ACADEMY’S UNDERCOVER PROFESSOR
[Translator – Alice]
[Proofreader – ilafy]
Chapter 136 - Framework (2)
An awkward silence hovered around within the office.
When I stared at her without a word, Flora’s face became red as she got confused.
“N-no. That’s why this…!”
“Did you get confused?”
If I kept letting her be, it seemed like the conversation wouldn’t continue, that was why I spoke as if taking her side.
“Well, yes. It seems like I was a bit confused for a while.”
“So you made a mistake, how unlike you.”
I initiated my mana right away and recalled the framework, a mana technique that formed Source Code.
A technique made of white lines was formed in an instant.
Flora Lumos’s pupils dilated as she saw the technique that shone like a crystal.
“Are you okay?”
I belatedly recalled Flora Lumos’s uncommon physical type.
—It was experiencing mana through different senses. Come to think of it, in excessive cases, it seemed like people of her physical type would unconsciously lose the strength in their legs and feel inner turmoil.
It was similar to the so-called ‘Stendhal Syndrome’.
Flora took a deep breath at my question and nodded her head.
“That’s a relief.”
As I said that, I stretched the framework out to Flora.
“Put your hand here.”
She flinched a bit as she seemed to recall her past mistake, but soon, she stretched out her hand as I told her to.
As soon as the white framework touched her palm, it disappeared in an instant as if it was snow melting under the sunlight.
“This is a framework…”
Flora mumbled as she seemed to be in awe of the framework’s sensation that permeated her hand.
Since the technique had directly hit her body, she must have felt very strange feelings.
“That’s everything that I had to give to you. Go now if you’re already finished with your business.”
“What’s the matter?”
“Back then, there was a technique that you showed me in your personal laboratory.”
“Well, when I fainted.”
It seemed like she was embarrassed, as her voice was a bit quiet.
I recalled the event she was talking about.
“Are you talking about the Klein Bottle?”
The Klein Bottle…
It was a technique that expanded in more complex ways compared to drawing a basic three-dimensional mana technique.
In the end, there was no magical meaning in the Klein Bottle technique itself.
It was only a test result that I’d created to check how far the mysterious force called mana could be pushed.
“Why did you ask that?”
“Not the Klein Bottle technique… there was one more thing you wanted to make.”
“So you secretly saw what was written on the blackboard back then.”
Flora glared at me in a bit of a ridiculous way at my words.
“Well, how could I not see what was drawn there?”
“Even so, it’s impolite that you tried to get something from it. I’ll let it pass because it’s me, but you should be more careful in the future.”
“So, what on earth is the name of that magic technique?”
“That one, huh…”
What Flora Lumos had perhaps seen was the more extended notion of the magic technique apart from the Klein Bottle.
Viewed from the outside, it would look like it consisted of two-dimensional cubes, but in fact, it was a way more complicated four-dimensional shape.
“I call it a Tesseract.”
“The other name is… yes, it’s a Hypercube.”
Of course, even after I said it, she wouldn’t be able to know because it was a concept that was hard to understand by the people in this world at the time.
However, as she seemed to realize that the magic was out of ordinary just by its name, Flora Lumos asked me with a slightly trembling voice.
“What on earth is that magic? What are you going to do with that?”
“I don’t know.”
I spoke vaguely at her question.
The Klein Bottle and the Tesseract… They were only things I was researching.
In the end, I was wondering just how far the mysterious strength called mana could go and how much it could affect.
—It was research to find out whether it could interfere with four-dimensional space-time beyond the typical three dimensions.
The Hypercube research was more a question of curiosity, and through the Klein bottle, the result of the answer to my question was ‘yes’.
If so, what was I planning to do with my answer?
In fact, I already had something in mind…
However, I couldn’t say it honestly to the student in front of me.
“It's research on the unknown.”
I could only beat around the bush that much.
“...Never mind. Don’t say it if you don’t want to.”
It seemed that Flora also knew that I was beating around the bush, as she answered in a slightly sulky tone.
“Anyway, since I received what I want, I will take my leave now. You’ve worked hard.”
“Oh, by the way, that girl named Lynne…”
As she grabbed the doorknob and was about to go, Flora asked me while slightly turning her head.
“Do the two of you know each other?”
“Me? Why do you ask?”
“No particular reason, I just think it’s something like that.”
“No particular reason, huh? That’s an answer that’s unlike a wizard who always has to analyze something.”
“...So do you know her or not know her?”
“I’m a new professor who was appointed here not long ago. There’s no way I’d know a freshman from before my appointment here. Is that enough as an answer?”
“You are right. Oh, and lastly…”
Knowing that it was the last thing, it was in fact her main point.
“What else are you curious about?”
“Professor, is your body perhaps not in a good condition or something?”
“My body? What are you talking about?”
“You are really alright, right?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
I answered as if I really didn’t know, but Flora didn’t remove her suspicious gaze from me.
In the end, it was Flora who raised the white flag first.
“...I asked a pointless question. Please act like you didn’t hear it.”
Flora shook her head as if she’d asked something pointless, and her hair softly waved following her movement.
Flora left the professor’s office right away.
‘Why did she ask me whether my body was in bad shape? Did she perhaps bring along healthy food?’
‘I don’t know why the hell she would ask that so suddenly.’‘
I checked the clock hanging on one side of the professor’s office wall and reminded myself of something.
‘Damn. It’s already late.’
Flora Lumos had suddenly come and unintentionally consumed a lot of my time.
I left the professor’s office a bit hurriedly.
It was the time for me to visit the Kingdom of Durman.
* * *
Translator - Alice
Proofreader - ilafy
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* * *
“It’s been a long time since I've been in this country.”
After he traveled on the train for long hours and finally reached his destination, Ludger stared at the scenery spreading in front of his eyes while mumbling.
Had it been five years since the ‘Bloody Night’ case?
Back then, he’d done his activity in the city called Jévaudan, and it was in fact the first time he’d gone to such a remote village.
Hans sighed a long breath.
“Why on earth do I have to come along as well?”
“Because you’re a well-qualified person.”
“What do you mean?”
“Isn’t it your responsibility to gather information?”
When Ludger asked that, Hans mumbled as if he was grumbling while saying that it was indeed true.
Hans had a lot of confidence in his information gathering power because he wasn’t limited only to one city, but his networks reached all kinds of nations.
However, even so, he didn’t have much influence there.
“No. Is there even anything much here?”
Hans looked at the wrecked ruins of the place that had once been a beautiful village with an unpleasant stare.
Rothen, which had been totally destroyed by fire due to the Great Fire. couldn’t even be called a village anymore.
The ashes and evidence of burning had been swept away by the passage of time, and on the contrary, dense vegetation grew up in untouched places.
Vines and moss covered the remaining wreckage, and there was the sound of crickets that resounded endlessly.
It felt exactly like seeing an old historic site.
Hans didn’t think that there was something much in that kind of place.
“Still, don’t they exist?”
“What do you mean?”
It had been reported that everyone in the village had died due to the Great Fire of Rothen, but in fact, there were three survivors.
Also, one of the three was still living nearby.
“Couldn’t you have just come by yourself if you already know that?”
“But wouldn’t I be lonely?”
“Are you being serious right now?”
“...Phew. Let’s do it.”
Ludger and Hans walked along the path while pushing away the thick grass that grew up to their waists.
The path, which should have originally headed to the village, was blocked with all kinds of plants, as it had been left abandoned for a long time.
When Ludger lightly stretched his hand, the wind blew and opened a path through the tall grass.
Ludger and Hans scoured the ruined Rothen Village.
However, All that they saw was the densely grown grass, and they could see no trace of the survivor.
“Ludger. Don’t you think that the survivor ran away to another place? We haven’t even spotted a trace of him.”
“No. It’s not the case.”
“Why are you that certain?”
“Look at that.”
Ludger raised his hand and pointed to one side.
They could see one shabby hut on the outskirts of the ruin. Because the size of it was so small, it could even be called a storage shack.
Unlike the other ruins full of vines, it was the only house that was clean… almost as if someone owned it.
“It seems like he lives over there.”
“Oh? He’s really there! Weird. Why didn’t I see that?”
“He hid it so that no one could recklessly go there.”
“Pardon? What do you mean by that?”
As he was confused, Hans hurriedly chased after Ludger, who began walking towards the shack.
After he arrived in front of the hut, Ludger lightly knocked the door. However, there wasn’t any answer.
When he grabbed the rusty handle and carefully pushed the door, it easily swung open.
‘It isn’t locked.’
When he swung the door open wide, there was an odd smell that leaked from within.
‘This is the smell of an oil painting.’
As he had been active using various identities, Ludger had a decent knowledge in arts as well. He knew that the smell was a smell of pigments used in oil painting.
Sunlight flowed into the interior of the narrow hut through the open window. It seemed that the ventilation wasn’t that great, as he could see fluttering dust.
Ludger saw the paintings that filled the wall and floor.
—All of them were landscapes drawn as oil paintings.
“Why are there so many paintings?”
Hans looked around the interior before he realized that it was too crowded without a place to walk and showed a slightly fed-up face.
“It seems that there’s no one here.”
Ludger closed the door again.
He was certain that someone lived there, but it seemed that the person was absent for the moment.
Right when he was concerned about whether he should wait for the owner to come or look for him somewhere else…
Ludger slightly raised his head while looking at a faraway place.
“Ludger? What’s the matter?”
“It’s over there.”
“Huh? No, wait! Let’s go together!”
There was a faint mana reverberation that he felt from afar. Ludger slowly walked to chase the feeling.
The source of the reverberation of mana flowing through the wind wasn’t that far away.
Above the hill near the back of the village…
A man was sitting silently on top of a high hill from which he could see the entirety of the ruined village while drawing something.
“Ludger… No way, is that person…?”
“I think we found him.”
That person was one of the survivors of the Great Fire of Rothen.
Ludger moved again.
When they got closer, he could properly see the man’s appearance.
The man in his thirties with a weak impression was wearing shabby clothes with paint stains here and there.
However, what attracted Ludger’s attention the most were black eyepatches that hung over both of his eyes.
‘Is he blind? But all of the paintings in the hut were drawn with colorful colors and beautiful shapes.’
Ludger approached the man to check it, but the man didn’t look at Ludger—he didn’t even show the slightest reaction.
It wasn’t an act or deception… The man really was blind.
Ludger went up the grassy hill through the blowing wind and stood very close to the man.
As he seemed to hear the voice of someone stepping on grass, the man stopped his brush stroke.
“There’s a guest, I see. What’s your business in this place?”
“I’m sorry if I’m interfering with your painting.”
The man faintly smiled at the apology while shaking his head.
“You don’t have to apologize. I almost finished the painting anyway.”
Ludger slightly glanced at the painting as the man said that. Surprisingly, the ruins below the hill were perfectly captured through the oil painting.
“Can you see all of it?”
“No. I can only feel it. The scent that flows through the wind… The sound of the insects through the grass… The natural vitality that touches my skin… Even though I can’t see it, I naturally know it. as I have lived here for a long time.”
As the man said that, he slowly took care of his painting tools.
Ludger calmly waited beside him.
“Thank you for waiting. Since you’re the first guest in a very long time, I want to treat you to at least a glass of tea… but since my house is very messy, I think that would be hard.”
Ludger shook his head as he searched for a proper place to sit.
However, save the huge boulder that the painter sat on, there wasn’t any other space to sit in the area.
Ludger slightly stamped his foot, the ground suddenly rose, and a place to sit was created.
Ludger properly sat there.
“...Are you a wizard?”
It seemed that he felt Ludger use magic, as the painter showed a slightly surprised face.
Ludger grinned at his reaction.
“Aren’t you the same?”
“The same? What do you mean?” After he had been silently listening into their conversation, it was only Hans who couldn’t understand.
“That painter is a wizard as well.”
“...So you realized. You are right. I am indeed a wizard.”
Ludger had been able to find the painter in the first place because of the mana that he radiated as he painted.
The reason why Hans couldn’t find his house was also the same.
—Because he’d hidden his house using magic.
“I didn’t know that one of the few survivors of the Great Fire of Rothen was a wizard.”
“Being a wizard is not something to be prideful about. I only learned magic a little bit from over the shoulder.”
“For that matter, you know how to use mana when you’re painting. That isn’t something that can be learned through ordinary teaching.”
“It’s a technique that you can naturally grasp after painting for a long time. So, can I ask what kind of business a person as great as you has in coming here?”
“Do you know something about me?”
The painter shook his head at Ludger’s question.
“No. I don’t know who you are.”
“But why did you say that I’m a great person?”
“Even when I can’t see you, no, because I can’t see you, there’s something I can certainly feel.”
He intensely stared at Ludger with his eyepatch-covered eyes.
“The energy that I can feel through the wind… The marvelous strength that you embrace… Also, nature tells me. You are the hero who solved the horrifying incident that happened in this country long ago.”
“I didn’t know that you even have an affinity with spirits.”
“I only know how to hear fragments of their voices, forget having any sort of contract with them. It’s not to the point that I can summon them in a meaningful way.”
“The same goes for me. I’m not a man of grandeur that can be called a hero in the first place.”
The painter went straight to the point.
“So, what’s your business for visiting this place?”
“The Great Fire of Rothen.”
The man shook at Ludger’s outspoken words.
“I heard that there’s a survivor from that incident.”
“Yes. I’m the survivor.”
“There are three survivors including you.”
So he knew that as well.
“So you came because you wanted to know about that?”
“Who are the other two survivors apart from you?”
The sun started to set. The world was dyed in scarlet color as the sun was descending beyond the ridge.
A wind blew from the west—a cold wind caressed them with the night’s chilly air.
The shadows of the two as they sat and faced each other stretched over the hill.
“I’d appreciate it if you told me.”
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