The Magic Academy’s Physicist Chapter 20

Chapter 20 - Part-Time Work

༺ Part-Time Work ༻

 

 

  There was a saying that life was a series of problems.

    

  A structure in which you climb over one mountain only to see the next one waiting. 

    

  And the peaks and valleys of those mountains in my case were like the Weierstrass function in that every point was continuous yet none were differentiable.

    

  In other words, nothing ever went smoothly.

    

  The immediate problem was tuition fees.

    

  I already knew that Miss Heerlein’s golem research lab required a lot of funds so I couldn’t ask her for help. If I wanted to borrow something like two million won, then a graduate student in her lab would have to starve.

    

  ─ Sorry that I can’t do more for you. But I’ll talk to the housekeeper so you can stay at my place until you move into the dorms.

    

  Furthermore, I’ve already received generously from Heerlein until now. I didn’t want to be further indebted to her financially.

    

  Well, it was back to manual labor then. I guess my life wasn’t going to pan out anytime soon.

    

  I wasn’t too happy about the scholarship that was offered by a thousand-year-old Academy was, but what could I do? The finances of a country constantly at war wouldn’t be all that stable.

    

  What was war? Even if one won, they were fucked, and if they lost, they were all the more fucked. That was what war signified. It was a miracle that this nation was still standing after a thousand years. 

    

  Also, there was another reason why the scholarship program of Tilette Academy was stingy.

    

  It was because new students usually came from rich, noble backgrounds. They didn’t seem to find it necessary to reduce the fees for the students except for one or two highly proficient ones.

    

  Anyway, it wasn’t to the point that I couldn’t earn my tuition. As someone who had been a commoner before enrollment, Miss Heerlein said that she, too, had worked for the two months leading up to the start of school and paid the fees.

    

  And since I only needed to pay half of it, I should be able to cover it by working one full-time hour job.

    

  “So that being said, do you know any decent job positions, Senior?”

    

  Lorewell, who had been hearing about my situation, didn’t seem used to the title yet since he had been under the impression that I was a graduate from the first time we met. And he had been consistently calling me ‘Miss Assistant’ after that.

    

  But now what? Lorewell was a year ahead of me.

    

  Thinking about it, I was going from grad to undergrad. I wondered how many out there had experienced a reversal in their education like me.

    

  Lorewell responded to my question.

    

  “The central market should have some decent table service jobs. But um, about calling me Senior….”

 

  “You don’t need to be so formal towards me.”

    

  Of course, one only needed to venture out a little to see that there were many job opportunities within the capital. The point of seeking out Lorewell was to get further acquainted with him.

    

  Lorewell was also a Fire Magic user and a student of Tilette Academy, albeit inexperienced.

    

  Those two criteria alone counted as a pass in my books.

    

  I intended to replace Hasfeldt with all Fire Magic users of the Academy including Lorewell as my helpers. My plan was to make use of their collective intelligence. 

    

  Because if I thought about it, I didn’t need to get help from only one person. If I made friends with Lorewell, then I could get recommendations for useful books on Fire Magic or even make connections with a famous noble.

    

  Of course, life was about give-and-take. If one received something, then it should be repaid. 

    

  I had no plans on just taking unlike a certain somebody. I hoped to establish good business relationships then disappear quietly from this world once the time came.

    

  “Th-then, Miss Junior?”

 

  “I said you don’t need to be formal.”

 

  “Ahem, you should head to Third Street for jobs with good hourly wages. My friend worked there, too. I heard that there were lots of counter jobs that were easy to do for good money for Academy students.”

 

  “Oho…. Thanks, I appreciate it.”

    

  Alright. This was going as planned. With this, I’ve built rapport with a second-year senior.

    

  After thanking him once more, I headed for Third Street. 

    

  Third Street was an area with a concentration of restaurants so one got hungry easily from just walking around.

    

  With it being the week of acceptances, the restaurant district was in peak season despite the cold snap. There were so many customers that all the places appeared to be short-staffed.

    

  I did a comparison analysis between a lot of places, then went into the restaurant that seemed to have the highest wage. I showed the owner my acceptance letter and told him I wished to work here, to which he responded enthusiastically.

    

  “That’s great, we happen to need an accountant. You’re good at math since you’re an Academy student, right?”

 

  “Sir, my nickname from early days was the human calculator.”

    

  You see, I used to ride the abacus like a skateboard1Students used to ‘ride’ the abacus in the rows between desks – as a skateboard if they only had one, as roller skates if they had two.

    

  “Haha, seems like we have an interesting Golden-Eyed lady here! Alright then, you can start working right away!”

    

  The contract was a month with full-time hours for now. 

    

  Although it was a temporary job, I was at peace both in mind and body. Might be because of the high hourly wage.

    

  Taking care of the counter wasn’t something that just anyone could do in this world. With the education system frozen, most commoners didn’t have the ability to manage the checkout.

    

  And the nobles who were the so-called ‘educated ones’ found this kind of work pointless since they were rich, so they usually didn’t do it.

    

  The inequality in learning opportunities was unfortunate but it was currently to my advantage. It was especially easy-going during the morning hours when the table turnaround was relatively slow so I could relax at the counter.

    

  “Good work, young lady! We’ll take a break and have dinner, then we’ll get back to it.”

    

  This was…. labor…? 

    

  What have I been doing all this time…….  

    

  The place I was working at was a pub so there more customers in the evening than during the day. It was a chance for my mental fortitude to shine, equipped with ten years of all-nighter experience in the other world and three years in this world for a total of thirteen years. 

    

  “Aren’t you tired, young lady? Don’t wear yourself out from the first day.”

 

  “This is fine.”

    

  All I was doing was managing the counter and helping serve tables with extra orders.

    

  And as I worked without realizing that time was passing, a bomb dropped in.

    

  Baaaaang─!!

    

  “Owneeer! One liter of ale and a bowl of guacamole with extra tomato and hot green pepper pleeease!”

    

  How the hell did she find this place?

    

  Freyr sat at a table close to the counter and looked up at me grinning with a greatly flushed face.

    

  “Hey! Long time no see! Are you working here?”

 

  “Yeah, started today. And what are you doing here?”

 

  “Bar, hic, hoppiiiing!”

 

  “Kids shouldn’t be drinking like this already.”

 

  “I’m an aduuuult─!!”

    

  Freyr’s drunken antics gained the attention of others who were sitting nearby. I bowed to them in apology and then covered Freyr’s mouth.

    

  “Umph─!! Huup! Mmph!!”

 

  “Be quiet. You understand?”

    

  Nod nod.

    

  “Pwah, thought I’d suffocate. So why are you running around here instead of being with the professor?

 

  “Because I’m free to do so.”

 

  “Hic, what are you saying.”

    

  Freyr gulped down the glass of draft beer. Half of it disappeared in an instant.

    

  “Congrats on passing, brat.”

    

**

    

  After Freyr cleared two plates of guacamole and another 500 mL of beer, she left to go to the next pub. The way she was wobbling was a little concerning.

    

  I didn’t know how all that fit into her body. Was there a worm living in her stomach?

    

  Three female students sat around the table that Freyr had vacated.

    

  I knew one of them because I had seen her before.

    

  A girl with shoulder-length red hair and red eyes.

    

  Her name was….

    

  “What should we order, Miss Lotte?”

 

  “You can decide. I’m fine with anything.”

    

  After bringing over their menu, I confirmed the order quantity of the two nearest girls.

    

  “Oh, aren’t you that Golden-Eyed?”

 

  “Are you working here?”

    

  Unsurprisingly, the three students including Lotte recognized me right away. I gave a slight nod then continued with my task.

    

  While I set the table, Lotte pulled out a few papers from her poke2Poke/pocket – What was considered a purse in medieval times, back when pockets weren’t sewn onto clothes https://ruthjohnston.com/AllThingsMedieval/?p=1228 and looked them over. When I took a glance, they had rows of formulas.

    

  While I was impressed that she was prepping for school in advance, another student who had been watching disapprovingly sighed as she spoke.

    

  “It’s already done. How long will you keep staring at it?”

    

  Lotte was looking at question number 50 of Basic Magic Theory which had tortured many examinees during the Academy’s written exams. It was a reconstruction of it, to be exact. 

    

  The examiner of the question was a particular witch who lived in the Fire Magic research lab. 

    

  It was a question about estimating the scroll’s output using an expert-level mana stone that she herself had only started to grasp, and frankly, one that couldn’t be solved within the time limit using a straightforward method.

    

  Seeing it reminded me of my past days and was about to give me PTSD. 

    

  I had barely solved it myself, having done it on the fly. If anyone asked how I got it, I’d answer that I picked randomly.

    

  Because I was attending the other tables as well, I didn’t get to hear the whole conversation. But judging from the occasional bits and pieces I heard, I could tell that this girl, Lotte, was a kid who was serious about Fire Magic.

    

  “Perhaps it’ll work if you substitute this formula into the conversion part?”

 

  “It won’t work algebraically. There are four equations but seven unknowns. I’m thinking that the range will show if I cut off this part and open two other routes instead.”

    

  Though I hadn’t seen it personally, I imagined Hasfeldt might have been like this as a freshman.

    

  “By the way, did you hear?”

 

  “About what?”

 

  “That someone got a perfect score on the written test after a thousand years. I heard that they ranked second.”

 

  “… The one with a perfect score is only second? Even though Miss Lotte is third?”

 

  “It’s true! They completely botched the practical. The one in first place got 90 in all subjects so their final mark was 450, but this person got perfect on the written and barely passed the practical so they got around 440, they say.”

 

  “Where did you hear such false rumors? Stop spouting such nonse…….”

    

  The conversation was cut off. 

    

  In the next moment, all three students’ eyes turned to me. My reaction to their gaze was belated because I had been going around with two beers in each hand.

    

  Our eyes met.

    

  They’re wanting to add to their order, I suppose.

 

Footnotes:

  • 1
    Students used to ‘ride’ the abacus in the rows between desks – as a skateboard if they only had one, as roller skates if they had two
  • 2
    Poke/pocket – What was considered a purse in medieval times, back when pockets weren’t sewn onto clothes https://ruthjohnston.com/AllThingsMedieval/?p=1228
The Magic Academy’s Physicist

The Magic Academy’s Physicist

Score 9.95
Status: Ongoing Released: 2022 Native Language: Korean
In an era when the power of Fire Magic was considered to have reached its limit, a girl was researching nuclear fusion.

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