Chapter 15: Is this anonymous again this time?
“Is the entire floor my room….
I’ll just take a good look at it.”
Flan, who had been obsessed with Agora Board's questions, was currently visiting the dormitory at Merchen Academy.
Although the official use of the dormitory would start three days later, there was an announcement stating that it was okay to unpack in advance, so Flan decided to stop by.
Meanwhile, Becky, who had been accompanying Flan in the corridor, tilted her head.
“Hey, Flan, you're in room 401, right? Then the corner room over there is yours.”
“……Only just one room is mine.”
Flan muttered in disbelief.
Where can you find a student who occupies an entire floor of the dormitory?”
Upon reexamining the received paper, there was only one written: Room 401.
Becky's words were correct.
Flan narrowed his eyes.
He was unsure if he would be satisfied with having an entire floor to himself, but having to live in just one room was disappointing.
How would the interior facilities be? Flan thought that he should clean the doorknob later and turned the doorknob using his magical power.
At the same time, Becky grabbed the door of Room 402 from the side and opened it.
Their eyes meet each other in midair.
“Are you in the room next to me?”
I'm in Room 402.”
“Just don't cause any commotion.”
“…… Ah, okay?”
The conversation ended there.
Flan looked inside Room 401.
It was a clean and spacious room.
But that was all.
The plain and dull furniture, which adhered to the basics, naturally didn't satisfy Flan.
However, Flan had two days of free time.
He decided that it would be okay for him to consume mana as he wanted for at least a day.
He changed everything, from small chairs to a mundane desk, and a full-length mirror surrounded by ordinary wooden frames.
Destruction, Assistance, Manipulation, and Enchantment…
Flan activated magic without distinguishing the categories.
The furniture broke, then reattached, and rose, but at the same time, it was also worn down.
They were disassembled and reassembled repeatedly, taking on different appearances according to his will.
By repeating the process until all his mana was consumed, Flan managed to recreate the appearance of the furniture he had used in the previous world.
A mirror with an antique frame, an expanded desk, a chair with his favorite pattern…
Compared to the initial state, it was an astonishing transformation.
“What…? Hey, why is Flan's room so nice?!”
Although he clearly told Becky not to cause a commotion, she barged into his room and exclaimed.
Flan just silently looked at Becky with a gaze demanding an explanation.
In response, she continued speaking in a hasty manner.
“It's the first time I see a building like this.
I was curious if everyone else's rooms looked the same, so I came to see.
But Flan's room is especially nice.”
Becky thought of her own dorm room.
She had excitedly gathered all her belongings and brought them in, but compared to Flan's room, her own room looked like a garbage dump, filled with all sorts of clutter.
What reason could there be for giving Flan a better room than anyone else? There was only one possibility that Becky could speculate.
Perhaps he exceeded the A-rank standards and belonged to a higher rank.
Becky's guess became even more solid.
Now can you leave please?”
A chilly gust of air filled the room.
However, Becky's gaze fell on the trivia held in Flan's hand.
Countless geometrical shapes and curves were engraved on the memo.
Just looking at it ignited her curiosity as a magician.
“I don’t know if you saw it.
It's a question for the Agora Board.”
It seemed almost pointless to ask after seeing it.
Becky barely swallowed the words that reached the tip of her tongue.
It wasn't important right now.
“…You're coming up with questions again? Why? Are you going to mess with Trixie again?”
“I'm not specifically targeting anyone.
If someone is capable enough, it doesn't matter who solves it.”
“Then you are doing it anonymously again?”
“Even if you happen to reveal the names, make sure to exclude mine.
I can't handle it…
This time, Flan’s gaze turned to Becky.
There were many miscellaneous papers in her hand, but there was one that stood out especially because of its yellow color.
“What is that?”
“This? It's a club application form.
You can get one if you go to the Research Wing too.”
Is it a place to hang out?”
“A place to hang out? Hmm, it's more accurate to say it's a place where you can enjoy studying.”
Becky’s eyes widened as she muttered.
“What's with that expression as if you've never heard of it before? When you mention the Merchen Academy's Department of Magic, everyone immediately thinks of clubs!”
“It’s the first time I’ve heard of it.”
“Magic is the most brilliant field of study when it's freely researched.
People with similar interests gather in clubs to conduct research.”
Becky pushed the club application form so that Flan could see it.
Summoning Club “Birth,” Magic Journalism and Promotion Club “Witch,” Exploration Club “Pinwheel”…
All the cramped letters on the application form contained brief descriptions and names of the clubs.
Becky continued speaking with excitement.
“Look at this.
There are so many clubs because there are many students.
Freshmen usually can't participate in club activities, but if you're A rank, you can.”
Becky had marked the Ice Element Exploration Club “Frozen.” She was so excited that she suddenly asked Flan.
Aren't you interested in joining a club? If you're interested in the Ice Element, you can join me…”
“I’m not interested.”
Flan somewhat agreed that magic shone the brightest when it was freely explored.
However, clubs felt somewhat childish to him.
It would be better if it felt like training disciples.
The quick response was cold.
Becky felt a little crestfallen, scratching her head.
Then, this time, she showed Flan a blue-colored paper.
“By the way, have you seen this? The outline of the upcoming exploration task is out.”
“…Aren't you too calm about it? Professor Violet, who is known for being terrifying, is in charge.”
Receiving the paper Becky was holding, Flan looked over the outline of the upcoming exploration task.
[Outline of Exploration Task]
▶To cultivate students' sense of adventure and their ability to deal with crisis situations, teams will be formed to explore designated dungeons, and the results will be compared.
▶Team members: 3 each.
▶Special notes: Open scroll.
Flan narrowed her eyes.
Dungeons also existed in the previous world.
These were spaces filled with various monsters and distorted mana flows.
If the dungeon mentioned in the outline was the same as the dungeons in the previous world.
No, even if it was similar.
That alone would pose some difficulties for Flan.
[To cultivate students' ability to deal with crisis situations.]
That was the key point mentioned in the outline.
Swiftly responding to various crises required a substantial amount of mana.
Upon seeing Flan's expression, Becky quietly spoke up.
“Isn’t that a big deal? Originally, exploration tasks are performed by upper-class students.
But Professor Violet just decided to do it.
It's completely arbitrary!”
Flan carefully examined the outline and asked.
“What's an open scroll?”
It means you're allowed to bring a magic scroll.
It's like an open book test during written exams.”
“…We can bring scrolls?”
Maybe they added that condition because we're freshmen.
It probably means they really want to assess our ability to handle situations.”
Flan rubbed his chin for a moment.
Then, he couldn't help but smirk and burst into laughter.
“What's with you? Why are you suddenly laughing like that?”
You should go now.”
Becky didn't expect a response in the first place.
She headed towards the door of Flan's room, but suddenly another thought came to her.
Becky hesitated and couldn't easily finish her words.
However, it was something she had wanted to say for a while, so she gathered her courage.
“If there's a magic I don't know, can I ask you about it?”
“If I have the time, I'll let you know.”
The quick response was still cold, but fortunately, the content was positive.
Becky quickly left room 401.
Returning to her own room, Becky started cleaning for no apparent reason.
After seeing Flan's room, her own room seemed so plain.
While wiping the already clean desk with another cloth, she thought of Flan’s words.
“If I have the time, I'll let you know…”
Upon reflection, it was a somewhat strange statement.
In the future, Becky herself didn't even know what kind of magic she would inquire about.
She might have questions during lectures or encounter a puzzle on the Agora board someday.
However, that attitude of “I can let you know if I have the time” seems to imply something.
“…What could it be?”
After a brief moment of contemplation, she finished cleaning the desk.
The quality of the dinner served at Marchen Academy's cafeteria was excellent.
At least that was how Aria Fontaine felt.
Having achieved an A rank, all her meals were now free.
On top of that, she received a scholarship, so surely the Fontaine family would be proud of her.
After filling her plate with a delicious salad, she took a few steps forward.
A girl with bright blonde hair at a nearby table raised her hand.
It was Hailey Lumian.
A daughter from an aristocratic family, also ranked A.
The two of them had a lot in common and were able to quickly became friends.
Although Hailey was already seated with many other female students, there was an empty seat across from her.
Aria naturally took that seat.
Come to think of it, in the other corner, Trixie was sitting alone and quietly eating.
Her presence was calm and cold, like a winter lake.
With her elegant blue appearance, Trixie had been surrounded by other students until the freshman welcoming event.
However, that barrier couldn't withstand her aloofness, and everyone gradually distanced themselves.
Therefore, no one approached Trixie now.
Hailey smiled brightly at Aria.
“Hey, Aria? What have you been doing?”
“I unpacked my belongings in the dormitory, and in my spare time, I've been watching Trivia.
We'll be assigned to an exploration group in two days.
I was hoping to gather some information, even if it's just small details.”
“Ah~ That’s right.
I've heard so much about how important it is to meet good group members.
I'm praying I'll get picked.”
“Hailey, it would be really nice to be in the same group as you.”
Hailey chuckled as if she didn't mind.
“But, Aria, the assignment this time isn't an open scroll, is it?”
“Yeah, I saw it.
Frankly, using an open scroll is pointless.
I mean, why bother using advanced magic with scrolls? We hardly know any of those spells.”
Why are we even doing an exploration task meant for higher-grade students?”
“Hailey, you'll do well despite saying that, won't you? You know everything.”
“What!? No, no, it's not like that.”
Hailey flashed a warm smile.
Afterward, they continued discussing various topics, such as who the other A-ranked students were and who would make a good group with them.
Then Aria seemed to remember something and opened her mouth.
“…I hope I don't end up in the same group as that Flan.”
At those words, Hailey's eyes sparkled.
“Oh my, Aria, you don't like Flan either?”
“Who would like that person? He has an arrogant attitude and suspiciously retook the exam to achieve an A rank.”
Upon hearing that, Hailey blinked.
Flan had an arrogant attitude? He had always been kind to everyone since he was young—at least that was what Hailey knew about him.
“Well, that's true.
The professor did say there was no cheating involved, but it's quite strange for someone who entered with an F rank to suddenly receive an A rank.”
Arya’s eyes widened.
“F rank!? was it F ran? He entered with an F rank?”
I guess you didn’t know.”
“I had no idea.
Come to think of it, you said he confessed to you, Hailey.
What happened to that?”
The topic seemed somewhat sensitive, and the surrounding female students discreetly started glancing at Hailey, but she replied without hesitation.
wasn't interested, so I turned him down.
If I were to date someone, I would prefer a guy who's good at magic.”
“That's how it usually goes.
But even if Flan doesn't know his place, he will eventually learn.
He will mingle with commoner girls just like him.
Isn't that right?”
Other female students burst into laughter at Aria’s words.
Except for one person, Hailey, who raised her eyebrows.
“Yeah, isn't Flan a commoner?”
Aria tilted her head in response to Hailey's words and continued the conversation while laughing with the other female students.
“I mean, Flan talked back to me while looking straight into my eyes when I mentioned the topic of commoners.
“Why is Flan a commoner?”
“Since there is no surname in his name, he is a commoner.
Why are you acting like that, Hailey?”
Hailey awkwardly smiled in response to the pure curiosity in their gazes.
However, a question emerged in a corner of her mind.
'Did Flan hide his social status? Why would he do that?'
Judith’s name was well-known.
If that simple fact were revealed, there would be no students openly disrespecting Flan.
“Oh? I figured it out!”
But then, Aria’s movement with her fork stopped abruptly
“Hailey, doesn't Flan still have feelings for you?”
“No, it's just…
You know, if Flan still likes you, he might have done something suspicious to receive an A rank.
He would do anything to change your mind.”
Uh, is that so?”
But then, another female student, who had finished eating and was fiddling with Trivia, shouted.
“Hey, it looks like a problem was posted on the Agora Board!”
The hands that were moving the tableware all froze.
Everyone unfolded the Agora Board's discussion page as if they had made a prior agreement.
The girl's words were true.
At the top, there was a newly written post about a problem on the Agora Board.
“This is crazy, what's the difficulty level?”
“I don't even understand it from the beginning.”
As each student checked the problem, exclamations of awe escaped from their mouths.
Even at first glance, it was clear that the content was beyond the reach of newcomers like themselves.
“But I can at least recognize the element they're dealing with.”
“It's definitely Harmony.”
“Isn't it Transmutation?”
“Isn't it Illusion?”
“…Even though we're considered A-ranked students, our opinions differ.”
Everyone covers the Trivia with their tongues sticking out.
Seeing this during the meal makes one student in the corner feel like she was about to choke.
“My stomach feels queasy.”
“We're all magicians, so why are we so different…
I can really sense the barrier.”
At that moment, Aria discovered something else from the problem.
“Come to think of it, this is also posted anonymously?”
Now that she mentioned it…'
The heads of the female students all turned in unison.
Their gaze was directed towards Trixie, who was sitting alone at the corner table.
Trixie’s expression was not pleasant.
She scribbles something on the plate as if the fork were a pen.
She continued scribbling for a while.
Scribbling and scribbling, exhaling a few sighs.
She slammed the table with her fist.
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