished your exam?’
‘Yes, yes. I’ve been accepted as an honor student.’
‘Hehe. You are one of the Three Wise Men, after all.’
She was being sarcastic.
‘I’m not old enough to fail a test like that. Perhaps you should have taken it with me?’
‘Well, I’m not quite as brilliant as you.’
She said sarcastically again.
She was really arrogant, in spite of being a disciple for a shorter amount of time than me.
‘Your elder and fellow disciple, has remade his body into a 17-year-old kid and is struggling with this unimportant matter. You could be a little more sympathetic.’
‘Oh, dear. I didn’t think you were the type to be so concerned about appearances.’
Mariam giggles. Her expression while laughing had not changed since she was a child.
I folded my arms.
‘Actually, I am that way. As I’ve been using it for a long time, I’ve grown attached to it, even though it was a rickety body with a sore back.’
But I’m very happy that my eyesight has been cured. It’s great to be able to read research papers without reading glasses. It’s also easier to do detailed work.
Then Mariam stared at me.
‘But you do look rather adorable now. Yes, it’s quite lovely.’
In fact, this is what I actually looked like when I was a teenager.
Though, I’m sure Mariam doesn’t remember…
‘Now, back to the matter at hand.’
‘Yes, my dear brother.’
When I took a serious tone, Mariam’s face became serious as well.
I gestured towards a seat at the round table.
‘I still don’t know what our brother Zephyr is thinking. The Three Wise Men… Well, it’s really eight. But as an old school friend, I can’t just sit and watch.’
‘Indeed. What reason could he have for building a school 20 years ago and not telling us?’
‘I don’t know. I was ordered to use magic against logs during the exam, so that might have something to do with it…’
I could think of many possibilities, but could not jump to any conclusions.
‘Our master always said that the best way to train a sorcerer is to have one master and two students. It’s a violation of his teachings to open a school and gather disciples on a large scale.’
‘Don’t tell me that, when you don’t obey any of our master’s teachings yourself…’
Even though it was a virtual space, my face started to heat up.
‘In any case, I’m not sure what to make of it, and I’m afraid that I don’t know what he’s thinking. I don’t really like Zephyr.’
‘I feel the same. I can never tell what he’s thinking.’
Because the least favorite of the disciples had remained, the trio, who were quite awkward and tense, became known as the ‘Three Men.’
‘He’s not answering any of our summons, so maybe, like the time with Larkan…’
‘Hey, don’t say that.’
I recalled our fellow disciple, who had lost his soul after conducting some dangerous research. He had been one of the kindest among us eight Wise Men.
‘But I understand your fears. That’s why I’m infiltrating the place as a student.’
‘It would have been nice if they were recruiting mages. Isn’t it hard to get around as a student?’
‘Well, they weren’t, so it cannot be helped. Perhaps they were when they first opened, but now they only accept academy graduates.’
As a result, the entirety of the Maldegar Academy of Magic is shrouded in secrecy. The school is also a renovated old mountain castle, so outsiders are unable to approach it.
I stroked my smooth chin and sighed.
‘’Well, I’m just going to search the place and get out. If our disciple brother has simply gone rogue, we have no reason to stop him.’
‘No. I’m sure he’s not trying to destroy the world or anything.’
Mariam muttered and then smiled.
‘But these things are exciting, aren’t they? Doesn’t this bring back memories?
The junior disciple was like a child, no matter how old she became.