Another day, another time to reflect on my existence. I’ve moved into a university living arrangement that is far more luxurious than my previous house. It should’ve made me enjoy a position of contentment and security more than ever before.
However, supposedly a small black hole in my head, within the depth of my very soul is seeping away tiny bits of that security and contentment. My hope and bright outlook on life are slowly diminishing further and further, staying alone in this wide space makes it even worse. All of this space and luxury that only I could’ve dreamt of back in my previous world should’ve made me happy, but it only amplifies the deep worry in my heart.
At first, I thought it was because I’m anxious about the test result. I remember back then when I applied for the Tokyo University test and sat down doing its entrance exam. How nerve-wracking it was for all of my hard work studying all day long for three years to be tested only in a two or three-hour session. But this might take the cake. I wonder why?
Now I’m just waiting for the test result and the day classes finally start. This period of waiting with nothing much to do is the worst moment. The realization of the vacuum, the nothingness, the absurdness of my second chance of existence. All I can do is just think and think and think. Left alone with nothing but my own thoughts.
Screw this, I’m just going to take a bath and then grab some bites in the lounge. That should occupy some of my time. This reminds me, thank god the nobles here actually take care of hygiene very seriously, and cleaning themselves regularly is shown as a sign of wealth. I wonder if the nobles back on earth think the same way as well? I remember they prefer opting out of baths by using perfumes and aromatic flowers to cover their years of stench. I should’ve learned the middle ages period more back then.
I pull a cord to ring the bell on the first floor that would call this housemaid to prepare my bath. In several minutes, I hear light knocks on the door. I open the door and as I expected, a mature but nevertheless still beautiful maid is at the front of my door. She lifts her skirt up and bows lightly.
「 This maid heard your bell, young lord. Is there anything this maid could do to serve the young lord? 」
「 Prepare my bath immediately. 」
「 Yes young lord. This maid will prepare the young lord’s bath immediately. This maid would also like to notify the young lord there’s a letter both from the Schools of Magic department and the Alderhide household. Would you want this maid to bring it to you young lord? 」
Oh yeah, today is the end of the week huh?
「 Just prepare my bath. I’ll retrieve it myself. 」
「 Understood, young lord. 」
I follow the maid downstairs. She needs to bring the buckets of water back and forth after all; although there’s some sort of plumbing, it’s basically just basic pipes to flow the used water and human waste out. There are no water pumps to bring in clean water, especially in elevated places, therefore to get water there’s still the need to do heavy manual labor. It’s very interesting when you think about it, quite different from the middle ages back on Earth.
When we are in the lounge, the maid heads on her own way while I go to the mailbox. Inside it, there are four envelopes. I can tell from their cover they are two magic proficiency certificates, a letter from the Alderhide household which I’m very sure is from my mother, and the long-waited application status.
I take all of the letters and sit down in one of the coziest chairs in the lounge as I decide to read the magic proficiency certificates first.
I open both at the same time and I must say… It looks very similar to my graduation degree back on earth. The difference is the certificate is much smaller, barely covering my hand. There are my name and my proficiency level — Basic. And also the《Associations of Magicians》logo and several signatures.
There’s some kind of art decoration surrounding the paper on all corners and edges of the certificate, but when looking closely it seems to be some kind of elaborate magic rune. I wonder why? Maybe it’s a magic rune to verify its authenticity? Similar to QR code? I should ask one of the magician professors in the university.
Finished examining the magic certificates, I go over the application status as I become slightly hesitant about opening it. Did I get accepted or did I fail? Please for the love of whoever is holy in this world, especially the goddess Maria to give me the blessing of passing the test. I open the letter — here goes nothing.
Dear Renald Alderhide,
We are very sorry to let you know that we are unable to offer you admission at both the《School of Aegis Magic》and the《School of Assault Magic》at Bosarts University. Please know that this decision in no way diminishes your merits. We were humbled by your great talent and achievement.
We appreciate your intention and want to assure you that your candidacy received thorough and serious consideration. All of our admission decisions are made through an exhaustive committee review process alongside with the《Associations of Magicians》. As a result, all decisions are final, and we are unable to consider appeals of any kind.
We are complimented by your interest in both schools of magic. And from your alternative interest, we would love to offer you admission to the《School of Wits Magic》if you agree to proceed. You have our very best wishes in your pursuit of magic mastery.
Dean of the Schools of Magic Department.
W-wait wait wait… This can’t be, right? Is there something wrong with the letter? Did they send this to the wrong person? But the first sentence is clearly my name in this world… This must be some kind of a sick joke from the admission committee right? They must’ve made a mistake in writing this. I need to re-read it again. I hastily read it again, not noticing any differences from my first attempt.
Why?! Why?! Why?!
How could this be?! How the heck did I get rejected? Was I not skilled enough?! If they were really humbled by my so-called “great talent and achievement” Why am I not accepted?! AAhhh! If I knew this was going to happen I would’ve studied much harder!
Did that magician instructor set me up?! Maybe it’s that father or elder brother Elric of mine who set me up?! They want me to not get further in life or want me to graduate as soon as possible by not letting me pursue magic mastery to the fullest extent?!
Wait wait… Maybe… Maybe. What if… What if there’s a way for me to retake the test again. There must be! But but… They clearly mention all decisions are final, and I cannot consider appeals of any kind.
Didn’t those rich kids back on earth would donate a fuck ton of money to get into top universities?! What if I do just that?! Wait.. but that means overburdening the Alderhide family and most importantly my mother…
Is this it… All of my suffering for two years was all for nothing. I’ll never get anywhere in this life. If only I worked harder…
「 Are you okay there? 」
I look in the direction of that voice. A person is standing in front of me. He has short brown hair and sharp brown eyes. Beneath his clean clothes, is a wide frame and outlined muscles that couldn’t be hidden. His aura emits full masculinity and sheer confidence, something I wish I could have. Wait, is this person Reinhardt?
「 Yeah I’m fine, thank you. I’ve never seen you before, I’m Renald Alderhide the son of the honorable Earl Falben Alderhide. 」
「 Nice to meet you. I’m Elras Reinhardt, the son of the great Marquis Kainth Reindhardt. Now, back to my question — are you okay? 」
His eyes look through me without flinching as if he’s the embodiment of sheer will. Why do I always experience that kind of gaze?
「 Yeah I’m fine. Thank you for your concern Reinhardt-sama. 」
「 No, you are not. I give you one more chance, are you okay? If not, what happened? 」
Damn, this guy won’t let me off that easily huh… I signal my hand to offer him to take a seat across me and he does so willingly.
「 I received a letter that I got rejected by both the《School of Aegis Magic》and the《School of Assault Magic》」
「 No wonder your expression was like that… My heavy condolences. 」
「 How’s my expression? Was it that obvious? 」
「 You look like you just received very grief news as if your loved ones met with a devastating accident or something equally as bad. 」
「 I see. 」
Looks like I need to learn more on how to hide my emotions and maintain a poker or calm face. That way
「 May I know your magic proficiency level? I know magic skills are very discreet matter so to start with I would like to tell you that I just reached Advanced magic proficiency in the《School of Assault Magic》」
「 Mine is basic in both schools of magic. 」
「 Holy shit, of course, you won’t get accepted with that kind of level. 」
This guy really needs to put salt on my wounds huh…
「 Yeah… I guess you’re right Sir Reinhardt. 」
「 You should’ve mastered only one of them, you would have a better chance with Intermediate level. 」
「 Yeah you’re right. That reminds me, how come you have already achieved Advanced magic mastery? 」
「 You seriously don’t know? 」
He looks at me with a face filled with shock and disbelief. Did I just mistakenly offend him or something? But isn’t achieving advanced magic mastery is terrific and puts you well above the average magician? He sighs as he starts to talk again.
「 I’m a Reinhardt so it’s very well expected of me to be damn good at combat magic. Judging how you didn’t know the significance of the Reinhardt Marquis family then you should know that our territory borders those damn elves northwest on the Veinard kingdom map. The constant skirmishes between those damn elves in my family territory lead us to be solely focused on military merits and ingrained with the kingdom’s military effort. 」
With the way he stresses the word elves, he definitely hates elves to the core. There was a history book that mentioned the rivalry between humans and elves. How elves are warmongers, brutal savages, and barbaric and much more derogatory terms but I thought it was just propaganda, I didn’t know it was this bad. Then again, perhaps this guy’s whole life is spent fighting elves which causes him to think that way.
「 Thank you for your guidance, Sir Reinhardt. I don’t know much in-depth about the outside world, especially regarding the world affair. My mother sheltered me since my childhood and I rarely interact with the noble community. So I really appreciate it when you taught me, even just for a bit. 」
For now, humbling oneself should be the correct course in this conversation. Not knowing anything about the noble community is a very dangerous matter if I want to be perceived well amongst other nobles. Hopefully, Sir Reinhardt will take it lightly.
「 That’s…. Interesting. Say… What was your name again? 」
「 Renald Alderhide, Sir Reinhardt. 」
「 Just call me Elras, Renald. I have a feeling we might be good friends. I will take my leave now. 」
He then goes away and heads to the staircase. Did I make a good first impression on him? From the way he wants me to call him “Elras” it sounds like it. I should also go back to my floor, the maid should already have finished preparing the bath anyway. I clean up the table and gather all of my letters and envelopes, then go up the stairs.
By the time I arrive at my floor the maid bows slightly and immediately leaves my floor. The bath should be ready then. Oh wait, there’s also the unopened letter from my mother right? I should read it first. She does remind me that she will send me a letter very often. I quickly open the letter, much more relaxed compared to last time.
My dear lovely boy Renald,
How’s your stay in the Bosarts University student housing? I hope your accommodation is perfect and everything is alright.
By the time this mail arrives, your classes and your pursuit of high-level education should begin pretty soon. I’ve been there myself and it was a fun experience I want you to enjoy as well. It’s also a great opportunity to meet with wonderful friends and perhaps your potential girlfriend or even wife fufufu…
I’ve talked extensively with your father about your study and he agreed to give you monthly spending of a gold coin per month. He and I already made a bank account just for you; all you need to do is to retrieve your monthly allowance from the Zempten bank. I’m such a good mother, aren’t I?
Just because you are far away from home doesn’t mean you could lose contact with your mother. I’m expecting you to write back to me every once in a while. Or else, I will heavily consider terminating your bank account.
I can’t wait to hear back from you in a month my dear boy,
Your sweet mother.
A gold per month?! That’s a lot of money for a single person. I might be a noble but I’m also the youngest one in the family. How was she able to convince my father to give me that much money? From my adventuring gear and now to this… My debt towards her increased yet again…
If I remember correctly this world currency conversion coins are,
1 Platinum = 10 Gold = 100 Silver = 1,000 Copper = 10,000 Bronze
But still… three years of monthly one gold coins is thirty-six gold coins in total. That’s a bit more than the cost of instructor Kalish’s plot of retirement after he finished training me.
How am I supposed to break the news to her that I got rejected?
She already gave me everything…. Especially love. Even though I’ve replaced her own son, she somehow still loves me… I know she still thinks I’m the original Renald. Once in a while, she will unconsciously remind me how different I am from the past Renald, saying things like “Oh I’m sorry, you used to love this before” or “How could you not like this anymore?”. But feeling her motherly love that asks for nothing in return to me even if she mistook me for the original Renald…
Is this what I’ve been missing in my entire life?
No! I cannot take advantage of her kindness anymore. I’m totally fine, I don’t need that kind of love, I’ve survived thirty-four years without it anyway.
It’s precisely because of that I need to repay her… But how am I supposed to return the favor to her…?