Hinata needed ten minutes to recover her sanity.
Meanwhile, Mira discussed the situation of the Summoning acquirement together with Cleos. She advised that once money from the examination come in, some of it should be spend on making Magic-Sealing Bomb Stones. Excited, Cleos continued to thank her and wholeheartedly promised to do his best.
After this discussion had ended, Amaratte asked multiple questions about the Magic Robe Set to which Mira sincerely answered. Upon hearing about the additional effects that could be used with Magic Stones and Magic-Sealing Stones, Amaratte’s eyes sparkled and her eyes were glued to Mira’s clothes. Finally, everything calmed down as they decided Mira will ask Lily next time whether they could make one for Amaratte as well.
While the two were talking about that, Hinata finally rebooted, but unable to interject in Danbulf’s Disciple’s and a substitute’s talk, she quietly listened to their talk.
(“Danbulf-sama’s disciple?! It’s my first time hearing something like that! But she can use such powerful spells, and Cleos-sama says so too… Ah! Then it must be true that Danbulf-sama went on retirement. Maybe he did it to put effort into raising a disciple? And she’s deciding on what to use funds on!! Well, we have them thanks to Mira-chan, so it’s fine. ...Maybe I shouldn’t call her “Mira-chan”. But Cleos-sama calls her that way, too. No, that’s because he’s Cleos-sama. In which case, “Mira-sama”? Somehow...it kind of feels right. It must be because of her way of talking. She’s awfully confident, too. Amaratte-sama’s clothes are that, um, the popular mahou shoujo-type fashion, was it? They are super cute. Mira-chan’s...Mira-sama’s feel a little different, but are they the same type?? What if I…no, they won’t fit me. Rather, WHY AM I HEREE??!”)
After doing a tour in her mind, in the end, Hinata once again concluded she was out of place in here and was anguished.
Cleos in front of her was merely a Sage’s substitute. However, that did not change the fact he was one of the highest-class spellcasters on this continent and that he was part of the country’s top military strength, which together with Luminaria eradicated Devils during the Defense of Three Gods’ Countries ten years ago. Also, such a person said that Mira who sat next to her was stronger than he was. Certainly, Hinata burned a fragment of that strength in her eyes.
Hinata was currently surrounded by three people of country-class military strength. There was no way she could calm down.
“Hmmm, I think that to improve efficiency, body strengthening Energy-Refined items are required after all.”
“I think so too. We can’t put the students through danger, after all. The equipment I received from you is safe, Mira-chan, but there are many applicants and it takes a lot of time. I have been gathering various equipment for a while now, but there is none powerful enough.”
Mira and others’ talk had returned to the previous topic, and this time they were discussing the topic of nurturing newbie Summoners. As expected, they spoke of the problem that was the difficulty in forming a contract.
“Hooh, is that equipment one with body strengthening effect?”
“Mainly ones with strength and stamina. However, the increased amount is small so they don’t provide complete safety.”
“I see, mm. In which case, I might be able to do something.”
After thinking for a moment, Mira concluded that she should be able to do something about it with Energy-Refining. Even if the equipment had weak effect, if there were many of them she could extract it and condense.
“Mm-hm, leave it to me.”
When Cleos asked again in return with expectation, Mira answered confidently. Hinata listened to their exchange as if it had nothing to do with her.
The four left the guest room and walked through the school building toward the Summoning curriculum’s storage. The handcrafted lighting and various equipment placed here and there made the building more reminiscent of a noble’s mansion than a school.
While receiving a lesson on the academy’s history from Cleos and Amaratte, Mira displayed interest in this school which was different from the ones she knew. Following such three, was Hinata who showed clear signs of nervousness.
Around them they could see students who upon seeing the group hurriedly bowed, then corrected their postures and lined up next to the corridor walls. In response to that, Cleos apologized with “sorry for the disturbance”. Thanks to this gentle demeanor of his and the fact that he never misused authority, Cleos was loved not only by the students, but by everyone.
And this was not limited to Cleos alone. All of the Nine Sage substitutes, while they had peculiar personalities, were very modest and were people who did not think of using their positions for their own gain. But therefore, they were avoided by some nobles. Sage substitute would not say such things, Sage substitute would do so - like this, the nobles kept being compared to them.
However, many of the Arkite Kingdom’s nobles were steadfast and decent, and there were few nobles who were like that.
After the group passed by, a commotion started among students.
“I understand Hinata-sensei was with them, but who was that other girl?”
“Yeah, she was super cute.”
“I like Amaratte-sama, but that girl is also nice.”
“So, who is she?”
Naturally, there was none who knew and they exchanged countless speculations. Cleos’ hidden child, a little sister of one of the three, a new student, a tower’s researcher, Amaratte’s mahou shoujo comrade. All of it were baseless delusions, but the students amused themselves enjoyably by making predictions.
Underground of the specialty school division’s building. When Cleos stood in front of a little lonely single room from among many storage rooms of various spell curricula, Hinata opened the door with the key she borrowed from the staff room.
The inside of the store room was well-maintained and there was no dust or stuffy air, only the smell of metal and paper. This was because Hinata periodically organized and cleaned everything, a result of her effectively using her free time she had as a teacher of Summoning curriculum.
“Hinata-sensei, could you take out all the accessories I brought here before?”
“Yes, please wait a moment!!”
Straightening both her back and her tail, Hinata rushed to the corner of the storeroom. Meanwhile, Cleos pulled out a table that was leaning against a wall and placed it in the middle of the room. It appeared to be an Energy-Refining Board.
“I made you waitt.”
Hinata placed a box she was holding in both her hands on top of this table. Inside of it, there were countless items like rings or necklaces. Although the materials used for them were all different, all of them were fine items holding a mysterious power
Cleos took out a small bag that was in the storage room, pulled out what was inside and lined it up on the Energy-Refining Board. They were Turquoises, Moonstones, crystals and similar gems. A type of materials required for Energy-Refining.
“Hmm, then let’s finish it up quickly, mm. Is it fine to Energy-Refine all of these accessories?”
“I don’t mind.”
After receiving Cleos’ approval, Mira lined up the gems in their designated positions and started work. Cleos and Amaratte who saw her do it once when they gathered in relation to the Accord Cannon, felt she really was amazing as they looked at her work. However, Hinata was unable to understand what what was happening.
Normally, Energy-Refining was something done carefully and over a long time. That was Hinata’s recognition of it, that was what she was taught. In order to change multiple gems into one Energy-Refined Stone about thirty minutes were necessary.
But Mira had already finished processing multiple Energy-Refined Stones and had already entered next part of work. This work, was extracting the effect of slightly increasing strength from the accessories and accumulating it inside the Energy-Refined Stones. By doing so, she created Magic-Sealing Stones that had condensed effect of increasing strength. Although it was not as efficient as to perfectly add up the effects without any loss, by repeating this, the effect certainly increased.
In the meantime, Mira had already extracted the strength-increasing effect from about ten necklaces and condensed them inside an Energy-Refined Stone. The necklaces were turned into sand in the process of Energy-Refining and continued to pile up proportionally to the results.
(“This is...Energy-Refining, rightt??! I saw it many times during practical training, but this is completely different from that!! The pile of sand continues to grow so fas...ah!”)
Hinata said so and stopped Cleos’ hand who was cleaning up the remains of the accessories, then undertook removal of the sand piles herself instead.
Cleos said “she took it from me" and shrugged, in response to which Amaratte warned him “you should think of Hinata-sensei" without any expression. Cleos was very thoughtful and tended to try to do everything by himself, but if it was all done by someone who stood in an overwhelmingly higher position, people below him would not be able to remain calm. Amaratte told him many times to pay attention to that, and while Cleos understood it, it was quite hard for him to change his inborn disposition.
About thirty minutes passed since Mira started Energy-Refining. All accessories turned into sand and about twenty Magic-Sealing Stones with their condensed effect were lying on the table.
“She really is amazing.”
“Yes, she truly is.”
Although they saw it once before, Cleos and Amaratte once again raised impressed voices. As for Hinata, seeing the two Sage substitutes act calmly toward the phenomenon that surpassed her common sense, she started to alter her common sense greatly.
“These are strength enhancing ones, and these are stamina enhancing ones. What’s left is finding accessories that can withstand these, and it’s all complete.”
“Accessories, huh. ...Oh, in that case there should be some here…"
Cleos seemed to have recalled something, then started rummaging on the biggest shelf in the storage room, then pulled out several pieces of metal and work tools.
After a small pile of miscellaneous things was made by his legs, from the deepest part of the shelf Cleos took a small box in his hands and returned.
The box was small enough to fit in palms of his both hands. He placed it on the table and opened the lid, inside there were plain rings and necklaces that were devoid of decorations.
These were accessories made when Cleos was seeking a new method for acquiring Summoning. The result was a failure and they ended up sleeping in the back of the shelf, but the time has come for them to be of use.
These techniques that displayed the true worth of Energy-Refining, meaning, extraction of special effects from the accessories and affixing them.
“They aren’t too flashy, but they are made of pure gold so they should be enough for a base.”
Gold had a large capacity for enchanting with Energy-Refining and was a helpful material when it came to creating Energy-Refined equipment. Just as Cleos said, they were made with a good enough material for making Energy-Refined items.
“Hmm, certainly. Well then, let’s affix them to these.”
While saying so Mira received the golden rings and necklaces, then one by one she started to Energy-Refine them. When the gathered effect was moved onto the accessories, the Magic-Sealing Stones lost their color and turned into dust.
The affixing work progressed smoothly and after twenty repeats, the crafting of Energy-Refined equipment was complete.
“Thank you, Mira-chan! With this many candidates will be able to form contracts. Thank you, really.”
Cleos thanked her many times and as he received the Energy-Refined equipment, he made a happy smile.
And this was also something for Hinata to be happy about as well. Although she could not completely understand what happened in front of her, she was able to understand that the body-enhancing accessories that will help with Summoning contracts were completed.
“Would you please allow me to say my thanks as the teacher of Summoning?? Mira-sama.”
"............Hinata-sensei, what happened to you? You’re being weird.”
“No such thing. I am as calm as one can bee.”
After learning the fact that Mira was Danbulf’s disciple, Hinata was unable to decide how should she act toward Mira and as a result, she started acting confused.
“Hmm, I think this is my fault.”
Cleos said while smiling wryly. Tracing everything back, it was his casual words spoken to Hinata who knew nothing that was the cause.
“Hmm. First of all, I don’t have any formal status like these two, I’m just an adventurer. There is no need to take any special attitude.”
When Mira raised her eyebrows and said so, hearing the word “attitude” Hinata recalled how everything started. And her foolishness as she did not try to change her attitude despite Cleos asking her to many times.
After thinking for a moment, Hinata resolved herself and opened her mouth.
“What is it?”
Responding to Hinata’s voice Mira smiled and answered. Most likely because she was a teacher, Hinata was weak toward smiles of children. Her expression unconsciously loosened and she immediately returned to herself, raising her cat ears.
“Thank you Mira-chan. I’ll do my best with classes too.”
Seeing Mira look satisfied, Hinata was relieved that she made the right choice and raising her spirits she once again spoke her thanks.
“Mm-hm, personally, I can’t overlook the current situation, you see. If you need help, you can call me any time.”
Mira too, planned to cooperate to the fullest of her abilities. As a Summoner, she was concerned about the cultivation of future generations.
Hinata did not understand just how powerful was the connection Summoning curriculum acquired this day, she would only learn it a little later.
“Mira-chan, what are you going to do after this?”
Cleos asked her when they were returning from the underground to the first floor. Mira recalled the examination assembly and thought for a moment. Most likely due to the thirty years that passed, among the spells that were displayed during the examination assembly there were ones that Mira did not know. Other than that, there were some whose effects changed, and although representatives were still immature, she was able to discover some things. And she wanted to know more about such changes that happened over these thirty years.
“I guess, if possible I would like to take a look around the school.”
Hearing these words, Cleos happily answered with “in that case…" but paused there. I will guide you around, he was about to add, but then he recalled Amaratte’s words from earlier.
“Um, Hinata-sensei. You don’t have classes today, yes? Could I ask you to guide Mira-chan around?”
Retaining a smile, Cleos spoke to Hinata in regards to it. Hinata herself, being requested something directly from Cleos, made a sparkly expression.
Although the number of students who undertake the Summoning classes Hinata taught had increased thanks to Cleos’ strenuous efforts, it was only a few of them that increased each week. Hinata had a lot of free time.
“Please leave it to me, I will accomplish it without fail!!”
As Hinata answered vigorously, her cat ears stood up in high spirits.
They parted with the two substitutes on the first floor. Cleos repeated his thanks a few times before he left the school building. Amaratte reminded Mira to talk with Lily before she said “farewell” and headed to another school building.
After seeing the two off in a bowing posture, Hinata rose her spirits and turned toward Mira.
“Mira-chann, is there any place you want to see? I will guide you anywhere.”
Feeling healed by Hinata’s appearance as her cat ears and tail moved restlessly, Mira spoke what she wanted to see the most.
“If possible I’d like to see practical lessons with spells or combat practice.”
“Practicals and combat practice, eh? In that case practical training should fitt. Right now it’s Wizardry curriculum’s time, however.”
“Hooh, that’s sounds good. Could you bring me there?”
Speaking of Wizardry, she recalled Kairos and in regards to the showiness of his Wizardry, it indeed felt very unique. It was safe to say spellcasting changed greatly since thirty years ago. Having interest in that, Mira quickly prompted Hinata to hurry.
“Yup, this wayy.”
Hinata started walking in high spirits toward, guiding Mira to the training building that stood next to the specialty school division.
When they passed through the first floor of the specialty division and left through the back entrance, what appeared in front of them was a building about half the height of the main school building. It looked like a PE building and from the inside they could hear faint voices and roaring sounds of spells.
The two who entered the building from the front entrance were faced with a sight of a lobby that looked like some kind of event hall. Lined up there were numerous simple chairs and even a store in which few students purchased drinks as they wiped off their sweat.
“Oh my, Hinata-sensei. Did something happen? Was there anything scheduled for Summoning curriculum today?”
A middle-aged man approached Hinata from the back of the lobby and called out to her. He had neither good nor bad looking average face on which he displayed slight puzzlement and nervousness.
But more importantly than that, there was one thing about him that Mira focused on.
(“That’s a track suit, he’s without a doubt wearing a tracksuit. How nice, there’s no more comfortable outfit than that, mm.”)
The middle-aged man was wearing both parts of a tracksuit. Mira perceived it as very handy clothing that could be used for exercise, for wearing inside a house, and even for going outside to a nearby convenience store.
“Ah, Siegfried-sensei. Thanks for your good work. There is nothing scheduled, but Mira-chan here wanted to take a look around, so I’m acting as her guide.”
“Ohh, is that so.”
The middle-aged man who was called Siegfried-sensei by Hinata turned his gaze at the girl next to her.
(“Siegfried wearing a tracksuit…pft!”)
Mira must have found something funny in that, as she turned her face away and attempted to bear her laughter. She imagined something rude.1I believe Mira thought up a silly pun based on ジャージ (jaaji (tracksuit)) and ジークフリード (Jikkufrido (Siegfried)). Likely she took ジ from tracksuit and first ジ from Siegfried to nickname him ジジ (geezer). I might be wrong though.
“That aside, Hinata-sensei. My name is quite long so you can call me Sieg.”
“Oh yes, but Sensei, you are far more senior teacher as compared to a newbie like me.”
Hinata answered to him humbly. This exchange was not something that happened only today. It was their usual exchange of Siegfried who wanted to be called by her with a nickname and Hinata, who felt it was not appropriate for her to call a senior teacher like that.
Siegfried’s shoulders slumped with disappointment and he once again turned his gaze toward Mira. As for Mira in question, she turned to the side to take a look around the lobby.
“Umm, she came to watch, yes? But as you can see, we are currently training Wizardry techniques, is that fine? I believe it might be a little dangerous for a young girl.”
Returning his gaze to Hinata, Siegfried spoke so. In fact it was just as he said, Wizardry was spellcasting that mostly used attack spells, so even watching it was dangerous. Still, from Mira’s perspective it was a trivial danger.
With that said, unlike Hinata who knew her level of skill, Siegfried was unable to judge that with a single look. Therefore he warned Hinata that a cute girl like her should not be put in harm’s way.
“There is no need to worry about that. Mira-chan is very strong.”
Hinata answered full of confidence and puffed her chest proudly as if it was about herself. There, Siegfried recalled a certain report he heard just a moment earlier.
“Ohh, in which case this must the girl who hurriedly took your place as Summoning curriculum’s representative and snatched away the first place, yes?”
Siegfried said so and after walking up to Mira he extended his hand.
“Nice to meet you, Mira-chan. I’m Siegfried, a Wizardry teacher. Although I do feel a little frustrated that Wizardry lost, you did very well.”
“M-mm-hm. It was nothing.”
Tracksuited Siegfried made a good-natured smile. Putting up with laughter, Mira accepted the handshake. From Mira’s perspective she only got in the way of Wizardry getting the first place, so she was perplexed that he thanked her. However, Siegfried rejoiced as if it was about himself and shook her hand vigorously before turning toward Hinata with satisfaction.
“Really, congratulations Hinata-sensei. Cleos-sama also seems to be working hard, looks like the time of Summoning has come!”
“Yes, thank you very much!!”
Receiving congratulations from Siegfried, Hinata happily thanked him. As she turned a smile in his direction, Siegfried blushed grandly.
Although the current position of Summoning was weak and she was having a hard time, Siegfried was worried about her and tried to help her out.
Seeing this scene, Mira noticed. It appeared that Siegfried fell for Hinata. In which case it made sense that he rejoiced over this loss. Mira grinned. If his beloved continued to take the last place in examination assembly every time and then was in low spirits, it certainly made sense he would worry.
“But well, in that case there should be no problem.”
Mira’s skill was certain. Siegfried acknowledged that and agreed for them to watch.
“Thank you very much, Siegfried-sensei.”
Hinata bowed and together with Mira headed to the training facility’s back, where a practice field was. Looking at Hinata’s appearance from behind and realizing there was no good response, he heaved a grand sigh.