1.7 The Consequences of Leaking a Secret
Alus enters his classroom the next day, and just like yesterday, is showered with rude stares. The chattering voices that could be heard up until he opened the door fall silent. This, however, is only limited to the male student body. The female students have a better awareness over where their priorities should lie. It’s a striking manifestation of the difference in attitude towards magic between men and women. Either way, this is much better than having to deal with outright harassment. Tesfia’s eyes are also mixed within the glares, but Alus ignores it. Not having her enmity is already a good harvest.
Alus is hopeful in wishing for the present atmosphere to be nothing more than his imagination. Regardless, he doesn’t deviate from his pace. He remains unperturbed by everyone’s glares and begins studying.
The day’s lessons mostly consist of classroom work. He, however, isn’t interested in the lectures. Furthermore, shifting classrooms at the end of each lesson is tedious. Therefore, he selected his classes in a way that keeps him from transferring rooms as much as possible.
The third lesson, it’s the lesson before lunch, should Alus consider himself fortunate or unfortunate? Definitely unfortunate. Every class so far has been shared with Tesfia and Alice. During them, Tesfia would glance, chira chira, at him. Each time, those glances pierced through the line of students between them.
Alus isn’t bothered by the severity of her glances, but he is getting irritated.
“Hey!” The teacher unfortunately misunderstands Alus’s reaction to Tesfia for himself. It’s a very unfortunate connection. His eyes drop down to the register of names as he says, “You… you’re Alus-kun… I believe.” Convinced with his conclusion, he points to the liquid crystal display and adds, “Well then, Alus-kun, your answer?”
Lectures related to mamono are conducted by reproducing their grotesque appearance on screens. Alus, having not paid attention since class began, can’t even guess the question. At any rate, this class covers the basics of the basics.
This situation isn’t a problem for him with his abundance of knowledge. From what Alus can surmise, the lecture revolves around the emergence of mamono and the danger they present. He places a bookmark in his book as he stands and says, “Mamono suddenly appeared 100 years ago. Despite the various theories in regards to their origins, mankind has not been able to acquire positive proof for any of them. We’ve only recently become able to deal with the mamono invasion with magic. As a result, the magic military division has been able to strike back against the mamono invasion. The strength of mamono is classified through 8 ranks, F – SS. The SS rank was only confirmed 50 years ago.”
Alus, not knowing the question, assumes his response is enough for beginners and sits down. The teacher, however, is dissatisfied and says, “That’s insufficient.” The projection on the liquid crystal screen changes to depict several different types of mamono. Included at the end of each picture is a subjugation title.
Alus sighs. Anything more would be too difficult for beginners to comprehend… The teacher shouldn’t be losing control of the lesson’s progress.
The teacher is no longer instructing students, but is instead focused solely on Alus. Within that teacher’s heart burns a belligerent attitude.
Alus continues in a tone lacking in respect for his teacher. “The military dispatches double digit, triple digit, and quadruple digit magicians to subjugate mamono depending on their rank. The standard squad is almost always composed of at least four members. That number is hypothesized to be the minimal amount required for responding to unpredicted situations. When against an A rank mamono, the majority of the squad will consist of double digit magicians. B and C rank mamono are often assigned squads of triple digit magicians with a double digit magician as a commanding officer. Lower ranked mamono are typically dealt with by triple digit magicians.”
His classmates stare at him with rapt attention. They’re dumbfounded by his open disrespect.
Only the teacher’s cheeks twitch as he grinds his teeth. “Well, what about the single digits? Please tell us the criteria needed for the deployment of a Singles Magician.”
No one can tell whether the teacher is frantically trying to preserve his dignity as a teacher or is just venting his frustration. Information regarding Singles Magicians is concealed from the public. Not even the military is privileged with such information, much less students. An active Singles Magician, however, wouldn’t have any trouble answering.
Tesfia directs a gaze full of curiosity towards Alus. Alice also turns her body towards him in hopes of hearing his reply.
Alus says, “Only the governor can exert command over Singles Magicians. Furthermore, there are only 9 Singles Magicians and each one is considered to have the ranking of a general. Since subjugation missions are wasted on them, they are treated as a commando unit that’s allowed to move freely. When they are deployed, it’s for subjugating mamono of S rank or higher. Another discrepancy is that Singles Magicians are tasked with the duty of expanding the country’s territory.”
The teacher’s gapping mouth prove to Alus that his explanation is faultless. He then directs his gaze to the mamono rankings being displayed on the screen and continues, “In regards to what you asked earlier, mamono consume mana to increase their strength. As a result, they target humans with mana. Furthermore, mamono also possess the ability to generate their own mana. Cannibalism amongst themselves isn’t rare. Now, as mentioned, mamono are said to be ranked according to 8 stages, but there are special mamono that are given a mutation rank.
“These mamono are created through the assimilation of two or more mamono. In rare cases, they can also be born through cannibalism and the consumption of humans. Giving these mamono an accurate rank is difficult, therefore, a conjecture is calculated by adding up the ranks of the combined mamono. In other words, an injured mamono will be consumed by another mamono to raise its rank.”
Alus continues, now adding extra detail. “Low ranked mamono continuously partake in cannibalism to absorb mana and change their rank. High ranked mamono are not wary against the protective wall. [Babel] stands at the center of the seven countries and prevents mamono from invading them by maintaining the protective wall, yet with each passing year, the wall weakens…”
The slip in Alus’s lecture garners the attention of everyone in the classroom. That’s probably a secret that not even teacher knows about.
Alus says, “Sensei, is this enough?”
“…Ye- yeah, please have a seat.”
Alus maintains his usual composure as he reseats himself. Astonished voices can be heard leaking out around him.
Babel’s protective wall which prevents a mamono invasion gets weaker every year. The wall enlarges in proportion with the expansion of new territory. The outcome? The protective wall weakens.
Weak mamono have long since been unable to approach the wall. Now with the wall gradually wilting, B rank mamono have been appearing. That report is one with which very few people in the military are privileged. Granted, not a single magician hasn’t noticed the increase in their dispatches, but no one talks about it.
Alus only revealed half of that information before stopping. Those unfamiliar with him can brush off his revelation as a joke. As for those familiar with him, Tesfia and Alice pale. Even though Alus’s gaze suggests that leaving the subject alone and letting it work itself out is fine, Tesfia grabs his sleeve once the lesson ends and drags him to the rooftop. Alice too clings to him from behind. SOme of the girls watching let out, Kya kya, fufufu,” as they watch from the side. This development is nothing more than another quarrel between Tesfia and Alus.
Tesfia forces the rooftop door open and drives Alus ahead. She and Alice stand with the door to their backs to keep him from escaping. They are lucky to have gone to the rooftop immediately after class ended because it is empty.
Tesfia says, “What did you mean by that earlier?”
Alus isn’t frustrated despite being forced to come to the rooftop. It’s the consequence of him talking too much. “What did I mean on what?”
“Babel, earlier you said its protective wall is weakening.”
Alus gets a headache just as he anticipated. His only option now is play dumb. “I said such a thing?”
Tesfia throws back her shoulders as she says, “You did!!”
Alice says, “Alus-kun, is that true?”
“Supposing it is, it still doesn’t have anything to do with you.”
Grief washes over Alice’s face. Alus tried to blur the conversation, but she was still able to get her answer. Her chestnut colored hair sways with the breeze as she takes a gallant step forward and says, “We aren’t unrelated. Our aim is to become magicians who battle against mamono…” Sorrow laces her words as she continues, “Don’t speak in such lonely way.”
Alice’s remark towards the unmet and unknown is reckless. She lacks experience, knowledge, and acts with fleeting enthusiasm. But it’s too late to it back.
Alus adopts a harsh tone to make her drop the idea. “And? It isn’t a problem either of you can do anything about at the moment.”
Tesfia can only clench her teeth. There is nothing she can do now that she knows Alus’s true strength. Regardless, “That’s wrong!” She isn’t recklessly picking another fight, but she does reject his way of thinking.
She points a finger at Alus and adds, “If there’s no time, then leisurely spending three years at this academy makes us a disgrace to magicians. Shouldn’t we spend every moment polishing our combat skills?”
In other words, she’s frustrated. What she said wouldn’t be a problem if she had the skill to back it up, but she’s only seen mamono on paper. Her worry is a virtue born from not having her awareness poisoned through an encounter.
Tesfia says, “That’s why, let’s fight the mamono together.”
“No way.” Alus replies on reflex.
““— — — —!!””
An onlooker might think that Tesfia said something impressive, but that isn’t how people ask for favors. Since she chose that method of asking as a way to hide her embarrassment, Alus rejected her without a trace of hesitation.
Confusion fills Tesfia’s eyes. The term baka~nis the perfect adjective for her.
Alice says, “Alus-kun, please!”
“… Thinking about it, the chairman did ask.”
Tesfia jumps at how Alice’s reply leaves room for consideration while she was flat out rejected. “— — — —!! Hey! Why’s Alice’s different!?”
“You’re an aristocrat. Don’t you know the proper way to ask for favors?”
Tesfia’s spirit douses at being reprimanded on her etiquette. “Uhh……” Her reaction is proof that she doesn’t take his words as an insult to her nobility.
“First of all, I’m sacrificing my time for you!”
Tesfia and Alice are the top two students of their grade, but not even that is enough for them to talk back to a Singles Magician.
Alice’s upturned eyes water as they’re struck by dazzling sun shine. She says, “…But, the chairman would find out…” Her strangely gentle approach is quite crafty.
“…….” What she said about the chairman is correct. I should have considered the ramifications of this task more before accepting it.
Alus says, “Yeah… I did say that… well, fine.” He adheres to Alice’s request, and then turns to the red-haired girl who’s puffing her cheeks. He wants a redo. “Now then, what about you?”
“Ha!?” Tesfia corrects her posture a beat late. Her cheeks redden as she glances to the side. She then places a hand upon her chest and takes a breath, “fuu~” Then, as she exhales, she draws in a leg and lowers her head. “Would you please accept me..?” She then looks up and stares at him with glittering, upturned, eyes.
Alus stares at Tefia without any emotion on his face. “…….”
What a farce. It feels like something terrible is brewing. Tesfia glances to the side and turns red after tens of seconds. Is this wearing her out or is she getting embarrassed.
Tesfia’s mouth trembles, waru waru, as she hesitates on whether she should say something or not. Yet, upon seeing Alus scratch his cheek while making a wry smile, she decides to hold her tongue.
Her watery eyes aren’t enough for Alus to throw her a lifeboat. Instead of keeping his amazement sealed, he says, “Your sense of pride is pathetic.”
Tesfia lifts her head with a, baa, and with little shame, shoots him a death glare.
Alus says, “Kidding…”
“Well, I said I’d watch over the two of you, but I’ll be prioritizing my research. There is a limit to how useful you’ll be as magicians after all.”
Alus’s unilateral remark is a heartless judgment for the two girls who are aiming to be magicians. Alice forces a smile as she scratches her cheek. “Haha…”
Tesfia is too willful to accept the comment. “What…?” A more accurate statement would be that she’ll never be able to calm down unless she retorts. “We won’t know that until we try it. We’ll become strong enough to stand alongside you!” A weak question mark drifts at the end of her sentence.
Alus believes he’s grown a bit from his previous experience and won’t be as heavy handed this time. He doesn’t hold back, and praises them by saying, “That isn’t what I meant. The two of you are excellent magicians.”
No greater honor could be given to Tesfia. “… Of course we are.” Such self-confidant words are normal for the usual Tesfia, but the magician before her stands at the summit as number 1. His criticism shaking her self-worth is only natural.
Alus releases a sigh at Tesfia’s assertion and adopts firm and clear tone. Indescribable anxiousness is laced among his words. “That wasn’t what I meant. Being an excellent magician doesn’t mean you’ll be useful in actual combat. Neither of you have seen a mamono, right?”
Tesfia and Alice have seen mamono in educational materials, but that isn’t what Alus means. They can’t not understand that and therefore, they both nod.
Their responses are also natural. They apply not just to them, but to all the students in the academy. When looked at from this perspective, all the boy and girls there are nothing more than hatchling magicians.
Defeating one mamono is enough to be considered a full-fledged magician. Actually, just getting to that point is a perilous journey in of itself. Defeating mamono isn’t the only duty magicians have. This isn’t something I should be thinking about right now.
He says, “Some are unable to wield magic upon actually encountering mamono. Once that happens, functioning as a magician becomes difficult. Therefore, even if I train you, the increase in your ranking will be limited.”
Tesfia smiles as she says, “Haa… I don’t care about stuff like that. Besides, we won’t know until we try.”
Alus’s limited experience with comrades is skewed towards one from combat. Therefore, he remains silent to keep from stepping on the same mistake. He also doesn’t care for how his words are taken.
Alice, unlike Tesfia, accepts them without a complaint since they come from the number 1 magician.
Magicians like Tesfia with high expectations of themselves are troublesome to deal with while those like Alice who lose before even fighting are useless.
Although this isn’t a case about one being better than the other, the former are the ones who tend to die early.
Tesfia’s arbitrary decision, “Let’s start today!” gives Alus a headache. She deserves first place for that ability. My time…
Tesfia then says with some hesitation, “Alus, Alice.” She sounds the words out as she repeats them to herself a few times and then says, “They’re too similar.”
What is that red haired girl going on about? Alus gets the feeling that he should return to his room as soon as he can, but he can’t. The door before him is being blocked. He can only remain silent and hear what Tesfia has to say.
“Change your name. You and Alice are too easy to mix up.”
Tesfia’s request is unfathomable for people who’ve, at best, only known each other for two days.
Even Alice is taken aback. Her mouth hangs open in shock. She then makes a bitter smile and apologizes with her eyes. Even if I did concede 100 steps, Alice should be who changes her name if one is needed, not me.
There isn’t much Alus can say. Actually, rather than mediating the conversation with logic, he’d rather ignore the entire situation.
Tesfia says, “Say something.”
Even just responding is a pointless effort. They’ve flipped positions.
Tesfia cups her chin as she ponders over the issue.
I’m getting a bad feeling about this…
Tesfia says, “Then, how about Al? Since you’re Alus, you can be Al.”
Alus is troubled on how to respond. “Even if you ask how…” No one refers to him through a nickname, although there was someone who did once. He was also called by his number during his time in the military, but his name was used a lot as well.
Alice says, “Yeah, I like it. Al-kun sounds a lot friendlier.”
“Then, it’s settled.”
Alice’s liking it was the deciding factor? Alus can’t help but wonder if his presence was even necessary. Regardless, Alice’s comment ends the topic. He says, “Alice, you don’t have to refer to me with honorifics either.”
Alice’s face relaxes with a smile. None of the stiffness from yesterday is present. “Got it.”
Alus mouths, “Al… huh?” in voice so soft, neither Tesfia nor Alice hear it. Only one syllable was removed, but the emotion invoked is indescribable. The feeling is both vexing and uncomfortable, and something he’s never felt before. Is it because we’re the same age?
Whatever the feeling is, he hates it. Still, he doesn’t fully reject it. Is it possible to say that the solemnity of being number 1 was lost? There’s a good feel to that. Only Tesfia and Alice will be using that name.
Even though a lot of time doesn’t seem to have passed, Tesfia spins for the doorknob while saying, “Ah, lunch!!” She then looks back and adds, “Tha- thanks, Al… looks we’ll be troubling you.”
Her voice is far from being cheerful, the flow could be improved with practice, and she got embarrassed saying the abbreviation she came up with. Not using it at all would be fine…
Tesfia looks forward again before anyone can comment and rushes through the door.
Alice puts her heels together, and with a face filled with joy, gives Alus a bow. She says, “Thank you, I guess we’ll see you after school, Al.”
“Alice, what’s taking you? You’re going to miss lunch if you don’t hurry up!”
Alice follows after the voice with an, “I’m coming!”
Alus is left alone. “What a self-centered girl.” Willfully pushing ahead until she achieves her aim.
If one were to have only seen how Tesfia and Alice left, that person would have, guaranteed, misunderstood the situation.
T/N: Fight, Gandire, fight! You can totally translate this series! That said, this chapter ends the first volume. This might be the fastest I’ve ever finish one. Granted, I did only translate two chapters. Also, one or two more chapters and we’ll be ahead of the manga! Say, I’ve got a question. What’s the name of the technique where you cut out characters from one anime and then paste them onto something else?? Is there a special program for that sort of editing?? It isn’t something I plan of picking up any time soon, but I’ve been curious as to its name for a while.
 Sex of teacher is never specified. The manga showed a man, so I’m just going to keep it consistent until told otherwise.
 The kanji translates into “magical power,” but mana fits better here. I’ll be translating it as such unless the situation forces otherwise.
 It’s a katakana onomonopia I can’t figure out. It goes, “kyakkyaufufuu”. 傍から見ればキャッキャウフフッな展開なのだろうが、テスフィアとアルスではまた揉め事かと思われたことだろう。
 It really ends with ~n.