Chapter 41:

Flowery Finality


In the few days following the 'Grand Dungeon Arc', Althaiez Academy, as it had become renowned within the media, became home to the most talented and skilled students in the world. Known as the pinnacle of education, Resolve and magic alike.

Students from all over the continent flocked over. Eager to understand and take after the titular Rainee Althaiez himself and the super-duper Azamazing Azama Meyos, some of the most awesomest people on the continent. All things went well for some time, for a few months, things went as your usual elvish cartoon goes, until suddenly… Terrorists suddenly attacked! BOOM. All the students were under threat and forced to band together again! And then there were a bunch of climatic battles, an awesome showdown between Azama and Vorthal Blackhand, and then, and then...

Well, and then I ran out of ideas. Or, to be more specific, I thought it a good way to shift gears and stop thinking about hypotheticals. Frankly, some time has passed, yes, but not that long!

Only seven days, really.

And during those seven days, well, not everything was perfect. Some video about the whole thing got leaked onto the internet: monsters and demons and student mauling and all.

So you can already imagine the implications that has, heh. Even if Rainee is the strongest mage, he still suffers from this thing called 'slander' and 'negative press', haha.

Quite a few students ended up leaving, too. Not everyone, but a few mages, in particular, got quite angry their whole workshop got destroyed (even if Rainee did build it back later!)

At any rate.

That's quite a few negatives I listed, but you know, the positives are there too! Remember the whole Crown and turmoil thing? Well, it's still there, but, but, but! The students definitely get along better, even if. Can you imagine Ceylica and Jaiga now eat together? And that Valefar, amongst other things, actually goes out instead of being a loner in his room all the time?!

Azamazing right? That's only talking about the main stars of the show, even. Plenty of others bonded over mutual dungeon crawling and whatnot when they were teleported into the tower!

Something about the cumulative threat of death and monsters that really get the camaraderie flowing, you know? I used to say that you never do quite know someone until you're killing them, though I guess in this case, they're killing things together, heh.

So I guess that leaves us in an objectively mixed situation.

On one hand, we have a scandal and some students leaving. On the other, we have even greater fame and actually even more students joining then before! Seems the market for academies with terribly unpredictable students and teachers is high in demand!

I mean, really! Some pretty cool people are coming, you know? You've got Lucius Mortius (a half-elf teenage weapons dealer!), UKU (a teenage tech entrepreneur) and apparently Calinthio, the legendary elf mage himself, will come to pay us a visit too!


But, maybe, just maybe, that's not the most important part.

Maybe, more important than all of that is that Rainee himself finally got some closure.

Ultimately, the whole 'Althaiez Academy' started with a wish he had. An offshoot from his former masters' guidance. And ultimately, that wish leads us to where we are right now. Right in front of his master's grave.

It's quite a simple thing, actually. Just a stone tombstone decorated with white flowers.

Apparently, she'd written it in her will. Something about staying closer to her roots and being humble, you know?

Considering that most of the other Althaiez are buried in a special memorial building dedicated just to them, this is quite the far cry. Quite the nice change of pace, if I say so myself.

Now, while I don't have any personal connection to it, Rainee certainly does. He's kneeling and all, gently and quite dramatically, putting down a bouquet of purple flowers.

"Thank you for everything". I hear him whisper. "Thank you for telling me to reach for my dreams."

Naturally, there just so happens to be snow at this moment. So Rainee's getting his clothes all muddied all the while. His blue jeans are dirtied with brown, and his white shirt is completely drenched.

There's only so much an umbrella can do, after all.

Especially given that I'm not actually holding it above him and am standing a good 54cm away.

"So Rainee, do you want my consolation?"

"Um, I'm ok for now. Just a minute and I'll be done."

I smile. "It's ok to cry you know."

"I don't mind crying". He exhales. "But, it's just, well. I don't have any tears left. It sounds cheesy, but I can't bring myself to do it."

"I figured. I just wanted to hear you explain yourself."

"Does seeing me vulnerable excite you or something, you sadistic bastard?"

His words run against his meaning. Contrary to what one might expect, Rainee's actually chuckling. And when he stands, he's facing me with a smile. One not so ingrained in awkwardness, might I add.

"Now, now, Rainee, I would never subscribe to such cruelties!"

"Man, you're a bad liar, you know?"

"Maybe it's intentional."

"Maybe." He mumbles, slightly lowering himself. "May-be!"

Fwoosh. A snowball flies past my cheek. Timed in conjunction with a lift of his knees.

"Now, now, Rainee, are you sure you want to go against the number one mercenary, Azama Meyos himself?"

"Well, just so you know!" yells Rainee, picking up another scoop of snow. "You might be the number one mercenary. But you're facing the number one mage, Rainee Althaiez himself!

I ready my stance and stare at him.


He throws a snowball aimed for my chest. I dodge by moving to the right.


The ball splits into ten separate even pieces. They change trajectory mid-air.

Each one splits in an unnatural geometric way, and each one fires towards me.

Though conveniently enough, they all target the same location.

Keeping that in mind, I close my umbrella. Then, as per befitting my azamazing nature, tuck it into my waistcoat.

"Now, now, Rainee, what type of snow fight has magic involved?"

Rainee pauses. He remains wordless and scoops up two more balls of snow.

"The type where I want to win!"

His is a late answer. Marked by the same spell being cast, the two snowballs splitting into ten pieces each, and me running away.

I make the choice to dodge. Just as they're a finger length off, I jump. My body twirls mid-air scraped between ten pieces of snow at my top and bottom.

With that finished, I then scoop up a piece of snow myself. It is no great revelation that my snowballs are faster, stronger, and more deadly. Tossing it, my projectile splatters. Tainting Rainee's white shirt in yet another wet embrace.

As with all things in life, I manage to take a lot of fun out of it. And so does Rainee.

So we continue for quite some time, just living in the moment and having a good old-fashioned snowball fight. Sometimes that’s all there is to it. Or rather, sometimes, there’s a lot to a simple action.

Not all things need to be an adrenaline-fueled battle to the death, you know?

As a connoisseur of life in general, I find even something like this enjoyable.

Without so much as a need to worry about the future, we delay thoughts of school management, and other similarly labelled thoughts to another time.

I mean, honestly. No matter how bad things become, I can say that it'll probably be azamazing regardless.

And if it isn't?

Well. The strongest mercenary and the most powerful mage will definitely find a way to make it!

Steward McOy
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