~~Eleven O’clock in the Morning, First Day of the Sixth Month, Hundred and Twentieth Year of the Sacred Calendar~~
“-and as a result, opposing element combinations of fire and water, and earth and wind, cannot be contained within the same magic formula. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Do you know what that is?”
“…If they cannot be contained WITHIN the same formula, then perhaps one could construct a larger magic formula to contain both their formulas instead, giving enough time for the invocation to complete before the repelling effect takes place… I think.”
This boy sure is a fast learner. In only half a month, he had already learned a great majority of the elementary-level spells.
“Let us give it a try, then. Here we go…”
I started drawing a Spell Circle for Bright to see; it was for Cross Wind, an intermediate-level wind spell.
“Can you tell what this formula is?”
“A wind spell, intermediate… no, advanced-level? Considering the information volume, it should be advanced, but… since the main formula is simple, it could be an intermediate-level, after all?”
“Correct. Adding arcane energy into this Circle will invoke the intermediate-level wind spell, Cross Wind. It will then be quickly followed by the intermediate-level fire spell, Fire Wall.”
Once I told him so, Bright’s expression instantly tensed up.
So… he’d realized quickly how dangerous it could be. As I’d expected of him.
“This involves connecting one complete magic formula with another… One wrong move could discharge it spontaneously…”
While Bright proceeded to lay out his hypothesis with a slightly shaky voice, I nodded in agreement.
“Correct. That is why magic requires a great deal of practice. I will be teaching you the dos-and-don’ts of it soon, so that you may attempt it with elementary-level spells.”
Bright replied under his breath; I had a grin painted on my face while resuming the construction of my Spell Circle.
“-Now, look at this!”
“What is it? This isn’t the usual planar structure, but an overlap of several formulas?! Could it be a three-dimensional composition…”
“That is right. Connect the end of this spell’s formula with the end of the Cross Wind’s formula, then inject arcane energy here… and the compound will discharge simultaneously!”
“However! The moment they are connected, they will not discharge while you are injecting arcane energy! Once you put in enough arcane energy, concentrate a surge of energy in your hand and direct it in the opposite direction… The discharge will be reflected, completing the intended effect of the spell! …Rise, Flame Tornado!”
I unleashed the human-sized spiral of fire onto the center of the backyard, filling Bright’s eyes with its bitter orange luminescence.
Though Jetta said nothing as she held her skirt down, the look in her eyes suggested that she was surprised as well.
The magical swirl persisted for ten or so seconds, dying the stone paving black before fading away with the wind.
“And… well, this is one of my originals. I will teach it to you once you have enough arcane energy to use it, Master Bright.”
“Oh, look at the time… lunch should be served soon, so let us take a break. We’ll be going over intermediate-level recovery magic in the afternoon.”
Young Bright had a… difficult reaction to what I had said. He was having a fair bit of difficulty learning recovery magic, after all. Though he didn’t necessarily hate it, he did seem to want to put it off if possible.
But anyone who had spent time with magic regularly should know that, even if one wanted to master only attack spells, they should at least learn recovery magic up to the intermediate level.
As I recall, the Magic University of my era also recommended doing so.
Although there were examples of those who prioritized attack magic and did well with it, like Hornel, I wouldn’t recommend going that way.
Speaking of Hornel… I’d never known beforehand that his Adams household already existed in this era. Could they be based right here in Brunnera, then?
I was pretty sure that Regalia had already been established during the Sacred Calendar, though…
A voice echoed in the distance; it was apparent from its high pitch that it was of a child. At the same time, young Bright, who was enjoying his meal in front of me, dropped the spoon he was holding.
The soup in it stained and darkened a part of the red carpet; young Bright’s expression turned pale.
“Is-is something the matter, Master Bright?”
“We need to run now, Instructor Poer!”
Bright sprang up from the table, hitting it with a clatter.
Surprised by the sudden change of tone, I turned to look at Alfred, who was on standby at the door. He signaled me with his eyes…
-Do as I had been told.
I don’t know what is going on, but I suppose it’d be better to act now. I lifted young Bright up in one arm and charged out of the dining room, intending to head up to the second floor, on which Pochi was standing guard.
A ball of heat hit my forehead, then burst with a little ‘bang’.
I fell backward on my buttocks. Although the impact caused Bright to fall from my arm, he seemed to be safe.
Just now… was that magic?!
I quickly stood up, then let Bright hide behind me.
Could it be an enemy invasion… in broad daylight?!
Tracing the residual arcane energy in the direction it had been shot from, I saw a silhouette darkened by the sunlight behind them, standing with their hands on their hips.
“Is that… a girl…?”
Upon a close look, I saw that the silhouette seemed to be wearing a skirt; by the time I blurted my question out, young Bright had already wrapped himself completely in my mantle… It was almost as if he thought it would function as a curtain…
Bright would fall down if I took a step, so instead, I put myself on guard and confronted the new arrival. The girly silhouette stepped forward, hands on her hips… Oh, walking like she’s so high and mighty, I see…
Is she an enemy? I wasn’t feeling any hostility nor murderous intent, but young Bright was shaking vehemently, as I could feel through the vibration of my mantle.
“Oh? You are… not Bright? Who might you be?”
“…I don’t introduce myself to those who shoot me without warning.”
Although I had been welcomed by Tūs with a large-scale spell, well, I had forgotten that ever happened. Up until now, that is.
“…Answer me if you want to keep that miserable life of yours.”
Yup, that’s a girl… trying to intimidate me with those threatening words.
“Magic spells of your level will never kill me, I’m afraid.”
“What a talkative manservant you are. Alfred! Where are you, Alfred?!”
She called out Alfred’s name as if she was familiar with him; the man in question came up behind me and answered her,
“I am here… Lady Ferris.”
“I want this man unemployed by the end of today!”
…Oh? I’m actually starting to get the big picture… I think?
Could she be an incredibly important figure? When she’d said ‘keep my life’… could she have meant it from a social reputation standpoint?
Getting my source of income cut off suddenly would be a problem. Alfred seemed to have seen my troubled expression but did not react to it. Instead, he bowed to the girl whom he had referred to as Ferris.
“We are terribly sorry, Lady Ferris. This man is employed as Master Bright’s bodyguard. I hope you will forgive his slight rudeness.”
The girl, revealing her appearance now that she has stepped out of the backlight, gave me a hard look.
She wore a primarily pink dress and a thick shawl over it, and had large eyes on her round but well-ordered face. Her light blue hair was wrapped in a bun.
The very image of an audacious tomboy… that as the impression I had of her.
As for her age… she should be a little older than Bright.
“My name is Poer. Um, so… who might she be?”
I turned to ask Alfred; he explained with his expression utterly unchanged,
“The lady is Ferris Adams, heir of House Adams and a friend of Master Bright’s since infancy. You will watch your tone towards her from now on.”
“Your attire sure is gaudy for a manservant.”
I didn’t even know what I was apologizing for, but I suppose it’d be better not to fan the flames now.
“So… where could Bright be?”
Young Ferris looked around, seemingly unaware of the boy wrapped in my mantle.
Suddenly, another silhouette appeared, this one also darkened by the sunlight through the open door. Though this time, it was of someone I knew very well.
…Did she just jump down the window and circle around the house to get here?
“Master! Are you all right?!”
With the door now closed, the backlight got blocked off, revealing the appearance of… well, the usual Pochi.
“Shiro, you have jam all around your mouth. Wipe it off.”
“But that would be such a waste!”
Ferris turned around to look at Pochi, while the latter licked around her own mouth with her tongue.
She understood quickly how Pochi was a beast who could communicate verbally, and in turn, realize that I was the real deal.
“…So, Poer, was it? You are a mage?”
“Yes. I am currently employed as Master Bright’s bodyguard and magic instructor…”
Once I told her so, the girl had an audacious grin painted on her face.
I don’t see this ending well… at all-
“Good, then. I have been searching for a magic instructor ever since papa left for T’oued, too.”
Seeing the gleam in young Ferris’s blue eyes, I felt like wrapping myself in my mantle, just as young Bright had done.