The Adventure of a Boy with the Mind of a Middle-aged Man

The Adventure of a Boy with the Mind of a Middle-Aged Chapter 11

Translator/Editor: TastefulSardine

Magic Knight Academy Entrance Exam – Subject Tests

After several days, we conducted our exam countermeasure plans in Reise’s inn, the Raindrop Inn.

According to that annoying emperor, the Magic Knight Academy entrance exam consisted of subject tests and a practical test. They were each 100 points overall, and you needed at least a 100 out of 200 points to pass.

The practical test mainly tested over martial arts and magic. There was no way they could test everybody’s martial prowess in a single day, but we would likely pass the magic test with flying colors as we had grimoires.

Honestly though, I wasn’t quite sure about brute forcing our way past by relying on my grimoire creation skill; I wanted to pass while relying on grimoires as little as possible.

The subject tests were separated into imperial history, magic theory, and common knowledge questions. These past few years, I had been holed up in a library whenever I found the time, so I was confident in my knowledge.

Copying me, Satella had also read many books, and I hadn’t held back in my teachings over these past few years, so she should be quite knowledgeable as well. Passing shouldn’t be a problem for her.

The problem lay with Aria, who hadn’t prepared at all.

She could make-do in the practical test with grimoires, but the subject tests wouldn’t go nearly as smoothly. At this rate, she would fail.

So after contracting several low and middle rank grimoires to her, I focused the entire week on cramming knowledge into her head.

“Aria, Grey, Satella. Don’t lose your focus!” yelled the landlady as she repeatedly struck two rocks together.

She had been overjoyed to hear that Aria would be taking the Magic Knight Academy entrance exam and had lent us a spacious room for an entire week and even helped provide us supper.

I guess she had also known about Aria’s father.

“Thank you, really.”

The three of us bowed together.

The landlady cracked a smile.

“Good luck—“ Shiina said as she waved her hands.

“Hurry up and come back to make food,” said Drahachi.

“Leave these two to me! Now, let’s hurry on before you’re late.”

We each nodded once before setting off on the road towards the academy.

“My head’s completely empty.” Aria yawned and shook her head.

I had told her over and over that a lack of sleep would only be detrimental, so make sure to get enough, but she just doesn’t listen.

Well, I guess it’s also my fault for accidentally letting slip that she would be able to meet her father if she passed. Maybe I’m the one who needs to reflect.

“Relax your shoulders. There’s nothing more you can do now.”

“I-I know,” Aria replied.

She walked stiffly with her hands and feet in sync, and most of all, she seemed to be about 20% more stiff than before.

It looks like my attempts at encouragement have completely failed.

“Once this is over, let’s go sightseeing with Shiina, Dora-chan in Reise. I’ll show you around,” said Satella.

“Yeah, let’s.”

Aria gave her a big nod and pepped herself by slapping her face before beginning to do deep breaths.

Gradually, her face firmed up as if water had been poured over her, and she returned to the normal Aria.

Yep, to soothe a kid, you really need someone around the same age who has gone through similar experiences.

Even now, Satella still has trouble sleeping alone and other worrisome aspects, but she’s got a good head on her shoulders. It might be time for her to become independent.

A magnificent four-story building stood at the top of the hill. It was the Imperial Magic Knight Academy’s main school, and several buildings and training facilities were located next to the path leading up to it. The Imperial Magic Knight Academy—The Great Phillip Rose Archive had diverted an enormous amount of the government spending to establish the empire’s prided largest research and education facility.

It was also known as the pinnacle magical research facility. To the imperial citizens who extolled their nation as a magical one, graduation from this academy brought the highest status and a path towards glory.

However, the system lent itself towards only accepting the sons and daughters of nobles and wealthy merchants, so you could say that it had major faults as both an institution to educate and to research. Worst of all, everybody admired, even yearned for, this faulty academy.

We passed through the iron gate that towered majestically above and entered into the immense premises of the academy. There, we found ourselves a spectacle, with white-tiled walkways and trees growing every couple of meters just to the side. Despite my age, I had no choice but to admire the historical value of such a scenery. Although that’s exactly why it was such a waste.

“Is everybody here an examinee?” Aria asked in a daze as she stared at the people heading towards what looked like the main building.

“Of course, the sons and daughters of the empire’s nobles and of wealthy merchants are taking the test after all.”

Although with the undead attack not too long ago, even this number is a far cry from the norm.

We entered the school building and went through all the procedures at the window. We were then handed an admission ticket which directed us to the correct classroom.

“So Satella and Aria are in the same room, whereas I’m in a different one. Let’s meet up once we finish the subject tests.”

“’Kay!”

“Yeah!”

And with their cheerful reply, I turned my back and headed towards the classroom marked on my ticket.

Each seat was numbered with ha plate in front which probably held the examinee’s seat number. My seat had me in the back of the room by the window.

“Woah, it’s even come this far?”

The windows were made of glass and were one of Sagami Co.’s leading products but hadn’t spread to the city or to the average person yet.

I had some spare time, so I decided to rest my chin on my hands and enjoy the scene outside.

“Hey.”

“Hm?”

I turned towards the voice to find a girl with wavy blonde hair that fell down to her waist and was pulled up in a depressing manner. She looked to be around my body’s age, and she curiously stared at me with sleepy eyes.

“You’re quite carefree,” she pointed out.

“I wonder about that.”

Rather than carefree, I just didn’t hold much interest, although I’ll admit I was curious about the books hidden in this academy.

Books were the crystallization of mankind’s prided intellect, a record of our knowledge. A library held much more value than a place stuffed to the brim with expensive decorations. At least, that’s what I believe.

Still, that’s assuming that library is privately managed. There were 5 libraries in Straheim. Among them was one managed by a book-loving merchant who, although on a small scale, offered every weird book about the common knowledge, the culture, and the terrain around the world, books about inconceivably offbeat magic theories, and other books that made your heart pump.

In comparison, the library with the highest influence in the empire that which examinees often frequented could simply be summed up as the worst.

Almost all of its books either endlessly praised the empire without any verification, lauded the Gods’ greatness, or were crammed with thoughtless magic incantations. I was done after reading just a few. This academy had the highest authority in the empire, and it was no tall feat to imagine this library the same as the aforementioned.

Well, they probably had the forbidden books and secret messages which I was extremely interested in closely guarded, but there’s no way they’d let any ordinary student set foot in that library.

In short, it wasn’t worth the effort I’d need to put in during these few years at the academy.

“You’re a strange one.”

“I get that a lot.”

I sensed an unpleasant look coming from the blonde girls’ eyes and so turned back towards the scenery outside.

I heard deep breaths coming from the seat next to mine, but the stares following me soon disappeared.

The start of the entrance exam.

The history consisted of about 60% imperial history, 30% world history, and the remaining 10% of questions over the mythical era and over nursery tales. As expected, it was mostly over the empire’s various feats, so I disconcertedly filled out the answer sheet.

The common knowledge questions focused on etiquette and dealing with those above your rank. I couldn’t find a shred of value in the etiquettes that filth like Duke Cyrus came up with. If they were going to put this out anyways, they should have thrown it into a reading analysis question.

The final section on magic theory was…… terrible.

To think that among the 20 questions, 15 of them were just over spitting out memorized incantations.  Furthermore, another four were especially terrible. Of those four, three were over the fundamentals of top rank magic, and one over the fundamentals of special rank magic. I was done in a flash.

Finally, I reached the final question.

“Haha! How fascinating!” I said aloud.

Starting with the blonde girl beside me, all the examinees began glaring at me.

I hastily tried to close my mouth, but I couldn’t hold back my excitement.

The final question was “State the relationship between a magic ritual and magic.”

Good. That’s good. This question stood no comparison with the others. It’s as if it were asking about the very phenomena surrounding magic.

Incantations were just words. Why would a supernatural phenomenon such as magic appear just by speaking some words?

“Alright. I’ll tell you.”

I muttered to myself before becoming completely engrossed in the question.

“Stop, place your pen on your desk.”

I came up with several ideas in the end, but I was still lacking in knowledge to explain them.

Still, I was able to focus because of the time limit. I feel like I had been able to organize my up-until-now fragmented knowledge. Yep. This question alone made taking the test worth it.

“Are you confident?” The girl beside me posed a question.

Other than the final question, anyone could make-do by just memorizing stuff. Judging by the pale faces around me, they were all stumped by that hard question at the end.

“No, I couldn’t answer it.”

“But you look happy?”

“Well, yeah. There’s a puzzle that I couldn’t solve. That is the very essence that feeds the souls of us scientists and the very thing that we desire most.”

For a while, the girl stared me with eyes wide opened, before changing her look to one of pity.

“You’re a weirdo. How pitiable,” she said and left after tussling my hair.

What a rude kid. Even I’d get hurt from getting treated like a weirdo. Probably……


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