~~Forty Past Seven in the Afternoon, Third Day of the Fourth Month, Ninety-Fourth Year of the War Demon Calendar~~
In front of me was my Familiar, yawning as she idled around.
And behind me were my students, Lina and Tifa, whispering to each other. Accompanying them was Tarawo, the latter’s Familiar.
“Say, Tifa, I’ve heard that you’ve slept on Sir Asley’s Bed… is that true?”
I couldn’t turn around to look, but her face was probably locked in a smile.
“Yeah. Felt super good, you know. So fluffy… smells nice, too.”
Her voice sounded likely, but she was probably expressionless while saying that.
Tarawo rushed to my side, seemingly having had enough of the atmosphere over there.
He looked up at me with pleading eyes, and with a clear “HELP ME!!” written on his face. Sorry, I don’t think that’s gonna happen, little guy.
Just look at Pochi – she’s long given up and is now just walking around, you know? There’s no way I can deal with the situation by myself.
Blazer had remarked how I ‘got along so well with my students’ back when he’d first seen them together, but I suppose them deceiving even him was also another improvement they’d achieved.
I’d only thought that I should teach them again, what with there being some things Lina had yet to fully master, and me wanting to evaluate Tifa’s current abilities. Nothing more to it.
But now, I realized… I really should have pushed to arrange their schedules so that they were on different days.
~~Pochisley Agency, Eight O’clock in the Afternoon, Second Day of the Fourth Month, Ninety-Fourth Year of the War Demon Calendar~~
“Yeah, thought I’d open up some magic classes again. Do you have some free time after school, Lina?”
“Don’t think she does, Asley. Lina just told me she’s in for some busy work tomorrow.”
Mana said while she was sorting up the dishes to our sides in the dining room.
Hmm, maybe I’ll just do ‘that other thing’ tomorrow instead, then. With that in consideration, I got up to leave, but was preemptively stopped by Lina as she stood up before me.
“I’ll make it!”
“M-maybe we should do it some other day-“
“I’ll make it!”
“A-all right, then.”
Now I’m hearing a burst of laughter coming from the kitchen.
Mana, Betty, and Itsuki… Damn it. They’re really enjoying this.
“I’ll make sure to be there as well.”
The voice that came from behind Lina resembled the voice that had told Tarawo, the dog currently lazing around in the corner of my eye, to ‘shut up’ the previous day.
Lina turned around in a snap. I stood up and saw Tifa there, standing in an arms-crossed pose like a certain Archmage I’d visited earlier today.
“I mean, Sir Asley is teaching magic again, right? Of course I’m in.”
“Ah, Tifa… maybe it’s better that you wait another day… you know?”
“But why not now…?”
Ouch, that stings. I ought to be used to it at this point, but… I just can’t help but give in to those innocent, delicate, feminine pleading eyes.
And Lina being Lina, she alternated her view between me and Tifa.
When I turned to her, I saw that she had a ‘you’re not going to let her, right?’ written all over her face, and behind me, Tifa was staring at the back of my head… I don’t even want to imagine the look on her face.
Chances are her stare is even more intense than what I saw from Tangalán.
(Xemul: “Nothing puts a man to a test more than a woman.” What with MC not building harem but being challenged? Why is it getting so close to real problems?)
But then I heard a faint throat-clearing cough, arriving like a rescue boat.
All three of us turned to where it had come from, which happened to be the dining table… where Ryan and Tzar were sitting in, both sipping tea.
“Sir Asley, could you please look after both of them for me?”
“”Both Lina and Tifa are already your students, so this would be a good opportunity for them to know each others’ abilities, yes?””
Needless to say, the words of those two were practically the deciding factor here.
Lina wouldn’t say no to Ryan, and I definitely don’t want to unnecessarily go against Ryan and Tzar’s wishes.
“A-all right, then…”
Hearing me say that, Tifa clenched her fists, while Lina cast her eyes down, looking a little sad.
I know she’d said she would make it, but I’d never expected Lina to clear up her Student Council President work and arrive here so early.
I’d remembered this only because Mana had mentioned it, but today – the Third Day of the Fourth Month – was the annual re-filing of the Black and White Chain Contracts.
Although the number of currently-enrolled students isn’t that high, the process did involve a thorough check of every individual’s sheet, on top of having Irene double-check them, which ultimately made it painfully tedious and time-consuming.
Now hol’ up a minute… could Lina have pushed the whole job over to Irene instead? No – considering her personality, that was most unlikely.
Did she find a different way to be done with it, then…? Warren might have pulled it off, sure, but Lina… I wonder if she could?
“Is this the place?”
When we arrived at the vacant lot to the west of Beilanea, the time was seven o’clock in the afternoon.
Tifa asked for confirmation, as she’d never been here, whereas Lina and I had already had a sparring match here once before.
It was already dark out, but I could turn it bright as day easily enough with some Light Source spells.
Since this was Tifa’s first time seeing the Split Invocation in action, she was understandably quite surprised.
“Pochi, if you smell anything dangerous, let us know right away!”
“Yes, sir! Now, Tarawo, please keep watch on the other side!”
“Hmph, this is for my Master’s safety. Very well!”
Turns out Pochi and Tarawo aren’t at odds with each other – that was unexpected. Them being fellow dogs might have helped, come to think of it, but I would guess it was mostly because Pochi was keeping herself polite. He did come off as quite bothersome in parts, after all, so I definitely was thankful for Pochi not taking it the bad way.
“So what do we do now, Sir Asley?”
“Yes, I think it’s about time you told us. You’ve refused to tell me last time I asked, so…”
“For today… let’s see… I plan not to hold a magic class, but a magecraft class!”
“Ahaha, we’re ready when you are, teacher!”
“Teacher… huh. Now that takes me back.”
The two of them seemed to also feel nostalgic from how I was speaking – now this really feels like we’ve gone three years back in time.
“Rise, A-rise, Storeroom! Set this table here, and… nice! Lina, list out all the magecraft you can use on this paper, all right? In the meantime, I’ll be teaching magecraft to Tifa.”
Lina and Tifa turned to look at each other, surprised. I couldn’t figure out why they would be.
Did I just mess something up? Already?
As if to get the clock ticking again, Tifa started drawing a Circle… Hmm? Hey hey… isn’t that formula the-?!
“Wait, the Storeroom?! Tifa, how’d you know that spell?!”
Tifa, having taken out books and other documents out of her Storeroom and put them on the table, looked me and walked past Lina as we were both bewildered by what she had just shown us.
If it just me, or have I seen all these stuff from somewhere before……?
“Have you forgotten, teacher? It was in the… homework? You know, the stuff you left behind?”
Perhaps having heard my surprise, Pochi came running back to where I was.
“Is something the matter, Master?”
It seemed that Lina wanted to explain the situation to Pochi, but didn’t know how to go about it.
But of course she wouldn’t know. Not even Pochi and I-
“Ah-! Now this takes me back! Look, Master! The documents you threw away back at Faltown!”
“Ah, now I remember doing that, yeah. Figured I’d clean up my Storeroom, you know, and all this stuff was bogging it down… but wait, why would they be with her?”
“Eh-hem! I thought it’d be a waste to just trash them, so I sorted them up real good and put them in that old house!”
“Oh, I see… So… Tifa, what about that ‘Magic for Beginners’ book that I left on the table?”
Once I asked, Tifa promptly pulled it out of her Storeroom and showed it to me.
“You mean this?”
“Yes, that’s it!”
Seeming to realize what I’d meant by the ‘homework,’ Tifa let out an exasperated groan.
“I was done with it in just two months. Then I had a lot of trouble understanding the rest of the documents, but I did get started on them just one month after that.”
This time, Pochi and I turned to look at each other.
To reiterate… The only homework I’d left behind was that beginner-level textbook… but she’d ended up studying my old books and research materials as well!
Right, the documents did contain the Storeroom formula and rough drafts of quite a lot of my experimental spells and crafts…
“You can already use magecraft, Tifa?”
“Rise, A-rise, Quadra Boundary.”
Tifa, casually invoking the magecraft, fired it off at Tarawo.
Man, this reminds me of how Pochi and I used to play back in the old days.
“How did I do, teacher?”
Tifa glanced back at me, while Tarawo pleaded for help in the distance.
Man, this really reminds me of how Pochi and I used to play back in the old days.