After the two groups got separated and occupied the designated venue, Norma-sensei welcomed us enthusiastically. Since the number of students in my class is already half the usual amount of students in other classes, the number of students here is about one third from the total amount.
This feels kinda like a private tutoring, to be honest. But I guess that’s why we’re called “special class students”—I even heard from Alt-nii that the special class students are often addressed as [The Special Children] or [The Chosen Children]. I guess it’s true.
Norma-sensei then started to brief us the mechanism. She stated that she was very grateful that she is teaching the special class students, so she can skip the boring basic…
Normally, in the usual magic class, the teacher would have to teach the basic knowledge of magic, such as the type of magic present, what is mana, and so on. Then, they would use the simple magic detection tool to anyone who hasn’t discovered their magic yet. For those who can’t use magic at all, the magic detection tool won’t respond at all, while it will reveal the strongest affinities for those who can use magic.
Then, the tutor would have to teach how to feel mana, concentrate mana, a few basic spells, and so on… Yes, I can see that it’s boring for magicians like her, haha!
As she continued to explain about the lesson, I came to know that we would be able to have joint classes in the future with the other classes when she felt like our abilities might match. Also, there would be mandatory sessions for all of the students in my class—namely to learn some useful universal knowledge about magic, such as detecting ‘evil’ magic and what to do as means to protect yourself from magical ambush, etc.
“Well, that also means you’ll have a few mandatory physical combat classes just for the bare minimum of self-defense,” Miss Norma said that reluctantly. Her expression was a total contrast to her earlier joyous expression when she mentioned about mandatory magic classes.
“Okay, enough talking! For starters, let’s display your magic skills in front of your friends! This time, I’d like to see your skills in both offensive and defensive styles. For those who can use any supportive magic, please mention it so we’ll see about it. Offensive and defensive magic are still important for your self-defense, even if you don’t really like them so much, so I’ll have to teach you about it, too.”
Both offensive and defensive styles? …ah, I really love being the offensive side, so I’m not sure if my defensive magic is good… My ice shield should be decent, at least.
“Hmph, we’ll see the real ability of Sensei’s ‘favored students’—I bet I can fare better than them!”
I couldn’t hear that voice very clearly, but there was a displeasing tone added, so I reflexively turned around to see who spoke just now.
Let see… 3 students here are me, Luca, and Carbuncle. One more student is Smyrna, and I quickly remembered her voice, so it wasn’t her. Yup, no way she’d slander herself, haha! The other female student next to Smyrna doesn’t seem to be slandering her own friend… so… it must be the two bitter boys over there.
The two boys noticed that I was looking at them in my curiosity, and they seemed like they wanted to say something.
But before they could utter any word, Luca got between my field of vision and turned around at the boys. When I could see them again, they no longer had the urge to talk and only glanced stealthily at me with bitter eyes.
I wonder what might be the matter?
Since I am mentally older than them, I can quite understand that they might be jealous or envious, so I was quite prepared to pacify them, more or less…
Being in a special class is like a burden in itself. I mean, with the small number of classmates, I feel like things would be bad if there’s any discord among us! The average classes have around twice the amount of classmates, so it’s less intense.
Luca noticed that I was looking at the glancing boys, so she turned around again and… wait, did I see the boys shudder a bit? Are they intimidated by Luca’s identity as the crown prince?
But that shouldn’t be how socializing works in this school with equality mindset.
“If you feel jealous or bitter, then just prove it before saying anything. …Rather, just prove it with actions, no need to say anything. Actions speak louder than words,” Luca said that indifferently. The boys slightly nodded and no longer paid any attention to us.
“It’s fine, Luca, they’re just kids! …Wait, you are a kid, too! I almost can’t tell if you’re at the same age as them!”
“You, too, Lyra! Never mind me, the royal family members, especially the ones who bear the title [crown] are known as eccentric. You should’ve known about it too, right?”
“Well, yeah, but it’s my first time experiencing that eccentric side of the royals!”
“…? Of course? After all, we become friends at 4…”
I closed my mouth quickly. As for the first time I referenced—I was referring this as “my first time in both lifetime”! There’s no way I can say it aloud, though.
“Hee? That’s interesting! I’d like to study about the royals, then!” Carbuncle added.
“Rather than studying about the eccentric royals which are more or less a common norm—you should just study this weird girl here. She certainly doesn’t have any royal family’s blood, so how could she be like that? Oh, tell me if you find something, too!”
“Why is it a common norm for some royal family members to be eccentric?” Carbuncle tilted her head.
Eh? Luca is about to explain the reason behind it?!
I quickly looked at Luca with eyes full of interest. Luca’s open mouth quickly closed.
“It’s complicated, so I’ll tell you some time!” Luca curved his lips into a smile—a sly one, I dare say!
I slightly pouted to show my objection. Unexpectedly, the corner of his mouth turned even sharper—his smile deepened.
Ah, really! Is the explanation simply “it runs in the blood”, or is there something else? I need to know a little bit more about this!
That’s it, I’m going to pester Dad to tell me about the royal family’s secret no matter what! I used to yield since Dad said that it was their secret and that he also didn’t know the full explanation of it, but I’m going to squeeze what I can get from Dad!
At least, I would no longer be in the dark, and Luca can’t really tease me like that anymore.
Anyway, since everything’s ready, we begin to display our ability in magic!
Unlike the offensive test that I took at the entrance exam, this time’s offensive test used to measure power and accuracy. So, we’re only required to try to hit the target mark with full power. The target’s quite bulky, so our power is measured by how far we can damage the target’s body.
Right after the offensive test, we have to demonstrate our defensive magic—the simplest way is by creating a layer of barrier or shield, and Norma-sensei will attack with her “power-limited” magic that will gradually grow stronger. She has made sure that it won’t injure anyone—she boasted her great control of magic.
As for the order…
“Sensei, save the honorable mentions for the last!” One of the boys from earlier quickly suggested.
Norma-sensei quickly agreed and said that it was a good idea, surprisingly.
I think she doesn’t want anyone to be pressured after they see someone with powerful magic first, right?
…But even if she saved me for the last—I still can’t help but feel like I’d mess up! The expectation is all accumulated at me!!
…Oh wait, Carbuncle is a “guest student”, so she is saved for the very, very last… though Sensei actually said that we’ve all seen her skills so it’s fine even if Carbuncle doesn’t want to do so. But, Carbuncle being Carbuncle, she is eager to try.
…Wait, then they have also seen my skills as I have fought against Carbuncle, so why would the boys earlier still feel like that?
Or could they have overestimated themselves?
Well, with this ability test, our abilities will be measured the same way, so the result would be very decisive and that no one would protest anymore… right?
……I admit that I’m competitive when I see someone with great skills, but I won’t turn bitter like them. So, I can’t really comprehend them, but I only hope that they won’t cause any trouble.
Oh hey, I have actually come to terms that I might really have superior abilities in magic, this time. It’s not that good to keep myself stuck at the stages of denial. After all, since it’s not only my family and a few tutors praising my ability, then it’d be only my inferiority complex acting up when I feel like I’m just… so-so.
With the Carbuncle incident at the start of my school life, I believe my wish to have a peaceful and normal school life must be buried deep inside the ground, haha! …Hahaha… (T__T)
Everyone displayed their skills well. I could understand why they’d be selected as the special children.
And among the three honorable mentions, the order was as follows: Smyrna, Luca, and then me.
…come to think of it, Smyrna is an elf, right? I wonder how strong her magic is?
“[Biernan scytel] (Light arrow)! Eih!!”
Smyrna’s voice sounded as she shot a light arrow at the target. It hit the target and damaged it considerably, but not until a hole was formed. Also—it wasn’t a bull’s eye. Still, that impact was amazing and I could tell why she was a honorable mention.
However, her light barrier wasn’t as strong as her light arrow. No wonder she picked offensive test at the entrance exam, apparently.
She then expressed that she actually wanted to get better at supportive light magic instead, but it was harder to train than the offensive one like light arrow just now. Norma-sensei assured her that with time, she’d be able to get better at what she wanted.
When Luca performed, he formed a whirlpool of flame that hit the whole target. Due to the flame’s overwhelming size and heat, he managed to leave a hole on the target. …Luca is quite impressive, it seems! But since the whirlpool of flame was huge, I couldn’t get to see Luca’s display of accuracy. Seems like accuracy isn’t his forte?
But still, to be able to summon that amazing whirlpool of flame was amazing! I bet he could engulf a horde of enemy with that whirlpool! Miss Norma also praised it. Luca’s fire wall was decent, though it was also strong. Luca expressed that he intended to have a [balanced] magic.
Luca practices sword and magic and his skills also seemed to be balanced—do the royal family members have to try hard to be balanced at everything—with [strong] or [above average] level?
Putting that aside, next would be my turn…
“[Gicela scytel]! (Ice Arrow)”
I put all my power on this one ice arrow. My ice arrow lunged at the target’s bull’s eye in a rapid speed as it successfully penetrated the bull’s eye mark and formed a perfect hole on it!
“Oh, nice power and accuracy!” Miss Norma praised me. I was happy to hear that, hehe. Since my peaceful and ordinary life has been destroyed, why not strive for the best from now on?
When I glanced a bit at my classmates, I saw that the boys who sneered before flinched and could only cast their gazes downward when they noticed my gaze.
…Seems like they still have their self-consciousness and won’t insist on overestimating themselves and underestimating others! Good start!
“But Lyra-chan, you’re able to do chantless magic, right? Why didn’t you demonstrate it?”
…How come she knew of it?
That’s right, after years of more magic training, I’m able to do a bit of chantless magic. I can’t do it on complicated stuff yet, I can only do that for simple magic and magic that I’ve often practiced.
But I recalled I did the test with a Spraec incantation?
“Your ice first at the end of the entrance test was chantless and it was splendid!”
…Wait, did I… seriously demonstrated my ability of using chantless magic? At that time, I should still be striving for an ordinary and peaceful life, so how come…?
…Did I do that reflexively? I don’t quite remember the whole process so vividly, so that might be the case… I need to be more careful in the future!
Ah, but then again, there’s no need to strive for an ordinary life that’s already out of my reach, so… whatever!
After that, Miss Norma asked me to form an ice wall using a chantless magic, but since I wasn’t accustomed to defensive magic, I could only do Non-Spraec incantation.
She then started her mini lecture on chant vs chantless magic and other variation of chants. After that, everyone tried to use various methods of incantations and I found out that Luca’s capabilities are more or less the same as me! He just learned chantless magic as well.
Rivalry, I’m telling you, my rivalry with Luca is so thick!!
…Or could it be that he’s the one who’s trying so hard in his training just because he feels like he has to defeat me as he is the crown prince, and I’m just a duke’s daughter?
After that, we spent the time to practice and learn various magic spells and how to strengthen our magic. …Can I say that the content is more or less in accordance with what Mom has taught me before?
Since Miss Norma admires Mom and is also a royal magician, I think I can see the connection. However, since Miss Norma is a teacher, she can teach better than Mom—I mean, no offense to my mom, but Mom sometimes overestimates a normal child’s ability to learn—lucky that I’m not a normal child… I guess?
So, Miss Norma can accommodate to younger children’s needs. That’s good!
Last but not the least, after just observing, Carbuncle finally demonstrated her various skills and mastery of magic—like, combining her signature thunder magic with a bit of wind magic. Using a combination of magic is quite hard to do—and Miss Norma then said that there’s even the mixing of magic that’s harder to do!
“Ophelia-sama is capable of mixing three of her affinities—namely [Light], [Life], and [Wind].”
As Miss Norma proudly announced it, she gazed at me full of expectations… I backed out a bit… her expectant gaze is quite scary!
Time flew so fast and it’s time for me, Luca, and Carbuncle to move to the physical combat lesson. Carbuncle only followed us, actually, saying that she wanted to observe the physical combat lesson, though she won’t be participating at all, unlike before with the magic class. She said that she’d welcome it if anyone would like to go against her, but she’d just rely on her bare hands!
Dragons, they are really something else!
As expected, Keith-sensei’s eyes brightened the moment he saw us.
“How is it, Little 21? Ah, I mean Little Lyra? Magic bores you, right? You’ve been waiting for my class, right?”
“Eh… uhm… Well, I like both equally…”
I can only timidly answer it when he suddenly asked me that. It seems like he was a child who was asking me if I liked what he liked! Our position as adult and child has been reversed…?
Kiri’s eyes also brightened the moment he saw us. He quickly approached us and joined the group again—before the lesson started. As he had taken the same lesson, he retreated to the side and continued with his individual practice.
Again, just like the magic class, Keith-sensei gave a brief explanation that has more or less the same content as Miss Norma’s briefing. Then, he asked us to display our skills first. Be it those who use swords, rapiers, bows, axes, daggers, anything!
When I displayed my swordsmanship skills…
“Hmm, as I expected! There’s still some hints of Grabberton’s swordsmanship in your style, Lyra! Say, do you have some kind of connection to them, or do you just admire them… or do you have someone from the Grabberton house that you’re close with?”
“…N-no, it might be just a coincidence… Well, I like their style…”
As I shook my head quickly and answered with a small voice, Keith-sensei scratched his head in confusion.
“Well, the Grabberton and the Fumitsuna displayed their swordsmanship skills during her sixth birthday. It seems that she likes the Grabberton style and simply adopts it?”
Luca was the one who took over the explanation. Keith-sensei clapped his fists together and nodded in an understanding.
“I see, so that’s why!”
“Yes, he’s right, Sensei! I only take their style as a reference!”
I took a look at Luca and felt that he actually could save me?! Wow, my impression of Luca is becoming better now!
“…But eh, your swordsmanship skills have always been like this, right? Have you ever seen their styles before? Eh? But that didn’t add up… Something is off…,” Luca then put his hand on his chin and think.
…Right, my style has always been like this—it’s only slightly modified as I try to improvise and erase the Grabberton style!
But Luca, can you please not point it out right now?!
That totally breaks the purpose of you saying your earlier words…
“Don’t sweat out the details, let’s train now, Sensei!” I quickly tried to shift the topic over before it’s too late.
“Hmm? Ah, you’re right! Time is running out!”
Luckily enough, Keith-sensei followed my lead without any suspicion!
We quickly moved along with the training. The ones who don’t practice swordsmanship went over to the other tutors. This… totally feels like a private tutoring!! I think I can’t wait for the joint class now, to experience a merrier class!
But having such a private class isn’t that bad, I mean, we’d get more attention from the teachers and they can teach us more intensely. We can’t really loaf around, huh? …well, we’ve gained the special privilege of being [The Chosen Children]. With great honor or power, comes great responsibility…?
I guess that’s how I also can’t escape from my destined chaotic days… that’s what I’ve started to realize recently.
“How would you like to develop your style? Since I am a royal knight, I can only advise some of the typical royal knight’s way plus my own improvisations. I’m more of a balanced fighter,” Keith-sensei asked us. He looked so calm and composed—like a wise teacher this way. He emits a different aura than the usual musclehea—teacher that I know.
“Kiri and I will also take the balanced style,” Luca was the first to answer.
“Ahaha! I know, I know! Feel free to improvise and personalize your swordsmanship style along the way, too! I’ll make sure to give you my objective opinion and ways to improve it,” Keith-sensei laughed without any restraint to his widely open mouth.
The others also voiced their opinions—like they wanted to prioritize their speed or agility, power or defense, and anything else…
And here I am, still confused.
I definitely can’t go full raw power like Grabberton’s typical style, but what kind of a style should I pick? I want to incorporate magic in my swordsmanship style… Is taking speed better, so I can complement the power with my magic? Or should I take a balanced one? Or just pick power again and then compensate the speed with any enhancing magic?
I know that as long as I incorporate magic, my style won’t be a Grabberton’s style anymore, as the Grabberton family members don’t use magic—aside from physical enhancement magic for those who’ve been gifted with magic capabilities (it’s rare in Grabberton house, though…)
They take so much pride in their power and pure swordsmanship, so it’s rare to see their style being implemented alongside with magic. Their style doesn’t accommodate the use of magic at all.
“What about you, little Lyra?”
After I contemplated for quite a while, Keith-sensei asked.
“I… I’m still confused. I want to develop a style where I can incorporate magic in my swordsmanship…,” I honestly voiced my thoughts.
Keith-sensei’s surprised voice woke me up. I quickly looked up at him.
“L-little Lyra, you… you want to combine both?”
“Eh? Ah, y-yes? It’s not impossible, right? Luca’s style—the royal family members are also known to balance both sword and magic, so…”
“B-but… I thought… you were a daughter of a magician’s family that was forced to learn magic and found it boring… then you wanted to immerse yourself in the way of sword!!”
…Keep dreaming, keep your imagination running wild, Sensei!
To the contrary, I’m even more interested in learning magic, as it’s something new to me, so…
“Sensei, that’s not true, you know? I also like both sword and magic!! I want to combine them!”
When I said it blatantly, I felt like I crushed Keith-sensei’s delusion of a magician’s daughter choosing swords over magic…
I felt guilty when I looked at Keith-sensei’s surprised and dejected expression, though it wasn’t my fault to begin with!
“…or… I can’t? It’s impossible? Or is it that it’s impossible for me…?”
I didn’t think that I had to resort to this way. I tried my best to make a pitiful appearance. Coupled with my basic “cute” appearance (as others said, not my own subjective opinion!), I tried to look like a discouraged child that was prone to crying if her dreams were to be crushed. …Yes, I accumulated some moisture in my eyes to create the effect of teary eyes!
Seeing Keith-sensei’s reaction, it seemed like my tactic worked. He lightly shook his head as if to force himself to come to his senses and then he kneeled down so that his line of sight matched mine. He put his big hand on my shoulder and smiled gently.
“That’s not true! There have been cases of that, and I’m sure you’d be able to do it! I’m sorry, Sensei was too immersed in my own imagination just now! Don’t cry, okay?”
“Okay, thank you, Sensei!”
I quickly nodded and ‘wiped’ my tears away and assumed a happy expression.
I can totally feel Luca’s strange staring from behind me, but hey, can you pretend that you didn’t see anything? I know that you felt I was so “out of character” just now!!
“Little Lyra, your swordsmanship style is leaning towards the aggressive approach or full-of-power style, just like the Grabberton’s. If you don’t have any preference on how you’d like to combine magic and sword, what about trying to learn a balanced style? A balanced style means you can easily add magic to support either the power or speed or anything else, depending on the situation. But if you feel like you’ve got an idea on what style you’d like to adopt in the future, just change it to that. Or would you like to maintain the current style?”
Keith-sensei unexpectedly gave a long explanation on his opinion of this matter.
His words are correct, actually! If I have a balanced swordsmanship, then I can just add more speed or power or anything else with my magic. I don’t have any preference of going full-speed with my swordsmanship as I was too used to full-of-power style. However, I also don’t want to maintain my current style, lest it could reveal my secret of past life.
So, trying to learn the balanced style seems to be the best for now. My opinion of Keith-sensei increased. He actually isn’t a simple musclehead!
“Okay, then I will try the balanced style, Sensei!”
“Good, if it’s the balanced style, then I can teach you everything! Hahaha!!”
…Could this be his ulterior motive of recommending a balanced style?
But can I consider his advice earlier as an objective advice without any ulterior motive or bias? Yes, I can’t read his mind, so let’s think of it that way!
Afterward, I received some more advices and recommendations from Keith-sensei on what kind of training I should focus myself at, for the time being. His guidance is really useful, as I don’t specially learn swordsmanship at home. Outside school, I can learn swordsmanship in the royal palace when I accompany Luca and Kiri. Then, at home, I can just practice by myself.
Yes, I have no swordsmanship tutor. Alt-nii also learned some of his skills from Dad and at school. Maybe since we’re originally a magician’s family, learning physical combat is treated as an addition, not as a focus. For my magic training, aside from private sessions with Mom, Alt-nii and I were also assigned private tutors to learn from them when Mom can’t accompany us.
I can understand why my parents would put more emphasis on magic training. The fundamental of a magician’s family can’t be shaken. For the combination of magic and swordsmanship, we have the Fumitsuna family already. …not that we can’t switch our direction, but still.
I also don’t have any objection with this arrangement. After all, I also agree that I need to put more focus on my magic training. I have gained around 10 years worth of swordsmanship training back in my previous life, so obviously I need to close the gap in my magic ability.
Besides, I also appreciate my parents’ thoughts and consideration of keeping the status quo of [The Hartmann family, the family of magicians].
Before the final class ended, Carbuncle has already left us. She said that she wanted to go and take a look at Elective classes as well as paying a visit to her beloved little sheep—Iris.
I made sure to ask Carbuncle to deliver some message to Iris!
Since it’s the first physical combat lesson, we don’t spar against one another, but we only practice and hone the basic foundation diligently. Strong foundation is very important, after all!
As a conclusion—Day 3 is really tiring, and it might as well be the most tiring school day, but it’s also very fun!