The First Year
“Yeah. You haven’t been preparing at all, so I thought you had some secret.”
Yeah, nope. I didn’t even know those existed.
That topic brought up at the dinner table, Serge looked over the papers in a hurry.
It was definitely written there. Examinations once per year. If they are failed, the student would have to drop out.
Moreover, the they were less than a month away.
No matter how great Carla-san’s prestige was, it’d be bad if he had to drop out.
Using his social status along with a recommendation to enter, he’d be disgracing Carla’s name if he failed.
Moreover, this exam….
– Students will be expelled if it is found that they have cheated on their written examinations.
It had that very clear stipulation.
He thought that he’d be able to handle anything with his space-time magic, but as mana perception would be used during the examination, that was more than unlikely.
As he was scrambling to prepare in his room, Chris came to visit him.
It had only been a month since he transferred in. There was no way that he’d be able to prepare for the exams in time.
He was getting worried that he might have come all this way just to fail.
“Excuse me… Serge?”
Serge’s deadpan response started Chris somewhat.
“If you don’t mind, do you want to study together? Only a few of our classes are the same though…”
“Chris-sama, my lord and savior~!”
Serge jumped up and fell into a dogeza right then and there.
With that, he somehow managed to sort out half of his coursework’s lessons.
For the other half—
“Save me, Azelemon~!” 
Certain kill! Persuade the Chairman-sensei with tears!
“I don’t mind, but it won’t be ordinary.”
That’s fine! Chairman!
Well, the original was a development in a huge private school, but this might be fine too. 
“First, this and this are both useful for actual combat, so make sure to take the exam properly. Let’s exchange this one and this one with my help. This one too.”
Seeing the thing Azel tapped on, Serge tilted his head.
Practical magic study.
He didn’t know why written tests were necessary for actual combat, but he was here, so there was no helping it.
“The masters take pupils with them to battle actual monsters during the vacation, so I’d like you to go with them.”
Other than the standard holidays, the magic academy had three consecutive months as a vacation.
This vacation existed so that they could maintain the academy’s entrance examinations and lessons that required a certain amount of time to complete.
Among those lessons were practical training for practical magic study.
There were no obligations to participate if one were to get good grades in their tests. Conversely however, if one were not confident in their tests, they should choose to go.
Serge, somehow managing to make it through his examinations by dizzily studying until the day before, prepared to participate in the following day’s practical training.
Well, in truth, it was like child’s play compared to when he was an explorer. In particular, as there weren’t any limitations on weapons and the like, he was confident that he could take a hydra on by himself. 
Even so, there was something he didn’t expect.
He hadn’t expected that Chris would participate in the training as well.
It appeared that Serge had definitely wanted to participate in the training, so as her father was heavy-handed, he recommended her to participate as well.
“It’s a flag…!”
Serge muttered to himself.
The practical training was held in the forests between Sacred Mountain Cyrus and the Northern Permafrost.
The practical training was in regular intervals, so although it wasn’t like there were many demons there, that didn’t mean it held no danger.
Therefore, even though there were things such as last testaments prepared beforehand in the contract…
“Serge, you’re not bringing anything?”
“I have a staff and magic bag, what else would I need?”
While other students gave the feeling that they were going to a picnic or something, it was more like Serge was planning on going to a local store to buy something.
However, people would know how prepared he was if they looked at how firm his stance was or how even his robe was made from sturdy mithril fibers.
He didn’t actually even need the magic bag, but that was a secret.
“Alright, everyone ready? Let’s head out!”
The commanding master calling out to everyone, their mock-adventure began.
And the first day finished without anything really happening.
“S-Serge… you’re not winded at all, are you…”
Her glasses sliding down, Chris was the youngest there along with Serge. It was no wonder why she had practically no endurance.
“I walk a lot.”
They were in a forest, but it wasn’t like it was that dense of a forest. Additionally, they had a beastkin scout as their guide.
So the hardest part about it only depended on whether or not they were accustomed to forests.
When a great tusk boar actually came to attack them and the upperclassmen all wore themselves out on it, Serge just defeated it in one shot with a wind ball.
Yep, everyone was big-headed.
He didn’t think everyone’s endurance would get so low just by having to walk over rugged terrain.
This might unexpectedly be an amusing exam.
Having grown up in a farming village in the forest, it wasn’t hard at all for Serge.
“Alright, let’s set up camp here for today.”
The Veteran Scout-san was about to say something after hearing the master’s words, but wound up closing his mouth.
Well, he knew what the man wanted to say, he probably just thought that saying it wouldn’t do any good.
But Serge was different. He wanted to avoid as much danger as possible.
“Sensei, could we search for a spot with a bit better view for scouting? Perhaps we head back to that riverbed a little ways back?”
Knowing about Serge’s career, the master didn’t reject Serge’s opinion outright.
He decided that they would return there to avoid enemy attacks and looked towards Scout-san.
Even though everyone was eating their rations on the riverbed, Serge was the only one that went out to catch his own food.
It was a great tusk boar. He wasn’t as skilled at it as Maal, but Serge was a farmer’s child. He could dismantle something like this.
He wasn’t expecting too much for the taste since he wasn’t too versed in bleeding animals out, but that’s because Ria was the dungeon food person.
The students were sitting around looking at him with disgusted expressions at first, but the story changed once they saw it turning into a properly cooked meal.
“It’d be better if I left it to mature for few days…”
What he finished making was a stew made from potatoes, vegetables, and roasted meat.
Serge generously offered it to the students and master that started gulping back their saliva from its smell. That included the scout as well.
“How’s this so tasty!?”
That’s because they were eating something caught nearby and in a place with such good natural beauty.
Satisfied that his own work was passable, Serge watched Chris eat as a rate much faster than usual.
“Thinking about it now, Maal’s food tasted so much better…”
Hearing him, Chris’ spoon stopped moving.
“An old co—… no, a comrade. We went into the labyrinth together, but she’s married with a husband now.”
“… What kind of person is she?”
“She’s a black cat beastkin, she was the scout for our party. More personally, I was happy whenever she made meals for us all.”
“A beastkin? There aren’t many of those in the magic city, are there.”
There weren’t many beastkin that could use mana, so there were naturally less of them in the magic city as students. There were a few special people that had Fairy Eyes like Maal though.
“Chris, what do you plan on doing when you graduate from the academy? Like going around the world… well, the Millennium will be here first huh.”
As Ria had once done, Serge also wanted to travel the world.
However, before he could do that, there was the Millennium. He couldn’t forget that.
“The Millennium? Is it really coming…?”
Looking at the spoon on her plate, Chris spoke.
“Besides, how many more years will it be even if it comes…”
At that, Serge muttered words as heavy as boulders.
“Within three years.”
Seeing Chris look at him, Serge realized he made a slip.
“Well, no, I mean, the permafrost looks like it’s starting to thaw—”
“Are you certain!?”
The normally quiet Chris shouted, drawing the attention of their surroundings.
She hushed herself in a hurry, drawing her face closer to Serge’s.
“How many people know…?” 
“Well, if we’re talking about people in the upper tiers of countries, I guess everyone?”
She didn’t think that she was being deceived. However, she didn’t want to believe it.
The previous Millennium was a war that had decreased mankind’s population to a tenth of its former amount. If it was truly about to happen, these northern lands were very likely going to be submerged in war.
“Could you tell me more about what you know when this training is over?”
Chris said it in an unusually stern voice, so Serge reluctantly nodded.
“In exchange, you have to keep it a secret. You can’t even tell your father.”
In the end, there was nothing worth special note during the three days and two nights they were out.
If something had to be said, a hydra appeared for some reason, becoming valuable EXP for Serge.
Serge gained a new nickname, [Snakeslayer], but that’s an inconsequential tale.
Serge had told Chris practically everything in the end.
He even told her about the Demon King’s subordinate fighting with Carla.
“I see, so the Demon King himself…”
That was all.
“If you want, you can come together with Earl-sama to Ogress. It’s not a place that the demon tribe will be able to easily attack.”
In various meanings.
However, Chris was mumbling something and didn’t seem to hear what Serge said.
Well, it’s alright. When the time actually comes, he could probably get Carla to use her connections and get them to come to Ogress.
However, the conclusion Chris arrived at wasn’t one that Serge expected.
“I’ve decided! I’ll also study offensive magic next year and become the Hero-sama’s comrade!”
—Why’d it turn out like this!?
- Doraemon reference here. Azelemon to the rescue! Return
- Sounds like some other reference that I don’t know and can’t find… Return
- Recall that ‘explorers’ are something like this series’ version of adventurers. They just delve into labyrinths.Return
- This is one of those tiny sentences that end in ‘wo’ without actually having a verb. I couldn’t translate the sentence into English at all, so I retooled the sentence somewhat. For reference, the sentence was “who in the world (ni) it (wo)?” Return