Chapter 12

The National Library Scandal

Tuesday, October 2nd 2063

This was supposed to be an ordinary Tuesday for Tatsu Jin. After getting up from his bed, he took a light breakfast and directly went on his jogging practice. To stay fit, he needed to remain faithful to his little habit. After running for about an hour, the transfer student came back to his room for a well-deserved hot shower.

 

He enjoyed the sensation for about thirty minutes and then slowly walked to his bedroom to put on the Elite Magic Academy uniform. The last thing on his morning routine was to meditate, so he sat on the ground in a cross-legged position. The transfer student set an alert on his GLASS and then let his Ether run free within his body.

 

Around an hour after he began, his GLASS rang, warning him that the time to go to class had come. Every Tuesday morning and afternoon were dedicated to Magic Theory classes. Unfortunately, this topic had been very boring to him so far. Tatsu Jin was far above regular first-year students in terms of magic knowledge.

 

There was a huge temptation in his mind to skip that Magic Theory class. However, not being there would attract unwanted attention during the next few days. Since he was trying to prevent this on day one, he was planning to use this class time to think about more critical matters. This was basically his modus operandi for most classes since day one.

 

On his way to the Class Building, he got a glimpse of a few classmates. The transfer student empathizes with their exhaustion. To him, it was a given that the upcoming Magic Theory class was probably going to end in a full-blown circus. This was mainly due to how its teacher changed over the course of a few weeks.

 

The Magic Theory teacher was a serious and logical person, but also deeply attracted to solving mysteries.

 

Since that interview on M1, the Master of All Magic became her focus. After all, he was considered as one of, if not the biggest mystery in this current world. Classes after classes, Aoi Fujita expanded more and more on the topic of the Absolute Trinity’s unknown magic caster.

 

Even though he felt weird about being his own teacher’s center of attention, Tatsu Jin decided to do nothing. He did not see any advantage whatsoever in stopping her.

 

The transfer student was wrong, incredibly wrong, and would live to regret his decision. Over the course of a few weeks, it escalated from an interest to an obsession.

 

Tatsu Jin entered the classroom and took his favorite position, the furthest away from the teacher and the closest to the window. After placing the study material he was probably not going to use on his desk, he let his mind deal with the upcoming tasks at hand. 

(Out of the six tournaments I have to win, the second will probably be the hardest. I will have to win against teams composed of third-year students as a first-year student and make it look normal. Fortunately, if the rules of the second tournament are somewhat similar to the first, then there might be loopholes I can exploit. It’s going to take a lot of preparations but it should be doable. However, teachers could jump in anytime to put an end to my plot. I need to come up with a plan to prevent them from changing the rules no matter what. However, the first tournament is a more pressing matter.

 

The heist allowed me to team up with two of the strongest in my promotion. My teammates can probably carry the team and take care of ninety-nine percent of teams in our academic year. There is only one problem.

 

The team composed of the King and Queen.

 

They are ranked number 1 and 2 and will be hard to overcome in our current state. I am doing my best to support and train my teammates but they might not get strong enough in time. And I still have to appear as a normal student, so using stronger magic than mid-Advanced-Class Magic is completely out of question.

 

What a drag… I need a plan B.)

While he was thinking, the class had already started. As usual, everyone was there.

 

Aoi Fujita was in the middle of an explanation when Tatsu Jin finally took an interest over what she was saying. She was speaking about the process of discovering new Magic spells.

       I decided that it would be useful for all of you to know about the development of new spells. As you all know, a huge part of Magic comes down to imagination patterns. Because the majority of scientists are down-to-earth and straight people, they have quite a hard time figuring it out. For them, the theory is okay but the practice is hard. Remember, Magic does not break the law of Conservation of Energy. Ether is nothing but a fuel allowing magicians to use the laws of nature to their advantage.

She was moving in the classroom, fixing her gaze on one student after the other.

      For one to create a new Magic spell, a deep understanding of the physical phenomena leading to the result wanted is required. To create a simple Fire Magic spell, one has to imagine the combination of both oxygen and a spark, and then let Ether do its work. Of course, it’s easier said than done as it requires concentration and mastery over one’s own Ether. We have already covered this topic last week.

Aoi Fujita took a very serious expression after witnessing many students smiling and laughing after a discrete chat. She tried shouting to make them understand how serious her warning was.

       Experimenting with Magic is EXTREMELY dangerous! There are countless examples of researchers poisoning themselves or blowing themselves up. Whatever happens, DO NOT EXPERIMENT and stick to what your Contractors are teaching you.

A nice smile took over the teacher’s face as she finally got the attention of her whole class.

      But sometimes, researchers do manage to develop a bit of new Magic. Actually, there is something very interesting about this, so let me ask you a question. Can one of you tell me the name of one or more famous Magic researchers?

Silence fell on the classroom. No one had any idea on that matter except Tatsu Jin, who had already dealt with such a situation.

(It’s impossible. They’re all dead.)

After waiting for a moment, the Magic Theory teacher answered her own question by asking another one.

      You all already know that Magic is power. Now, let’s imagine for a second that I am a wealthy individual looking out for a special type of Magic, the type that does not exist yet. I then hire a new team composed of promising and young but talented magician researchers. Once I obtain the Magic I want, what happens to the team of researchers?

Aside from Tatsu Jin, one other student understood faster than his classmates and voiced the answer.

      If it were me, I would probably get rid of the researchers’ team. I don’t want them revealing my Magic to the world. I would want to keep it for myself.

Despite his classmates looking at him with horror, the teacher had a satisfied expression.

      Exactly! It’s a known fact in our society that Magic researchers are in short supplies. Due to the danger of the operation, they are really expensive and do not trust anyone that offers them a job. In our country, only one entity treats researchers the right way: The National Library. To advance the overall level of Magic in our country, this institution publishes a report once a year on the new Magic that their researchers developed. However, that is only a small piece of the iceberg…

Aoi Fujita was speaking faster and faster, and a corner smile rose to her lips. It took everyone by surprise, including Tatsu Jin. He did not know what his teacher was going to say but felt that something was amiss.

      Earlier this month, I had a moment of brilliance. We all know that the Master of All Magic is exchanging unique Magic spells against favors, right? What if he is connected to all of this?

All students but one sighed after hearing her rhetorical question. Only Tatsu Jin’s face was completely frozen. He still was not planning on moving yet. After all, not even one of his classmates seems to take her seriously.

      After taking a fresh look at the interview once again, I made the connection! When the Master of All Magic learns a new piece of Magic, it is certainly not so he could keep it hidden forever. Therefore, after using this Magic once or twice, it would not be secret anymore. If I were him, I would have exchanged the knowledge of these no longer secret Magic spells against something else, money or favors. The National Library would probably be very happy to operate that transaction!

Tatsu Jin did not let the shock transpire on his face or attitude.

(She is close, dangerously close…)

The Magic Theory teacher wasn’t even finished.

      To verify my suspicions, I made a friend high-placed in the National Library. Yesterday evening, he confirmed that I was right. In addition to being a war deterrent for our country, the Master of All Magic is also actively participating in strengthening our country’s Magic level. That, boys and girls, is what it means to be a real man. Because the National Library is planning on revealing the name of its best researcher, it’s not going to be a secret for long anyway…

It was true, the National Library planned on making public the name of its most qualified researcher. The Master of All Magic had been made aware of that fact.

(Yeah, they plan on revealing a FAKE one…)

After revealing what she thought was the scoop of the century, Aoi Fujita gave her students a few minutes a break so she could calm herself. The teacher went back to her usual self, focused on her Magic Theory class’s usual content.

 

With this usual rhythm, the day went by quicker than Tatsu Jin thought. The afternoon class was a bit more interesting, focused on the underlying connection between magicians and the Ether inside their bodies.

 

Still, the transfer student was preoccupied and kept thinking about what just happened. He wondered what he should do for a while but decided to not act and let things go by naturally. After all, she had been a delusional teacher for a few weeks. As a result, no one believed her. For the students, it was nothing more than entertainment at that point.

 

Entertainment…

Separator

It was indeed entertainment for one of Tatsu Jin’s classmates. This Class-1B student found it so funny that he recorded the whole scene with his GLASS. Looking for the internauts’ attention, he uploaded the video on social media an hour after the afternoon class ended.

 

This decision created an unprecedented situation. Millions of people shared this video over the three hours that followed, wreaking havoc on all news channels. As a matter of fact, at least a dozen reporters directly went at the source. Getting the National Library to comment on the situation was their first priority.

 

Unfortunately for them, the National Library’s Chief of Operations refused to make any comment. He even tried to reason all reporters to not believe everything that can be found online.

 

As the National Library had an agreement with the Master of All Magic, he had no choice but to lie. The entity was forbidden to reveal the identity of who delivered half of the yearly Annual Magic Discovery Report.

 

He also delegated the responsibility of figuring out who was the mole that sold them out. It did not take long to figure out who gave up this classified piece of information. That person was fired in a heartbeat and would probably never be able to get a decent job elsewhere ever again.

 

Still, the National Library was not in a position to do anything else. If the institution made an official statement, they would only seem to be hiding something. Using the only way the Master of All Magic left to contact him, the chief made him aware that they did their best.

 

For the rest, he was on his own to salvage this situation. 

Separator

In the meantime, Tatsu Jin was in the Training Grounds. Practicing with Mia, he had no idea of what chaos had been unleashed. He never kept his GLASS with him while training, resulting in such a disaster. When the social media alert appeared, his GLASS was still in his bag, safely resting in the locker room.

 

After finding out about this catastrophe, the transfer student sat still on the locker room bench with his GLASS in hand. While his hands massaged his forehead, he tried to make sense of what just happened.

 

He was thinking about the best way to handle such a disastrous situation.

(The National Library can’t do shit. An official statement from them would be pointless. My only play is to get that… woman responsible for the situation to film another video. Even though, it might not be enough…I’m going to need the Master of All Magic’s persona to deal with this…)

He joined back with Mia to wish her a nice evening before taking out a piece of paper and a pen to write a message.

Tonight. 10 PM. Training Grounds. Room 10.
If you want your curiosity satisfied, come alone.
I will not be here otherwise.

Like what he did to recruit his teammates, he delegated the task of delivering this message to the Academy’s Secret Messengers.

Separator

Aoi Fujita received the message from one of her second-year students. Because of Academy Secret Messengers, she did not try to trace back its writer. Even the writing had been done in a special manner to prevent her from comparing with her students’ normal handwriting styles.

 

She found this note both really exciting and a bit creepy. Inside her mind, the greed for gossip overtook her fears. Therefore, she decided to attend this secret meeting and delayed her plans for tonight. Because it was late, she decided to take a medallion enchanted with Protective Magic. As she could be dealing with an opportune reporter that wanted answers, Aoi Fujita needed a way to protect herself.

 

When it was time to go, the Magic Theory teacher walked towards the Elite Magic Academy’s Training Grounds. The sun had already disappeared, leaving its place to the rising moon. It was a cold night, making Aoi Fujita shudder under her coat.

 

After getting inside the Training Grounds, the attendant warned her that the place will soon be closed. The teacher gave the staff member the order to not disturb what was going to happen in Room 10 and to deactivate its cameras. At first against it, the attendant still let himself be convinced.

 

Walking through the main corridor, she reached the tenth room and opened the sliding door thanks to her GLASS identification software.

 

Aoi Fujita was a bit too early because of her excitement. She focused all her attention on the person whom she thought would be knocking on the door. After all, the attendant confirmed that the building had been empty for half an hour. Equipped with her medallion, she was waiting for whoever sent her that note.

 

It was now exactly 10 PM as she stood in the center of the room.

 

She really did not expect to already be in the presence of the one who summoned her.

 

The Master of All Magic was behind her, using the Invisibility Magic from his own enchanted medallion. A deep voice made her aware that the meeting had already started. 

      I heard… you did your homework on me…

Aoi Fujita looked behind her in surprise and instantly recognize who she was dealing with. Everyone knew what this mask and coat represented. The cause of her own obsession stood proudly in front of her, in all his glory.

 

She prostrated herself.

      I didn’t think you would reveal yourself to me in person. I’m not worthy…

       This… situation…made my involvement necessary.

       Is it about the video? Of course, it’s about the video… Did you come to congratulate me?

       Congratulate…you?

       You finally got the respect you deserved, my lord… The truth needed to be restored, so I shed light on your achievements…

The Magic Theory teacher was so certain that what she did was good that both her pupils dilated. In her own disturbed way, Aoi Fujita tried to support the Master of All Magic. However, he did not plan to let her get away with this.

      I… am not the one responsible… for the National Library’s Annual Magic Discovery Report… you are mistaken.

       You’re not… of course you’re not. Oh, my lord… in addition to having godlike power, you’re also humble. This country truly does not deserve you.

She didn’t believe him for a second, blinded by her unwavering determination. Because the situation was so disastrous, the member of the Absolute Trinity let her call him that way. Despite this, the Master of All Magic gave her a final chance to escape this event unharmed.

     I really did not do it… What do you think about how real researcher… puts his or her life in danger… only for his or her fame to be stolen by me?

      That fake only deserves the money he got from the National Library, my lord…

Silence fell on the training room. Even though her face was still facing the ground, she could sense the tension rise. She felt a sudden change in his attitude without even directly looking at him. Before, the Master of All Magic did try to remain calm and no ill-intention could be felt in his attitude. But now, his tone became ice cold and murderous intent was let loose.

      Let’s look at this… from another perspective… shall we? I ask questions… you answer. Got it?

       Yes, my lord…

       Let’s say for a minute that I am indeed responsible for that report. Why didn’t I reveal myself in the beginning?

       You wanted to keep that connection hidden from the public, my lord…

       Precisely. Now, how is the situation any different?

–    The National Library announced that they would reveal your name to the public soon, my lord…

–    What if I told you they were forced to do so by the government? It was a rhetorical question, do not answer. Whose name do you think they would have revealed then?

She suddenly understood that she had been missing key information. She did not know that the government was forcing the National Library to unveil the name. Aoi Fujita started to slightly panic and the Master of All Magic’s murderous intent was slowly rising. Incapable of moving an inch under his pressure, she was also starting to hyperventilate a little. The Magic Theory professor knew she could not escape anymore, and stroke the ground with his scepter.

 

Aoi Fujita, with her face almost touching the ground, found enough strength to voice her answer under his threat. 

      They would reveal the name of the fake, my lord…

       So, what does this mean?

       That you still wanted to remain in the shadows, my lord…

       And what did you do?

She was paralyzed in terror. She was thinking of a way to avoid his wrath but the Master of All Magic did not show her any mercy. Even his usual cryptic way of speaking was almost gone.

      WHAT…DID…YOU…DO?

       I betrayed you, my lord…

       Now, you understand. As you know, I’m part of the powerful in this world, don’t you think?

       Yes, my lord… I will accept any punishment, whatever it may be.

–    You shouldn’t be… so adamant about this. Let’s continue our little game.

He walked in circles around her, mimicking the behavior of a teacher.

      According to you… when the powerful of this world face someone that prevents them from achieving their goals, what do they do to that person?

She knew she was doomed.

      They… get rid of that person, my lord.

       Good… I see you still remember that little speech of yours.

He said that last sentence slowly and put weight on the word “speech”. However, she still had a last thing to try.

      Have mercy… my lord…

Aoi Fujita was crying, her face planted on the ground, as she begged for her life. She waited for a time that seemed like an eternity for his answer. The Master of All Magic kept his murderous intent at a high level, and the Magic Theory teacher was completely at his mercy.

      I will not kill you now. I have further use for you. You’re good at your job, so keep teaching the next generations. But you still need to solve this situation. Do you have something in mind?

      I can make… a second video… my lord… thanks f…

He interrupted her by striking his scepter on the ground.

      That answer is satisfying. Although I’m still going to warn you. Do not invoke my name anymore in your class, except in last case scenarios. Because if you do…

His threatening tone, alongside the sound of his steps coming closer, made her want to flee from everything. However, the Magic Theory teacher still knew there was nothing she could do except take on his wrath.

 

She felt one of his fingers on her neck drawing some kind of pattern. At the same time, every time the Master of All Magic’s skin meets her own, she felt a painful burn, which triggered a heavy grin.

 

After he was done, The Master of All Magic took a few steps back and stood tall. 

      Look at me.

Gritting through the pain, her face full of tears went up. When Aoi Fujita’s gaze encountered his, her own body fully tensed up. She had never seen such darkness in one’s eyes.

      I just marked you. If you disobey the order I just gave you, the spell is going to activate. In that case, you would have rather been sent directly to hell. Do you understand?

The Master of All Magic was bluffing. There was no spell that he knew yet with such an effect but there was no way she knew that. As a matter of fact, Aoi Fujita really thought she would suffer a painful death with the triggering of this Magic.

      Yes, my lord…

      The spell will not tolerate any scene like what happened today. Even if the spell misfires somewhat, I would come to end your life personally. After all, I have a few hidden trump cards within this academy… Do you understand?

      Yes, my lord…

She still wasn’t ready for the mental blow that was coming.

       Finally… I am not your lord… and I will never be your lord.

When Aoi Fujita raised her head, he was gone. She stayed there half an hour to process what happened, grateful that fate allowed her survival. The Magic Theory teacher touched her neck to feel the burn, and a flow of tears run down her cheeks.

Separator

After Tatsu Jin went back home to Apartment 808, he took another hot shower to ease the fatigue of the day. As usual, it was the perfect time to let his rational side take over.

(This woman just can’t be trusted. She is a fanatic, the kind that would do unpredictable things just to please me. I just can’t allow someone that unstable to be near me. She probably thinks I’m some kind of god. They are the most dangerous ones and need to be avoided at all costs. At least, Eleanor sees me as a human being with flaws.

 

I hope I wasn’t too merciful. Should I have taken more drastic measures? That’s a bit uncivilized.

 

Still, I have no doubt that she will go to extreme lengths to correct her mistake. With her direct involvement, the situation should at least be partially solved.)  

Separator

Wednesday, October 3rd 2063

On that day, a second video was released, in which Aoi Fujita admitted that everything had only been an “hypothesis” and that she did invent the existence of that contact in the National Library.

 

She was sanctioned by the Elite Magic Academy, but the details of the punishment remained a secret.

 

As for the situation, the population understood that everything was her fault for extrapolating and lying. There will were a few reporters saying that she had been silenced by either the Master of All Magic or the National Library.

 

After waiting for a couple of days, the situation was finally stabilized. However, it had indeed been an eventful couple of days.   

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