A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 186: Enlightenment (2)
In the early morning, one girl was training alone in the wind attribute training ground.
Around her were ten plates of iron in a loose circle formation.
Romantica reached her hand out. As a breeze blew, the iron plates floated in the air.
She then flicked her finger and the iron plates started rotating around her at a steady speed.
Romantica bit her lip, adjusting the atmospheric pressure.
One particular scene came to mind as she did so.
It was the battle against the homunculus at Jormungand Citadel.
Her colleagues faced one crisis after another.
Pram fell, Adjest collapsed, and Desir ended up in critical condition.
‘I couldn’t do anything at all.’
Even though she cast her spells non-stop, against a creature as powerful as the homunculus, she was useless.
Putting her all into a single strike only served to make the homunculus falter for a single move. Her frantic efforts barely amounted to anything at all.
‘It’s awfully pathetic.’
She couldn’t do anything when her colleagues, her friends, were in danger.
But she was no longer able to bear being so powerless. She couldn’t help choking up slightly, recalling that battle.
There was a distinct clang of iron.
The moment Romantica clenched her hands, all of the iron plates began to crumple into the shape of balls.
The sound of iron plates being crushed by increased atmospheric pressure filled the training ground and created an unholy cacophony.
Considering the fact that doing this to just one plate was too much for her a year ago, it was an incredible improvement.
Yet still, Romantica anguished.
‘I am merely a Third-Circle.’
Romantica reached the Third-Circle a year ago, and hadn’t had any significant progress since.
Still, it took astounding talent and dedication to achieve that much that quickly.
In the Hebrion Academy, where talented people gathered from across the entire continent, it was usual for most to only reach the Third-Circle just before graduating.
But Romantica remained unconceited.
This was not because she was modest.
Magic and swordsmanship. A true genius who had significant talent in both. There was nobody who could be conceited while standing next to Adjest.
A girl with much more overwhelming talent than anyone else.
After gaining her new weapon, the Center of Ice, she would be nearing the most elite individuals on the continent, let alone almost all of the professors at the academy.
‘How come I’m… ’
Adjest, who would swing her sword, causing her flowing white-blond hair to whip behind her, looked so dazzling that Romantica felt she couldn’t even look at her directly. She was the Sun.
Whenever Romantica felt that dazzling sensation, her darkness only deepened.
‘I want to be strong.’
I want to be strong.
She eagerly wanted it.
But the deeper she thought about it, the darker she felt. She felt like she was in a free-fall of despair.
A blast echoed abruptly in the calm training ground. It was the iron plates exploding and scraps of iron falling to the ground.
Romantica fell onto the ground, her hair swept back by the blast.
It took her a moment to conclude that the explosion was caused by her subconsciously injecting an excessive amount of mana.
Romantica looked up at the sky while lying on the ground.
The Sun was shining gloriously in the clear sky, without a cloud in sight.
She stretched her hand out towards the Sun.
Understandably, she couldn’t reach it. The Sun was so high up that she couldn’t reach it no matter how far she stretched.
* * *
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Summer in Dresden was hot and humid.
The Hebrion Academy returned to normal. Classes were boring, as per usual, and piles of assignments were given.
Students would normally moan about the assignments, but they now seemed strangely excited.
Every time they got together, they chatted about the war between the Allied Forces and the Outsiders.
When it came to the war, they talked about students from the academy who had volunteered to join the military. Of course, Desir Arman was the most popular topic.
It was exceptional for a student to get awarded a Silver Lion medal. They couldn’t help but feel excited about the fact that the hero came from where they attended.
“Did you see the interview? The one from Aylus News with Desir.”
Whenever they talked about Desir, they also mentioned the interview from Aylus News. The two names went hand in hand; Aylus was the only news company where Desir had been featured publicly.
“I’m not a big fan of the interview though. It’s a fact that the Western Kingdom Union got military aid without any cost, isn’t it?”
“I disagree. Imagine those white flashes landing in Dresden.”
“Right… It’s a decent strategy in terms of insurance.”
After Desir’s interview went public, a considerable number of people among those who had opposed the alliance between the Hebrion Empire and the Western Kingdom Union began to change their view.
Desir’s interview wasn’t particularly persuasive enough to change their minds. However, a fair number of people that were against it realized they had no particular reason for being against the alliance. It was just a lingering nationalistic feeling from the time when they were at odds with each other. Convincing someone with an opposing opinion was hard, but swaying those who had no real opinion was comparatively easy.
As soon as Desir had presented a reason to support the alliance, public sentiment shifted drastically.
‘The relationship will improve as time goes by.’
Desir could now pivot in a different direction as he achieved one of his goals.
He issued summons for his party after class that day.
Students gathered one by one in the Starling Party’s office.
Freechel and Takiran warmly welcomed the party members.
“How have you been everyone?”
“It’s been a while.”
Freechel and Takiran joined the Starling Party last fall. Their skills were decidedly poor back then. However, they quickly developed after receiving one-on-one instruction from Desir. They could now be assessed as having a decent level of skill.
Following that, there was someone else they were glad to see.
“Brother, sister, it’s been a long time. How have you been?”
“Yes. Long time no see.”
It was a boy with red hair like blazing flames, Ronde Fizzlebang.
His signature explosion type magic was well known for its outstanding firepower.
In Desir previous life, Ronde quit the academy as a result of his arrogant personality creating a downward spiral of personal problems.
He now was the first year leader of the Starling Party, responsible for leading quite a few people.
‘It’s a good thing he’s doing well.’
Desir thought it was quite a nice change.
Once all of the party members gathered, they started talking.
“From now on we are going to be doing more practical training.”
The party members were excited for the new training regime he announced, but anxious at the same time. It was Desir’s training after all.
“If you’re thinking this will be something akin to sparring, you’re sadly mistaken. It’ll be a mock battle that’s as close as possible to reality. It’ll consist of battles between members of the Blue Moon, Red Dragon and Starling parties in rotation.”
The faces of the first-grade party members paled.
The Starling Party, the Blue Moon Party and the Red Dragon Party were the best in the Hebrion Academy.
The core members of those parties had all achieved great things in the war against the Outsiders. Their battle experience wasn’t comparable to that of first years in the slightest.
They all looked at Desir in despair.
“Ah, don’t worry. The mock battle will be held in the Shadow World for training. You don’t have to worry about dying. The day after the mock battle, we will improve on our shortcomings; the next day, we will study the theory and strategy based on that.
The room instantly filled with a commotion.
The existing training was already quite tough. It was cruel to increase the intensity for students who needed to juggle both their academic schedule and party training.
Someone among the first graders raised their hand before speaking.
“T-That’s too cruel, isn’t it?”
“It cannot be helped because you guys are weak.”
The first years who recently joined the Starling Party did not understand at all.
The Starling Party was the best in the Academy.
“We are the number one party in the Academy though?”
Desir stared at him with frigid eyes.
“Do not mistake the power of the party for your own power. If you were to face them one-on-one, you couldn’t win a battle against the first years of either the Blue Moon Party or the Red Dragon Party.
For getting into the Hebrion Academy, they were already reasonably talented.
Compared to the Blue Moon Party and the Red Dragon Party, which only chose the most talented students, they couldn’t hope to keep up.
‘For now, we will keep losing the mock battles.’
There was also an easier method. Without this get-tough policy, Desir had ways to help them grow. But Desir preferred this way because they had to grow quickly in a short period of time.
After all, Desir wasn’t aiming to be the number one party at Hebrion Academy.
“It’ll be difficult at first. You’ll keep losing for a while, but I am certain that this will force all of you to grow.”
Des1r was confident that these people would become the core of the Shadow Labyrinth Expedition that would be formed soon.