The Magic Network of Lichten Academy, Kirtos.
here are two ways to utilize Kirtos.
One way is to use a typewriter-style bulletin board with paper commonly called the ‘pyrography board’.
It’s a method used mainly when the cost of terminals to access Kirtos is burdensome, or when you want to use it lightly outdoors.
Of course, as the name “pyrography board” suggests, you can’t use all of Kirtos’ functions with this method.
The third-place girls’ dormitory at the Academy.
Lina Rosewell checked her watch, glancing at it.
Today was the day when four girls, regarding Ian, had agreed to have an anonymous meeting. The appointed time was approaching.
“Let’s wait for 10 more minutes.”
In reality, Lina had been waiting for an hour.
A chance to talk about Ian with others.
Opportunities like this don’t come easily.
Talking about Ian poorly outside could spread all sorts of strange rumors.
She wanted to avoid getting involved with Ian if possible.
If she had wanted that from the beginning, she would have accepted Ian’s confession.
It’s true that Lina had a good reputation…, but she also had her limits.
The existence of Ian was beyond those limits.
Even the reason for saying harsh words to Ian when handing over the lunchbox was for that reason.
“Is it because of that, or is it because of the shock from falling from the rooftop?”
Perhaps it is Lina herself who is closest to Ian among the four involved.
Perhaps among the four people involved, Lina was the closest to Ian.
The fact that Ian had changed. At first, she could never admit it, but now it was different.
She had witnessed Ian’s transformation with her own eyes.
‘His personality and attitude have completely changed.’
Above all, she was concerned about the sudden improvement in his skills.
The better he did, the worse Lina’s own grades looked.
If her grades dropped, her scholarship would be in jeopardy. If her scholarship was at risk, she couldn’t afford the tuition at the Academy.
That would mean expulsion.
“…It’s really dangerous.”
Lina felt the injustice.
Lichten Academy had an obsessive focus on students’ grades, especially when it came to scholarships.
“…I can’t even get a part-time job.”
She couldn’t get a part-time job because of the conditions attached to her scholarship.
That’s why Lina starved every day. Now that her only lunch supply had been cut off, it was even worse.
Again, she thought of Ian.
These days, Ian was at the end of every thought.
Would the situation be better if Ian hadn’t come back?
Would it have been better than it is now?
Lina lightly bit her lip.
There are only about 5 minutes left.
Time had passed, and there were only about 5 minutes left.
“Is it okay to connect now?”
A long, dark cloth was in her hand.
The cloth was none other than the Kirtos access terminal.
Lina wrapped it around her eyes.
She pushed elemental mana lightly toward the cloth, and the mana circuit of the terminal began to operate.
[User confirmation complete.]
[Connected to Kirtos.]
[Anonymous Chat Room KEY confirmed.]
Soon, her vision brightened.
It was a kind of hallucination magic.
Originally, she would have landed in a large virtual square.
That was the default setting for Kirtos access.
But when connecting to the anonymous chat room, it was different.
A dressing room unfolded before Lina’s eyes.
The room allowed her to customize her appearance.
To ensure anonymity, various ornaments could be used to hide her appearance.
‘Anyway, Kirtos avatars look different from original appearances, but…’
Still, there could be clues in body language or everyday habits.
Lina hesitated for a moment, standing in front of a wall covered with masks.
“…What should I choose?”
She picked up one of the masks.
A virtual space resembling an infinitely luxurious mansion.
In a space that was difficult to distinguish between indoors and a garden, there was a large donut-shaped table with a big hole in the middle.
One wooden chair was placed in each cardinal direction.
Already occupying three positions were the Crown Mask in the north, the Bandage Mask in the west, and the Rabbit Mask in the east.
Their attention was focused on the sound of the door opening at the entrance.
A person wearing a Leaf Mask opened the door and entered.
The Queen Mask greeted the Leaf Mask with enthusiasm.
The tone was somewhat unusual, but it was all part of the concept.
“No need to be surprised. Don’t worry; it’s just part of the act.”
“That’s a relief.”
“Before we continue, let me explain a few rules.”
The Queen spoke.
“Here, we hope that personal information that can reveal each other’s identities is hidden as much as possible.”
“If possible, I recommend changing your tone like I do.”
Indeed, the Queen Mask’s tone was not ordinary.
Even the crown decoration above her head was not ordinary. At least as far as it was known, there were no royals at Lichten Academy.
Solid acting was evident.
With a nod, the Leaf Mask took a seat in the remaining spot.
The Rabbit Mask, observing this scene, asked a question.
“I don’t understand why we have to gather like this anonymously. Even changing our tones.”
The Queen laughed openly.
The Rabbit Mask got agitated.
“Are you going to fight now?”
In the meantime, the Bandage Mask chimed in.
“I think I know.”
As the three’s gazes converged, the Bandage Mask flinched for a moment but soon opened its mouth without difficulty.
“Among the four of us, there might be someone on Ian’s side.”
“Both of you, Rabbit Mask, and all of us need to do this to protect ourselves. Do you all know what was written in Ian’s s*icide notes?”
“Ian, who wrote that kind of note, has returned to the academy. We can’t predict what he might do.”
The Bandage Mask spoke with a serious tone.
Clearly, the contents of Ian’s notes were serious.
Interpreting the contents of the note that suggested he jumped because they didn’t accept his confession was chilling, no matter how you looked at it.
Even for those who rejected the confession but were not disappointed in Ian, their remaining affection could not help but fall when they saw the notes.
Ian’s notes were the adhesive binding the four of them together.
All four nodded.
Of course, this included the culprit who fabricated the notes.
“Bandage is right.”
The Queen spoke.
“All four of us here can be considered victims of Ian’s threatening s*icide attempt. And even before that, each of us had to endure Ian’s obsession.”
The Queen looked around slowly.
Her confidence was clearly felt in her demeanor.
“Therefore, we must drive Ian out of the Academy this time. Make sure he never sets foot in Lichten again.”
The Bandage Mask nodded, and the Leaf Mask appeared somewhat uncertain.
The Rabbit Mask opened its mouth.
“What do you mean by that?”
“In the future, there will be a disciplinary committee and, before that, a pre-trial hearing. You all must have heard about it.”
“We’re here to coordinate our stories. So that he receives the appropriate punishment for his crimes.”
The Bandage and Rabbit Masks nodded.
But the Leaf Mask appeared somewhat uneasy.
The Queen asked.
“If you have any opinions, feel free to express them. After all, this is why we are here anonymously.”
After hesitating for a moment, the Leaf Mask cautiously spoke up.
“…I, uh, don’t think Ian is entirely to blame for everything.”
Silence hung over the round table.
Sharp gazes were directed at the Leaf Mask.
“Ah… No, no, I’m not defending Ian.”
Leaf Mask hurriedly clarified, raising both hands.
“Then, what do you mean?”
“I just find it hard to believe what’s being suggested.”
Both the Queen and the Rabbit Mask muttered in confusion, and the Leaf Mask lowered their head slightly.
“Well, you see…”
Then, the Leaf Mask continued cautiously, their words measured.
“I think there’s a possibility that Ian may not be the culprit.”
Silence hung over the round table. Sharp gazes were directed at the Leaf Mask.
The Leaf Mask’s hesitant words flowed smoothly, much like an act:
“Of course, even though the possibility is exceedingly small, we shouldn’t distort the results of the disciplinary committee by coming to an agreement together. If Ian is indeed at fault, the outcome will be the same. There’s a high likelihood of that.”
It was a reasonable point.
“That makes sense.”
The Queen nodded.
This was surprising to the Bandage and Rabbit Mask, as the Queen had been insisting on Ian thoroughly until now. They exchanged incredulous glances. The Queen shrugged.
“In any case, it’s a rational argument. Let’s hear more from the Leaf Mask.”
The Leaf Mask continued with more confidence now.
“Moreover, there have been rumors lately that Ian has changed. What do you all think?”
“It feels like there has definitely been a change.”
Bandage Mask muttered.
“I’ve heard the same.”
The Queen added.
Then, the Rabbit Mask, who had been silent, raised her hand.
The Queen gestured for her to speak.
“I have a suspicion that Ian might have cursed us.”
Both the Bandage and Leaf Mask exclaimed.
“I thought you all might have felt it too. Aren’t all of you famous for your abilities?”
At Rabbit Mask’s words, Bandage and Leaf Mask turned their heads.
They looked somewhat embarrassed.
The Queen smiled as she summarized the discussion.
“In short, there is a possibility that Ian has changed, but at the same time, it seems likely that he is causing harm to us. Although there is a chance that he may be innocent, if he’s not, it’s a potentially malicious and worsening situation.”
Everyone nodded in agreement.
“Since we have some time, it might be worth considering how we can handle the situation together. Before that, if we can find any other evidence related to Ian, it could change our direction.”
As the discussion had gone on for quite some time, it was getting late.
The proposal for the conclusion of their meeting was not a bad one.
Everyone nodded in agreement.
Just as they were about to adjourn and set the time for their next meeting.
“Oh, one more thing.”
The Queen opened her mouth as if she had just remembered something.
“Combat training for each class will be scheduled soon. It’s a fairly important event, so everyone sure is aware of it.”
It was important training, with a significant stake in one semester’s grade at the Academy.
“Keep an eye on Ian. This message is primarily for the members of the Mezai class here. We’ll see if he has really changed during that training.”
“Isn’t that contradictory? If we’re not revealing our identities, won’t that reveal our identities? There’s only one Mezai class here.”
The Rabbit Mask’s words made the Queen chuckle.
“Hehe. Who’s to say I’m not from Mezai as well?”
And with that, the anonymous meeting came to a close.
Bogdi Note: Some Illustrations for afaik Danya and Lina have been added to chapters already translated, would you guys want them add to those chapters, posted in the next chapter here or both? (Afaik they aren’t really tied to the plot of the chapters, but I’m not sure. Also sadly no Illustrations for other characters)
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