Nothing much. Just helping Cnine post his chapter today.
There has been a few changes that we’ve made in Chapter 2 and 3 after discussing with Shasu:
- Honfrieth = Hohenfried
- Ignazio = Ignaz
Name changes were made to streamline them to fit with the German theme. Do note that some names that we’ve gone with are based off the official light novel’s “Engrish” wording for the names. You’ll be able to see them once the light novel illustrations are posted up.
Prologue 4: The Golden Generation
Editors: Me3, Momielxai, Elhassan, Puissansan
The Imperial Academy Schutzlehren – the Empire’s imperial academy located in the capital of the Schutzarten Empire – is an integrated school that begins from elementary up to middle school, and is the largest school in the empire.
In the past, it was said that many of the academy’s graduates would continue on to high school at the Imperial Knights school or Imperial Government school; so for the sake of nurturing personnel who would carry the weight of the Empire’s politics and military affairs in the future, only the best students in the Empire were selected to study in this school.
Although it was certain that graduates will assume an important position within the Empire in the future, it was not because they were outstandingly talented.
Most of the students were young nobles and were merely permitted entry into the academy based on their status.
There are excellent students among them, of course. However, despite the request of the first Schutzarten emperor – the founder of the Empire and the academy – the image of the academy which was supposed to cultivate talented people regardless of their social position has since been distorted into a mere shadow of its former self.
There are hardly any commoner graduates to be seen in the academy. Even if there was that truly rare occasion that an excellent student was admitted from another school, the student himself will eventually become aware that the dreams he had would not come to fruition, and that student will transfer out again.
From the start, the case of a commoner graduate advancing to the Imperial Knights school and the Imperial Government school would not have been tolerated.
The Schutzarten Empire, which boasts of having the largest territory in this continent due to its strength and wealth, consequently lost its former broad-mindedness.
Over the course of many years, this distortion gradually consumed the Empire with hardly anyone noticing it.
Spring, the season where new students enroll, has come again this year. Although this should be a happy season for the teachers that watch the figures of the innocent students – it was a bit different this year in particular.
Specifically, the teachers looking at the middle school section did not even bother hiding their depression.
「Is that the golden generation?…… 」
「What do you mean？」
「That’s what this year’s middle school freshmen are called」
「Golden, huh. Well, it goes without saying but it’ll be a headache for us who will be taking care of them」
The golden generation. There was a reason why this year’s middle school freshmen were named that. In the group admitted into middle school, a distinguished lineup had gathered together.
The first in line was Hildegard Eisenberg, the eldest daughter from the house of the Earl of the East. Possessing excellent swordsmanship despite being a woman, she was referred to as the strongest woman in her generation.
Her rival is the eldest son of the captain of the knights of the Empire, Oskar Fullheim. Since his father is the captain of the knights, that placed his skills on the same rank as Hildegard Eisenberg.
Furthermore, there is the second son of the house of the Earl of the West, Diefried Oppenheim. Although his swordsmanship skills is one level below those two, it was only by a small margin. On the contrary, his skill in magic was a level above the other two and that was why he was deemed strong.
And then there is Mary Kostol, the eldest daughter of the leader of the Imperial Mages. It is undeniable that she is skillful with magic – so much so that her magic is considered to be the superior by far compared to the others.
Furthermore, there is another person but this was not publicized as he was a key figure. Not only is this person excellent in swordsmanship and magic, he is also excellent in his studies.
In addition, there are a lot of extremely talented people amongst the students accompanying these people. This lineup is certainly worthy of being called the golden generation that will bear the future of the Empire. However, the problem lies in that their houses are violently contesting amongst themselves in order to become the most influential house within the Empire.
There is a high chance that they would bring conflicts from home into the academy. Even the teachers became depressed over this matter.
「There’s no mistake in the class division right？」
In the staff room, the person in charge of the grades was verifying it with the teacher who was in charge of the class allocation. Lately, this scene has occurred many times.
「Yes. I have already checked it many times over」
「Did you also check the noble’s subordinates too？」
A noble’s subordinate refers to noble households that accompany a prominent noble.
The Empire appointed four earls – the highest rank of the nobles – and endowed them with a vast territory of their own. The empire placed them in the north, south, east and west respectively.
As it was an extremely wide territory. It was impossible for an earl’s house alone to govern it without feeling extremely worn out. For that purpose, the land was further split into several more territories, each entrusted to a lower-ranking noble to govern.
As a result of the earls having the power of authority over their fellow nobles, there are more noble’s subordinates than there are emperor’s retainers. Being a noble’s retainer meant better circumstances as well. For the sake of being rewarded for their merits, there were many nobles that had been created by the Empire’s distortion that were present.
Naturally, the children of the noble’s subordinates were allowed to enrol into the academy. Moreover, their enrollment was deliberately arranged to match with the enrollment of the children of their affiliated higher-ranking nobles.
Essentially, the enrollment age for middle school should be twelve years old but there were plenty of students who falsify their ages when they enroll.
As far as the noble’s subordinates are concerned, it’s all for the sake of deepening their relationship with the household of the the higher-ranking nobility.
Whereas for the higher-ranking nobles, along with assisting their children with their lives at the academy, this would also serve to clarify and emphasise the pecking order.
Even the academy could not object against this sort of inclination from the nobles as this results in the agreeable position of mutual interest.
It was the same for the chivalric order and mage division. Basically, statuses in the Empire has changed and is now almost always hereditary.
「It’s fine. I’ve already assigned them properly into the same class」
「What about the other students？」
「As you would expect, I didn’t go that far and pay it any heed. There wasn’t enough students in the classes that I could suitably allocate them to」
「Will that be alright？」
「I’ve only verified that they’re people from the remote territory household. Though the people who hold such territory won’t cause problems, just in case, I’ve placed them into another class」
「Is that so? And what about the other person？」
「That person will be in the class with the people from the remote territory household. That’s fine since it’s as per their instructions」
「EEEEEEH!? Is that right? 」
The person in charge of the grades raised his voice in astonishment. The remote territory was the source of trouble for the Empire. He could not understand why this student would wish to be placed in the same class as the youths from the remote territory.
「Consider it as none other than a meager attempt to carry a relationship with a special prominent house」
「Are you really sure the remote territory household won’t become a problem？」
The anxiety of the person in charge of the grades only grew stronger. Even if he understood about it at this point, he could only give a reminder.
「I won’t say it will never happen. I am fully aware of the rebellious spirit the remote territory household holds against the empire」
Just hearing the situation made him fed up.
「There’s also that. By the way, who did you look for? 」
「It was Millea-sensei … 」
「Isn’t there a better sensei?」
「That excellent sensei was taken already by that other class. That other class couldn’t possibly have thought Millea-sensei was the best indispensible sensei they’ve had, did they?」
This too, reflects the intentions of the household of the previous four people. They wanted their own children to study under an excellent teacher. Though that can easily be declared as parental love, but where the influential houses are concerned, their intentions are reflected in the teachers that they nominate from the academy.
「That is true, however …. 」
「Millea-sensei is a bit stubborn but that’s the flip side of her seriousness」
「That’s true. She’s a good teacher if you exclude her being slightly hysteric」
「Though that’s a problem too. She should be okay if there isn’t a problematic child」
「That would be down to luck. I understand. Nothing can be done even if we’re to worry about it now. It’s almost the time for the entrance ceremony. Shall we head to the assembly hall?」
Luck couldn’t be blamed for the results that occured; though the poor teachers that were criticizing them could not be blamed as well.
Left on top of the teacher’s desk was the middle school class division list.
Written on it was first year class E, attendance number three, Kamui Kreutz.
The school entrance ceremony was being held at the auditorium. In the woods slightly separated from the back of the school building, the figure of a student walking could be seen.
The student dressed in a brand new middle school uniform was Kamui.
For Kamui, this was a place he once knew. Without losing his way, he moved deeper into the woods. It was certainly not a place he had fond memories of. Rather, it was the place where his classmates used to bully him countless times.
Nevertheless, since he was re-enrolling into the academy, Kamui wanted to visit this place first. This location which held his bitter memories was also the place where he began anew.
It’s been two years since he was adopted. That meant it’s been close to three years since Kamui dropped out of the academy’s primary school.
Kamui who had dropped out from the academy as Kamui Hohenfried was returning to the academy with a different name, Kamui Kreutz.
Though honestly, he had slightly hesitated over this choice earlier. To succeed the territory, it was important for him to redo his studies again properly. After his parents’ persuasion, he decided to re-enroll into the academy’s middle school.
This was not Kamui’s intention. There were various things that he wanted to prepare for the sake of his future. Actually, although he said it was to study, Kamui thought the subjects that he took lessons in at the territory were far more useful.
And even his parents were aware of that. Because the people that assembled all of those excellent tutors, even if they were absurdly strict, were none other than his parents.
His parents’ greatest wish was for Kamui to be cured of his hatred for nobles, even by a little. For that purpose, they wanted him to make friends with one or two people among the nobles who are of his generation.
Though he understood how painful it was for his parents, Kamui himself did not have those feelings. Kamui was quite mature compared to others of his generation; but nonetheless he is still twelve years old, still just a child. When it comes to the topic of nobles, his feelings took precedent.
Kamui finally arrived at his destination and he sat down on the ground, looking up at the blue sky spread out above him. The moon which appears against jet-black darkness, like that time, was not visible at this time of the day.
「 … How nostalgic. It’s just like how I remembered it」
「Really? That’s great. It feels nostalgic to me too. After all, three years has passed since then」
Although Kamui was speaking towards the sky, there was a voice that was answering him.
「Was it three years?」
「Master’s and my perception of time is different. You know that, don’t you?」
「Yeah, well … This is where it all began. My life」
「Isn’t that an exaggeration?」
「I mean I thought I was dead」
「Honestly, I also thought it was over. But, master is alive. Furthermore, we were able to meet again in that country」
「Did you feel that it was fate?」
「It can’t be helped if I feel that way, can I? No, the fact that I met you here was already the work of fate itself. Is there even such a thing as coincidence? Risking my life, only for the person with the calibre to use it appearing before my very own eyes」
「Who knows. Thanks to that, I obtained power」
「And at the same time, it was also a trial」
「… That was inevitable. That was my destiny. My mother once said that. … Or maybe mother was able to predict this?」
The words thathis mother left behind hinted remarkably of Kamui’s future.
「That’s not it. Even if she does not have the power of foresight, it’s relatively easy to make a prediction」
「I see, that is true … Although that doesn’t mean that my path has already been decided」
「Then, that’s fine. I’m grateful to fate for meeting master but nothing has been decided by it」
Even if someone was around to hear their conversation, they would not have comprehend what those two were talking about.
「Me too. Though it’s more like a little selfish request. God probably would be angry with me」
「Even though you don’t believe in him?」
「I do believe in him. God exists. Simply for the sake of watching over us. Am I right?」
「Indeed. It’s a mistake to depend on something like god. The surface world exists for the sake of the ones who live on it. They have the freedom to live on the ground and are even free to choose the way they lead their lives」
「Excellent words. My apologies to bishop-sama but those words leave a better impression compared to the church’s teachings」
It was a subject that church officials absolutely cannot overhear. He may or may not be called an apostate or heretic, but certainly those words will be viewed as a problem.
「Is that so? That’s a bit embarrassing」
「Oh, really? It’s rare for Auel to be this embarassed」
「What do you think I am? 」
「A cat, for now. And my benefactor, my precious comrade」
「As expected, you’re shy! Now then, it’s about time we head off now. The school entrance ceremony should be over by now. Also, wouldn’t those two be absolutely furious?」
「I did more or less tell them that I would be coming here」
「Wasn’t that right before the ceremony began? To those two, it’s like you left them behind」
「… Right, there’s that too. Then, let’s go. My anxieties have disappeared and I have no business with this place anymore」
Quietly getting up, Kamui moved towards the school building. Dashing as it followed his footsteps was a black cat.
It was not his first time in the academy, but it was his first time entering the middle school building. Assuming that the structure was identical, Kamui made light of it as he hurried.
Arbitrarily deciding that the first year’s classes were on the first floor, he entered the E class and looked. There was nothing different about its appearance. There were a lot of students that he couldn’t consider as freshmen and they were looking at Kamui suspiciously.
Confused, he ran out of the classroom and when he looked at the classroom sign hanging above, he saw 2E written on it. He had entered a second year class by mistake. Catching hold of a student who was walking in the corridor, he inquired where the first year classes were and was surprised to find out that they were on the third floor.
There were no class shuffling in middle school. Hence whenever it was a new academic year, to omit the hassle of moving students to another classroom, every year the classroom signs would be switched.
He ran up the stairs, but by the time he opened the classroom door, the homeroom teacher, Millea-sensei was already standing in front of the class.
「State your name」
Standing on the podium, Millea-sensei glared at Kamui who was still.
「It’s Kamui Kreutz」
「Yes, I’m aware. You are the only student who came in late on your first day」
「That’s because I didn’t hear about it」
「What did you say!?」
Though it was intended to be a small grumble,since the entire classroom was as silent as death, the words completely reached the podium.
「No, it’s nothing」
「 … As punishment, go stand at the back of the classroom」
Closing the classroom door, Kamui moved to the window and he stood there, facing the front.
「Why are you standing there?」
「Because it’s the third floor. I was judging whether it’ll have a good view or not」
「HAH!? You, you aren’t repentant at all!」
「No, that’s not so. My remorse is even deeper than the abyssal ravine of Nordend」
「KUSUKUSU」(TLC: SFX for snickering)
Voices could be heard from the students bursting into laughter and snickers throughout the classroom which had once been silent.
「Ah, you got me」
「Please be quiet!」
Millia-sensei’s angry voice had an effect on the classroom. In a hurry, the students corrected their posture and held their tongues.
「It’s alright already so please sit in your seat」
「Is that alright?」
「Instead, you will submit a written apology. Two sheets of paper. Is that understood? 」
「Er, still to go that extent to reflect is …」
「… Yes. Uhm, my seat is? 」
「Wouldn’t your seat be the only one that’s vacant? 」
When he looked around the classroom, there was certainly an empty seat by the corridor at the front that no one had taken.
「Ah, found it」
Kamui quickly made his way through the gaps between the desks of the students that were seated and sat on the available seat. Incidentally, after she had ascertained it all, Millia-sensei cleared her throat and opened her mouth.
「Well then, let’s begin homeroom. I’ll take the attendance. Alexis-kun」
Kamui who shouldn’t be absent did not give a response.
Looking up from the attendance registry, Millia-sensei, once again, called out Kamui’s name.
「Sensei, seeing as you’re taking the attendance now, doesn’t that mean I wasn’t late?」
「…… Four sheets」
The answer to Kamui’s question was cruel.
「No, that’s not what I meant. If I’m not late, then in the first place, the written apology is—」
Kamui who did not agree with it doggedly opposed but…
That only made his situation worse in the end.
「Anyone who enters the classroom after the teacher… is late. That is the rule of this class. Is that clear? 」
Even though he was plainly waiting to see what would happen, after she had declared it imposingly, he was unable to object. Even if he could, it would only end with an increasing number of sheets.
「Aren’t you persistent」
「YES! KAMUI KREUTZ, PRESENT!」
「Good. Claudia-sa … N」
After the attendance was taken, next was group allocation. When you get to middle school, a lot more group work happens. Not to mention extracurricular lessons, they were even expected to tackle their assignments in each of their respective groups for their usual lessons.
This was also a rule that was established by the first emperor, the founder of the academy. Though the original purpose of performing group work was to tear down the social barriers but even that was utterly meaningless.
Familial connections and peerage were reflected from the group allocation. Far from tearing down the fences, it allowed closed groups to form instead.
Though the circumstances were a bit different for this year’s Class E. As a result of stressing over familial connections at the classroom allocation level, there were plenty of students who were not successors in Class E and did not have any affiliation with any influential family.
「First, I’ll like to check. Are there any groups that wish to remain together as a group?」
Nevertheless, Millia-sensei checked when it was time to allocate the groups.
Kamui raised his hand right away.
「Eh? You? 」
「Is there a problem?」
「It’s nothing. Let’s see, with whom? 」
「Please put Alto and Lutz in the same group with me」
「… Oh, right」
Millia-sensei looked at the attendance registry and gave her consent. The attendance registry was not only used to jot down their attendance, there were also details of the students written finely on it. Viscount Kreutz’s household was definitely written down on Alto and Lutz’s personal history. As their family names were not written down, Millia-sensei thought that they were commoners and was convinced that there were no connection between them.
「But Kamui-kun’s home is in the remote territory, isn’t it?」
「Is there a problem with it?」
「For a student from the remote territories to have your familial connections is….」
「I am not concerned with the situation of other houses. Please let me stay together with the people from my area」
Just like it is for children from influential noble houses, children born of lords governing the remote lands are allowed to have their retainers’ children enroll into the academy at the same time. This was due to the situation in the remote territory. The remote territory was a country that the Empire destroyed. If a child there was previously royalty, then his retainers would have been former nobles. Children of this type – from former nobility – were given special permission to unconditionally enroll into the academy.
The original reason was so as to not overlook children from former noble households who may possess talent in magic; though even that has now changed.
Since the Empire wanted to ensure that there weren’t any rebellious remote territories, including the children of their retainers, the children from former noble households were drawn out to the imperial capital. The people from the remote territories were aware of this fact. There were many who mutually feigned ignorance at the academy as they tried hard to avoid exposing their familial connections. Before anyone became aware of it, this became a custom.
「Alright. Then Kamui-kun, Alto-kun and Lutz-kun will be in the same group」
「Are there any others? … Anyone else?」
「Please put me in the same group as Claudia-sama」
「Okay. Claudia-sama– No, Claudia-san and Theresa-san will be in the same group. Next?」
Except for Kamui and Theresa, no one else raised their hand. After confirming that, Millia-sensei moved on to the next phase.
「Well then, the rest will be determined by drawing lots 」
The students raised a commotion. For them, this lottery will influence their life at the academy hereafter. It was reasonable for them to get excited.
「Please pull one paper from the box. There will be a number written on the paper. That is the number of your group. Please wait for a moment while I prepare this」
The students who were waiting for the lottery seemed happy, wondering who would be part of their team with mixed feelings of anxiety and anticipation.
「First up, Kamui-kun and Claudia-san」
「First, we will determine your group numbers. As it’s five to a group, therefore the balance will be made out from the lottery」
「If that’s the case, isn’t this perfect?」
Kamui spoke after he heard Millia-sensei’s explanation.
Millia-sensei was unable to understand the meaning of Kamui’s immediate words.
「There’s three of us and there’s two of these girls. That’s exactly five of us」
Seeing her reaction, Kamui rephrased so that Millia-sensei could understand.
「That will not do!」
Millia-sensei instantly rejected Kamui’s suggestion.
「But wouldn’t this save us the hassle of drawing lots? It’ll be time-consuming deciding our group and then, filling up the gaps through the lottery」
「No, it won’t take up time」
「Uhm, I also think that’s a good idea」
When the schoolgirl agreed with Kamui’s opinion, sensei and Theresa both raised their voice in surprise at the same time.
「… Somehow, it has become really complicated. Is it really that unpleasant to be in the same group with me?」
「No. I did say I am fine with being in the same group with you」
「I see. It’s sensei and your companion that dislikes it though. Well, what are we going to do? … I mean, whatever works」
「Whatever works…? 」
「I mean, no matter what, she doesn’t want to be in the same group with us. Since your companion hates it, maybe it’ll be better if we drop it」
「Then, that talk didn’t happen!」
Before Claudia could open her mouth, Theresa haughtily rejected the topic of being in the same group.
「Hmmmm. Well then, sensei, I’m going to draw the lot」
「Eh, there’s no need for that. Even though both your groups have been decided, it isn’t necessary for you to expressively draw lots. Let’s have Claudia-san’s group be group A and Kamui-kun’s group be group D」
「 … It’s not A and B, but A and D?」
「Is there a problem with it?」
「 … Not really」
There are a variety of words used to appraise Kamui Kreutz but they fell within two categories: 『an honest and loyal person』 and 『 a treacherous person』 .
These differing views originated from the people who observed Kamui Kreutz. From the point of view of his allies, he would sometimes expose himself to danger and was a person who acts for the sake of his friends. Towards his foes, he becomes a heartless and merciless person, even if they were women or children, and a dastard who’ll use underhanded means without hesitation, constantly using tricky strategies.
In the later years, whenever Kamui’s characteristics were brought up, there were people who suggested that the first year middle school group division – this small incident – might have been the turning point in history.
If the teacher and Theresa had not objected at this time, Kamui and Claudia would have been in the same group and (if) those two had grown close, there’s no doubt that Kamui’s actions hereafter would have been different. [TL : A huge Hint just dropped!!!!]
This is the Empire’s history but the excuses differed, even when it is on this same event – which could have resulted differently.
Nevertheless, that conjecture cannot be evaluated as no one would have seen the true nature of Kamui and his friends.
As far as Kamui and the others were concerned, they identified comrades and friends as different subjects. In order for them to achieve their goals, they chose their allies; allies who became unsuitable for their purpose were no longer their allies. Their subject of loyalty was not towards their allies but friends. [TL : Will be explained later]
And thus, the chance of Claudia becoming a friend or an ally was equal to zero.
However, there was no denying that there was also a lot of reasons for assessing people. Kamui was trying to increase the number of friends he had during his middle school years. Not allies, friends. It can hardly be said but the impetus for that was not because of the group allocation.
After all, no one is able to comment on how the incident this day would have affected history. One thing that was certain is that the three years Kamui Kreutz spent in middle school would greatly influence his future choices and the actions he would take from here on.