Chapter 7.2: Twins
“Ah, yes?” Immersed in a state of pondering, Hiroshi replied to Shun.
“I didn’ know you liked ‘em younger.” He gleefully said those words to him while wrapping his arm around his shoulder.
As if he had been punched in the face, Hiroshi snapped back to reality. Becoming as red as a pepper at Shun’s words, he quickly sputtered in denial.
“As if that’s the case!”
However, he was not going to be let off the hook that easily, as Shun wasn’t the only mischievous person there. Seeing an identical sly grin appear on Akane’s face, Akira prayed for Hiroshi’s mental health. Putting her finger on her lips, Akane utilized her small stature by speaking while looking upwards to Hiroshi with a smile as coy as her movements. Catching his gaze, she winked at him.
“I wouldn’t mind giving you a chance, you know~? If you like what you see~”
These words coupled with her movements drove a critical hit into Hiroshi. As his cramping face changed shades from a slight pink to a full, bright red, he continued to move his mouth as if he was attempting to formulate a response. Unfortunately, he was not given time to recollect himself as the jabs kept coming without mercy.
“Hear that? She’s giving ya a chance, ya know~”
“How about it? Once again, I don’t mind~”
In the end, he gave up.
Watching their victim plead while putting both hands on the sides of his head in an attempt to block out all sounds, Shun and Akane wore a sadistic expression that would make even the devil recoil in fear. As they were about to continue Hiroshi’s mental torture, Akira was gracious enough to step in. As her brother, he had experienced something akin to this many times and knew very well how horrific it could be. But even then, Akira had not stepped in earlier, wishing to avoid sharing his pain.
“Yosh, yosh, let’s stop right there, you two. His mental health has suffered a deep blow already.”
“Hmph, ok.” A little disappointed, the two sighed. Akira cleared his throat and diverted the topic.
“Right, as you were saying earlier, how did you recognize us?”
“Ah yeah… well, first off, ya have bright red hair I haven’t seen in others and have some pretty amazin’ looks, ya know? It’s hard to mistake ya for someone else. Secondly, we saw ya at the ceremony ourselves since we also live in District E.”
“Ah.” Slightly embarrassed, Akira and Akane let out a voice of realization as they remembered how noticeable they looked thanks to their distinct traits.
“Well, I guess that’s thanks to Kaa-san then,” Akane said in an amused manner. “I heard her side of the family is rather talented, although we’ve never actually met any of them.”
The mana flowing in a person’s body was called “pure mana”, or “Aether mana” as it was neutral in theory and had no particular element. However, it was made up of six strands of mana, each of which had a certain element attributed to it. The reason why the shape of someone’s mana relays dictated which element they were most proficient in was that certain relays could process certain strands faster than others.
After the start of the Magic Era, several talented clans sprang up, rising to power in Japan. One of them was the Ito clan. Clans like the Ito clan who were particularly talented, had their very genetic structure affected by elemental magic, giving them traits which would be passed onto their children. These traits often did nothing to benefit them in any way, but they soon became symbols of each clan. The Ito family members woke up one day with their hair a common scarlet, courtesy of their talent in fire magic, and it had caused quite an uproar at the time.
The other clans went through similar scenarios. The astute water mages of the Ishihara clan gained icy blue hair and eyes due to water mana. The earth-based Yamamoto clan’s proud magicians got almost lustrous, chocolate skin. The members of the Sonoda clan were all albino thanks to light mana, and they had a kind temperament to match. Shimizu clan, known for its quick thinking fighters of the air element, acquired a rather unique trait that turned their blood transparent when exposed to air. And last but not least, the Oyama clan members all possessed either one or two black eyes.
Haruna had come from the Ito clan. However, she had been kicked out of it due to their disapproval of her marriage with Gou. This had been before Gou had finished his studies at medical school, and time had made apparent what a foolish decision it was; Gou was currently the most influential person in the medical community.
“Ah!” Akane reacted with an exclamation as she struck her fist against her palm. “So that’s where I saw you two before! Both of you became A-ranks as well, right? I completely forgot out of excitement after seeing Onii-chan get an S-rank…” As she spoke, her voice trailed off in an apologetic manner as her eyes slowly shifted towards the right.
“Well, we don’t particularly blame you, so it’s fine. After all, if my bakani here had received an S-rank I would be shocked as well and forgotten everything else” Hiroshi replied with a chuckle.
“Who ya callin’ bakani ya machine bastard!” Shun, who was next to him, yelled while elbowing his arm.
AN: A mix of ‘idiot (baka)’ and ‘brother (ani)’.
“Now that we’re acquainted, why don’t we all head inside?” As the bickering of the twins started, Akira suggested the idea to the group in a hurry. “No point waiting outside when it’s this close to the arrival time. Let’s go in.”
“Yes, Onii-chan’s right, you know.”
With that, Akira walked over to the guard box, showed his papers, and entered through the pearly gates into the gargantuan grounds of Japan’s finest school for Maestros. Akane, Hiroshi, and Shun all followed him. As they walked through the big garden, the rest continued to chatter and admire the scenery. However, Akira’s thoughts were elsewhere. Stepping through the emerald grass, he stared at his feet propelling him forwards.
My wish… I can only hope, can’t I?
Feeling a little bitter, he walked through the grounds towards the glass building.
Arc 2: Enrollment