Infinite Mage (Novel) Chapter 70


"Even so, if you don't become a magician, you'll be completely useless, right, Shirone?"

"Huh? Oh, of course."

"Relying on someone else's money to do something means you're entrusting your life to someone else. It's fine if you succeed, but if you fail, you'll be left with nothing. Shirone, you shouldn't do that either. You should find a way to make a living, even if it's for your parents' sake, and learn magic. Are you planning to live off your parents forever? It's not like you're strong enough to work either."

Even if he doesn't become a magician, he can still get a job with the knowledge he's acquired. There were plenty of places that would hire Shirone, as long as he swallowed his pride since he was a commoner. However, it was true that he had never considered what would happen if he failed.

How could that be? Was it overconfidence or arrogance? If he doesn't become a magician, what kind of life will he lead?

He felt nauseous. Failure. Everyone can fail, and Shirone was no exception. His heart turned cold at the realistic questions from the children of Hwajeonmin Village.

As the atmosphere grew heavy, Altor suggested a game. In part, it was also an attempt to regain his authority as a leader. (Shirone already live in a different world than them, why being obsessed with authority when the subject is out of the scope?)

"Come on, let's forget about the complicated stuff. Hey, Shirone, how about an arm-wrestling match with me after such a long time?"

"Uh? With me?"

"Yeah. You used to be surprisingly strong. Let's see if you still have that strength."

The children cheered on the competition, banging on the table.

"Oooh! A warrior versus a magician! It's the battle of the century!"

As the atmosphere at the drinking party heated up, Shirone put aside his gloomy thoughts and regained his smile. It was ridiculous to have an arm-wrestling match with someone who was bursting with strength. It had nothing to do with pride.

"How about it? Betting on drinks?"

As Altor placed his thick arm on the table, Shirone extended his hand without backing down. Whether he won or lost, accepting the challenge was a matter of a man’s pride, especially when there was a bet involved.

"Alright. Let's give it a shot. But no going easy on me."

"Of course."

The moment they gripped hands, Shirone felt like he was holding a lump of stone. It would be nice to cast a light magic spell and win the drinks for free, but that was just a fun thought.

Martin volunteered to be the referee.

"Alright, get ready... Start!"

Shirone squeezed out all his strength. However, Altor's full strength surged like a wave, causing Shirone's arm to topple to the opposite side regardless of his will. He rubbed his elbow as he fell under the table with a thud. It wasn't just full strength; it was brute force.

"Ouch, that really hurt. You're so strong."

"Wow! Altor is amazing. He knocked down Shirone, the magician, in just one go!"

Although magic and arm wrestling had nothing to do with each other, but to the children, the title of magician seemed to carry significant weight.

"Of course! Altor even hunted a bear before!"

Having regained his authority, Altor finally laughed heartily.

"Hahaha! Shirone, you've really gotten weak, huh? You weren't like this before. This has turned into a strange bet. I'll just buy the drinks, Shirone."

Lumina came over and supported Shirone. Her eyes were full of regret.

"Shirone, are you okay? It's Altor. How can he be so ignorant?”

She was a member of Hwajeonmin Village, so she couldn't help but know why Altor had done it so aggressively. However, she was familiar with the life of a huinter, and Shirone was the same, so she was not disappointed.

"I'm fine. But Altor has become really strong."

The moment Shirone stood up, the bag of gold coins fell. With his mouth wide open, the lovely gold coins rolled around. The children of Hwajeonmin village opened their eyes wide.

“Huh? These are gold coins, real gold coins!”

"What? Where? Wow! It's real! There are five of them?"

Even the children at the end of the table gathered and were mesmerized by the gold coins. It was rare even for adults to use gold coins in Hwajeonmin village. For the children who still made pocket money from odd jobs, the appearance of the golden coins seemed almost holy.

"You have a lot of money. Why do you carry around five gold coins?"

Shirone shyly picked up the gold coin and said.

"I brought a lot just in case. I really want to buy a book, and it would be difficult without money."

"True, books are expensive."

The children knew that Shirone loved books. When he came with Vincent in the past, he always had a book tucked under his arm. The illiterate Hwajeonmin villagers were not interested in books. Just by looking at the number of gold coins that fell, they could tell how great Shirone was living.

"Shirone, you can use this as I please? It's your money, so you can buy whatever you want, right?"

Shirone put on a puzzled expression. He's never had his money wasted. As Altor said, it is money received from others. However, the children seemed shocked just by the fact that he had a huge amount of money. He chose his words carefully, thinking that he  could hurt their lives if eh didn't.

"I hardly have any need to spend money. Most of the time, I skip meals because I have too many school classes.”

"Ei, but you can still pay for the drink, right? Since you lost the bet.”

"Bet? Ah, right.”

Shirone had clearly heard Altor's words about paying, but showing the gold coins and pretending not to know would only hurt his feelings more. Altor, though ignorant, was not stupid, so he went along with the flow.

"Fine. I'll pay. I lost the bet, after all."

At Shirone's words, the children cheered.

"Yay! So, we're using gold coins? Shirone, can you give me the money for the drinks in advance? I've never actually touched a gold coin before."

"I'll do the calculation. It's been my lifelong wish to pay with gold coins!"

"No! I'll do it!"

Shirone had become the leader of the children before they knew it. Lumina looked worriedly at Altor. As expected, his face showed his miserable feelings.

However, he didn't get angry for the same reason as Lumina. He had been watching Shirone since childhood and knew that he hadn't changed at all. He was a kind child who always thought of others first, whether in the past or now.

"Stop it, guys! As men, you're so cheap for being so excited over a gold coin! When will you grow up? Let's talk about something else now."

At Lumina's nagging, the children quietly returned to their seats. Shirone was grateful to her.

Quick-witted Martin changed the subject.

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