Intermission 02: The Pameradia House’s Analysis Magician
Six years have already passed since I found employment in the prestigious Earl Pameradia House.
I, Ronnie Eris, was working under Cordelia Ojou-sama.
I couldn’t help but think, why is this happening to me, when I was ordered to work under Ojou-sama, but now I think I was lucky.
This position wasn’t bad. It was rather cosy.
First of all, I could escape from the magician wing, and seclude myself in Ojou-sama’s laboratory. I still continued my other jobs, related to the security of the mansion and water inspections, while helping Ojou-sama, so my workload has increased. Unexpected work usually doesn’t appear in my lap when I’m with Ojou-sama. For example, the magician Onee-samas saying, “Go buy us the limited cake,” or “Line up for the theatre tickets” and so on. Therefore, it’s become much easier for me now. I’m very thankful for this.
The Onee-samas in the magician wing are all beautiful, and I think that ordinary men would be extremely excited to work there. Actually, I also saw an illusion at first, as if I was in a play.
Well, I returned back to reality straight away.
Because, you know, they used me as an errand boy straight away, so that was inevitable. Incidentally, there are currently six magicians employed at the Pameradia House; the only other male magician was the deputy head magician, who was in the prime of his life. The rest were the Onee-samas. By the way, Mentor is also included with the Onee-samas.
They seemed extremely disappointed when it was decided that I would be employed here. It seemed that they preferred to have a female junior, and had a tantrum in anger, “We can be affectionate with girls and go to eat cake together!” It was very different before; they would give me enough money for the exact number of Onee-samas and say, “Go buy some cake.” Even though it would have been fine to give me a portion of the cake after making me act like the gofer…… Somehow, I couldn’t help but think that I wanted to be born as a woman.
Well, they’re not bad people, I’m sure. There were rare cases when they told me they would treat me if I changed the way I spoke. However, that’s a pretty tough standard for me.
But, that’s probably all.
If I had a male junior, then we could probably share the gofer job.
That wasn’t the only reason why I was happy to be working under Ojou-sama. The work that Ojou-sama gives me is easy to understand. “Do this,” “Do that.” There was almost never any ‘guessing’. Well, that may be because Ojou-sama is doing experiments that couldn’t be guessed. And I think that it’s a privilege to be able to drink delicious tea whenever I want.
However, I never imagined eight years ago that I would be working as a helper for Ojou-sama, or working at the Pameradia House in the first place.
I was a magician who graduated from the 『Royal Magic Academy』. I didn’t have any fields I was bad in, nor did I have any fields I excelled in, when I was in school, but my major was analysis magic. I was the top student for my field in my final report, and my overall results were third in the academy; I had a good record in school.
My family home is a merchant house based in a port city south of the Royal Capital; and I am the third son. However, it was unfortunate that I didn’t have any business sense, even though it was my family’s trade. I noticed this when I was around fourteen. My parents and older brothers would persuade me from a young age, “It’s fine. You can do something other than business,” so they probably saw right through me. Seriously, the eyes of people who run big companies are amazing.
I never wanted to work as a merchant, so I wasn’t particularly disappointed. However, the question of what to do next popped up in my mind.
But, I didn’t have to worry about it for long. I thought of something when I saw a merchant’s wagon, come in from the Royal Capital, at the back of my parent’s home.
That’s right; let’s go to the Royal Capital.
I didn’t have a special reason for going. I only vaguely thought, there might be something interesting in the Royal Capital. But, I knew that I needed a reason, to convince my parents. If I just told them that I wanted to go to the Royal Capital, then they might hear that as, ‘I’m going there to play around.’ No, well, it was actually true though.
The outcome of me thinking it over was, to use enrolling in the Magic Academy as a reason.
My parents only have as much MP as an average person, but it seems that I had a mutation, and was born with more MP than the normal person. I was often called when they were moving large magic tools around the shop, but that was it. I’ve never thought, I want to become a magician, or something like that. Well, I didn’t have any magicians around me, you know? So I couldn’t imagine it.
However, I couldn’t come up with any other logical reasons except for that, so I told my parents, “I’ll be going there to take the Magic Academy entrance exam.”
My parents sent me off with applause. The lunchbox that was given to me on the day I left home was packed with lucky charms and conveyed how much they wanted me to pass. But, having a large amount of charms was indeed a nuisance. Well, it didn’t feel unpleasant…… I also felt bad for making them worry so much about me.
The Magic Academy is the national forces’ magician training school. The course lasts for two years and the tuition and living costs are basically free. They solidify basic magic within the first six months, and the remaining year and a half was used to make the foundations of the student’s chosen field. It is a training facility for the national forces, so other than battle magic practice, we also practiced martial arts. You might be thinking, ‘what can be done in two years?’ but the course was very intense, and if the student’s results didn’t meet the mark, then they had to take supplementary lessons at night and early in the mornings; so I think they do master a lot. The instructors are members of the national forces.
And, the students will work in the magician corps for more than 10 years after they graduate. If they work for less than 10 years, then they have to pay for their tuition themselves, unless they were recognised by the war council.
Incidentally, magicians get paid a lot, but the tuition is equivalent to about ten years of their pay. In short, it is extremely expensive. In addition, even if you pay it, you would always be observed unless you were an exception.
It’s extremely intense, I thought.
I understand that the national forces would be troubled if that didn’t happen. The lectures were free, training was packed together, and if the students say, “yeah bye”, after graduation then their magician forces wouldn’t increase, and it would be like setting someone with excessive power on the loose. Normally, students understood this before enrolling. Therefore, there weren’t any students who said it was intense after they passed their exam, ――― except for me.
Yes, I didn’t know any of those things at all, and the first time I learnt of it was close to my graduation. I passed the entrance exam without knowing anything except for why the tuition was free…… I mean, I didn’t even intend to take the entrance exam until the day I thought of the idea.
Therefore, I was also extremely surprised when I learnt that most of the students at the academy were nobles. If I thought about it carefully, I would have realised that MP and magic qualities were hereditary, so it was clear that someone having MP equalled nobles; but I hadn’t thought of that at all. That was why, I, who was born a commoner, felt out of place straight away. Even though I was born into a wealthy family, nobles have many different traditions from us. So, I soon became famous for being eccentric. Well, I couldn’t understand the unspoken rules of nobility, since they weren’t in the rules. But, I didn’t get bullied, even if I cleared my throat, and the classes themselves were interesting, so I stopped worrying about it early on.
In addition, the thing that I thought was all formal was the restriction on students going out. The Academy was the national forces’ training grounds, so I guess it would be obvious that students can’t go out; but this was pretty depressing, since I came here to find interesting things in the Royal Capital.
I wanted to graduate quickly and take my time to exploring the Royal Capital.
I panicked, since enlisting in the national forces would crush my dreams.
I couldn’t possibly accept that I had to continue with that lifestyle for ten years. No, it wouldn’t be odd for there to be stricter rules if I enlisted. That was what happened when I come to the Royal Capital looking for motivation. I was in a grave situation.
I quickly visited my head instructor, and asked him if there were any legal loopholes for this, in a very serious tone. If such a thing existed, then this system wouldn’t have worked in the first place, and it was ludicrous to ask, ――― but it existed.
“If you really don’t want to serve in the army, then you can choose to serve a noble instead.”
The instructor said it without hiding the gaze he used towards troubled students.
This fact was as obvious as 『serving in the national forces for 10 years』was, to other students; but not to me. Some powerful nobles in this kingdom had the right to hire magicians who had just graduated from the academy. The students who get hired get their tuition paid for by their employer, and, in addition, the employer submitted a written oath to the King pledging that 『I will bear all responsibilities for whatever the magician does』, so they don’t get observed. It was originally part of a『Noble’s Education』…… In other words, it was a remnant of a time when nobles wanted their children to learn magic, but they didn’t want them to serve in the military. It was a 『System for big shots, created by big shots』. The Houses which employed newly graduated magicians were all those who had helped a lot in the foundation of the academy, which were about 10 Houses. Well, the nobles now teach their children various things, which includes family secrets, so they didn’t need to bother with enrolling their children in the academy.
But those facts and circumstances have nothing to do with me.
I quickly looked at the magician recruiting card. The Houses didn’t recruit every year, even though there were 10 Houses which could. So I guessed I could expect the applicants to be quite competitive.
But, I can’t lose. The house of a prestigious noble is likely to be formal, but it’s much better than the national forces. And I probably wouldn’t meet with the nobles often if I do assistant work, so there’s nothing to be afraid of. That was what I thought. ―――― I dropped my eyes to the list and lost hope.
There were only two names on the recruit list this year.
The first was an Earl named Clydereine.
The main job was to compound medicine, but he seemed to be looking for an all-rounder magician, who could do anything. My major was different, but I did have decent grades in synthesis, and the qualifications to be an all-rounder wasn’t too bad. I didn’t have a reason to turn this opportunity away.
The other was an Earl named Pameradia.
The job description said analysis. The other things that were written on it were, 『Employment Exam: Interview』, and the time and date of the interview. I don’t know if that was easy to understand or confusing, but it wasn’t a friendly recruit card in any case.
I was worried. I’d only heard the names of those families.
I felt like one of the names was of someone who had won the horseback riding game at the end of last year, ――― but my god, I don’t know which one of them it was. The Pameradia House was having an interview, but having analysis as the job was too vague.
However, there are only two recruitment cards. Should I apply for both of these? I thought as I stared at the card, and then I noticed that the Pameradia House deadline was today.
Moreover, the interview was in the academy’s backyard, and there was only a little time left before it was finished.
I panicked because it was so sudden, but the card didn’t explain much and I worried whether or not I should just go for the time being. I haven’t prepared anything, but I could probably take the interview if I went.
I won’t pass the exam if I don’t take it. Even if I fail, I wouldn’t be put at a disadvantage or anything.
I made up my mind and quickly headed for the backyard. That’s right, if I fail then I’ll just be back at the start. And I don’t think I can prepare for it with just this much information; even if I do fail, I might find something that could be useful for my exam at the Clydereine House.
I headed there with those feelings, ――― and was left speechless.
When I suddenly appeared at the venue, which was the backyard, I sensed an extreme enthusiasm. I saw a man, with a physique better than a martial artist’s, and a graduate student crossing swords.
Eh, a sword? This is the interview scene, isn’t it?
I couldn’t understand the situation, and couldn’t move, and just stood there staring in blank amazement.
The student tried to fight back, but his opponent didn’t move a single step. He only swung the sword in his left hand to repel the student’s attacks.
“You lack training,” The man said.
The student bowed deeply in thanks and left. That guy, isn’t he the top student in the synthesis course? Our majors are different, so I forgot what his name was. But why was he holding a sword?
The man called out to me while I was thinking.
“Are you also applying for the position?”
“Eh, ah, yes!”
Apparently, he was the interviewer for the Pameradia House. You have got to be kidding me.
The man with red eyes was beyond the level of strong. I wondered if this was how it felt to be paralysed to the spot. Anyway, he was really dangerous.
The interviewer glanced at me, then picked up the sword that the student before had dropped, and threw it at me.
“This is the interview. Get ready.”
What is this!? Martial arts?! I, who was surprised, had nothing explained to me, and the man attacked me with his sword.
Why?! He did beat the other student with a sword but…… What does he mean by this is the interview?! Even if this is a practical test, nowhere did it say that I needed sword skills, so I want an explanation!!
I was confused as I barely managed to guard against the old man’s attacks; I couldn’t even counterattack at all. Dammit, there’s no way I can win. The situation’s definitely going to get worse. I have to do something…… I thought and finally realised.
He was definitely going easy on me.
His presence was amazing and I would most likely be killed if I became careless, but somehow it felt like ‘a mentor looking after their discipline’.
That’s right, this is an interview. Him giving me leeway to think like this is because he wants me to come up with some kind of answer.
I put all my power into my feet and somehow managed to jump back.
If I think for too long then the old man would see through me and blow my sword out of my hands, and then the trial would be over. He didn’t chase after me, but he was standing with an aura that said it would be over if I closed the distance between us. If the Pameradia House wants an analysis magician then, ――― I immediately focused my magic to my eyes.
Then, I noticed it. So it’s like that after all.
This interview was easier than the school’s practical exam, huh.
I once again shorten the distance between us. The old man’s sword looked extremely fast, but it was still slow enough for me to block it at last minute. This old man’s amazing, I thought as I concentrated. All I had to do to win was graze the old man with the tip of my sword.
I attacked with all my strength…… Which didn’t mean I was exaggerating. My sword struck his and he lost his sword. This didn’t mean that his sword had been destroyed. The sword in his hand wasn’t a sword anymore, but grass.
He wasn’t surprised and spoke stoically. I was drained. I’m glad that was right, but my heart is still thumping in my chest.
“I can’t believe you just knitted ivy with beginner magic and magic power…… This is foul-play! Just how much did you strengthen it with magic? Are you a monster?”
The magic that he cast itself was one that could be removed if another person poured their magic power into it. It was impossible for a normal magician to see through that, in the first place. If this old man hadn’t been clad in an intimidating aura, then the student before me and I would have immediately noticed it.
But, I thought, this man wasn’t just a warrior, but he also had considerable skill as magician too. The ivy he used was enough to stop the sword; I couldn’t image just how strong his enhancement was.
“Today isn’t April Fools, so please don’t play a prank on me. Even though it’s a good year, are you a mischievous kid?”
“I said it was an interview, didn’t I?”
“I didn’t hear that this would be a practical test. And it was super scary……”
It was only a resemblance, but looking at the old man again, while feeling like I might get the shivers, he really gave off that feeling of 『this guy’s a walking lion dance』or『this guy guards the gates of hell』, and other assorted crazy stuff. Whatever I say now probably wouldn’t shake him; rather, it felt like he’d easily turn it against me.
“What’s your speciality?”
“Analysis magic…… Ah, my heart is still racing.”
“…… Your dialect is a little different.”
“Oh, I’m not a noble.”
“I can tell that from looking at you.”
“Eh? You can tell……? Well, you can’t tell it from the way I talk, right?”
He didn’t seem like someone who would ―― look down on commoners or something, just because he was the interviewer for a noble. I felt like he was just staring at me in curiosity.
“You can’t tell who I am?”
“Huh? You’re the interview, aren’t you?”
“…… My name is Elvis Pameradia.”
I felt like I’ve heard that name…… Well, the family name before.
I don’t know who Elvis was, but I have heard of Pameradia.
Huh? Which interview am I at?
I mean…… This person is quite old, isn’t he? Which means…… Huh?
I didn’t hear that the interviewer would be the head of the House!!
I cried in surprised and quickly covered my mouth with my hands.
“I, I’m sorry!”
“…… What’s your name?”
“Excuse me for not introducing myself even though you introduced yours…… I’m, no, my name is Ronnie Eris.”
“I’m not going to bite. You don’t have to be that scared.”
My back wouldn’t stop sweating at the Earl, who was amazed.
Crap. Where did the me, who thought that this was easier than a practical exam, go? I’m begging you, please come back.
However, I couldn’t come back to my senses. No, yup, I’ve got no choice. But, I also wanted to put on airs during my interview. Huh? In the first place, the interviewer is the interviewer, it didn’t matter if he was the Earl, so it’s already too late……?
“Are you…… From the south?”
“Huh? Erm…… Yes, but mmm?”
“I was curious since you have strange pronunciations.”
I was surprised by his sudden questions, well, my pronunciation was definitely rare in the Royal Capital. It wasn’t at a level where I used different words, but sometimes my intonations were differently…… Either way, the Earl could differentiate between local accents.
I was impressed by that unusual fact, and the Earl asked me another question.
“If you’re appointed to this position, then you might have to go to my fief. Will that be a problem?”
The Earl said as he bent his elbow and raised his hand and someone, who looked like a servant, approached us from a nearby place.
“These are the documents.”
“And also the books.”
The books that were given to me were like three dictionaries, and they were heavier than I thought they would be. In addition, the letters in the book were already small from the front cover. And the title of two of the books were, 『Dangerous Medicine Manual』and『Natural Poison・Synthesis』. They overlapped the other book, so I couldn’t see the title, but it was probably something similar to that.
Errm, what is this? Isn’t both the books and content too heavy……?
“Read those before you graduate.”
“Read those…… Eh, I passed!”
“…… You don’t want the position?”
“Nonono, I’ll read it and accept the position!! …… But, is it alright for me to be like this? I usually act like this though.”
It was already too late to ask something like this, and I don’t know why I passed. No, I certainly passed the practical test somehow.
“Can you fix the habits you’ve had for a long time? From what I can see, you speak before you think.”
“…… I have no objections.”
“At least, I don’t care about how the magicians speak. It’s fine with me as long as you’re good at analysing the presence of assassins and magic power.”
I heard a very disturbing word. I felt strangely anxious, huh? What’s going to happen to me? together with the dangerous titles of the books in my hand.
But, well, I didn’t have to worry about serving in the army since I was recruited by the Pameradia House, and I finally threw away the Clydereine recruitment card, which I was going to apply for at the beginning.
I told my family, just before my graduation, that I would be serving an Earl, and not the national forces.
My parents were happier than they were when I got accepted into the academy. I was told to inform them of anything related to business…… But they probably forgot that I had no talent in business, before they even thought about confidentiality. Incidentally, I told them that I had graduated third place in synthesis, but they only replied with, “Hmph.” They also gave me the same reaction even though I got first place in my major.
Honestly, my family wasn’t interested in anything but money. But they did congratulate me, “I hope you have a bright future.” I’m glad that I wasn’t worrying my family.
And the assigned books that the Earl gave me didn’t end with just three; it increased by 10 times until I graduated. As a result, I still have about forty books in my room. I didn’t notice it at first, because I was distracted by the title, but they were all extremely expensive and valuable. He had never said it, but I realised that the Earl had high expectations for me.
And one more thing…… I realised that poisoning someone was actually a thing when I got my job.
“Throwing poison into the mansion, that person is really dangerous, isn’t he?”
“Ronnie, it’s already fine here, so go call Linda and Amer for me.”
I handed over the man I’d captured at the back of the mansion to Mentor Cecily, and went to call the other Onee-samas. Yes, I was scared of being given those books when I first got my job. I was also suspicious of the Earl, and thought that he was going to poison someone. I’m sorry, Master.
My current job was to analyse the things I’m given, to sense the presence of suspicious people and capture them, and to analysis and dismantle dangerous things that have been thrown into the mansion.
“If you fail, you die. Even if you survive, I’ll kill you if another person dies from your mistake,” I was threatened by Mentor on my first day of work, but somehow, I’m still alive today. I can’t say that I’ve remained unscathed, since I’ve had bumps on my head.
Oh, I also tried to learn polite language before graduation, while working at the mansion before…… But, it ended with just me trying. The biggest surprise was that Master said, “Don’t use such disgusting language,” with a frown on his face. However, Mentor still criticised me. Well, Mentor was a very detail-oriented person, after all.
But it’s not like I show up in front of Master or his sons, in the first place, so it’s not a problem….. I thought that and continued with how I spoke, but one day the young lady nominated me as her analysis teacher for some reason.
“It seems that Ojou-sama wants to do some experiments,” they said. And “She said that she wanted the youngest magician,” they said.
I can’t believe I’m babysitting a child, I had thought at first. Even if she says she wants to experiment, Ojou-sama is still only eight. I could only remember playing in empty cargo boxes and getting scolded when I was eight.
However, when I met her, the young lady of the Pameradia House exceeded my expectations and was a level-headed person. First of all, the mountain of books surrounding her was amazing. What is she going to do by reading a lot of geography books? They were specialised books that were hard for commoners to obtain, and they weren’t even books that a normal eight year old could read, in the first place. They would probably get bored of reading it and fall asleep.
And the aspiration of the Ojou-sama, who had surprised me from the beginning, was to make balms from flowers. Thus, it was decided that I was going to help her with that.
To be honest, I wasn’t interested in aromas, and I’m still not interested in them, but I am interested in new things, so I thought I got caught up in something interesting. So, I felt bad for thinking I had to babysit her at first.
But then I later thought, I might not necessarily have been wrong when I thought I had to babysit her.
For example, Ojou-sama fully enjoyed going incognito when she was eight…… But I had an extremely difficult time afterwards, you know?
“Ronnie, there’s been talk about a child using magic similar to that of the Pameradia House in town, what do you think of this?”
And Master just glared at me like that. Ojou-sama, you don’t know about this, do you? My heart stopped, seriously.
Then, only recently.
“Ronnie. Cordelia invited a suspicious child here, but what were you doing at that time?”
Ojou-sama also doesn’t know that I received a summons like this, does she……?!
“You should have been by her side at that time. What were you doing?” Under an aura that was stating that, I couldn’t just say, “I was brewing tea, so I wasn’t watching over Ojou-sama.” To begin with, I think Ojou-sama would still invite her in even if I was there, you know! Ojou-sama knows the girl is suspicious….. Or rather, Master, you should have received a report from Ojou-sama!! Well, Master was warning me because he knew this.
But, Ojou-sama. If you’re too reckless, it wouldn’t be enough no matter how many lives I have.
Every day is really fun, but please just let me say one thing. Master, when he is summoning me like this, is a several times scarier than when he was at my interview!!
I’m begging you, please stop being reckless. I don’t mind if you’re a little wilful, but keep it within the 『I’m a little sister who requires a little bit of attention』category. I’m begging you, please be a good girl, by all means!!