Synopsis: A fast-paced story about a youngster who loses everything and everyone he holds dear. Through the only family that still remains with him, his uncle, he gets to choose to dedicate his focus and attention to blacksmithing rather than to fall into depression and street life...
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Will it become “emotionally deep” if I gloss it over by saying, “I do not know what a real emotion is”?
Slightly earlier than sunrise, where the trees are still quiet, the slightly bright morning light shone. Idly scanning the room that is wider than I thought, it looked very dreary. Even so, I have to leave behind the bed, the desk, the chair and the wardrobe that was provided to me from the beginning. It’s just that because I didn’t have a personal belonging here, this room dulled my life so much.
I finished packing my belongings last night, and those who live somehow far away started leaving the dormitory one after another. But it is still a long dormitory life. We moved from one room or floor several times, so there is a tacit understanding not to bring bulky items. My luggage was not big, and I only brought with me some necessary personal items. When I took out my things and cleaned it to make the room “beautiful” . . . it became wide, cold and oppressive.
“Ah . . . This is my last time.”
My whisper echoed throughout the room. This is the last. My 6-year dorm life will end soon. By the time the sun rises high up in the sky, Monica’s name and mine will disappear from this room. Someone from the house cleaning will come to properly clean the room, and the next academy student will occupy it. It feels strange that, although I have already accepted the course of events, I could not imagine a few hours ago that I would be able to graduate.
When I gazed upwards, I saw my purple jacket hanging on the wall. Under the jacket is the white blouse that I am going to wear and the long black skirt that was tailored when I became a senior. On the desk, there is a red necktie that matches my uniform and an almost empty bag. It will be my last time to wear that uniform today. I will not be able to wear the uniform I almost wore everyday starting tomorrow.
I flopped on the bed and closed my eyes.
I will graduate from this academy today.
I don’t feel any excitement.
I am busy every day, I had lots of things to do, and despite that, I created a lot of memories with the person I love . . . The next thing I knew, this day came. Perhaps we can do it for a few days if we can afford it. I will surely be able to adjust after a few days, I guess.
Extending my hand on the bedside, I grabbed a high-quality stationery. Written in a bold, masculine penmanship, the letter is from my beloved. It was all about his physical condition, the work he is doing over there and his future plans. It was delivered to me seven days ago, and he concluded the letter by saying, “I will definitely return there on your graduation ceremony.”
I haven’t seen Gil for more than a month, so he must have written this absentmindedly.
I’m thinking of shifting the blame on him, but it can’t be helped. After meeting him, no matter how busy I am, Gilbert Kralvane is the first person I always think of. That is also how he is to me.
“It is today, Gil……”
Grumbling, I pulled the bed cover over my head. Now that I think of it, I have to bid this bed goodbye. The scheduled time . . . I’ll enjoy sleeping for two hours more. I hope that when I wake up, I can meet him.
* * *
My field of vision is filled with color blue. The sky is clear no matter where I look and not a single cloud could be seen.
“I wonder, does the academy’s graduation ceremony commence only when there is a fine weather . . . ?”
The reason why I had that kind of suspicion was that all the graduation ceremonies so far had a wonderful and nice weather. Because we are going to start a new life, it is definitely better to have a fine weather than a downpour. However, it seems that the sunny weather will continue thus far. Since it is a school that trains magicians.
This year also, in the square in front of the main gate, our relatives, people from the Magical Society and similar institutions have already gathered. Of course, it can’t be compared to the former graduation ceremonies, yet it looks like a few people are prepared to wait. Even though the ceremony is still ongoing.
Oh, yeah. There are three classes in our year level but in the end, only one class was able to graduate today. Because of the growth limit, family circumstances and other reasons, my classmates gradually became lesser and when we reached sixth year, only more or less thirty people remained. Every year, I would see them off in wonder but now that I am finally here, I realized its meaning. That it is a miracle that I, who is one of those who remained in this academy, will be graduating.
“Good morning, Meryl. Looks like you slept properly last night.”
“Good morning, Monica. You’re the most energetic one.”
Turning my head to the owner of that voice, my fluffy flaxen-haired best friend who wore big eyeglasses laughed. Monica did not come back to the academy for quite sometime due to family circumstances. I think I haven’t seen her for about five days.
“Hey, did you lose weight again?”
When I gently touched her hand, it felt like it got a bit bonier than before. She used to be a bit chubby in the past, and as we advanced from one year level to the next, she gradually lost her weight and her slim figure and beauty came to light.
“Somewhat, because I was a bit busy. Well, it’s better than what I looked like years ago.”
“It is not good to lose weight. Don’t push yourself. Eat properly, okay?”
“Although it is said by Meryl, who has always been slender.”
She grasped my hand back while her other hand poked my cheeks. Ugh, it is only my chest that is thin……
“But I’m relieved that I came on time for the graduation ceremony. I was ready to be absent, but I really wanted to finish completely until the end.”
“It was tough for you . . . Good job, Monica.”
“Thank you. But from today onwards, it might be difficult for you.”
She swung our connected hands and laughed happily. Well, I helped in odd jobs and spent my time in a leisurely manner. My graduation thesis was normally accepted but nothing made me busy . . . ?
“Look forward to it. Come, let’s go.”
Walking lightly towards the place of the ceremony, my best friend hummed even though she felt like singing. I do not know what is going on, but let’s just say that Monica, who is my long-time friend, seems to be happy.
The interior of the auditorium that is used once a year was decked with special decorations and is enveloped by a solemn atmosphere before the ceremony even began.
……Oh, it is finally the graduation ceremony. The curtain fell quietly on our six-year school life.
This is the end.
* * *
“Even so, this . . . there’s nothing much at all.”
“……Well, you’re right.”
The ceremony is the sole thing to enjoy in that tense atmosphere. Perhaps they came to congratulate the distinguished persons in the academy and the guests, but I couldn’t detect any emotions from the greetings I heard. Nothing special happened, the mundane ceremony progressed and then it ended.
“I could not enjoy it . . . .”
“I think that if you go back to the dormitory now, you will get the feeling of the so-called sense of loss. Because we do not have a room anymore.”
“Such feeling is kind of . . .”
It is not as if it is a lost item, so I do not need to feel sad towards it anymore. Looking around, I can see some of my classmates shedding tears like waterfalls.
……That is the right reaction after all.
I heard from a boy closest to me, Even if we leave the school, I can still meet you as long as I live… But I think that is ridiculous.
“This feeling of alienation as a graduate . . .”
“Unlike our classmates, there is a huge presence you have to keep in mind, you know?”
Although I intended to say that to myself, a scathing retort from the person beside me entered my ears. Glancing at her a little, Monica is already laughing with excitement.
“Go, Meryl. You shouldn’t be having idle chat here. Go where you should go.”
“But go where . . .?”
Who should you be with on your graduation other than your classmates?
My reply was cut off by the sudden commotion in the square. Turning towards the noise, the smiling Monica pushed my back. To happiness, she mouthed.
The waves of people broke. A stepping sound of leather shoes was heard, and a tall male silhouette emerged.
His indigo blue cloak is waving. There was no gap in the stand-up collar of his magician’s uniform. The hair tied on his back is shining blue-silver today as well. Staring straight at me . . . his sharp golden eyes were particularly eye-catching. On the clasp of his cloak is his official family crest, the same family crest that was stamped on the seal wax of the letter I received seven days ago.
He appeared wearing the attire of the representative of the “prestigious Kralvane family”, and with an overwhelming presence, walked straight towards me. Without hesitation, without cowardice . . .
He stopped in front of me.
I was at a loss for words.
I couldn’t see him for a long time and, though he looked like a very fine man as usual, he also looked dashing today. Happy, dazzled, my heart could only well up with emotions.
At last I could utter his name and his sharp golden eyes slowly smiled. He took my left hand and quietly knelt without sound. Every action he makes is really graceful. Though I also wish for time to stop, I want to watch it always. He slowly drew my hand towards him and kissed it, then he gazed at me. [T/N: Sigh.]
I finally heard his voice after a long time. His low voice echoed pleasantly on my spine.
I felt proud that I could respond when he called my name.
“Please marry me.”
Just one sentence.
Going down on his knees and saying that sentence made the entire square dead silent. My classmates, their relatives, the guests and the other magicians as well. Closing their mouth then opening it, they were simply dumbstruck.
Like them, the meaning of that sentence dawned on me.
It was magical. It was not the kind of magic I learned at the academy. It was exactly a “magic” of a fairy tale. With one sentence, he caused the sea of my heart to overflow and collapse and my tear glands to burst with tears.
The moment I responded, the silent square broke into a cheer. It was truly a loud cheer, that even the academy students staying at the dormitory appeared in a hurry.
“Congratulations!!” Everyone, whose names I don’t even know, laughed, clapped their hands, and blessed us from the bottom of my heart.
I was rendered speechless. I truly couldn’t say anything. Is there, is there such a happy thing like this?
My sweet beloved whispered as he wiped my tears. When I looked at him closely, he, too, is crying. The famous magician-sama, who thoroughly carried out his plans, cried at his own proposal.
“Oh, stop it… You’re a mess, Gil.”
“That’s more like me, right? Ah, really, I wanted to see you. I have longed to say this for so long. I love you, Meryl. I will definitely . . . definitely not let you go, so you better prepare yourself.”
“That’s obvious. Who would let go of this good man—?!”
While the both of us are crying together, Gil straightened up, lifted me and kissed me. Everyone around us whistled in surprise and it became rowdier.
Isn’t this nice? Well, today is the graduation ceremony. For a graduate, it is a day to be congratulated!
That day, I graduated.
I left a memorable school that trained me for six years……
I became his wife.