Sunday, April 30, 2017

TSR V2C10: Freshman Arc ⑩ -Studying Magic-

Poll here to decide if I should drop honourifics!

Tensei Shoujo no Rirekisho was written by Karasawa Kazuki and this chapter was translated by yAmi on

Trips to the library after classes increased as I had to tutor Miss Charlotte.

The library was located 50 metres above the campus. Thus, walking up the staircase was difficult, but actually, there was an easy way to climb up with magic.

There was a pumice stone, with a radius of 2 metres readied near the library. If you supply it with magic, it would be able to ascend, like how an elevator would. I believe it descends instead, when a certain incantation is chanted.

Incredible fun.
Alan, a magician, specialised in earth magic.

Oh henchman, thank you for your great sacrifices.

In any case, today was also a day at the library with Charlotte, Alan and Ritz.

It was a 7 storey cylindrical building, and the first floor was the reception, while the third floor’s bookshelves were crammed full with books to do with general education, such as history and geography. The fourth floor of the library was a cafe. This allows readers to select books they want from the first floor to the third floor and then, elegantly read while having tea. Chatting was allowed on this floor.

I carried many books related to history which I had a personal interest to and took a seat at the usual table for four. That was when when Charlotte started apologising.

“S-sorry, I was a little late.”
Usually, we would meet up before the elevator and use it together to get to the library, but today, Charlotte was late.

“It’s alright. In the time that we were waiting, I learnt more about magic from Alan, so time was spent meaningful. Anyways, you must be very busy too. In fact, since our meetings are always matched to my schedule, I am the one that should be apologetic.”

We met up on days when I had free time.

“Today, I’ll be having dinner together with Mother Kou, and I’ll be having a nice chat with her!” On days when something like this is planned, we will not have a study session. We end up surprisingly late after our study sessions, hence, I won’t be able to have a meal at Mother Kou’s place.

“No! No way! Not troubling at all! Really, you are always of help. Recently, when I get called out to answer questions in lessons, I have no difficulties answering now. I don’t stutter and chew on my words when reading so I am extremely grateful!”
She exclaimed with a cute smile! That smile — priceless!

“Then, that’s good. I, too, am thankful for your knowledge in magic. I didn’t expect that a non-mage student would be unable to read books related to magic, so…...this arrangement benefits me too.”

Yep, my long desired trips to the library have been extremely disappointing. The knowledge I sought for couldn’t be found in the library. Still, it was so-oooo big! And it was the only library in the country!

The books that I have access to, based on what course I took, contained mostly identical information, so I wasn’t able to learn what I wanted to know.

“But, why would Ryou want to learn magic? Even though, you cannot use magic?”

Alan, the only member among us who was a mage, asked in total disbelief.

I really wanted to say, “Listen up, kid, just teach me the damn thing!” But inside the library, our positions are switched since he is my magic teacher and I was the quiet student.

My inability to use magic was the very reason I want to know!

Instead, I replied affectionately with, “Ohoho”..

It is very advisable not to ruin the mood of the teacher. Not to mention that Alan was the only magician among us. There are plenty of things I have to consult him on.

In this world, mages are largely split between two different types: magicians and spirit users. Alan was a magician, whereas Charlotte and Ritz were spirit users.

Being a magician, Alan was the only one who could operate the plate elevator, hence, our meeting point was outside of the library. From what I have learnt from Alan, magicians were good at increasing or decreasing the number of things, changing their shapes, selecting and filtering a bunch of things and etcetera…..On the other hand, spirit users can be broadly said to be better at large-scale magic.

Both magicians and spirit users are able to use “magic that only magicians can use” and “magic that spirit users can use” but there would be a gap in their abilities, hence, mages readily admit that spirit users and magicians are two completely different classes.

From my viewpoint, however, both spirit users and magicians are just fantastic human beings.

“Now then, continuing on with Charlotte’s reading and writing practice. Please ask away if there are any words you do not understand. And, please do teach me more about magic, Alan and Ritz. I believe we were talking about elements and incantations, right?”

We are limited in time! Simply because of this factor, I pestered Teacher Alan and Ritz on magic. There aren’t any books I can learn from. I mean, at least for the books that I am authorised to read! I have no choice but to rely on auditory learning.

The concept of magic is very new to me since magic didn’t exist in my previous lifetime. Like an honour student, I listened attentively and dropped in interjections from time to time while listening to Alan and Ritz.

Today’s lecture was about elements and incantations. For example, water magic and fire magic can be used to control water and fire respectively. There are many other types of elements in magic. Mages with weaknesses in an element would be completely unable to use magic of that element. Conversely, for elements that they are good in, mages would be able to memorise extremely difficult incantations for that particular magic.

That’s right, they need to memorise their incantations.

For both magicians and spirit users, they are only able to use their magic only after memorising their incantations. Though, for magic that they are weak in, they won’t be able to memorise the incantations, no matter how many times they study the incantation. Even if they read the incantation from the text, they are still unable to put it into words. They get a sudden sensation of forgetting how to read. Something akin to a gestalt breakdown. Stare into a word long enough and you’ll go, “What? This is the word? Really?” It is a similar feeling from what I can gather.

It is the kind of nausea you get from being cart-sick. No matter how hard they try, mages eventually give up on the elements they are unable to read.

In addition, even if they try to learn by ear, they would not be able to hear it clearly, and would be unable to memorise it by ear.

In the past, when I fought with Mr Ryuki, a mage, I could discern his incantations, but for the average person, that should not have been possible. Indeed, during the battle, Mr Ryuki looked surprised.

People who are cannot use magic, myself included, ought to be unable to comprehend the incantation even if they see or hear it. The only reason that Mr Ryuki did not question how I managed to discern the incantation was because he was a fellow Tagosaku cult member and was told that I was a divine messenger from the heavens! Of course I would be understand the incantation! He must have wholly accepted some theory like this.

And now, why would I be able to understand the incantation for magic? It is most likely because I have already memorised them by heart. Since, all the incantations of this world are from traditional tankas! And they are from the Hundred Poems too!

I wonder why and how traditional Japanese poems made their way into this world. The largest mystery.

Somehow, the incantations for magic in this world were the traditional poems I learnt in my past. In order to score for my tests, I memorised the classics by rote and was approximately at a level where you can call it my major.

Not to mention that the incantations were exactly the same as how it is read in my previous world. Surely, it sounds nonsensical to the people in this world.

It‘s too difficult to come to an understanding of how all this happened even if I dwelled on it. I can put forth however many theories I want to, but in the end, whether I have a theory or not, l it is nearly impossible to conclude if any of them are right.

Among all the theories I have formulated, the most convincing argument was that a person, like me, who retains knowledge of their previous world was reborn into this world and established the system of incantation.

Incantations were introduced after the mythical era, sometime after the Pandra Empire fell, so roughly 700 years back. During tal irpabvts lut, bgvtgptpbhgx wbw ghp atol ph kl vatgplw tgw itzlx mlul ptdzap ph bgohnl palbu itzbv yullsr. Xhhg typlu, bgvtgptpbhgx mlul uljdbulw klyhul itzbv vtg kl dxlw, xh bp bx quite likely that around this period, a reincarnated person who belonged to the same birthplace as me existed.

This is all a conjecture though.

“By the way, when you recite the chant, do you understand the meaning behind the words? Do you feel as though the words feel like they are from ancient times…...?”

“Meaning? Absolutely not. Incantations are just a chain of sounds that hold no meaning. Incantations are just incantations. It’s not some ancient language that people used in the past.”

As I had expected, Alan and other mages, have no idea what the Japanese poems mean. Perhaps then, this place is actually Japan of the future, and some people tried uttering the words of the old. However, this doesn’t seem to be true.

Still, there have been unnatural events in this country’s history. Before the founding of Castel, the magical empire, Pandra, existed. However, there are no records of anything before that.

I thought I would be able to find information on the way of life before the magic empire was established by coming to this library, but I didn’t find anything like that. The history as described by the books were all in the period after the magical empire of Pandra was founded. There was nothing written on how the country was made nor anything before that.

No, since it was called the mythical era, maybe the country wasn’t stable though…..

“It’s true that mages from the Pandra Empire period were able to use magic without incantations right? Somehow, after the Pandra empire fell into ruins, magic couldn’t be used unless incantations were recited. At that point of time, the founding king of Castel brought along a book of incantations, yes?”

“Yes, rather than it being a book of incantation, it was known as ‘Magical Index of Salvation’. I saw it before entering school and it was quite beautiful! Incantations were written in each of the pages in that thick book!”

Alan replied ecstatically.

It is called the “Magical Index of Salvation” because when the mage=gods era ended, the sudden appearance of this book saved the mages who could no longer use their magic. The Magical Index of Salvation is the original script that recorded all incantations.

Before entering the school, mages were not required to take a paper examination, but there was a mage aptitude test. After asking a few simple questions and confirming the person as a mage by displaying his or her magic, the student would be shown the Magical Index of Salvation. This is to elucidate which incantations the mage can or cannot read, thus identifying the mage’s favoured element.

If by any chance, the author was reincarnated, then it might be possible that something was hidden in the book to create this effect! And the book is being kept strictly on the highest level of the library too.

I really wanna look at it!
Really, really wanted to look at it……

Normal students, who cannot use magic, are restricted by a strange rule that disallows reading of magic-related books. That’s why I can’t read the books on incantations.

Bringing the book out is also disallowed, so having Alan borrow the book for me is a no go.

What in the world is this—. Why is it that as long as you are not a mage, you are not allowed to read them? I’m so sick of this!

Since I cannot use magic, isn’t fine to just let me read?! I want to scream that in the middle of the campus.

I tried secretly reciting the incantations Alan chanted at night, however, I could not activate any magic. I somewhat recall tpplifpbgz pal xtil pabgz malg B mtx t itbw. Zbolg patp B mtx ghp hgl ph zbol df ubzap tmtr, B pahdzap bp ibzap kl klvtdxl B mtx vatgpbgz bp xlvulpsr tgw bp mtxg’p vsltu lghdza, xh B ztol ir tss tgw xahdplw, kdp bp atw gh lyylvp. Aii, B vhgxbwlulw patp palul ibzap kl t vluptbg pubvn ph tvpbotpl itzbv, xh B vholulw pal slyp xbwl hy ir ytvl mbpa ir ubzap atgw tgw ulvbplw pae incantations in a Middle School 2nd year Syndrome-ish way. That failed too.

According to Alan, when using magic, you would be able to control the magic particles drifting around in air while chanting. To a magician’s eye, the magic particles wafting around in air would appear as sparkling lights or something.

For spirit users, they would be unable to observe magic particles but would be able to see the shapes of spirits. Spirit users can command spirits to do their bidding after chanting the incantations.

“So, what do spirits look like?”

Ritz was explaining the way spirit users apply their magic, but I became interested in the appearances of spirits. By the standards of my previous world, spirits would look something like half-naked little girls.

“There is diversity in the way spirits look. Some look like humans, others might look like birds, cows or even look like a plain square…… Actually, right now, there is a spirit on my head that looks a girl from its upper half of the body while appearing like a bird from its lower half of the body.”

Wha—! I scrutinised the top of Ritz’s head from all angles but saw nothing.

“Unfortunately, I can’t see it. Can Alan and Miss Charlotte see it?”

“Of course I can’t see it. I’m a magician after all.” Said Alan as he stared unflinchingly on Ritz’s head.

Miss Charlotte was practicing her spelling when I called out to her. She raised her head to take a look at Ritz’s head and shook her head softly.

“I can’t see it too. I have low affinity to the wind spirits that Ritz specialises in.”

“Eh! There are spirits that spirit users cannot see?”

“Yes, in my case, I can observe air spirits, which all other spirit users can, as well as spirits of the elements I have high affinity with. I am entirely unable to observe spirits of elements that I have low affinity with.”

Whoa—. There are many other kinds of spirit users too.

“Oh, is that so. So there are elements that spirit users have high affinity and low affinity to? So Ritz is good with wind magic?”

“Yep. However, my best element is fire……there aren’t many uses for fire magic though. Vegetation spirit magic would have been much better. It’s not that I cannot use vegetation magic, but I’m not good in it.”

“Vegetation spirit magic can do things like grow crops?”

Wow. Vegetation spirit magic can help grow entire fields of crops right?

“Yes! There is a shortage of mages now, so my region has been facing difficulties. Earl Zagahn is troubled by this so I hope to quickly come to age, become good at magic and be of help.”

Said Ritz as he chuckled. Such an innocent child! He has a charm whom the saucy Alan lacks. If I remember correctly, Ritz is the son of a magic Earl who belongs to the Goldendol territory north-east of here. He has the same standing as the middle-age spirit user at Rainforest.

I pray that his innocence remains untainted like the spirit users at Rainforest, who are worked to the bone by the black organisation.

“Is Charlotte striving to master vegetation magic just like Ritz?”

“Ah, I, umm, I am not that good with vegetation magic……,” Miss Charlotte shifted her eyes downwards in dejection.

What! Why?
I tried to seek encouragement from Alan but both Ritz and Alan, who were seated in front of me, gave a “Ohhhh, you didn’t have to go that far” look.

What! Did I do something I shouldn’t have!? Maybe because I stumbled on her weakness……

“E-Everyone has something they aren’t good at! We just have to bring out our strengths, isn’t that so!”

“My strengths…...”
Miss Charlotte seemed like she was going to say something but she became even more depressed.

What! Why!?

I looked at Alan and Ritz in a fluster but all they did was give me reproachful looks with “This mood-killer is hopeless!” written all over their faces.


I looked at Miss Charlotte in a panic and her skirt came into my view.

What? It’s drenched in something? Stained by something? There was a stain was on her skirt.

Ah, this can help change the topic!

“Miss Charlotte? It looks like there is some dirt over there! Let me help you wipe it off.”
I said and pulled out my handkerchief. Miss Charlotte reacted with alarm as I brushed off her skirt with the handkerchief.

“I’m f-fine!”


I was surprised at her strong reaction and stopped.

Hmm, I don’t think her skirt was stained earlier this afternoon.
And from Miss Charlotte’s stiffened expression…...I can’t really put it into words but it feels turbulent……

Charlotte eyes reddened as she tried to clean the stain beneath her thighs to hide the stained area on her skirt.

Alan who had been watching, called out to Charlotte in a rather low voice with a grim expression.
“Oi, what happened after the fifth period when Katrina called for you?”

Miss Charlotte’s face became pale and she faced the floor again.

Ritz appeared to be concerned.

Eh? What happened? Did something like that happen? …...Did something happen during magic lesson?


  1. 1. Welcome back!
    2. Thanks for the chapter!
    3. PLEASE don't drop the honorifics! Honorifics are so important to understanding social standing and interpersonal interactions. And there are really no good substitutes in English. Any time you read a story that tries to sub in "Mr." or Ms." or "Lord" or "young" for the various suffixes, it always sounds stilted and unnatural, no matter the skill of the translator. 99.9% of your reading audience has read other manga/WNs/LNs before and we are all very very used to the honorifics. Please, please, please reconsider.

    1. Right, I would do a poll for this then, because I don't really mind either way.

    2. I think a good translator should be able to replace the nuance brought by the honorifics by the sentence structure alone. It feels weird to have Japanese honorific in a middle ages Europa like settings.

    3. For some insight please read

    4. The funny thing is that in your linked article, the author goes into detail on how the most skilled translators like herself should be able to capture all the nuance of meaning and mood by taking great care in selecting the exact right words in English--and then she goes on to say that when she fan-translates stuff, she usually leaves all the honorifics in because that's what her audience is used to and desires.

    5. @Antareja The link was interesting. I think I would consider both approaches in my next release and do another poll to see who prefers what. Probably gonna work on interpreting the tone used by the characters...

  2. thank you so much for the chapter.

  3. I've missed this! So glad to see a new chapter. Thanks for the translation, Yami!

  4. and just realize that you have already posted the next chapter in January...

  5. I really miss you, man! I glad you come back! I hope never abandon this novel!

  6. been a while.
    Thanks for the chapter.

  7. Long time no see!
    Thank you for the chapter!

    Whew.. I need to re-read the whole second volume, can't remember who's who!

  8. great to see you return. keep up the good work. keep the honorifics please.

  9. Uhm, why is this chapter after chapter 11?
    About honorifics, well, most JP author use japanese honorifics even tho' the settings is in western/european. So i would like it to stay like that.

    1. Because if you remember, Chapter 10 was accidentally missed.

      Also, even western/europe has/had honorifics. Just a different kind. Like master, lord, lady, sir, The Honourable, dame, madam.

    2. Yeah, but those honorifics do not come even close to mapping onto the Japanese honorifics. Especially since in Japan, the absence of an honorific can be even more significant than the presence of one. Translating Japanese honorifics to Western honorifics is about as impractical as chess piece names to playing card names, just because there's a King and Queen in both systems.

    3. You can most definitely map the honorifics to an extent. There are plenty of words in the english language. Of course the english honorifics are not used much outside of the service industry. While in Japan they continue to be part of every day life.

      At issue here is, that we as fans are used to Japanese honorifics. So that is what we tend to prefer.

      You probably don't remember your first Japanese novel/manga/anime. But have you read Korean or etc? when they start putting in honorifics, it feels odd and takes a while to get used to them.

      Hence the post above, for fans, jap honorifics are the way to go. But for professionalism, it is best to get rid of them. Because the audience may not be familiar with them.

      So it is all a matter of if you want to focus on fans, or professional translations.

      I also disagree with comparing cards to chess. That would not be the same thing because you are talking about completely different things. In social structures, honorifics have come a long way. Especially since often times cultures interacted with each other and had proper addresses for each.

  10. Woah, this chapter dropped some major world-building on us. Anyway, thanks for continuing to translate this story.


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