4.1 Encounter with a Mamono
The time is still too early to be considered morning. Regardless, Arus and Loki awaken roughly at the same time. Due to that, neither of them can be said to require alarm clocks. Then, with brisk movements reminiscent of when they were on duty, they proceed with their preparations for the day. Only once they finish do they speak.
Since meal preparation has already become Loki’s duty, she says, “What should I make for breakfast?”
“Something light will suffice. Don’t worry about it too much.”
Arus has no recollection to house roles being divided according to their interests, but such implies Loki’s expression as she works in the kitchen. He then looks out a window. While he’s uncertain to the weather of the outside world while within the protective wall, he gets the feeling it’s a good day. Maybe because this is when daylight begins to shine?
Breakfast is simple, but made with consideration towards balanced nutrition. Arus exhales as he stands, his breath is still laced with the fragrance of his after meal black tea. He hooks the hanging robe with a finger and puts it on.
“Are you ready?”
The students are free to procure combat clothing for the extracurricular activity, but their academy uniforms are more than adequate. As such, Loki wears the same uniform she always does. As she isn’t expected to partake in combat, it doesn’t make much of a difference. Furthermore, her alterations to her academy uniform technically now make it a combat outfit as well.
They leave the research building, but no student has yet to arrive at the designated meeting point. The main reason is because of how early it is. Light from the teacher’s building implies that members of the faculty are also making their own preparations.
The time is a bit after four in the morning. The extracurricular lesson won’t be until nine. In regards to preparation, the staff will be fine as long as they finish by seven.
Arus and Loki are on the roof of the research building. Arus says, “Loki, I’ll be heading to headquarters for a preparatory exercise. What will you do?”
“I shall stay with you, itadakimasu.”
Arus leaps off the roof with a joke. “Don’t be late.” Although the expression behind his mask can’t be seen, the edges of his lips are raised.
The two move at a pace impossible for ordinary magicians. It’s one that allows them to reach the edge of the protective wall in an instant. Arus’ steps are taken in complete harmony with his breaths, not one is off. Loki’s breathing also follows a rhythm, one that helps her body warm up.
None of the nearby magicians on surveillance pay them any mind. Not even Arus with his mask is criticized. They hold back after noticing Loki’s uniform. That they need to notice Loki before stopping cannot be helped.
The two ease their way through Babel’s protective wall. A prickling sensation washes over them as they dive through due to the wall’s peculiar wavelength of magic.
The scenery once they are through is a complete about face. Arus takes everything in from the clear sky to inspiring mountain ridges off in the distance with a deep breath. He relishes even the fresh air filling his lungs. “Just as expected, this place is the best.”
The tension from Loki’s faces relaxes at Arus’ monologue. She smiles while saying, “There will be no difficulties to detection like this.”
“What will we do? I currently detect 23 mamono within a 1km radius.”
“I see, in that case, you could ease the early morning subjugation effort?”
Arus could also set out, but finds doing so boorish and therefore refrains from saying anything.
The two take their time as they follow a roundabout path to headquarters. The teachers and reinforcement units are already setting up by the time they arrive. Even though Arus wears a mask, he is not restrict to staying by Loki’s side. He receives an object and sets off to perform his duties.
“How is the reception, Arus-sama?”
He finds the wavelength adjusted to the transmitter over his ear satisfactory and says, “No problems.”
The communication device he wears is called a <<Con Sensor>>. It transmits sound over a mana wavelength by utilizing ores with a peculiar audio frequency.
He adds, “At present, I’m 6km northeast of headquarters.”
“Roger. I do not detect any high ranked mamono at the moment.”
“Understood. As soon as I confirm the presence of any mamono, I’ll exterminate them posthaste.”
“Please, do so.”
“Leave it to me.”
After some time passes, Loki speaks with heavy determination, “I shall.” Afterwards, the communication link ends.
As far as Arus is concerned, the average
soldier is no different from a low ranked mamono.
Even if the number of mamono is reduced, needless damage to their bodies will
spill a lot of their blood. That creates
the possibility of mamono gathering even though it’s daytime. As such, he subjugates mamono by targeting
their cores. If he can’t, then he
annihilates the core with the entire mamono in a single strike.
Low ranked mamono, with their small bodies, are essentially no different than a swarm of rabid animals. While exceptions to that generalization exist, few have been confirmed to reside in that area. In other words, the students will at most face mamono the size of adults. That makes mangling a mamono’s entire body easier than solely aiming for just the core. They do this because the mamono’s body will decay once its core is lost.
After Arus deals with 30 nearby mamono, Loki contacts him. She says, “The extracurricular lesson is now commencing.”
–Noble noble noble, diamond diamond diamond–
The students gather in a plaza just before the protective wall. Many of them wear their training clothes in lieu of a combat uniform. Tesfia and Alice do the same. All of them are gathered in their groups and are holding one final group meeting as they wait for the Director to give them the signal to begin.
In Tesfia’s group, there is her, a four digits; two members who rank at five digits; two members who rank at six digits; and their supervisor, a four digits, third year, upper classman named Cavsor Denbel. He is the eldest son of a distinguish household who for some reason or another, burns with antagonism towards Tesfia. His responsibilities aren’t small, yet despite the many situations in which they could have discussed strategy, he spent a lot of time away from his team.
Alice’s group has her as a four digits member and four five digit members. While her fellow group members are all five digits, they are much more preferred than the pair in Tesfia’s group who range between sixty and seventy thousand. Her supervisor is the second year, Seniatt Phocimil, but their rankings aren’t very different from each other. Furthermore, they are also of the same sex. Somehow or another, she is an upperclassman who looks after others.
The Director says, “Well then, we’ll be conducting the extracurricular lesson from this point onward.”
The gaze of every student falls upon the Director. She adds, “All supervisors will be given distress signal flares for the off chance anything happens. So if needed, a reinforcement unit will come rushing over. Everyone, please show the fruits of your daily hard work.”
Her greeting is very simple, but all the essential information she needs to tell them has already been transmitted. Furthermore, her words are the signal for everyone to pass through the protective wall.
The first students to pass through stop in their tracks. Their expressions can all be described as master pieces. No group is able to immediately move after that first view of the outside world. The fantastical and majestic landscape is like walking into a dream or an illusion.
Tesfia says, “….Amazing!”
Alice says, “So beautiful!”
Greenery is overgrowing and abundant. Not a single piece of modern machinery can be found for as far as the eye can see. Everyone is overwhelmed by the ancient and towering trees. Not even the upperclassman serving as supervisors are spared. They’re all overcome with the sensation that they’ve been transported to another world.
Ferinella, also a supervisor for the extracurricular lesson, claps her hands to get the attention of the over four hundred students. Her smile is in complete contrast to the ominous words she speaks, but it’s enough to bring everyone back to their senses. “Stay sharp, there are mamono out here!”
Everyone’s expression tightens. The groups enter their formations and scatter into every direction. No group has been given a specific goal, simply fighting mamono is the entire purpose of the lesson for everyone. As such, there is no need for the groups to press too deep into the outside world. They are free to go where ever they want as dictated by the whims of their curiosity.
Battles can be seen starting in the distance despite the lesson just beginning. That’s the moment Tesfia resolves her heart and proceeds with caution. As was previously decided, she takes point.
The path she leads her group down was naturally formed. Therefore, despite walking for a bit of time, not much distance is covered.
Tesfia holds out her arm. Her other hand holds a finger before her mouth. The faint rustling of branches carries in from the distance. Everyone crouches down and step towards the tree’s shade in order to investigate.
Something falls from above.
It falls and appears before them. It’s around the size of a human child, but with strange, long arms. They are long enough that its lightly clasped fists reach the ground. Also, despite having a short and misshapen body, its feet are unnaturally small. Coiling around its body into a perfect circle is a tail. The impression given by its overall appearance is that even if a mistake is made, it won’t be able to take advantage of it.
Its entire body, save for the crimson eyes, is black to the point of being eerie. Its queer color is unnatural. Tesfia matches its features from what she’s been taught in her lessons and concludes, that’s undoubtedly a mamono.
She then issues orders for the surroundings to be checked for other mamono. Afterwards, she says, “This one is probably an F rank, [Vellam]. As per our strategy, we’ll subjugate it by going around and cutting in.”
During their introductory lessons, that mamono was presented as an example. This mamono’s behavior is similar to that of a monkey despite being hunched over like an old woman. They are abundant in outer areas overabundant with trees.
Tesfia’s group members acknowledge her commands with a nod. She directs them to their positions with her hand while gradually approaching from the front despite its bloodthirst.
She still isn’t used to walking in the outside world. Fallen branches scratch at her legs, but she ignores the pain and continues forward. The mamono’s bloodlust is so strong that her heart beats with the speed of a ringing bell.
Unease sets within Tesfia as she scrutinizes the mamono’s actions. The lecture also mentioned that it doesn’t often descend onto the ground. Could this one be a deviant?
The mamono stands its ground as it keeps its eyes on its surroundings.
Has it noticed us? It doesn’t look like it’s going to run away…
As Tesfia gets close enough to hit the mamono with a spell, she peaks towards the shade of the tree. They should be getting into position soon.
The mamon’s black fur stands on end as its head twists around. An uncanny, almost human, grin arcs across its face. Behind it is a female classmate.
Tesfia stabs her katana into the ground while saying, “It noticed you!!” The magic formulas etched into her blade shine as mana flows down the sword. Prior preparations allow her to quickly finish her spell and surge a thin road of ice straight towards the mamono.
The mamono, unaware to Tesfia’s existence, is unable to react against Tesfia’s attack. As it leaps at the girl, its foot remains stuck on the ground. Its entire lower body is encased in ice in an instant.
Tesfia is shocked by the results of her spell. She only intended to create a gap by freezing its sole to the ground, but instead left it entirely unable to move. “— —!!!! …Attack!”
Her attack more or less went haywire, but proceeded as intended. She halted the mamono’s movement by going full out with attack magic through her AWR.
Due to having low ranked members on the team, damage from the first class attack magic [Arrow] cannot be predicted. Therefore, the team judged that their AWR would best be used for physical attacks. Regardless, not one student is able to kill the mamono with their first strike.
It only topples over after a gruesome blow to the head. The student responsible then walks towards Tesfia with a smile.
—The mamono gradually raises its upper body from behind the student.
Tesfia springs forward before it can move. She hoists her katana overhead and cuts the mamono in two. “Haa!!”
The mamono’s body, due to its core being in the head, crumbles.
““““— — —!!””””
Tesfia says, “Don’t get careless!” Her success is attributable to listening to Arus’ advice from long ago. She wouldn’t have been able to recognize the situation and react otherwise.
Everyone is covered in a cold sweat.
“You saved me.”
Then, the girl who was discovered by the mamono earlier, gives a deep bow by bending from her back as an apology for her blunder. “I’m so sorry, Tesfia-san.”
“Don’t worry about it. You might not have been noticed in another group.”
The faint sounds of battle drift in from nearby.
“Still, that was incredible. You took it out with one hit.”
Internally, Tesfia gives words of gratitude to a certain someone. Everything she just accomplished was undeniably the fruits of that person’s training. Her current level is clearly higher from when she first enrolled.
Cavsor steps out from his hiding place with a fearless smile and gives a condescending praise. “That’s undeniably an F rank mamono. An E rank would have given us more trouble, but not bad.”
Tesfia spares him a glance to give a rough, “Thanks.”
“But, you need to practice harder until you can take mamono down on your first strike.”
He points out that her spell failed to defeat the mamono. It wasn’t very clear that I was only trying to buy time in the first place. No, I might just be saying that in hindsight.
Tesfia, for the sake of moving on from that conversation, says, “Thank you very much for pointing that out for me.” In her mind, she no longer recognizes that upper classman as relevant. Her priorities are more in line with Arus’ guidance. Therefore, a successful subjugation is all she needs to feel a sense of accomplishment.
T/N: Sorry this took so long. I had trouble sleeping this past week. Sleep deprivation makes translating hard~
Special thanks to M4L4DD1CT10N for sponsoring this chapter. I’d also like to thank D for becoming a patreon~
Now about this chapter, not much happened compared to the manga. Just more insight to Tesfia’s team, but it also came with much needed character growth. She seems like less of a brat now. I wonder how it is with Alice??