Luquis, the country that resides next to Lyngle Kingdom.
Inside this country, there exists a large magic academia. The structure itself is large enough to be mistaken for a castle. There was also someone who held the most authority and governed this academia. This person would be similar to something like a principal or a headmaster at a school. The students studying here developed their own systems of magic and even competed against each other as rivals.
From what Ark-san said, the students here not only studied magic but other subjects as well such as martial arts, sword techniques, and so on.
From what Welsey-san said, one could only graduate from here with excellent grades and the ones that do graduate become powerful mages.
From what Amako said, there was no shortage of discrimination against inferior lineages of magic that people were born with.
There weren’t a lot of factors to consider when characterizing one’s system of magic to be superior or inferior. The factors were the raw amount of magic power, its usefulness, and how much demand there was for it. You could make up for some shortcomings with your own effort to a certain extent but you couldn’t change the system of magic that you were born with no matter how hard you try.
“…At least that’s what I’ve heard…”
It was currently the night of the 6th day since we’ve departed.
As I was blankly staring at the lit campfire, I thought about our current destination, Luquis. Except for the guards that were keeping watch, everyone else had already turned in for the day. I really should be resting as well since we were scheduled to arrive at Luquis tomorrow. However, just thinking about our destination made me feel restless and I couldn’t fall asleep.
“Ark-san, you shouldn’t push yourself.”
“No no, I rested plenty just a while ago.”
Ark-san who was sitting in front of me gave a refreshing laugh as he replied. Since I couldn’t sleep before, I had gotten out of the carriage. I noticed Ark-san and had called out to him out of concern.
I already knew this but he really was a very polite and kind person with good manners. It may be due to the nature of his line of work as a knight but it was fairly easy to have a conversation with him. He was similar to a committee chairman at school.
“You’ve been to Luquis, right?”
Senpai kept going on about Ark-san being a ‘main protagonist’ and saying incomprehensible things about ‘light novels’. Of the nonsense Senpai spouted, she mentioned this matter. But Ark-san had displayed a somewhat awkward expression to my words.
Was it a topic that I shouldn’t get into?
“Sorry, was it something I shouldn’t have asked?”
“No, that’s not necessarily the case.”
Ark-san panicked at my question and quickly denied it by crossing his arms. I could see how frantic he was just from how the sword on his hip swayed from side to side due to his sudden movements.
“I suspect that… You’ll know about it sooner or later at any rate. I should at least tell you about it myself.”
“Is it related to what will happen tomorrow?”
“Yes. I’m guessing that you’ve already heard about the discrimination in Luquis with regards to the systems of magic from Amako, right?”
Although I thought it was cruel, I also personally thought of it as someone else’s problem.
Kazuki and Inukami-senpai might get angry over this issue but I felt like it didn’t concern me.
“The discrimination against what type of magic you possess… There’s also discrimination against non-humans.”
Discrimination against non-humans? Wasn’t this something in every country and not just Luquis? At the very least, that’s what I’ve been told.
“Luquis is a gathering of people from various places and they all have their own objectives… Whether it’s to become a knight or to live a life in luxury, everyone studies hard to achieve their goals. It would take too long for me to explain everything so I will omit most of it. The main thing that I want to say is that the non-humans who choose to enter Luquis will be persecuted and have to prepare themselves to face that.”
“Aren’t they aware of how dangerous it could be?”
“Yes, but that’s just how much value Luquis holds.”
If it was my world, I guess it would be like a school with a gathering of the elite.
However, I just can’t see how valuable this was to others just from this conversation. Why would they go out of their way to undertake magic training? That’s just hell. I speak from personal experience… You get struck and beaten down.. if you get back up, you get beaten down again.. if you somehow manage to avoid a blow, you’ll be immediately kicked. I just can’t imagine why one would participate in this kind of training which required no thought; it was simply physical suffering.
Was it a school specifically for non-humans to get a beating?
“You’re showing an expression like you don’t understand.”
“Well, yeah. I can’t comprehend it.”
“Even if it’s filled with danger, there are things that they must accomplish. On the surface, Luquis prohibits the act of buying and selling non-humans but this is where students gather from all over the continent… Although there aren’t many people who discriminate against non-humans, there will always a group of people or individuals with extreme prejudice against non-humans.”
While Ark-san directed a slightly troubled smile at me, he reached over to a stack of dry wood and tossed some more into the fire. The fire grew larger and brighter from the added fuel… The illumination was also enough for me to catch a glance of Ark-san’s faint but sorrowful expression.
“That academy is the best place to study magic, there’s no other place that would be considered more ideal. However, it is also the worst place to be for a small number of individuals. Honestly, I don’t like it over there.”
“Ah, no! You didn’t do anything wrong, Usato-dono! I really wanted to be helpful to you in some way and seriously thought about being your guard when I accepted the request.”
Even so, I was still the person to make Ark-san accompany me to Luquis. He considered it the worst place to be; I couldn’t help but feel very sorry.
“I-incidentally, what kind of impression do you have of non-humans, Usato-dono?”
“My impression? Hm.”
Different from humans? But that was obvious. Even so, the only non-humans I’ve met so far are Amako the beast girl and Felm the demon. Looking at just those two…
“I don’t really have any.”
It may have been due to the bad influence over me since the average non-human didn’t seem all that monster-like or scary compared to Rose the demonic Leader. It feels like the Rescue Squad itself was a band of monsters… In fact, Felm treated them like goblins and ogres. But what was with Ark-san’s question? The person himself seemed to pause for a moment but then in the next moment, he gave an uncharacteristically loud laugh.
What was so funny? Ark-san tried to suppress his laughter. I don’t think I said anything odd.. it was just a simple and plain response with no other meaning behind it. Even so, Ark-san laughed uncontrollably.
“Don’t really have any, you say. It really is a statement that’s unique and something only you would say, Usato-dono.”
“Only me you say…”
“Yes, it suits you. That’s probably why Amako was not worried about you… Someone like you who would treat humans and non-humans equally.”
Meaning that the people of this world had a much different impression than me.. so much that they would burst into laughter, I guess? As expected of me, I wouldn’t fear non-humans from how much fantasy novels I’ve read about them.
To begin with, our common sense and impressions were different as we had come from a different world. Everything in this world already felt different after all.. whether it be non-humans or anything else. The people in this world accepted magic as it was something ordinary and naturally regarded non-humans as dreadful existences.
“Even if you say it’s very much like me to think so, I’m not exactly a good person like you think.”
“Usato-dono is a good person. You’re just not aware of it yourself.”
“Don’t praise me so much, please. I might get conceited, you know?”
“Hahaha, it would be better for you to be a little more conceited.”
From just our recent exchange, Ark-san’s expression had gotten a lot softer. He even had a cheerful smile. Right now, Ark-san didn’t give off the courteous impression he gave when we first talked but rather it felt like he was being more open and honest.
Usato and Ark got on slightly better terms with each other.
I felt like those words appeared in front of me somehow. Nah, it was probably just my imagination.