The University of Magical Research and Affairs — Part 1
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
Leila, Emyu, and I casually strolled through the university’s halls. It was a bit of an interesting building, in that its architectural make was far more fantasy-like than anything I’d seen back in Japan. Spacetime magic had been applied to the interior, making it roughly two or three times as big as it looked. It was lit not by ceiling lights, but rather by tiny luminescent orbs, floating around throughout.
The walls were lined with bookshelves, nearly stacked high enough to reach the ceiling. I was a bit confused at first, because locating and retrieving a specific book looked like a royal pain, but I was soon proven wrong by a random bystander we happened to pass. She retrieved something from a top shelf by walking over to a pedestal with a book on it and touching the magical device. The entire shelf detached itself from the wall and gently set itself down on the ground. Okay, I have to admit, that’s a pretty solid solution.
Walking around had led me to realise that Baachsburg had a surprisingly large population, given the uneven sex ratio. From what I could gather, there were roughly three thousand of them within the town’s borders. Maybe it’s because they’re long-lived, either that, or I’m underestimating the number of foreign scholars that have come here to study. I mean, it makes sense. This place pretty much seems like the holy grail of studying your ass off.
“Not going to lie, this place has me pretty impressed.”
“We’re really quite proud of it. It’s the best educational facility in the demon realm,” explained Leila.
The maid was pretty much always smiling, but today, she seemed a bit happier than usual. It only makes sense, seeing as how she’s back home.
“Oh and uh… is it just me, or was I kinda getting a lot of stares when we were walking down the street? From the sheep-horned girls in particular.”
“That would be because you’re a demon lord, my lord. Everyone’s curious.”
“It’s also because you were with Leila. She’s really famous around here,” said Emyu.
“You have no idea! She used to go door to door! She’d ask one scholar all sorts of different questions and wear them out, then move right on to the next! It’s why they call her the embodiment of philomathy.”
“That was more a function of my youthful indiscretion,” said Leila, with a chuckle.
“Uhhh… honestly? If you ask me, it kinda sounds like you haven’t really changed.”
“She has! She was a lot worse back then,” said Emyu.
Oh god. If this is her being better, I can’t even imagine how she used to be…
“You don’t have to be so mean about it. I was simply trying my best to learn whatever I could. It was nothing but pure curiosity.”
Leila pretended to cry.
“Yeah uh, sometimes, too much of a good thing can be kinda bad.”
“In that case, I can attempt to replace some of my curiosity with malice and spite.”
“Yeah, no. I don’t even want to know what kind of schemes an evil Leila would cook up. I’mma just go ahead and say that I’d rather you not change. I like you as you are.”
“Oh my. That was certainly a compliment to remember. I’ll have to brag to all the others, once we get back to them.”
“You really don’t know how to pull your punches, do you?”
“Would you rather I did?”
“I literally just told you that I like you as you are, so… nah.”
Emyu narrowed her eyes as she watched us tease each other.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen you smile like that, Leila.”
“Oh my, how embarrassing. Moving on, would you like a tour, my lord? While you’re here?”
“Might as well. That sounds like it’d be fun, not that I’m not having fun already.”
After showing me all sorts of different rooms, she eventually brought me to an office. The room was supposed to be on the larger side, but there was so much stuff lying about that I found it almost impossible to navigate it without stepping on something or another. How the hell does all this stuff even fit in here anyway? It’s crammed as hell. It’s gotta be more magic, I bet.
“Welcome, demon lord.” The professor, the only person in the room, greeted me as I stepped inside. “Excuse the mess. Stay where you are. I’ll make some space for you in a second.”
Sliding a hand, she moved a pile of books out of the way to reveal a hidden sofa. Damn, that was some cool ass magic.
“I’ll be taking care of this mess later, Professor,” said Leila.
“I’d be grateful if you did. It’s been like this since you left.”
I see… so Leila used to take care of this for her? Maybe that’s why she’s so good at housework.
“Hi Eldegaria. Thanks for taking care of my family while I was out. Everyone seemed like they had lots of fun, the kids especially,” I said, as I sat down on the sofa.
“I’m glad you brought them. Emyu’s a little hard headed and prideful, so she doesn’t get along too well with most other kids. It was nice to see her make some friends.”
“Oh, Emyu. You still haven’t made any friends in Baachsburg?”
Leila shook her head.
“It’s not that I don’t want to be their friend! It’s just… we don’t really have much to talk about, so…”
“Well, she doesn’t seem like a bad kid since she got along with ours. I guess it’s just that you can’t really end up getting along with everyone. There’s always compatibility to think about and whatnot,” I said with a laugh.
“That’s exactly right! The other Baachsburg kids and I just aren’t compatible! It’s not my fault!”
She puffed out her chest with pride and latched right onto the excuse I offered her. Leila, however, was not as amused and simply sighed.
“Please avoid spoiling her, my lord. You really need to restrain yourself better, when it comes to the little ones.”
“Huh? I wasn’t trying to spoil her though…”
“So that’s the type you are?” Eldegaria chuckled. “Kids can certainly be cute, but you still have to be strict with them. You’ll have to be extra careful, seeing as how you’ll be having one in the near future.”
“I’ll… try,” I said. “Wait, you already heard about it?”
“Directly from the doctor who happened to examine the Supreme Dragon herself. Sorry, but the news was more important than keeping it confidential, given the circumstances,” she said. “Oh, and here’s a congratulatory gift.”
She handed me a number of charms.
Where have I seen these before? Oh yeah… Emyu had them back when we first met her.
“Oh! Those are the professor’s handmade talismans! They’re incredibly effective!” said the kid in question.
“They’re not quite as expensive as the elixirs that you use,” said Leila.
The professor shrugged.
“I doubt that your child will be needing them, with one parent as the Supreme Dragon and the other as a demon lord, but they don’t take up very much space, so you may as well take them.”
“Thanks. I’m really grateful.”
I put them in my inventory and gave her a high grade potion in exchange.
“Here, a return gift.”
“This… is an elixir? Are you sure? This is incredibly expensive, isn’t it?”
“Wait, are you guys serious? Is that really an elixir?”
“Eh, just think of it as me showing my appreciation, both for the amulet, and because we had a great time here,” I said with a light chuckle.
I’d heard that they were not only shown to all the places that tourists frequented, but also granted access to places normally closed to outsiders.
While Leila was certainly a reason as to why that was the case, I was also absolutely certain that the professor happened to have a hand in it as well.
“Well… if you’re giving us something this valuable, then we’ll have to up the hospitality. Look forward to what’s to come.”
“Nice. I’m already getting pumped. So, is this why you asked to see me, or is it something else?”
“There’s something else. Leila, Emyu, could the two of you step out for a moment?”