Researching a magic system that made use of atmospheric magical power right after Dimensional Magic…
Eventually, it seemed like Harriet was willing to at least try. I really believed she could do it.
I did feel sorry, though. I really believed in her, but I couldn’t help but realize that I only made her do things that simply seemed too difficult.
I thought it would be good to take some time off, so I reduced the times I visited the Magic Research Society, and I spent more time on my personal training.
I was taking Magic Body Strengthening classes, but while I felt a lot better than before, I still hadn’t gotten the hang of it yet.
Ellen, who had used that ability to roll snowballs, was already fully used to the power.
“You’re really weird.”
Ellen looked at me with a sullen expression as I answered with annoyance.
“Let’s use the word ‘special’ instead of ‘weird’, Reinhardt.”
The yoga master teacher patted my shoulder as if trying to keep us from fighting.
“Reinhardt is by no means untalented. I can see that you are slowly getting more proficient in your mana control.”
While I wasn’t even sure about that, on what basis was that guy saying those things?
But it might be true if it was him who said it. I still wasn’t that sure, though…
In the Magic Body Strengthening Class I had with Ellen, she learned so quickly that she was being taught how to control her magical power with more sophistication and finesse while I was still in the middle of the most basic steps.
I was sure that I could be considered a great genius as well.
However, the problem was I was always next to that shocking person, so who would even call me a genius?
No matter what I did, I was always inferior to Ellen.
Swordsmanship, Magic Body Strengthening.
No, one couldn’t even say that I was on the same level as her when she was in my situation.
Did those in the magic major feel the same way when they were around Harriet?
The yoga master told me not to just follow the class with sincerity and work hard and not feel too disappointed because Ellen was simply outstanding and I achieved a lot in my own right as well.
If you heard those words about a dozen times, your heart wouldn’t feel comforted, on the contrary, you’d feel uncomfortable and stuffy.
Magic Body Strengthening classes were kind of like a special additional class, so there were no tests or grades. The lectures also took place after the first-year classes were over, and I was even specially added to that class in the middle of the semester.
So normally, classes would end at 1 pm for us, but on days where we had Magic Body Strengthening classes, they would end around half-past 3 pm.
There wasn’t anything difficult about the Magic Body Strengthening class because it didn’t put a strain on one’s body.
What was interesting was that I could feel my magical power increasing just by attending the Magic Body Strengthening Classes. Of course, it wasn’t by a lot.
If my Magic stat reached rank A, I would awaken the talent ‘Mana Dominance’, however, that was still far off.
It was something I could only dream of after Moonshine was fully developed.
On my way to the dorm after class…
It was already around fall, so it would get dark even when it was still early.
“Where are you going?”
Ellen left the building where our classes were held and went in the opposite direction of our dormitory.
“I’m going to the gray-haired lady.”
Ellen used to visit Loyar from time to time to get beaten up, but she didn’t go to her that often anymore those days.
Did she want to go because she grew more confident in her Magic Body Strengthening and wanted to see how she would fare against Loyar?
“Then, let’s go together.”
I knew that the business was going well, but I really wanted to see what it would be like if those two fought.
Ellen nodded and took the lead.
The skirt of Ellen’s uniform swayed gently in the autumn winds.
From the moment one became able to strengthen one’s power with magical power, the individual’s combat power would rise dramatically.
No matter how skilled they were, it was very difficult for people who didn’t know how to use Magic Body Strengthening to perform many-on-one battles.
To succeed, they would have to equip themselves with heavy armor like plate armor, but if they did that, their mobility would be reduced.
However, Magic Body Strengthening was even able to protect one’s body with the magical power released while also strengthening it.
There was no more need to wear heavy armor or similar equipment for protection, and one’s physical abilities were also greatly increased, so one’s mobility would far exceed that of ordinary humans, and normal swords wouldn’t even be able to touch one’s body.
It would basically make people who used it walking tanks.
That was what I was thinking while watching Ellen and Loyar continuously clashing with each other in the forest with magical power emitting from their bodies.
I was thinking that it didn’t make any sense.
The sun had already set, so all I could see was a mass of blue flames and Loyar getting fiercely blown away.
In this kind of genre, there was a preconceived notion that, in a fight between a warrior and a wizard, the warrior would usually have the advantage.
I could help but confirm it with my own eyes at that moment.
Even if the wizard did their best to fly and crawl around, if a human tank clad in blue flames rushed towards them at a fierce speed, they surely wouldn’t be able to keep their cool and chant spells.
And there also existed the concept of magic resistance…
In order to not fall to some insignificant low-ranking spells, warriors underwent magic resistance training. We would even receive that training from our second year onwards in Temple.
Low-ranking spells wouldn’t work, and high-ranking ones that might work required a lot of time to cast.
However, after a tenth of a second, the tip of a warrior’s sword would have already pierced their neck, so that was impossible.
If one looked at it like that, I felt like Redina’s talent, ‘No Cast’, was even more ridiculous than Harriet’s.
It ended after a long fight with Ellen breathing heavily and canceling her Magic Body Strengthening.
Loyar also deactivated her Magic Body Strengthening and shook her hands.
Despite having gotten somewhat accustomed to the ability, Loyar was still able to overpower Ellen.
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Even so, it was Loyar who was stunned.
“What a monstrous kid.”
She might have reacted that way because Ellen’s growth rate was a lot faster than she thought.
That was understandable. That girl who didn’t even know how to use Magic Body Strengthening properly a month prior was using it so skillfully.
“What mistakes did I make?”
Ellen caught her breath and looked at Loyar as if asking for advice. Loyar seemed to ponder for a bit but slowly opened her mouth.
“You’re too rough.”
“You release too much magical power. Your being able to do that is surprising, but it’s very easy to burn out because you use up your power too quickly. A normal person wouldn’t be able to fight for more than 10 seconds at best if they used their power like that. You were only able to hold on for so long because your amount of inert magical power is so ridiculously huge.”
“Your first steps were pretty weird. You get what I’m saying?”
Ellen had realized how to use Magic Strengthening in real combat situations. At that time, what she needed most was explosive and powerful strength, so Ellen would strengthen herself with magical power, fighting as if she was almost exploding with extreme power.
“But I heard changing this is quite difficult.”
“…I guess. You did it because you didn’t learn it properly. It’s going to take a lot of hard work.”
Magic Body Strengthening was like magic in the end. While there weren’t schools, there were multiple ways to awaken to it called ‘Visions’. Each order of knights had a different one, and the Imperial Family as well as noble families certainly had their own ‘Visions’ as well.
We had to learn Temple’s ‘Vision’. It was a very good one.
We would slowly learn how to do it one step at a time and build upon a foundation.
However, Ellen had made her own ‘Vision’ by herself, and since she’d already made one, no other ‘Vision’ would be able to work for her.
Just as Ellen had heard those things from the yoga master, I had also heard and come to understand those matters.
Ellen’s Magic Body Strengthening had already become something she couldn’t do any other than her own way.
Her explosive strength was very powerful but was not sustainable for a long time.
If one realized how to use Magic Body Strengthening in their own way, one didn’t have any other choice but to use that way.
Like Ellen, I had to do the same.
I still didn’t know what my Magic Body Strengthening’s characteristics were. However, I would also have my own way to use it, and it would be very different from the method Temple taught.
That was why the yoga master couldn’t teach us Temple’s ‘Vision’, so he merely gave us Magic Body Strengthening classes in the form of assisting us.
“The output itself is too heavy and overflowing. That’s why you should increase your endurance by adjusting the amount of magical power you control.”
However, Loyar said that it would be incredibly difficult.
If she became able to adjust her output, it would be good for her in the end.
She would be capable of strengthening herself to ridiculous heights and also just giving herself a small boost.
Thinking back to the time where she used it to the point of fainting, I believed that it would be the right choice.
She continued to train using her magical power in moderation.
“By the way, I have a question…”
“What is it? I’m not obligated to answer.”
“Are you of the master class, Aunty?”
If one used a Lance, one could become a lancemaster, and if one used a sword, one could become a swordmaster.
All those who had reached a high level of mastery in their field were collectively referred to as being ‘master class’.
In the case of Saviolin Turner, who I had met recently, she was a swordmaster. The yoga master was probably of the master class as well. However, I couldn’t tell just what the hell kind of master he was.
Ellen was curious about if Loyar was in the master class.
Reaching master class was the next step after mastering Magic Body Strengthening.
One would enter the master class if one could apply magical power to their weapon in their strengthened state.
For example, something like sword qi or sword aura would be possible, however, those that were of the master class were very few in number.
And Saviolin Turner was recognized as the strongest of the very few master classes.
If the criteria for entering the master class was to extend Magic Body Strengthening to objects not part of one’s body, weren’t those that used their fists already part of the master class as soon as they learn Magic Body Strengthening? Probably not. There might be other criteria as well.
Loyar grinned at Ellen’s question.
“If you call me ‘big sis’ from now on, I’ll answer.”
At that, Ellen looked at her with a puzzled expression on her face and shook her head.
“…That’s too much.”
“You really need your ass kicked.”
That day, Ellen was literally beaten half to death.
On our way back to Temple…
I carried Ellen on my back.
If someone who usually didn’t exaggerate things acted like that, it meant she was really hurt.
Ellen tended to act particularly obnoxious towards Loyar, who was already very temperamental. I didn’t know why she did it, but she seemed to have fun doing so.
“Then why did you say something that would get you beaten up?”
“…I don’t want to hear that from you.”
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Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
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Speaking of unnecessary, it wasn’t like it was my job to pick fights left and right every day, but that?
Ellen was literally hanging limply on my back as if her whole body was in tremendous pain.
“By the way, why do you only act this way to big sis?”
My curiosity flared up again. She had, of course, been terribly defeated by Loyar and had continued to lose against her ever since they’d met, and even after she learned Magic Body Strengthening, she still wasn’t her match. However, even though she knew Loyar didn’t want to be called that, she continued to do it as if she was trying to tease her and force her to hit her.
I knew that she had to do it for me back then, but she mostly did it for her own sake.
Loyar had said that she would answer her question if she called her big sis, but when Ellen said that it was simply too much, her eyes had almost popped out.
Just how much did she want to tease her?
Loyar was easy to jump to violence, so if Ellen provoked her just a little, she would always end up getting hit and turned into a rice cake.
She even ended up whining about the pain she felt from the beating.
“…Because you’ll give me a piggyback ride.”
“Because you always carry me when this happens.”
If she got beaten up that badly, she wouldn’t be able to move.
…Then I would help her get back by carrying her.
That was why she provoked her?
“…Are you a kid?”
That was a bit disconcerting.
She wasn’t the type to say those kinds of things.
Ellen calmly put her arms around my neck. I felt that, perhaps because she was in a weakened state, I could shake them off with just a slight movement.
However, I definitely felt kind of troubled by it.
Ellen’s breath on my nape made a strange feeling well up inside of me.
Ellen didn’t say anything.
I had nothing to say as well.
Just when that gentle silence was enveloping us…
[‘Preview’ can be activated.]
I couldn’t help but stop walking when that message suddenly appeared before me.
It was a function I had only used once so far. A cheat I got during Olivia Lanze’s incident that could only be used once a day when active.
I didn’t know the exact context, but I thought that it was a sign that something important was about to happen.
During Olivia Lanze’s incident, I ran all over the place and then ended up using Preview.
However, that time, I somehow had a bad feeling about it.
[Preview – 100 Achievement Points]
It didn’t show me multiple options like it did last time.
Only the Preview option worth 100 points appeared.
“…What’s the matter?”
Ellen wiggled slightly and asked me when she felt that the atmosphere around me had turned weird.
“No, it’s nothing.”
I had 5730 achievement points.
I had no reason to not take a look.
[Achievement Points used.]
The world around me froze, and a point in the world’s future was projected into my eyes.
Year 323 of the Imperial Calendar. October 23rd, Tuesday.
That meant that the incident might happen soon.
I saw myself right in front of my eyes.
I was down on the ground.
A penetrating wound around my stomach could be seen.
I was lying in a pool of blood.
Ellen was also leaning against a wall with a deep sword wound on her chest next to me. Her eyes were out of focus.
Ellen and I…
We were going to die soon.
As soon as I regained my senses and returned to reality, I had goosebumps all over my body.
Ellen and I were about to be killed by someone. Ellen, who I was carrying on my back, didn’t appear to be hurt, but she couldn’t lift a single finger in her state.
I wasn’t sure what would happen, but I was certain that Ellen wouldn’t be able to lift her arms, much less fight.
By who, for what reason, and under which circumstances will we be killed?
“…What’s wrong? Are you hurt? Am I too heavy?”
Unaware of the situation, Ellen saw the strange expression on my face.
Was I the target? Was it both Ellen and me? Did they kill me and then just kill off Ellen, the witness?
While it wasn’t certain, it seemed highly likely that the target was me.
Nothing was known yet.
There was an assassin after us in a situation where Ellen wasn’t able to make use of her power.
Should I just go back to the Rotary Gang?
No, that place was only barely populated.
There had been nobody around my corpse in my vision.
We might get caught off guard on our way back to the Rotary Gang.
There had been no signs of battle on my body.
That meant I had been unaware of the attack.
It had been a surprise attack, then. We had been attacked by an assassin close to a sparsely-populated place.
We had to go to a crowded place.
The Rotary Gang’s headquarters was built at the southern edge in a deserted place in the Imperial Capital, so the best time to attack us would be when we were on our way back.
I didn’t know the exact location, but one thing was certain…
It would happen soon.
Whether I should go back to the Rotary Gang and get protected by Loyar or go to the nearest station as quickly as possible and board a mana train…
I had to choose one of the two.
My heart was beating like crazy. I felt like I was about to lose my composure after I suddenly found out that I was about to be killed.
I would be dead soon, and so would Ellen.
I had to make a quick judgment.
Should I use Writer’s Advice?
No, the incident was about to happen, and there was time to ruminate over what I would get from Writer’s Advice. I had to trust my intuition.
Thankfully, the damn bastard didn’t want me to die in vain. That was probably why he’d informed me about it.
“Reinhardt, calm down.”
“What’s wrong? What happened?”
Ellen whispered cautiously to me, seeming worried because I’d suddenly broken out in cold sweat.
But I wasn’t in any state to answer her at the moment.
Although it was a place with few people, that didn’t mean that there weren’t some pedestrians.
Was it him?
Or that person over there?
Or maybe all of them?
It was impossible for me to find out who, when, and in what way would attack us, so everyone around us looked suspicious to me.
I didn’t even feel alive anymore. I didn’t know what to call it.
The wounds seemed to have been caused by a penetrating, sword-like weapon.
The chances that we would be sniped with a long-range weapon were rather low.
It was pretty dangerous going back to the Rotary Gang. We could just get attacked on our way back.
The moment my life was at stake, I had to choose between those uncomfortable choices.
“I’m going to run. Hold on.”
Putting strength into my arms and holding onto Ellen, I started sprinting towards the train station.
I can’t let her die.
—That was the only thing going through my head.