【Chapter Three – Language of Rebellion】
Rei’el-san is in my room, and as usual he’s reading some religious text out loud while I write questions about it on the parchment for him.
I hand him the sheet that has several questions about the church, mainly if they believe in an afterlife– that type of question. I’ve been summoned to a different world and reincarnated so I have no idea what’s true or real anymore.
Rei’el-san looks at the paper for a second, then frowns slightly and looks at me.
「I’ve been wondering for a while, you’ve been trying to get acquainted with this world… but don’t you want to return to your own?」
Huh, that’s a surprising question… it’s true though, I haven’t given it much thought. If I was one of those fantasy heroes that was summoned to defeat the demon king I might not have such thoughts, but I have no apparent purpose here. Nothing anchors me to staying, I haven’t gotten a quest from beautiful princess that fills me with responsibility.
When I was back at Eldeora, I often wondered who brought me here and why, but after being reincarnated I haven’t given it much thought.
There’s some new complications now considering my age… Even if I were to find a way back in say, 10 years, I should have been around 30 years old in my original world by then. What would my family think of that?
I don’t even know what I’ll look like when I’ve grown up in this world, they would probably need a lot of convincing…
I hope that my parents didn’t grieve too much after I disappeared, I hadn’t really thought about that either. To them, it must seem like I ran away, or got abducted. At worst, they might think I committed suicide on the anniversary of my friend’s death…
If I ever get back, I’ll be sure to apologize.
Seriously, I didn’t ask for this though.
Back to the present for a moment, do I want to go back? Even if I could return to my original body and age, would I?
Some people might think, 「of course!」 but I’m not so certain to be honest. The details are still foggy about who I used to be, but I can’t imagine my life was anything special. My parents probably have accepted I’m gone by now, so that’s not a motivation either. In reality, a world of magic and amazingly different peoples is very appealing to me.
I think I might have been an introverted person who spent a lot of time playing video games and reading. Whenever I hear some fantasy word like, “dwarves” or “fireball,” I casually accept it with some image in mind.
That might be part of why I haven’t gone mad or become depressed after all I’ve gone through so far. Anyone can say what they want about how 「unrealistic」 that is, but unless they get transported to another world, they don’t actually know what it’s like.
As for finding who brought me here, I do intend to look. If the summoning spell is as difficult as Inari-sama described to me, I’d have a hard time believing there was no purpose after all. If I had to guess, they’ll make contact with me eventually– even if I do nothing.
There’s also some chance that Inari-sama or Selethain-sama are lying about not bringing me here. I don’t understand why framing Selethain-sama would make any sense. You might draw her out, sure, but why do something so complex to achieve that effect?
I have been carrying a suspicion that she’s lying, but also Inari-sama might know more than she’s letting on. Her timing of arrival was awfully suspicious, and she also seemed to know that a summoning was happening or was going to happen. While she could have understood that by looking around the room we were in, I have a strange feeling about that whole event.
It’s like something is missing, the whole thing felt too orchestrated, the timing too perfect. Whatever the case may be, I’m lacking information. To change that, I’m going to need the help of Lunian-sensei, and his giant, burly friend Rhodnar-san.
They might know something about what happened by the time I’m older. Therefore, my current goal is to learn what I’m able to and get accepted as a student of Eldeora.
After mulling over all this for several minutes, I take the sheet back and write, 「I’m not sure」 on the paper.
Obviously I have a lot more on my mind than that, but I don’t want Rei’el-san to get too worried about my future.
Rei’el-san has gotten pretty attached to me over the past few months. I think that having a friend that understands what the church looks like from the outside is helpful for him. I don’t know the whole story, but apparently by the time he had reached Seastria, he was running out of options.
He met Godric-san by chance, and their conversation led to him working in the church. He’s doing his best of course, but it’s not like he joined because of his deep faith in Inari-sama. Basically, he’s just replicating what he sees Godric-san do, and following the creeds they’ve taught him.
It’s a simple life, and he gets paid with not only money (albeit a very small amount), but also a place to live and food to eat.
It looks like the lifestyle has worn on him a little though, I think our talks have been a welcome breath of fresh air for him.
We are still mostly reading the religious books, but we also talk about many different topics here and there. Even though I have the appearance of a young child, we’ve managed to become fairly good friends over the past months.
That’s why when he found out what my future was supposed to look like, he quickly came to tell me.
「Remember how I was telling you about Godric-san wanting to raise you into the church’s hierarchy, Alastor-san?」
I look at Rei’el-san who has come into my room in the night, and point to the paper and pencil on the desk.
He picks me up and brings me over to it, lights a candle, and we begin to have a conversation.
「Sure, I remember. What is it?」
「Somehow, it’s become much worse than that.」
「What do you mean, worse than that?」
「Well… that mark on your hand, it was put there by Inari-sama, correct?」
「Yes, I watched her do it myself.」
「Nobody disagrees, after all when you look at, it’s clearly the mark of Inari-sama.」
「Where are you going with this exactly?」
Rei’el-san takes a moment to compose himself.
「The people at the top of the church aren’t happy about your existence, do you understand?」
「Basically they’re jealous, is that what you mean?」
「I’m sure that’s part of it, but it’s more like they’re afraid of you.」
「Afraid? Ah, they think I will end up trying to take their place.」
「Exactly right, it seems like this church is pretty corrupt at the center. There’s a lot of money flowing in from the nobles you know? Everyone wants their lands to be blessed by Inari-sama.」
「Naturally… the blessing offers protection to the plants and crops, while also deterring magic beasts and the like, right?」
「Don’t forget that it helps with resistance to disease for the people as well. Anyways, there are various desirable effects.」
「So the people at the top are making a lot of money from donations?」
「They even sell something like indulgences for the blessing, I just learned it from Godric-san.」
Why are people so greedy… it’s like that huge church from my world who did a similar thing in the past. Selling slips that forgave sins or let you get into heaven…
「Of course, those don’t do anything I’m guessing.」
「No, Inari-sama would never honor something like that– Godric-san called the nobles fools for believing it works.」
What’s more surprising is that she’s allowing it to happen… could it be she’s not aware?
「I understand the issue, but what does that have to do with me?」
「Sorry again, I keep getting off topic.」
I don’t mind since it’s interesting, but I’m worried about what he said earlier.
「Even though Godric-san thinks only a fool would buy them, he didn’t look down at the church at all for doing it.」
「What? That doesn’t seem like Godric-san.」
「I’m sure you don’t know this yet, but he’s a Djinn.」
「Godric-san is? a genie?」
「『Genie?』 Sorry, I don’t know what that is.」
「Ah, never mind that, what’s him being a Djinn have to do with anything? I don’t know much about them really.」
「Well, Djinn are sort of… not looked at as good people. In the past they were almost hunted down and made extinct by the humans.」
Well that’s a bit extreme…
「I’m sorry, I don’t know a lot about it, but it was something like the Djinn had been tormenting humans for a long time before that. They used to be a demon race that consumed humans after all.」
1: Godric-san is a Djinn.
2: Djinn used to be demons that ate humans.
3: Godric-san… wants to eat me?
「I can see you’re confused, ugh I keep going off on tangents. Anyways, Djinn are crafty people, a lot of them make money by scamming, even now.」
「Sorry, I’m still not seeing the whole picture here.」
Rei’el-san looks at me and takes a deep breath to calm down. His words have been coming out like a machine-gun since earlier.
「The church is scared of you removing them from their positions because you have Inari-sama’s blessing right? Surely the common people will want you to be in a high, or even the top position.」
「So the church officials have been talking to Godric-san for quite some time now I guess. Do you remember the man that used to visit here around a year ago?」
Ahh, I do remember that. I sometimes overheard some of what they said, but I never could get the full picture… So this is what they were discussing…
「Yes, what about him?」
「He’s a man in one of the higher spots, sorry for my lack of terminology, I still don’t know a whole lot about the positions.」
「It’s fine, continue.」
「Godric-san told me that they offered to promote him several levels in the church, to the point where he would be transferred to the main church. Think of it like a bribe. Anyways, he initially had been refusing, but it seems like the offer was too good this time.」
「How do you know this?」
「Godric-san even told me just now! I could hardly believe what he was saying with a smile on his face!」
「What exactly did he tell you?」
「After you turn 8, they’re going to give you a position in the church, just like before. The difference is that you will be taking the position of an oracle. The oracles live high up in the mountains, and are the members of the church who, 「supposedly,」 talk directly to Inari-sama.」
「I don’t see what’s so terrible about that? It must be an honored position?」
Not that I ever had intended to go along with it anyways, but that doesn’t seem like much of a punishment… I thought maybe they were going to send an assassin or something.
「The oracles never come down from the mountain once they go up, it’s considered a great disrespect to do so. It even warrants imprisonment.」
「The church of Inari-sama has that kind of power? What about the king?」
「The leader of Inari-sama’s church in Nastafahre is the local king.」
Separation of church and state, read about it’s various benefits…
「So they either plan to send me away forever, or lock me up forever, is that it?」
「That’s right! What are we going to do?」
Rei’el-san is a kind person. He really is like an older brother to me, although I wish he wouldn’t worry so much… I can just run away after all.
「Before that time comes, I’ll leave.」
「Leave? Where will you go?」
「I didn’t tell you this before, but I actually have intended to go back to Eldeora as a student this whole time.」
Rei’el-san looks dumbfounded.
「Eldeora..? Do you think you can get in there… no… well you do have that mark, I bet your nature magic skill is high…」
The way that Rei’el-san says this makes me realize that Eldeora might be a really high-ranking place. Since I was sent there directly, I never considered it, but there probably aren’t many people who go to school in this world…
「It must be a several month’s trip there even… what will you do about travel and food? It’s dangerous to go there before you’re even 8…」
Rei’el-san looks like he’s just made up his mind about something. I can guess what it is.
「Alright, then I will go with you when the time comes. Until then I will try to save up my wage so we can borrow horses and money for traveling needs.」
Instead of writing something, I just look up to the face of Rei’el-san. There’s a strange fire in his eyes I haven’t seen before. I thought about telling him I’d be fine alone, but he’s right. I have no experience in traveling and no skills that will help me along the way.
Rei’el-san puts me back in the crib, and leaves while holding a serious face.
And so my companions have increased to 1.
If I’m not counting Selethain-sama that is…
You don’t seriously intend to let him travel with us, right?
Speak of the devil.
He’s right, I don’t think I could make it there alone after all. I don’t see why he shouldn’t come with, it’s not like he’s dedicated to the church anyways. Also, 「us」 is it?
I will easily provide enough for us to arrive safely.
Ohoho, I didn’t realize Shadow-san was planning to stick around with me until I was 8 though?
Shadow..san? You must actually want to die as a child, is that it?
It seems she doesn’t like the nickname 「Shadow-san.」
Too bad, I thought it was pretty good.
Also, don’t assume what I will and will not do, that’s for me to decide. I was thinking of taking a trip to Eldeora, and you’re a convenient way to get in without alerting anyone, that’s all.
Ohhh, is that right? I’m sooo sorry for making assumptions about you, oh great shadowness-sama.
I know it’s probably not the safest thing, mocking a goddess. But I’m in a good mood knowing that Rei’el-san has become a friend and a future travel companion, so let’s tease her a little more.
…I wish I had confronted bitch-fox back then and not been stuck here with you now. I’ll get you back in due time, in fact, I already have something planned for someone who doesn’t respect the power of a Godde— Are you going to sleep while I’m talking to you!?
My second birthday passed without incident and almost a half year after that, the plans with Rei’el-san progress smoothly. We’re not going to be escaping for several years anyways, but he insists that we lay the groundwork early.
Because he’s being so adamant about it, I decide to ask if I can get a letter to Lunian-sensei, but it looks like that’s difficult from here. Long distance magic communication is a rare skill, and for a common person to send a message that far is expensive and time-consuming.
Rei’el-san says that the best way to do it would be to send a letter by crow, but the closest place with them is Nastafahre, which he can’t go to casually.
He tells me that Godric-san will definitely be taking me there in the future, so I decide to send a letter then. It’s not going to be anything complex, but I’m going to tell Lunian-sensei about what happened and ask him if I can get waived into the school due to my circumstances.
Of course, I’m hoping that I will have enough magic talent to get in on my own by then, but it doesn’t hurt to use connections if you have them.
In other news, I’ve begun to learn how to speak… it’s been impossible for me until recently. You’d think if you had the intelligence I do as a child it would be an easy task, but it wasn’t. I don’t know why I was able to speak when I first got here, but I’m learning it somewhat from the start now.
It’s something like knowing the words of a language, but not how to pronounce them I guess? If you watch a lot of foreign movies you might understand some words that you hear, but not really know how to pronounce them. It’s something along those lines…
Either way, it’s not been too hard so far, seeing as I know what the words mean— the only part I’m studying is articulation of them.
I’ve gotten to the level where I can say common things and communicate with Rei’el-san pretty well, as long as it’s not a complicated topic.
Juna-san was shocked to hear me say 「Thanks」 at dinner last night, but I think that someone who is past the age of 2 should be able to do that much.
Recently I asked Selethain-sama if she’d tell me a little about how Eldeora’s entrance exam works, and surprisingly she accepted. I guess she wasn’t joking about wanting to go there, it looks like she’s pretty dedicated to finding out who framed her after all.
We’re going to talk about it tonight, so I’m patiently waiting for dusk in my room, the time that Selethain-sama is the strongest. I don’t know why that is, but if I had to guess it’s something to do with all the shadows that appear at that time.
Selethain-sama? It’s the sun is setting already, you know?
Ehh… is it that time already?
Her voice might be a bit cold, sounding like someone who’s apathetic, but her sleepy voice is still cute.
It’s time to taaalkk, wake up shadowwww-sannn.
I’ve been teasing her like this for some time now, to the point where she’s given up and accepted it as her nickname.
I’m awake, I’m awake. So the topic was about Eldeora, right?
Yes, anything you can tell me about the entrance test would be helpful. I have no idea what kind of things I should be trying to learn.
Since I’ll be turning three in less than a half-year, I want to make sure that I can ask the teacher questions that will help me get into Eldeora. For that, I obviously need to know what kind of test they will have.
I’ll tell you what I know about it, but keep in mind I haven’t a need for school.
Right, well anything you may know is better than where I’m at now.
First thing’s first, they’re going to have a formal knowledge test. The questions are going to be broad, but expect they will want you to know about history, magic, races, and creatures.
Any particulars in there? Since it’s a High Elven school, should I focus on history, magic, and so on relating to High Elves?
No, most of the students come from Voulden after all— meaning they’ll all know those things. What they’ll test you on is your broad knowledge rather than anything specific.
Right, that makes sense… So, a general test then. What else happens?
Let’s say you pass that test.
The next test they will have for you will be the special magic exam. As you may expect, they’ll test your magical abilities at that point. Which, you have zero of. Since many people don’t have access to magic teachers or books, a lot of the students will be older than you, just so you’re aware. Basically you’re going to look like a brat who’s full of himself, no less than you deserve if you ask me.
I didn’t think about that, but it makes sense. If I was a farmer let’s say, how long would it take me to learn higher level magic on my own… It would be a challenge that’s sure. Ignoring her last comment, let’s keep getting information.
Alright, and what will that be like?
I don’t know exactly how they do it of course, but they’ll first test your abilities in the magics that they teach at a high level. Since it’s Eldeora, that would be: Time, Spatial, Wards (Light), and Illusion. They’ll most likely test your Ice magic skill as well. Since the only way to learn Time & Spatial magic is from an experienced mage, that’s out for you. Light wards would be learnable, but since you’re part of this church they likely won’t let you learn light magic. Fluffy-ear’s church officers will make sure of that. Illusion… I can’t teach you that, but I’m sure you’ll be fine there anyways. Ice magic is probably something you can learn from the teacher.
Huh, it sound like that test isn’t going to go too well for me… I’ll have to bank on my teacher knowing some Illusion or Ice magic. What’s the problem with learning the Light Wards?
Inari-sama is a bitc— Ahem, Goddess of nature, right? That makes nature magic largely her domain. Similarly, there are Gods of light that handle that magic in a religious way too. In a sense, you’d be committing sacrilege to learn light magic right now.
Got it, although I personally think that magic having a religious stigma is limiting unnecessarily. Wait… you don’t have a church of shadow or something right?
As if I would want such fanatics around me, no. However there is one god of shadow that has something like a religious following… he always was a bit off. Reminds me of you in some ways.
I see… So we were talking about the special magic exam, what’s after that?
If you were to pass the special exam, they’d admit you immediately. The school wants people who are gifted in what they teach after all, it looks good for them after they graduate. However, since that’s not going to be the case for you (lol), you’ll continue to the practical magic exam.
Practical magic exam huh? What’s the difference with the previous magic exam?
This is the one where you show off what you can do, in any type or class of magic. The reason they do this one second, is so the high-proficiency students are accepted without needing to do anything else.
Makes sense, so I’ll show off some nature magic then. Is it over after that?
Nope, there’s one more test after that. They give you a much more specific written test.
Why two written tests? Can’t they just combine them?
You’d think so, but the first test is what they call a wall test. If you’re smart enough to get over the wall so to speak, you can apply for the rest. They don’t want everyone in world to apply after all. Most people will realize they don’t have the knowledge required to pass the first test and give up before even applying. That’s why it’s called the 「Formal Test,」 because for anyone seriously applying, it’s only a formality.
That easy huh?
I wouldn’t know, but it’s probably not that hard. As for the second test, that’s a different story. Similar to the special magic exam, the second test is a special knowledge test. Because you can’t get in without being able to perform some magic, they make it last though. Some students can’t do very advanced magic, instead they want to study to become a scholar or sage. In that case, a very high score on the test will give you certain admission.
So there are two ways to ensure admission, magic and a knowledge based test huh?
Indeed, however you won’t be able to get in that way either.
Why? I have several years to study, don’t I?
The questions on that test aren’t going to be something you can learn from an average teacher. You’d need to be an apprentice to a current sage or similar to even have access to that kind of knowledge. Naturally, I know such things, but I’m not going to waste my time teaching you about them.
Thanks for your help… The high elves really do value personal achievement huh… So how am I going to get in then?
It’s not as though every student gets accepted by one of those methods… instead only a very small amount would. They’d be something like honor students. Most students get in by having above average knowledge and magical skill. As long as you can beat the majority of the other candidates in one way or the other, you’ll probably get in.
How many people will apply?
I’m not sure, if I had to guess… maybe 15 to 30 thousand?
15 to 30 thousand!? And I’m going to have to beat the majority of them? I hope my magic teacher knows her stuff… I’m going to need to have a lot of skill in nature magic or it’ll be difficult to get in with those numbers.
This is going to be a lot harder than I thought.
You’re going to have a head start on a lot of them, having a personal teacher. I wouldn’t worry about it so much. Even if you’re a complete idiot… there’s other ways–
Whoa, whoa! Let me stop you right there. I don’t want your intervention on any of this, I’ll be sure to get in properly.
There’s about 3,000 students admitted at one time. They all go to class for several years before graduating, and then a new group enters, do you understand? If you don’t get in, it will be years before a second try.
3,000 out of 30,0000… In other words, I should be aiming for the top 10% of students in ability…
From now on, I’ll work hard.
With that goal set for myself, I spent several months trying to convince Godric-san to request more books from the church on a variety of subjects. He told me they have several books on magic, and even if I can’t use it yet, I’d like to understand the theory as fast as possible.
We had an uncomfortably long discussion that revolved around how I was able to read in the first place. Normally someone of my age wouldn’t dream of knowing how to read. Godric-san didn’t even believe I could until I proved it to him, it looks like they were planning on having the teacher, Opella-sensei, show me how to read and write.
He treated me very suspiciously for a few days, but Rei’el-san and I managed to convince him that Rei’el-san taught me. We threw in something about the blessing Inari-sama helping me learn it far quicker than usual. He didn’t want to accept it for some time, but as a famous fantasy detective once said in my world, 「If the normal alternatives are proved false, whatever remains, no matter how strange, must be true.」
Once he had moved past the mystery of my reading and writing skill, he went to Nastafahre on 「church business.」 I’m sure that has something to do with discussing the best way to fuck me over when I turn 8, but after a few days he did bring some books back with him.
I think the church is willing to pamper me a little to conceal their negative intentions. They’ll probably tell me that the oracle position is really special and all that B.S. when I get older. I’m not looking forward to the day when I have such talks with them while secretly plotting my little rebellion.
The books that I receive are: The Greatness of Nature vol. 1 & 2, The Basic Knowledge of Priesthood, and a leather bound book with golden gilding, The Force of Nature.
It looks like The Greatness of Nature vol. 1 & 2 are about Class I nature magic, where the next book is about church customs. I don’t care about that one, but the last book is interesting. It offers some beginner class I nature magic instruction, then the majority is Class II, basic magic, but Godric-san told me that near the end there’s a bit of intermediate magic as well, Class III.
The problem comes to light when I open The Greatness of Nature vol. 1 and notice the spell incantations are written in a different language. I have no idea what the letters are or symbols mean. I showed it to Rei’el-san, but he told me that most people learn magic by repeating a phrase from another mage, not reading it.
So comes the first problem in my studies… I can’t read the materials.
— End of【Chapter Three – Language of Rebellion】—