Dream Life Vol II Chapter 34.1: “Councilor Piers Wagman: Part 1”
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A/N: Councilor Wagman’s Perspective.
It was on the morning of August 4 that I, Piers Wagman, first learned the name, Zacharias Lockhart. An official who had been hired as an examiner for this year’s academy’s entrance exam told me about him when he came to have another document approved.
“…I was surprised when Professor Ruspede showed up at the exam venue. I didn’t expect him to show up at the freshman practical exam.” (Staff)
I looked at the documents in front of me and involuntarily muttered, “Oh, Professor Ruspede.”
The official seemed to think that I was interested and began to talk happily about that time.
“Yes, that’s right. I was present for only a few of the exams, but two of them were amazing.” (Staff)
I had also heard a little about yesterday’s practical test, so I got in on the conversation, saying, “Speaking of which, I heard someone blew out the windows in the training area.”
“He used [Tempest] in that small training hall. And that was done by the youngest boy, a ten-year-old.” (Staff)
He said this excitedly, but I had no idea what he was talking about. [Tempest] is a ranged attack magic used by wind-attribute magicians of level 30 or above. It is rare for a young man in his twenties to be able to use it, and it is a great skill that a genius can use in his mid-twenties.
Furthermore, I remember that it is not the kind of magic that can be used in such a small training ground and that it is quite difficult to adjust the range of the magic. I can only use the fire and light attributes, so I don’t know what it is like.
“At first, he demonstrated [Wind Blade], but Professor Ruspede told him to get serious. Even that magic seemed to me to be better than a common academy graduate. Then, that candidate, whose name, I believe, was Zacharias Lockhart’s presence, changed.” (Staff)
I was intrigued and asked, “Oh, what’s changed?”
He excitedly replied,
“He suddenly seemed very mature and said he wanted to cast it outside because if he unleashed his best magic inside, it would damage the building. Of course, we told him to cast it inside because he wouldn’t be graded outside the exam room. He then had a pained expression on his face, as if he was criticizing us.” (Staff)
“Criticizing you… isn’t he a ten-year-old child?” (Piers)
“Yes, how should I put it? It’s probably closest to the way a seasoned professor would chide us.” (Staff)
I was a little badgered, but I was curious to know what would happen next, so I asked, “So what happened? I prompted.
“After that, it was even more amazing. It took only him 30 seconds to perform such a big spell. I know, since I am also a wind attribute magician, but if I want to activate magic with that power, it takes at least a minute and a half. How was he able to?” (Staff)
The staff member was gradually becoming excited and his speech was becoming plain. I had noticed this, but my interest in the story was stronger and I didn’t particularly care.
“After that, Professor Ruspede said he would make him his assistant. You know how Professor Ruspede is.” (Staff)
Hearing his story, I was speechless.
Professor Ruspede was my mentor, but this was the first time I had heard that he himself had asked for an assistant. He is an eccentric, but when it comes to the study of magic, especially magical tools, and magic circles, there is no one better than him here in Doctus. In other words, he is the best researcher in the world. For this reason, there is no end to the number of people who wish to become his assistants. However, there has never been a case in which they have lasted more than one year.
The professor scouted a child of only ten years old. The surprise was nothing compared to a child casting [Tempest].
Even after I returned from Saltus, a northern kingdom with a large population of elves and a thriving magical research community, the professor was not impressed with my abilities. At the time, I had raised my level to 35, and even the court magician of Saltus, famous for its magic, called me a genius. Even then, the professor only took one look at me and showed no interest. He did not even remember that I had graduated at the top of my class ten years before, thanks to his evaluation.
For the first time in over a hundred years, he attended the entrance exam and even asked someone to become his assistant.
I was intrigued by this student, Zacharias Lockhart, who would be my son Quentin’s classmate.
That afternoon, after receiving a formal report from the Academy, the Education and Research Committee proposed and discussed a survey of the village of Rathmore, the hometown of Zacharias Lockhart, the head student, and Sharon Jakes, the first runner-up student.
The proposal was made by Miles – Councilor Miles Isherwood – and I agreed with him, as I thought it was plausible. And two magicians were dispatched to the village of Rathmore.
Then, on August 9.
The day before the acceptance announcement, the headmaster came to me.
He bowed to me and said, “Your son was not at the top of the class.”
I disliked the headmaster, who mixes his public and private lives. Therefore, I sarcastically said to him, “I heard that the acceptance announcement was tomorrow, so how could that happen?”
I knew who was at the top of the class. It couldn’t have been anyone other than that kid Lockhart, whom Professor Ruspede had scouted.
The headmaster failed to understand my words.
“Certainly tomorrow, but due to Professor Ruspede’s intervention, someone other than your son will be…” (Headmaster)
I didn’t want to hear anymore, so I interrupted him and said, “I am not going to hear the results today; I am not going to hear the results tomorrow. No matter how the head of the Education and Research Committee, this constitutes a mix of our public and private lives. Don’t you think this is something that the chairman of the committee, who is supposed to make sure that the rules are followed, should not be allowed to hear?”
He finally understood my words. Then, after muttering a giggling apology, he left my room.
The next day, I went with my son and his tutor, Croft, to see the announcement of his acceptance.
My son had no doubt that he would pass the exam at the top of his class, and Croft agreed with him, encouraging him more.
When we arrived at the bulletin board listing the successful applicants, my son was shocked to see that his name was not at the top of the list, and he dropped to his knees and began to cry.
I rebuked him and told him, “You passed with third place. You should beat your chest proudly,” I chided him, and then I said to him, “You should work hard now and graduate at the top of your class,” which was not what I thought in mind. Since then, I had researched Zacharias Lockhart, but his level had already reached twenty-four, and there was no chance that my son could turn it around.
My son looked at me and knew intuitively what I was thinking.
He exclaimed, “I knew it, Father hates me!” he shouted and ran away from me.
I consider it my failure to educate my son.
My first wife, Quentin’s mother, was the daughter of the chief magician of the court of Saltus. She was from a prestigious family that had produced court magicians for generations, but she was an honest, good-natured woman.
When the proposal to marry her came up, I immediately agreed. The chief magician also seemed to favor my talent, and I was happy when I was in Saltus.
A recall order from the Magician’s Guild ended my ten years in Saltus, but I was willing to return to Saltus, even if only for every few years. To make my wife’s birthplace my second home.
However, my plan turned out to be nothing but a dream, after only one year back in Doctus.
While my wife was pregnant with our second child, an unfortunate epidemic broke out. She passed away along with our child.
At the time, I was very busy with my guild work and did not pay much attention to my family. However, after my wife fell ill, I devoted myself to nursing her and even invited a talented healer to come and help her recover from her illness.
However, five-year-old Quentin accused me of not taking care of my wife and not helping her. To him, I was a “magician” who could do anything, and he thought I could easily cure my wife’s illness.
In fact, I am a master of light magic.
Light magic has miraculous healing powers. Yes, like those used by the clergy of the Lux Theocracy.
But I was not good at healing magic. It is not that I cannot use it. But it was only to heal a simple cut or suppress a weak stomachache at best.
But my son didn’t think so.
I didn’t have time to think about it at the time, but now that I’ve calmed down, it’s possible that Croft, the tutor, may have instilled something in my son.
In the first place, Croft was a man who had the backing of Miles – my colleague, Councilor Miles Isherwood – and I knew it. I know this, and I use him.
Of course, I am doing this for the good of my son’s education.
Croft was a private school researcher, but he had no talent in that area. However, he was a gifted educator, and it was probably because of his guidance that Quentin was able to enter the school in third place.
For my part, I had been trying to use Croft as a bargaining chip against Miles and Ibbetson, the head of the personnel committee.
I thought I had completely eliminated the influence of Miles and his group by using carrots and whips.
Miles was better than I was when it came to this sort of thing. I was aware of that, but I guess he was even better than I thought.
Croft, whom I had thought I had won over, had set a trap for me that was as bad as a slow poison. It was a heart-wrenching trap of my son’s estrangement.
By the time I realized it, it was too late.
Quentin had come to believe what Croft was saying rather than me, his father.
At that time, I regretted that I had lost someone important to me because of my own arrogance.
After that, I took steps to ensure that Croft would never cross me again.
I declared that if he ever acted against me, I would join with Seberg, the chairman, to bury him, Miles, who manipulated him, and Ibbetson, the mastermind.
In fact, with Seberg and I working together, it would be easy to throw Miles out of the guild of magicians. Against Ibbetson, it would not be difficult to use the power of Seberg, his former boss, to cut off the staff of his faction, the personnel committee.
They must understand the implications of using Croft against me. They are not stupid. They have assumed that this is the best way to deal with Croft.
Miles could not rebel against me in a position of weakness. I had just assumed that.
In fact, within the Magician’s Guild, Miles had begun to slowly separate the personnel committee staff.
I assumed that this was enough to turn Miles against Ibbetson. At that time, in my mind, the only rival should have been Councilor Forsythe, the chairman of the finance committee.
But they used my son to attack me, out of my sight.
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