”Jin, youve got a letter. ” My dear mother said to me, her gentle voice was the warmth that melted away the winter snow.

I dreamt of a happy memory, one that Id blissfully shared with her. Like a beautiful melody that got stuck inside my head.

The letter I scarcely thought of then, but now it seemed like my last ray of hope.

Thinking back now, why was it that I received that letter? Me, some poor farmer who couldn even cast a spell to save his own mother, was being sought after by one of the worlds best magic academies. It was nonsensical at the time, and it still was now.

Something came up from the darkest depths of my mind. It swam up to catch and drag me down along with it, like it was looking for a friend. It was a moldy, rotten memory, one that has never left my side.

I woke up in a cold sweat.

An unfamiliar ceiling greeted me. A sterile, white ceiling, completely lacking in the warmth department.

”Hey, yer awake? ”

A coarse, slightly deep voice rang through from the other end of the room. It was Gakuro Manzaki, the delinquent boss.

”Yeah, I am. ” I curtly responded.

The last thing I remembered before losing consciousness was the brief pain of being blasted by a high-tier spell.

”Good. At least you
e not hurt as badly. ” Manzaki said. The words were something so out-of-character, I couldn believe he was the same person who threatened me with a knife earlier.

”Where are we? ” I asked.

”The infirmary. All four of us. ” Manzaki answered.

I looked to my left and found a mummy lying down in the bed next to me. Well, It probably wasn a mummy, just someone wrapped in way too many bandages. I looked to my right and found another mummy, this one was more recognizable, due only to the fact that his head wasn covered by bandages like the other one.

They were Manzakis lackeys, seems like they had taken most of the damage, and were now in critical condition.

A moment of silence wafted past, like Manzaki was thinking of what to say to me. His lips hesitated for a while, sometimes it trembled, but ultimately squeezed out the words ”Drop out. ”.

”Sorry, thats not possible. ” I responded.

Its not like I had a choice. Not after what happened that day.

Manzaki let out an exasperated sigh.

”Ryuunosuke, was it? I get it, for someone as broke as you to say what you just said. ” Manzaki said, but it didn feel like he was mocking me; His tone was rather gentle and patient.

”Youve received that same letter, haven you? The letter promised that, for the duration of your enrollment, all of your living expenses would be covered free of charge by East Academy. As long as you regularly attended lessons, you would have the financial support of the school. That rang true, its not a scam. However… ” Manzaki paused, as if to collect his thoughts. He intended to continue his speech, but for some reason, he stopped speaking, as if his own words were caught in his throat midway through.

”…Healing magic, can you use it? ” Manzaki asked suddenly.

”No, I can . ”

He sneered, ”Yeah, same here. But the nurses and doctors here can. They
e pretty good at it, too. ” He gazed at his two pitiful lackeys as he said that.

Healing magic were pretty strong, if I recall. One high-tier healing spell could restore one to tip-top shape even in the most dire of states.

”So then, why are these two… ” Still in this shape?

Manzaki fell silent again, waiting for me to connect the dots on my own.

e the same as me and you. They both come from poor, impoverished circumstances. Kanji was born in the slums of Eterna, and Leo lost both his parents when he was little. ” Manzaki solemnly spoke, it was clear how close he was to these two.

But the question remained, why were we admitted here?

”Ryuunosuke. The first year assembly starts soon, can you walk? ”

”Yeah, barely. ”

”Then its best if you go now. And be careful, everyone here is your enemy. Oh, and sorry for earlier, we didn mean to scare ya, honest. ”

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