Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
VOLUME 2 CHAPTER 10: Dragon-san Loses Her Mind Part 1
At Signos Academy, there are facilities that are opened for general public.
On the day of our appointment, I arrived at the Academy much earlier than I told Elvie, and so I tried to look up the exhibition room at the Academy's map and get there by myself.
And although it was called the exhibition room, its scale was similar to that of a regular museum, if not even bigger.
Apparently it was a room where various students could exhibit their inventions, as well as present the results of their magical studies. There was also a table of all the things that were ever put in here in chronological order, so it was fairly interesting.
In addition, in the back of the room there was the portrait of the first Headmaster of the Academy, in other words a portrait of Kyle in his later years. There was even a plaque with explanation underneath it.
「Hm, Former Exhibition?」
There was even a glass casing with a plaque that read 'Staff of the First Headmaster', but surprisingly enough the casing was empty.
Kyle used to carry that staff with him all the time, and in his later years he even began to tinker with it. Once he even asked me if I could lend him some of my scales for his upgrades, to which I agreed quite eagerly.
It's been a while since I last saw that thing, but since it was not here but somewhere else I guess there was nothing I could do about it.
Feeling a little bit disappointed I left the exhibition room and went back to the corridor, that was now full of students in black uniforms since the lessons were over for the day.
I was feeling so out of place and conspicuous. The curios gazes of young boys and girls were almost way too painful for me to handle.
That's right, even in the area open to the general public, the sight of someone in their mid-twenties walking among teenagers was rather eye-catching.
Oh, that person in the distance looks like a teacher.
…… I'd better go to the meeting place before someone decides to report me in!!
While telling myself that I reached the main gate at a pace that was a little bit too suspicious, but at the very least I managed to put some distance between myself and the teachers.
There was a statue in the middle of the spacious plaza, one depicting the Black Flame Dragon spreading its wings.
Naturally, it was not a 1:1 scale, but the scales were finely carved out of the high quality obsidian, oh, and is this genuine gold that I see in its eyes? I wonder how much money this thing was worth?
…… It was the first time for me to visit the Academy through the main gate. The last time I was here I used a whole different entrance, so it was all news to me.
Kyle, what the hell is that supposed to beeeeeeeee!!!
Is this harassment? Is that some sick form of harassment you came up with!?
I swear, if you were still alive you wouldn't hear the end of iiiiiiiiittttttttt!!!
Right now I was feeling so embarrassed that I wanted to get the hell out of here, but I was still clutching my hands on the pedestal and was unable to move away. It was then when I heard a familiar voice calling out to me from behind.
「Noct-san, is everything alright?」
「Aah, it's nothing, lad. Just an old wound that won't stop itching.」
Rather, my head hurts just thinking about it.
While trying to cope with the signs of what was probably a new kind of psychological trauma born from witnessing the statue, I turned around to see Elvie's puzzled face.
「Heya, it's been a while. How are you holding up?」
「Umm, I know it took quite a while, but thank you for coming here today, Noct-san.」
「I should be the one who should be thanking you for inviting me.」
「Notc-san, please come this way. And I'm terribly sorry, but it's quite a bit of a walk.」
「I don't mind that at all.」
Having finished our greetings, I started to walk through the campus right behind Elvie.
But, how do I put it? For some reason Elvie looked to be quite restless.
「Is there something wrong?」
「No, I mean, I forgot that you stand out so much, Noct-san, and it was my fault for meeting with you in such a crowded place.」
Well, sure, I think that I'm standing out just a little bit. Actually no, make that quite a lot.
「Would it be better if I came here in secret?」
「No, it's not a problem of any sort, really. I'm just a little bit worried about tomorrow, that is all.」
So that's the reason for Elvie's strange behavior.
While I was thinking about that, the wall of forest trees began to grow ever so closer, and finally a lonely building could be seen in the distance.
「This the building that used to house all the clubs in the past…… What do you think?」
Elvie ask me such a question while I look at the brick building covered in ivy, growing bigger with each step closer we take.
「…… Oh, not bad, I gotta say.」
「Is that so?」
Said Elvie, leaving that matter be.
Oh well, it was a rather safe answer coming from me, with no deeper meaning hidden behind it.
But somehow, I could feel that it was something strange with the flow of magic around the forest near the building.
Even though it felt off, there wasn't that much magical energy in the forest, but I decided to take a note of that for now.
If we walked a little bit further from here we would enter the land under the jurisdiction of one of my Dragon senpais, but since they haven't sensed anything and didn't raise questions I assumed it was alright for me to be here.
Even so, it was a force of habit of mine to surveil the magical circulation of the places I was at right now.
For now let's try to change gears, since I am on vacation, if nothing else.
I told that to myself while I enthusiastically entered the building and followed Elvie to the clubroom.
The first tihing that I saw when Elvie opened the door and we entered the room, was Aru siting in the middle of a classroom-looking room, and he went to welcome us.
「Hello, Mo…… I mean, Notc-san.」
…… Aru tried to say something, but stopped himself before it was too late. It was subtle, but also very dangerous.
「Hey, Aru. It hasn't been that long since we last saw each other, but I am looking forward to what you want to show me today.」
「I am also glad that you came!」
We exchanged smiles, to which Elvie looked quite stunned.
「So, you really DO know one another. Noct-san.」
「That's right. I have known this lad ever since he was born. Sorrty for not saying anything. I was just at a loss, thinking that coming out with might be a little bit too sudden.」
「There was no obligation for you to do so, so it's not your fault at all.」
Ahaha, guess he's right. Can't argue with that.
Elvie smiles bitterly, and I shift my attention towards the Elf boy standing still in the middle of the room. Upon seeing me, the boy bowed down his head in a unnatural manner, just like a toy of some kind.
「Pleased to meet you! I am a student at the second year of magical course in middle school division! It's an honor to meet a Rank 5 Hunter such as yourself!」
「Ahh, the pleasure it all mine, name's Noct Nasse.」
The Elf boy with haughty hair shook my hand vigorously while his eyes were shining like stars in the night sky.
His ears were really thin and really pointy.
As the name of his race suggests, Elves are forest creatures, living mostly in the vast woodlands.
Besides being born with a naturally high aptitude for magic, their race was also gifted when it comes to artistic expression, so you would often see them as musicians, singers and dancers, but besides of those qualities they were considered to be quirky and prone to change easily. It was a common misconception that they didn't show any kind of interest in things other than art.
But from the feeling of this boy's hand alone, I could understand that all of his energy and all of his passion was being channeled into developing magical machines.
「Are you the one who helped Elv create his gun?」
「Y-Yes! I was helping him in crafting the parts and engraving them with magic schematics!」
When I spoke to him, Iori's face turned bright red, even up until the points of his long ears.
「Io-senpai also takes care of repairing the various kinds of machines for other clubs!」
「Stop it. It's nothing to write home about.」
Although Aru praises his senpai like that, he only hung his head while blushing.
His hands look kind of rough, but he looked to a gentle person and I found his reactions to be extremely cute.
「I'm sorry, there is another member to this club, but since she's not quite ready yet, would you like to see the gun first?」
「Is that so?」
Said Elvie and Aru began to pull my hand, dragging to a certain table.
The room was littered with small desks, chairs and workbenches, with lots of tools and parts scattered all around them.
There, on Elvie's desk, which was neatly cleaned for reason, there was the gun, laying on the small piece of cloth.
It's size was roughly like from my hand to my elbow and it looked like a fine piece of handiwork, although the wooden parts looked quite rough and the magical inscriptions were engraved all over the place.
While I was admiring the thing, both Elvie and Iori began to explain to me from the side.
「For once, it is now possible to store bullets in this cylindrical part, and it can fire up to six shots before needing to reload. Afterwards you can even put normal bullets inside of it, but it is kind of pointless when there is no magic in in.」
「The barrel itself is based on the revolver formula that surfaced on the market recently, and those parts I sculpted myself, but it was a whole lot of work since Elvie's requests were just so impossible to do!」
「I see. …… And this barrel? Was that also handmade?」
「I see that you get it, Noct-san! This is the first thing like that, there's none other quite like that out there!」
「Well, yes, and since the size makes quite easy to maneuver, I assumed it must be handmade. No manufacturer could achieve such a result.」
Some of the things left much to be desired, but overall it was amazing that they managed to do so much all by themselves, and fill the thing to the brim with magic at that.
The students of this day and age are quite something indeed. As I thought that, Elvie took out a small cylindrical object form a small box and handed it to me. A bullet.
「This is a bullet that we crafted ourselves. The spell engraved in it is as such to allow even someone like Aru to use it freely.」
「Hee, is that so?」
「Umm, I asked Elv-senpai if he could do something like this for me and he agreed.」
If you take that bullet and examine the engraving on its surface, it was sure designed to fit all of Aru's unique quirks.
It seems that none of the thing they said so far were meant as a simple boasting. It was all truth.
「t's amazing. Look, Aru, isn't that well-made?」
Aru smiles broadly, and Elvie guides me to another desk, on which other bullets were placed.
「Well, would you give this gun a go? Truth to be told, I would like to hear the opinions of other people on this thing in action.」
「Oh, is that really alright? Well then, I'm going to take you up on the offer.」
「In that case, let us switch locations to somewhere else.」
Then, as Elvie and Iori were preparing to change locations, I heard the sound of someone entering the room.
I looked back and my eyes met with those of a young girl with fox ears as she was just entering the clubroom, and I was slightly surprised by the fact that those eyes of hers were wide open at the moment.
Then, Elvie called out loudly towards the girl, who was so startled by that that her whole fur on her ears, head, and tail stood up in an instant. It was a reaction similar to that of a startled animal.
「What's up, Mikoto?」
There was also another girl right next to the girl that was called Mikoto, who raised her small voice as if trying to be heard.
「Umm, this person told me that Aru-kun might be here, and so I was ----」
She was a little girl with hair and facial features similar to that of Elvie, and she looked relieved to see that Aru was indeed here in this room.
But then her eyes met with Elvie's, and in an instant her mouth dropped open and her eyes widened as if she couldn't believe what she was seeing.
As soon as Elvie saw the girl, his facial expression twisted as though he was upset, and suddenly the room was filled with so much tension that you could easily slice it up with a knife.
The fox-eared girl came running to me and threw herself at me, seemingly making the bad situation even worse.
「I'm sorry, I was just startled by the tremendously strong aura you were emitting, Oh Dragon ----」
I hurriedly covered the girl's mouth to not let her finish that sentence, and then I send Aru a meaningful look with my eyes. This wasn't good.
I was being serious here, but judging from Aru's reaction he was as surprised as I was here.
So, does that mean we've been busted just like that!?
While still holding the girl's mouth shut, I took her under my mouth and then turned towards the rest of the company, asking them as politely as I could while forcing my best and calmest smile onto my face.
「Is there a vacant classroom in here somewhere?」
「Umm, we use the classroom next door as our private storeroom.」
「I'm gonna borrow it for a short while.」
I bowed my head in gratitude to Iori-kun, who was just staring at me, and then off to the storeroom I went!