Chapter 59 – Silver Rank
“Hey, Noelle. I thought I saw you talking to a dragon in front of the door, but…”
That’s what my mother said to me in a confused voice after she woke up.
“What? Perhaps you were dreaming?”
“Th-that must be it! Thank heavens. Though, it was an oddly realistic dream. Oh, what a shock it was…”
I sighed with relief, now that I succeeded in concealing it.
I was going to avert my eyes from reality no matter what. It did not happen, and I would return to ordinary life.
Of course, since it had been so kind as to give it to me, I did keep the whistle with me whenever I left the house.
After all, it would be quite a tragedy if I left it behind, and my mother found it and blew into it.
In other words, I was currently in a state where I could summon a dragon whenever I wanted to.
Thinking of it like that, even my ordinary days seemed a little exciting.
On the outside, I was merely a rookie Royal Magician.
But my true identity was that of the most powerful magician, who could even summon a dragon!
The special circumstances made me feel giddy, and like that, I continued to carry out my work at the palace.
“You. You’ll be promoted to Silver Rank.”
Mr. Gawain said to me one day.
He explained that it was due to my contributions in saving the town from the mad dragon.
And I would also be getting a raise.
Furthermore, Mr. Gawain would personally give me a reward.
I was so grateful… Too grateful. What a wonderful place to work!
“Ne-next time, you really don’t need to rush to get your next promotion, eh?”
Mr. Gawain’s voice shook a little as he handed me an envelope.
He must be so happy to see his subordinate grow.
Alright. I shall do my best so that I can get the next reward as well!
I thought enthusiastically, but then I remembered that there was something that had been on my mind.
There was that friend and rival who I wanted to beat.
“This wouldn’t…happen to be a new record, would it?”
As a Royal Magician, I had reached Silver Rank, which was the 5th highest rank.
While there were nearly a thousand Royal Magicians, I was now part of the top ten percent.
Surely even he had not risen this quickly…
With expectation welling in my chest, I listened to Mr. Gawain’s answer.
“You are number two. The difference was only one week.”
“It’s slowly been dawning on me, but that Luke just isn’t quite right, is he?”
“Well, that’s how we all feel about you as well, seeing as how competitive you are.”
Mr. Gawain said with an exasperated expression.
“That being said, there are several other instances of people being promoted in a short amount of time. The Royal Magicians Order puts more importance on ability than status or age. And so others with tremendous ability have reached Silver very quickly in the past. The people who end up as Magus Ranks are usually like that.”
“Were you also very fast then, Mr. Gawain?”
“I broke the record of the time, yes. But back then, there was still an air of the old aristocratism and seniority systems within the order. But as things improved, the easier it became to get a promotion. And so it is a natural thing that the records are broken at a faster rate these days. It wasn’t that I was better than my predecessors. If anything, I often think it’s the opposite.”
I see. Speed wasn’t necessarily connected to ability. Because the norms of the time were different, and that influenced whether or not someone was promoted.
Now that I thought about it, I had also been lucky to have been given the opportunity to take on jobs that led to my promotions.
I should not get carried away, and continue to do my best with a sense of modesty.
“That being said, it is really from here that going higher becomes really difficult.”
“Gold, Mithil, and Adamantite. It is those promotions that will be a real challenge. Even Luke took quite a while to get there.”
“Now that you mention it, that is true.”
It had taken Luke over two and half years to be promoted to Adamantite Rank.
And yet he was still the youngest to do it, and became famous around the kingdom.
“The important thing is to not rush things. Everyone will experience a period where things move slowly. If you rush ahead, you might lose yourself and get trapped in a swamp. Take your time. Go slowly. It is best to focus on being able to take small steps, so you are just a little ahead of where you were yesterday. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself.”
“Huh? But I thought it’s good to be hard on yourself?”
It seemed to me that being stoic and really pushing yourself was the way to get results.
As I looked up at him, Mr. Gawain answered.
“While being strict can be a good thing, there is also a danger to it. Being too harsh is the worst thing. You won’t last, and you will have to pay the price eventually. Now, there is nothing better than enjoying what you do. And if you can enjoy and continue to do something, then in the end, it will amount to much more when it comes to results.”
“So I’m allowed to enjoy myself? Even if it’s work?”
“Well, it looks to me that you already enjoy yourself. More than anyone here, anyway.”
I froze, and then said a little frantically,
“Uh, but, no. I am very serious. It’s just…I love magic so much that sometimes it does feel quite fun to do.”
“That is fine. You should enjoy it. I think that the way you feel about magic is what is making you a good magician.”
Mr. Gawain said with a laugh.
“But more than anything, you only have one life to live. Even if it’s just work, isn’t it better to be positive and have fun while doing it?”
So it was fine to have fun.
I took in those precious words.
I loved magic more than anything in the world.
And I had dreamed of becoming a Royal Magician.
I would enjoy these moments as much as I can.
And become a more and more brilliant magician, that even he will be surprised!
Yes, I will do it!
With this new sense of purpose, I returned to my work with great excitement.
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