“—Please wait just a moment.”
The moment everyone decided on a verdict, a dissenter revealed himself.
Everyone moved their eyes to the source of the voice.
Who dared to overrule the decision we finally settled on, which took hours of arguing! Their eyes, which were brimming with hostility—
now wavered with bewilderment the moment they laid eyes on the speaker.
It was Royal Court Magician Carlyle; He was participating in the committee as a test inspector. He was dead silent until now, so a majority of instructors had forgotten he was there…
The greatest magician alive, a genius favorited by the king.
His objection was not something one could carelessly ignore.
“What might the issue be, Lord Carlyle?”
An instructor serving as a mediator responded in a stiff voice.
“Please, don’t be so tense. I’d just like to inquire about a little something.”
Carlyle tapped his finger on a single sheet of paper.
Written on it was “Examinee No. 389, Albert”—
“Could you tell me the reason behind why you failed him?”
Carlyle picked up Albert’s paper and read the evaluation out loud.
“Albert, Aged 26.
Practical Examination 1: Power, firing range, and accuracy are all undoubtedly Special-A. However, it is unthinkable that a regular Magic Arrow possesses the power to effortlessly destroy two targets, so the possibility that he may be cheating in some way has been reported as a cause of concern.
Practical Examination 2: Successfully dispelled the pot with 0 seconds remaining.
Written Examination: 68 points.
…I could tell from your conversations that Albert didn’t have the most outstanding scores, but he did scarcely pass the minimum score.”
Carlyle further added to his argument.
“It appears to me that he just narrowly passed both the practical and written exam, so why have you failed him?”
“Because we can only accept so many students. While it is true he scored above the passing grade, the rest of the students should take precedence when considering our limited capacity.”
“Why is that?”
“His age says it all—the path of scholarship favors the young. I suppose I should say he actually has a ten-year advantage compared to other students. As long as we are considering his age, he would need to display exceptional achievements to have a chance.”
“I see. You have a point.”
“I presume we have come to an understanding?”
“Nevertheless, as an inspector, I cannot let this go by.”
Carlyle flatly asserted himself.
“This country extols themselves a place where ‘Everyone has the right to learn’. I cannot approve of discriminating based on age.”
The mediator gave a slight groan in response.
The other instructors threw him a lifeboat.
“You are mistaken, Lord Carlyle. We are not doing anything of the sort. His scores are merely lackluster in every regard. He passed the second practical exam by a millisecond, and his written exam was mediocre. There are even doubts about his first practical exam. Considering all of this, he is beyond saving.”
“I see. Quite the formidable counterargument you have there.”
Carlyle gave a sinister chuckle.
“Let me rephrase myself, then.”
Carlyle slammed the paper on the round table with a bang.
“Let him pass. I don’t need a reason.”
The atmosphere of the committee froze over.
What Carlyle really meant by that was this: There’s no longer any room for argument. Obey what I say.
The mediator instructor raised his voice.
“With all due respect! I believe you are overstepping your authority as an inspector in much more ways than one! Do you intend on ignoring the democracy of the academy?!”
“You do realize I’m not saying this as an inspector anymore, right?”
After giving a sneerful laugh, Carlyle elaborated.
“I am commanding all of you fellow gentlemen as the superior ranking Court Magician Carlyle. You will let him pass.”
Everyone in the committee room was speechless.
Carlyle didn’t blame them. Carlyle flexed his authority with the undertone to crush all that opposed him.
“What’s the big deal? All I’m asking is to squeeze in a single student. You say this and that about some capacity nonsense, but we should have more than enough space for one person.”
“That… may be true, but…”
The mediator instructor responded with a cracked voice.
“Why is Lord Carlyle so fixated on a single examinee?”
“Because I see something in him.”
Carlyle spoke promptly and forcefully, not allowing any further questions.
“I’ll leave it to you to enroll him. If you choose to disobey me, then I trust you’ve prepared for the consequences. I’ll be on my way now.”
After one-sidedly monopolizing the conversation, Carlyle exited the conference room.
When he returned to his office in the royal castle and tidied up some documents, magic academy instructor Firvus dropped by for a visit.
Firvus was a man known for his trademark goatee. Carlyle was a former schoolmate of his, so they were on great terms.
Did I say great terms? I meant terrible terms.
While they were former classmates, Firvus was also Carlyle’s long-time lapdog.
“Your way of speaking is ruthless as ever, Carlyle. The instructors started fuming once you left.”
“Hahahaha! I couldn’t care less about their worthless arguing. I already made up my mind—and once that happens, I will have them obey me. I’ll use whatever it takes to meet my goal, whether it be abusing my authority or coercing them through force.”
After saying that, Carlyle tilted his head.
“So? Did they agree?”
“You went and said all that. There isn’t a single person willing to defy you.”
“It’s wonderful they’re all so understanding.”
“On that note—why are you so obsessed with that examinee? You are gonna tell me, right?”
This took way longer than I had hoped. Translating a bunch of old dudes speaking formally was tricky to get right, so I spent a while just editing and proofreading. I have an appointment later today so I’m not sure if I can get another chapter out, but I’ll try to get one out by later today. Enjoy.