Second Death Row Series: A Death Row Convict Teaches at a School of Magic - Cel a81
- Second Death Row Series: A Death Row Convict Teaches at a School of Magic
- Cel a81 - Episode 8: Windell, the City of Books - Library Tour
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
On the next morning, we intermingled with the Academen’s class.
The students were expected to create kakigōri during this hands-on session by combining ice magic and wind magic. The whole procedure, from creating the ice to utilizing wind magic to break it down into kakigōri, was carried out entirely by the students themselves, which presented it as simple at first but in fact, involved a significant amount of effort. Communication with students from the other school became imperative as well since the work was performed in groups of five, with students from both schools mixed. In the end, after the kakigōri was finished, everyone shared it. This was a well-thought-out lesson that facilitated not only magic but communication aptitudes as well. It was remarkably insightful.
Having established a bond among the students, in the afternoon we proceeded to the rumored Royal Library of Magic for a tour. Following an initial explanation of the library, the students will be permitted to explore the library at their leisure in their morning groups. In the meantime, we, the teachers, will be free to wander around as we please, apart from doing our rounds to ensure that no students will be disruptive to the other patrons. Since tomorrow would be a wholly unrestricted day, it was vital to get a grasp of the library’s structure during this time, as there were many other preparations to be conducted.
Precautions from the library staff have been explained to the students, after which they may freely tour the facility. Staring fixedly at the map of the library would be unnatural, so I set out to patrol the library, which was my original role.
As explained earlier, the Royal Library of Magic consisted of 12 floors, from the first to the fifth floor was a reading space that could be accessed with no restriction, and from the sixth to the tenth floor was an off-limits space where research students and magicians from other cities had their laboratories and conducted daily research on magic, whereas the first and second basement floors were closed storage areas.
For my part, I suspected that my desired object would be on the top or bottom floor, but due to a lack of information, it was hard to ascertain. Even though I have asked Gato and the others to collect information, it will still be somewhat of a daunting prospect. The worst-case scenario would be to send Felt to take one side while I handle the other, but that would be time-consuming and would divide our forces in two, so it would be unwise to do so.
Now, I wondered what should I do―
“Teacher Kanaki. Do you have a minute?”
At the sound of a voice, I turned around to face Karen. For her to speak to me was unusual. I turned up the corners of my lips softly.
“Yeah? What’s wrong?”
“Excuse me, but could you please permit me to access the top floor for a little while? I already obtained permission from the library.”
“….May I inquire as to the reason for that?”
“I was informed earlier that Master Rowen is on the tenth floor right now, and when he found out I am here, he would be pleased to meet with me…”
A terrific déjà vu overtook me.
I was wondering where this feeling had originated and immediately recalled that it was last week when I met with Mondor at the pub. It was no surprise. The only Rowen that came out of Karen’s mouth was that Rowen Mana Anblaus.
Remaining silent all this time was also incongruous. Without bothering to mask my incredulity, I spoke faintly.
“…That’s surprising. You mean that Rowen Mana Anblaus, don’t you? What is the chief magician of the Kingdom doing here?”
“I am clueless. However, it seems that Master Rowen also arrived in Windell this morning, and even if we don’t meet today, he would like to meet me at least for a glance while I am here in the city.”
That would suggest that he will be in Windell for the duration of our stay, at the very least.
Good heavens, what was all this recent misfortune? Since Karen’s enrollment in Selbeth, it felt as if something in my tranquil life had begun to go haywire.
“…Yeah, I get it. At any rate, if that’s what Master Anblaus wishes, then it is inevitable. But make sure you are back thirty minutes before the assembly time, okay? Your position as a student of Selbeth precede your status as a Princess, so I can’t afford to give you too much special treatment.”
“Thank you for your kindness.”
Like all other times, the response was stiff, but her expression seemed to be more upbeat than normal.
Speaking of Anblaus, apart from his fame as the head magician of the Kingdom, the elderly man was equally prominent as Karen’s guardian after the assassination of the former king two years ago. After that, Karen was taken in by Anblaus, and by the time she was around this age, she had qualified as a semi-first-class magician, which was no doubt mainly attributable to Anblaus.
But the head of the magicians of the Kingdom, huh? He was indeed a tricky foe. Not to mention in his prime, Anblaus was now an old man approaching 80 years of age, and his magical power was unavoidably deteriorating, as was his physical strength. Above all, assassination was not my objective this time. Even without a direct confrontation, there were ways to overcome the odds.
Having satisfactorily patrolled the building for a while, I promptly returned to the first floor and peeked at the guide map on a large pillar. Elevators were, as a rule, not installed, therefore the stairs were the only way to move around, but of course there were likely to be various barriers and traps in other places as well. For tomorrow’s work, I will have to slip through all of them and capture the target object without being detected by Anblaus.
Right then, footsteps drew near from behind.
“―What’s the matter with you, staring so intensely at the building map?”
The person who called out to me was Fina. Perhaps because Karen was not present, she was alone at the moment. No other members of her group were in sight.
“Fina? No, I was just thinking once more how unbelievably spacious the library is.”
“I guess so. I have been here several times, but the first time I came here I was astonished at the size of the place. Is this your first time here, Teacher Kanaki?”
“Yeah, this is the very first year I have my homeroom class. Even though I had heard a lot about how impressive the library is from Instructor Rivalz, it’s even more than I expected.”
A thought then popped into my head.
The possibility of being suspected wasn’t non-existent, but after verifying in my brain that I could get away with it if pursued, I spoke to Fina.
“By the way, Fina.”
“What is it?”
Fina, who was also glancing at the building map, responded.
“Before coming here, I was told by Instructor Rivalz that this library has a collection of forbidden books of magic and so on. Did you know that, Fina?”
“Oh, you’re talking about that? I know about it, it’s a well-known story in the royal court.”
Fina’s eyes were still concentrated on the map of the building.
“Hmm. But isn’t it risky? If a dangerous criminal were to steal it, wouldn’t that result in a severe predicament?”
“That would likely pose no obstacle. The library is as secure as the royal palace, and even in this library, such dangerous books are stored with even greater security. Besides…”
Fina’s voice dropped to a slightly hushed tone.
“This is a story known only to a few people in the palace, but it is said that those books are sealed up tightly in a place that is not even shown on the map of the building.”
It was an unanticipated harvest. Establishing a relationship of trust with Fina was something I had never envisioned would come in handy here.
Shortly after that, Fina warned me…
You must, of course, keep this to yourself even though I am sure you’re aware of it.”
…to which I nodded my head in assurance.
From that point on, I visited and made observations of the places of interest, as far as I could get in and out, and memorized them in my mind, along with the building’s map. Points that I could not remember were noted down, but I wrote them down in Japanese in case they were seen by a third party.
The tour of the library was brought to a close in this way, which was significant for both the students and myself.
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