Infinite Mage (Novel) Chapter 54

  


C54


“Return our laboratory? Why all of a sudden?”


Nade's shoulder curved inwards as he asked.


The corners of Siena's mouth curved up.


“The management team reviewed documents and found out that you operated the group without meeting the required number of members this semester. The academy has already cut off the subsidy, so I'd appreciate it if you clean things up within a month.”


“Wait a minute! We have Shirone now! 3 members is the minimum requirement for a research group to be recognized.”


“But what did you guys do? What activities did you participate in? If you want to save your research group, you have to produce some kind of research accomplishment or results within a month, which is the due date. Of course, I don't know what kind of research you can do in the field of the supernatural.”


“It's not mandatory for a research group to do a presentation. And we're not the only research groups, there are many other ones like us too!”


“This one's a special case. Since your research group is located inside Estas, there are a lot of inconveniences in operation, that's one thing. Second thing, the Supernatural Psychic Science Reserach Group in particular has made no achievement except for earning notoriety. The one-month time was only given to you because Ms. Ethella requested it. You should be grateful.”


Shirone was totally dumbfounded.


He had just entered the research group, only for it to soon be disbanded.


“But if you guys are really desperate, there is one way to save the research group.”


Nade asked with no hesitation.


“What's that? What do we need to do?”


“Withdraw Shirone from the research group. Then I'll overlook this group at least until next semester.”


“Whaaaaat?!”


As expected, Nade blew up.


“No way! It's not like we forced him to join, we three are friends who always stick together in the academy. Why are you trying to tear us apart?”


Yiruki added to what Nade said.


“If it's because I miss class, don't worry teacher. We all are masters when it comes to studying, it is just that we have our own methods of doing so.” 


Shirone couldn't sit still and just listen.


“I feel the same. I know this research group is notorious, along with the fact that Yiruki and Nade do not diligently attend class. However, even these two pour in an absurd amount of effort into their fields of study. They're not wasting their time. So please, be lenient.”


Nade held on to a string of hope knowing that Siena particularly treasured Shirone. 


However, Siena's mind was set.


“I'm not changing my mind. Above all, Shirone, this is a decision made for you.”


“A decision made for me? I thought I was working hard.”


“Shirone, what have you been going through lately?”


Shirone's heart sank while Nade and Yiruki looked anywhere else but at them.


Siena knew from their reaction.


As expected, he had told his friends about everything.


“You guys are really…”


Siena sighed


“Especially you, Yiruki. You know that Shirone is in danger of facing Overflow, so why didn't you tell the instructor?”


It was Shirone's first time hearing that term.


“Yiruki, what is Overflow?”


“It's just… It's not a big deal. It's a phenomenon that happens to geniuses at young ages. I experienced it when I was eight.”


Siena was not satisfied with his explanation.


“If you go into Overflow for a long period of time, your mind may collapse. I heard about the Immortal Function from Ms. Ethella. If we miss the timing, you will fall into a state where recovery is impossible.”


“Hmm…”


Shirone thought.


Even now, the nightmares persisted every night, and he still suffered from the Mourning Sensation. He was worried he would go crazy at some point which made Siena's explanation credible.


Shirone asked Yiruki again.


“H-How was it? For you?”


“Hmm, there really wasn't much to it. Well, it was a bit scary. When I told my father about it, he said that it was normal for a bastard like me and that I was supposed to live like that for the rest of my life.”


Siena let out a dry chuckle.


That was the only thing he had to say to his son who was living in fear.


'How absurd.'


However, considering who Yiruki's father was, it was mildly understandable. Anyways, it was true that his father played a part in Yiruki's eccentric personality.


Siena asked Nade.


“What are your thoughts?”


“Huh? Me? Hahaha, I don't know. I don't know what Overflow feels like.”


Siena sighed. She was hoping Shirone would change his mind after hearing about the experiences of his friends.


“Okay. Whatever it may be, Shirone will leave the research group. And for the time being, he will have consultations with me. If you guys care about your friend, just accept it. The most important thing right now is Shirone's mental state.”


Nade had a sad expression.


“Isn't that just the academy's decision? I, the president of his research group, don't agree.”


Siena's eyes hardened.


“If you think that's loyalty, it's not, Nade. You don't know how scary Overflow is, I'm sure Yiruki understands.”


“No. I think it's weird, too. Shirone will handle whatever happens. I'm glad you worry, but I don't know why you would worry to this extent.”


His words sounded cold, but this was why they were friends.


The fact that Shirone, the main person involved, was not upset by his words proved that their way of thinking was based on the same rationality.


“So you're saying it's okay for Shirone to go crazy?”


“I mean, that ain't the worst outcome. But rather than that, I think Shirone can overcome it. Isn't it something he has to face sooner or later if he wants to become the best?”


Nade took the baton.


“I agree. Sometimes, I think you are too partial to Shirone. We don't really care, but Shirone himself might be feeling quite pressured. Sometimes, I even wonder if you see Shirone as a man.”


Siena did not back down.


“If you think that way, let's leave it that way. With that, I can be in charge of Shirone now, right?”


Even an instructor could not arbitrarily withdraw a student from a research group unless they broke a rule.


In this instance, the decision made by the president of the research group was more important than the management committee, so she had to get Nade's approval somehow.


“Stop trying to push it through unreasonable means. Is it right for an instructor to see their own student as a potential love interest?”


“You were the one who brought it up first, not me. As long as there is a male and a female, isn't there a possibility?”


Nade's anger percentage increased at Siena's strategy of twisting the facts despite knowing what was true.


“Fine. Then you see me as a male too, right?”


“No. Not in a million years.”


“…What are you doing right now?”


Nade stood up with an absurd expression.


“You know what you're saying is inconsistent, right? First, you say there is a possibility, but the next second, you change your words.”


“Probability depends on probability. I like nice and honest men. If you don't understand what that means, I'll simplify it. There is a 0% chance of me seeing you as a man since you're acting like a kleptocrat.”


“ …Teacher, can I get wounded by what you just said?”


“No, you can't. Listen carefully. Don't think of trapping me this way. I don't see a student as anything more than a student, but even if you think differently, I don't care. Shirone needs constant surveillance. You guys are the ones insisting on having things go your way.”


Nade went speechless and was replaced by Yiruki.


“I know what you are concerned about, but if he can't overcome Overflow, then that's just his limit. It's not like he's gonna die. Shouldn't trusting Shirone be the first thing we do?”


“Not gonna die? We're talking about Immortal Function here. There is no guarantee that the worst won't happen.”


“That's right. However, in our current situation, where nothing is definite, I think you are overly worried. That's not attention, it's obsession.”


“Obsession?”


Siena froze.


The reason why she couldn't immediately refute was because she knew.


'Obsession.'


–Siena, let's get out of here.


Overflow was the incident that left trails of scars and regrets she would never forget.


In exchange for reaching out his hand and saving her, the boy lost his light forever.


“Putting together the opinions of my instructor and friends, I think it is something that I have to decide on.”


Shirone opened his mouth to talk.


“To be honest, I wavered after hearing Ms. Siena. I'm scared. The nightmares I have every night… The possibility that my mind might collapse.”


Pulling away from her past thoughts, Siena said.


“That's why you should—”


“However, another part of me is happy.”


“What I'm experiencing now doesn't happen to just anyone. Every time I have a nightmare, I'm afraid, but in a corner of my heart, I want to maintain this a little while longer. Maybe there is a secret that hasn't been discovered yet. Something I can find.”


“What if something goes wrong?”


“That doesn't mean I'll go around cursing and blaming anyone. I don't want to run with my tail tucked between my legs just because I'm scared. I will pull it off by analyzing and exploring my situation to the end. I will definitely overcome it.”


Siena was staring straight into Shirone's eyes. He was honest. She realized he meant it and dropped her head.


'You are really alike.'


The person who had pulled her out of the darkness and into the light had said the same thing.


–Siena, you gotta stare properly. Closing your eyes won't change anything.


–Go away, brother! You don't know anything!


At the time, If she had harbored the same level of courage as Shirone, wouldn't that terrible accident have been avoided?


 “Okay.”


Siena fixed her expression and pushed up her glasses.


“I understand your thoughts. I respect Shirone's opinion and won't place his withdrawal as the condition.”


“No, before that, when will you ever plan on respecting the president's opinion? Hm? I'm the president. The present president of this group.”


“Hohoho, I don't think you have the leisure to joke around. One month from now. If you fail to produce research results the academy approves of, you will return your lab, and the Supernatural Psychic Research Society will be disbanded. Even though there were a lot of incidents, didn't this research group produce many graduates? That proud achievement may end with your generation.”


Nade's face turned sickly pale.


'Now that I think about it…'


It wouldn't end with a simple disbanding.


The generations of troublemakers from the Supernatural Psychic Science Research Group broke the academy's expectations and were currently occupying various key positions in the mage society.


In particular, Garold Mikeah, the current president of the Magic Association, was their pride.


How could they face those figures if the research group ended in their generation?


---

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