|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2881 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1511 words|
Amidst all the applause, only one person looked irritated at the young girl standing in the center of the hall. It was Kairos. He could not pardon her, a summoner, the lowest class of spellcasters, for showing a more striking display than himself.
「Everyone, wait a moment.」
Losing his temper, Kairos ran to the center of the hall and broadly waved his hands up. Seeing him, everyone stopped to see what was going to happen. When Kairos saw that all the noise praising someone other than him stopped, he snickered while looking at the audience.
「Don’t you think this is a bit strange? The representative was suddenly changed on the day of the examination, then this child that doesn’t look like she belongs in the academy shows up. Do you think someone like her would be able to use skills that not even instructor Hinata seems to know?」
(…What is he talking about?)
To Mira, he was talking gibberish, but it was different for the judges. They had witnessed something fundamentally different to the prior summoning displays they had seen. It had been incredibly eye-catching, but after Kairos’ words, a ripple of suspicion passed through them.
「Now that you mention it… was that really summoning magic? Weren’t summoners those who made a black knight fight against a white one?」
One of the judges asked that. He was one who had only seen Hinata’s display in the past, and part of the new generation that was unaware of the past might of summoners. All the judges that had been suspicious after Kairos’ speech were all younger ones in their twenties. Those judges made up around half of them, so if they issued a penalty it would leave a noticeable dent in Mira’s score.
「If there was a summoner who could cast more powerful spells than the instructor here in Arkite Academy, the best school in the entire continent, then they could only be from the tower. So to think that this child can do that obviously sounds suspicious. Probably someone like instructor Hinata got fed up with being the last place every time, so she found herself a child with good looks to deviate our attention while she did something secretly. I’m sure all of you remember well how the past summoner examinations went.」
After Kairos’ added that, the judges turned questioning stares at Mira. In her mind, she stomped her feet, enraged thinking that summoners were seen as such a low level class that instigation like that worked.
As Mira’s actual strength kept getting doubted, a middle aged man loudly clapped his hands, focusing the attention on himself.
「If you’re willing to say so much, what do you think about settling this with an actual match instead of a visual examination?」
The person who had made that suggestion was the principal. There was a short moment of discussion, but then someone agreed with the idea. Soon after all the judges had decided unanimously, a special match would be held for the examination, Kairos who had protested pitted against Mira.
A fifteen minute break was granted in preparation for the match. But no one of the audience left during that time, they were all talking with each other in excitement for the irregular match that would happen.
「I’m sorry for everything. I feel like I keep bothering you all the time.」
Mira returned to the wall as she muttered that, while Hinata hung her head in apology. At the same time, one person walked up to them.
「Well well, I’m sorry it came to that. But I didn’t think I would be able to control the situation otherwise.」
That person was the principal, the person who came up with the idea of the match between the two. His tall body was clad in a grey robe, some of the wrinkles on his brow marked in an apologetic look.
As soon as Hinata and the other representatives saw him, they stood upright before bowing to him. He returned the greeting in a quick motion before looking at Mira again.
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「Excuse me if I’m a bother, but could you come with me for a moment?」
He attempted to smile as he said that. After a deep breath, Mira went 「Well, I guess I can,」 to which he replied with a simple 「Thanks.」 before returning to his seat.
The principal regretted the way the examination had evolved to be. The way the examination had lost its original intent, and how it catered to nobles that knew nothing about spells. But many of the nobles investing in the academy were…unaware of the disturbing times of thirty years ago, which also applied to a large part of society. That stifled the development of new spellcasters as well, which eventually led to the current state of the academy.
It was not just the principal who was impressed this time, those who had lived long enough also had been touched by the magnificent display. They felt like they had been transported back in time when the Nine Wisemen were still together.
That was enough for the principal to gauge Mira’s power. He realized even he was no match against that girl. This also reminded him of a rumor he had heard, that Danbulf’s pupil had surfaced.
(Her appearance matches the rumor, and her strength is certain…)
He wanted to be sure. So he decided to probe her strength even more now that he had a chance to.
If it was truly her, then maybe she would be able to change how things were in the academy. With that in mind, he hatched a plan. He wanted to break down the image of the current generation of spellcasters, which Kairos embodied, and show what a real spellcaster was, one efficient in every regard like the ones back when Arkite was in its prime. He also hoped that it would rekindle the joy of improving themselves. Wishing that all of that could be accomplished, he suggested the match.
「Take him down in one shot.」
「You’re our only hope.」
「Do it for all of us.」
When the principal was done talking to her about those things, one of the other representatives approached her and told her that. Following that, the rest of the representatives also did the same, encouraging her while releasing all the pent up anger they had. All of them had the responsibility of shaping the stance of the different classes in the academy for one month.
It was hard to believe what Mira had done, but they could tell she was not a fake. Normally Kairos would have noticed that as well, but his pride of being the strongest in the academy had clouded his judgment. If he truly paid attention, he would notice that there was a gap between their power like there was distance between the heavens and earth, but he decided to look away.
「Just leave it to me.」 Saying that in return, she walked towards the hall once again.
The break time was over and the two faced each other in the center of the hall. The man in white stood between the two as a referee, explaining the rules.
In short, it was simply to fight fair and square. The conditions to win were to incapacitate the opponent or make them lose their will to fight. The referee was in charge of deciding when one had given up. Any lethal action was forbidden. There normally was never a match like this in the examination, so the rules for tournament matches had been used.
「Someone should watch over instructor Hinata. I won’t stand it if she attempts something shady again.」
Kairos urged, to no one in particular, to look over Hinata, in a purposefully loud voice for everyone to hear. If she moved even a single muscle, he planned to use that to blame her. After he said that, his assistant moved to stand beside Hinata, just as they had arranged beforehand.
(Now she’s practically finished. I can just have to take it easy, tie myself with this and it’ll be the end for her. I don’t know what she was doing earlier, but it’s her fault for getting cheeky as a summoner.)
Kairos shot a glance at his assistant, who nodded lightly in response. He had one more plan up his sleeve. Kairos did not want to simply beat Mira, but make her look like she was cheating and single-handedly drive the reputation of summoners into the ground.
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He was currently holding onto a magic tool called Cursed Chains. The plan was to release it onto himself a moment before winning, while his assistant would call out Hinata for doing something. After all, he was sure that Hinata would try to stop the match if Mira was on the losing end. A black darkness covered his eyes as he envisioned how he destroyed them.
「Now then, the special examination match will begin. First, bow.」
|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2981 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1406 words|
Kairos bowed elegantly, while Mira recalled how Leticia acted and held the hem of her skirt as she curtsied. A small wave of noise passed through the audience when they saw her cute act. Mira always preferred to be on the battlefields, so she was hardly aware of the formalities involved in matches like these. Unaware that there was no difference between men and women in this situation, Mira decided to imitate Leticia who she had seen earlier.
The man in white looked at both of them, then took a couple of steps back to the determined distance and lifted his right hand.
「Get ready… fight!」
As soon as the signal was given, Kairos moved. He leaped back and began focusing magic power on his hands.
「Armies of fire dazzling in the sky, obey your king—?!」
As Kairos chanted in a calm and loud voice, six Dark Knights surrounded him in the blink of an eye, holding their six black swords against his neck.
Shivers ran down the audience at that sight. Even though they had a full view of all their movements, this was something they could not comprehend.
What happened was basically the preliminary storage of magic power and chanting.
Kairos had jumped back to focus his magic power, but during the moments he was in the air and until his landing, a magic circle appeared, which gave form to the ominous-looking Dark Knights, who swung their swords immediately. Some people had looked away for just an instant, and when they looked back, they saw the circle of blades immobilizing Kairos. And not a single person had understood Mira’s preliminary preparations.
(What’s… what is this, what happened?! Where did these come out from! It was her, it was that instructor!)
With his neck surrounded, Kairos turned his head as much as he could and glared where Hinata was standing. There he saw Hinata and the other representatives, all looking as shocked as the audience. And his assistant was wide-eyed as he fervently shook his head from side to side.
(Dammit! What is this? What did this brat do!)
Kairos glared irritated at the girl in front of him, but Mira paid no attention to him at all, ignoring him as she walked over to the referee who was standing stiff in shock and poked him to announce the result.
「What is your verdict on this?」
When she said that, poking at his cheek, the man in white finally returned to his senses and lifted his right hand.
「The winner is the summoner representative!」
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After he announced that, only a few claps came in return. The audience was still in shock, the younger ones trying to comprehend what happened. On the other hand, the older ones praised Mira from the bottom of their hearts.
「Don’t screw with me!」
With the match decided, Mira let the six Dark Knights go. Now freed, Kairos raised his voice with a look of anger.
「What is it, Kairos Beltran? Is there something you’re not satisfied with?」
The entire hall went silent as the principal’s calm voice echoed. But Kairos completely forgot to mask his feelings as he continued to shout without thinking.
「No matter how you think about it, that was impossible to do! She did not even prepare for it and she supposedly cast six summons simultaneously! Were you even looking? It’s impossible for her to do that alone! It’s obvious, there’s someone helping her! She has a helper somewhere! Where are you hiding! Show yourself already!」
Everyone in the audience shot cold stares at Kairos, who kept shouting around. The Dark Knights she had summoned had a strangely intimidating appearance that made their hair stand on end just by looking at them. Even if there was someone helping her, they would need to assemble enough summoners to accomplish that, and that was impossible even for the academy instructors. Not to mention that summoners were rare enough in this age. Anyone who thought about it for more than a second would notice those were just an arrogant person’s delusions.
「You coward! Who do you think I am?! I’m…!!」
But Kairos refused to admit his defeat and continued to complain. What happened before he could finish his sentence left the audience speechless once again. In the blink of an eye, just like before, Dark Knights appeared out of thin air like ghosts.
Kairos trembled in fear and tried to run backwards, but his feet got caught and he fell on his rear. Twenty Dark Knights with their large swords ready turned their forty red-glowing eyes to look at him.
The principal muttered in wonder. Summoning so many Dark knights simultaneously and at such a speed was a very difficult skill to master in itself, but the Dark Knight’s reflexes to jump into action as soon as they were summoned took it to another level. It was all out of the ordinary.
「With this, you should finally accept it, yes?」
Having burnt through her mana so quickly, a slight feeling of exhaustion assaulted her body as she scratched her chin.
There were many steps involved when summoning something.
First, the location where the summoned entity should appear had to be chosen. That could be chosen from a circle around the caster which grew in size as the caster grew stronger. Mira was able to summon anything inside a twenty-meter radius around her.
Next was choosing the entity to summon. That was done immediately after choosing the place where it should appear.
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Once the entity was chosen, the mana required to summon it was spent. With that done, it was possible to trigger the summon at any moment.
The last step was to give orders, what the entity should do after being summoned.
Those were the basics, but that was simply how regular summoners did it. Mira had tweaked that process a bit to fit her style. From the spell theories she had spent time developing, she had been able to summon Dark Knights that were in the middle of an action.
Being able to simplify spells was the gateway any spellcaster could follow to reach higher places. In other words, the way spells were cast could also be a limiting factor, which was something anyone could notice regardless of knowledge, but to truly make use of it one probably had to get rid of common sense.
That was only the gateway to a new world, and those who had followed that path as far as they could go, were the Nine Wisemen.
When Mira changed her methods a bit and attempted to select multiple places for a summon to appear, she found out she was able to summon multiple entities simultaneously, and once mastered it led to her current skills. She was also well aware of the threat of multiple Dark Knights swinging their swords down at the same time.
The principal stood up as he praised her, which made the rest of the audience snap back to reality and showered the girl with applause.
Afterwards, the judges began counting the final scores, while Kairos and his assistant vanished from the hall as everyone waited for the results.
Mira was warmly welcomed back by the other representatives, who began questioning her about her actual strength. That was an obvious reaction from them, and Mira began debating on using her usual excuse when a certain person visited the examination hall.
「Oh, did the examination end already?」
「It appears that way.」
The visitors were a man and a woman. The man was a young handsome elf with shoulder-length glistening blonde hair and wearing a blue and black robe. The woman wore a red hood that gave her the striking appearance of a magical girl, and also had blonde hair.
Both of them had well proportionate features, but the mood in the hall changed more dramatically than that alone deserved once they entered. The principal and instructors hurried to walk down into the hall, while the rest of the audience looked nervous as they all stood up with their backs straight. Even Hinata and the necromancer representative’s attitude changed considerably.
「Hm? Isn’t it you, Creos?」
Mira glanced at the elf and greeted him saying it had been a while. The man glanced at Mira’s direction and was colored by surprise as he walked closer with a smile on his face.
「Mira! I heard you were back, but I wasn’t expecting to see you in this place.」
Saying that, he bowed to Mira who was together with the other representatives. Ever since Danbulf disappeared, he had been working in the Tower of Summoning as the vice-elder.
「Oh, you two know each other?」
|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3890 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1969 words|
The girl in the red hood peeked out from Creos’ side, staring at Mira for a moment before saying 「Oh, she’s cute」 with a smile that quickly vanished into her deadpan. Mira felt like she had seen her before, but could not remember where, so she returned her gaze back to Creos, awaiting his reply.
「That reminds me, we weren’t able to talk that much that time. She’s Amaratte, an attendant just like me, but she’s in charge of the Tower of Necromancy. Also, this is Mira, the girl I told you about before.」
Creos introduced the red hood girl as an attendant of the tower, then introduced Mira to her. Hinata and the representatives watched their conversation dumbfounded, mostly questioning how they were able to talk so normally.
「Oh, that’s you. Nice to meet you, I’m Amaratte.」
Amaratte took a step forward as she greeted Mira, then she walked until she was just in front of Mira and examined her clothes.
「These look really well-made by the way. Could you tell me where you got them from?」
Amaratte was slightly taller than Mira, so she leaned her body slightly forwards as she looked more closely at Mira’s magic robe set. She was also caught inside the magical girl craze, so she was deeply interested in Mira’s clothes that resembled that style, but were arranged in a more elegant and stylish way.
「Hm, this? Lily…err, a maid in the castle made them.」
「So it came from The maid Lily in the castle. Maybe I’ll go ask her for a set for me as well. Thank you Mira, it was very valuable information.」
Amaratte straightened her back with a smile, then walked towards the principal who called for her in a corner.
「Let’s talk a bit more later, Mira. I’ll go greet someone there for a bit. Also, there’s a lot of things I want to tell you, so I’d be grateful if it could be right after this.」
「Alright, I also have things to ask you so that sounds good.」
「Thanks. I’ll be going now.」
After that exchange, Creos followed Amaratte going to the principal. The principal had already started talking with her about something.
When Creos left to join those two, Hinata was finally released from the umpteenth stressful situation that day and began interrogating Mira.
「Why! Why are you acting so chummy with Creos?! Or rather, how do you know each other?!」
Hinata voiced the questions she had one after another without regard to a sensible order. But none of the other representatives stopped her since they all wanted to ask the same.
「Something happened before, it’s nothing to get so excited about. Rather, was it okay for you to stay silent without greeting him?」
When Mira mentioned that, Hinata’s ears sprang up, the other representatives also went 「Ah-」, they had completely forgotten about their own presence from the shock. They all hurried to go to the same place as the principal. Mira sighed watching them and then took out some apple ale.
The two had decided to check up on the examination since they were close. Creos had just returned from instructing the aspiring summoners, while Amaratte had finished some business at the castle and had some stuff to do at the academy now.
All those important personages entering had caused a bit of a commotion, but the score counting proceeded without a hitch. And the result? The summoner class shone brightly in first place having earned the highest score ever recorded from the examination so far.
That marked the end of the examination event, after which everyone went back to their respective workplaces.
Mira was together with the two attendants, sitting on a couch in the guest room of the academy. Sitting in front of her were the amused Creos and Amaratte with her straight-face. At her side, suffering trying to wrap her head around the reason why she was sitting with them, was Hinata.
(Whyyy, why can Mira remain so calmm.)
Hinata was still a spellcaster aside from being an instructor, so those two people in front of her felt like celebrities standing far above her position. She felt she was worth so little she could not look straight at them and wanted to just fall on her knees.
Her hands were trembling from nervousness as she brought a teacup to her lips.
The herbal tea had been brewed just moments before so it was still hot, making Hinata raise her voice instinctively. Mira handed her a glass of water as she tried to calm down her ears and tail that stood upright.
Hinata received the glass and slowly sipped the water to cool down her tongue. Then she remembered the situation she was in again and impatiently began looking around. Creos had an entertained smile as he watched Hinata, while Amaratte’s eyes glistened as she held a hand to her lips covering her grin.
「Are you okay, Hinata?」
When Creos asked her, Hinata’s ears twitched as she replied while biting her tongue. Mira grimaced a bit seeing her, and took one of the cookies left on the table and shoved it into Hinata’s mouth.
「Now now, Hinata, why are you nervous?」
Hinata quickly chewed the cookie and washed it down with water.
「Seriously Mira, I think it’d be more apt to ask how you can remain so calm.」
Some of her stress eased, Hinata asked Mira. She really wanted to know how Mira was able to keep so composed in front of two vice-elder.
「Even if you ask that…」
As Mira spoke, she tilted her head. She had always been distant from social matters and things like that, so she was unsure how to reply. She was aware of the basics, but then again, the king was her best friend and Creos used to work under her. Somehow the whole situation felt a bit odd.
(I should think this through when I have time later.)
Mira began thinking that she would need to make some compromises if she wanted to keep her relationships peaceful with other people.
「Don’t worry about that too much. I’ve told you this many times, but we’re merely momentary stand-ins, so don’t think about it too much.」
「What, he already told you that before?」
Even though Creos honestly meant those words, Hinata wanted to say it was impossible for her to just change her personality after admiring him since she was a little child, but then Mira chimed in, leaving Hinata’s thoughts at a standstill.
No matter how many times she was told that, she was incapable of changing herself in front of someone she admired so much. It was an unpardonable act for her.
「I’m really sorryyy.」
Unable to bear it anymore, Hinata fell prostrated on the floor. Creos forced a smile while Mira took hold of Hinata’s scruff and plopped her back on the couch.
「What a dilemma. I myself would prefer to talk more casually, we still have to discuss the summoners’ lessons and other plans after all. She seems fine talking with you, but I really don’t understand what’s bad about me.」
Creos said that with a hint of sadness in his voice, while Hinata’s ears fell down in apology, but then she reacted to the way he worded it.
「Eh? Is there something about Mira that I should know?」
She tilted her head, throwing a puzzled look at Mira, wondering why he had used her as a comparison. Mira was a cute girl that possessed a deceiving power as a summoner. If she thought about her power alone, then Mira was someone she would have to bow down to, but Mira was an adventurer, and adventurers valued freedom above everything, so she was unrelated to her issue. Some adventurers who reached really high ranks would be able to have more authority, but those were few and far in between.
「You see, Mira is Danbulf’s pupil. She’s quite possibly stronger than me.」
As Creos said that, he shot Mira a glance mixed with a bit of envy, but when Hinata heard that, her brain finally shut down entirely.1
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