26 Practical Training
The examination continued with the spearmen, then the archers and finally it was the magicians’ turn. This time the examination for the archers and magicians was not a sparring match, only measuring their activation time, flying speed, accuracy and power among many things. It was obvious since these attacks would do serious damage to the hit target.
In quick succession Attack Magic was fired off. Fireball, waterball, fire arrow, ice arrow, stone arrow, conflagration, blaze… They might have varied in size and shape, but all were incomparable to what she saw at Ekland Academy. Not that there were many students capable of Attack Magic there in the first place.
What really surprised her though was Rena’s Attack Magic.
「Rise up, conflagration of hell! Burn even bones to ash!」
A glaring red flame. The twirling blaze enveloped the target, bruning it to nothingness.
Hearing Mile’s words, a satisfied expression floated up on Rena’s face.
(So this is the origin of “Rena the Red”…
But it doesn’t look like she has much in terms of magic power nor does she seem to excel in the imagining part…)
For some reason Mile was able to tell a person’s magic power to a certain extent, but she refrained from thinking too deeply about it. Doing so would probably only mentally tire her out. A wise decision.
『That is because she has a strong emotion.』
The sudden voice right next to her ears caused a shriek to leave Mile’s lips, causing several of her fellow students to look at her dubiously before turning back to the magicians.
(D-Don’t surprise me like that!)
『Excuse us. It seemed like you were interested in a provision of information.』
(I was only thinking! But, if you’re already talking to me, I’ll have you explain.
What is this strong emotion?)
『We nanomachines have our reception sensitivity and selectivity set at random. Due to this, depending on the strength of the mental image, different amounts of nanomachines react to it, whereas the precision of the image improves the work efficiency, with both effects combining to create the difference in results of magic.
Yet, sometimes people appear who, despite not significantly differing from others in terms of strength or precision, are able to command powerful magic. We say that those people have “strong emotions” because their thought emissions are boiling over so to say, causing even nanomachines with very low sensitivity to react.』
Mile nodded arbitrarily in reply to this explanation she didn’t even know if she did or didn’t understand, ending the communication held via thoughts and vibrating eardrums. It was almost her turn.
(Judging by what I have seen until now, it shouldn’t be a problem even if it is a bit on the strong side.
Since I want to end up placed 5th of all students, that would put me around 2nd best among magicians considering the number of students. If it’s like that, I simply have to be a little bit weaker than Rena…)
Thinking this, Mile decided to use the same magic as Rena with about 80% of the power.
「Rise up, conflagration of hell! Burn even bones to ash!」
And, just like when Rena used it, crimson flames enveloped the target and burned it away.
The other students were ordinarily amazed by Mile’s magic being only second to Rena’s in power, but they could easily accept that Mile, who could use Storage Magic, was obviously also good at other types of magic.
But, a single student wasn’t convinced that easily.
「Mile, we have something to talk about later.」
Mile got scared by the intense glare Rena was directing at her.
A couple of students later, the Attack Magic tests were over, with now only Support Magic remaining. Since they couldn’t just intentionally injure someone, Healing Magic was not examined this time. This was no problem since there wasn’t anyone who could only use Healing Magic, so everyone could show his skill in one of the other disciplines. When the practical training was finished, the class was dissolved on the training ground for today.
Mile tried to hide from the restless Rena by hiding in the shadows of her classmates, trying to get to the cafeteria.
The sudden pats to her shoulder made Mile flinch and raise her voice.
When Mile turned around the second boy she had sparred against earlier was standing there.
「I’m sorry for startling you. I’m also sorry for that spar just now.
To be honest, the instructor ordered me to do it like that, so I had no choice…
But even if they were his orders, aiming only for unarmored parts was a bad thing to do. Sorry!」
「Eh? Ah, no, that’s fine, no need to apologize! In a real battle the enemy would also aim there plus it was the instructor’s order, so you had no choice, right?」
「Thanks, I needed to get that out off my mind. See ya!」
Mile watched the boy walking away in admiration.
「Yep, after all adults are different…」
「Mile-chan, I’m sorry for earlier!」
When Mile had just resumed her journey to the cafeteria another boy stopped her. This time she was faced with her first opponent upon turning around.
「Did I hurt you? I’m sorry.
While we’re at that, would you like to meet after dinner to discuss our spar? There are a lot of things I could give advice on.」
A goofily smiling face and excessively widened nostrils.His intentions were so obvious it pissed Mile off.
「I’m really sorry. But after dinner I have a meeting with my party, so….
And since I’m a magician it’s obvious that my swordplay would have some weak spots.
If I have the time to polish a skill that is only meant as a last line of self-defense, it’s better to put that time into honing my skills as a magician, I think.」
「Ah, eh, you know….」
「Well then, have a good day.」
Before her opponent could think of a good change in topic, Mile hurriedly left him standing. It seems that as would be expected, there are also useless men among those older than fifteen. In the cafeteria she ate dinner as usual with her roommates, or rather, her party members. When Mile peeked at Rena, she ate with without any sign of her previous irritated aura, so Mile was relieved.
But the moment they had returned to their room.
「Second Party Conference!」
Rena suddenly shouted.
「Mile! What was that!?」
「Eh? What do you mean?」
「Don’t play dumb! I’m talking about the magic you used!
Care to explain that!?」
Mile flinched at Rena’s accusation. Meanwhile, Maevis and Pauline were silently watching over their conversation.
「Eh, it was the same thing you used, normal fire magic…」
「Aha. The same, hut. Perfectly replicating the 18th original magic of “Rena the Red” and calling it “normal fire magic”…」
Mile was then pressured more and more, finally confessing. Of course she didn’t explain everything and instead spun a cover story on the spot.
「So, this Minister who wanted you for your genius joined forces with the Demon Lord’s underlings, and you could only flee with the help of the prince…」
「Exactly! I thought I was going to die back then!」
「Who’d believe that, you idiot~~!」
「Eh, how did you find out…」
「I read that novel too!」
Mile nodded in acceptance of that reason. Mile was then hoisted up again until she confessed.
「So, you can use a lot of other magics besides Storage Magic, have a big amount of magic power, and couldn’t stand being treated differently by everyone because of that.
And because of the succession of your house it seemed like you’d get killed, so you ran away?」
She might have mixed a lot of things up a little, but since every piece had a little nugget of truth inside, it was a convincing story. At least more convincing than the romantic drama she had recited earlier.
「Well, it’s not like I can’t understand you at all. many of those who have come here have in some fashion experienced people trying to use them or sell them off.
This place is also meant to serve as a kind of shelter for these people.」
After uttering this with a face as though she had eaten something bitter, Rena finally let go off Mile’s collar
「By the way, what was it with the guys that talked to you on the way to the cafeteria, Mile?」
In reaction to Maevis’ words, Rena’s hands who had at last released her collar once again tightly grasped it.
「I gi-give up! Can’t, breathe….」
Mile was only released the second time after explaining about the two boys in detail.
「Well, if it’s like that, there’s not much we can do about it.
But that first boy was dangerous. Maevis, if he tries to get close the next time, repel him!」
「Ah, yes, I’ll try to….」
Even as she gave her consent with a bitter smile, Maevis asked Mile about something that had piqued her interest.
「But why did the instructor even arrange that setup? Even though your intended profession is magician….」
Maevis halfheartedly nodded to Mile’s shaking head.
「And about these two matches, why couldn’t you block those final strikes? In particular in the second match his intentionally slow swing went though your defense despite you defending against the faster attacks before. Did you fall for a feint or something?」
「Now you are kidding, wasn’t the last attack obviously slower and weaker than the rest?」
『The instructor’s order』
『Only aim for unarmored places』
『A purposefully slow attack』
「……I got tricked!!!」
「W-what’s up with that sudden yell!」
Her strength was measured by the instructor and her intentionally losing was confirmed.
When Mile sank together after realizing this, she was yet again pressured by Rena until she let it spill that she was also quite proficient at using a sword. Well, since the instructor had seen through her, it was only a matter of time for everyone else to notice it. So it was better to simply tell her companions about herself from the start. With that feeling in mind, she didn’t regret confessing about her swordplay.
In their room, Mile smiled happily despite being forced to give up some of her secrets, while the her three 『companions』 dubiously looked at her.