34 – Dragon and Tiger
The four seasons in the empire were similar to Japan. In terms of the changes in temperature, that is.
Well, the empire was much larger, so it was probably more extreme if you went far to the north or south. But the old capital of Viskenel at least, was very close to Japan.
Though, there were no cherry blossoms, so spring did not feel the same, but summer was a different matter.
In other words, it was very hot.
It was wrong. Wrong to have a tournament in such weather.
I probably sounded like a reporter during a national High School baseball tournament. But it really was that hot.
But the reason was that people from all over the place gathered outside of the city during the summer.
The city center was the most developed, but there were vast natural lands outside. Lakes and rivers. And that made it feel cooler.
Thankfully—the arena where the tournament was held, was located in such a place.
Still, it meant little when you were in such a dense crowd of people.
Ugh, it really was hot.
“Teacher, what is that?”
I said as I ate the mountain of ice inside of the wooden bowl.
Once I learned about magic, this was one of the first things that I made. It had taken me over a year to accomplish.
That being said, it was just frozen water that had been carved with a knife. It did not taste like anything.
But in the heat of summer, ice alone was a delicacy.
Of course, now that I was in the city, I had been able to make syrups and so it was getting closer to the shaved ice from my past life.
“That looks quite refreshing.”
Ms. Iria said with a look of jealousy.
She was probably feeling the heat a lot more than her cool demeanor suggested.
She had bought a cup of ice tea, which was already empty.
“Want a bite?”
I asked on a whim.
Though, I was pretty sure that she would just glare at me.
However, she instead seemed to blush a little as she froze.
I tilted my head in surprise.
I suppose the red showed up more easily against her light skin.
She said as she moved closer. And then I froze.
Huh? What is this situation? Was she that hungry?
I should have made more then. But it was too late for that.
Besides, this position. She wanted me to feed her!?
Or should I just hand her the spoon?
But I hesitated for only a second.
“Ahhha! Teacher and Iria are sharing food!”
Came the familiar voice, and Ms. Iria moved away at a shocking speed.
“You!! What are you doing to Iria!”
Hey, it wasn’t me.
A male student shot towards me with such ferocity that I thought he was going to grab me by the collar. It was Rev.
“Hey, hey. You were going to make him feed you, weren’t you, Iria?”
Ms. Sherry, President of the Student Council grinned as she looked at Ms. Iria from every direction. Furthermore…
“…Teacher. I think that is questionable behavior.”
“I didn’t do anything.”
A girl with brown skin and silver hair looked at me with suspicion.
“…That’s not how it is. Teacher was just eating something unusual…”
“Huh. Well, Iria does like sweet things.”
“…I don’t see the problem.”
Ms. Iria said as she looked away, but Ms. Sherry would not stop grinning.
“Now that I think about it, you’re always eating desserts after training…”
“I’m sorry, it’s nothing.”
I should not bring that up. Ms. Iria glared at me, and I retracted my statement.
“Iria, are you alright!? Was he trying to force you to…”
“Rev. I’ve said it many times already, but stop saying such rude things about teacher.”
Aww, now you’re in trouble.
I thought happily, and then Rev shot daggers at me with his eyes.
Stop that, boy. I am not at fault here. I think.
After I had spent so much time teaching him, we had not become closer at all. Well, I knew the reason. But it was all due to his own misunderstanding…
However, he had been able to follow and keep up with the training more than most. Recently, he had become more skilled with the spear than his gun. He was clearly a very promising young man.
“So, the three of you. Why are you here? The student battles start tomorrow.”
That was when I noticed that there were other students behind them as well.
“We came to cheer for you, of course!”
“…Nobody told me about this.”
“Well, you were already guaranteed to go, Iria. And I didn’t want to bother you.”
Ms. Iria let out a sigh.
And then the group of students who had been whispering in the back suddenly rushed towards me.
“Good luck, teacher!”
“Thanks to you, I think we’re going to do very well this year!”
“I am sure you will win. We’ll be rooting for you.”
“Teacher, what is your relationship with Ms. Iria!?”
While I had my doubts, I had been able to work as a teacher for these past few months. And though I had seen them improve, there was something very moving about hearing such words from your own students. Except for that last one.
Perhaps being a teacher was not so bad after all…
And then Ms. Aize took a step forward and bowed.
“I was able to become stronger because of you. To the point that even if I lost, I would have no regrets.”
When she raised her face, there was just the faintest smile there.
“No. I would still have regrets… But it would just mean that I did not train enough. I will still feel nothing but gratitude towards you, teacher.”
“…I’m happy that you feel that way.”
She looked confident. As if she could not wait to be able to fight.
“Thank you. I know that you have been trying to help me.”
Ms. Iria’s expression only changed slightly, but it was clear that she was surprised by this.
Don’t look at me. I didn’t tell her! After all, she had probably not told me herself, because she thought I would tell Ms. Aize.
“But please forget that now. Promise me that you will only focus on the fight when the moment comes. I would be sad if it ends too quickly.”
I knew at once that this was not a joke.
The place was filled with this fighting spirit. All of the students were overwhelmed by it.
Well, except for one.
Ms. Iria was not overwhelmed.
She was sharpened and polished to perfection.
Like a tiger going against a lion.
But this intense atmosphere ended suddenly.
The two smiled at each other and shook hands.
“I will win, Iria.”
“I won’t lose to you.”
And so the preliminary showdown ended quietly.
But it also conveyed that these two did not care about any of the other opponents.
Whether this was the right thing or not, the proof would be in tomorrow’s results.
(Today, it is my match…)
Well, looks like everyone forgot about that. I thought.