The Rebirth of the Hero’s Party’s Archmage chapter 44

Episode 44

It was still early for class to begin. The classroom wasn’t even half-filled yet, but a girl with chestnut hair and sharp features was studying with a serious expression. The castle-shaped hairpin, the symbol of the Warden family, clued in that her name was Krista Warden.

How long had the morning quiet lasted when suddenly the classroom door opened, and Rein Ludwick, the top scorer of the midterm exams, appeared.

“Oh, Krista. What are you up to so early in the morning?”

“Can you not talk to me? Since when were we friends? Aren’t you and I competitors?”

Stubbornly not even giving a glance at her yawning rival, she retorted sharply and tried to focus back on her studies when she suddenly felt a warm presence and turned to see something strange.

“What…?”

Feathers soaked in sunlight, spreading like a sunflower—a plumage crown. Krista doubted her own eyes.

“A Sun Parrot?!”

“Oh, you recognized it right away.”

Since the Sun Parrot became a beloved companion of the archmage Lynn in stories, it became a must-have, colloquially known as an ‘it item,’ for female magicians.

Krista had considered using her family’s wealth to obtain a Sun Parrot herself, but since none were available for purchase anywhere on the continent, she had given up.

And now, out of nowhere, someone appeared with a Sun Parrot as their companion? What an enviable and unbelievable story was this?

‘I want to touch it…’

I really want to see if it can mimic human speech. I want to hold it just once. But, oh, oh…

“Don’t talk to me, okay?! Since when were we friends?! Aren’t you and I competitors?!”

“Why are you repeating the same lines as before? Though you’ve become a bit more intense.”

“Shut up! I told you not to talk to me!”

She thought she had fought off the devil’s temptation with her steel will, but the true trial began when all eyes were drawn to the spectacle that unfolded around Rein.

“Wow, it’s so cute!”

“It can dance too?!”

“It’s really good at speaking!”

Because of the students swarming around Rein, the Sun Parrot’s talent show began.

I want to see it too.

I really want to see it… If I turn my head away now, it feels like I’m just going to lose… I can’t endure it…

‘No, Krista! You mustn’t give in! This is the moment of the showdown, you can’t fall for Rein’s tricks!’

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

Victory was hers.

She maintained her focus, not turning her head, conquering even a hint of desire! She was about to rejoice in triumph when suddenly…

“?!.”

Something warm, basked in morning sunlight, settled on her shoulder. What is this motherly warmth?

“Huh, it seems Peach likes you.”

Peach?

What is this Peach…

As she slightly turned her head, her heart nearly stopped. The Sun Parrot was right before her eyes, tilting its head!

“If you stroke from the forehead area to the plumage crown gently, it really likes that. It’s a spot they can’t reach themselves.”

Don’t joke with me.

Do you think I, Krista Warden, would fall for such temptation…

But contrary to her thoughts, her body was honest. She had already reached out, enchanted, and gently caressed its head.

‘What is this feeling…’

It was like caressing a perfectly sun-dried blanket, such comfort… My body trembles with delight.

“Ah, but what to do now? If you become my enemy, you’ll have to be enemies with Peach too, right?”

Startled, she opened her eyes, which she had closed in enjoyment, only to see her annoying rival grinning smugly. Krista’s face flushed red as if it were about to burst.

“This, this is not right! You don’t know the saying about shrimp getting caught in a whale fight, do you?!”

“Hmm?”

She meant to say the weak get hurt in conflicts between the strong, but she was so charmed by the parrot that she mixed up her words. Maybe it’s time to ease up on the teasing.

“You have an owl, right?”

“Of course, I do.”

“Then you know where to buy cages and other equipment?”

“Hmph, what do you take Krista Warden for? I can purchase all that from the finest shops.”

While Krista replied haughtily to Rein, she continued stroking Peach’s head, her face melting into a foolish grin.

“Wow, really? Then next weekend, you take Peach out and buy some equipment for him.”

Rein had no intention of taking Peach to the black market; that was a place where eccentric collectors from all over the nation gathered. No need to make unnecessary enemies.

“What? Me? Why?!”

“I’m too busy with the student council. Plus, it’s best to ask someone you know. Well, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. I’ll just ask someone else.”

As soon as Rein suggested taking Peach away, Krista immediately shrugged off her shoulder defensively, raising both hands.

“Wait a minute! Who said I didn’t want to? I was just asking why I had to do it!”

“So you will?”

“Remember this, Rein Ludwick. This isn’t for your sake. It’s because if a descendant of the Magic Noble House uses cheap equipment, it reflects poorly on our house as well.”

“Alright! I’ll trust only you.”

Gertrude Phanton, sitting in front, covered her face with her hands and heaved a deep sigh as if wishing for the ground to swallow her.

‘Why is she so gullible…’

No matter how much you try to look cool, there’s no charm if you’re so easily swayed…

* * *

At the estate of the Baron Ludwick, in front of the manor house known as Belruin, a great creature descended, kicking up clouds of dust that swept over the tulip garden—it was a Griffin.

Slipping off the saddle from the Griffin’s back, a man in winter clothes rubbed his cold legs stiff from the long flight. The manor’s gatekeeper, Knight Swan, approached the Griffin rider.

“This is the manor of the noble Ludwick family in Richland Territory. What is your business here?”

The Griffin rider pointed to his belt pouch as if indicating the reason for his visit – it was full of sealed letters.

The Griffin, once used in times of war as part of humanity’s air force, was now commonly employed for postal delivery during peacetime. Of course, its service was exorbitantly priced, so only the nobility could afford it. The rider took out a letter from the pouch and handed it to Swan.

“It came directly from <Delaiten>.”

“The magic university?”

“The client was so insistent that we flew non-stop until our poor Wero was nearly exhausted. So might I be able to get some provisions for us? I’ll pay for them.”

Provisions… Swan wondered if he should ask his master’s opinion, right before hearing a voice.

“Anyone who enters our territory is a guest. There’s no need for payment. You must, of course, be treated properly.”

Swan immediately knelt, and the armed guards followed suit in paying respect.

The noble figure clothed in a black robe absorbing the sunlight, with matching black hair, and below that, the beautifully shining red eyes. It was the current head of the house, Kevan Ludwick. Following him were the young lady, Sely Ludwick, and the four-year-old Bran Ludwick toddling along.

“Bran, that’s a Griffin!”

“Wow…”

“Wow!”

“How can a man of Ludwig be afraid of that! Try to be more like Rain, my brother.”

As the daughter and son cautiously approached the griffin, Kevan smiled broadly.

“Is it okay for the children to touch it?”

“Of course. Wiru is very gentle.”

While the groom was answering, Swan lowered her posture and presented a letter to Kevan. Kevan’s eyebrows lifted with pleasure as he saw the name of the sender written on the letter.

“Sent by Elin, I see. Is it good news?”

The groom shrugged in response.

“I’m not sure if it’s good or bad, but I can tell you that there’s chaos at the Demon Boundary.”

* * *

The work of the student council secretary was supposed to be clerical, but it seemed more fitting to call it miscellaneous duties.

Papers, papers, papers.

Buried under an endless mountain of paper, constantly busy with eyes and hands without rest.

– Sort through the issues raised by students and pick the decent ones to put on the agenda.

Senior miscellaneous duty officer Triwis advised. He was a second-year with a smaller stature than Seli, grey hair, and metallic eyes.

At first, he seemed so emotionless that one might mistake him for a doll.

– Are there always this many issues?

– No. They’ve piled up during the exam period. It’s also busier before the long weekends.

– So, you hurried to get a junior because you’re trying to squeeze in some work?

– Yes, exactly. I’d been caught off guard by that too. It’s a tradition.

– …

– Hang in there until the next president takes office.

He was really a difficult person.

Rain let out a soft sigh and looked up at the clear spring sky.

“Ah… it’s so bothersome, really.”

He was currently out on the grounds of Delaiten. It was a season where the greenery of fresh leaves stood out against the pink blossoms of cherry trees.

Looking at the sky with his neck tilted back and deeply reclined, someone’s head suddenly popped into view.

“What are you doing here?”

Logan.

His name had become quite familiar now. He seemed to be headed to play magic volleyball, as he was carrying a volleyball.

“I came out for a break.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be at the student council?”

“It won’t matter if one miscellaneous duty scholar like me is missing. How about you?”

“I’m on my way to club activities.”

Hmm, so magic volleyball is a royal club… It figures Logan, a later-generation successor of the Eight Great Schools, would be a part of it.

Krista and Gertrude went to the magic volleyball club right after school ended.

“Is it fun?”

At that, Logan gave a snicker as if the question was strange.

“Isn’t anything that makes you sweat from moving your body fun?”

“I shouldn’t have asked you.”

Rain smiled helplessly, and then he heard the flapping of wings. A warm body settled on his forehead, making him smile with delight.

“PiPi, did you sleep well?”

“Slept, slept, slept.”

PiPi proudly showed off its feathers, gleaming brilliantly in the sunlight, as it whirled its head around. Logan narrowed his eyes.

“PiPi?”

Oops, I shouldn’t call it that name in front of him. Just as Rain was about to explain that it was actually Peach, Logan whistled and his eyes lit up.

“That body with less than 1% body fat… What a creature, what a pinnacle of training!”

Then he solemnly extended his hand as if to shake hands. PiPi offered its wing in response. Rain blinked in disbelief.

‘Magicians of Chaohak…’

They’re so simple that they can even communicate with animals. He doesn’t seem to realize it’s a Sun Parakeet. Is this what they call friendship blooming among muscles?

“Well then, I must go as it’s time. Take care, sir.”

“Sure, have fun.”

Rain waved at the departing Logan, and eventually picked up the stack of papers beside the bench listlessly.

It was utterly ridiculous, but he had to finish checking them today. They were issues submitted to the student council by the students… many of which were meaningless.

[There are too many campus couples, and it’s causing discomfort. Please stop it in the student council.]

How do you stop that?

I’d like to know. The Solo’s Discomfort Prevention Law?

[Please tell us what type of girl the student council president likes.]

Hey, you.

Ask that yourself.

[What type of guy does the student council president like?]

Who wrote this nonsense?

But occasionally, there were some sensible ones. It was unclear why they had consulted the student council.

[It looks very hard to clean the campus.]

Should we just campaign to throw trash in designated places? But I don’t understand why they care.

Delaiten doesn’t burden its students with cleaning. They want to focus on learning during the time they should be concentrating on their studies rather than wasting time on simple labor like cleaning.

Most of the chores are probably handled by butlers and maids employed by the Page family… Just then, a sudden external force caused a paper to slip from his grasp.

“You’re looking at a good issue, I see.”

Startled, Rain turned to see President Valensidis perusing the document with his usual sarcasm.

His magic still felt deadly.

Even PiPi sensed his magic and hunched over from Rain’s head onto his shoulder, on guard.

“Are you here to check if I’m slacking off?”

“No.”

“Then why is that a good issue? It’s not something students can resolve, and the employees will manage it anyway.”

“That’s point. To correct your archaic noble way of thinking.”

“?”

“It’s not the students’ problem since the employees will handle it… then why does magic exist?”

Rain hesitated for a moment.

Talking with this guy always made me feel like I was some terrible villain. I’m an orphan with no attachment to noble thinking.

“So you suggest assigning a student to each cleaning session to assist with magic? That’s too unrealistic.”

“Right. But it’s something worth thinking about. Magic light enough for non-magic people to use when cleaning.”

That was…

What Rista had said to me.

“Of course, with current magic, it’s impossible. The mathematics and runes are too complicated.”

“…”

“But imagine if one day it becomes possible… when ‘miracles’ are fairly given to everyone, wouldn’t that be the true golden age?”

Valensidis uttered with an unmistakably pure smile on his lips, which quickly faded.

“Send this issue to the ‘Local Development Magic Club’. Even if modest, it might yield meaningful results.”

Handing back the document and watching Valensidis walk away left Rain’s mind in turmoil. He was increasingly enigmatic.

Who is this guy?

What is he planning? What kind of magician does he want to be? And why did he delve into black magic?

‘I’ve become more curious.’

About the tracks of Thureina… During the upcoming holiday starting in two days, I must acquire that book at the black market.



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