Dream Life Vol II Chapter 16.1: “Academic City Doctus”

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 The academic city of Doctus, located between the Caem Mountains to the north and the Farthus River to the south, was originally a fortified city built as a military base in the northern part of the Caelum Empire.


 Initially, the city was established on a desolate frontier, with only a city center surrounded by a stone wall one kilometer on each side. However, as the Magicians’ Guild established its headquarters and the traffic on the Aurella Highway increased, a new urban area was built around the walls, and the city has now developed into a city measuring 2 km from north to south and 4 km from east to west.


 Doctus has a dual structure with a New City and an Old City. The Old City, surrounded by the city walls, is an academic city, while the new town on the outside is a commercial city. It is a large city with a total of 15,000 inhabitants, 5,000 in the old town and 10,000 in the new town.


 Since there is only a simple fence around the New City, no entry tax is required to enter the new city, but to enter the old city on the Academy Area, an entry tax of 2 C (about 2,000 yen) is required.



 We decided to stay in the New City for the time being and look for accommodation in the Old City from the next day onward or stay in the New Town and pay the entry tax one by one.


 I thought so, but I realized it was a mistake when I started looking for lodging in the New Town at around 3:00 p.m. Almost all the inns were already occupied.


 When I asked about the situation at the inn, I was told that many students had gathered for the entrance examination of the Magic Academy, and therefore, there were no inns available.


 After checking about ten inns, he finally managed to secure a room for three in a room that had been vacated due to a cancellation.



“I hadn’t thought about this situation,” he said. I didn’t think about the number of students who would take the entrance exam for Magic Academy.” (Zack)


“Yes, I had forgotten about it, too. I think there were about two hundred students who passed the entrance exam and about three times that number who took the exam. Some of them have homes in Doctus, but most of them must have come from elsewhere, and if you include the families and chaperones, there would be more than a thousand people staying there.” (Liddy)



 I was relieved to hear Liddy’s explanation that it was expected, but being a three-person room, there was one bed missing.


 I asked if there were any extra beds, but was told that they were all already out.


 Troubled, Guy started to say that he and Sharon would share one bed, but Sharon looked grossed out when she heard this. Guy noticed this and looked hurt, and lonely.


 Liddy laughed at the situation and invited Sharon to sleep with her. Sharon nodded broadly, and Guy was even more crushed.



(I guess she’s a ten-year-old girl old enough to start getting annoyed about her father… I don’t know because I didn’t have kids in Japan, but I wonder if I’ll be able to understand Guy’s feelings when I have kids in this world…) (Zack)


“I don’t know about today, but this room is too small for me. Maybe we should look for another room tomorrow.” (Zack)



 Liddy shook her head.



“Maybe we won’t even be able to look for one. Tomorrow the students who were stranded will arrive.” (Liddy)


“Then maybe they’ll be fine after the exam?” (Zack)


“The results of the exam will not come out until the practical exam after the written exam is finished. It takes ten days at the most for everyone to finish taking the exam and another five days to get the results, so it will be like this for half a month.” (Liddy)



 The exam at the Tyria Magic Academy consist of two parts: a written exam on July 22 and a practical exam in front of the examiner.


 The written exam consists of five subjects: Common Language, Arithmetic, History, Geography, and Magic, and the written exam itself takes one day.


 The practical test is given to all applicants for the written exam, which means several hundred people. Even if each person takes 10 minutes, it takes 100 hours for 600 people, so it is said to take from 10 to 12 days.


 If that is the case, I think it would be better to reduce the number of practical examiners by using a written exam, but I heard that the result of the practical exam determines whether a candidate passes or fails the exam, and if the result of the practical test is good, you will not fail in the written test.


 In that case, it would be better to stop taking the written test, but most of the actual practical test results show a lot of low-ranking testers, and the result of the written test becomes the decisive factor in passing or failing. In fact, only about 20% of all successful applicants pass the exam based on the results of the practical test.



 Going back to the topic, the announcement of passing the exam will be made about five days after everyone’s exam is completed, so the students will be in town during that time. Although there are examinees from Doctus and neighboring towns and villages, less than 10% of them will take the exam, and the other examinees and their chaperones will live in lodgings.


 Furthermore, those who do not pass the entrance examinations often apply to one of the dozen or so private schools in Doctus, so the entire month of August is filled with students taking the entrance examinations.



“If so, this situation will continue for about a month. Come to think of it, Sharon and I are going to be in the dorms, aren’t we?” (Zack)



 Liddy smiles slyly, “Normally yes… but I have an idea.”


 I was uneasy about the idea and said, “An idea?” I didn’t ask, but I hope it’s not something weird,” I looked at her quizzically.



“We’re going to rent a house and live together. Dormitory fees at the Magic Academy are quite expensive. Well, meals are included, and it is conveniently located near the academy, but it would be much cheaper to rent a house in New City. I guess you guys can get the entrance fee waived, but it won’t reduce the cost of tuition and dormitory fees. As I recall, the dormitory fee alone is about 1,000 C (about 1 million yen) per year. If we rent a house, we can save that amount.” (Liddy)


“But you will have to pay for the rent of the house and food expenses. Then the burden won’t change that much, right?” (Zack)


“I’ll pay for that. I’m going to rent a house here anyway, and the size of the house won’t change that much if there are three of us instead of one. The same goes for food. With one person, I will have to eat out a lot, so I think it will be cheaper for the three of us. Besides, Sharon is a good cook.” (Liddy)



 Sharon’s eyes lit up at Liddy’s words.



“I’ve heard that it’s certainly not a boarding school, so I guess that’s not a problem… By the way, don’t you have to pay the city entry tax to enter the Old City from the New City? If you think about it…” (Zack)


“It’s okay. Students of the Magic Academy become associate members of the Magicians’ Guild. So, if someone related to the Magicians’ Guild passes through the gate, they don’t need to pay the city tax when they pass through the gate.” (Liddy)



 Tyria Magic Academy is a school run by the Magicians’ Guild, and students are given an orb of the Magicians’ Guild upon entering the school. However, students are not official members of the guild while they are in school, but become official members upon graduation.


 Private schools other than Tyria Academy of Magic do not have such a system, and to join the Magicians Guild, you need to be recommended by a member, be examined for membership, and pay an admission fee of 1,000 C. I heard that in many cases, private school students cannot become members of the Magician’s Guild until they graduate.



 I was uncomfortable with Liddy’s explanation.



“When I asked you about Doctus, you said you had forgotten about it because it happened a long time ago, but as soon as you got here, you came up with the story in a few words. You must have been planning this from the beginning.” (Zack)



 Liddy’s eyes swim at my words.



“Oh well. If Guy doesn’t give us permission, we’re not even going to talk about it.” (Zack)



 Liddy was surprised, “What?”  Then complains with eyes wide, “I want to live with you.”



“I can’t live with you. If it wasn’t for Sharon and the three of us, I’d be in the dorm too.” (Zack)



 To be honest, I was quite attracted to the idea of living with Liddy. However, my admission to the Magic Academy this time was for the purpose of training, and with cohabitation… I will forget my purpose.


 If Sharon was with me, I could control myself, and first of all, it would be a pity to leave her out of the group. If Sharon wants to be independent, that’s fine, but it’s better to keep her as close as possible, at least until she makes friends.



 I ask Guy for his opinion.



“Seriously, though, I think Sharon should move in with Liddy, even if I don’t. She’s going to grow up now. There will be things that she’ll want to talk to her mother about. At that point, I think it would be better for her to have an adult woman she knows nearby. If you’re not comfortable under the same roof as a man, I’ll move into the dorm. What do you think, Guy?” (Zack)



 Guy looked stunned, as if he hadn’t expected a situation like this.



“.. something you want to discuss with your mother? …Oh, I kind of know what you mean. …I trust you, Master Zack, so I have no problem with you being with her. But it would inconvenience Lydia…” (Guy)


“I don’t think it’s a nuisance. It’s probably better for Liddy to have Sharon around. Liddy is quite slothful after all. If someone doesn’t manage the house, it will become a big problem. In that respect, Sharon would be a safe bet. She can cook and do the housework.” (Zack)



 Liddy’s mouth twitched at those words, “I’m doing enough too.”



“Then, have you ever lived alone, Liddy?” (Zack)



 She said, “Umm…” and looked away.



“That’s what I meant. Guy, can you lend me Sharon to take care of Liddy?” (Zack)



 I tried to convince Guy that she would take care of Liddy. To tell you the truth, I don’t think Liddy is that much of a slob. She can cook, and she’s a rather clean person, so it’s not like she’s going to end with a house full of garbage.


 However, I thought that if we proceeded on Liddy’s financial terms, there was a possibility that Guy might not agree to it. Guy doesn’t want to cause trouble for me and Liddy. Of course, he loves his daughter, and it is true that finances are tight. But I didn’t think he would agree to accept help from Liddy on that basis.


 If it meant that Sharon would be useful to us, it would weaken the conflict in his mind. With this in mind, I dared to bring Liddy into the story in a way that would undermine him.



 Guy thought for a moment, nodded his head, and turned to Sharon.



“What do you think? You have to juggle both. This isn’t like home. It’s not like your mother is helping you. You have to make sure that Master Zack’s health doesn’t suffer under these circumstances. Are you sure you can do it?” (Guy)



 Sharon nodded at Guy’s strong tone, looking him firmly in the eye.



“I’ll be fine. In the village, even children smaller than me were doing the housework. If I work hard, I should be able to do it too.” (Sharon)



 Perhaps sensing her strong will, Guy gave her a small nod. Then he turned to us and bowed deeply.



“Understood. Master Zack, Lydia, please take care of Sharon.” (Guy)



 The three of us were now renting a house, but it took a lot of effort to get Liddy in the mood to talk.


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