From then on, the time for magic practice increased.
Of course, the Head Magician was in charge of my lectures and practices.
The magic practices were done at the Court Mage Division’s practice grounds.
It was a bit of a distance away from the lecture room, but I talked to the Head Magician while we walked, so I didn’t mind the distance that much.
I would probably be frustrated if I was by myself, though.
The reason wasn’t just because of the distance.
At the beginning, I’d thought I was lucky to have the Head Magician teach me magic, but that feeling had since disappeared in these few days.
Contrary to being soft, the Head Magician’s teaching style was that of a Spartan’s.
“Let’s get started. The procedure is the same as last time.”
We took a short break after arriving at the exercise grounds, and then practice started.
I was being taught magic manipulation right now.
If I mastered it, I could shorten the magic activation time.
It was necessary to concentrate magic power into one’s palms when using magic, but the concentration time could be shortened.
Incidentally, it wasn’t necessary to come to the exercise ground if I was only practicing magic manipulation.
You could practice magic manipulation just by concentrating magic into different parts of the body.
However, according to the Head Magician, it wasn’t enough for me to just master magic manipulation—he wanted me to quickly activate magic while manipulating it.
I didn’t think it was a problem for me to practice activating magic in the lecture room if I was only using holy magic, but there was another magic user here.
There was someone activating magic from another attribute next to me.
Who was it? The Head Magician, of course.
He was probably the Head Magician because his magic abilities were high.
He wasn’t just activating one magic attribute at a time, but three at once.
His magic manipulation was also very smooth, wasn’t it?
He was accumulating magic at a faster speed than me. He cast magic at twice the speed I could.
The goal was for me to be able to cast at the same speed as the Head Magician, but wasn’t that request too demanding?
To request this of me, who had just started her magic studies, really was Spartan-like of him.
If I stressed speed, then I would neglect magic manipulation and wouldn’t be able to cast magic.
To do this simultaneously……
“Can’t you cast a little faster?”
“Any more than this and…… It’s hard for me to be able to suddenly cast at the same speed as you, Head Magician.”
“Even so, I’m going easy on you, you know.”
The Head Magician, who was laughing when he said this, seemed excessive.
Even though I was at my limit.
If I manipulated magic as I had learnt in theory, then I could cast magic at the same speed as the Head Magician, but in practice it was harder than it had seemed.
Magic manipulation was required for doing magic, so I’d thought that I, who could make high-ranking potions, would be good at it, but I was wrong.
When using magic, magic manipulation needed to be handed delicately.
I was frustrated that I couldn’t keep up with the level demanded by the Head Magician.
Although I was frustrated, the Head Magician was going easy on me.
According to the other mages, he was stricter when he was instructing them.
“I don’t want to do that ever again,” that Mage had told me with distant eyes.
About this time, the whole division finished a large amount of paperwork.
“I need to guide my juniors once in awhile,” the Head Magician declared with an unusual smile.
At those words, a large number of mages gathered at the exercise grounds, overflowing with eagerness. They wanted to receive guidance from the Court Mage Division’s best.
And as a result, a mass grave of zombies was produced at the exercise grounds.
The practice at the exercise ground was a little lighter than what the Head Magician usually did.
Yes, compared to the practice the talented him did to improve his abilities further.
The people in the Court Mage Division were experts even amongst people who could cast magic.
They also had high pride.
The practice was so intense that even they gave up within a day.
It was too intense.
Make it easier.
Voices stating that were rising up from here and there, but the Head Magician ignored them.
The Head Magician nonchalantly performed the same practice as them beside their wounded bodies. In addition, he gave guidance to the mages in between his practices.
This continued for a week.
Apparently, he had pent-up anger because he couldn’t do his research due to paperwork.
I had thought that it was just a burst of anger, but his guidance was precise so no one complained because they could raise their magic power through intense training.
However, after this incident, less paperwork was sent to the Head Magician.
I thought that they must really have it tough when I saw the lifeless looks on the mages’ faces.
The Mages who were receiving hellish training from the Head Magician said, even so the Head Magician is matching our abilities.
That meant that he expected me to be able to do this too.
I was frustrated that I couldn’t respond to his expectations.
If it’s like this, then all I can do is practice earnestly, I thought. And for a week during lectures, I practiced casting magic.
However, I still hadn’t reached my goal.
It required a considerable amount of time to reach my goal since I was only practicing during my lectures.
I wondered if I should practice outside of lectures as well.
Now then, what should I do?
It was fine to remain in the exercise grounds after practice and train by myself, but I felt like it was a waste to cast 『Heal』on myself.
Should I cast it on other people, like I did at the hospital the other time?
I could practice and the injured person would be healed. That’d be killing two birds with one stone, wouldn’t it?
I came up with a good idea and went to get permission from the Director the next morning.
“Excuse me. There’s something I would like to ask of you.”
“What is it?”
It was still early in the morning.
I went to the Director’s office before my lecture and the Director had just started his work.
We talked about the lectures, and I told him that I wanted to practice my magic at the hospital.
The Director stroked his chin and thought for a while before speaking.
“It’s fine if you want to practice magic outside of class, but the place is a problem.”
“I can’t practice at the hospital?”
“You’ve healed most of the patients there last time. There aren’t any more injured people who require recovery magic.”
Now that he mentioned it, it was true.
I had thought it was a good idea……
I thought for a moment and then it came to me.
“How about at the Knight Order?”
“The Knight Order?”
The Knight Order trained even when they didn’t go on subjugations.
I saw them practicing when I went to deliver potions to the 3rd Knight Order. They sparred a lot, and their bodies were covered with injuries.
I wondered if I could practice on such people.
I told the Director and he said, “I see. Isn’t it fine? I’ll tell Al, so go there after you finish with your lecture.”
Thus, I headed to the 3rd Knight Order after my lecture.
I headed to the 3rd Knight Order after finishing my lecture like usual.
Recently I’d only been taking my lectures, so it’d been awhile since I’d come to the 3rd Knight Order.
The Knights I encountered on my way to the Captain’s office told me, “Long time no see,” so it wasn’t just my imagination.
When I knocked on the door and announced myself, I heard a voice say, “Come in.”
I entered and the Captain greeted me with a smile.
“Long time no see.”
“Long time no see.”
It’d been awhile since I’d seen the Captain.
Before I started taking lectures, I would meet him when I delivered potions and when I was coming back from the library.
However, recently I had only been going to and from the research institute and the lecture room, so we hadn’t met.
I walked to the middle of the room, and the Captain got up and approached me.
“Did you lose some weight?” he said as he touched my cheeks.
I was startled at the sudden action, and then blood rushed to my face.
“Eh?! Mn!? I don’t think I did.”
I want you to stop doing things so abruptly.
It’s really bad for my heart.
I managed to reply without blushing, but the things I came to talk about had all left me.
“I heard that Dreves-dono was teaching you magic. He’s pretty strict, isn’t he?”
“Y-yes. But it’s easy to understand.”
“I see. Don’t push yourself.”
I thought that he would take his hands off my face, but he didn’t and continued to stroke my cheeks while talking.
My face was hot.
Um, my heart won’t be able to take it if you don’t distance yourself.
I returned my gaze to the Captain while thinking is he going to distance himself? and he smiled widely.
It felt like he was trying not to laugh.
He took my returned gaze as a signal, and the fingers touching my cheeks moved and smoothly passed behind the back of my ear.
It tickled and my back trembled.
I praised myself for not uttering a thing.
I glared at the Captain while crying inside and he suddenly said:
“Well then, I heard from Johan that you wanted to practice magic here?”
I was relieved when he finally got down to the main topic.
“I want to cast recovery magic on the people at the practice grounds.”
“I don’t mind. Are you going to start from today?”
I received permission quite easily, and the Captain guided me to the practice grounds.
Before that, I wanted to ask him about what kind of mushy greeting that was.
Besides the Director, the Captain too was teasing me.
I remembered what had just happened while walking through the corridor, and glared at the Captain. He noticed my gaze and stared at me.
His eyes met mine and narrowed.
“Nothing,” I replied a slightly stern voice, but the Captain didn’t show any kind of reaction.
I was sure it was because my face was red.
To change the mood while walking, I talked about practicing my recovery magic.
We exchanged views, and I decided to go with the Head Magician’s plan and practice magic on the 3rd Knight Order while they were fighting.
There were many knights practicing when we arrived on the practice grounds. Many of them were imitating actual battles.
I saw this scene from afar whenever I came to the barracks, but seeing it up close was so intense.
I was amazed while watching the scene, and they must have noticed that the Captain and I were here, because they stopped what they were doing and focused on us.
I was acquainted with some of the knights, but I was still nervous when they all looked this way.
I took a step backwards and hid behind the Captain.
The Captain explained in a loud voice that I would be casting recovery magic on them while they practiced.
It was simple.
The knights would practice as they usually did.
The only thing that was different was that recovery magic would come flying at them while they practiced.
I thought about getting the injured people to come to me so I could cast recovery magic on them, but the Captain told me that it would disturb their training, and that it wouldn’t be effective for me to practice my magic while in their way.
Since the knights let bruises heal naturally, they wouldn’t ask me to heal those for them.
Which meant that I would be healing less often, so I had to use a different method if I wanted to heal more.
So the Captain and I both agreed that this was the best way to do it. It was the same thing people did in actual battle: I would cast recovery magic when it looked like I need to.
The knights returned to their practice after the Captain finished his explanation.
I began my practice as I watched their mock matches.
It would be easier if this was like a game and their HP and MP were displayed on top of their heads, but unfortunately the bars weren’t visible there.
It was no use. I cast 『Heal』on those who were injured and looked like they had low HP.
That way, I wouldn’t forget to pay attention to magic manipulation.
I recalled my lectures and cast one magic after another at the same speed.
The time it took me to accumulate magic felt shorter than it did at the hospital. Perhaps, only a small quantity of HP was healed too.
If my magic manipulation improved, then I could accumulate magic power more quickly, and the effects would be the same as the time at the hospital, even if I took a little time to cast it.
Time passed in a blink of an eye while I was concentrating, and the knights finished their training.
The Captain, who had returned to his office, came back again and told me that I could come here freely after my classes.
A week later, I felt like my casting time was faster now compared to when I first started, thanks to my efforts during and after lectures.
Of course, it was more effective as well.
According to the knights, the intervals between magic castings had shortened, and the recovery amount had increased.
Moreover, the Head Magician also noticed this and praised me.
“You’ve made a lot of progress.”
“You’re improving faster than I expected. Did you practice outside of lectures as well?”
The Head Magician laughed as if he knew what I was up to.
It seemed that the fact that I was practicing at the 3rd Knight Order was exposed.
I also laughed mischievously.
“Only a little.”
“You seem to be working very hard. Do you have any goals?”
“Goals? Not really……” I said and dodged the subject.
My goal was to catch up to the Head Magician, who was casting magic aloof from the world, next to me.
“And a request for subjugation assistance might come……” I said, and the Head Magician widened his eyes.
This came up when I talked to the Director before. When I thought about the results from the subjugations I had participated in, it seemed highly likely that this would happen.
My magic manipulation had improved, and participating in subjugations would be the best way to see my results.
If I cast magic like I did last time at the hospital, then there was no need to cast it quickly.
“Do you intend to participate in a subjugation, Sei-sama?”
“Yes, but only if I’m requested.”
“If you’re requested? How about for other purposes?”
“Other purposes? I don’t have any……”
“Well, what about for the other benefits?”
I tilted my head at the Head Magician’s words.
Things like it not being normal work so I’d receive some kind of special reward?
However, I was surprised. Did the Head Magician want to train me while we were out on subjugations?
The reason was, he thought it was pointless to only practice magic manipulation.
I thought that the Head Magician wanted me to participate in subjugations because combat seemed like a useful method to learn. Was I wrong?
I asked, and this time the Head Magician tilted his head.
“You didn’t train to go on subjugations?”
“Yes, that wasn’t my intention……”
“Then, what are you training for? It can’t be helped if one of the reasons was to only manipulate magic, but it’s impossible to observe your magic like that, Sei-sama.”
It was surprising for him to answer as if it was the most natural thing ever.
He wanted to observe my magic……
I certainly had heard that he was going to observe my magic during the lecture but I didn’t think that he was really doing it.
I felt unexpectedly drained.
“But surely, a request will come for you in the future,” the Head Magician said while I was pondering.
Somehow, I couldn’t say that I had dug my own grave.
“So one will come?”
“There are some people in the Court Mage Division who can use holy magic, but theirs isn’t as strong as yours.”
“Can you also use it, Head Magician?”
“I can use it, but I usually use offensive magic during subjugations.”
There’s probably no one with more powerful holy magic than me.
Somehow, the Head Magician gave off the impression of being a musclehead.
This person was the best in the Court Mage Division, wasn’t he?
That meant he didn’t usually give orders to the other mages, but personally attacking demons during subjugations.
“If a request comes for you, it’ll probably be at the West Forest.”
“At the West Forest?”
“You shouldn’t have any problems at the West Forest at your level, Sei-sama.”
“But, that appears……”
I frowned when I heard the destination.
The West Forest was where the Salamander had appeared, and it was the place where a lot of people got injured during the last subjugation.
“The miasma in the West Forest is dense. I’m interested in how much your magic would affect the miasma there, Sei-sama. And also……”
My anxiety was not even on his mind, the Head Magician was already thinking about conducting research at the West Forest.
I was scared to go to the West Forest. I’d seen so many people get injured there time and time again.
However, judging from his appearance, it didn’t seem like the Head Magician regarded it as anything special.
Even according to the knights, they didn’t normally receive that much damage at the West Forest, so it probably wasn’t a dangerous place, right?
But it is said that something that happens twice would happen again……
“What seems to be the problem?”
I looked at the grumbling Head Magician while thinking, and our eyes met.
He noticed my gaze.
Should I tell him that I feel uneasy going to the West Forest?
I was at a loss for words, wondering whether it would be a good thing or a bad thing to tell him.
It must have shown on my face, because the Head Magician started talking about the West Forest.
“As I mentioned earlier, the subjugation at the West Forest will be an easy affair at your level, Sei-sama.”
“Yes. I’ve been there many times but it been ridiculous lately……”
“A large quantity of demons have gathered in the meantime. It would have been fun if I was able to participate before, but I was unfortunately in a coma.”
“There was that thing that happened last time, so the next subjugation will happen soon. The number of demons would be the same as usual, or it may be less than usual. It’s just right for your first battle, Sei-sama.”
He concluded, and smiled as if to reassure me.
The Head Magician, who said that he would have fun, even though so many people had received damage, was probably really strong.
I wasn’t satisfied with that explanation because I had seen the knights after that subjugation.
However, I could agree with his guess about the next subjugation.
The demons had accumulated because some time had passed since the last subjugation.
Given that, the next subjugation would happen soon.
While I was silently collecting my thoughts, the Head Magician probably thought I was still worried, and said:
“It’ll be fine. I’ll be joining in the next subjugation.”
“You’ll be coming along?”
“Of course. I’ll protect you. I won’t let you get hurt at all.”
I smiled ambiguously at the Head Magician’s words.
Other people would probably be on cloud nine if the Head Magician told them, “I’ll protect you.”
But, I won’t accept it.
It’s not wrong for me not accept it.
Because, “I won’t let you get hurt at all,” felt like a voice-over.
Happy holidays everyone!
Editor: Polar Bear