"This is quite the situation, isn't it?"
I said that with a bitter smile on my face. Nathan narrowed his eyes and sucked in a cold breath as well.
"I never thought that it would actually be this hard."
Nathan stood a few steps behind me and held onto his spear a little tighter. Rae instantly turned to us after finishing off the last one that wasn't us. Her face was expressionless, showing how much focus she was putting in. For some reason, despite being very likely able to win this easily, she showed absolutely no mercy.
To be honest, it seemed like Rae's physical feats were almost unrealistic, to the point of being completely unreasonable. And that's already considering that both of us had pretty sturdy bodies.
Honestly, I was getting somewhat of a big head thinking that maybe I would be able to last five minutes myself, while Nathan and I together could tough out ten minutes.
Right now, I would accept being able to survive for two or so moves.
Rae bolted towards us, her footsteps heavily thumping against the ground. As I watched her approach, it felt like a god of war itself had descended. From the way she had been fighting this entire time, I felt like this definitely wasn't Rae's first time going solo against many.
But that wasn't important right now.
I lowered my stance and tightened my grip around my sword. The goal wasn't to win but to hold on for two moves.
When Rae was just five or so meters away, I stepped forward. With how fast she was going, it was only an instant before we were face to face. The first thing she did was bring down her wooden katana down diagonally, I brought up my arm to block and tensed up, preparing it for a blow.
A loud thud resounded throughout the gymnasium.
I cringed in pain. That strike was felt by my entire body. I almost believed that my bone itself had cracked. But still, it was enough for me to remain conscious, though it was definitely tempting to collapse right there.
With the last bits of my strength, I lunged with the sword, piercing forth as though I had a spear. Since she was close, I figured it would be harder to dodge. Yet, Rae somehow slid over to the side just barely enough, then caught my sword in between her arm and body.
My eyes widened in shock.
But still, Nathan was behind me. Right when Rae had committed using both arms, one to swing, and the other to catch my sword, was when he lunged forth, placing his knee against my back to go over me.
As his spear shot forth, I internally thought it wasn't bad to get at least one hit in.
Yet, Rae simply grabbed the spear while my sword was still caught. Then, she let out a grunt as she bent backward while pulling up both of us. Both Nathan and I were conditioned to never let go of our weapons during a fight.
And as such, both of us were lifted straight up into the air.
Damn. I guess Rae lifts.
While both of us were still in the air, she suddenly let go. For a brief moment, I saw her fist shoot out toward me. All I could think of in my head was that's not goo-
While still feeling a little dazed, I eventually woke up. After regaining my bearings for a bit, I got up and made sense of my surroundings. The ceiling was white, along with many beds lined up, all of which had curtains that could separate everyone, but right now they were drawn back.
This was the infirmary.
Along with me, every other student was sitting up in their beds. It seemed they had all woken up a bit earlier than me, but still seemed a bit dazed in their own right. Standing near the middle was Rae. She had her arms crossed and a strict expression.
There was no more trace of that battle god that absolutely destroyed everybody within two or so minutes.
It almost made one question whether or not pursuing magic was worth it in the first place if something like that was possible.
Rae looked at me for a little while. After confirming I was conscious, she rose her hand and drew attention to herself.
"Alright, now that everyone's awake, I will give my last few words to end off the test. From what I've seen, the majority of you are clearly not taking my lessons seriously, opting to half-heartedly go through them. Sure, it may not be as interesting as magic to you, but I'll have you know that your physique matters more than you would think despite being a mage."
She let out a soft sigh.
"I'll let all of you know right now that I am a mage. Having the physique that I do has let me succeed in being a far stronger than usual one. In all honesty, I highly doubted that you lot would've been able to pass the test that I had set. In reality, it was more for the sake of a wake-up call so that some of you out there will stop slacking. You know who you are."
Rae suddenly dropped her strict tone before smiling brightly.
"As for certain people, I'm quite proud of the progress that you've made. There are currently two people I'm thinking of giving my nomination to, but who they are will be kept a secret."
Nominations were related to promoting a higher class. The short of it was that they were pretty important and that everyone was trying to get one of them. She winked before waving.
"Ok, I've said what I wanted to say. Class is dismissed. You can go home now if you want to, or if you need to spend a little more time resting, you can do exactly that."
I rubbed the side of my head and regained my bearings somewhat. Unfortunately, it seemed that there was still quite a ways to go in training my body. Now that I think about it, I've been neglecting that quite a bit.
Maybe I should start running to school as well.
Hm. Bryson has probably spent quite a lot of time training his body each and every day as well. It would be too much of a waste if I stopped doing that kind of exercise now.
With those thoughts in my mind, I got up and left the infirmary. Nathan had already left while I was thinking. Still feeling a bit of a headache, I held onto the side of my head as I went down the stairs.
As I went down them, I heard someone yelp.
"A-Ah! It's you?"
It sounded very familiar, prompting me to turn to look.
And I saw Minori. She was staring at me with a complicated expression. After staring at me for a few more moments, it seemed that she couldn't stand it anymore. While covering her face, she ran away.
While doing so, she tripped on the stairs and collided with a few innocent bystanders. After tumbling down with them, she got back up and left without even apologizing to them.
The few who were knocked over rubbed their sides painfully and looked around with a confused expressions.
"Was that girl hitting on me?"
"No, I don't think that expression is that literal."
I walked on past them while they were having a strange conversation. I rubbed my chin in thought for a little while. Was it a good thing that she ran away desperately the moment she saw me?
...Hm. To be honest, it's quite hard to see that as a good thing. Especially because of how much it pains my heart. It seems that I came on too strongly by saying she was beautiful. I suppose a better approach would've been to take things a bit slower.
Welp, I guess I'll just have to make do.
On the carriage ride back, I meditated while focusing on trying to dual cast the same spell at the same time. Of course, I never actually cast it fully for the sake of the condition of the carriage, but I was still learning fine.
If I had to say, working on meditating for this long has brought quite decent results, since I'm It looked like she had something to say.
Well, I guess it was too good to be true that someone would actually end up trusting me and sit down, basically meditating while doing almost anything that doesn't require a high level of concentration.
Most of my time was spent doing it normally, but by now, I was fairly confident in being able to cast two fireballs with decent size within two or so minutes. However, when it came to doing two different spells at once, I was actually not in the slightest confident at all.
Frankly, splitting the focus like that was probably not what the human brain was intended to do. But at the same time, it's not like the human brain was intended to discover and learn about calculus, yet that's still something that became standardized.
It was probably a stupid idea, but it shows up in anime sometimes. So... maybe I could make it work.
After settling things there, I took a carriage over to the slums like what I usually did, and on the way there I tried to cast both the water and fire spells at the same time. Unfortunately, I wasn't even able to get started by the time I arrived, as my concentration was broken and both spells fizzled out.
I let out a soft sigh and helped out the rest of the butlers and maids set everything up. Gray was also there, and while he was a tad bit slow, he was still actually being a help. Considering he was just making a mess previously, this was a pretty significant change.
Jess had also come along, and when I took a seat she took one right next to me. Before the food was finished cooking, Arianne also came along and took the seat next to me. She sheepishly waved.
I casually waved back.
After that, it was basically silent. Though, I didn't find it all that awkward. I leaned back in my chair and let out a sigh, thinking that probably nobody would sit here other than people I actually knew. n//0vElb1n
Yet, to my surprise, a middle-aged woman came to the table right across from me.
I sat up and took a look at her. But then, I realized she didn't have the intention to sit down right away. Instead, she looked at me for a good while.
It looked like she had something to say.
Well, I guess it was too good to be true that someone would actually end up trusting me and sit down, huh.
She's about to ask to speak with your manager... and her name is Karen.