[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
That bit was a plus for Amy. Not only were they dating, but they’ve also kissed, at least according to the rumor. So the boys who chased her around were in a state of panic.
“What are you gonna do about today? Aren’t you going to go meet Shirone? Hm? Hmm?”
“Don’t know. We both agreed to focus on studying for the time being.”
There was a hint of disappointment in Amy’s tone.
‘I know we’re only fake dating, but even so, how can he be so indifferent?’
Her pride was hurt by Shirone's stone-cold attitude. It was no princess syndrome, but whenever Amy looked in the mirror, she herself thought her appearance was enough to turn heads. But Shirone seemed to have zero interest, seemingly because of his concentration on studies. Even if it was only a pretend relationship, they were definitely an “official couple” in the eyes of most.
‘Shouldn’t he be at least a little conscious?’
"I don't know and I don’t care either. I have a pile of work to do. I don’t have time to get distracted.”
"You're disappointed, aren't you? Well if you are, I wouldn’t be surprised. I also think Shirone is being too harsh. How could he leave such a pretty girlfriend unattended? I'd stick together around all day if I were him. Oho! Maybe that part was what cracked the iron-hearted Amy’s heart?
When she saw Amy's eyes burning red, Sharelle shook around her hand and released cold sweat.
"Haha… Okay, okay! I’ll stop!
Amy let out her anger with a snort. In a sense, Shirone was well aware of the situation. If he was distracted by something he shouldn’t be distracted by, it wouldn’t be worth it for her to keep up their relationship, even if it did chase away the boys.
"Oh! Amy, isn't that Jake over there?"
Jake was coming down a hill. He had bandages all over his face and was carrying a large backpack on his shoulder.
The disciplinary committee had decided to put those part of Black Magician on probation for two years. With a condition that they ask for forgiveness from the students who dropped out, but anyone could tell there was an unusual leniency.
"Hey! Long time no see, Amy."
Jake's face was bright, unfitting for someone who was essentially getting kicked out for two years.
"You still haven't left? Gosh, so clingy.”
"Kekeke! I’ve done so many bad things that there are a lot of places I need to pass by."
"That doesn’t suit you. Did you change? Hah, no way. How can a person's personality change so easily?”
"That’s true. But there are people who trust a wastrel like me, so now I can't do anything bad anymore."
It was known among students that Siena struggled with the committee to lower Jake's disciplinary penalty. If it weren't for her, Black Magician wouldn't have been able to avoid expulsion from the academy.
"By the way, what are you going to do now? Taking two years off will make you have to drop your classes.”
"I’ll have to beg for forgiveness from the kids who dropped out. They probably won't forgive me, but I'm prepared. And in any case, won’t something come to mind after I try and put everything back to how it was before?"
Amy didn’t think it would be easy. Most of the kids who were tormented by Jake were first-class nobles and suffered from injuries that could not be healed, so the possibility of Jake getting beaten to death was not completely out of the question.
However, the one who knew this better than anyone else was Jake himself, and yet instead of being afraid, he was rather relaxed.
"I've got to go. You'll be graduating by the time I get back. I don't know when the opportunity will come, but when that time comes, I will do my best. Take care. I wish you the best with your relationship."
As Jake turned around with a wave of his hand, Amy responded with an awkward smile. Even Jake, the person involved in the case, found it absurd when he thought back to how Amy was dating Shirone.
Despite what happened, seeing him being sent off in this shabby way left a bit of a bitter taste in Amy’s mouth as a fellow student. She thought for a moment as she remembered something. She called out to Jake.
He looked back.
"Two years will go by real quick! Don't give up!"
"Haha! Call me whenever you need my help. At the very least, I can help by lending you as much money as you need!"
"Two years... Yeah, it's probably nothing. It’ll go by quick."
Amy thought as she looked at Jake’s figure growing smaller and smaller in the distance. He would not be able to go to school for at least two years. But was that really something to cry about? After all, if one didn’t have the skills, one would rot in the same place for the rest of their life, anyways. That was the world of magic.
"Sharelle, I've made up my mind."
"Hm? Are you going to see Shirone?"
"I'm going to apply for promotion to the Advanced class."
"What? Already? Aren’t you being too hasty?"
Upon entering Class 4, you were automatically eligible to apply for the Advanced Class. However, if you were to fail the promotion exam, you would not be able to apply again that year, so the battle of nerves had been fierce since the beginning of the semester.
Not to mention, graduation was a long way off, even if you were to pass the promotion exam. This was because only the best talents could enter the Advanced Class out of the whole magic academy where many geniuses were gathered.
According to graduates of the magic academy, the Advanced Class was a battlefield far more fierce than the one in society. It was a place where only 30 prospective mages competed for survival, having to put aside their friendship for the time being.
Some criticized this system of infinite competition, but considering the specificity of the job as a mage, it was inevitable.
The Alpheas Magic Academy was a state-designated institution, meaning if you graduated, you’d receive a non-certified license, which meant you were recognized as an official mage. Essentially, as long as you graduated, you were given “instant power”.
In the worst-case scenario, the students would have to fight for their lives on a battlefield once they graduated, so instructors shared the common opinion that strict standards had to be imposed on the Advanced Class students.
"Why don't you wait a little bit? The garden is still empty, and it won’t be too late to apply after analyzing the level of the Advanced class and its trends, right?”
"No, I don't want to dwell on it. I just want to keep moving forward right now."
Knowing how stubborn Amy could get, Sharelle knew she couldn’t stop her. On the other hand, she was also looking forward to how far her genius would get her in the Advanced Class.
"Alright, I'll cheer you on. You can do it.”
"Thanks. I'll be heading up first to see what the atmosphere is like."
“Hehe, I'm actually a little nervous, so I'm thinking of collecting some information first. Anyway, let's both work hard."
"Yes, I'll help you, too.”
Amy looked up at the blue sky with a light heart.
Dreams were as far away as the sun. However, dreams were also a guiding light, a beacon to those who needed something to cling to.
‘I will definitely become the best mage.’
* * *
[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
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* * *
The integrated class for the Intermediate class was back.
While upperclassmen and lowerclassmen were going around interacting, no one approached Shirone.
Sometimes standing out too much was also a problem.
Surprising the teachers during the entrance test, managing to showcase one of the Four Way Formations on his first try, crushing Black Magician, and becoming Amy's official lover.
In a short period of time, the marks left by Shirone were considerable. Nevertheless, since he belonged to Class 7, the lowest Intermediate class, the feelings of his classmates were inevitably complicated.
"Huh? There he is, Amy! Your boyfriend, Shirone!"
Sharelle waved from afar. Shirone pushed his way through the crowd. Amy stood with her arms folded as if she were sulking.
"Hahaha! What’s up with the formalities? It’s not like we’re strangers, and plus we're the same age anyways, so no need to be so polite. Talk casually.”
Amy continued sulking despite Sharelle’s matchmaking temperament. From some point on, going beyond his indifference, Amy felt like Shirone was avoiding her.
She wasn’t trying to brag, but inside this academy, Amy Karmis was not someone who got turned down by anyone. So on the other hand, she thought a lot about how to deal with Shirone if he did approach her seriously.
But what was Shirone doing? He drew a line as if they couldn’t even be simple friends at all. Aside from their occasional business-like conversations, he paid her no mind.
"Haha! But even so, I would have to refuse. You guys are still my upperclassmen."
Amy almost threw a punch at Shirone due to his impassive response. but she firmly held it in. If she got angry here, it was like acknowledging that she was unattractive.
"Just speak comfortably when we're alone. And it's funny if you speak formally even though you guys are dating."
At Amy's trembling voice, Sharelle recognized the power of love. Amy was empty without her pride, but she still calmed herself in order to earn Shirone’s favor. Normally, this would not have been possible.
"No, it’s okay. I'll get going. I have class to attend."
As Shirone returned to his previous seat, Amy was on the verge of crying out in anger and shame.
"Whatever! Do whatever you want! If you hate this so much, don't do it!"
Sharelle chased after Amy. Even from her perspective, she thought Shirone was acting quite strange lately.
"Amy, did you have a fight with Shirone?”
"I don't know! I don't care anymore! He’s so full of himself!"
Shirone returned to Class 7, holding back his feelings of guilt and regret. Amy was a good person. However, being close to the queen of Class 4 brought too many troubles.
PR/N: Amy? A good person? Now, maybe. A good person for you? Cap. #ReinaSupremacy
As Shirone sat down, his classmates began to murmur amongst themselves.
"Yeah, yeah. He thinks he’s the best. Does he want to show off that much?"
"Dating during class? Really? He doesn’t even know his ass for his elbow. Did he come to this academy depending only on that face of his?”
Their jealousy was up to their eyebrows. It was much worse than Shirone had expected.
The average age of Class 7 students was 15. It was only slightly younger than Shirone’s age, but one year was still enough to create a huge gap. In this age group, immature happenings often occurred.
The kids disliked the fact that the new freshy who just entered the academy was chosen by Amy, the top student of the Intermediate class. And with mob mentality at its fullest, even female students were now gossiping about Shirone.
"Gosh, there must be something wrong with my eyes. Isn’t he actually a total player? All he does is date and not study. That’s why he is still unable to cast single spell."
Shirone decided to stay away from Amy. If not, she’d be the one to receive a fatal blow in terms of image.
It would be a lie if he said he wasn’t offended by the numerous criticisms. Though recently, the degree of their accusations had gotten worse, so he was slowly getting irritated.
But whenever that happened, he stomped those feelings down, recalling Temuran's advice, he grit his teeth and manned up. His job right now was to rise through the ranks as quickly as possible.
"From today onwards, I will reduce the amount of theory and focus on training. Practice the Four Way Formation you specialize in for an hour. And for the rest of the time, practice pattern changes."
Under the instruction of Ethella, students began to gather to train their Four Way Formation, but Shirone couldn't mingle with them.
In the early days, he inadvertently displayed his Spirit Zone and suffered a setback. The students avoided Shirone's Spirit Zone, which was transmitted through synesthesia, as if it were a bag of filth.
Shirone moved to a secluded place. Since he had the largest Spirit Zone in Class 7, this was the only way for him to train comfortably.
Shirone, who trained the Defense Form for an hour, practiced the remaining three formations. While they were not as good as his Defense Form, his Attack Form was quite good, while he found the Target Form quite difficult to manage.
His biggest problem was with the Deviate Form. Not to mention its difficulty, he couldn't even imitate it.
'It's really tricky. What in the world do I have to do to get my Spirit Zone to deviate?’
Shirone tried to deviate the Spirit Zone to the right, but the shape got all distorted. It was not an exaggeration to say that there were only a handful of higher-class students who were able to use the Deviate Form.
‘Center. The key is to move the center.’
Shirone corrected his mistake and tried again. The center slowly moved while the shape of the Spirit Zone was fixed.
He felt woozy.
‘Is this what it feels like when the soul leaves the body?’
Shirone’s consciousness became distant and numb. He felt disoriented. Then right before his Spirit Zone was about to deviate, it burst like a bubble.
The only thoughts going through his head were that Deviate Form was too difficult for the current him. For one’s mind to take off somewhere was not a natural phenomenon, so he had to approach it very carefully.
‘Rather, should I move the center first? No, the first method is right. If the shape is not perfect, the center won't move.’
As Shirone struggled, Ethella came up to him personally.
"How’s it going, Shirone?”
"Deviate Form is difficult. It's not easy to move the center."
"That’s normal. It's usually quite a challenge for convergent types. The Four Way Formation is a natural phenomenon… Except for the Deviate Form, which is an unnatural phenomenon. By the way, what about the other formations?"
Ethella did not have high expectations for Shirone to succeed in the Deviate Form. What she was looking forward to was Shirone’s natural insight, not computational competence.
"Mmm, as for the rest… I don't think there are any issues."
Shirone answered honestly. He was becoming proficient in the Four Way Formation to the extent that he was satisfied with his own progress.
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