[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
Ethella was lost in thought, fiddling with her lips.
"Then would you like to try it out in the Image Zone?"
"Yes? But… Right now?"
"Why? Are you feeling unwell?"
"No, it's not that."
Ethella blinked, puzzled. The ambitious student who couldn’t contain his excitement in regards to the Image Zone had turned passive.
‘What's going on? He doesn't look very happy. The kids seem to be keeping him in check, is that why? He’s more sensitive than I thought.’
Ethella said while patting his shoulder.
"If you’re not feeling well, you can always do it next time. I was simply curious and wanted to see because you're the only one who can change between the Four Way Formation in Class 7."
"No, I'll give it a go. Please assess me."
Shirone changed his mind. Even if his classmates went around criticizing him, he would not give up the opportunity to receive Ethella's guidance for just that reason alone.
Abusive remarks started to fly around the moment Shirone entered the Image Zone.
"Huh, look at him go. He must be thinking of doing it again. He just loves to stand out, doesn’t he?"
"He wants to show off to his lover. Well, it’s true that that's the only thing he's good at. The dude can’t even cast a single spell."
On the other hand, upperclassmen stopped whatever they were practicing and turned to focus on him. A month had passed since the successful demonstration of the Defense Form of the Four Way Formation, so they were curious to see how much he had grown since then.
"Ms. Romie, I’ll begin.”
"Alright. First, let's do it one by one.”
Shirone started off with what he was best at, the Defense Form. A strong, huge Octacontaoctagon was formed.
The upperclassmen were awed.
"When speaking in regards to your Defense Form alone, it's high-class.”
On the other hand, the Class 7 students glared at Shirone as if they were dealing with a public enemy. Nevertheless, the reason why they couldn't complain was because his skills were actually really great.
Shirone shifted to the Attack Form of the Four Way Formation. Instead of the size of his zone being reduced, it stayed the same with the only difference being numerous, dangerous-looking thorns emerging.
Next was the Target Form. The length of the cross was considerable, but its torque was too weak to use in practice. Nevertheless, Shirone was making rapid progress.
Ethella smiled in satisfaction. It was safe to say that Shirone would soon probably be promoted to Class 6 considering his skills.
But Shirone didn't stop there and attempted the Deviate Form. It was also important to fail so that he could get advice from Ethella while she was here.
Then he hit a wall. The shape of the Spirit Zone might change, and even if the center was shifted, the Zone often exploded instead of just successfully deviating.
Ethella's eyes lit up in astonishment. She didn't expect him to attempt the Deviate Form as it did not fit his convergent tendencies. But surprisingly, things were going roughly, which was to be expected.
Seeing this, each of the Class 7 kids, who had no intention of even trying to aim for the Deviate Form, breathed out a sigh of relief.
"Kekeke, what the hell is he doing? How is that the Four Way Formation? He’s just horsing around."
"They said he was a genius, but he’s nothing close to one. He should be doing at least one thing well. How the hell is he going to become a mage doing things like that."
Shirone was offended. Not a single person from Class 7 could pull off the Deviate Form. He couldn't understand their way of thinking at all, especially considering the fact that they placed standards on him that even they couldn’t reach.
His Spirit Zone shook when he lost his composure. The more it shook, the more the Class 7 kids continued to gossip and bring Shirone down.
Amy, who was watching, frowned. So far, she was satisfied with his demonstration of changing between the different forms of the Four Way Formation, but suddenly his Zone started shaking.
"What the hell's wrong with him? What is he doing?”
"Deviate Form is usually hard to control. I guess he’s bothered too much by the reactions of the kids."
"No way. He’s never that shaky. Is he really going through something these days?"
"Oh, are you covering for him? Well, I guess he is your boyfriend.”
Amy shut Sharelle’s mouth with her red eyes and got lost in thought. It was certainly strange. Where did the Anti-Magic-resistant durability go? How come his Spirit Zone was stumbling around like it was drunk?
‘Is there really something going on that I don't know about?’
Shirone tried everything to suppress his emotions. However, anger was not easy to control because once it bloomed, it grew by consuming itself.
‘Why do they hate me? What did I do wrong? I just want to study hard and do better. What's wrong with wanting to be a mage?’
His Spirit Zone began to convulse as if it was about to explode. His mind was all over the place.
"Hey, you have too many miscellaneous thoughts.”
Shirone broke out from his thoughts. Someone from Class 5 side spoke.
"If you want to do something, just do it. You're here to learn magic.”
Shirone finally looked back on his condition with impassiveness. When he came to his senses, he realized how foolish he was being.
‘What was I doing?’
Shirone, who erased all distractions, attempted once again.
‘It’s okay to fail. The important thing is to learn from it and grow.’
A Zone with a 40-meter diameter slowly began to deviate from the center. As the center moved away, the diameter decreased exponentially.
Would it deviate first or get extinguished first?
All the Intermediate class students stared at the scene.
By the time the size of the Zone was reduced to two meters in diameter, the surface of the Spirit Zone had been completely pulled off from Shirone’s body.
The shock that the Class 7 students were in was indescribable. Even upperclassmen in the Intermediate class found it difficult to succeed, so it was natural for them to be in a daze.
The Spirit Zone began to hover around Shirone. Every moment, new information entered his mind. He felt like his head was about to explode due to the huge amount of information pouring in. When he opened his eyes, the Spirit Zone burst and disappeared.
He was out of breath, even though he didn't do anything physically taxing.
"I did it. I really succeeded in the form… I made it work."
The upper-level classes began to stir.
It was an achievement that was incomparable to the success of a Defense Form. Not one person in Class 7 nor Class 6 succeeded in the form.
Sharelle shook Amy's arm and made a fuss.
"Amy, Shirone did it! He really did it."
Amy was smiling, too. Regardless of her emotions, in terms of being a colleague reaching for the same dream, he had talent worthy of her respect.
‘His growth rate is monstrous. It’s insanely fast. If a month was enough to achieve the Deviate Form, I'm sure…’
‘He’s a talent equal to me… Or even greater.’
Amy was a little upset. Perhaps Shirone trained his mind without wasting even a single day. But what about her? She had gone around the back alley, doing stupid and morally-disgusting things.
‘Why did I… Waste my precious time doing such things?’
Shirone, who succeeded the Deviate Form, looked around for the person who gave him a piece of advice and turned his head toward Class 5. However, he could not figure it out through voice alone since he didn't have a chance to talk to the upperclassmen.
‘I just wanted to say thank you…’
Ethella was absorbed in thought as she looked at Shirone, who was being applauded by nearly everyone. Everyone was influenced by Shirone's growth. She came up with a way to give rise to the atmosphere of the class a bit more.
"Hmm, you came earlier than I expected."
* * *
[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
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* * *
Recently, Shirone had one concern no one knew about. It was that he did not know how to use any magic.
The knowledge needed for magic was not easy enough for lower-level class children to simply obtain. Therefore, even in school, fully-fledged magic practice was conducted starting Class 5.
But in reality, that wasn’t true either. The nobles were educated from birth, so even lower-leveled students knew how to use at least two types of magic. On the other hand, Shirone studied only for a year and a half with the Ogent family.
Shirone’s dilemma was this.
‘If you concentrate on one subject, you may be able to use simple magic.’
The problem was… He felt like he would never be able to overcome students who had been taught since childhood.
So the strategy he came up with was to study all the disciplines at once.
As a result, the number of books he started to borrow increased, and these days, he pretty much lived in the library.
The students laughed at Shirone. They thought it was foolish to study so much in the library considering he wouldn’t be able to keep up with his classes.
But Shirone did not falter. He had the Core of Knowledge, so any discipline or type of knowledge could be arranged in chronological order. In other words, this meant that the probability of forgetting the content was significantly reduced.
‘The immediate results may be minimal, but I must keep this up for a minimum of two years… If it is possible to study for two years in this state, all the main points in each field will start to connect.’
This was the framework of knowledge. An entire encyclopedia in his head that he could reach out to at any time.
After turning over a new lead, Shirone focused back on the book. It was well past midnight when he came to his senses. The only person left in the library was a girl from Class 6.
When Shirone nodded to her as she packed her bag, she also nodded back with a shy smile.
It was two in the morning when he left the library.
However, even if he went to bed now, he would only be able to sleep for about 4 hours. Whenever he thought about how behind he was in comparison to the nobility, he felt that sleep was a waste of time.
Whenever he had those kinds of thoughts, Shirone recalled a book he once read called "The Great Scholars' Dialogue."
Among them, he found the interview of a biologist named Torkcholin most impressive. He, who claimed that a person must get more than six hours of sleep, joked at the end of the interview like this.
“Of course, I only slept four hours during my student years.”
And the author of the book asked.
“Then, aren’t your claims incorrect?”
Torkcholin’s answer was:
“Haha! Those who are in their teens are not humans. They are superhumans. Whether they sleep or not, it would not affect them in any way.”
Those words uplifted Shirone who was always pressed for time.
‘Yeah! Let’s work hard. If I do my best, results will follow naturally.’
The lights in the Advanced class building were on. The lights from the window flickered as if someone was conducting a magic experiment until late at night. What new magic was being created there?
Shirone’s eyes were already on the Advanced class.
* * *
At the end of lunchtime, Ethella went to see Siena. They were the same age at 26, and they had already worked together for four years, but they still remained formal with each other.
"Ms. Siena, can you spare me some time?"
"Yes, but I don't think I can talk for too long because I have a class to teach in Class 7 soon."
It was common to easily exceed an hour while discussing things related to magic, so Siena asked for understanding in advance.
"Oh, I see. I have something to discuss with you about Shirone."
Siena showed interest at the mention of Shirone. Unlike in her class where he laid low, she heard that in practical training led by Ethella, he stood out like a sore thumb.
"How is he these days? Looking at his practice score, it seems like he’s doing quite well."
"He certainly is. Last time, he succeeded in performing the Deviate Form of the Four Way Formation."
"Oho, I see.”
Siena smiled with satisfaction. As an instructor in charge of Shirone, it was a pleasure to hear him being praised by other instructors.
"So I'd like to make a suggestion, Ms. Siena.”
"Yes? A suggestion?"
It was quite rare for Ethella herself to give suggestions to another instructor, especially in regards to a student. So as much as that was a rare occurrence, Siena thought it to be an exceptional suggestion.
* * *
Chemical theories filled up the blackboard in Class 7. The students taking notes were busy trying to write everything down. They felt like the class was going really fast, especially today. As expected, Siena, who finished the class about 10 minutes early, came down from the platform.
"That's it for today. Instead, I have something to announce."
The students were very compliant. The students were willing to eat rice seeds if it meant ending a class early.
"Early promotion has been decided. Shirone Arian, please stand up."
Shirone was pleasantly surprised at the very sudden and very unexpected early promotion. His classmates, on the other hand, looked displeased. Early promotion was not uncommon. However, the problem was that the person getting promoted was Shirone.
"Shirone, you will be promoted to Class 5. Please make sure to check and follow your new schedule starting tomorrow. I hope the rest of you will also work harder to earn the same opportunity. That is all. Class dismissed."
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