I discussed the alcohol situation with Juire, and he gave me a rather troubling deal.
“I’ve got some connections with a few breweries in the area that owe me some favors anyways, I’ll go ahead and make a large order for some of their best stuff. In return, however, I want you to supply me with some workers for my fields. Oh, I nearly forgot! Should you lose all of this and I don’t win my fief, you will be paying for the alcohol in full with interest. Better fight hard, this stuff is worth about as much as a castle.” He said with a grin as he made his demands
With little room to argue I set out to start making my countermeasures for the next round.
Afeuro isn’t an opponent I can hold back on at all. Hide my trump cards for the final battle? That kind of thinking will make me lose for sure. Even my current skills probably won’t be enough to make up for the difference in experience, there is no way I could hope to hold back here. There are a few things I will need before the next round if I want to stand any chance of winning.
Before me now stands the “Royal magic academy”. The same one that the bishounen in the Yuusha’s party applied for. The key to my plan for the next round lies here.
Dozens of students are passing me as they enter and exit the academy with leisure.
Before entering I slink into a nearby alleyway and use “Status” on the students that are passing through the front door.
Unfortunately, after about an hour, I realized that there only seemed to be small fry coming and going at this time. None were high enough level for me to obtain skills from, but eventually, I managed to get the two skills that almost every person seemed to have.
I’m going to need to go in there if I want to find anybody powerful enough to have the skill I need, but there is a problem with that. The students all seem to have the same robes. They are probably a uniform for the school. I imagine if I don’t have one I probably won’t be allowed to enter. Juire could probably figure out a way for me to get a set, but that would take too long and I wouldn’t want to explain why I need them. With the fight tomorrow I can’t afford to waste a single second that I could be looking for this skill. Especially so since I’m not even sure it exists.
“Umm… can I help you?” I hear suddenly from behind me
Startled I whip my head around to see who it is, but when I do I’m met with an unfamiliar face. A young man dressed in the academy’s robes is standing there with an equally confused look on their face.
“Oh, this is… well, I uh… was thinking of applying! Yup, that’s it, I didn’t know how though so I, uh…” I nervously stumble as I attempt to find an excuse for stalking the entrance from a dark alley
“Oh? That’s fantastic, in that case, follow me!” The young man says as he grabs my hand and pulls me forward
Is he taking me to apply?… This could work. It should get me into the academy after all. The Yuusha’s party member said that the test was just to produce a small fireball, so I should be able to enter.
Looking at him closely though… aren’t his robes a bit different? I suppose it’s worth a shot.
“Status” I whisper while looking at the young man
Well… that’s a new one. I suppose it’s because Royal Mana is a higher tier version of that skill. Still, this boy is quite a bit stronger than his pears. Perhaps a different set of robes indicates different capabilities. Unfortunately this one no good too, he doesn’t have the skill I’m looking for either.
The young man pulls me by the hand to the entrance. In viewing distance from the gate is a courtyard which I am promptly led to.
“Welcome to Teslgar’s official royal academy. I am Henry Orwell. I am an instructor here. Typically we don’t accept applications outside of a few specific periods throughout the year, but after an incident recently quite a few students withdrew so we are somewhat desperately looking for new students.” The young man explains with a jovial attitude after he leads me to the center of the courtyard
He was a teacher? He looks younger than me. Looking at his stats I don’t think he’s some kind of genius so are young teachers just considered more normal here?
“The entrance test is simply to cast a small fireball. If you don’t know how to we also offer a 2-week course for a nominal fee.” He says with a nervous expression
I know they are desperate for students, but can the “royal” magic academy really be training people up from such a basic point? Aren’t schools like this usually used to train up the military grade mages?
“That’s alright, I’m plenty capable of casting that. Fu-Tei-Fier Fireball!” I say with authority as I focus my magic
My goal lies with the most advanced mages they have here. I need to show off my abilities right away if I want to get close to them, so I cast a serious fireball spell.
When I do 3 fireballs of a pinkish hue appear above my head. I don’t need their color to tell me the intensity of the flames, however, as the heat they give off is so intense that I have to distance them from myself immediately.
I have fire resistance, don’t I? Just how hot of a flame am I producing exactly? Still, I was hoping they would be a bit more flashy. This is still a normal fireball no matter how you cut it, even if it’s hotter than normal.
After the fireballs are far enough away that I’m no longer worried about my clothes catching, I look to the instructor for his reaction.
“…” He simply stares in silence at the distant fireballs, however
The look on his face is one of awe as he stays that way for an awkwardly long amount of time.
“Um… hello? Did I pass?” I ask trying to snap him out of it
“Hm… OH! Yes, I’m sorry! It’s just… those flames are beautiful. I’ve never seen such mana refinement before. I felt like I was staring at a miracle for a second.” He says as he adjusts himself and attempts to regain his composure
“I’m sorry but… what exactly did you hope to learn here? Most of our course goes into mana refinement and magical language lessons. You seem to be a master of both.” The young man says with a disheartened look
Ah, I went too far didn’t I?
“Actually, I know very few spells. I don’t know any of the magical language at all either.” I explain
“What?! But your pronunciation was perfect! How are you even casting spells if you don’t know the magical language?!” The instructor asks with intense enthusiasm.
“I, uh, just memorized each spell?” I explain nervously
I forgot how dangerous it could be to let people know too much about how magic works for me. My body runs on auto-pilot when I select a skill from the list. I don’t have to do half as many things as those around me do when it comes to casting.
“Your pronunciation is that good despite not even knowing the language?! In that case, try this one! Tei-Va-Proct Barrier!” the young man demands happily as a thin blue bubble appears around him
Despite his enthusiasm, it takes me several attempts to get my pronunciation of the final word down properly. There seems to be a lot of nuance involved. After a while, however, I manage to successfully do so.
“Tei-Va-Proct Barrier.” I say as I imagine the same bubble I saw around the instructor
I don’t know how to manage my power on this just yet, so I try to hold back a bit on each attempt.
When the spell finally activates I am surprised to see a very different result from that of the instructors, however. Rather than a thin blue bubble, my barrier looks closer to a roughly 1-inch thick glass sphere.
Again the instructor stares in silence at the result… or so I thought. Looking closely his mouth is moving? Is this thing sound-proof?
“-Absolutely amazing! With this, we might just make it! We will need to arrange special courses! I’ll need to get you enrolled immediately!” As I deactivate the barrier I find him blathering to himself, completely in his own world now
“…Actually, I won’t be able to enroll for some time, I only came here today to figure out how.” I explain as I realize the situation is quickly spiraling out of my control
I’m only here to try to mooch a few mage skills. Though, since spell construction uses the magical language it might be in my best interest to study here after the tournament is done. For now, however, my strategy for tomorrow relies on me finding this skill. I can’t afford to have someone else set the tempo.
“What?!… At least come to meet the headmaster! Nobody would believe me if I told them about your mana refinement without witnessing it themselves! She needs to know!” The young man pleads
…The headmaster would be the most powerful person here, wouldn’t she? If anybody were to have that skill it would be her.
“Alright then, please lead the way.” I say with a smile