Section 13: Magic Training Part 2
[Grides]: “The hero is also a witch yes? Then I imagine she would also be considerably proficient at handling magic.”
[Iris]: “Ah, no……I wouldn’t say considerably.”
Is Grides-san……trying to pick a fight with me? If so then she’s probably not going to be satisfied with my noncommittal answer.
[Grides]: “So modest. I simply must bear witness to the magic said to have been able to instantly separate a dragon’s head from his neck though.”
Trouble. I’m in trouble. This is a turn for the worst for my already upset stomach.
I still don’t know if I can use ordinary magic……..that is to say magic you find inside a spellbook. So far all I’ve used is magic from my grimoires, and those are all special cases.
If I believe Lapris, then with how much my mana’s increased, I might end up accidentally creating an inferno when all I want is a spark. That’s why I’ve been too afraid to give it a try until now.
If I can’t cast any spells, I’m going to end up embarrassed in front of a group of thirty students.
No, it’d be fine if I embarrassed myself in front of a hundred students, but what if the spell goes out of control. What if I end up blowing up the entire lab like Litzreich did?
I’ll end up injuring all of my classmates. In the worst case scenario I might kill someone.
[Iris]: “No, I……”
I had to put a stop to this.
[Grides]: “Ara, you can’t show us? Does the hero hate the idea of showing us her skills?”
[Iris]: “…….you’re wrong, that’s not what I…….”
This person keeps doing her darnedest to needle me. Is it because of what happened this morning? If the person I admire left me to speak with someone else……in this case they were also speaking to that other person quite intimately. And she even retied their ribbon……..
Yeah~. I think I can understand her feelings a bit. I was feeling the same way just before.
[Grides]: “Then, could you please show me? I want to improve my magic. If I were to see the hero’s spellwork in person, I am positive it would inspire me. I am sure of it.”
The atmosphere is gradually shifting that way with Grides-san’s words hanging in the air. Expectant gazes were shifting my way, and Ms. Odette wasn’t doing anything to stop it. Actually, she was one of the first people to get excited about it.
[Grides]: “Unless……is there a reason you cannot show us? For instance…..you were a tagalong to Rosalith-sama and just lucky enough to get labeled as a hero……or something of the sort?”
[Ms. Odette]: “That is enough Grides-san. Your words are an insult to Calvafon-san. Apologize. You are meant to be a lady.”
Ms. Odette’s expression quickly soured as she issued a warning to Grides-san. For her part, Grides-san pinched the ends of her skirt and immediately offered a smooth curtsy. But the smile she gave me was no less challenging.
[Grides]: “My sincerest apologies hero. I was so excited to see your abilities that I’ve said something incredibly rude to you on accident. Allow me to apologize here.”
[Ms. Odette]: “Calvafon-san. Do you accept her apology? Or do you refuse it and seek reparations? You have the right to restore your honor and the freedom to choose the means.”
Grides-san’s head was turned down. But it didn’t feel like she was apologizing at all.
It’s not like I’m particularly angry about it though. What she said was true after all.
[Iris]: “I accept the apology. She never said anything wrong, so it’s fine.”
Grides-san’s expression changed for the first time after what I said.
[Grides]: “……..what do you mean?”
[Iris]: “Exactly what I said. I didn’t do anything noteworthy enough to be called a hero.”
I defeated the dragon in Relton.
But Rose-san, Toslin, and Carol are the ones who were truly amazing back then. They took on the full brunt of the dragon’s attacks and gave their utmost to save the villagers.
And then Saluena. Without her, I wouldn’t be here right now.
Apart from that, I’m not going to demean myself anymore. I don’t think, “Someone like me……..” anymore either. It’s rude to the people who love me.
[Iris]: “Ms. Odette, can I give it a try?”
[Ms. Odette]: “Y-Yes……then, Calvafon-san, if you would.”
[Lou]: “D-Do your best Airi-chan”
[Iris]: “Mm, here I go.”
With Airi-chan’s encouragement, I moved to the center of the lab.
[Lapris]: “Oi, is this going to be okay? You’re not going to spontaneously blow anything up?”
Lapris whispered down into my ear.
[Iris]: “If it happens, I’ll summon Unicorn and create a barrier.”
[Lapris]: “Aah, you have her on hand? Then whatever. I don’t know if you can do it, but this is the whole reason you pushed past my objections and entered this school in the first place. So do your best.”
In a rare display of affection, Lapris offered me some encouragement while tapping my ear.
[Iris]: “Mm……okay, here I go.”
I flipped through my spellbook. The smell of crisp paper and fresh ink spread out, calming my tense mind.
[Iris]: “Continuously tranquil, who quickens the stream into a raging river?”
I’ve been learning how to use magic from Grandpa Ferdinand since I was a kid.
As long as you have mana and the technique to mold it as needed, you can borrow the power of the spirits and cast a spell by reciting the chant.
I barely had any mana back then, so I poured all my focus into the technique. Under Grandpa’s tutelage, hundreds, thousands……..I’ve practiced reciting spells tens of thousands of times.
[Iris]: “Ooh, will you abandon thy name and memories of the past? Then give them to me. That precious name……..shall be called to life!!”
I could feel my mana rising up in my body.
Swirling in my chest and spreading out through the rest of my limbs. It’s not a good analogy, but the closest comparison I can think of is like warm, viscous honey dripping out of a jar.
That mana now fully enveloped my body. It used to be like thinly laced sugar water, but now, it was thick and sweet. I could actually taste it on my tongue.
It took three years of lessons before I managed to fill my body with mana like this. My single-minded pursuit of being able to cast a single spell left me capable of completely controlling the flow. But, this time I was able to do it in an instant. Didn’t Grandpa tell me I had some talent for magic back then?
All I have to do now is mold that magic into a spell and release it. Bait my mana and command the spirits to feed off it.
[Iris]: “Connected with rusted chains, wind’s sharpened blades, mince my enemies!!”
Visualize my mana as a vast whirlpool.
But, my mana remained inside my body after I finished reciting my chant. It wasn’t going anywhere.
[Lou]: “……….huh? Airi-chan………”
“Eh, a misfire?”
“What happened? Did it fail?”
“Didn’t she slay a dragon? That person is the hero right?”
The people behind me started getting antsy.
It looks like no magic is going to materialize after all. Once I accepted that, I embarked on the paradoxical task of carefully unfocusing. My gathered mana slowly dispersed without accumulating into any kind of spell.
Nothing happened. But, I certainly felt a response. I was able to manipulate my mana, just as I was taught. As for why no magic came out, I’m not sure.
Once I was finally able to relax my shoulders, I thanked Grandpa Ferdinand in my heart.
[Grides]: “Hmph, as I thought.”
While everyone else silently watched me, there was just one person from amongst the crowd who spoke up.
Turning around, I found Grides-san glaring right at me.
[Grides]: “I thought it was strange. For a mere commoner would never have enough mana to successfully slay a dragon.”
I rejoined my class while listening to Grides-san speak.
All of my classmates, but especially Lou-chan, were watching me with the same anxious look.
[Grides]: “Outstanding mana is tied to outstanding blood. A domain that commoners and miscellaneous mixed bloods dare not hope to reach. That is what defines an aristocrat!!”
Each step Grides-san took echoed inside the lab as she advanced on me with an overwhelming aura wrapped around her. And yet there was an elegance about her that awed my classmates, forcing them to bow out and open a path so she could make her way through.
[Grides]: “And this is an aristocratic school. Someone shameless enough to have allowed themselves to be brought along with a true hero out of pity, moreover impudent enough to stick out despite being a mere commoner, does not belong here!! This is not an idle playground for people of your class!! If you wish to not get hurt then leave this place immediately!!”
Shooting off words at a rapid pace, she snapped her finger towards the exit.
[Lou]: “Y-You’ve said too much!!”
Just as I was wondering how I should argue back, I was surprised to hear a voice jump to my defense from right next to me.
And the owner of that voice was the usually timid Lou-chan. While everyone else was pushed back by Grides-san’s tirade, she was the only one to stay by me and stand up for me.
[Lou]: “M-Maybe she’s just not feeling well today…….I have times like that too……..”
[Grides]: “…….ara, so the baron’s daughter has something to say. Speaking of a baron, you’re not that much different from a commoner, so what are you saying to an earl like me?”
[Lou]: “Auu, uuh………i-in this school…….that kind of thing, doesn’t matter……..”
[Grides]: “Isn’t that simply their official stance? Have I said anything wrong? This is why commoners feel they can rise up and…….”
[Iris]: “……..hey, you can talk bad about me all you want, but could you not talk down to Lou-chan?”
Oh no, this time I’m the one getting angry. You can say whatever you want about me, but talking bad about a friend who cares for me is something I won’t forgive.
I mean, what’s up with this person? Isn’t she way too rude to be a daughter of an earl? What in the world is Yuhanna-sama thinking accepting someone like this into the Shirayuri Knights?
[Grides]: “Ara, I am simply stating facts. If you disagree, then perhaps we should settle this in a duel? I can drill into you the rigors of the aristocratic world before you get seriously injured.”
[Ms. Odette]: “Enough.”
It was as the sparks began to fly between me and Grides-san that Ms. Odette intervened.
[Ms. Odette]: “Need I remind you that we are currently in class Grides-san?”
[Grides]: “M-My apologies Ms. Odette”
Grides-san offered an apology, but she didn’t try walking back her previous remarks.
I continued to glare at her while Ms. Odette sighed. She then passed on these words.
[Ms. Odette]: “Re-think those words and your attitude until now. And if you find something you feel you must reconsider, correct it. No matter how skilled you are in magic, do you believe this school sweet enough to allow anyone who is not a true lady to graduate from its halls?”
[Grides]: “……certainly. If there is anything I must reflect upon, I shall correct it. However on a second thought, I cannot consider anything I’ve said as anything other than the utmost truth.”
Grides-san then turned a challenging gaze towards me.
I was wondering if all nobles were the same since everyone in my class had been so kind, but apparently not.
On the afternoon of my second day at school, I realized that.