While walking to my next class, I couldn’t help but become a bit frustrated with myself. I had been impatient back there, only wanting to overpower Professor Geist to end it fast. Using only my wind and earth attributes, I couldn’t end it as easily as I’d wanted to. I guess being blessed with too many gifts had made me become a bit too impertinent. In reality, I’d yet to reach the pinnacle of strength in this continent even though I definitely had enough advantages that would allow me to reach the top. With that mindset, I needed to stop comparing myself to students my age and think bigger. My only hope was that the upper division classes would offer insight into mana manipulation that I couldn’t pinpoint on my own.
I was rather interested in my next class, Basics of Artificing. Artificing was something that never existed in my old world. I was sure there were relevant ties to technology used in my old world but the premise of manipulating and coding mana to have specific uses designated to an object would be new to me.
Upon entering the classroom, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the layout of the room was that of a laboratory. Beakers, containers, different types of ores and various gadgets filled the room, making it all the more authentic.
I was somewhat relieved to see that there was no one I knew in this class, giving me peace of mind. As students started filing in and sitting next to acquaintances and friends, a girl that looked to be about my age walked by and stood next to the stool beside mine.
“I-Is this seat taken? If it is, I’ll move somewhere else!” I didn’t know why she looked so panicked but I couldn’t help but chuckle at her innocent personality.
“No, the seat isn’t taken. You’re free to sit there if you wish.” I said with a welcoming smile, taking a seat myself.
The girl was ordinary, to say the least. Her thick round glasses magnified her eyes and the freckles underneath them. Her curly hair looked like it had a life of its own, as it was forcibly tied into a ponytail down her back.
Compared to girls like Tess and Kathyln, whom everyone fawned over—and for good reason—she was rather plain. But for some reason, it was comfortable around her.
“Th-Thank you…” she muttered with her head faced down. “…mily.”
“What was that?” I leaned in closer to hear her last sentence.
“Emily! My name is Emily Watsken! Please be my friend—I mean, please to meet you!” Her eyes widened, stunned at her own words.
I shared her expression before I burst out into a laugh.
“Sure. My name is Arthur Leywin.” I grasped her hand and couldn’t help but become surprised by how coarse her palm was.
“O-Oh! I’m sorry! It probably feels gross, right?” She retracted her callused hand while her face turned a bit red, accentuating the freckles on her cheeks.
“No, it’s quite fine. I have calluses too. See?” I held my sword hand out to reveal the hardened lumps on my palms
“Wow…you’re right! You must practice a lot! It’s no wonder you’re in the disciplinary committee. I really admire that! For me, I really love artificing, so I end up fiddling around with a lot gadgets. Unfortunately, it makes my hands get this rough.” She scratched her head, her sentences becoming faster as she got more comfortable with me
“Really? I rather admire people like you. I’m jealous that you have such a passion for artificing. The only thing you get better at when fighting is destroying and killing, but the better you get at artificing, the more things you can create.” I looked down at my own callused hands.
“Woah… that’s deep.” I saw Emily readjust her thick glasses while she pondered what I had just said in her head.
“Haha, I ended up saying something unpleasant. I apologize.” The class was getting pretty loud as the room filled up with eager students, most of which were here as a scholar mages.
“No no no! It wasn’t unpleasant at all! Just, it’s not something you hear every day from a twelve-year-old.” She desperately shook her hands to gesture that it was okay.
“You say that as if you aren’t a twelve-year-old yourself,” I snickered as I looked at her.
Slumping in her chair, she lets out a sigh. “True… It’s because I’m apparently a genius of some sorts. I don’t really get why people say that but people don’t really treat me as a child anymore after I created the projection display artifact.”
“Wait what? You’re the one that invented the display used to show the kings’ and queens’ announcement?” I stood up from my stool.
“Mhmm, well only a part of it… I tinkered around with some of the things in my parents’ lab and I made the basic designs a couple years back.” She scratched her curly hair again.
Sinking back into my stool, I let out a deep breath. Holy crap. She built something like that when she wasn’t even 10!
“Well, I must say that it is an honor to be in the presence of a genius such as yourself.” I give her a smirk, bowing my head in mock fealty.
“Oh, please. Don’t you start now too! Besides, you’re quite famous too, you know!” She gave me a smirk as her glasses reflect the classroom light, making her look like an evil scientist.
“Really? I’ve tried very hard to lay low. I guess that didn’t work.” I leaned my head on my hand.
“Pfft. Well joining the disciplinary committee as a first year sure didn’t help.”
“There are other first year students in the committee as well,” I refuted.
“But not humans! You and Princess Kathyln are the only ones, and the Princess has been hailed as a prodigy since she awakened. That leaves you, a mysterious human freshman that has a bond with a white fox-like mana beast and no background, also able to overwhelm and completely demolish a professor that is a veteran adventurer at the light yellow core stage.” By this time, she was leaning closer and closer to me.
“What? How do you already know about what happened with Professor Geist?! That literally happened fifteen minutes ago!”
“Kyu!” Sylvie echoed in protest at being called fox-like, although that essentially was what she was.
“Don’t be so surprised! This is a magic academy, after all. News travels fast and gossip travels even faster. I bet you some people in this class already know what happened.” She smirked while wagging her finger.
“Oh God… You know, I noticed you’re awfully talkative now compared to when you stuttered your greeting when you first came in.” I couldn’t help but realize the change in her personality.
“Shut up! I s-suck with strangers, okay? Besides, I don’t usually get along with new people this easily. You’re different, though! It was easy to get comfortable with you since we’re really similar.” She harrumphed, crossing her arms over her undeveloped chest.
“Similar in what way?” I raise a brow.
She grinned broadly, “We’re both freaks!”
I rolled my eyes at her conjecture but realized that, because of how high her intelligence was, I was more comfortable with her than other kids my age.
As I was about to respond to her statement, the classroom door swung open and I saw a familiar face.
“Greetings, plebeians! Please feel honored to have me, Professor Gideon, as your teacher for this class!” The crazy scientist skedaddled his way onto the podium while the pair of goggles that were hanging from his neck bounced up and down.
As he gazed through the classroom with a condescending eye, he eventually reached Emily and me.
“AH! Well, if it isn’t Arthur. I had no idea that you would be in my class!” He clasped his cheeks in an obviously fake way, making me shake my head.
“And my oh my, getting along with Miss Watsken! I must say you two would make quite the team! Good good! Let’s begin the first day of classes by a little introduction of myself!” He smiled, writing his name in big letters behind him.
The lecture continued on with Gideon rambling on about how remarkable he was for the following hour and a half. Most students, myself included, were half asleep but Emily’s eyes sparkled as she absorbed every bit of information that came out of Gideon’s thin lips. I guessed even a genius like her respected Gideon in the field of artificing. Made me almost want to admire him.
Meanwhile, Sylvie was curled up on the desk in front of me, using my arm as a pillow, when an olive green owl suddenly flew in from the window, landing on my shoulder.
“Kyu!” Sylv jumped up in surprise and growled as the owl just calmly grooms itself.
“Well, it seems like Director Goodsky is beckoning you, brat!” Gideon walked up to me, massaging his hunched shoulders.
“You shouldn’t keep her waiting. Shoo! Off you go!” He slapped my back as he continued on talking about how great he was.
Emily leaned in, not surprised. “I told you not to underestimate how fast news travelled!”
“Yeah, yeah…” I walked out of the classroom, hearing some of my classmates begin their discussion about what happened.
“Now… where was Director Cynthia’s office again?” I scratched my head.
As if he understood, the owl flew off of my shoulder and began flying towards the right, gesturing us to follow.
“Kyu!” ‘Papa, he’s dangerous!’ Sylvie warned me, her fur standing onend.
The campus was fairly empty as most of the students were either in class, training on their own, or in their dorms. Getting caught up in the beautiful scenery of this campus, I realized a little late that the owl had landed on a statue in front of a building that I assumed was the director’s office, waiting for me to enter.
Opening the door, I headed inside while the horned owl perches itself on my shoulder again, making Sylvie hiss and throw paws at it in warning.
“I see that Avier has personally guided you here. Odd… I have never seen him get so comfortable with a stranger before.” Professor Goodsky, who was sitting behind her desk, rested her head on her hands as she looked at me but studied Sylvie in particular.
“Is there something you needed from me, Director?” I take a seat in front of her desk as Avier, the green owl, left my shoulder and perched on the window ledge behind Cynthia.
“Yes. I called you here regarding the little ‘demonstration’ in Professor Geist’s class.” Her expression remained unfazed as she mentioned the trouble I must’ve caused her.
“Ah… There were some situations beforehand regarding that, actually…” Before I could explain, Director Goodsky lifted up her hand to interrupt.
“We’ve just dismissed Professor Geist from our academy. Princess Kathyln personally stepped forth and explained, telling me what exactly happened. Of course I had to get some people to verify her testimony but everyone agreed that the professor was a danger to students.” She nodded, placing a couple of documents in front of me.
Wow, she worked fast. This incident happened less than two hours ago, but she already managed to handle and fire that professor.
As if she knew what I was thinking, she smiled and added, “It helps move things along when you get the final say in all matters regarding this academy. I have to say, though, that I have never seen the princess so worked up as she was today. When she came in, she had a slightly angry expression on her face, which, by her standards, is quite serious. You must understand how surprised I was. Hoho!” Director Goodsky covered her mouth with a hand as she chuckled softly.
“Really now? I didn’t think that princess could even show emotions.” I grinned as well.
“Yes. You must’ve made quite an impression on her, because she defended you quite fervently, leaving Professor Geist no room to defend himself.” She gave me a wink.
When I shook my head helplessly, Director Goodsky just laughed, responding, “You’re quite the ladies’ man, Arthur. It’s going to be a problem if you steal the hearts of both princesses! Who knows, you might be the cause of our next civil war! Hahaha!”
She seemed quite amused by something that could devastate the thin balance that this continent had. I wanted to just dismiss the thought, but when I imagined the two princesses fighting it out, I shuddered. I didn’t have the mental capacity to handle even one of the princesses, let alone both of them.
“You know, it’s not really considered young to get married at the age of fourteen or fifteen. I’m sure Tessia will have developed into quite a fine young lady by then.” She teased me even further.
“No thank you. I don’t see myself becoming romantically involved anytime soon. Besides, they’re still just kids. Maybe I’ll start thinking about it when the girls my age become a bit more mature.” I shrugged.
Leaning forward, the director studied me. “Hoho, the way you say it makes me think that you’ve already matured, Arthur.”
“Well, even you must admit that I happen to be a lot more mature than people my age,” I responded, leaning back into the chair.
“True, but women do tend to mature faster than men,” Director Goodsky stated matter-of-factly.
“I’m still wondering why I got called in here. I’m sure you didn’t just bring me here to tell me that everything was settled and to get married.” Sylvie hopped off my head and chased after Avier, who was grooming itself on the window.
“Arthur! I feel like you’re becoming to see me as someone who always has an ulterior motive at hand.” She gave me an offended look.
“Haha! I do, because we’re awfully similar in that way, Director.” I gave her a wink, making her smile as well.
“Dear me. If that is the case, then I believe I’ve made the right decision,” she responded.
“What do you mean?”
“Arthur, what do you think about being the professor for your class, Practical Mana Manipulation?” She clasped her hands, studying my expression.
My eyes widened at this. “You’re not serious, right?”
“Oh, I’m quite serious, Arthur,” she said, her expression unfaltering.
“Is that even allowed? I’m a student not even finished with his first day of school. Can I be a student and a professor at the same time? What about my other classes?” I began shooting out arguments as to why this wouldn’t work.
“Please, no need to get so worked up. It’s quite simple, actually. Is it allowed? Yes, as long as I say it is. Although this specific situation has never occurred, there are cases of highly qualified upperclassmen that teach basic courses. As for your other classes, your schedule wouldn’t really change. You would just be teaching that one class, for that period.” She gave me a business-like smile.
I began thinking. Director Goodsky wasn’t doing this for her benefit. She would be sure to get a lot of complaints from noble parents protesting why a first year was teaching a class. I, on the other hand, would have a lot more time on my hands, because teaching the course would require a lot less work outside of class.
“I don’t understand why you’re doing this, Director.”
“Well, a spot just opened up and you were the one that defeated the previous professor. Doesn’t that give you enough qualifications to enter? Besides, I’m really not doing this for some ulterior motive, Arthur. You don’t have to be too suspicious. This is up to you. I won’t push you into this, but I believe that it would be a good opportunity to build a sort of standing for yourself without having to go around conquering professors. If you wish to further enjoy teaching after this semester, I can give you more classes to teach! I’m sure there are a very limited number of classes that would be of use to you anyway” she chuckled.
Standing up, Goodsky laid a gentle hand on my shoulder. “The choice is yours.”