Arus, before reaching headquarters, stops a short distance away to remove his mask and robe. Wearing that mask would be an invitation for trouble. Furthermore, his job is practically over. From his point of view, there is no further need for him to wear it.
From there, he leads Tesfia back on foot. She is then taken to a first-aid station adjacent to the headquarters. It can be called an insurance doctor from the academy. While she herself doesn’t think her wound is a big deal, Alice appears, brushes aside her refusals, and takes her into tent.
Once Tesfia is out of sight, Alice turns around and bows her head. With a smile that fills her whole face, she says, “Thank you, Al.”
Arus’ heart jumps at the sight. Naturally, it isn’t because of love.
Up until the present, he has no recollection of ever being so talkative with a mamono. He was not himself. His behavior leaves him with no choice but to conclude that he acted like another person.
He had never felt that sort of anger before. Arbitrarily deciding I was angry is too hasty. Therefore, he is trying to objectively analyze his extermination of all mamono in the region from the perspective of a bystander. As such, he is unable to figure out his emotional state. However, if he’s unable to reach a conclusion, then he’ll have no choice but to give up contemplating it.
“It happened by chance.” His tone is flat.
He had no prior knowledge about Tesfia’s group, hence his rescuing her truly was a coincidence. Such a thing, however, is irrelevant to Alice. Her eyes don’t waver at his denial.
Alice then turns around to help Tesfia with something before then returning. Arus’ expression sours at her bright smile. Her expression is brilliant, but he has no doubt something lurks within it.
“Al, my group doesn’t seem interested in getting any more practical training after this. I’ve been left by myself…”
He understands what she wants to say. He also has no doubt the underlying cause is Tesfia. This indirect way of speaking is a bad disposition.
Although he finds her mannerism troublesome, he doesn’t say anything about it. That is because their differences build off of each other. Yet, even though they both have troublesome dispositions; her aptitude prevents any friction from building between them.
In short, she is qualified to receive instruction from him without hesitation from now on. As Arus was the one who established the standard, he can’t take it back either.
“Are B-rank alright?” She then suppresses her giggles at Arus’ cold stare.
“Don’t get carried away.”
Knowing that she’s only joking, he resolves the issue by lightly poking her on the forehead. Nevertheless, a bright, joyful, expression fills Alice’s face. “Hehee,” her steps are both light and refined.
Afterwards, he calls out to the returning Loki to thank her for her work. At the same time, despite feeling bad about it, he requests she continue with the troublesome task of dealing with the training group.
A private one on one lesson between the two commences. Alice immediately notices that they are distancing themselves from headquarters at her pace. In fact, she gets the feeling he is just putting up with the slow speed.
Without hesitation, she points at the knife on his waist as it enters and leaves her sight. “Al, is that your AWR?”
Receiving such questions is a common point between them. With Arus, as the strongest magician, all the more, not that it would matter if he paid the question no mind.
“Want to see it?”
Alice’s expression is so candid, her response can be understood from just that. Regardless, she vocalizes her desire. Arus, however, is already unsheathing his knife from his waist by the time he hears her response.
Arus, without restraint, holds the knife vertically at eye level.
“It’s a bit heavy.”
Alice receives the knife by scooping it up from below with both hands. The way she receives it like a valuable treasure reminds Arus of a retainer receiving something from her lord.
Her arms lower the instant she receives it.
“It really is!”
She then moves her hand towards the knife’s handle.
Arus, having never received such words before, is unable to reply in that small space. Loki, once he tells her, naturally tells him that such an action gives the impression that he is rich with sensitivity.
“Is trying to use it allowed?”
By that, she is asking if it can be used without subjugating a mamono. She is asking if she can bestow it with mana.
Arus says, “Don’t care.” However, even though his AWR is engraved with magical formulas, merely bestowing it with mana won’t actually lead to something happening. He is confident her attempt will result in that usual disgraceful failure.
Only Arus notices. Alice is completely focused on manipulating her mana.
Although she is bestowing mana, Arus’ AWR does not stop at the knife. In other words, the chains are also included. As such, her mana flows into the scabbard to reach the chains.
“— —!! How long does this continue for…?”
Alice’s flow of mana cuts off.
Arus didn’t see it, but he sensed it. One of the magical formulas reacted to her mana. He doesn’t immediately respond to it. Instead, he can only wonder if saying anything would be good or not. In the end, it all gets caught in his throat.
Alice’s elemental light system is endowed with its own characteristics… That could be the reason… No, still, this is interesting.
The reaction to Alice’s mana was from a spell not of a magical system. Although he can’t be certain from the minute reaction, it was probably local.
There is no doubt that Alice’s mana is of light system magic. At the same time, a part of it shares the same peculiarities as Arus’ mana. However, there aren’t enough ingredients to call it a characteristic. As such, Arus refrains from saying anything about it for the moment.
Alice battles against mamono without any instructions. With the occasional assistance from Arus, she succeeds in subjugating over ten mamono during their time out. As there are very few mamono near the headquarters they are a bit of a distance away. C-rank mamono naturally appear, but they are too much for Alice. Regardless, she doesn’t display any fear. That might be because Arus is with her, but her resolution doesn’t waver for a single step. Her attitude is just how a magician’s should be.
Like I thought, her spearmanship is only moderate. Her martial arts are more or less there so once she piles up actual combat experience, it’ll naturally become suited for defeating mamono.
The amount of mana she can bestow her weapon is enough for her to damage C-rank mamono. One could even say that she and Tesfia are the same in that regard. However, a definite distinction exists between them. It’s something Alice is inferior in.
“Is that the only spell you can use?”
Alice slaughters the remaining mamono in an instant with her current technique.
She then forces a laugh as she scratches her cheek with a soiled finger. “Yeah, hence I can’t really inflict that much damage on them.”
Her spell is of great value in interpersonal battles. No, her reflection will have tremendous effect in battles against magicians. Regardless, it doesn’t provide her with a decisive strike against mamono.
“As you are now, even if you can defeat them, these are D-rank.”
Alice herself seems aware that she can’t remain as she is. A bitter smile full of resignation crosses her face as she says, “…Light system magic doesn’t have many spells. Not to mention, its offensive spells are high in difficulty.”
Magicians capable of innately handling the light system are extremely few. Such is especially apparent when compared to the dark system. As such, not only has detailed information about it not been established, the reason why it arises so rarely among magicians hasn’t even been uncovered.
The field of magic research is more focused on developing magic for the general system instead of the seldom appearing light system. Progress for element magic has been non-existent. Even Arus, despite being able to use high level magic regardless of the system, is unable to use systems belonging to elements.
In regards to non-system magic, due to it being outside a system, it isn’t classified as an element.
“True… well, if you become the guinea pig, I wouldn’t mind.”
Although Alice’s smile doesn’t fade, it becomes a false expression. It clearly reads, “What are you saying exactly?”
Arus, wondering if the term “guinea pig” was poorly used, corrects himself.
“After a certain amount of examination, it might be possible to develop magic for the light system.”
This time, Alice holds herself with her arms.
Arus understands he isn’t using enough words, but he doesn’t plan on forcing himself. From the beginning, he’s had interest in the elements. Unfortunately, there was an insufficient amount of data on them and he needed a subject to study. Even just that exchange can be considered too much of a hassle for him.
He then turns away his face with an, “Even so, I don’t know.” However, he lacks the necessary cuteness needed to be allowed such an act. As such, a somewhat tense atmosphere sets in.
“No way, no way— you’re joking.”
Arus, upon being ridiculed instead of refused, gets quite frustrated. “Still, with an examination……”
Alice blushes as she seriously considers his proposal. Her gaze drops downward— toward a certain area of her body.
“I don’t know what you’re thinking, but it’s probably wrong.”
“Information on the body is only analyzed using a device. Truthfully, your mana also needs to be examined. I’ll say this just in case, but I’ll be troubled if you don’t prepare a spare set of clothes meant for an examination.”
“What… if it’s like that… very well. I will be in your care.”
Despite all that, there is nothing to criticize the exchange with in terms of civility. Anyone watching would have judged it as graceful. Still, for Alice who is talking with a boy the same age as her, she can’t help but feel terms like research are nuances for shoddy playing.
Arus points at the knife he showed her earlier.
“As a matter of fact, I made this thing.”
“— — —!!”
He has the feeling Alice is making light of him. As such, he is intending to reassure her by demonstrating one of his achievements.
“I… don’t doubt it?”
Arus feels as though he’s clearly hearing a creaking sound. Alice’s delayed reaction is the proof that she dug her own grave. He isn’t reading too much into it, it was the expected response.
Such, however, wasn’t Alice’s intention. Instead, a conversation she had with Tesfia flashed across her mind, one where she told her, “Research on it isn’t really a priority.” What happened can be called a reaction to her recollection.
…Looks like I gained her trust for now.
Afterwards, the two of them stay out until the last moment, working hard to subjugate mamono. Arus, as was decided earlier, is only accompanying her.
The next school day, or to be more accurate, two days later due to lectures being cancelled on the following day due to that day being the second day of the extracurricular lessons.
That day is particularly busy. Although some students are unable to attend due to mental illness, they only make up a small percentage.
Two primary topics are being discussed among the students. The first is the masked magician. Although few saw him directly do anything, according to students he helped, even disregarding their minor exaggerations, he was incredible.
“One blow against the upperclassman, koo~, barehanded.”
Everyone is certain a famous magician had been called to assist the academy. From appearances, those assumptions aren’t necessarily off point.
The other topic is Loki’s valor in regard to her resolute commanding. Her achievements have been exaggerated from having teachers abide to her orders to her leading the upperclassmen by the nose. The wiles of the students she assisted are numerous.
The efforts of those two kept the harm on the first years to almost nonexistent. Fortunately, the injuries the Director feared ended in the best possible way. Meanwhile, other gears are properly turning.
The supervisors who exposed the first years to danger and the reinforcement units who broke the rules and acted on their own, those upperclassmen are being punished by the academy. Most of those ten or so upperclassmen were suspended from school for a month. While it is only a month, it is undeniably a sever affair for them. Furthermore, the students who have already been assigned to a unit by the military now have the bitter experience of being reassigned. The aspiring second and third years meanwhile have the unfavorable stigma of being blemished materials.
Finally, the only expulsion is the third year, Cavsor. The reason is solely due to the injuries. As of the present, three of Tesfia’s group members lay in hospital beds due to their mental traumas. What will happen to those three boys, whether they become magicians or not, is up to them. The one who managed to remain conscious until the end, only that female student is somehow or another able to attend school. While she has not made a complete recovery, that experience doesn’t seem to be hindering her daily life.
Cavsor himself is currently undergoing medical treatment at home but using magic itself seems to trigger his trauma. His very life as a magician has been severed.
Although the Director herself was unable to take the step to impose the strict punishment of stripping away his aristocratic title, the decision now serves a preventative measure against any future relapses. The Denbel house submitted no formal objection to the decision. After all, Cavsor lost his disposition for magic.
As for the two people being talked about in class, they are absent. The reason is because of the extracurricular lessons. On the previous day, they assisted the second years. Currently, they watch over the third years. Their support duties have been constraining them the entire time.
That said, their hardships are nothing like with the first years. With the B-rank mamono cleared, Loki, just like Arus, has little reason to appear. Furthermore, with the punishment handed out before serving as a stopper, the situations that would trouble them have been prevented.
Thus, the curtain closes on the sudden extracurricular lesson. Regardless if it should be continued, the lessons learned will serve as valued resources for overcoming whatever troubles may occur during them.
T/N: So, if this activity was being implemented across all three grades, shouldn’t the third years have gone first, then the second, and finally the first. Seeing as how the upper classmen will be serving as backup for the lower classmen, reversing the order would have given them an opportunity to accustom themselves to fighting in the outside world before being made to have to save people in an unfamiliar environment against creatures they’ve only ever seen as holograms. Just a thought/