Chapter 9.2: Forest
“An S-rank who can’t use his Speculo, and can at most only cast magic, ey? Are you fuckin’ with me?! Aren’ ya just dead weight then?!”
Akira started laughing with nervousness while looking sideways. At the moment, Shun was holding him by the collar and shaking him up and down.
Just then, Akira had explained to the twins what had happened during the testing with Akane and his father. Needless to say, Shun was infuriated and Hiroshi was shocked.
Shun was, despite how he talked and walked, a boy with many worries. He had approached Akira earlier that morning to distract himself from the exam looming over his head. Now, hearing that rather than gaining a huge advantage he had gained a huge burden instead, the boy was close to snapping.
Hiroshi, on the other hand, was currently sitting on the ground muttering to himself. Contrary to Shun who was about to go mad, he was intrigued by Akira’s situation.
“A Speculo that does nothing? It doesn’t affect the world in any physical way? It’s not possible, how could it be? Is it being applied incorrectly? Or perhaps…”
Witnessing the surreal scene of her brother being held by his collar and shaken wildly by someone, while the twin of that person was on the ground calmly analyzing the situation, Akane clapped her hands together in order to grab everyone’s attention.
“Now, now everyone, let’s calm down… we still have the exam to worry about.”
Shun shook Akira’s collar one last time before letting him down while clicking his tongue. While he was still enraged by the situation which was just as ridiculous as it was unlikely, Akane had a point. They were bound by a time limit and needed to decide what to do. Hiroshi came to his senses as well and looked at her.
“We have two options, right?” Akane rose a finger. “One: we run around and stay hidden until the timer ends. Thanks to Onii-chan, our group is most likely to be the top scoring one.”
“Well we kinda hav’ ta, since your brother’s ability is useless.”
“Or,” She rose a second finger while ignoring Shun, “We scout out other groups and raise the number of points we have by eliminating them. Personally, I want to go with this one.”
The three slightly shifted. Shun burrowed his eyebrows and his mouth curved downwards into a displeased frown.
“Oi, weren’t ya listenin’? I said the first option is our best bet for gettin’ inta-”
“Do you really think a method like that will get us into the top magic institute of Japan? And even if it does, we’ll be looked down upon for running.” She coldly cut him off.
Shun opened his mouth to speak, but he quickly closed it with a look of enlightenment.
Akira closed his eyes. The first option seems to be the best, yes, but she’s right. Wouldn’t it be way too much of a convenient method for enrolling into the top institute of Maestros?
JNIM was an academy famous for producing the cream of the crop when it came to Maestros. Every single student they admitted had never been dropped from the course. Without fail, JNIM would turn every person that attended it into a professional Maestro capable of clashing with the top. Considering this, was the first option truly alright?
It isn’t. Akira opened his eyes. If it was really that easy, JNIM would have never produced so many powerful Maestros. Students doing absolutely nothing to get in? Ridiculous. There’s no way the board would admit such people into the school. Good point, Akane.
“Also…” she continued.
“Also…?” Akira inquired.
“I don’t want to constantly run! I finally have a chance to use my experimental spells on live test subjects and you want me to run away?! Are you joking?!”
“Huh?” Shun was dumbfounded.
Hearing her words, the twins displayed a very confused expression while Akira sported a pained smile. So that was your true reason…
“W-well then, let’s go with the second option.” Clearing his throat, Akira announced his decision.
At his words, Akane broke out into a grin, and Hiroshi gave a nod of approval. Shun scratched the back of his head while sighing, and although with some reluctance, gave a shrug. Akira, too, had a smile beginning to form on his lips.
Let’s do this.
“Great choice, well even if you chose the other option we wouldn’t have cared. Now!”
Akira wiped the grin off his face as he jumped away from the direction of the voice while turning around. They all took out their Speculo and changed into a combat stance. However, before they could do anything, Akira was sent flying by a hit to the side by a mace and the ground was split open by an unseen force.