Dream Life Vol II Chapter 34.2: “Councilor Piers Wagman: Part 1”

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~Piers’ Perspective~



 But they used my son to attack me, out of my sight.



 I learned of this fact on October 2, the night after the harvest festival.


 A little after noon that day, I received a note from Zacharias Lockhart saying that he had visited me.


 Since it was the day after the festival, many people from other cities who wanted to have connections with Doctus had visited me.



 Even so, it was possible to make enough time for a visit.


 I would have met with Lockhart around 3:00 p.m. if he had not come to me with an important matter concerning my son’s future.


 I was uncomfortable with Lockhart’s use of the words, “my son’s future”. Call me narrow-minded, but I felt that he was speaking from above my son, who was the third-ranked at the academy.


 If the other party had been a merchant or a politician, I would not have responded in this way. At that time, I was not a politician, but merely a father who had lost the affection of his son.



 When it was about 7:00 p.m. and I heard that he was still waiting for me, I regretted my actions. I thought that he must really be thinking about my son if he waited this long.



 Zacharias Lockhart, who entered the office, was a boy with an air of maturity that made it hard to believe he was ten years old, and coupled with his aristocratic appearance, the word “prodigy” came to mind.



 My appearance, on the other hand, is so unpolished that I would be better described as a country farmer or a city laborer.


 As a side note, the nickname I was given when I entered the academy was “Poor’s Workman”. Yes, I was so unsophisticated in appearance that they named me “Poor’s Workman” after my name, Piers Wagman.


 I used to complain about this appearance, but now I am helped by it. People who meet me for the first time seem to be confused when they see me and think I am not what they imagined I would look like. I can take advantage of that confusion and make the best of the negotiation.


 And the boy in front of me was also confused by my appearance.



 I apologized for keeping him waiting and began to talk.


 When I turned to him, he suddenly began to tell me that my political career was in jeopardy.


 I was discouraged by his words and lost interest. I realized that he was not worried about my son.


 But when he realized that I had lost interest, he changed his tactics.


 He cleverly coaxed me into talking to him in order to get my attention.



“…I see. So, you are aware of the adamant exclusion of me and Miss Jakes that is going on at the Academy right now, and you see nothing wrong with it?” (Zack)



 At first, I did not understand what he meant. To buy time, I interrupted him to say who Miss Jakes was.


 He didn’t say anything more direct.



“Some of the students in our class and our homeroom teacher, Mr. Bennett, are trying to exclude me and Miss Jakes.” (Zack)



 This time I made a big mistake. Thinking he was just a kid who came to taunt me, I said, “Part of the class… you’re here to say my son is involved?”


 He shakes his head, “No.” Then he went on to change the topic of conversation.



“I think we could leave the academy and move to a private school. However, we thought that this would cause trouble for you and in turn affect Mr. Quentin, so I have asked for the opportunity to speak with you.” (Zack)



 I still couldn’t grasp his true intentions, so I muttered, “How annoying…”, and without thinking, I asked, “How does your leaving the academy have to do with me?”



 Then, perhaps sensing that I was dumbfounded, he came up with a winning gambit.



“If his Excellency has no problem with us leaving the academy, then I’ll leave you to your work.” (Zack)



 With that, he sat up.


 I then realized that this boy was not what he appeared to be.


 I had made the same mistake as those who had been deceived by my appearance.


 Impatient to regain the initiative, I tried to buy some time by saying, “Well, wait a minute.”


 Then I tried to show that I was willing to listen to him by saying, “I would like to hear your opinion.”


 He kept a serious expression on his face, but with a slight look of satisfaction on his face.



“Now let me tell you about the impact on your Excellency if we quit. First of all, let me state at the outset that I have not confirmed the fact that Mr. Quentin is trying to ostracize us. Rather, whether he is doing so or not is irrelevant to this discussion. I will proceed on that assumption.” (Zack)



 At this point, I understood what he was trying to say.


 After a little thought, I quickly realized that he was pointing out that once they left the academy, my son would be the top of his class, and that others would think I had helped him do it from behind the scenes.



 After that it was his show.


 He knew exactly where to find information about my political opponents, and he could not have been more accurate in pointing out my relationship with Miles, who was known to the public as a close ally.



 For a brief moment, I was terrified of this boy. Yes, I felt a small amount of fear that I did not feel for my political enemies, Forsythe and Ibbetson.


 And to a child of ten years old, I gave him the look I give my subordinates when I intimidate them.



 I was ashamed of that unintentional and immature act. But I soon recognized that he was not what he appeared to be, but someone with whom I could have an equal discussion, and I stopped being ashamed. Yes, if you don’t consider your opponent a child, there is nothing shameful about playing tricks to gain an advantage in negotiations. I reminded myself of that.



 I recognized him, but he was still a man beyond my imagination.


 He was not afraid of my power, and he refused to use it. This was not out of ignorance, nor out of arrogance, but out of his inner confidence.



 Furthermore, he was a much larger person than I am.


 To be the head of the Tyria Magic Academy is an honor that anyone who aspires to magic dreams of at least once. And with that honor comes perks. Yes, like me, he was promised a promotion within the Magician’s Guild.


 But he had no interest in such things. He joined the academy for his own personal development, not for a career advancement.



 I took pity on my son.


 I felt sorry for my son’s misfortune to have to live through the same period of time with such a man.


 But then I quickly reconsidered.


 If I could make a friendship with this man, it would be an asset that my son could not have hoped for more.



 I suggested it.


 But he said he would not offer his hand and that my son should be the one to approach him.



 Of course, he would.


 He himself must have worked hard beyond words to attain his current ability. To stand in the same position as him, my son would have to make a great deal of effort, perhaps even a death-defying effort. I realized that it was too naive of me to ask him to give me a hand without doing so.


 Still, I implored his assistance.


 He understood my feelings as a father, and reluctantly agreed.



 After that, we talked about many things.


 He had a more realistic plan for reforming the academy than I had.


 He agreed that the academy should be reformed, but he assured me that radical reforms would lead to confusion on the ground.


 The way he spoke reminded me of a conservative, and I couldn’t help but frown.



 But that was not all. He proposed an improvement plan that was both reasonable and easy to implement.



 Classes for the lower grades would continue as before.


 However, for those who are more knowledgeable or skilled, he suggested an elective course system.


 As lecturers for these courses, he suggested that researchers such as Professor Ruspede be assigned.


 I countered that I doubted that anyone in a research position would approve of such a proposal.


 He laughed and said that I should let him present his own research. I had to ask him why.



“It would be a great opportunity for teachers, since they don’t have the chance to present their research. Everyone would want to share their results with the world.” (Zack)



 He then said that the classes should be open to higher grade and younger teachers, and in the future, to private school students and instructors.


 I had no problem with making the classes available to upper grade and academy teachers, but I was opposed to making them available to private schools as well. But he told me that I should abandon such a small-minded idea.



“Isn’t the Tyria Magic Academy the best school in the world? If so, it is only natural that we should make the results of our research available to all those who aspire to magic, including those at private schools. First of all, researchers will no longer be able to publish unremarkable results. I believe they will now take their research seriously.” (Zack)



 Finally, he even included my goal of changing the mindset of researchers.


 I told him I would consider it, but in my heart I was determined to carry it out.


 The next day, I gathered the younger members of the Education and Research Committee and ordered them to consider it as my proposal.



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