The deadly final exams that we spent so many days of studying efforts finally ended. Thanks to my focusing on the classes all this time, coupled with the study sessions, I guess I managed to do the exams well. Though my confidence this time wasn’t as big as my confidence during Basic Level.
The results of the final exams and our study report were announced not too long afterward. I stared at the paper of my study report.
I smiled looking at my result, even if my grades couldn’t be said as exemplary or the best. When I was in Basic Level, seeing just ‘passed’ result didn’t give me joy and I had to check whether or not my grades were exemplary. But as for Intermediate, seeing that I managed to pass through everything and went to another special class in the next study term, I was glad.
There were a lot in my mind these days and the incident happened not too long ago.
It was already good that I managed to pass and didn’t fail in joining the next special class. Luckily, all my friends also passed and none of us had to be demoted into regular class.
I have to work hard next year as well, so I can be with my friends.
“Lemme see everyone’s results!”
As expected of the competitive Ein, he wanted to see everyone’s results.
Well, I got nothing to hide anyway, so I showed him my result. Perhaps he would be disappointed if his expectation of me was high, though.
Sure enough, the highest score belonged to Ein and Luca.
Ein’s theoretical exams were perfect if not close to perfect, while his practical exams became his Achilles’ wheel. As for Luca, he was balanced in both theoretical and practical exams. Their average scores were the same.
Ein’s high score was possible due to his cheat-like Oracle1OracleSpecial power bestowed upon an individual. Some Oracles even run in the family! , which was Hypermind.
As for Luca…perhaps it was due to the pressure of his title?
Noticing their same average scores, Ein’s glance towards Luca was like someone’s glance when they found a worthy rival. Likewise Luca, who returned the same kind of glance to Ein.
I guess Ein’s obsession of me would be decreased after this? Perhaps he would take an interest to Luca from now on.
“Big Sis Lyra, did I do well? Praise me, praise me!” He said as he turned to look at me with his puppy-like eyes.
“Eh…,” I was surprised to see this reaction of his.
Could it be that he was already too attached to me that it became a habit to…stick with me?
“There, there, you did well,” I said as I couldn’t say ‘no’ to his puppy-like eyes and behavior, so I patted his head. He was the youngest of us all, so his height was also the shortest. It was easy for me to pat his head.
For me, Ein was like my own family…nephew? Hmm, perhaps he was more like a younger brother from our current situation? So, patting his head as his ‘elder’ seemed like a natural thing for me to do, there was no awkwardness.
“Hehe!” Ein smiled happily.
I could only sigh helplessly at him.
“Oy oy, you want praises, right? Here, lemme praise you,” Carbuncle said as she circled her arm to Ein’s shoulder and then used her free hand to mess with Ein’s hair.
“Big Sis Kuu, stop! Stahp!!” Ein’s speech turned messy as Carbuncle put more strength to her arms.
“Tsk tsk, you’re still a child, after all,” Carbuncle said after she let go of Ein, who sulked.
“I am the youngest in this group, so it’s only natural, right?” Ein justified his wanting to be pampered side.
“You wouldn’t be if we have Freyr, Freyja, and Leti here,” I commented with a little laugh.
“That is exactly why I ask to be pampered now!” Ein said.
“Yes, yes, there there,” I said to cheer him up.
“Hey, Big Sis Lyra! You like younger guy or older guy?” Ein suddenly asked, his eyes were sparkly as if he expected me to answer ‘younger guy’.
“I like everyone who’s kind,” I answered vaguely.
“No, I mean, in the sense of looking for fiance!” Ein made sure he was clear.
“Sssussh, that’s not of your concern,” I immediately put my index finger to his lips, prompting him to stop.
After what happened with Erneste, I didn’t feel like thinking about stuff like that for the moment.
Our conversation was really weird because it started from our scores then turned into my preference…Really, I never knew that casual conversation could be this random.
With that, my first year of being an Intermediate Level student finally ended peacefully. It was finally time for holiday again~!
But this time’s holiday was already packed with plans.
To be more precise, plans to train my dark magic.
“That’s fast. I think it’s time to move to the next training,” Mom said after I managed to successfully devour all the blocks one by one with my dark magic, all were flawlessly and swiftly done.
Even I was proud of myself at this time. I also felt happy because that meant I had more control to my dark magic. It wouldn’t be easy to manipulate my dark magic anymore!…Or it should be harder than before.
The magic training sessions that I found fun were sessions that involved joint learning with my siblings~ The difficulty varied. There was a session where we had to hit a small target precisely. It was actually harder to attack a small portion of the dummy which was the target rather than destroying the dummy altogether.
I could picture a situation based on that session. For example, if an enemy took hold of our ally as a hostage, we definitely had to have a good control and aim of our own power so it won’t injure our ally.
There was also a session where we had to defend ourselves from the attacks by others. Defending only, without attacking. Then, raise the difficulty and had both defending and attacking.
Mom taught us that the greatest defensive barrier was one that could expand as an offensive barrier. It was hard to master this, and even I preferred the defending and attacking be separate.
“There’s also a reflective magic barrier that will reflect any attack coming their way. The greatest magician had this barrier and she had no qualm about reflecting all elements or even amplifying them, for she mastered all,” Mom added.
“Offensive barrier, huh? Can you do that, Mom?”
“Not as strong. Want to try?” Mom asked.
“Eh, you can?! Sure, sure! I’ll try attacking, then!”
Whoa, as expected from the Head of Royal Magicians!
“Count me in!” Alt-nii smiled.
“Me too, me too!” Freyja jumped as she raised her hand.
“…Me too, then,” Freyr nodded.
“Everyone…Don’t go too hard on me,” Mom chuckled.
“Here we go, then…,” I said as I was the first one to make the move.[Earp scytel!]
I hurled several dark arrows at Mom.[Unorne trinda!]
Alt-nii summoned void balls and aimed at Mom.[Windan seax!]
Freyja jumped and summoned her wind slash.
Freyr summoned a few rocks up in the sky and made them fall.
Meanwhile, Mom just stood there calmly and chanted…[Flyht fugol lêoht clûstor] (Flying bird light barrier)
Then, a light spherical barrier formed around her, protecting her from some of our attacks that were already close to her. She then extended both of her hands and seemed to be focused.
Just like that, several rays of light extended from her barrier, their tips formed a bird-like shapes as they were headed towards the remaining attacks. Then, they made a clash and with a “boom!”, none of the magic attacks remained in the air.
“Cool!” I said without concealing my amazement. Perhaps my eyes turned sparkly at this moment. It couldn’t be helped.
“And that is the example of offensive magical barrier,” Mom said as she canceled her magic.
“Whoa, whoa! I wanna learn that!” Freyja ran to Mom and hugged her as she asked Mom to teach her.
“Me too,” Freyr calmly followed Freyja.
“That’s cool, but for me it’s easier to just use separate defense and attack…,” Alt-nii crossed his arms and thought.
“That’s right, me too. How did you do that?” I also asked.
“Actually, you guys have a lot of mana, so it’s fine for you to just do separate defense and attack. It’s also easier that way. Let see, you can just summon small shields that could protect you whenever there are attacks you can’t dodge, then you can proceed to summon your offensive magic. This actually costs more mana than my one offensive barrier, depending on how the enemies attack you. If the enemies attack you a lot, the mana cost to summon the defensive magic each time then switching to offensive magic will be quite a lot as well…Why don’t we just try? Altaire.”
“Yes, Mom, let’s do it!” Alt-nii said as he took defensive stance.
“Heaven’s Rainfall, Wind Slash, bring the tree to life!” Mom casted several spells at the same time, mercilessly attacking Alt-nii.
“Void barrier!” Alt-nii said as he defended himself using his void barrier. While being attacked, he tried his best to advance to Mom in order to attack back.
The damage Mom’s magic caused must be a lot, for Alt-nii’s barrier was broken several times, but he also renewed it every time. The instant his magic broke down, Alt-nii would just try to hurl attacks at Mom while repairing it immediately after the attacks were launched.
Then, as Alt-nii drew closer to Mom, he switched from using a full barrier into summoning several small shields that he directed to protect him from Mom’s attacks.
Just like Mom said, Alt-nii did an example of summoning defensive magic and offensive magic alternately without seeming exhausted at all. As expected of an anomaly~!
As he drew closer to Mom, Mom immediately switched to her offensive barrier mode. Alt-nii also did the same, and it was a clash between two magic barriers.
As Mom’s magic barrier turned offensive and clashed with Alt-nii’s, before they could break Alt-nii’s barrier completely, Alt-nii smirked and said, “Spell breaker!”
In an instant, Mom’s magic barrier that touched Alt-nii’s was broken, giving Alt-nii an opening.
With that, the match was over.
“…Well done,” Mom smiled proudly at Alt-nii.
“So you see, while my offensive magic barrier is more economic in terms of mana, mastering it is quite hard. While it’s true that it’s stronger than other barriers, it still can’t defeat some attacks. Take your brother’s spell breaker as an example,” Mom explained.
“…That’s because Alt-nii is definitely an anomaly,” I muttered.
“You can also create multiple layers of barrier, actually. And that can consist of different elements,” Mom continued to explain.
“Hey, if Mom was really serious, she could just create another offensive magic barrier immediately, you know?” Alt-nii commented.
“Teach us, teach us!” Freyja jumped around in excitement.
“Sure, you two really need to learn this,” Mom said as she patted both Freyr and Freyja.
“Ehh, even if I have more mana than you, Mom, I still want to learn it if possible,” I said.
“I tried learning that but it wasn’t just my style. I like my current style the most,” Alt-nii commented.
“Well, each to their own,” Mom smiled.
It seemed that using the offensive barrier magic would need more concentration but less mana, whereas Alt-nii’s style used more mana and less focus.
Beside from that interesting fact about the types of magical barriers, we resumed training as usual.
As I improved my control over my dark magic, I started to read more about dark magic, especially the high-level ones such as dark magic related to the mind.
The basic form of that would be [Fear], the one that Luca showed to me before.
While it could intimidate the others just like the dark aura pressure that I loosened for Erneste, they had differences. With how I did it, the pressure would affect the people around me, and not just some specific target as it had something to do with manipulating the atmosphere.
On the other hand, [Fear] worked by manipulating our target’s mind, so we could spare others from the intimidation while only intimidating those we aimed for.
Again, this was harder to do.
Anyway, it wasn’t like all I did was training, you know! (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و
Aside from the training, I also spent my free time reading some books and watching some shows. Some I accessed through my parents’ Provice, while some were holographic shows and physical books. I was able to play games as well as my parents also bought us some games~
Speaking of all the entertainment…by now, I had already caught up with the ‘gap’ I had due to my passing away. Some of the series I was following back when I was Reinst were already finished, even having their sequels finished. Some were still ongoing even up to this day.
When it was almost about the end of Month 7, I managed to learn how to do [Fear] more or less, although there was still a room of improvement.
The improvement I had over my dark magic felt stagnated some time nearing my birthday. Perhaps it was already where I should start addressing the darkness of my heart bit by bit.
While thinking over how I should proceed from now on, it was finally time for my 11th birthday.