ACADEMY’S UNDERCOVER PROFESSOR
[Translator – Alice]
[Proofreader – ilafy]
Chapter 138 - Great Fire of Rothen (2)
Flame giant Quasimodo.
As if proving that Ludger wasn’t mistaken when he’d called the giant a top-level flame spirit, it massacred the soldiers with its overwhelming firepower.
The soldiers who melted along with their armor didn’t even leave corpses behind, just ash in the wind.
The ordinary soldiers who’d committed the massacre clearly received an eye for an eye.
Right when the aristocrat and elite troops left, no matter how well-trained the soldiers were, they were nothing more than mere firewood in front of Quasimodo.
A blaze rose up.
With lives as its fuel and death as its firewood, it burned bigger and more terribly.
There was a rain of fire pouring on top of the fleeing soldiers.
Esmeralda watched it all happen while tears endlessly flowed down her face.
Just the day before, she’d been spending her day like usual.
She’d woken up from her sleep as she’d heard the birds chirping, went on a picnic with spirits, and greeted the villagers she was close with.
The dream when she danced, sang, and didn’t stop to smile…
However, not a single one of her flowing tears touched the ground.
The tears flowing down her cheeks evaporated, as they couldn’t endure the surrounding heat.
There was only a dry trace where her tears fell.
Just like her vanished daily life.
Esmeralda got up from where she was sitting. Soon, she started to walk on her feet.
After it watched her for a moment, Quasimodo changed into a small flame and assimilated into Esmeralda’s body.
—That was how Esmeralda turned her back against the burning village and disappeared beyond the darkness with her staggering footsteps.
She didn’t even have a direction in mind.
“I couldn’t do anything back then.”
Pierre stared in the direction Esmeralda had gone with a regretful face.
On that day, he’d been outside to paint before belatedly realizing the incident in the village and going to help. However, there was nothing he could do as a noob wizard.
“These two eyes were also lost in the Great Fire that day.”
The scenery changed. The blind Pierre fortunately held onto his life within the horrifying Great Fire.
However, as he couldn’t see in front of him, he couldn’t walk properly, and it was only a matter of time for him to be devoured by the flame.
At that time, someone had pulled Pierre’s hand.
-Hey, hurry and get up!
It was a childlike but slender voice. He assumed that it belonged to a young girl.
However, Ludger couldn’t see her face. There was only the scene of a blurry black person’s silhouette who’d pulled Pierre’s hand.
Because it was a Painting Spell which could only draw what Pierre had seen, the situation after his eyes became blinded couldn’t be drawn well.
Pierre could safely get out of the Great Fire because of the girl’s help.
-Th-thank you. I’m alive thanks to you.
-No problem. I only did what I had to do.
-How about other people? Is there anyone alive?
-...No. All of them died.
Pierre blankly stared at the burning Rothen village.
He couldn’t see it through his eyes, but the intense heat that was emanating from that place was telling that there was once a village there.
How long had he been blankly looking at it?
He could feel the girl who’d helped him approach his side.
-You are the painter who came here some time ago, right?
-You know me?
-Your dumb appearance is memorable.
-No problem. Well, it’s not something for you to be sorry about in the first place.
There was rage in her voice as she said so.
Pierre carefully spoke.
-What’s your plan now?
-I have to take my revenge.
-Isn’t it obvious? The villagers are all dead. The soldiers set a fire and massacred them only because the villagers got on their nerves.
Pierre couldn’t dare to think of fighting.
The girl sighed while approaching Pierre.
-Are your eyes alright?
-I can’t see anything.
-...The burn is severe. You’re a painter, but if you get blind, isn’t it a big problem?
-Still, I have to be thankful for being alive.
-Thankful, huh… I can’t be like you.
Pierre couldn’t say anything at the girl’s words.
He was a person who hadn’t stayed long in the village, and the girl had stayed way longer than him.
There must’ve been people she was close with, and perhaps family as well.
-...Are you going to go?
In the situation where his eyes were blinded and he couldn’t even look after himself, Pierre was worried about the girl’s future.
-I should go. Of course, I don’t intend to force you to seek revenge along with me. However, I can’t be like that.
-You should leave too. You don’t know when people will come to this place.
After the girl had said that, she’d left Pierre alone.
Pierre blankly stretched his hand toward the girl’s back.
He’d been about to ask her name if nothing else, but he couldn’t bring himself to say it.
And Pierre had stayed sitting in that spot for a long time.
–Until the fire didn’t have anything to burn anymore and extinguished itself.
The magic stopped there.
The painting world disappeared along with the burning village, and it was the hollow reality that replaced it.
The hot flame disappeared as well, and the dead people were erased without a trace.
It was only the village’s ruins remaining that were far from its past appearance.
“I can’t bring myself to leave.”
Pierre, standing in the center of the ruins, mumbled in a self-mocking voice.
“Even though the people I was close with are all dead, I can’t do the paintings I want to draw, and there’s nothing remaining in this place except a nightmare now.”
“Perhaps I still have some feelings left because it’s the village that received a person like me for the first time. Or perhaps it’s a sense of duty that someone has to protect this place.”
That was why Pierre had remained in the ruins.
He’d remained there and kept painting as he recalled the images from back then.
He’d experienced countless trial and errors, and sometimes, he desperately endured that his heart was broken and destroyed.
He’d kept protecting that place while painting.
“As I kept living like that, something changed. I didn’t know much about magic before, but now I can use magic in my brush strokes. Perhaps this is my talent.”
To think that a painter, who should’ve clearly drawn what he saw using his eyes, could paint a proper painting only after he’d lost his two eyes.
—It was really ironic.
However, Pierre didn’t feel thankful nor regretful to the fact that he was blind.
It was only that he had a weight on his mind, as he didn’t know what had happened to lady Esmeralda and the girl who’d helped him, as they were the survivors of that day.
Ludger stood in the center of the desolated ruins while closing his eyes.
A night wind blowing from somewhere tickled his face.
He kept thinking of the spectacle that he’d seen a moment ago.
A village disappeared just like that because of a Great Fire.
Also, the Kingdom of Durman had used the term Great Fire to cover the incident that happened in the village afterwards.
‘They must have blocked the rumor that spread to the foreign countries, but they couldn’t block the seething anger from within the country.’
There must be people who felt suspicious of the sudden Great Fire.
Also, they must’ve realized that someone committed the Great Fire just at a glance.
It was inevitable that the Kingdom of Durman went through a declining path after the Great Fire of Rothen.
* * *
Translator - Alice
Proofreader - ilafy
Join our discord for updates on releases!!
* * *
Commoners’ rage toward the powerful vested interests called aristocrats that had been piling up since before was set on fire with that incident as the cause and had exploded, and they’d raised the flag of revolution.
However, the vested interests in the Kingdom of Durman had still had their power. so they wouldn’t crumble away that easily.
Just like Earth in the past, if everyone raised the same guns and gunpowder, the ones with more numbers were bound to have an upper hand.
However, this world was a place where an asymmetrical force called mages and Knights existed.
No matter how much the commoners protested, the revolution couldn’t be done easily.
‘However, a flame that’s already spread couldn’t die down easily as well.’
The peak of it was the ‘Bloody Night’ incident that’d happened in the city called Jévaudan in the Kingdom of Durman five years before.
The incident that’d made the Kingdom of Durman, which had been maintaining its dignity as a nation, although it was tenuous, completely lose its trust.
‘Those guys who justified the vested rights to do whatever they wanted using the divine right of kings as the basis couldn’t do anything in front of the cryptids instead.’
The divine right of kings…
To explain it, it had the meaning that the king’s authority was bestowed by heaven and God, so everyone should obey their power.
Durman, which had Lumensis religion as its state religion, passionately followed it.
However, cryptids had spread rampantly, and the Beast of Jévaudan had been on a crazed spree, so that power had plummeted in an instant.
The cryptids left behind by the defeated Beast couldn’t be properly taken care of by the Kingdom of Durman.
On the contrary, the fact that what killed the cryptids wasn’t wizards or Knights affiliated to the kingdom, but wandering hunters, incited people’s mistrust even more.
-What the hell did the state do?
-What did those great Knights and wizards do?
Moreover, the method the Bretus Holy Nation, which could be said to be their ally, had used was a problem as well.
No one knew what'd happened, but Bretus Holy Nation had closed their kingdom’s gate 20 years before and stopped dispatching their paladins outside.
All the while, the citizens’ distrust toward the Lumensis religion that had repetitively collected an enormous religious tax soared high to the sky.
It was the moment when their trust toward God collapsed….
That was how the sparks of revolution had burned hot again.
Bigger and hotter than before…
Five years passed thereafter.
The Kingdom of Durman lost their past dignity, and most aristocrats ran away to foreign countries or got exiled.
The royal family still remained, after all, but they were no different than a candle light in front of the wind—no one knew when they would crumble.
The Kingdom of Durman was recently still having a rough time of change.
Also, the end of the change was obviously heading in a better direction than before.
However, there were a lot of incidents in the process.
The Great Fire of Rothen was exactly like that.
How many people’s lives had disappeared like a flame within the shadow of history?
To whom should they ask for responsibility for the monster that was born in it?
First Order Esmeralda and the flame giant Quasimodo…
They were monsters made by that horrible generation.
The monster born of the world had shaken hands with the Black Dawn Society and gone all the way to Sören.
“Have all of your curiosities been solved now?”
“To some extent.”
“Then it’s a relief.”
“You’re not suspicious of me?”
Ludger didn’t understand why Pierre had disclosed everything to him.
Moreover, the magic that he’d used was something that could make other wizards’ eyes turn upside down. Looking at Pierre’s attitude, Ludger could see that he was hiding his ability.
Nevertheless, he’d clearly shown the Painting Spell to Ludger.
“I was suspicious at first.”
“However, I can feel something from you, who saw the past that I painted—the emotion of anger, sympathy, and pity.”
“I didn’t show those feelings.”
“You might not believe it, but I felt them. Because I can’t see, I can feel things more sensitively. That’s why I believe you now. You aren’t a bad person.”
He seemed to say that his sixth sense had become his eyes after he’d lost his vision.
“What if all of that is just your misunderstanding?”
“Then it’s because I was lacking. However, I don’t regret it.”
“A really bad person wouldn’t say something to confirm whether they’re bad or not like that.”
Pierre smiled softly while speaking in a relieved voice.
After he saw that, Ludger pulled his hand from his pocket while bowing at him.
“It must be a painful past for you, thank you for telling me.”
When Ludger bowed his head, Pierre shook his head while telling him that it was okay.
“I’m more thankful instead. I have never disclosed something to someone so honestly like this. Perhaps it’s because I encountered the wound I’ve been ignoring until now, I feel more relieved.”
Pierre wasn’t a naive young man, he was the man who had shown Ludger the Painted World..
He was a respectable wizard who had overcome wounds and hardships.
“So I’m asking you. Mr. Ludger. Please help the lady and that girl win over their sadness. Perhaps they are still fighting a difficult battle somewhere in the world.”
The reason why Pierre had told everything to Ludger must’ve been because of the hope that he would perhaps help them.
However, Ludger only felt bitter sadness at Pierre’s behavior.
The lady called Esmeralda had become a maniac who was crazed with revenge and burning people to death.
Would Pierre know that truth?
Should he tell that truth to Pierre, who didn’t know anything?
“...I will try to help as much as I can.”
In the end, Ludger could only give a vague answer.
It was the best consideration that he could give to Pierre.
“It’s enough then.”
Now that he had achieved his goal, it was time to separate.
It seemed that Pierre knew it, as he was preparing to go back to his hut.
Standing firmly behind Pierre, Ludger asked a question..
“Do you plan to keep staying in this place?”
“Yes. I want to keep staying in this place while drawing more paintings.”
“Because you don’t know when new people will come to this place. If one or two people gather here, a new village will be established. For it to happen, someone should be here—someone who can tell them how beautiful of a village this place was.”
Their conversation ended there.
Pierre sent his farewell to Ludger.
He would remain there and paint; he would keep doing it until someone else arrived.
—Because it was the only way for him to repay the people who’d reached out to him back then.
His noble principle triggered a small ripple in Ludger’s quiet heart.
After he went out of the ruin, Hans discovered Ludger and hurriedly approached him, as he had been waiting there.
“Ludger. Have you finished with your business? Did you discover anything?”
“I found out something, but it’s not a great help.”
All that he’d found out was why Esmerelda had become like that.
“Then isn’t this a pointless misstep?”
“It’s not like that.”
Still, he’d gained a clue, so it wasn’t a meaningless step.
“Hans, there’s something you have to find out.”
“Please tell me.”
“I want you to find out who the famous wizard family among the noble families who went on exile to another place after staying in the Kingdom of Durman for a while is.”
“There will be quite a lot. Is there any characteristic that lets me narrow down the range?”
“A family that births to blonde people for generations. The head of the family would be in his early 30s right now.”
“Hmm. It’s still a bit vague, but it’s not impossible to do. Understood.”
Because his business was over, it was time to go back to Sören.
* * *
After some time had passed, the second exam period had come near.
The students, who usually waited in their classroom, stood in the wide-open training ground with a slight tense in their faces.
Also, Ludger Chelysie, who was the professor who’d taken the lead of the exam that time as well as the general person in charge, stood in front of them.
“Since I notified you earlier, I believe that all of you have practiced hard all this time.”
Not a single student replied.
Everyone just waited for the second exam that was about to be held with a determined face.
“Then, let’s start the test.”
The second test, [Manifesting Magic with Magic Squares as the Foundation], started.
Join our discord for updates on releases!!