The Rebirth of the Hero’s Party’s Archmage chapter 17

Episode 17

“Ha, a new club member? Hmm…?”

Logan cocked his head arrogantly, a look of incredulity in his eyes, which then narrowed sharply.

‘Krista Warden…’

It was because of the genius girl who had just walked in behind the boy. She was akin to a public enemy of the descendants of the Eight Great Schools.

‘Then…’

Black hair and crimson eyes.

Aha, this must be the young master of the illustrious Rudwick family. A sneer formed on Logan’s lips.

“Ah, I was wondering who it might be, and oh, who was it? A reject… Oops, my mistake! I apologize. I have a habit of saying what’s on my mind.”

It was clearly a calculated remark rather than a slip of the tongue, part of a psychological battle. Logan feigned politeness with an ease that belied his taunting smile.

“As a disciple of the Great Schools, I thought I should pay my respects to the noble young master in person someday, and here we are. But a magic duel, you say? Did I hear that wrong?”

Logan’s towering frame strode toward Rain, casting an oppressive shadow as he approached.

Logan was a head-and-a-half taller than his peers, towering over even Rain, who was above average height.

“You heard right. Since you seem so eager, I thought I’d oblige.”

“Ha ha ha! So, you’re confident you can easily beat someone like me, is that it?”

The smirk on Logan’s face never faded, though the laughter had long since disappeared from his eyes.

“If you’re not confident, should I give you a handicap? Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t use any combat magic?”

“Rain, are you out of your mind…?”

“This should do. I’ll just use the spells developed by this club. Only three spells. How about that?”

“Are you being serious?”

“It doesn’t seem like I’d lose even then.”

Logan blinked in disbelief, then burst out laughing, clutching his stomach.

“This isn’t just a reject; it’s a complete… ah, my apologies. Master. Fair enough. But are you aware that joining the club requires three days’ time?”

“?”

“I mean, this can only be settled as a personal duel, not as a club event.”

“Skip to the point.”

“If Master wins, very well, I’ll give up the club. Not only that, but if other lads come bothering you, I’ll take care of them as well.”

Krista’s eyes narrowed. Such favorable terms meant there had to be a significant catch.

“But if I win, let’s see… Master would have to submit a withdrawal from Delaithen, citing the overwhelming presence of Logan Chaik as the reason—something like that?”

It was an outrageous condition, which was why Krista stepped forward.

To be a scion of a sorcerer family, one must have talent in magic as well as education. And here, Rain was the rightful heir of the Rudwick family.

If such a person were to submit a withdrawal from Delaithen, not only would the family’s prestige plummet, but the likelihood of being recognized by other families and branches upon succession would be slim.

“A joke? You’re just giving up a club, but─”

“─That’s enough, Krista.”

“Don’t you understand the situation?”

“Do I need to? I’m going to win anyway.”

The flicker of a cold fire in Rain’s eyes was unnerving enough to leave Krista speechless.

“Don’t run away. You can set the date and time to your liking.”

“Ha ha ha! I was about to say the same thing. I’ll arrange for a professor to referee. Let’s not delay, how about tonight at 6 PM at the Dragon’s Pit?”

And with that, Logan took a mocking noble’s bow and walked past them, heading out the door.

‘This is a big fish caught.’

To have drawn the eldest son of a powerful family to a duel in magic, especially Rain Rudwick, rumored to be incompetent.

‘Even so, you can’t deny his lineage.’

Traditionally, the children of powerful families wouldn’t step into the ring of a magic duel unless it was a grave insult to their family.

For them, the risk outweighed any potential gains.

Of course, it would be counterproductive to insult a sorcerer family just for the sake of a magic duel. They couldn’t complain even if they were expelled—the head of the school was from a sorcerer family, after all.

But this was… they had come forward first.

‘Won’t I receive tremendous praise from the Dean and the Elders?’

If I defeat other scions who seek revenge, maybe I could even aim for the position of the next Dean.

“What a fantastic day this is turning out to be.”

Meanwhile, back in the clubroom, Krista sighed heavily, breaking the silence.

“You know… a magic duel, do you even understand your position?”

“Delaithen freshman?”

“Stop joking around.”

“I’m not. What are you getting at?”

“You’re the child of a sorcerer family just like me. Don’t you understand our status?”

As Krista sighed again, the boy simply browsed through the research books on the club’s shelves, and she couldn’t contain the irritation bubbling up within her.

“Fine, have it your way. I made a mistake worrying about you seriously.”

As Krista shook her head and walked away, the boy, puzzled, could only tilt his head.

“Why is she mad? What did I do?”

“It’s something inconceivable by common sense.”

The boy who spoke up was picking up his fallen glasses—a diminutive figure.

His student ring bore the emblem not of a ‘sleeping dragon’ but of a ‘dragon with spread wings,’ indicating he was probably a sophomore.

“Children of sorcerer families never enter magic duels.”

“Why not?”

“Well, there’s not much to gain and too much to lose, isn’t there?”

In cases where the status isn’t equal, the common folk use honorifics even when addressing nobles of their seniority.

It was common practice.

There were a handful of nobles who would speak politely to commoner seniors out of courtesy, but they were few and far between.

“So, I feel more wary than grateful. Why… did you help me? I don’t understand your motives.”

Why did he help her…

For the ineloquent Reine, lacking in smooth-talking unlike Rista, it was a question more difficult than the most complex math problems.

“It’s not that I actually helped. I just remembered some homework I had forgotten about.”

“Homework? What kind of…?”

“It seems that with this place remaining, I can finish that homework much faster and easier. It was simply in my interest to act, so don’t worry about it.”

Maybe Rista would have asked if there needs to be a reason to help someone, with an accompanying beaming smile.

I don’t know how to smile like that. I don’t know how to say things like that. Nor do I have the disposition to speak with such a smiling face.

So I’ll just live as the calculating person I was before.

“You might be thankful, but I think you’re underestimating Logan’s abilities too much…”

“Oh? How so?”

“Logan is a King-type magician. As you know, he has an overwhelmingly good compatibility with general magicians.”

According to Joen, the club president, Logan had not only excellent magical prowess but also outstanding physical abilities, to the point where he went abroad to one of the Six Great Sects of the republic to study martial arts.

“And so I’ve heard his magic battle win rate against other sects is over 90%…”

With a self-deprecating chuckle, Joen leaned against the wall.

“It was reckless of you to take on someone like that. I’m not worth helping. I made some strange remarks earlier…”

“…?”

“Although I made a big speech to Logan earlier, the truth is, it’s not such a grand club. I’m just a country boy. The villagers pooled money together to pay for my college tuition.”

After graduating, Joen said he joined the club to repay his hometown by studying magic.

“For personal reasons… it’s pathetic, isn’t it? I’m sorry, young master. I’ll handle the magic battle myself.”

With a bitter smile tinged with tears, Joen fiddled with his broken glasses.

The chances of winning were zero.

But for Reine, called a failure of a noble, that probability was even more ruthless. There was no need to cause trouble for a club that was destined to end anyway.

“What’s so pathetic about that?”

Suddenly, his voice echoed like ripples across calm water, resonating in the heart.

“Do you know why Lin started magic?”

“Grand Mage Lin? Well, I heard he loved magic since he was a child.”

“No, initially it was just to survive. To sleep like a human, to eat like a human, not to be abandoned. He became fond of magic a little later on.”

Reine’s voice, as he rummaged through bookshelves with an indifferent expression, was steeped in deep nostalgia.

“Really…? I haven’t read a book with that backstory in it.”

“Then he started studying and, at some point, followed Rista, and at some point, became a Grand Mage.”

As Reine flipped through a book, he closed it with a snap and looked back at Joen with a sarcastic smile.

“Is there a rule that says you can’t make it because you’re a senior? That’s not the case.”

“…?!”

“Let me borrow a few of these books. If I’m to participate in the magic battle, I need to get familiar with them.”

After Reine picked a few books from the shelf and left, Joen remained seated, staring blankly at the door he had exited through.

His heart was quietly pounding.

His whole body was trembling gently.

What was this feeling? It was as if he’d received advice not from an unknown junior, but from some great senior whose level he couldn’t even fathom…

* * *

“Reine!”

At that grinding voice, Reine instinctively felt a fear and stopped in his tracks. Glancing behind him, of course…

“Aunt, have you been well?”

It was Elin Ludwick.

A beauty with cat-like sharpness and a delinquent outfit.

With long black hair and red eyes, she was identical to Reine Ludwick, and she was a professor at Delaiten.

“Would I have been fine, you think? Aaang?”

After slinging her arm around his neck and pulling him close, she pounded on the top of his head with the other hand.

“You’re entering into a magic duel with the Eight Great Sects…no, a magic battle? The whole campus is abuzz with the news, have I heard wrong?”

“It’s true, surprisingly.”

“Ah, is that so? Unbelievable. My cute nephew has stirred up such a big mess, maybe I should enjoy a drink for a change?”

“Ah, ah, it hurts! It really hurts!”

“If you go up against Logan, it will hurt many times more than this, what are you whining about, you fool!”

Only then did Elin release Reine, heaved a deep sigh, and as he caressed the lump on his head, Reine asked,

“Did you come because you’re worried?”

“Worried? Who said they were worried? Do you think I look like a pathetic aunt who would go around asking the kids where you went and wait for you because I’m worried about a failure of a noble like you? There’s a limit to self-delusion, you failure of a nephew!”

Aunt.

You went through a lot of trouble looking for me.

As Elin turned and began to leave with an angry stride, Reine said,

“I’m sorry, Aunt. I didn’t know it was such a bad thing. I’ll make sure the family name isn’t shamed.”

At that moment, Elin’s steps halted as she was about to turn the corner.

“Whatever. Just before, those calling you a failure of a noble were starting to get on my nerves, just a little.”

“…….”

“If you’re going to do it, make sure you do it right. Make sure the other guys can’t even think of climbing to your level. The Ludwick family name is on your back, after all.”

Elin snorted loudly so that everyone could hear, then disappeared from view.

The Ludwick family name…

I’m not very honest, am I? You came because you’re worried about the family. I have to make sure I don’t disappoint you for the rest of your life.



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