Episode 3: Peculiar Interview
Around ten minutes in the elevator. That’s the time it took for the cage carrying Lynn and Yuin to reach the 99th floor.
It then stopped and shook, similarly as when it first was operated.
An absolute darkness covered the whole place.
Yuin casted a spell.
A passage then appeared, illuminated by the orange light of a candlestick lit by said spell.
And a door stood just ahead, at the end of that passage.
“Over there is the examination place.”
With his hand, Yuin pointed towards the door.
“Behind that door, the examiners are waiting for you. They will ask you a few questions and then, the exam will start. Answer the questions with all honesty.”
Grabbing a letter from his bosom, Yuin handed it to Lynn.
“This is a letter of recommendation. Give it to the examiners.”
Yuin had Lynn step off the cage, but he himself remained inside.
“This is as far as I can go. From here onwards, you need to go alone. Well then, I pray you give it a good fight.”
Saying so, he casted a spell and the elevator moved. Descending down the same path if came from, the cage carrying Yuin eventually disappeared.
Lynn stood in front of the door.
The moment had finally arrived. A moment when his life might dramatically change.
He wondered what would happen if he were to pass this exam.
Fortunately or unfortunately, that was someone he couldn’t even know at this moment.
Still, this was not something he could turn his back to.
Lynn started to get nervous. His heart was pounding and his body trembled.
Carefully, Lynn knocked on the door.
A voice said from the other side of the door.
Grabbing the handle nervously, he gathered his courage and opened the door.
The examination room was dimly-lit, but it was a spacious place.
In that room, a lone chair stood before a long table where three people sat behind.
Two men and one woman. They all were of advanced age.
“Sit in that chair over there.”
Pointing towards the lone chair, the woman commanded Lynn. As instructed, Lynn awkwardly sat down. It became a scene where he was alone on one end of the table, facing the three people across.
“Do you have the letter of recommendation? “
Lynn took out the letter Yuin had handed over to him from his bosom.
Simply looking at the letter, the woman casted a spell. With a sharp wind sound, the letter that was in the hands of Lynn, quickly flew towards the hands of the woman.
“Hmm. Indeed. This is a letter only a magician can make.”
(Was that… magic?)
The woman then passed the letter to the remaining two. After glancing at it, they returned the letter to the woman.
“We, the examiners, admit you as a candidate under the recommendation of magician Yuin. I’ll ask you a few questions before starting the exam. Answer the questions with all honesty.”
(As expected, they are indeed the examiners.)
Lynn closely observed the three people calling themselves examiners.
The woman sitting on the left side from where Lynn was facing had deep wrinkles, sharp eyes and bony cheeks. The man sitting in the middle had a rich white beard and a bald head, but his eyes were somewhat cloudy. The man on the right also had wrinkles and was bald too, he kept a serious look on his steep face.
Being stared by these three people at the same time made Lynn feel nervous.
“First of all. Can you understand the words we are using to talk to you right now?”
“Yes. I don’t understand the words you are using right now… but I understand the meaning.”
This was not the first time he was experiencing this. In fact, the language that Yuin and Atrea spoke was unfamiliar to Lynn.
But despite that, he could understand the meaning.
Even though he couldn’t understand the words they spoke, the meaning they tried to convey was directly sent to his mind.
It gave him such a feeling.
It was a language exclusive for magicians.
It seemed like it included magic power in its use.
After hearing Lynn’s answer, the examiners started to talk, whispering among themselves.
But their speech was somewhat mixed with noises, and it was difficult for Lynn to understand it.
That might’ve been because he was weaker as a magician when compared to Yuin and Atrea.
“…It seems like he at least has the minimal qualifications.”
“Is his language… Triarian?”
“His accent is quite terrible, though.”
Lynn felt very unwelcomed.
They kept talking about him, but the person himself felt like he was worth no more than a stone to them.
Moreover, he felt like instead of looking at him, they were looking at the clothes he wore.
As soon as Lynn noticed this, he hurriedly tried to cover the stained parts of his clothes with his hands.
“I see. It’s fine, isn’t it? Well then, what’s your name? “
“My name is Lynn.”
“And your last name? “
“I don’t… have a last name.”
“You don’t? Why? “
“…I’m an orphan. I have no parents.”
After that, they once again started whispering to each other.
He couldn’t understand what they were saying but he could make some pieces of their speech, “Slave”, “Is this fine? “, “He was recommended by Mr. Yuin…”, were among the words he did understand.
He felt uncomfortable.
By the way they spoke, he felt like he was no good.
He wondered how long this interview would last.
He had heard that the Magician’s Academy accepted talent individuals without regards for their social status or race, but maybe it was impossible for a slave like him to do so.
He started to feel helpless.
The same Lynn that had been so enthusiastic about this exam in the past, was filled with a desperate feeling of wanting to end this earlier.
“Lynn-kun. It appears the language you speak is Triarian. From which country are you from? “
The serious man on the right side asked in what appeared to be a kind tone.
“I’m from Keare, in the Milne territory. The country… I’m not sure which one it was.”
“You don’t even know your own country?”
“Yes. But that was never a problem.”
In fact, for Lynn who was of the slave class, knowing the name of the lord he served was more than enough.
He never even considered his own nationality.
The very concept of the nation itself was something he never thought about.
And right now, he wondered why such information was even necessary.
After hearing this, the examiners started to whisper among themselves again.
They gave off a feeling of being disgusted.
Lynn felt they were saying something about his status and him being uneducated.
“Milne territory? I’ve never heard of it.”
“It’s in the edge of the eastern province of the Vuen Country.”
“An arcadian territory in an arcadian country, huh?”
Lynn felt his mood worsen.
He didn’t feel good about being told many belittling things about his hometown.
They continued talking in whispers.
“What do you think? “
“Please spare me from accepting a slave…”
“But we need to uphold the principles of the academy…”
“Why was such a person gifted with talent? “
“…Well, we have no choice but to test his strength in the exam.”
The three people kept talking for a while, then turned towards Lynn.
“Lynn-kun. We understood what kind of person you are.”
The white bearded man in the middle talked to Lynn.
“If you have no objections, then we’ll now have you take an exam to test your qualities as a magician. In case you pass it, a residence will be allotted to you in this tower, and you will be permitted to train as an apprentice magician. However, I want you to understand something. Becoming a magician is not easy to accomplish. A lot of people come to the tower every year, but eventually they can’t even graduate from the academy, and end up wasting valuable time in their lives. It appears that you have the minimal qualifications, but there’s no guarantee that you can graduate. How about it? Do you still want to take the test? “
Lynn answered, after a bit of hesitation.
Despite that moment of hesitation, his answer was clear.
“Is that so? Seems like he’ll take the test.”
Without showing emotion or disapproval, the old white bearded man said as he turned towards the woman.
“Then, Elatos-kun, please explain the exam to him.”
“Yes. Alright Lynn. Grab that ring and put it in your hand.”
Without him being aware of it, a small box containing a ring was placed beside Lynn.
He hesitantly took the ring and observed it.
It was a beautiful ring.
A silver ring with something engraved on it, and a blue jewel set.
“Put the ring on.”
Timidly, Lynn fitted the ring in his middle finger.
He was wondering if it was okay for someone like him to wear such an expensive object.
The ring was strangely fit to Lynn’s finger.
It was as if someone took the measure of his finger beforehand, and made the ring specifically for him.
There was a mysterious magical affinity between the ring and Lynn.
For him it felt like it had been a long time since he had been wearing it, and not like this was the first time.
“Good. Now let me explain the content of the exam.”
Hearing the examiner’s words, Lynn who had lost himself in the ring, returned his attention towards the voice.
In fact, he wanted to stare at the ring more and play with it, but right now, the content of the exam was more important.
Lynn attentively observed the examiner’s mouth, as to not miss a single word.
“Lynn, you will now fight against a fierce wild animal.”
Confused, Lynn wore a baffled look. Because he wasn’t sure what the examiner was referring to.
(Fight… a wild… animal? …me? …Now!?)
“If you win against that wild animal, you pass. If you lose, you will be disqualified.”
(I will be disqualified if I lose? …I will probably die if I lose!)
“Okay then, I will begin the exam. I’ll summon the wild animal to this room. After some tens of seconds, a hungry beast will appear and attack you.”
“Please wait a moment! For me… to fight a wild animal is…”
“Lynn. If you have the qualifications to become a magician, you should be able to pass. With that said.”
The examiner obstructed Lynn’s words, blocking him from finishing his sentence, saying the same thing as Yuin.
And along with a wind sound, the examiners, the table and the chairs suddenly disappeared.
The only thing remaining was a magic circle drawn on the floor.
And immediately afterwards it started to shine; with sharp fangs and long claws, a lion with a golden mane appeared before Lynn.
Next time, Episode 4 “Battle against a wild animal”