Dream Life Vol II Chapter 48: “Overcoming Fear”

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 October 11th.



 After Professor Ruspede’s afternoon lecture, we went to visit Quentin Wagman, who was apparently in shock from yesterday’s battle with wild dogs.


 When we arrived at the Wagman’s spacious mansion, Stewart, the butler, welcomed us and showed us to the parlor.


 While walking around the mansion, I asked him how Quentin was doing.



“Master Quentin is in shock and doesn’t want to go to the academy today. …I was going to wait and see how he was doing until the Master returned.” (Stewart)



 As I predicted, he seems to be in shock that he was almost killed by a monster and is shutting himself away. The butler couldn’t do anything about it, and it seemed that he was going to wait for Councilor Wagman to return from his business trip.


 While I was waiting in the reception room, a disheveled-looking Quentin appeared. He greeted me in a hushed tone, but he did not say anything more.


 When I said, “You look well, Mr. Wagman,” he turned away from me and said, “I’m not feeling well, so I’m going back to my room.”



(It feels like he is completely terrified. It can’t be helped…) (Zack)



 I said, “Mr. Wagman, can we talk for a minute?” and stopped him as he was leaving.


 I looked him in the face and told him the facts in a matter-of-fact manner.



“Yesterday was your first battle, and you almost died fighting monsters. That’s why you are terrified of monsters. Isn’t that right?” (Zack)



 He looked frustrated at my question, but didn’t say anything back.



“My first fight with Miss Jakes here was two years ago, when I was eight years old. My first fight was with a wild dog, too. And I was afraid of wild dogs, too. And I was afraid of wild dogs, too, even though I was safe, protected by some very skilled squires…” (Zack)



 Quentin looked incredulous, but I continued.



“Unlike you yesterday, there was no danger to us at that time. Ms. Jakes, she was anxious, Sharon’s fine though… Sharon’s father, Guy, is equal to Ms. Beatrice you met yesterday. He’s also an adventurer. Right, Sharon?” (Zack)



 Perhaps somehow realizing my intentions, Sharon smiled and nodded loudly.



“Yes, there was no danger at all when I asked them later, but I was crying on the way home at the time. I didn’t even remember how I moved halfway the journey. If Master Zack hadn’t held my hand, I would have…” (Sharon)


“We were scared, too. We all were at first.” (Zack)



 Quentin said, “That’s not true. You’re strong,” he said, shaking his head with tears in his eyes.



“Then let me tell you about my grandfather. My grandfather was a commoner soldier who became a knight with just his own skill. He was such a skilled swordsman that there are still people who know of him in the counties around the Rathmore village. Let me tell you a story about the first battle that my grandfather told me…” (Zack)



 I will tell him the story I heard after grandfather’s first battle.



“…He told me that he was so afraid that he almost endangered his own people. Let me share with you what he said.” (Zack)



 He was drawn into his grandfather’s story and asked, “What words?”



“I told him that I was trembling from my first battle, and he said, ‘There is no shame in feeling fear. He who does not feel fear cannot be truly strong.’ I still remember those words. I’m able to fight like this because of those words.”




 Quentin muttered, “There is no shame in feeling fear. He who does not feel fear cannot be truly strong…” and looked down.


 I thought it was no good, but I waited for him to look up.


 He held his hands open and gripped his knees for about thirty seconds, then slowly looked up.


 His eyes were still red, but the tears had stopped. He was trying to force a smile, but he had a twitchy look on his face.



“Thank you. I feel a little better now. Can I call Mr. Lockhart… Zack? I would also prefer you call me Quentin…” (Quentin)



 I nodded at that and he looked pleased.


 We then talked about many things. Finally, I asked him about his last visit to Professor Ruspede.



“Professor Ruspede told me that he has no intention of teaching any students other than both of you. He said that even if the top student in the fifth grade came to him, it would not be worth it for him to teach them directly. Then he said that, it was nothing to be frustrated about.” (Quentin)



“The professor said that…” (Zack)



“However, at the end he also said, ‘Even if you can’t talk about magic with Mr. Lockhart, but you can talk about magic on an equal footing with Ms. Jakes, please come back again.’ Miss Jakes, no, Sharon, you’re my target.” (Quentin)



 Quentin declared in a strong voice, but Sharon was taken aback for a moment, eyes widening in surprise saying, “I’m your target?”



 We decide to leave because we have to make it up to Beatrice. As we leave, Stewart hands me a jar of wine, saying, “For Lady Beatrice and Lady Lydiane.” I gratefully accepted the wine jar, thinking it would put me in a better mood, and left the mansion.



 At dinner, when I served the jar of wine, Liddy and Beatrice were instantly in a better mood.


 Beatrice said, “Well, it’s his first battle. It’s probably one that he did well on his own too,” and Liddy said, “They are much smarter than I thought, since he can admit that to Zack.”


 I laughed and said, “You’ve been bought off with wine,” and they countered that they weren’t, but I wasn’t persuaded because they both wouldn’t let go of the wine.



 It was the evening of October 11, around the time of the 8:00 p.m. bell.



 After Beatrice returned to the inn, we again had a visitor in our home.


 The visitor was Piers Wagman, a councilor of the Magicians’ Guild.



 He must have been on a business trip for two nights and three days, and came here after hearing about yesterday’s incident at the guild or the mansion.


 His face was flushed, which was unusual for a man who is always calm, and it was clear that he had come here in a hurry.


 He apologized and said, “I’m sorry to bother you at this time of night.”



“I heard that you saved my son Quentin’s life. First of all, I would like to thank you. Thank you very much.” (Piers)



 I was surprised that he, a politician of great authority, had suddenly expressed his gratitude. I had thought that no matter how many time I had saved his son’s life, he would at most invite us to his mansion and thank us.


 But Councilor Wagman’s expression was serious, and he was nothing more than a father who was worried about his son. To the extent that Liddy, who saw him, later said, “I thought he was, surprisingly, a good person.” It’s amazing just to make Liddy, who is shy and has a fear of men, think like that, but I was wondering how much of this was an act.



“I have to thank Miss Beatrice as well, but I thought I’d put everything aside for you first…” (Piers)



 Councilor Wagman had returned to the guild headquarters about an hour ago, where he heard that Quentin had almost been lost in the forest.


 Then he went back to the mansion and asked Stewart, the butler, what happened, and when he heard from his son, he learned that we had rescued him.



“It seems you’ve done nothing but help me. I also want to thank you for helping my son get back on his feet.” (Piers)



 He was suspicious of his son’s calmness and questioned him. Then I learned that Sharon and I had visited the mansion after school today and encouraged him.



“When I heard that he almost died in his first battle, I thought Quentin had been consumed by fear. …If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. Nothing can replace my son’s life.” (Piers)



 I can’t help but distrust a councilor, any politician, who looks sincere.



(Maybe it’s the Japanese media that makes me not trust politicians. I feel like I’m being narrow-minded, but I just can’t trust this person. I know this guy’s information, and besides, he’s been threatening me with a ruthless look in the last talk I had with him…) (Zack)



“I’ve already been thanked, and I’m sure both Beatrice and Lydiane have been well repaid with good wine.” (Zack)



 I looked at Liddy and she said, “Yes. There was no danger here, and that’s enough.”



“Besides, Miss Jakes and I are friends of Mr. Quentin, so it’s only natural.” (Zack)



 Sharon nodded at my words.



“I see… I can’t win even if I bargain with you.” (Piers)



 His face had changed from that of a son-loving father to that of a cold-hearted politician.


 Then he suddenly bowed and said, “I have a favor to ask.”



“There are people who are trying to spread rumors about this matter. I don’t think I have to tell you, but it’s Isherwood.” (Piers)



 I sighed that it was politically involved again, but I asked, “Is this a rumor?”



“I guess he wants to attack my qualities as a leader. He seems to be trying to use Quentin’s actions as an excuse, wondering if I can reform the academy while not being able to keep my son in check.” (Piers)



 I wondered where he had heard this, but I didn’t want to get involved in something I didn’t know anything about, so I let it slide.


 Then I somehow understood from his words what he wanted to ask.



“I understand. Yesterday, Quentin went into the forest with Lydiane. Mr. Stewart happened to be unaware of it, and in his haste, he submitted a request to the Adventurers’ Guild. So that’s how it happened. That’s it, right?” (Zack)



 Councilor Wagman did not change his expression.



“That’s what I’m hoping you would do. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, and as long as we keep it as Stewart’s idle fuss, it won’t hurt my name.” (Piers)



 Liddy gave me a look of disgust, but I pretended not to notice.




“Liddy, please do that. The councilor aside… Quentin is a good guy. If this thing becomes a big deal, he’ll be the one who gets hurt. Please, Liddy.” (Zack)



 As I bowed my head to Liddy, I glanced at the councilor’s face, thinking that this level of sarcasm was acceptable. The councilor gave a wry smile, but said nothing.



 Liddy didn’t look at the councilor at all and said, “Okay. Since you… are the one asking me to do this,” and walked away from the discussion.


 I told him, “I’ll tell Beatrice not to say any more than she has to,” and then I asked him what was bothering me.



“Why did you let Mr. Quentin go into the woods? I told you to be careful, but you didn’t do anything about it.” (Zack)



 The councilor looked a little dubious and asked, “What are you talking about?”


 I told him that I had given a note to the guild’s receptionist five days earlier, on October 6, with a warning.



“I don’t think it reached me. Do you remember who you gave it to?” (Piers)



 The councilor asked me this with narrowed eyes. When I told him that I had made sure to give it to the young receptionist, he nodded and said, “I see.”



“I see that the attack against me is still going on. I have a pretty good idea who did it and for what.” (Piers)



 He turned his terrifying smile on me. A chill ran down my spine, and I decided not to have anything more to do with this.



 With a sigh, I whispered, “I don’t want to get involved in politics any more…” and said, “Please give my best regards to Quentin.”


 Perhaps Councilor Wirgman sensed that too, making a friendly smile,



“I will definitely thank you for this matter. Do you have anything you wish for?” (Piers)



 When I said, “I get the feeling that politicians don’t like having debs, but…”, my words were quiet. After this, I was about to add, “After all, it is troublesome to deal with politicians.” Instead, I said,



“There is nothing in particular. If I had to say something, I would say that you should give Quentin direct guidance. If possible, take him to the forest and let him gain some experience.” (Zack)




 Councilor Wagman still looked as if he wanted to say something.



“You will be able to count on me in due course. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I am truly grateful to you for saving my son’s life. Let me thank you again.” (Piers)



 With that, the councilman bowed once more and left the house.



 The next day, I was planning to go into the woods, so when I told Beatrice about it when she came to my house, she gave me a blatantly disgusted look, saying, “That was a good drink, but the aftertaste suddenly turned bad.”



“If that’s okay with you, then I won’t say anything… But I didn’t know you were an acquaintance with a politician. And that’s a big deal. Well, since he’s a classmate’s father, so, do you know him…” (Beatrice)



 Beatrice is unaware of the political strife involving Councilor Wagman. He doesn’t actively talk about it, and if she doesn’t know things properly, she might get involved.



“I don’t like politicians, and first of all, he’s the busiest man in this town, so I don’t think he’ll be bothering us any more than he already has.” (Beatrice)



 Liddy and Beatrice were more focused than usual that day. They were probably not able to sort out their feelings after hearing political speculation from the person they had helped out of the goodness of their hearts.


 The small fry that are usually sent to me and Sharon are being taken down one after the other to relieve their stress instead.



(It’s not that I don’t understand, but the purpose is to raise our level…) (Zack)



 I would like to say something, but it is easy to predict that if I say something unnecessary when those two are frustrated, I will be caught in the crossfire, so I refrain from doing so.



 Perhaps Councilor Wagman’s maneuvering was successful, and Quentin’s story was not exaggerated. Quentin also seemed to have been at the academy the next day, but by the time we went to the classroom, he had stopped even gossiping.




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