Chapter 2.1: Unexpected Turn of Events
Mana relays. To the layman, they would be described as the equivalent of blood vessels for mana. However, unlike blood vessels, they could not be touched or seen by the naked eye. This was why the condition known as Mana Paralysis was an irreparable and miserable thing.
A newborn with Mana paralysis would have incomplete mana relays at certain points throughout the body.
Mana Paralysis was a genetic condition which caused a person to be born with faulty mana relays that weren’t properly connected at certain points throughout the body. The victim would not be able to properly channel mana throughout their body, making it near-impossible for them to properly use magic. However, Mana Paralysis had an occurrence rate of one in a million, making it an uncommon condition.
Unfortunately, Nishiyama Akira had been born that one person in a million. On top of that, he had a low amount of mana residing in his body at birth. Due to Mana Paralysis, he was never able to properly practice the use of magic so his mana amount didn’t grow, and as his mana amount never grew he was never able to practice magic for long periods of time. It was a hellish cycle which had plagued him his entire life.
His condition had never been a secret from his friends and classmates, which was why they had been surprised when they saw him participating. They had expected him to take the usual route for a Mana Paralysis victim: donating their concept core to the SMC in order to provide research material for the purpose of progressing humanity’s magic knowledge. In fact, that would be their only option as only people who held a certain degree of talent for magic would be allowed to synthesize.
When Akane received the notice from the SMC which gave her the option of synthesizing 2 years earlier than normal, Akira had received a pleasant surprise. For some reason, he had been given special permission by the board of the SMC to attend alongside his sister. He was never given a clear reason for his invitation. He had decided to take the opportunity after his sister’s constant nagging. Of course, he had no expectations whatsoever despite the favorable treatment he had received.
“How did someone with Mana Paralysis AND low mana-”
“To hell with that, do you know the significance of what just happened? We just witnessed the birth of one of the only two S rank Maestros in the whole fucking history of Japan, and both of them were awakened only months apart!”
“What the hell’s going on with the 16th generation?”
Previously, the registrants had spoken through hushed voices when conversing, but now full blown yelling filled the hall. The impossible scene of a Mana Paralysis victim achieving S-rank synthesis had completely dumbfounded them.
After the Core Synthesis Ceremony became an integral part of society, several S-ranks had been born throughout the world. However, none had been born in Japan. At least, not until a short while ago. Earlier that year, when Japan’s first S-rank Maestro appeared in District J, it had been breaking news. The public flew into total celebration, and the leaders worked overtime in order to make preparations for her. S-rank Maestros were said to be equivalent in strength to a brigade of soldiers, so obtaining even one was a dream come true for any government.
But now, not even a year later, the second S-rank in Japan’s history had appeared in District E. On top of that, he had been born with Mana Paralysis. Such an event was simply unprecedented, which was why it would draw the attention of the mass media soon. This scenario was so unlikely, that the person in question himself did not believe it.
Akira stood frozen on the stage for a whole minute as the shouting continued to increase in volume behind him. Finally, moving his numb feet, he trudged up to the SIM and grasped the gun. Calming his breathing, he concentrated and willed it to disappear. Sure enough, the large revolver turned into mana and was stored in his body. At this point, a realization hit Akira straight in the face.
“Nishiyama Akira-san? Please step off the stage.”
The official, too, had received a great shock which had caused him to drop his clipboard. He quickly resumed his calm demeanor and spoke to Akira with a voice that had no hint of emotion as he swiftly picked up his notes.
Akira blinked. Once again aware of his surroundings, he slowly stepped off the stage and walked towards his seat while shaking. Each time he passed a person, they would crane their necks to get a look at the boy who had made history, watching him with awe and interest. Finally, he reached his seat and stared into the space in front of him as he contemplated the past few minutes of his life.
… What the hell’s going on?!
Needless to say, he was confused.
On the other hand, Akane was beaming. Her eyes had a slight shine to them and it seemed as if the lack of enthusiasm and excitement from her brother was being made up for through her alone. She wanted to talk to him, but was obstructed by an announcement.
“Please give your attention to the front of the hall for a closing speech from Suzuki-sama.”
Unnoticed by the chattering students, the lanky middle-aged man had once again taken position behind the podium at the front of the room. As the conversations across the room died down, the laughter of the scientist became audible.
“Well! That’s certainly an appropriate reaction for a situation like this. But my, I never thought I would be completely disregarded!”
As he continued to chuckle at the students, some of them nervously joined in.
“Ehem, moving on with the subject. I want to once more congratulate you for becoming a part of the society of Maestros. This will be a slightly informal speech as I am changing the contents for today, the main reason is pretty obvious of course.”
As he said that, several people turned to the direction of Akira. Continuing onwards, he took on a heavier tone like during his opening speech.
“The 16th generation has many talented individuals. This is evident by the number of A and B-ranks, which is twice the amount of the last few years combined. Not to mention, we have our first two Japanese S-rankers this year. But even without them, our harvest this year was plentiful.
“To those of you who feel inferior due to the rank of your Speculo, do not be disheartened. The rank of a Speculo does, to some extent, tell of its power. However, what matters more is how you use your Speculo. There are several high rank officials in the army who possess D or C-rank Speculo, but they managed to make up for the gap in power by using their abilities in flexible ways. With that said, I would like to end this day with words that you should all take to heart.”
Taking a breath, he loudly spoke to the audience while raising his arms towards them.
“All of you have potential! None of you are hopeless. The world is your stage, so work hard to shine! That is all.”
And once more, the father of the Magic Era was met with thundering applause.