About the Reckless Girl Who Kept Challenging a Reborn Man Like Me - Volume 1 Chapter 2: Studying Youth
- About the Reckless Girl Who Kept Challenging a Reborn Man Like Me
- Volume 1 Chapter 2: Studying Youth
“Damn, you scored a solid 100 yet again…”
As usual, I saw Anya gripping her answer sheet, her cheeks flushed with regret, and her teeth clenched.
She has changed quite a bit in the last few years. Her hair has grown longer and she has become much more feminine.
In addition to that, the clothes that she usually used to wear have also changed. She was now dressed in her school blazer uniform, instead of the free-style clothing she used to wear.
─ It means that we’re both in middle school now.
Anya and I went to the same secondary school of course. It was only natural that she got into the best private school in the area. She had gotten the top grades in the area and had also gone to a high-level cram school after all.
In fact, as a person who has lived 28 years and also used to receive a mediocre salary, I feel really bad for my parents for sending me to a private school.
When I think about the annual tuition of this school and my mediocre bring-home income from my previous life, my head starts to spin a little.
When I told my parents that I was fine with a regular public school, they said, “Kids don’t have to worry about that,” and Anya said, “Then I’ll go to a public school, too,” as if it was a matter of course, so I had no choice. I felt sorry for my parents, but I couldn’t let a genius like Anya rot in the local public school because of me.
I thought about getting a part-time job, but I wondered if there were any part-time jobs available for secondary school students. Well I had scored 97 on my first test in secondary school. It made me think that secondary school is much different than primary school.
“Hmmm! Finally, your 100-point stronghold has crumbled! It won’t be long before I achieve victory from you!”
Anya’s eyes were teary as she spoke in high spirits.
She had a score of 92. It must have been humiliating for her. As a preparatory school, the tests were difficult, and I’m sure her score was good enough, but she and I both underestimated the middle school’s test level. But, she was still the second highest student in her grade.
I managed to find a part-time job with the help of my relatives and started to study hard.
“Damn, you scored a solid 100 this time…”
And that brings me to her line that I’d mentioned earlier. It seems that if I study hard enough, I can still make good use of the 28 years of experience I had in my previous life.
“How can you get a hundred whilst also working part-time? …Zeke, how the hell are you studying like this?”
That’s because I have the biggest cheat of them all, “Reincarnation,” but I can’t say that.
Anya pinched one of my cheeks. But the force in her fingers was weak.
She got a 95 on this test. Of course, she was the second highest student in her grade, but she was a little depressed that she had studied so hard and had only managed to improve by three points. From my point of view, it was good enough really, and this was a preparatory school too. It seemed to be much more difficult than the regular middle school tests I had attended in my previous life. I think that she should be more proud of herself since she managed to score 95 in that test, but I guess she was upset due to the fact that I had scored 100.
Anya was feeling a little deflated as I took out my new pastry.
“The trick to studying is to first figure out what is the root of the unit. All the basics of the unit are there, and all the other study content is derived from that root……”
“Aah! Wait! Wait! No, no, no! No, no, no! Don’t say a single word!”
Anya squirmed and rushed away from me.
“I can’t have my enemy send me salt!”[ED: Sending salt is an idiom for helping the enemy so it’s more fair/even]
With that, she ran straight out of the classroom and went back home. I was taken aback by her reaction and went straight to my part-time job.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Teach me how to study…”
Anya came over to my desk and mumbled in a low voice. Her face was red with humiliation. She turned her face ever so slightly to try and avoid eye contact with me while asking.
This was during a big midterm test.
I managed to keep up appearances with my 28 years of life experience by getting perfect scores in every subject. I did a lot of studying, if I do say so myself. Anya, of course, was the second highest achiever in her grade, with a total of 760 points in eight subjects. It was a respectable number, but Anya was still unsatisfied with it.
The 40 points difference with me seemed unforgivable to her; she told me later that she herself felt that she had failed the test, regardless of the competition with me. It was an unavoidable score since it was a very difficult test. But this is the first time that she felt so frustrated with something that has nothing to do with me.
She bent her own pride and came to learn from me. It was the first time she had ever done that in the five years I had known her.
Her body trembled and her face turned red, and even though I was only watching from the edge of the room, I could feel her high body temperature and quickening heartbeat.
“…Okay. I’ll teach you how to study.”
I answered briefly. I set up a seat opposite my seat and quickly sat her down while she was frozen. I immediately started talking about her studies, because I felt it would be a pity to pause currently. I thought it would be more distracting as per her personality.
Of course, I also prepared some snacks that I bought next to my desk.
“As I said before, the most important thing in studying is to understand what the root of the unit is. That’s where all the basics of the unit are, and everything else you study is derived from that root.”
“Yes. You don’t have to memorize everything in the textbook from beginning to end. First, you have to grasp the root of the content, and from there, you have to study it as if you were extending the branches and leaves.”
“For example, in history… the most important event in the content of this test is the Battle of Lesvokis. The most important event in this test is the Battle of Lesvokis. All subsequent parts are influenced by this battle. It’s not just a question of whether or not you’re going to be able to do it. Much of this time period revolves around the Battle of Lesvokis, and it has influenced not only the history of this country, but the history of other countries as well.” [ED: Not sure if this is a real battle or not but if anyone knows do let us know in the comments]
If you think about the vertical influences of the times, consider the horizontal connections, and relate the events as you study them, it will be easier to put the ideas together in your mind, and you will understand them better than if you just read the text.
Anya, who had been trembling so much, was amazing, and after only a short lecture, her mind seemed to be in her study mode. With a dignified look on her face, she listened to me intently.
“The same can be said for the other subjects. Even in mathematics, the first thing that is important is this formula. All the basic ideas in this unit are based on this formula, and all the other formulas and application problems are based on this basic formula. If you have trouble with an application problem, you should first go back to the basics and try to determine the goal. The goal is in the basics, and in order to get there, you need to think about what kind of process you need to go through, and what kind of numbers you need.”
“Yes, the basics. What did you do wrong on this test? Can you show me?”
So we sat in the corner of the classroom and just studied, not leaving until the teacher warned us that the sun was setting. The next thing I knew, the sun was setting over the horizon and the classroom was reddening with the last rays of the sun.
“Zeke… You’re really good at teaching…”
Her pale blue hair was tinted a warm color from the sun’s rays.
It was during a lunch break.
“I’m thinking of going bowling with the rest of the class to celebrate the midterm exams, and I was wondering if Anya would like to join us…?”
“Um, are you listening to me…?”
The class president of the class, a girl named Sophie, was talking to Anya. Sophie’s hair was golden and fluffy, and her face was calm. As a representative of the class, she was inviting Anya to an after-school activity planned by the whole class.
However, Anya was immersed in her own world, as if no one existed around her. She was reading a book. She didn’t even look up, just facing the book. I watched her from afar with a feeling of anxiety.
“I think it would be fun if we all played together…”
“…… Look, look! It’s not often that we go out together as a class! It’s also a social gathering with everyone! I’d be happy if you could join us too, Anya-san…!”
Sophie, the class president, scratched her cheek as if she was troubled by the silent Anya.
Anya was a bit of a celebrity in her grade. She had excellent grades, was ranked second in her year, and was a quiet, tranquil, and silent girl. She had beautiful, pale blue hair, and her neat face always had a dignified expression. Seeing her devote herself to her studies, the students in the school call her the “Ice Goddess.”.
However, because of this, she rarely spoke to anyone. She hardly ever talked to people. People who knew me and Anya, who attended the same cram school as me, felt uncomfortable with the fact that she had a different name, “Ice Goddess.” But for those who didn’t know her well, she was a fearsome and unapproachable person.
“…I’m not interested.”
Anya did not look up and muttered a few words in a low, small voice. She did not look at Sophie at all, but let the cold, heartless words slip out of her mouth. Sophie flinched at her cold attitude.
“I-Is that so… Mm, I understand.”
“I-Im sorry, I invited you a bit forcefully.”
Anya’s consciousness had already returned to her book, and Sophie’s troubled voice had not reached her at all. Slumping her shoulders, Sophie hobbled away from Anya. Anya was a problem child in this school.
“Well, I’m sorry about that, class president. Anya acting like that.”
I felt kind of bad and called out to Sophie, who was treated coldly by Anya.
“Haha, You don’t have anything you need to apologize for, Zeke-kun…”
Sophie waved her hand at me helplessly. It really wasn’t my fault, but I don’t know why, but I feel strangely guilty when Anya causes trouble for other people. Am I her guardian or something?
“Class president, tough luck.”
The other boy beside me called out to Sophie.
The student was called Costas. He was the friend I had been chatting with a while ago. He was in the same class as me and was a bit bigger when compared to others his age.
“I guess you didn’t manage to get a good reply from Anya…”
“Haha, yeah. She’s not interested at all.”
“As expected of the ‘Ice Goddess’. It seems she’s not as easy as she seems.”
That’s what Costas said. I’m kind of sorry about Anya.
“Do you want me to try to talk to her? I’m not sure If I can convince her though.”
“Oh, no, no, It’s fine. It’s not mandatory.”
Sophie rejected my proposal with a wave of her hand. The class meeting was not attended by everyone. It seems that there are a few people who don’t participate due to conflicting schedules.
“…Anya is a little, well, a lot different.”
I sighed unconsciously. In response, Sophie also said.
“Smart people are strange in some way. Even Costas is a little weirder than the average person…”
Like me, Sophie sighed and looked sideways at Costas, who was next to her. Costas didn’t say anything, but bent his mouth into a frown, looking unhappy.
“Is that so? We’ve only been together a short while, so I’m not sure yet…”
I nodded my head. Costas had scored high in the previous midterm exam, even though he was in a prep school. He was not as good as Anya, but he was a smart person who could definitely study well. He hadn’t been in middle school for very long and hadn’t made many friends yet. He didn’t know everyone in the class very well.
“Costas, you have some very strange tastes.”
“Is that so?“
“I’m not sure… He likes to look for poisonous mushrooms and flowers. Weird, right?”
When I looked at Costas, his cheeks flushed a little embarrassed.
“…Poisons are often dismissed by the general public, but they can also be excellent medicines if their toxicity is understood and adjusted. The fact that they are so effective means that they have the potential to be useful in many different fields. In other words, studying poisons opens up avenues that can be of great help to human progress. For example, the Datura plant contains toxic substances called alkaloids, but it’s poison has been used for general anesthesia, and it has been useful to many people……”
“Yeah, yeah. Stop, stop Costas. Otherwise it’s going to just keep going on and on.”
Costas looked a little sad when Sophie stopped him from talking. Then Costas said,
“I’m sure you’ve heard of it but many smart people, the ones with the highest grades, are somehow different in some way. I guess I, and Anya as well, have to be different somehow to keep up with it.”
“…Is that how it works?”
“Yes. I feel that I have less common sense than most people. That’s the way it is.”
Costas’s words leave me a bit confused. It was a feeling I didn’t understand. It was a feeling that only a genius could understand.
“But you… Zeke, with the best grades, isn’t a weirdo. Rather, you’re a sensible guy.”
“…Is that so?”
When he said that, I scratched my cheek a little with my fingertips.
“I’d be happy if I was told I’m at least a little bit different. Wouldn’t people with the socially correct common sense be more boring?”
“That’s not true, Common sense is important. I don’t want to be a weirdo. I admire you for that.”
“…Is that so?”
…Apparently Costas was a bit of a mature and unusual child. The things he says are soothing. I haven’t known him very long, but I’ve discovered new things about him in just a few conversations.
“Zeke, are you coming to the class party? We’re all thinking of going bowling?”
“Hmm? Yeah, of course I’ll be there. Please take care of me.”
“Yeah, thanks! We’ve got a lot of people now. As the planner, I’m relieved.”
When I saw Sophie’s tired smile, I thought I saw her in the image of a middle-management boss with a problematic employee.
“Okay, let’s have a contest, Sophie, Costas. I’m going to bowl. Loser buys drinks?”
“All right. Bet.”
“Oh, I can’t lose this one!”
That’s when the three of us laughed together.
Then there was a female student who stood up vigorously, slamming her chair.
It was Anya.
“Did you just say “contest”?”
“Did you just say contest?! Hey, Zeke! Are you listening?”
Anya, who just a moment ago had a cold expression on her face and showed no interest whatsoever in the class meeting, turned to me with a glittering, passionate look in her eyes.
Oh, no. I’ve stimulated her fighting spirit… It’s a pain in the ass whenever it happens. Sophie and Costas were stunned. They had seen Anya’s panic attacks several times, but since they had only known her for a short time, they had been surprised each time.
“I’m going bowling too! Let’s go! Zeke!”
Anya placed her hands on her hips and shouted with a fighting spirit.
I hoped she would forgive me for letting out a huge sigh.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A high-pitched crashing sound echoed through the air. The liveliness of a large number of people swirled around, continuing to heat up the place.
We were currently at a bowling alley.
“Whoa! Strike! Nice!”
We’re here now, with about 70% of the class. It was quite a gathering of people. We cheered whenever someone got a strike, and laughed when someone got a gutter. This was just like having a normal school life with friends.
“Zeke-kun, how was it?”
After a game, Sophie, the class president, asked me.
“I did okay, not too bad nor too good.”
There were five people throwing in the same lane, and my score was the third highest. One of the players was goofing around, throwing the ball in strange ways as a way to learn how to throw. He was also the one who was having the most fun of us all.
“Haha, even the best in the grade are mediocre at bowling.”
If that was the basis of the score, we’d win immediately.
I couldn’t help but chuckle at Sophie’s laughter.
“So? Class president? Will the next game change the combination of teams? Or is it a lottery again?”
“Ah, yeah, that’s the case with other people… Zeke-kun, could you come over here…?””
I have a feeling I’m in for some trouble. I walked behind Sophie as she led me to the end of the bowling lane. It was the end of the lane that our class was renting.
There was Anya, who did not want to talk at all, and Costas, who was at a loss as to what to say. The other classmates also seemed to be troubled by Anya’s silence.
….Maybe Anya was… was she silent during the entire game?
“I’m sorry, Zeke… Could you be in charge of Anya’s…?”
“…I’m sorry Anya bothered you here too.”
For some reason, a strange sense of guilt grows inside me. What is it? I wonder if I’m like Anya’s guardian or something. When I went to the lane, all my classmates, except Anya, looked blatantly relieved. It was no secret that Anya and I had known each other for a long time. Any Anya-related trouble would come directly my way.
…I may be Anya’s guardian after all.
“Anya, I hope this wasn’t too boring for you…”
“I’m just trying to score as many points as I can, so I don’t think you need to worry about it, okay?”
In fact, I think she’s enjoying it a lot. See, her eyes are burning. It’s a look that says, “All I want to do is beat the high score. Anya looked up, saw me, and shouted, her mouth curved.
“I can’t throw the ball where I want it to go!”
I looked at Anya’s score and saw that it was not very good. This would be a win for me.
“What? You’re not scoring as well as you’d like?”
“Shut up! It’s my first time, I have no choice!
Anya exclaimed, blushing a little.
“…I see, Anya. You don’t have many friends…”
“Shut up! I don’t care!”
Anya doesn’t have any friends that she can go bowling with. I was on the verge of tears.
“So, me and Zeke are in charge of Costas and Anya. I look forward to working with you… Zeke.”
That means I have to take care of a problem child, huh. I don’t have much of a choice either way.
“…Thanks for the help, Sophie, Zeke.”
He closed his eyes, looking unhappy. It’s not that he didn’t have anything to say, but he just didn’t know what to say. In other words, Costas wasn’t a good talker and was a shy person overall.
The second game began. It had been a long time since I had last bowled, but my shoulders were getting used to it, and I was gradually getting more spares. Every time a good ball was thrown, everyone was happy. This was how we all enjoyed playing together.
But please don’t click your tongue with a bitter look on your face every time I get a spare Anya… It seems like Anya was my only enemy here.
Costas took the strike and I shouted. He still didn’t speak a single word, his mouth was shut the whole time.
Costas, why don’t you look more happy that you got your strike?
Sophie tells Costas.
“I’m enjoying this.”
“Well, we understand. But the others can’t, can they?”
Costas growled a little, as if he had just encountered a difficult problem.
“Sorry, Zeke-kun. Costas is being unsociable.”
“It’s fine, but why is Sophie apologizing?”
I understand if it was because of her position as the class president, and if she had asked me to deal with Costas, who is a bad talker. But I don’t think this situation is something you need to apologize for.
“Ah… No… It’s…What’s it called?”
Sophie folded her arms and tilted her head as if she was thinking about what to say.
“Me and Costas have been familiar with each other since our childhood.”
Sophie scratched her cheek in embarrassment, and Anya, who had been listening to our conversation without any interest, looked up.
“So, when I think that Costas is causing trouble for others, I kind of apologize. I wonder if this is parental love…”
“Always annoying… Sophie.”
“No, it’s fine. I don’t care, but… You know how Zeke apologized to me for something related to Anya? I kind of know that feeling.”
It’s true that when Anya rejected Sophie’s proposal curtly, I was apologizing to her for some reason. I certainly understand the feeling when you put it that way. Whenever Anya gives trouble to others, I feel kind of sorry for her.
…Since when did I feel like Anya’s protector?
“So, you two grew up together. Were you close to each other at home?”
Anya, who had not participated in the conversation at all until then, spoke up for the first time.
“Eh? Ah? Umm… It’s like a ‘Company Relationship?’”
Sophie was a little puzzled by Anya’s sudden entrance into the conversation.
“Yes, it seems that his grandfathers and mine have known each other as directors of a company for a long time.”
“That’s how we knew each other and used to play together when we were little.”
“Yes, a director. They’ve been supporting the company for a long time, and our grandfathers seem to be good friends with each other.”
“It’s a family affair.”
I listened as Anya nodded her head in interest.
“Oh yeah, I was wondering how you knew about Costas’s hobby of collecting poisonous mushrooms. I was impressed thinking that the Class President managed to befriend many people in class… But childhood friends, Huh.”
“Haha. Yeah, I’m trying to get along with everyone in the class as Class President. But, I’ve known Costas for a long time.”
I see, she knows Costas who is shy and doesn’t talk about his hobbies to others easily. It made sense to me somehow.
“When we were playing together, Costas said he found a rare flower, and he ate it without thinking. He started hurting, and we had to call an ambulance.”
“I was saved that time.”
“There was a time when he wanted to see a poisonous flower that he saw in an illustrated book in reality, so he took us out, got lost, and we struggled to get home while looking at a map.”
“I was saved that time.”
Nothing but bad memories?
“Did Costas ever help Sophie…?”
When I asked them that, they both turned their heads slightly and fell silent. Anya sighed in exasperation .
“You’re pathetic. You can’t just be one-sidedly receiving help.”
“I don’t think that’s something for you to say, Anya.”
“That’s why Sophie and I spent our lives being pushed around by geniuses. I felt strangely close to her.”
However, there is no such thing as a board member or When I say directors, I mean the people at the top of the company. I’m sure their families make a lot of money, don’t they? In my previous life, I was a commoner until the day I died, so I can’t help but think about such depressing things. I died at the age of 28, so it’s only natural that I was a commoner…
“Could it be that the both of you are a rich young master and mistress?”
“Haha. We don’t really know much ourselves… It seems that we have more money than the average household though.”
My mouth twitches. Don’t tell me that the person in front of me is the son of a real rich family? I’ve never met anyone like that before?
“What is it? Costas?”
“This school is a private school. There are lots of kids from rich families here, you know?”
I couldn’t help but look around at my classmates. In my previous life, I never had the chance to meet anyone from a rich family, but could it be that some of the classmates I’ve been casually talking to these days are incredibly rich? No, I’ve noticed some of them, but could it be that all of my classmates are really rich…?
“No, but, we’re all bowling together, right? Bowling is a commoner’s game, isn’t it…?
“When have you heard that rich folks don’t play commoner games?”
“What kind of image do you have of rich people, Zeke?”
They both stared at me.
“D-Do you go to any social parties at night?”
“That conception is old.”
“It’s not like I haven’t been to any parties at all though. My dad has taken me to a few parties at hotels and such.”
I couldn’t help but be frightened. Suddenly, the two people in front of me looked dazzling. The young man and woman I had only known from stories were right in front of me. A party… I’ve only had a birthday party with friends.
“Maybe I’m the only one working part-time to pay for school then…”
“What? Zeke, you have a part-time job?”
They were surprised.
“You can’t get a part-time job at our age, can you? I’ve heard that there are no places that will hire secondary school students.”
“I’m helping out at a store that my relative owns. They know our income, so they let us work for them. I use the money to pay for school and other things”
“He-Heh…You’re a respectable guy, huh. Zeke-kun”
Sophie rolled her eyes in surprise. She had heard that there were people who worked to pay for school, but she hadn’t expected one to be this close to her, and her emotions were leaking out. Damn! Could it be that I am the only person from an ordinary family…?
“Anya…What about Anya?”
“My family isn’t very rich, But I think that we are better off than most people. You’ve seen my house right? It’s a little bigger than the other houses.”
“Indeed, it’s larger than most houses…”
I guess Anya’s family is also well off enough to send their children to a private school. I sometimes chat with Anya’s parents, so I could sense it. In the first place, the primary school Anya had attended was a private school.
“Ordinary, only my family is ordinary…”
I was shocked because I was a child of a normal family in both my previous and my present life. Could it be that we live in different worlds…? Are these children…? Is my family the only one that’s ordinary?
“Just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you’re better.”
“Ye-Yeah, I think being first in our grade is more impressive than having our parents’ money.”
I’m being encouraged by the rich…
“Ha! You’re a commoner! Zeke!”
Only Anya was laughing and giggling at me. This girl… I’ll show her one day.
“A-Anya! You shouldn’t make fun of him! Being first in grade is really amazing! Cheer up Zeke! How can you get so many points! I want you to teach me how to study!”
“Teach you how to study? Wouldn’t it be better if Costas taught you?”
She said that the two of them were like childhood friends. Costas was also one of the highest scorers in our grade. He was a bit of an eccentric person himself, as he had said himself that many smart people are eccentric.
“Costas isn’t suited for it since he’s a person that studies based on instinct.”
Sophie and Costas both looked at each other with a distant look.
“My mom is enthusiastic about education. Every test is hard for me.”
“Well, I don’t mind if you just watch me study.”
“What? Are you sure? I guess I just had to ask.”
Sophie was a little surprised but she showed a soft smile. I guess the tests were really hard for her. I understand that feeling really well.
“Eh? What’s that? Zeke is going to hold a study session?”
Perhaps hearing what we were saying, a classmate in the next lane leaned over and joined the conversation.
“Eh? A study session hosted by Zeke? The first in grade?”
“What’s that, I want to join too?”
“Eh? Zeke will increase our test scores by 30%?”
“Is it true that you can get a score of 90 or higher if you attend that study group?”
In an instant, rumors began to circulate, and my classmates gathered around me.
“Is it true that Zeke is going to hold a study session with only women?”
“Oi! Don’t spin my words like that! That’s a groundless accusation!”
“Come on, Zeke! The next test has my allowance at stake! Teach me how to study, too!”
A stupid classmate held his arm around my neck, and begged me for a study session, half out of envy, half for the girls, and a little bit of a desire to actually learn. I guess he believes a few of the rumors have no real basis. My neck’s feeling a little tight though.
“All right! I’ll open a study session… Okay, get away from me!”
“Sweet! Time to increase my allowance.”
“Oh! That’s the first study session of the school year! I’m counting on you, Zeke-kun!”
Listening to me, They all went back to their lanes. As expected of a preparatory school. The motivation to study was high. I had to hold a study session for everyone now.
“How did that all happen in an instant…”
“I-Im sorry about that.”
Sophie was smiling at me with a troubled look on her face. Costas put his hand on my shoulder, which I’m sure was his way of encouraging me. Anya was back in her normal mode, as if she didn’t care about the situation at all.
I rubbed my neck, which was a little tight, and sighed loudly.
I don’t know what to do with a study group… I’m in trouble. And for some reason, they all seem to have high expectations for me.
I’m in a pickle.
But strangely enough, It didn’t feel bad.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Well, we’ve gathered more people than expected…”
“That’s tough, Zeke-kun”
One day after school, I stood on the stage of the classroom and looked around the room from the teacher’s point of view. Even though it was after school, there were many people sitting in their seats, looking at the blackboard and me.
Today was a study session that I had been asked to organize.
Nearly half of the class gathered in this classroom and teasingly called me “Sensei”. It’s embarrassing, so please stop. The ones who persistently call me “Sensei”, I’ll make them stand in the hallway with a bucket. Is that an old-fashioned punishment?
I can see not only people from my class, but also a few people from another class altogether. My classmates must have dragged in people from other classes as well. The number of students was much larger than I’d expected, and I looked around at everyone’s notes, saying, “I’m in trouble.”
I shared my thoughts on studying like what I had shared with Anya earlier, and then went around to everyone’s desks to see how they were studying. By the way, Anya did not participate in this study session. She certainly didn’t like the friendly atmosphere that we had.
“Zeke, the problem here, I know the calculation and the process when I see the answer, but I don’t know why I should do this calculation. I can’t understand why I have to do these calculations. This way, when the same problem comes up on a test, I can only memorize it. It’s hard to explain what I’m talking about. You understand where I’m getting at?”
“Oh, I know what you mean, Marco. Just looking at the answer is often not enough to understand the root of the thinking behind the problem. That’s where it becomes important.”
“The root you were talking about, you said. So? What’s the root of this problem?”
“This is, you know, right here in the textbook, this problem is just an application of moments.”
As I looked around at the students studying, I realized that they were all very smart, as one would expect from a preparatory school. They easily absorbed what I taught and immediately understood and utilized it. The questions they asked me are often of a very preparatory nature. This is because these kids in front of me are thinking in ways that I would never have thought of in my previous life as a middle school student. They have already started to worry about the way of thinking that I had finally realized when I was in college.
I had caught a glimpse of the difference between an ordinary person and a genius. And I had felt it even when I was teaching Anya.
I wonder if it was from then.
I was beginning to get a glimmer of what path this life of mine was going to take.
“The history of this location is still important because of the famous Witch Trials that were done. The witch hunts that occurred in this area started to spread witchcraft to the entire world. The concept of dangerous witches who used dubious witchcraft/spells was replaced by the idea that magic could be found in any living person and that witchcraft/spells could be used by anyone. The Witch Trials in Salem are ‘The Witch Trials which created a series of disasters’, which occured in the year 317.” [TLN: I replaced Progaldia with Salem, Cause I can’t find anything about Progaldia, If someone knows feel free to leave it in the comments.]
Everyone tilted their heads at my explanation of the history of the world.
“The Salem Witch Trials are the ‘Crafty Witch Trials,’ right? So that would be in the year 319, no?”
I hurriedly flipped through my textbook. No, no, no, I’ve always remembered it from my previous life as “The Witch Trials which created a series of calamities occured in… Huh?
The textbook said that it was indeed the year 319. Nonsense. I took out my cell phone and looked up the Salem witch trials.
“The Salem witch trials were previously thought to have taken place in 317, but historical research has revealed that they took place in 319.”
“Did you remember the old textbooks, Zeke?”
“That’s from 30 years ago. That’s old.”
Everyone laughed at my mistake. To be honest, I was embarrassed. It’s true that in my previous life I had attended a secondary school so I thought my knowledge was absolute. In the meantime, research has progressed as well, so it’s no surprise that the textbooks have changed too. I didn’t think that the negative effects of reincarnation would show up in such a place.
When I think about it, the cell phone I’d held in my hand now has changed a lot from the past too. Even if you call such a thing a cell phone, it’d probably be treated as a fossil instead.
I used to have a cell phone that could send short emails, but couldn’t use the Internet at all. I remember I used to have a lot of fun with it, but I don’t think I’ve seen such a thing on a cell phone nowadays… I used to love it.
“Maybe Zeke’s actually a 40 year old man.”
“You’re so mature after all.”
Everyone laughed at the light joke, but I couldn’t laugh at it because it was the truth.
In spite of this, my study session went smoothly. It was mainly an impromptu study session where everyone brought up a point they didn’t understand, so I explained it to them carefully, but it seemed to be well received by everyone.
I patted my chest and felt a sense of happiness and contentment permeate my heart.
There was one weirdo that asked me to give a lecture about poisonous mushrooms. Needless to say, I ignored him. Sophie gave him a scolding as I looked a little deflated. Why is he even here? I’m pretty sure he knows a lot more about studying than me.
“You’re really good at teaching, aren’t you, Zeke?”
A girl in my class said so. I couldn’t help but smile in embarrassment.
I think this is also because of my experience of “Reincarnation”.
It’s not just because I can study better than others, but also because I am taking elementary and middle school classes for the second time after studying extremely hard through the university entrance exams before.
I studied hard for the university entrance exams, just like everyone else in general.
It will give you a different perspective on studying. ‘How to study efficiently’, ‘What’s the meaning of studying’, ‘Ways to study’ and ‘Tips to study’. Drilling all of that information into your head. After studying for a couple of weeks, I was back in the middle school classroom.
After such an experience, my second class looked very different from the first class in my life. I could see the intentions of the teacher’s class, which I could not understand in my first life, and I could understand what the main points were. I also felt that this teacher’s teaching style was better than the first teacher’s, and vice versa.
Once I had repeated the lesson, I would sometimes feel that the teacher was good at teaching, and other times I would cheekily develop an evaluation of the lesson, thinking that the teacher should have focused more on that part of the lesson.
No, I won’t tell anyone though. It would make me look very cocky.
If I were to blab to anyone about such a thing during my middle school years, it would be my black history in itself. By all accounts, I was a gung-ho middle school student. Therefore, I will keep this matter to myself, but I have come to have a certain attitude toward teaching.
“Hai, Hai, Zeke-sensei. I don’t know what’s going on here.” [ED: Hai is basically just yes]
“Yes, yes. Hold up, Rina.”
“I think he was happy.”
I think he was happy to know that he was helping his friends.
I felt as if the joy of me being ‘special’ was me finally being useful for once.
The study session was over, and I was walking alone through the dark streets after dark. I felt a definite sense of satisfaction from today’s study session, a sense of fulfillment from having helped my friends, and as I walked lightly towards home, there she was.
She was standing in the middle of my way home.
Her mouth was tied into a knot, her legs were spread wide, and she was standing with her arms crossed tightly. I was certain that I was the target, as her large eyes continued to glare at me.
Uwaa, I thought
By all accounts, she was in a foul mood.
Anya was stalking me on my way home.
“Um, Anya? Anya-san…? Why are you so grumpy?”
I tend to use polite words when she’s in such a mood.
“I’m not grumpy! Zeke hasn’t done anything wrong!”
“What should I do?”
I don’t know what to do, and I’m not sure what I did to make her mad. No, I know why. It’s because I had a study session with everyone, but I don’t know how she interpreted it in her mind.
Would she be in a better mood if I gave her candy.
“Anya… Do you want some sweets?”
She snatched the entire box of candy with her quick hands, but her mood still didn’t improve.
“Uh… Anya, would you like to join the study session next time?”
“No thanks! I don’t like to study in groups!”
“I guess so.”
Well, I knew it was coming. And I’m not sure what to do about it. It’s hard to believe that the girl standing in front of me, sniffling, has earned the nickname “Ice Goddess” in school.
This girl, she’s usually so cool. But she’s not like that in front of me.
“This is driving me crazy.”
“I don’t understand…”
Anya said, as she stood up.
“Aaah! That’s enough! Teach me how to study, too! I’ll study as hard as I can! Now!”
“What? Now? It’s nighttime and school’s not in session anymore!”
“Why don’t you just do it in my room? It’s just the two of us and we’ll study late into the night!”
Nightly study group…?
I was startled.
“We’re going to stay up late studying until Zeke is sick of it! No! We’re going to study even if you say you hate it! Prepare yourself!”
“Whoa…W-Wait a minute…”
Anya pulled on my confused hand and forcefully took me to her den. My chest was thumping hard and my body was burning. Blood was rushing through my body at an incredible speed.
Nightly study sessions, Anya’s room, just the two of us, until you say you hate it, not even if you say you hate it.
Strange words went round and round in my head, and I staggered down the street at night, as Anya took me by the hand as she did.
Let’s draw a conclusion.
Nothing actually happened…………
It was just a normal study session……
Of course it is. No wonder. We’re only 13 years old after all. [TLN: B-But Legal age in japan is 13.] [ED: please calm down] [ED #2: Hello, I’d like to report…]
Disgust. Disgust for myself was running through my body like my red blood stream.
After a long day of studying, Anya was exhausted and fell asleep. I carried her to her bed, covered her with a blanket, and asked her father to take me home.
Disgust. I just felt so disgusted and embarrassed with myself that I wanted to jump into a hole if there was one nearby. I wanted to punch myself for being so nervous. No matter how young my body got, I can’t believe I’m lusting after a 13 year old girl.
Are you a pedophile? Are you a pedophile? I’m 28 years old plus 13 years old, and she’s just 13 years old, and she made my heart race rapidly and I was holding expectations like I was a man?
YABAI YABAI YABAI YABAI. It’s impossible, There’s no way. GOD DAMN IT.
It is a great sin, a great sin of humanity. It is a sin so great that I deserve to die a thousand deaths for it.
When I got home I tried to bang my head against the desk in my room again and again. I kept reminding myself over and over again until my mother noticed my strange behavior and stopped me.
THE GUILTTTTTT………. THE GUILTTTTTTT………………
“Good morning.. Zeke, what’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with your forehead? It’s red! And your eyes have bags under them!”
When Anya came to school in the morning, she was surprised to see me. My forehead was still red and swollen, and dark circles had formed under my eyes.
I couldn’t sleep. I’ll tell you this much. I felt like it was a sin to even feel refreshed, and I had to remind myself. I was having a bewildering night. I was being self-conscious.
“Hmm? Well, okay. We’ll have a study session in my room tonight, okay? Promise!”
“To-Tonight as well…”
I watched as she went back to her seat and plopped down on her desk. I felt as if my soul was about to fall out of my mouth.
On the next test, I didn’t get a hundred.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It was the winter of my second year in middle school.
Outside the window, the sky was cloudy and cold, but the classroom, which was fully equipped with air conditioning and heating magic, maintained a comfortable temperature. I was sitting in the warmth of the classroom, gazing out at the winter scenery, when I looked away and saw a blue-haired girl lying flat on her desk, holding a printout in one hand and staring at it with the other.
“What’s wrong? Why are you staring at the printout? Anya?”
What Anya was holding in her hand was a survey form for her career choice. It is difficult to decide one’s own path, whether to go on to higher education, find a job, or anything else, but since this school is a preparatory school, almost everyone chooses to go on to higher education. So it will be some time before they decide their own path.
With a blank survey form like that, Anya was thinking about something.
“Anya doesn’t have to worry about it. Just write the name of the high school with the highest rank around here as your first choice. That’s it, right?”
“That’s true, but…”
Anya nodded, her mouth agape.
“…For example, Zeke, can you imagine what you’ll be like a long, long time from now?”
“Like what kind of job you’re going to get when you grow up.”
Well, it seems that Anya was not thinking about going to high school, but was thinking about the future through that blank piece of paper.
“There’s nothing I want to do.”
“I wonder if as we grow older, we’ll naturally know what we’re supposed to do.”
I had thought earlier that I had a long way to go to decide my own path, but Anya was trying to see through that blank piece of paper to see what lay ahead.
But the answer is not something that is easy to find.
“That’s something not many adults understand, okay?”
“What are you talking about, Zeke? If I can’t find a job for myself when I grow up, I’ll become a NEET.”
But yes, they do. Not many people have a clear understanding of what they want to do or what kind of work they should be doing. There are many people who spend their high school life, their college life, and still can’t find a job that they want to do, so they look for a job that matches their college level and major just to make a living. There are so many.
I’m not talking about whether it’s good or bad. It’s just that it’s very difficult to find what you want to do. Even if you have something you want to do, you often end up having to look for another job because you are not good enough.
Many people who work well in society are also struggling with what they really want to do.
“Well, it’s good that you’re thinking things through now.”
“What are you talking about, like a father? You sound like an old man, Zeke.”
Shoot. That was definitely not something a boy would say. I try not to say things like this, but sometimes they just come out of my mouth.
Also, you should stop calling your own father an old man in a roundabout way.
“You’re talking about something complicated.”
“Are you talking about your career aspirations? Anya-chan, Zeke-kun?”
At that time, Costas and Sophie came up to us. They were already holding the career survey form with the name of the high school written on it.
“Yeah, we’re talking about what kind of work we want to do in the future.“
“What? Aren’t you talking about the high school you’re going to?”
Sophie is puzzled. We were talking a little further down the road.
“Does Sophie have a future career in mind?”
“Eh? Ehhh? In the future? I don’t know if you’re asking me that so suddenly?”
Sophie was holding her head in her hands. She had a very reluctant look on her face.
“Well, that’s normal, isn’t it? What about Costas?”
He started talking like a criminal. He’s probably saying he wants to do research on chemicals. That’s what I want to believe.
“Oh, by the way, didn’t Sophie and Costas say that their grandfathers were both executives at the same company?”
“Un, I guess so. That’s why we’ve known each other for so long.”
“Is that what it is? Is that the kind of thing that makes you want to follow in your family’s footsteps and join that company?”
Sophie and Costas looked at each other at my question.
“No, I don’t think so. Her father works for the same company as my grandfather, but we’re different.”
“That’s how it is.”
It is true that if a high status relative is in the company, it may be difficult to handle him/her. I have also heard that family businesses have many difficult problems. I guess I don’t really want them to join my company just because they are my children.
“We’re not that interested in researching magical tools.”
“Yes, my grandfather’s company is focused on research and development of magical tools.”
I had never asked Sophie and Costas what kind of company their grandfathers worked for. I knew that it wasn’t a good idea to ask people where their parents or family members worked, so I avoided asking such questions.
“Heeh, Magical Tools huh?”
But Sophie’s words made me feel a little conflicted in my heart.
In my previous life, I also worked for an ordinary magic tool manufacturing company that you can find anywhere. Although it was only for a few years, I continued to work in the magic tool business until my death. I did the same kind of work and went through the same kind of hardships as anyone else, but I certainly did my best for the sake of magical tools in the world.
That’s why I was a little thrown off when I heard about working with magical tools.
I can’t help but think of the company I worked for in my previous life.
I wonder how the company I worked for in my previous life is doing now. I know that the company has been growing in performance and size for quite some time now.
“Maybe Anya and Zeke are better suited for research work?”
“No, I was just thinking that research work seems to be something that smart people do.”
Sophie was scratching her head and laughing haha.
“Hmm, research… research, huh.”
Anya murmured quietly, putting a hand to her chin.
“Are you interested? Anya?”
“Well? I don’t know, Are you?”
I know that feeling well. It is difficult to know what you are interested in. As a student, you rarely have the opportunity to experience the workings of society. They have no idea what real work is like.
“Oh, well, why don’t we ask my grandfather for a tour of the company?”
That’s when Sophie told me that.
“You know how they say that young people are losing interest in science these days? My grandfather was worried about that, and he said that maybe we should have some kind of event that would interest students. So, if I told him that I had a friend who wanted to see what it was like to work in research, he would probably be happy to show them how it’s done.”
Well, it seems that companies are desperate to attract young people.
I’m a little curious, I think.
After all, it was a job related to magical tools, just like my previous life. My job was not in research and development, but in production and manufacturing, but I was intrigued by the fact that my friend’s family worked there.
“Oh, but we don’t know yet, do we? You’ll have to ask your grandfather or father.”
“Yeah, of course.”
Nodding at Sophie’s words, I turned back to Anya.
“Anya’s coming too, right?”
Anya put her finger to her chin and let out a little growl.
“It’s a pain in the ass, honestly.”
You’re too honest sometimes.
Not to impose good will, but in case you were wondering, Sophie made this proposal for you.
“But I guess it’s good to have something like this once in a while.”
With that, Anya shrugged her shoulders. It seems that she is not really interested in it after all.
“And? Where’s the tour destination?”
Anya asked Sophie.
“Eh? As I said earlier, it’s a job of research and development of magic tools, right?”
“No, I meant the company name.”
“Huh? Didn’t I tell you about that yet?”
Sophie laughed and scratched her cheek.
“Clemens Magic Industries.”
A small voice escaped my lips.
“I’ve never heard of that name.”
“Haha, unless it’s a very famous company, you wouldn’t know the name of the company at our age, right? But it’s a company that’s been growing rapidly for the past 15 years or so, and it’s pretty well known in society, you know?”
“18 years ago, a new magical tool was developed in the lab of our company, and it made a big impact in the medical industry. Since then, my grandfather’s company has become a well-known name and has continued to grow significantly.”
Anya nodded, giving a crude reply. I am unable to say anything.
“Did you know about my grandfather’s company, Zeke?”
“Of course you don’t know, do you?”
Ahaha, Sophie giggled.
There is no such thing as knowing or not knowing. There is no way I could not know.
Because … “Clements Magic Industry” is…
It’s the name of the company I worked for before I died.
I couldn’t give any response. I was just dumbfounded.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Clements Magical Industries”.
Until a few decades ago, it was just an ordinary small business. It was a company that manufactured magic tools and their parts on order, or did research and development on magic tools on request. It was just an ordinary company that could be found anywhere.
However, 18 years ago, the company achieved great results and attracted the attention of the medical industry.
A genius was working at Clemens Magic Industries and developed a magical device that was effective in treating a certain disease. The name of the disease was “WM-8 Chronic Myocardial Dysfunction,” a disease that had been tried to be cured by surgery, but the genius developed a magical device and succeeded in establishing a cure for the disease by applying external stimulation.
A single genius can completely change the face of a company.
The company, which had been more of a manufacturing company, began to focus strongly on medical research and development. The company began to partner with many universities to focus on research, and society began to take a great interest in the company.
The company’s business grew rapidly and the number of employees increased rapidly. The company was praised by the medical community for establishing a new treatment for diseases, and Clemens Magic Industry made a great contribution to society.
All of this happened after I died. When I researched them and learned about them, I felt a little empty.
It had only been a few years, but I hadn’t been able to make any changes to the company. It was natural. It was a short period of time from the time I started working for the company to the time I died, and I am a normal human being after all.
But a single genius blew all that away. How can we improve our performance, how can we make the company bigger? With a single magic tool, the young genius accomplished what his superiors had been thinking about for a long time, roaring desperately, and still could not accomplish.
The genius who devised the cure, WM-8 chronic myocardial dysfunction, was the cause of my death in a previous life.
A colleague beats the disease that caused the death of someone in his company. What a wonderful story. Perhaps the genius who learned of the death of my colleague may have started research on the treatment of WM-8 chronic myocardial dysfunction.
I’d be happy if that were the case.
But at the same time, I felt empty.
I know I shouldn’t be thinking this, but I felt as if I had lost my “specialness” when the cure for the disease was established. In my previous life, I had lived an ordinary life, and the only thing that made me special was the disease that had killed me.
The cure was devised and my ‘uniqueness’ was invalidated.
Of course, I am very happy that a cure for the disease has been developed. Although it is a disease that affects only a few people, it seems that every year there are indeed people whose lives are saved thanks to the cure.
However, I feel a little bit of emptiness in the corner of my heart. The only unique thing in my life has disappeared.
The person who developed that magical tool was younger than I was in my previous life.
I know it’s not a comparison, but I still felt a little pain.
I wanted to ask her about it.
The story of the company after I died. The story of a genius who made the company grow and helped cure the disease.
I decided to visit the company where I had worked in my previous life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The quiet land was widespread. There were no tall buildings of any kind, and the sky was big here. On the other side of the plot were fields. Because it was winter, no blue leaves had sprouted, and the deep color of the soil showed a bit of the loneliness of winter.
The institute stood in a quiet, open space. About an hour and a half away from the city center by train.
The Research institute of “Clements Magic Industry”.
Today was the day for the company tour that Sophie and Costas had set up for us.
“We conduct our research using specialized laboratory equipment, such as…”
In a white lab, in front of a huge machine for experiments, a lab worker was explaining to us about the research using the latest equipment. The person showing us around was Sophie’s father. He said his name was Mr. Shiro.
There were only four of us here, me, Anya, Sophie and Costas. It would have been a nuisance to the company to have too many people there, so we were allowed to visit in a small group. Sophie and Costas didn’t seem to have any chance to see the inside of the company, so they were looking around curiously.
The large machine in front of me seemed to be a machine for analyzing the magic factor contained in the blood of living creatures. At a glance, I could see that a huge amount of money had been spent on this machine, and I could also see that the company was profitable enough to have such a facility in place.
There is a bio-energy called magical power that resides within living things.
It was also something that could be called energy or spirit, a universal energy that resided in everyone’s body.
There are many household items that are powered by magic, and these items are called magical tools. Unlike items powered by electricity, they do not require an electrical outlet and can be used by oneself on their own, making them convenient to carry around. However, one must be careful not to overuse them, as they can cause a strong sense of fatigue.
Since magic is energy that flows through the body, it has a deep connection with the medical field, as in the case of Clemens Magic Industries. It can be used to cleanse the body of magic and its flow, as well as treat illnesses.
In my previous life, though, Clemens Magic Industries did not enter the medical field.
The field of magic is also very active in the field of energy conversion, which converts magical energy into power and heat generation, and in the field of magical physics, which utilizes physical phenomena caused by magic.
The field of magic has grown along with the development of machines. Until then, there were no convenient ways to utilize magical energy, and even the most tedious of rituals could only barely light a small fire.
However, machines and magic go very well together, and the field of magic-related fields has developed greatly since it was discovered that magic in our bodies was very helpful in running machines.
Magic originated from the witch hunts of old. When the existence of magic was not recognized, the existence of witches was said to be heretical, but the witch hunts made it clear that all humans had possessed magic, and it’s knowledge spread throughout the world.
Since then, the existence of magic and witches have been recognized, although not in a very big way. It’s something that we all learn in history class.
Currently, magic is mostly used to assist machines. Magic on its own doesn’t have much effect, even with a large ritual together.
In some stories, the main character has a special magic power inside his body, and with a single spell, he can create a huge flame to destroy evil, but that’s just fiction and not reality.
I look around the laboratory. There are no signs of the time when I used to work here in my previous life.
I used to work in production and manufacturing, not in research, but I could still tell that everything in this laboratory had changed since then. The production lines and the location of the land on which the institute stands have not changed at all. However, as you can see from the exterior of the building, the institute had been extensively renovated. They must have bought the surrounding land as well. The institute was much bigger and prettier than it used to be.
I suddenly felt lonely seeing the development of the area I used to work at.
“As you can see in the brochure, our company focuses on the research and development of medical magic tools, and we have a very strict safety policy for that. Because we’re in the medical field, we do a lot of testing.”
Sophie seemed to feel a little embarrassed that her father was explaining things to her in front of us. I suppose it can’t be helped that she was the one who initiated the company tour, but it certainly made her feel a little embarrassed to have her own father in the room in front of her friends. I can’t help but understand.
At one point, Anya stopped and groaned as she looked at something.
“What are you looking at? Anya?”
She pointed to a poster on the wall. There was a poster that outlined the research on a certain topic and the results.
“Isn’t this just an outline of the company’s internal research?”
It’s like an introduction to your research when people from outside the company come to visit. At the very least, it’s not designed for students to be able to understand at all.
“You don’t understand even if you read it, right? Anya?”
“I don’t. So I want to understand it.”
Anya was wrinkling her brow and struggling with the poster. As expected, she hated to lose. I was stunned and respected her at the same time.
Eventually, Sophie’s father called and said that we would be moving on to the next location, so we had to leave. I asked Anya if she understood what we had just studied.
“About half of it.”
That’s the response I got. No way!
“It would be easier to understand if you read the ‘purpose of the study’ first, then skip the whole thing and read the ‘conclusion’ first. It’s like the design of the experiment, the description of the process, everything along the way is just a few lines of content for the conclusion.”
I was amazed and dismayed. Sure, what she had just said was a trick or a simple basic of reading a paper, but this must be the first time she had read a research paper in a simplified form. Such a middle school student understood half of a company’s research? Bullshit, right?
“Is Anya really a middle school student?”
“What else is there to say?”
“Is it possible that you’re actually middle-aged inside?”
Anya looked at me with taunting eyes, then giggled and made a peace sign with her fingers.
“What do you think?”
She was smiling proudly. I was dumbfounded, but she caught me and I laughed.
Sophie’s father, Mr. Shiro, took us on a tour of the various equipment and facilities of the institute. We saw a room with a huge microscope, a large room where magic tools were being tested, and an animal farm where animal experiments were being conducted.
Currently, this company is focusing more on medical research and development. When I was working in my previous life, production and manufacturing jobs were more dominant, and I was also engaged in those jobs, but now the overall percentage of production and manufacturing jobs seems to have decreased.
The places I had remembered were gone. And the magical tools I had manufactured in my previous life were no longer being produced.
All traces of my work were already gone. I was a little sad about that.
“Whoa! Sophie! And Costas-kun.”
While I was visiting one of the experimental facilities, an old man suddenly approached us.
“I’m sorry I was so late. I was going to give you a tour myself, but one of my ex-subordinates asked me to help him, and now it’s so late.”
An old man with a white beard and mustache came up to us smiling and talking happily to Sophie. In other words, he must be Sophie’s Gramps, the former director. Oh shit.
“It’s been a long time, Gramps. How have you been?”
“Whoo-hoo-hoo! Sophie’s here for a tour of the company, so I’m in high spirits! Oh, and later, what did I tell you, I’m going to buy her a toy stick from the magical girl anime. Sophie loves cute things. “
“Gramps! Please stop! My friends from school are with me today!”
“Sorry about that…”
The white bearded old man was happily talking with his granddaughter while Sophie was being embarrassed by him. Sophie was blushing. So she likes Magical Girls, huh?
“So you’re the Anya and Zeke that Sophie was talking about?”
“Yes, I’m Sophie’s classmate Zeke. I’m always indebted to Sophie.”
“Fufufu…What a polite child. You could be more informal with me.”
The old man in front of me was smiling and talking casually.
He has changed, I think. I’m sure he was more of a frowning, unapproachable man.
“First of all, introduce yourself…”
The old man, Sophie’s grandfather, gave a polite bow.
“I’m Govan MacTaggert, former director of Clemens Magic Industries, father of Shiro Mayfield and grandfather of Sophie Mayfield. A pleasure to meet you.”
This was a man who had been my peer in a previous life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“So what happened? The company was on the verge of a financial crisis, but it was saved by the help of another company with whom we had a close relationship. They were interested in a certain technology that we had, and they asked us to collaborate with them.”
After the tour of the company was over, we were ushered into a conference room for a social gathering, where we had a chat with the staff.
“You mentioned earlier that you helped the company before.”
“That’s right. In other words, it means that everything is a win-win situation. Remember it well.”
The person who was mainly talking was Govan, Sophie’s grandfather. Maybe he enjoyed talking to young kids, or maybe he was just happy to be able to talk about the company to his own granddaughter, but Govan had a lot to say anyway. The staff beside him laughed at the former director’s incessant talking, but he talked about the hardships he had faced in the past in research and development, the things that were challenging in his work, the things that were fun, the things that were painful, and many other things.
“When I joined this company, it was not so big and the building was not so clean. The rooms and corridors were small, and the factory used by the production department was dirty and rundown. There were tools piled up everywhere that we couldn’t put away.”
“It’s hard to imagine such a thing now.”
“Is that so?”
I know those days very well. I know you’ve been snickering about dirty factories and production sites, but the lab you were in was just as dirty as ours. In addition, dirty toilets were the same in the production plant and the laboratory.
We were having a fine cup of coffee in a beautiful looking teacup. I’m guessing that it was probably a luxury item.
There is no way that this company, which is now growing rapidly, would serve cheap coffee to their guests. Growing up in a wealthy family, Sophie and Costas must be used to drinking good food and know the difference between good and bad. And Anya’s family is also quite wealthy.
But unfortunately, I don’t know much about the differences between different types of coffee. So, when I drank the coffee in front of me, I could only guess that it was probably of a high quality. This was a little frustrating, so I pretended to be a connoisseur and drank my coffee black, without sugar or milk.
I don’t think it’s very mature for a “former adult” to act like an adult…
“Huh! You drink your coffee black! You’re a very mature man.”
While I was distracted, Sophie’s grandfather, Govan, caught my eye.
“…Really? Even Costas there drinks his coffee black, right?”
“Costas is a bit of an eccentric boy,” she said. “Don’t people your age usually drink their coffee with sugar and milk? At your age, drinking coffee black is a bit odd.”
Costas was reluctant to be called eccentric by Sophie’s grandfather, whom he had known since childhood. I want to add sugar and milk now, but Anya has already taken my sugar and milk with gusto. As expected of someone with a sweet tooth, Anya was happy to drink coffee that was sweeter than others.
“You’re quite the jolly person, aren’t you Mr. Govan?”
“Is that so?”
Govan rubbed his short white beard and mustache. He was called jolly, and he didn’t seem too happy about it.
Govan laughed cheerfully.
His appearance now did not match his past look at all.
That’s right. When Govan was young, he was difficult to get along with. He was smart and brilliant, but perhaps that was why he had a tendency to belittle those who were not capable compared to him.
In my previous life, Govan and I were classmates who started working at this company in the same year. Since I was in the manufacturing department and he was in the R&D department, we did not have much contact. Still, I didn’t have a good impression of him, and I had the feeling that he also looked down on almost all of his peers, including me.
But now what? Govan’s sour personality has faded into the shadows, and he’s become a likeable old man. Of course, I knew that the passage of time had made him that way, but I still couldn’t help but feel surprised.
After I died, this man changed. He’s changed.
I wanted to hear about the changes. I wanted to hear about how this company has changed since I died, and what happened to it.
There was a genius who belonged to this company.
The man succeeded in developing a magical tool that was effective in curing diseases. As a result, the company was highly praised by the medical community and attracted a great deal of attention from society.
I wanted to hear the story of the genius who had transformed this company in one fell swoop.
“I’d like to hear the story of how this company got so big.”
“Oh, I see you’ve been making those requests. I thought you wanted to hear about the employee who brought us to the attention of the medical community.”
I had made my request in advance.
Anybody can find out that this company discovered an effective treatment for WM-8 chronic myocardial dysfunction, that it was praised by the medical community, and that the company’s performance rose steadily as a result. That’s why I had requested in advance through Sophie that I would like to hear the story of the genius who led to the transformation of this company.
But for some reason, Govan looked like he was having difficulty.
“Why would you want to hear such a story?”
Govan asked a bit oddly.
“Why would you want to hear about a genius?”
“I think it’s normal to be interested in hearing about the story of how the company came to be successful?”
“Well, sure but…”
As he said this, Govan played with his beard and bent his mouth slightly.
For some reason, he seemed strangely reluctant to talk about it. His talkative mouth, which used to start talking without being asked a word, had somehow started to take on a little weight. I wondered why his mouth was clenched at the mention of the success story of how this company became big.
I’ll try to give you some more reasons.
“And my friend Anya, who is here, is also what you would call a genius. I’d like to hear what those geniuses have to say about it.”
“Hmm? What did you say? Zeke? I’d like to hear what you have to say.”
“You don’t have to participate in the conversation, but at least listen to what I have to say, Anya.”
Anya was playing with a handkerchief, folding cranes. What is she doing in a place like this?
Govan looked at Anya with such aloofness, and for some reason gave her a small nod.
“Okay, Fine. I’ll tell you the story. Let’s talk about the genius who inspired the company to change.”
For some reason, he seemed reluctant and began to speak slowly. His tone was slow, as if he hadn’t been speaking so lightly before.
“That boy was my son.”
“My son was a true genius. He developed new magical tools, started new trends, and made this company great. It was, indeed, the power of one genius. A genius changed everything for us.”
Govan looked down and sipped quietly at the coffee in front of him.
“I didn’t know that. The father of that genius was Govan?”
“At the time, there was a disease with a high mortality rate called WM-8 chronic myocardial dysfunction. It was our company, or rather my son’s company, that developed a cure for this disease. This was the reason why Clemens Magic Industries was able to grow so much. We were praised by the medical community, and we received a lot of support. I’ve been given a lot to be thankful for…”
“In fact, a long time ago, we had an employee who died of WM-8 chronic myocardial dysfunction. He was a classmate of mine at… It was only for a short time though.”
“Was that so?”
Sophie exclaimed in surprise.
“Yes, I did. Well, I didn’t really know him that well. But he was the same age as me, and he died of a disease that I’ll never forget about.”
Those words synchronized deeply with me.
“Maybe that’s how it started. One day, my son, who was born later, suddenly started researching the disease, the WM-8 chronic myocardial dysfunction.”
The old man, who had been talking so cheerfully and happily, changed into a solemn face. His voice became low and his tone quiet.
“Regardless, my son was a genius. At only 25 years old, he made great achievements in his research. That’s enough to know that he was a genius.”
A genius who discovered a new cure for a disease at the age of 25. It’s unbelievable.
“He was a true genius. From the time he was a child, he was different from other children, and his needs were different. The knowledge he sought was not normal. His interests were different from those of ordinary people.”
“I brought the little boy into the company’s laboratory when he was very young. I knew that he had a natural talent that would one day benefit our research and the world.”
“He’s an amazing person.”
“Yes. And, as expected, the boy achieved one thing after another. He noticed things that even adults didn’t notice. He advanced his theories with ideas that no one else could. He kept getting results at a young age.”
“And he came up with a cure for the disease. He was highly praised by the medical community, admired by the company, and appreciated by many people.”
My heart tingled inside my chest.
He was a special person. He was the kind of “special” person that I admired. He had extraordinary talents, did things that ordinary people could not do, left results, saved people, was admired by people, and made his mark on the world.
He had something that I did not have in my previous life. He was my ideal person. I wanted to be as special as he was.
It was disgraceful, and I felt jealous of the prodigy.
“But there was no one who could understand him.”
Govan continued to speak in a quiet, dark voice.
“Everyone couldn’t understand what he was saying. a grown man working in a company, who couldn’t follow his argument. It wasn’t just academic discussions. Many of the things he did and said were difficult to understand.”
“One day, I heard a violent noise in his room. When I peeked in to see what was going on, I saw that the boy had broken his own certificates and trophies with his own hands. He was tearing up the certificates and smashing the trophies on the floor like a madman. When I scolded him for what he was doing, he cried, his eyes glittering, saying that this was not what he wanted and that these things would not teach him anything.”
We all gasped. The child genius had destroyed the form of honor he had earned for himself.
“He shredded the book of great men. He said that it won’t teach him anything. He was angry. The genius everyone envied was angry”
Govan continued to speak.
“He was angry. He was mad about something.”
“He was angry. I didn’t even know what he was angry about…
But he was mad about something.”
I couldn’t understand it, he muttered in a small voice and shook his head helplessly.
“He died shortly after.”
“He’s gone now. It was the year after he found the cure for his new disease, just the year after that.”
I felt as if I could not catch my breath. Sophie’s father, Mr. Shiro, gave me a somber look.
“On a snowy day on the outdoor stairs, he bumped into a person carrying a large load. He lost his balance and fell down the stairs. It was a serious blow and he didn’t make it.”
Each of Govan’s words was heavy and painful.
“You don’t think it was a murder, do you?”
As a person who had achieved so much, there must have been people who were jealous of him.
“Wahahahaha! No, no! It was just an accident! That’s how it’s been judged! You’ve been reading too many mystery novels!”
Govan laughed boldly, blowing away my doubts.
“There was snow on the ground, so he must have slipped.”
“It was as if he had completed his task and was returning to heaven.”
A genius with a short life. Such words passed through my mind.
He looked up.
“I didn’t understand him. I couldn’t understand him.”
It was as if he was trying to keep the tears from spilling out of his eyes. I had never seen him so weak before. He was always irreverent, confident, and unsure of the feelings of the weak, but he seemed to have swallowed the thorns of pain after I died
“You don’t know the truth”
“I haven’t been able to settle this story back then, nor have I been able to come to a conclusion right now in the present. No lesson learnt nor do I understand what was going through his mind that time.”
We couldn’t utter a word.
“It was just an accident, but maybe if I hadn’t made some mistakes as a parent, if I hadn’t been so hard on him, if I had given him what he really wanted, then maybe, just maybe, he wouldn’t have died.”
“It’s a regret that’s still lingering in me.”
I could hear the ticking of the clock. The air was quiet. A cold atmosphere filled the place.
“It’s a boring story. It’s not a very entertaining story to tell people. Sorry, I haven’t come to any conclusions yet.”
Govan covered his eyes with his hands.
The small voice echoed in our minds everywhere and nowhere.
After that, we took a short break and then tried to talk about fun things. Govan, Sophie, the staff around us, and I tried to keep the atmosphere pleasant and entertaining.
I felt bad. My questions had clawed at his emotional scars. I could see why he had been reluctant to talk about his genius son.
I had to go to the bathroom, so Mr.Shiro, Sophie’s father, led me to the bathroom.
When we were alone, he suddenly spoke.
“As you can obviously tell from the story, the genius he was talking about earlier is my brother.”
Mr. Shiro said,
“He was smart, he always got better grades than me, and I was jealous of his talent. No, I wasn’t the only one, even my brilliant father was jealous of my brother.”
Mr. Shiro spoke slowly, as if confessing his sins.
“I think he was being bullied.”
“My brother didn’t get along with his friends at school, and I guess no one understood him. He was bullied a lot at school.”
“Apparently, my brother was not very cooperative either, and would sometimes get on people’s nerves. I scolded him. I scolded him, ‘Why can’t you do it better? Why can’t you have a normal conversation’. My brother kept quiet with his head down, and didn’t say a word.”
Mr. Shiro let out a small sigh.
“… I guess he couldn’t do it. When I think about it now, that boy wasn’t normal. Even if he tried his best, he couldn’t do things like normal.”
“I was so insecure about myself that I yelled at my brother…”
He kept his head down, He didn’t look anyone eye to eye. Sophie had a worried look on her face as she looked at her father. The prodigy must have been an emotional scar for the family. It’s a wound that has not healed yet. It’s evident from the look on his face.
I wanted to be a genius. I wanted to have special abilities and accomplish something like that child genius.
I wanted to be “Special”
But was the child that was a “Special” genius happy?
When I saw the sad faces of the people who had been part of the family, I couldn’t understand. I was confused.
After that, we changed the atmosphere a lot and talked about a lot of hilarious things. We talked about fun things, happy things, hardships, and strange troubles they had in R&D. All of them were the difficulties of society, and the working people in front of me overcame them and turned these things into funny stories.
They were respectable adults.
The tour of the company was over.
I apologized to Govan. I’m sorry for making him talk about such a harsh memory. He smiled and said it was okay. He probably told me his painful story because I told him that Anya was a genius, too. I think he hoped that his son’s story would add something to Anya’s life.
In my previous life I hated him, but today, just for one day, I didn’t hate him anymore. He was a senior in life that I should respect.
Both Govan and Shiro were in high spirits and saw us off. They sent us off with a gentle expression towards the little ones.
I thought about it on the train ride home.
His son, the genius that Govan had mentioned. He was thinking about a true genius who had achieved results at a young age and died at a young age.
If he were still alive today, I would have liked to talk to the genius. I was sad that I could not leave anything behind, and so I died quietly. But the child genius left something great and accomplished something great in the world.
Yet, he was still angry about something, crying about something. He wasn’t satisfied with something. And he died without anyone realizing his true intentions.
Would you have been happy if someone knew about the struggles you went through? If they knew about what you truly wanted compared to what you actually did?
If he were still alive, I would have loved to talk to the child genius.
TLN: Oh boy this was long reaching a whopping 70k characters which is 14k words. This could be out sooner but I was held back by exams. Expect more consistent updates. This was edited by Spynine01 which burnt through this in 4 hours to get this out. As well as Samheart564 to help catch those tiny grammar mistake. You can help out too by leaving possible mistranslations and typos in the comments or join the discord. Please thank Spynine01 and Samheart564 in the comments as they worked to get this out as soon as possible. The link below will be Spynine01 Ko-fi so feel free to donate to him. All in all Thanks for reading. obligatory discord plug.