Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 74

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Mightiest Melee Magician

All-Powerful Sorcerer Episode 074

The mana train to Ignite Magic Academy was the very definition of ‘desolation.’

There just wasn’t much need for sorcerers to stop by the Kingdom of Redian. Most of them were headed towards Leverdine, so it was hardly surprising.

Kind of makes you think.

“Still, it’s too much to be all alone.”

The train carriage was not just deserted, it was eerily quiet.

I wandered around the cabin I had all to myself to pass the time. The initial boredom gradually faded as the train entered the Kingdom of Redian, giving way to a different emotion.

“Been a while.”

Excitement.

Though it couldn’t hold a candle to Leverdine, the view of the Redian Kingdom outside the train window stirred something in me.

This excitement turned to elation when, upon the train’s arrival and my first step off it…

Boom!

A small shower of petals exploded like confetti from a firecracker.

“Roan! Welcome back!”

“Wowwww!”

With those short cheers, my juniors greeted me, their hands filled with bouquets. And behind them were banners that read:

[Pride of Ignite Magic Academy! Roan Ardell!]

[Congratulations on winning the Grand Competition, Roan!]

Compared to the welcome event organized by the Prince of Leverdine, this was modest and endearing in scale. But, of course, this was exactly to my liking.

“Roan!”

“Alright! Lift him up on the count of three… One, two, and threeee!”

Jayson and my classmates, who had rushed to embrace me and who were now lifting me high to celebrate.

“Can you put me down now? I feel like I might get motion sickness from the train ride…”

“What! We’re just getting started!”

“You guys are insufferable!”

And there, a step behind, smiling contently as he watched our rowdy group, was Professor Haidel and the headmaster, Tyrion Ignite.

That’s right.

No matter how glamorous Leverdine could be, what really mattered was where I felt at ease.

My welcome back event continued even at the academy.

In the main hall, the headmaster praised my achievements at the Grand Competition, and I was applauded by all the students.

It was embarrassing, but I said a few words of thanks.

“Yes… Thank you all so much for celebrating.”

Just like that.

Because of this, I earned a comment from Jayson: “Bah, you haven’t got an ounce of flair.”

But there was no need for a long-winded speech.

It was a story from two months ago, and my winning story had long since been steeped in the account of the participants.

Besides, officially, I was a ‘half-victor’, having ‘failed’ my mission.

Of course, my friends refrained from mentioning this.

Right.

Just this level of celebration was enough.

‘The winner of the Grand Competition has returned to the academy.’

This news wasn’t just confined to the academy.

It spread throughout the Kingdom of Redian, home to the famous magical Geryhill family and other nobles.

Even…

[To our dear genius sorcerer and a true patriot of the kingdom, Roan Ardell…]

“What’s this?”

“Letters from the princes.”

“Who from?”

“The first and second princes of our kingdom.”

I received letters declaring affection from princes I had never met face to face.

“Why would they send me letters?”

“You received an offer from the Crown Prince of the Laynok Empire, didn’t you?”

“How did you know?”

“What secrets are there in this world? It was during a dinner with 32 attendees – it was sure to reach our ears too. Anyway, as soon as the rumor started that you had rejected the Empire’s Crown Prince’s proposal, the princes were overjoyed.”

“Why would they care?”

“They say you’re a true patriot.”

[To our dear genius sorcerer and a true patriot of the kingdom, Roan Ardell…

I have heard that the Crown Prince wanted you. But no amount of extravagant gold could test your patriotism. I am deeply moved by your loyalty for rejecting the Empire’s proposal and returning to the kingdom. I, Redian Crosster, the First Prince, would like to meet you as soon as possible to have a serious conversation about the future of our country. When would be convenient for a meeting? I await your reply.]

The letters contained lengthy ‘let’s meet’ messages, and those from the second prince were no different.

The first and second princes, still without a confirmed heir, appeared to be constantly at odds.

It seemed they were both targeting me.

But…

“What a hassle, really.”

“What? What’s it say that’s got you like this?”

Talking about the future… I have no interest in such things. What gives them the right?

“It’s nothing.”

I carefully folded the letter back up and put it in the drawer.

Even for a declining small nation, it’s hard to just tear up a letter from a prince, right?

[I’m sorry, but I would like to focus solely on my studies for now.]

Would this kind of reply suffice?

Anyway, I’m back to everyday life.

“It’s quite astonishing.”

“What is?”

“It’s the same as always…. Lectures are simply sleep-inducing, aren’t they?”

“Heh, you’re just like me. I thought the top student would be different.”

“It’s the same. I’m just enduring it.”

Taking the same lessons.

Eating the same lunch.

Preparing for the next examination.

And rising a bit earlier than others to do morning exercises as part of the quests…

My ordinary daily life.

Of course…

[To the true guardian who will lead the future of the Redian Kingdom. To our dear Roan Ardell…

…I don’t want to interrupt your studies, but I wanted to say my desire to see you is this strong. This is the fourteenth letter. Cutting it short – I hope you will recognize my intention soon.

PS – These days, I find my joy in harassing the royal postal workers waiting for your letter. So, I’ll wait for a reply.]

…barring the addition of receiving these tedious letters.

Prince.

Instead of waiting for my letters, you should enjoy your days managing the nation’s affairs.

And why exhaust the innocent postal workers?

“More letters?”

“Yeah.”

“They’re really persistent, aren’t they? If they put that effort into running the kingdom rather than writing to you, maybe we’d already be a major power. The Redian Empire, wow! Right?”

“Heh, indeed.”

No matter what, it was the everyday life I had missed.

The Grand Competition, Leverdine, Sky Mountain ogres, even the Flame King…

I had been running too hard for too long.

Now I really needed a break.

Soon…

“Roan, what are you planning for the holidays?”

The holidays are coming, after all.

By the time I returned to the academy after completing the Grand Competition and the Tower of Magic’s mission, the final exams were over, and everyone was waiting for the break.

Holidays.

Such an exhilarating word.

Everyone looks forward to the holidays.

“Oh, can’t wait to return to my domain and relax my exam-fatigued brain on a plush bed!”

“You tired from exams? Aren’t you at the bottom of the class?”

“Shut up! Do you think the bottom of the class doesn’t feel stress during exams?”

Whether it was a student who failed their exams and wanted to rush home, or a student who excelled and wanted to rush home, it didn’t matter.

Everyone hoped for the holidays and yearned for home.

Except, in the past, me.

“Roan, are you going to the domain this year?”

“This year, I have to go home.”

“Really?!”

Jayson, hearing my plans, suddenly jumped up.

“Roan’s going back to the domain? I can’t believe it… I thought you were attached to the school.”

“…A haunted spirit, really? That’s a bit harsh.”

While everyone else returned home during the holidays, I had stayed at school every holiday for the last five years.

There was a well-known reason for this.

Once I realized my brilliant talent wasn’t actually that brilliant after all, I couldn’t face my father or the people of my domain.

While others rested, I hoped to overcome my limits with a little more effort, holding me at the academy.

But this year is different.

“It is time. I want to see my father, and I miss my sister and our domain.”

Now I can proudly face my father, my sister, and the people of our domain.

Wait, speaking of domain reminds me…

Irene Prius.

I distinctly remember inviting her to visit our domain… She’s not suddenly going to show up this holiday, is she?

She must be busy, after all.

“You really mean you’re going home? That’s awesome!”

Suddenly, Jayson opened my wardrobe.

“Let’s see… this is too drab, this is too big… What on earth is this? Not even a 7-year-old would wear these childish designs…”

“What are you doing?”

“What do you think? I’m finding you clothes to wear.”

“Why are you picking out my clothes?”

“You have strength, looks, everything… but no talent for dressing. It’s a disaster. Lucky you though, I was born with that gift. So, you wear whatever I pick out. It’s your first trip back to the domain in six years – you’ve got to go back in style, right?”

Oh, sure.

Jayson rummaged through my closet, trying this and that, and finally selecting an outfit with the air of an ‘expert.’

In the end, he muttered, “There’s nothing to wear…” before opening his own closet to find something suitable for me.

Is it not contradictory to have so many clothes yet nothing to wear?

“This should be enough.”

A gaudy pink formal gown, a tuxedo with lace at the wrists, a floral shirt too attentive for its own good, and stark white pants blinding in their brightness.

Jayson seemed determined to pick out everything unsuited to my taste.

And he forcibly shoved them into my bag.

I appreciate the thought, but…

I’m sorry, Jayson.

Wearing outfits like that will probably be too much for me.

Then, someone knocked on our door in a rush.

“Roan! Not ready yet?”

Hankus walked in, who was once part of the “Michel Squad,” but after the Grand Competition had become a good friend of mine.

“Didn’t you forget? You’re the student representative for the holiday declaration. We need to go now.”

“I know. I’m on my way.”

“And keep your speech short, okay?”

Hankus winked at me, implying ‘make it short.’

“Of course.”

I shrugged, indicating I knew what to do.

A lengthy and dull holiday speech is something even I would rather do without.

“Let’s go.”

Jayson, who had finished sorting out his clothes, grabbed my arm and led the way, urging me on.

Holidays.

They begin now.

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