Chapter 0.5: A Certain Day in September
6 YEARS AGO:
The current year is 2033, in the summer.
The sun was shining down relentlessly that summer. The humid air was unbearable, and the cicadas unceasingly played their song. Nationwide, schools were starting to end classes, but the September heat showed no sign of stopping its advance.
In a certain classroom in Japan, a person closed a window and turned on the fans. Sighing in relief, the woman sat down in her chair, and once again started teaching the kids sitting in front of her.
“Sorry about that everyone, now… where were we?”
With a smile, the teacher apologized to her students for the slight delay while putting down a thick textbook that was titled A Brief History of the Start of the Magic Era. As soon as she finished her sentence, several children spoke up to her.
“Sensei! We finished talking about the discovery of magic and you were about to show us your Speculo!”
“Yes, please show us!”
“We really want to see!”
“Ah yes, I remember now~. As I was saying, details of the Speculo is information you usually learn in about 2 years or so, and that also goes for seeing the materialization of one. But as it’s the end of the term and we have a few minutes left, Sensei will give you a small demonstration.”
Smiling at the cheering 10-year-olds, she cleared her voice and the room fell silent. As the noise died down, she closed her eyes and concentrated. A small bead of sweat trickled down her knitted eyebrow until she felt a weight in her upturned hand. Pleased by the change, she opened her eyes. In her palm, there was a simple, delicate looking knife which was colored blue. It had no defining or unique features save its color, but the children gasped and clamored to see it as soon as it appeared.
“Because a Speculo is made from a person’s magical energy, it can easily be stored and taken out of your body,” She explained, concentrating once more until it vanished from her hands, “Like so! Of course, as Sensei hasn’t used it in a while it takes some time.”
“Sensei! We’ll be able to get one too, right?”
“I can’t wait till I’m 16!”
“So far away…”
“I hope I get a sword!”
“With a personality like yours, you’ll get a shield you know~”
Like so, they excitedly chatted amongst themselves, but the silence gradually returned as one child rose his small hand. Receiving a nod, the boy spoke.
“Sensei, will I be able to get one too?”
The woman hesitated.
The boy in front of her was one of the soft-spoken ones. His short, red hair slightly covered his brown, wondering eyes. The sun behind him cast a slight shadow onto his pale skin, creating a vaguely eerie aura. He rarely ever talked to anybody, with the exception of his lively younger sister. However, the fact that he had directly asked her a question wasn’t what caused her to pause. Normally, every person should be able to get and use their Speculo later on in life, but this boy in particular…
“Yes, I’m sure you will.”
For the sake of the young child in front of her, who knew little of the unfairness of the world, she put on a gentle smile and lied to him. Shortly afterward, the chattering resumed. Seeing the now beaming face of the ill-fated boy seated on the ground, her heart experienced a jolt of pain.
Arc 1: Synthesis