“Hohoh~ so these are Waka’s students. Oh, those two there, I have seen you in portraits. You must be the daughters of Rembrandt-ja na” (Tomoe)
“Y-Yes! Nice to meet you. My name is Sif Rembrandt!” (Sif)
“I’m the little sister Yuno Rembrandt! Nice to meet you!” (Yuno)
“Nice answer-ja. As expected of the Rembrandt household-ja no. This is our first time meeting face to face, but we are-“ (Tomoe)
“Kuzunoha Company’s Tomoe-sama and Mio-sama right? I have heard about you from father. I am honored to meet you” (Sif)
We entered the venue and asked Shiki the place where Jin and the others are and headed there.
Root originally planned on coming with us, but he used the excuse that he forgot work he had to do and that he would be yielding me to Tomoe and Mio. Even I can tell that he was lying. He clearly found someone, and to meet with that person, he separated.
That guy, he has some objective. No doubt that’s one of the reasons why he is talking to me. But there’s clearly other reasons he hasn’t told me about.
If I am able to ask the core of the matter, he might tell me. On the contrary, if I were to ask him what he is planning, what is his objective, or vague things like that, he would definitely not tell me.
Anyways, after separating from Root, I brought Mio, who is at my left, and Tomoe, who is at my right, to where Shiki and the students are.
And so, Tomoe is looking at the students I give classes to in an amused way.
The seven, no, excluding the Rembrandt sisters; the five probably felt uncomfortable by the gaze of Tomoe. This is their first time meeting Tomoe and Mio after all.
“I hope he didn’t call me greedy though. But I am happy that you know my name. Leaving aside Mio, I am not in Tsige that much” (Tomoe)
“Father said the two of you are the pillars that support Raidou-sensei and the Kuzunoha Company”
“That man, he does get it huh. Leaving aside that I am being put in the same standing as Tomoe-san, he understood that we are the two pillars, so I will let it slide” (Mio)
Mio, what a visible antagonism there. Or this is some new kind of bullying to Shiki? She seems to be looking at Shiki for some reason after all.
“Compared to the two, I am still inexperienced. It’s because Mio-dono is managing the administration in Tsige and Tomoe-dono is doing the foreign businesses that I am able to study under the tutelage of Raidou-sama. I am grateful” (Shiki)
Shiki talks as if answering to Mio’s gaze, and lowers his head with a smile.
Mio has made Tsige her base and every day she is been going back and forth from there to Asora while learning cooking. And she is just supporting the adventurers at whim. I haven’t really heard about her actually being involved in the company work.
Tomoe has been going here and there looking for the four seasons. Well, she does gather information of the various areas with the Forest Onis but… foreign business?
In my opinion, regarding the company’s administration and decision making, there’s actually more times that Shiki ends up teaching me.
And to say that Mio is doing the administration in Tsige, Tomoe is in charge of foreign business, and I am the one teaching.
Shiki, you don’t have to go so far to mind us. If you don’t release all that pent up stress, you will end up exploding like the time with Lime. Let’s be careful.
Ah, now that I mention information gathering. The winged-kin said that they wanted to do what the Forest Onis are doing as well. The Forest Onis are doing well, but the numbers are lacking. Also, the winged-kin –just as the name implies- can fly, so they have the plus that they can go to places the Forest Onis can’t.
If there were only plusses, there would be no wavering in having them help, but the problematic point is that they have lower specs compared to the Forest Onis. Also, the fighting power is currently higher on the Forest Onis.
The general purpose of the previously mentioned can be liquidated by dividing the works. The winged-kin, in exchange of being able to fly in the sky, are not that suited for places like seas, watersides and wetlands. It’s not to the point that they are unable to enter them, but their abilities are clearly restricted. Also, in the depths of the forest and the insides of mazes, the Forest Onis can move a lot better. On the contrary, in wide spaces like plains and mountainous areas, the winged-kin are better.
About the winged-kin, I am talking about their average capability, but it should be okay if I just appoint the elites. Just that, it is difficult to differentiate their merits. Dividing them just for the color of their wings actually brings inconveniences. Probably in the environment they have been living in, there will clearly appear merits, however, only looking at their abilities in that area will most likely bring the differences in unsuitableness… Yeah. Next time, let’s have a detailed talk with them. In addition to having those guys do that boot camp as well.
[Jin, Amelia, Daena, Misura, Izumo. This is the first time you meet them. The ones I am counting on as both of my hands are Tomoe, and Mio]
“Tomoe-ja. Nice to meet you”
“I am Mio”
So short. Mio-san, that’s not even an introduction.
Even so, the students answered the two of them with respect. Maybe they are just doing the same as Sif and Yuno, who introduced themselves first. They probably can’t tell just how much power Tomoe and Mio have after all. There isn’t that majesty when looking at them, and they are good at hiding their powers too.
“… Uhm, sensei. You said both hands but, what about Shiki-san?”
Amelia. Maybe because she idolizes Shiki, her tone is a bit low.
[Just like they said, Shiki is still in the middle of learning. Just that, in the business side, he is one of the persons I trust the most. But in terms of dangerous dealings, in other words, transportation and supply, where the fighting power and self-defense abilities are taken into account, it is certainly true that he is lacking compared to this two]
“Shiki-san is lacking?”
“… This is a nightmare”
Daena-san and the other three of them seem to be imagining something scary.
Just that, it looks like they don’t hold much doubts in what I just told them. Maybe that’s the result of my unusual training.
“Well, it might be hard to understand quickly with your common sense. Even so, if you are receiving the teachings of Waka, you must know that the numerical value of levels is not what determines the victor, right?” (Tomoe)
The five nod. The Rembrandt sisters nodded a breath faster than everyone else. Ahaha, looking at this, Rembrandt probably told them about Tomoe and Mio’s levels. In that case, maybe about my level as well. This is something that almost everyone in Tsige knows. The two of them are a lot more famous than me.
“Even at that numerical value, Mio and I overwhelm Shiki though. Well, what I am trying to say is, don’t use that as your basis for strength. This isn’t something that can always be relied upon you know? For example; in the things I have experienced, I have known a level 1 hyuman that has easily defeated two people that surpass level 1,000” (Tomoe)
“That’s not a lie you know. Fufufu. I feel like I understand why Waka and Shiki mind you guys. How charming and amusing. I will be looking forward to your matches” (Tomoe)
“… Hah~. I don’t understand it at all. No matter how I look at it, they are only chicks that have barely peeked their heads out of their eggs. The matches of these people, I think it will only turn into looking at their bodies though” (Mio)
“Yareyare, it would be good for you to learn the happiness of teaching. Tomorrow just go around the carts eating obediently. Don’t go displeasing Waka” (Tomoe)
I feel like the happiness of bullying the Forest Onis is slightly mixed in what Tomoe said. But, I am happy that she understands the fun of teaching. Because there’s less people that just look down on people that are inexperienced.
“There’s no way I would do something like that!” (Mio)
Mio might also understand a bit, if there comes a time when she teaches someone. Right now, she is still being taught and is concentrating in bettering her skills after all.
From what I have heard of Ema, even if you leave the preliminary arrangements to someone else, the cooking is basically done by the person, or so it seems. When she helps and teaches, I feel like Mio might change once again.
[Don’t fight in this kind of place, you two. Learn a bit from Shiki. Shiki, did you tell them about that matter?]
Feeling like they were about to begin something, I stop both Tomoe and Mio by calling out their names. Most of the reason why I came today was to warn my students. Since I told Rembrandt that there wasn’t a million of a chance, I should warn them properly.
“Yes. From what I have investigated, that student was Limia’s Hopelace household’s second son. Hopelace has blood relatives of the royal family. In Limia, they are big nobles that can enter the top three. Because he is the second son, he doesn’t inherit the family head, but since we are in times of war, he is being treated as the one who comes after the eldest son” (Shiki)
[Well, isn’t that quite the big-shot. His actions didn’t match that position though]
A household who has strong aristocratic power in Limia Kingdom, and big nobles huh. Moreover, the second son. If the head and the eldest son participate in the war, there’s the chance they will lose their lives. In that case, he wouldn’t just be a tool in political marriages.
Normally, it would suffice by just having the second son, third son and so on do the job, but because of pride, duty and ties of obligation, it seems they can’t do that. The hero that went from the democratic principle Japan to the Limia Kingdom, might actually be having hardships. The usual things don’t work like that there after all.
I see. So he is quite the big-shot huh. Limia’s Hopelace household. If they are prominent nobles, they should just have them educated in their own country.
… I was thinking about having Jin and the others deal with whatever came, but it seems the situation has changed a bit.
If he uses something that has way too much difficulty, I will deal with it. Things like using money to employ a brutal assassin or using poison of some kind of rare plant.
“Raidou-sensei really gets involved with troublesome people a lot huh”
That Jin. Can you please stop those eyes of ‘I have gotten used to this as well’?
[Jin. That unfaltering attitude is truly good. I think you have already heard but, the harassment that you receive, you will have to cope with it. Also, it seems everyone passed the preliminary contest but, I hope you didn’t go all out]
“Of course no. We all passed with only half of our strength”
Oh. Everyone is pushing their chest out. I expected it, but it seems that they didn’t have to fight with their all in the preliminary contest. The people that participated in it have quite the high level, but well, that’s obvious.
[Splendid. Well done, everyone]
[What is it? Aren’t you happy?]
“Normally, when sensei praises us, there’s something else”
They are being pretty cautious of me huh. I probably went with the same pattern too much since the Blue Lizard-kun. Well, even so, I can’t suddenly change. I also want to watch how they fight in the festival and decide if I can add more students, so I should be a bit strict.
It is a bit sad to take this kind of attitude after praising them though.
[You have good intuition. Well, I have not been watching the other students in detail, so for the preliminary contest, I mostly heard about you guys from hearsay. Even so, I could clearly tell that you guys were being way too overconfident]
[And so, I have decided to establish a restriction on you guys. Shiki will tell you what point each of you have to follow by thought transmission later. Follow those and enter the finals]
In this school festival where there are a lot of visitors, they won’t begin the tournament by doing the preliminaries of the people that want to participate. In the time of the preparation period, the preliminaries were already done. They first have to show their abilities to the academy in order to even be shown to the visitors.
In that point, Jin and the others were able to show enough ability and were able to advance. As expected, they wouldn’t mess up in the first step, so I didn’t go watch.
I had Shiki tell the students, in order, the prohibited points. In their stiffening faces, there were some who also ended up yelping.
But to show your all in a place that gathers this much attention isn’t advisable, so this time, I will have them show me their way of fighting when bound.
“… Uhm, are you serious?”
[Of course. There isn’t a single speck of joke. The matches from tomorrow on, I will be watching them. Looking forward to it]
I have done what I came here for.
Tomoe’s suggestive smile and Mio’s glance.
I leave Shiki to look after them, just like he has been doing. I want to confirm what kind of cards that big noble will be playing.
After Lorel and Aion, now comes Limia huh. At this rate, I feel like Gritonia will be coming next. I hope not.
I expected things would happen, but I didn’t think things would happen every day. If the four major powers line up, my stomach won’t be able to take it.
“Raidou-sensei was serious right?”
“He was serious. Those weren’t the eyes of someone joking”
“Scary. As I thought, that person is scary!”
“Sensei could have said a few words about yesterday’s party…”
“Just like what Oka-sama said. If we don’t move ourselves, we might not be able to hear his impressions”
I agree with almost everything said. But, you two from the Rembrandt household. Aren’t you lacking tension?
When I thought why the idiot Hopelace made such a sudden declaration of war the other day, Sensei easily told us that he had troubles with him, moreover, he told us to deal with the pressure and obstruction of a noble by ourselves. On top of that, he told us not to go all out in the final selection.
No, that’s not it. He is telling us to do our best and not to go all out. He really is an unconventional person to the core.
Normally, people would connect the evaluation of the students in the tournament with the evaluation of the teacher. That’s why, there will be people saying: ‘ win no matter what happens’, but there’s none that would go and put restrictions.
It’s a tournament you know? There are cases when people even continue talking about it in the coming year. It’s a tournament that has at stake the grades and credits as well as the employment.
Could it be, he is already being pressured by the Hopelace household and the Kuzunoha Company is already experiencing inconveniences, so as a part of that guy’s harassment, he had Sensei put limits to our abilities?
… Nope, don’t think so. This time’s pressure and everything else, seemed as if he was looking forward to how we would deal with it. This might be… quite the critical moment. The critical moment which will decide the course I currently wish.
“Jin, what did he tell you not to do?”
“Don’t ‘dual-wield’. And Amelia?” (Jin)
“Don’t ‘add-on’ your bow. Everyone else?” (Amelia)
Hearing mine and Amelia’s answer, everyone replied in a low voice.
“They told me not to use the one I used in Zwei-san last time” (Misura)
Misura. It is practically his special attack. What a tragedy. The spotlight for the impenetrable wall will be lost, Misura.
“For me, it was that ‘the second-phase’ is out. Makes me want to cry” (Daena)
Daena, I can only call it pitiful. In essence, from the seven of us, at 1vs1, I think he and I are the strongest. And his ability that serves as a cornerstone has been…
“I had my ‘maneuver aria’ sealed. Even though I finally managed to rise it to a combat-ready level and was planning on debuting it here” (Izumo)
Izumo. Doing arias while mobilizing was hammered by Sensei and Shiki-san and was somehow shaped into proper form. What a severe restriction. He named the new aria forming method he learned, ‘maneuver aria’ and was valuing it dearly.
Well, it might be considered a blessing that he wasn’t told to seal the aria language that Shiki-san taught him as well, but it looks like Misura also had the maneuvering aria sealed. Must be harsh for their spirit.
“They told me I am limited to using only one weapon. It unexpectedly has loopholes to that. Not like I will be using those said loopholes though” (Yuno)
Yuno. They are telling her to seal a part of that handiness of her. It is certainly true that there’s a loophole that can be easily found, but who knows if it’s okay to do it.
Raidou-sensei normally puts out the conditions straightforwardly, so he won’t blame us for every thing that has not been said or prohibited. But if we are talking about his evaluation, that would be complicated. Because I think we should honestly follow the conditions laid out to accomplish the objective after all.
“My ‘compound magic’ was banned. The combination of the earth spirit and fire magic has been… Even though I finally had the chance to show the usefulness of the earth element” (Sif)
T-The highest firepower has been sealed. Sif, how pitiful. Even with that, Sif still has enough firepower, and that’s one of the amazing parts of her.
And so, the new battle styles that everyone worked on in the summer vacation (with the guidance of the Senseis though) have been sealed.
“Could it be, Sensei is actually being pressured by the Hopelace household?” (Izumo)
Izumo says the same thing I thought for a moment. Maybe a number of others also thought the same thing as Izumo and I, some of them had their expressions clouded.
“That’s not possible”
With words filled of confidence, Shiki replies. Mine is just a thought and a denial without conviction. The denial of Shiki-san held clear conviction.
“Raidou-sama told you that you guys have been pretty overconfident lately. After all, you have enough leeway that you can do pointless talking with our employees” (Shiki)
Uh. I have no rebuttal for that. As long as they have seen us doing it, there’s no other choice but to earnestly apologize.
“Just think of it as a small test and cheer up” (Shiki)
Test? What a peculiar way of phrasing it.
“Uhm, Shiki-san. What do you mean by test? It intrigues me a bit” (Jin)
“… Oh, what have I done? I made a small verbal slip there” (Shiki)
Verbal slip huh. Probably not the case. They thought of teaching us something from the very beginning.
If it weren’t for Shiki-san, we probably wouldn’t have even noticed anything.
Sorry. Please continue spoiling us with that kindness.
“Does it have anything to do with what sensei said about restrictions and tournament?” (Jin)
There’s no guarantee that he will answer, but I can’t help it when it is in my mind.
I can already feel how my enthusiasm for this tournament is increasing more than before.
“Can’t be helped huh. Keep this a secret from Raidou-sama okay? If you guys are able to show a good fight with the conditions stated, Raidou-sama is thinking about increasing the number of students after the festival ends. Do you understand what that means?” (Shiki)
If I remember correctly, I heard that the class of Raidou-sensei, even if you try to petition for admittance, you are unable to. In other words, the acceptance of new people will resume. What that means is… Could it be, the end of our lectures?! That’s not good!
“Uhh… that you will give up on us?”
Daena-kun, read the damn mood before talking. What will we do if he nods?
“No way. In that case, there would be no need for a test right?” (Shiki)
“Then, something like, ‘there’s nothing more to teach you now’?”
“That’s even more impossible. Fumu, it seems you don’t understand. Raidou-sama is thinking that it might be a good time to enter the next phase of your lectures” (Shiki)
While showing amazement at our bad ability to understand things, Shiki-san told us.
“For the sake of that, what you have to do isn’t to fight with your all and show all the cards you have in hand, but to impose limitations on yourself and be in a stance where you think about how to polish your power and skills even more, is what he told me. For example, something like hiding your trump card” (Shiki)
“If the seven of you properly finish this task, we will receive new students, and as a part of your education, we will have you review all the contents you have learned. On top of that, I want to go to the next phase of the lecture, is what Raidou-sama discussed for the future” (Shiki)
To be evaluated and accepted by the people who we can’t even see their shadows no matter how much we try…
There’s nothing as pleasant as that.
I slowly digested the words of Shiki-san.
Power begins to overflow in my body. The jaw of my shut mouth silently increases in strength. I can tell that the trembling originates from my chest and spreads to my whole body. I can’t stop my face from unconsciously bending into a smile.
“… Of course, I am also expecting much of you guys. About the acceptance of the attendance petitions, I will be arranging them in the staff office. Well then, from now on, you will have preparations to do, so I will go outside. Right, let’s see, for the ones that have time after this, please let me invite you to lunch” (Shiki)
Saying so, Shiki-san leaves while maintaining his gentle smile.
I already don’t care if there’s restrictions. That lecture has a next phase. We have obtained enough qualification to be tested.
Do a good fight. Do what I am able to… everything I can.
“I-I shouldn’t have asked. Now my tension is at its max and it’s already turning into very bad levels. I feel like vomiting” (Misura)
Opposed to the people getting hyped, there’s Misura, who voiced out words lacking tension. No well, he is tense, but the content is just…
“Misura, I understand how you feel. Honestly speaking, I think there will be harassment and we will most likely be pressured as well, so I really understand your feeling of having your stomach hurt. After hearing that talk, the option of halfheartedly washing it away or giving up has cleanly disappeared. How rough” (Amelia)
On the contrary of Amelia’s negative words, there’s a battle-ready smile showing in her face.
“We can’t show an unsightly fight. After going with Shiki-san for lunch, how about we all gather?” (Daena)
Just like Daena said. I am in the mood of doing whatever I can. In the school festival, the students that are merry are many, and we probably enter the category of quite serious. Just by desperately trying to reach them, our abilities increase. There aren’t many things that can compare to this narcotic-like fun. I think that it can’t be helped that we are serious about it.
“Onee-chan, not only Sensei will be watching, but Tomoe-san and Mio-san as well. Oto-sama and the others are coming too. Isn’t this amazing?! I’m already so overwhelmed~~” (Yuno)
“Even so, the only choice we have is to do what we can. In a different sense, we are already in the path where we just have to give up” (Sif)
Looks like the Rembrandt sisters are getting crazy tense because of the onlookers. Before Raidou-sensei came, they were able to relax to some extent though.
It seems the big noble of Limia doesn’t have much influence in Tsige, so the two who don’t have plans on going to Limia after graduating, don’t feel much pressure.
Thinking that way, these members, who are all scholarship students and don’t have any connections with the Limia nobility, might be quite advantageous.
“Hey, Sif, Yuno. There’s something I want to ask” (Amelia)
“What, Amelia-senpai” (Yuno)
“What is it?” (Sif)
“The Tomoe-san and Mio-san that Sensei presented us, are they really stronger than Shiki-san? Honestly, this may be off the point since I don’t even know how strong Shiki-san is but, I don’t think there are many who have that degree of power you know?” (Amelia)
Exactly what I wanted to know.
The two of them silently nod at the question Amelia and most likely everyone had in their minds.
“If Raidou-sensei said so, then there’s no mistake. Shiki-san is not registered in the Adventurer Guild, so I don’t know his level, but those two…” (Sif)
Sif’s eyes were gazing faraway and were wavering.
“We were only told by Oto-sama to not be rude to those two, but those two are famous people in Tsige that everyone knows and…” (Yuno)
Yuno talks with an expression that one can feel passion similar to that of admiration. What is it? Is it at the level of Ace from the remote town?
For the close aides of Raidou-sensei, I feel like that degree is a bit too weak though.
While saying this should be kept as a total secret, the sisters look at each other’s face and do a big nod as if being resolute.
““Level is over 1,500””
The words of the sisters cleanly overlap. Silence took over.
The words that were said in a low voice so that only the ones here could hear were in the common language we are used to hearing, and yet, it didn’t register in our brains properly.
What did she say?