The Secret Feud in the Principal’s Office †
††（Iris Seymour’s PoV)
During the time Kite and the others arrived in the Duchy capital, and were shopping and eating at the department store without a care in the world, there was something of a dispute going on at Leangrad Magic Academy.
A certain teacher changed colour and jumped into the trustee’s office.
Kalinin, the principal, looked at the figure in an amused manner.
He was the Wiseman who held the nickname of the grey mediator. His age amounted to 80.
Unlike most of the teachers in the academy, he wasn’t young, and was somewhat philosophical.
It wouldn’t take them long to get outraged enough to leap out of the principal’s office out of breath just like the teacher who had appeared in front of them just now.
Because he didn’t even reproach the teacher who jumped into the principal’s office for his impoliteness.
That young one was a sorcerer that belonged to the fifth class.
He was a formal teacher at this Leangrad Magic Academy.
The so-called fifth grade was a class of sorcerers. There were ranks from 1 to 9, and you could think of it as the higher the number, the more important they were.
There was no clear definition, but when they gave a great contribution to sorcery and their talent was recognised, they would rise in rank.
The Principal of this Leangrad Academy, Kalinin, was of the greatest rank amongst the sorcerers, the ninth class.
He didn’t possess the title of a great Wiseman, that only six people in this world were permitted to identify themselves as, but he had reached the pinnacle of a teacher.
Incidentally, sorcerers and Wisemen were often mistaken for one another, but there wasn’t a clear difference between the two.
However, even amongst the sorcerers, only the ones who had a wider scope of achievement left, or perhaps had given a great contribution to society were called Wisemen, but for argument’s sake, even the bottom-rung sorcerers who belonged to the first grade were called Wisemen.
On the other hand, was the man before my eyes.
Even if you, like him, held a rather admirable rank amongst sorcerers of the fifth class, one would not be called a Wiseman if they lacked the capability or the popularity.
That would be the case.
It seemed he had sprouted a warped sense of pride.
He flung the documents in his hand at Kalinin.
Kalinin, stroking his magnificently white beard, uttered the words,
「Can’t you see? It’s the personal history of that man who’s going to come this time.」
「Oh, come to think of it, I’ve heard talks of a newly recruited teacher coming.」
Kalinin replied with a husky voice to the man Macchiao.
「So, are there any problems in the document?」
「There is, isn’t this man a fourth class sorcerer!?」
「That seems to be the case. There is a four written here in huge letters.」
Kalinin pointed with his hand that seemed like a barren tree.
「It’s a huge problem. This is the premier educational institute for sorcerers, Leangrad Magic Academy. It is a prestigious school of magic. For a man with such unknown background to come here…」
「Unknown Background? Isn’t there a graduation certificate from a prestigious school attached here?」
「It is, but this man wasn’t engaged in any form of work following that. He graduated with a rank quite far off from the top of the magic schools in the frontiers. After that, it’s written in his personal history that he holed himself up in research, eating into his parents’ inheritance. Why should we invite such a man as a teacher to our prestigious school that has a long history?」
「Our school’s motto is that we are a magic academy open to everyone. It goes without saying for students, but we have a philosophy that even the teachers need not be questioned about their origins and family.」
Saying so, Kalinin pointed towards the philosophy of the academy put up behind his chair.
The were the words of the greatly revered great Wiseman who had founded this academy.
「All things are equal in the face of sorcery’s logic.」
So it was written. Actually, this magic academy had opened its doors to many students, as long as they had the talent, any person was welcome.
If they lacked money, they would be loaned the school tuition fee interest-free; if they possessed they talent, they’d be exempt from the loan following graduation.
Like that, they had provided many talented sorcerers over thousands of years, and contributed to this world.
Even the teacher in front of my eyes, Macchiao, surely had to know this fact.
Kalinin thought that, but, Macchiao did not share his thoughts.
「A philosophy is a philosophy. I think of that philosophy as a castle in the air. Well, unwillingly giving in to the student is well and good, but teachers after all need to value their origins and personal history.」
「I see, in other words, Macchiao, in other words… you’re curious about the origins and family of the youth named Kite, right?」
Saying so, Kalinin once again looked through the document.
This new teacher named Kite certainly does not have a family name. Just with that, one could guess that he belonged to noble peerage.
Moreover, even if his personal history were ordinary, he would most certainly be reflected as a slow learner in the elite Macchiao’s eyes.
His age was written as 26. On one hand, Macchiao was 36, yet his sorcery rank was only one step ahead.
Even though there was a gap of 10 years between them, there was but a difference of one rank. That too must be sick and tiring.
I thought so, but, not speaking on purpose, Kalinin admonished him in a pacifying tone.
「But, this matter has already been decided by the board of directors. I can’t overthrow it now that it has been decided.」
「That’s right. That board of directors. A group of us teachers believe that injustice has been meted out by the board of directors.」
「By injustice, you mean?」
「That witch in question. That parasite that has nested in our lives in Leangrad Academy over a period of centuries.」
「Let me see, was there such a person amongst our Trustees?」
「Don’t play dumb. This matter is something that that witch of fresh blood planned is something that has been long known.」
「Ah, I see, the parasite is Iris-dono.」
Kalinin remarked, but Macchiao rebuked his words.
「Oh my, I heard that in the past, you were taught by her, but did not become her formal disciple, but to call someone you regarded as a master in the past a parasite, isn’t it inappropriate?」
「Nope, it’s appropriate. In the first place, I myself declined to become her disciple. Please don’t distort the facts. This is not me taking revenge on that Kite lad due to a personal grudge.」
Kalinin wanted to say that it seemed to be nothing more than a grudge, but he maintained moderation by remaining silent.
It would have been fine if he had rebuked him with his own mouth, but I guess there was no reason to do so.
Kalinin hated talking behind other people’s backs, but he was a lot more tolerant when it came to insulting people right to their faces. Rather, instead of keeping it to himself, arguing right in front of her would settle it, he thought.
Thus, Kalinin pointed out the witch of fresh blood, Iris Seymour, who was standing right behind Macchiao, to him.
Macchiao’s expression was worth seeing. It was like that of a blackhead villain appearing in a comedy.
He broke into a sweat, as if his heroic attitude from before was a lie.
Watching him, with the expression of an ice sculpture, was Iris.
She spoke with a chilling voice befitting that expression.
「Haven’t you become quite eloquent with words? And moreover, you’ve now begun to excel in distorting the truth. Even if you don’t remember, I do. About you knocking on the door of my laboratory with sweets in hand, wanting to become my disciple. And the golden coins packed into those sweets too.」
If you like, would you want me to tell the exact amount I rejected?
Iris sneered, but Macchiao immediately denied it.
「Wh-, I didn’t, No, I did not do such a foolish thing. ……Tch, this witch. Do you want to damage the reputation of the Macchiao House?」
「Not in my dreams. I don’t have such intentions. In the first place, I don’t think you have enough reputation for it to be damaged. You’re particular about rank, but isn’t your rank something your papa bought? You didn’t get any sort of fruits of research by yourself, did not contribute to the sorcerers’ society, and even did not bring any profit to the country or the system. With those you could become a class three sorcerer at best.」
「Wh-, I-It’s not like that. I became a class five sorcerer by my own abilities.」
「Own abilities, I see. You barked well till now with your abilities to the extent of making sure you entered the principal’s office and not realizing even though it had changed ostentatiously. It seems you did not even realize the existence of the familiar kept in front of the room though.」
Macchiao’s face, on receiving the ridicule was worth watching. At first, his face turned bright red, making one wonder if he was angry, but later, it turned pallid.
Macchiao let it out, and glared at Iris while clenching his fists, but he didn’t do anything more. No, he couldn’t do anything more.
Because everything was the truth. It was something beyond his power, even if he directed his anger at Iris. Even if he fought a thousand matches against her, Macchiao had zero chances of winning against Iris.
However, even still, just his pride was at the level of a class nine sorcerer.
That was the only thing Iris acknowledged. Even if he’d amounted to this stage, he’d still flared up at Iris.
「Shit……such a thing is inconsequential.」
「I don’t think it’s good, you see. But, if you have any refutations, I’ll listen to them. After all, it’s the words of a student who received my lesson. It’s not as if I can’t ignore them.」
「Leave it, shut up! This damned witch! On this occasion, things about me are inconsequential. The problem lies in the fact that you are abusing your powers and inviting commoners to this sacrosanct academy; and I am angered by that. It doesn’t matter if you are a trustee or hold the title of a Great Wiseman, your authority is not something to be abused! 」
No matter how high above others you stand, you must control oneself, Macchiao quoted the words of the academy’s founder he had denied just before.
My, my, it’s because of this that that scoundrel…, saying, Iris and Kalinin sighed at the same time.
But Iris said it out loud, while Kalinin in his heart.
Because he was insignificant, on top of being hopeless, I let it pass and thought of ignoring him, but he signed his death penalty with his own tongue.
「Hmph, I get you were left speechless when I made a valid argument. Well, it’s fine, no matter how big a trustee you are of the academy, my father is a retainer of the empire. You get It? Know your place from now on. Because if you say something insulting to me again, I won’t tolerate it this time. I am also the leader of the noble class teachers in this academy. That lad called Kite too. Moreover, that daughter of his that’s enrolling this time, I’ll bully her real bad.」
The moment Macchiao said that, the air in the principal’s office froze.
When Iris clad her body in magical power, the space around distorted.
Reaching Macchiao’s bosom in the blink of an eye, she grabbed his throat in fluid movements.
Actually, she stopped her hand just short of it.
Macchiao could but watch that sight in a daze.
Iris showed her anger for the first time that day.
She uttered with a voice dreadful enough to kill even the gods.
「Call me a parasite, tell everybody I am an abuser of power, and it won’t bother me the least bit. Because they are half-truths.」
Cutting her words off there, Iris continued with murderous intent.
「However, if you lay your hands on Fiona, even if you’re the emperor of the Neue Mirrodin Empire, I will kill you. 」
It was an look that seemed to say there was no guarantee she would not do that.
At that look, no, murderous intent, Macchiao trembled with fear,
With a glare, Iris exerted her influence.
Macchiao spoke as if wringing out words, face pallid.
He left the principal’s office with an unsteady gait.
After that, the two left were Kalinin and Iris.
The two, after a short silence, began their conversation.
The one who began was Kalinin.
「My, my, The witch of fresh blood. Do you intend to destroy the principal’s office?」
「If that man had opened his foul mouth and still hurled abuse, that might have been what would have happened.」
「I see. However, that man might be scum, but there’s some truth in his words. Certainly, our Leangrad Academy does not ask for the origins of our students, but it does ask the nature of the teachers. We don’t want to usher in a nobody from nowhere. These are not my thoughts, but those of a conservative section of the teachers lot. 」
「You feel I’ll burst out like this time with the conservative ones who’re like Macchiao?」
「There’s no guarantee that won’t happen.」
「Then, at that time, I’ll just write my resignation. Of course, that resignation is not yours, it’s mine.」
「――Iris-dono values this youth called Kite that greatly, I see.」
「Well, even I don’t know. But, If I have to just say one thing, that child is cute, that’s what I’d say.」
Kalinin, on hearing that, went wide-eyed in surprise.
Maybe he was hardly able to fathom its meaning.
Iris explained to Kalinin.
「We childless people do not understand it, but children hold the power to greatly change a person. And my disciple realized that even faster than me. And he came begging to me. It’s my duty as a master to help him with all my strength, for he has begged me.」
Iris, who said that had no intentions of making Kalinin comprehend the feelings that had sprouted in her.
However, she trusted the old Wiseman Kalinin.
She, finally, entrusted him.
「Well, the man called Kite is quite the man of wit and is a man overflowing with abilities. You don’t have to worry about him. You don’t have to bother about the hatred of the conservative faction and such.」
「You seem to be quite the fan of his.」
「He’s the strongest amongst the best disciples of this great Wiseman Iris Seymour.」
However, she continued.
「About his daughter, Fiona, it’s still unpredictable. Principal, since I can’t be stationed in this academy, can you look into her troubles for me?」
Kalinin at once, replied, 「At your convenience.」.
Kalinin’s education policy was to treat everyone fairly, but still, Kalinin was not narrow-minded enough to reject this witch’s modest request.
「Well, I’ll see to it that she receives a healthy and fun academy life.」
When Kalinin said so, Iris smiled for the first time that day.
1.As you know, in Japanese, you can address yourself in multiple ways. He begins to be saying Ore, which is informal in comparison to the Watashi/Watakushi he corrects himself to.↩