༺ Victory Festival ༻
The bike was much faster and more convenient than a horse or a tram, but it had the disadvantage of standing out too much.
No matter how fast it could go, it was hard to speed up on the crowded central road. Naturally, riding a bike on a road where horses, carriages, and trams were traveling attracted a lot of attention from people.
Getting the bike was great, but it seemed that I would be able to ride freely in the city without drawing attention only after further commercialization.
When I arrived at the main gate soon, I was greeted by Captain Herman of the security team, who looked pale.
“In, in, Instructor Eon! What on earth have you done!?”
“What do you mean? What happened?”
“Well, there’s a big commotion now! I’ll guide you to the back door, so go in this way instead of the main gate today!”
I naturally understood why he was suggesting going to the back door.
There were a lot of signs of people beyond the main gate, and at least hundreds of students stayed in the same place without moving around, looking excited.
“It was really cool! The two-wheeled automatic magic carriage!”
“They call it a bike, you dummy.”
“Oh right, they do. Anyway, if we wait here, we can see the real thing, right? That’s awesome!”
From the group of male students talking about the bike.
“Is that guy really an instructor at our academy?”
“Definitely. It’s reliable information confirmed by my senior. He’s in charge of the Opal Black class, right?”
“That new class? Wow, I’m really jealous of those kids… Can I transfer to Opal Black even now?”
“My words exactly! Our instructor is this middle-aged guy with butter on his face, and it’s so annoying!”
…Even the voices of female students who seemed to be talking about me.
I didn’t know why this had happened, but I had an instinctive feeling that if I entered through the main gate now, a difficult situation would surely occur.
I entered secretly, bypassing through the back door guided by Captain Herman.
However, even though I had passed the main gate, I couldn’t use the tram while hauling the large, heavy bike. In the end, I had to travel by bike, which also attracted a considerable amount of attention.
“Hey, is that…?”
“Uh. Seems right? The one that was demonstrated…”
How many people had seen it to become such a topic among so many students?
I hoped it would calm down over time, and for now, I ran along the tram tracks to avoid attracting attention and arrived at the dormitory.
I parked the bike at the entrance and went into the dormitory. Then, I heard the sound of students’ conversations from the lounge.
There were exactly four signs of life. Marian, Schultz, and Gwyn. However, the remaining one was a voice I had never heard before.
Did the students bring another student to the dormitory?
Although there’s no rule against bringing students from other classes, if they were close enough to bring to the dormitory, it was necessary for me as the instructor to know.
Thinking so, I entered the lounge, and the sight before my eyes was an unexpected spectacle.
“Ugh…! I, I’m trash… I’m no different from maggots, cockroaches, parasites…!”
“Calm down! It wasn’t that bad!”
“Right… People make mistakes. How about calming down a bit?”
“Whaaa! No! Making a speech mistake in front of so many people, causing trouble for the instructor and everyone…! I’m food waste that can’t even be recycled…!!”
“Ugh! Stop crying! Have some tea and cheer up!”
Three people were comforting a woman huddled in the corner of the room.
Seeing this, I felt a sudden wave of fatigue rush over me as soon as I returned.
“I’m, I’m terribly sorry….”
Thanks to the tea that Marian made, the woman, who had calmed down a bit, lowered her head.
A curly-haired woman in a lab coat, her face half-hidden behind large horn-rimmed glasses, introduced herself with a lack of confidence in her voice.
“My name is Marie von Kirche. Please call me Marie… Although I am lacking, I do something on the outskirts… somewhat assisting Dr. Brown… I look forward to working with you, Instructor Eon.”
Marie again bent her waist in a rather burdened manner and bowed.
In the end, I couldn’t tell whether she was an assistant or not.
Marian placed a cup of tea in front of me and spoke.
“As you’ve heard, her name is similar to mine.”
“Uhuhuk! I’m sorry! For confusing you with a person like me having a similar name…!!”
“No, no! That’s not what I meant!?”
Marie, who had just calmed down, burst into tears again, covering her face, and Marian was taken aback, trying to comfort her.
Surely, the names Marie and Marian would be a bit confusing when they were together, but that was not what was important now.
I lightly tapped the table with my finger, attracting the attention of those around me, and asked in a calm voice.
“So, why are you here?”
“Ah, well… Dr. Brown asked me to. To check the condition of the prototype used in the demonstration… He told me to properly repair it if there are any broken parts.”
I was already a little worried about the condition of the bike, having pushed it to its limits.
Even though I received it, there might be somewhere broken, and the only person who could fix it when it needs repair later would probably be Dr. Brown.
Fortunately, it seems that Dr. Brown was not only willing to give the prototype but also to repair it properly.
“So you’re going to repair it yourself?”
“Uhuhuk! I’m, I’m sorry…! As expected, I don’t seem reliable, do I? Compared to Dr. Brown, I’m less than an ant… less than a cockroach…!!”
“…I just asked without any particular meaning. Calm down.”
Talking with her, who might burst into tears at any moment, felt like talking with a time bomb. Or, it could be said, it felt like walking through a minefield full of magical mines.
In fact, it was surprising that despite being a young woman and Dr. Brown’s assistant, she was proficient in this kind of magic engineering.
Of course, I wasn’t doubting her skills, but merely expressing my admiration, but fearing that she might burst into tears even from this, I ended up saying nothing.
“Then there’s no need to waste time. I’d like to ask you right away.”
Marie stopped crying as soon as the topic of work came up and stood up. Then Schultz, who had been listening, spoke.
“Instructor, may I watch too?”
“The bike repair?”
“I’m personally interested. I think it would be a good experience to have a look.”
I didn’t mind, but I wasn’t sure whether it was okay to show the repair to others, so I turned my gaze to Marie.
Marie nodded slightly as if it was okay, and thinking there would be no problem if she agreed, I also nodded and spoke.
“It’s fine. How about the others?”
“Oh, can I watch too?”
“If it’s okay, I’d like to see it too. It’s a sight that you can’t see even if you pay for it.”
Gwyn and Marian agreed as well, and eventually, we all left the lounge and went outside the dormitory.
“Well, then… I’ll start.”
Marie squatted down in front of the bike set up at the entrance and took out tools from her bag. Despite being on the dirt floor, she didn’t hesitate at all about getting her clothes dirty.
“Hmm, the most important engine is… there are signs of overheating, but there’s no major problem. The engine was my biggest worry, but I think there’s no need to discard it at this level.”
Her expression was very serious, looking closely at the bike, with the previously depressed and unconfident appearance gone.
“The seams of the wheels have become loose. This can be repaired right here… Oh dear, some coolant has leaked. It seems like it must have been due to some shock. I’ll also refill this along with the fuel.”
Marie began repairing the bike on the spot, taking tools out of her bag.
Despite being a small bag, a variety of heavy tools kept coming out, making it undoubtedly a bag with space expansion magic.
Contrary to my worry about her low self-esteem, her touch while repairing the bike was quick and assertive.
The three students from Opal Black Class couldn’t help but admire her professional skills.
She was indeed worthy of being called Dr. Brown’s assistant. Even though she said she was something like an assistant, not exactly an assistant.
“Phew… it’s, it’s done. With this, you should be able to ride it without any problems for a few months. As long as you don’t drive it as harshly as today.”
“I see. You’ve worked hard to repair it.”
“Hehe… do, don’t mention it. Please let me know if there’s a need for any maintenance. As long as it’s a check-up in the dormitory like now, it’s always possible.”
“Wouldn’t that be a bit difficult? You’re not even a student.”
She was invited to the academy today due to Dr. Brown’s demonstration, but it’s quite unusual for outsiders to come into the dormitory like today.
At that, Marie tilted her head with a puzzled expression and replied.
“Huh? But I am a student?”
“Did, did I not tell you? I must have forgotten again. Here….”
She pulled a badge out of her pocket and showed it to us.
The white badge reminiscent of a diamond had the number Ⅲ written on it. It signified that she was a third-year student of the Diamond White Class.
Looking closer, I realized that she wasn’t wearing a cloak but a lab coat. I hadn’t noticed until now, but under the lab coat, she was wearing the familiar academy uniform shirt and skirt. She was indeed a student of Philion Academy.
Upon confirming this, Marian spoke in a flustered voice.
“No way, you were a senior!? Uh… so, you were our senior?”
“Oh, I’m sorry! I’m so sorry that someone like me is unexpectedly your senior…!!”
“I didn’t mean it that way, so please calm down!”
Marie collapsed on the ground, crying for quite a while, and the three students awkwardly tried to comfort her.
I sighed deeply, watching that scene.
While it’s fortunate to have gotten to know a skilled engineer.
Why is it that all these engineers are so… abnormal?
So the weekend passed.
Monday morning. The first day of the Victory Celebration dawned.
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