Chapter 18: Friendship
Leave a Comment / Level 999 / By IX
After completing the request to subjugate the Crow Shuka with Mil, we used body strengthening magic to travel and managed to return to the academy before nightfall.
At the request reception desk, we presented Crow Shuka’s horn as proof of the subjugation and finished reporting the request.
Returning to the dormitory, it was already time for dinner, so I quickly washed my hands and took my seat at the dining table.
Later, while resting in my room, I sighed and spoke to my roommate, Mil.
“We only earned one point from today’s subjugation.
The goal seems so far away, it’s overwhelming.”
“Yes, it does.”
This “Crow Shuka subjugation request” we took was more like an act of mercy from the receptionist.
We only received a single point for the subjugation.
We have to earn 100 points by the end of the term, and at this rate, it’s impossible to achieve our goal.
Furthermore, since we took the request together, only one of us will receive the points.
By the way, there was a dispute between Mil and me about who should get the points for this subjugation.
Though to an observer, it would seem like a peaceful discussion, we ended up arguing with each other, trying to give up our points.
Eventually, we reluctantly decided to settle it fairly with a coin toss.
The winner would have the freedom to decide the distribution of the subjugation points.
In the end, I won.
“Yay! I won again! So, Mil, congratulations, the subjugation points are yours this time.”
“I can’t really celebrate properly.”
So, the subjugation points were forcibly given to Mil.
I’ve never lost in a coin toss or card game, although I’ve only played against Mulburry-san every time.
It’s probably due to my luck stat of 999.
I can probably use this method in the future too, to resolve conflicts like this, even though it’s likely to be exposed easily.
“If only we could take on requests that give us a lot of points, then all our worries would be solved.”
That’s the crux of the problem.
Unlike other noble students, as commoners, we can’t get recommended for good quests.
If we could only resolve that fundamental issue, we wouldn’t have to worry so much.
“I wonder if there’s any way for us commoners to demonstrate our abilities.
Something like saying, ‘We’re actually strong!'”
“It seems difficult for now.
There don’t seem to be any events or practical classes until the end-of-term exams.”
Certainly, it doesn’t seem like there will be opportunities to showcase our abilities.
The closest opportunity would be the end-of-term exams, held jointly for each grade.
To take those exams, we need subjugation points.
“What if a gigantic magical beast attacked the magic academy? If I defeated it, I could become a great hero in an instant.”
“Don’t say such dangerous things.”
But without something as drastic as that, we commoners won’t be given any quests at all.
Also, from today’s subjugation request, I realized that I’m probably not suited for hunting small magical beasts.
My specialty, instant death magic, has tremendous power against individual magical beasts, but not against multiple ones.
There’s a magic called “Hell’s Gate,” which can kill multiple targets, but I’m still not very skilled at using it.
In fact, towards the end, I was simply using body strengthening magic to punch the bird.
So, I want to face a single formidable opponent like a super-gigantic magical beast, but as commoners, there’s no way we’ll be given such a subjugation request.
Damn it, I can easily kill any magical beast with a single blow.
“In that case, maybe I should challenge the ‘Headmaster,’ who seems to be the strongest in this academy…”
“You occasionally say the most absurd things, Sachiko.”
Oh, no, I was just joking.
Even I wouldn’t do something as reckless as that.
But if we were able to win a fight against a strong person within the academy and demonstrate our abilities, perhaps even us commoners could start getting recommended for challenging quests.
It’s not a bad strategy, if you think about it.
While pondering that, I suddenly remembered something.
“By the way, I remember there were students in the academy who were engaging in mock battles or something like that.”
I believe they were second-year students, judging by the accent color on their uniforms.”
The uniforms at the Royal Harvest Magic Academy have slight design differences for each grade.
The boys wear jackets and long coats, while the girls wear blouses, skirts, and mini capes, all predominantly black.
However, each grade has an accent color incorporated into their uniforms.
First-year students have blue accents, second-year students have green, and third-year students have red.
These accent colors remain fixed for the three years, and apparently, incoming students are given the accent color previously used by the outgoing third-year students.
This cycle allows anyone to identify a student’s grade based on their accent color.
Regarding the dress code at this academy, there’s quite a bit of freedom.
As long as you maintain the basic form of the uniform and can be recognized as a student of the academy, you’re allowed to make modifications and alterations as you please.
Students can even make special requests when ordering their uniforms, such as adjusting the length of the coat or changing the mini cape to a long cape.
For example, Mil seems to have a fondness for the “Little Red Riding Hood” style, as she has a hood attached to her mini cape and dyed it a deep blue.
Well, considering that battles against magical beasts are commonplace for academy students, it’s understandable that they wouldn’t bother with meticulously maintained attire.
The two second-year students engaged in the mock battle were also wearing their uniforms while casting magic at each other, so they looked quite disheveled.
“Speaking of which, is there any particular significance to these mock battles they have?”
“Originally, it started as a light sparring activity to bridge the gap between nobles and commoners.
The academy wanted to create an environment where anyone could learn magic equally.
It seems to be a tradition the academy promoted a long time ago.”
Hmm, that’s interesting.
That seems like a perfect way to eliminate inhibitions and create an equal environment, especially considering the absence of social distinctions.
“It seems that now these mock battles serve as tests of strength or as duels to resolve conflicts.
But weren’t they explained during the entrance ceremony?”
“Oh, well… I found the chairs we were sitting on during the entrance ceremony to be exceptionally comfortable.”
Mil gave me a reproachful look, as if she wanted to say, “You occasionally say the most absurd things, Sachiko.”
I was quite relaxed and comfortably dozing off during the entrance ceremony.
Mil is very serious, so she was wide awake, listening to the speeches.
Anyway, now that I understand why the students engage in mock battles, let’s get back to the point.
“Well, there’s no use in complaining endlessly.
The opportunity will come eventually, so let’s patiently wait without rushing.”
“…I’ve been with you all this time, and I can’t help but notice that Sachiko, you’re always so ‘optimistic,’ or rather, you never doubt that you’ll find happiness.”
That’s because I’m an incredibly lucky girl with a luck stat of 999! It’s quite different from Mil, the extremely unlucky girl with a luck stat of 0!”
“Mind your own business!”
“Well, things will work out somehow.”
That’s my motto.
The next day.
Surprisingly, that golden opportunity came sooner than expected.
“If you don’t mind, would you like to join us for a subjugation request?”
As soon as the morning class ended and lunch break began…
A girl approached me at my seat and called out to me.
She had fluffy, chestnut-colored braids and a serene, youthful face.
Just like her gentle impression, her way of speaking was relaxed and unhurried.
Even from her refined choice of words, she exuded an air of sophistication.
“Um, you’re in the same class as me…”
The girl with the largest… not that… what was her name again?
As I struggled to recall, the chestnut-haired girl smiled knowingly.
“My name is Maron Melange.”
“Oh, right, Maron-san.
Sorry, I’m really bad at remembering people’s names…”
“My seat is at the front, closest to the corridor, so it’s the farthest from Sachi-sama.
We don’t have many opportunities to meet, so it can’t be helped.”
She offered a subtle follow-up while smiling gently.
However, her words were laced with a saintly kindness, and her considerate nature could be felt just by conversing with her.
Come to think of it, there were various rumors circulating within the class.
Like how she helped search for a lost student ID, or how she assisted with cleaning when there was no time, or how she forgave someone without a single displeased expression after they accidentally spilled juice on her.
Even though it hadn’t been much time since she enrolled, there were already numerous anecdotes circulating about her among the classmates.
So she already had quite a few friends.
Conversely, I had no friends at all, and in fact, I was being avoided by those around me.
That’s why it felt strange for her to approach me, and I could sense the curious gazes of my classmates.
It was uncomfortable.
Wait, why did she come talk to me in the first place?
Unable to disregard Maron-san’s kind smile, I mustered my courage and asked her.
“So, what does it mean to join a subjugation request together?”
“Well, yesterday, I happened to be standing right behind Sachi-sama and the others at the request reception desk, and I overheard the entire conversation.
Because you don’t have a family crest, you hardly get any introduction to subjugation requests, right?”
“Oh, so you were there at that time, Maron-san.”
I didn’t notice at all.
Actually, thinking that she witnessed that scene, it feels embarrassing.
I mean, at that time, I only got introduced to two requests, and I must have shown quite an uncool side.
“I didn’t intend to eavesdrop, but I happened to overhear… So I thought if there was anything I could do to help, and I came up with the idea of taking the subjugation test together.”
“Together? Ah, I see…”
If I remember correctly, the receptionist said, “If you take a request together with other noble students, we can introduce more requests.”
If a student from a prestigious family with a family crest is with us, the chances of completing the requests would increase.
Having heard that, Maron-san approached us, considering our situation.
“My family is the Melange family, so I have some flexibility even at this academy.
I was able to receive a reasonable number of requests yesterday, so if you don’t mind, would you like to take a request together? I would be very happy if we could have lunch together as well…”
“Oh, yes, please!”
It was a wishful conversation.
I noticed that there was another girl sitting next to Maron-san, and she waved her hand lazily in our direction.
She was a girl with a similar fluffy impression… or rather, a drowsy girl.
She wore a pointed hat, yellow like a nightcap, and glossy golden long hair peeked out from the gaps.
She kept her eyes drowsy from start to finish, and I recall her getting scolded by the teacher for dozing off during class.
In my own mind, I called her the “sleep-deprived girl,” and she seemed to be Maron-san’s friend.
She was also invited to join us for the requests.
And we would have lunch together!
The students of the Royal Harvest Academy of Magical Arts generally had their lunch at the cafeteria on campus.
The same went for me and Mil, we always ate our meals together, just the two of us, at a corner table in the cafeteria.
I actually wanted to get closer to the classmates and somehow join a group, but it didn’t work out well.
Moreover, Mil didn’t seem enthusiastic about it.
Even when I invited her to approach our classmates together, she would always…
“…Please go ahead, Sachi-san.”
She would say something like that, seeming sulky.
I knew she had a shy personality, but it was becoming quite obvious that she was deliberately avoiding the classmates.
But it felt like a tall wall to approach them alone, so in the end, we would always have lunch together as just the two of us until today.
However, today, I was invited to have lunch with Maron-san, who was popular in the class.
Inside, I felt an intense surge of excitement, and I called out to Mil in the next seat.
Let’s take the subjugation request together.
If Maron-san and the others help us, we can be introduced to higher-scoring requests, and we can earn enough points by the end-of-term exams.
Plus, we can have lunch together…”
Contrary to my excitement and loquacity…
Mil completely sealed her lips and bowed her head.
There was no response at all.
I thought something might be wrong with her, so I leaned over to look at her face, but…
Without making eye contact, Mil stood up and left the classroom.
Maron-san and I could only watch her back in bewilderment, exchanging puzzled glances.
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