The Magic School was spacious. Just running a lap along the outer walls made me gasp for air.
I know. I know. This is ridiculous.
But a week has already passed TN: It says half the time has passed. Half a month = 2 weeks, so assuming 1 week has passed and there was nothing else we could do in our haste to hear the voice.
“Are you going to give up just with this, you commoner!”
Cliff, who was running a few steps ahead of me, gave me a prep talk and I desperately moved my legs which had turned to a pole.
“I… won’t give up!”
We were supposed to be running so that we could hear the voice of the magic stone but before we knew it, a strange switch had flipped, and we were both being competitive.
Cliff was the fittest of us all, and strangely enough, I, the youngest, was second.
Mary collapsed after five laps and Matty disappeared after I saw him in the middle of the second lap, then I later found him flat on the ground like a crushed toad while I was on my third lap.
I passed the corpses of my friends and tried my best to keep running, but I, too, joined the corpses as I approached the 10th lap.
Cliff persisted for a while, but he ran out of energy and couldn’t even reach 20 laps.
100 laps was impossible for students who spent all day studying at their desks and didn’t exercise.
I tried to do another lap when I had recovered enough.
The scenery before my eyes became blurry and I felt like I could communicate with God, but my rational mind put a stop to that. I was often tormented by intense nausea.
When I recovered again, I changed from my skirt into pants and tried doing a headstand using the wall of an empty study room.
It was painful.
Blood gathered in my head as time passed and I felt like I was going to explode. Blood was about to gush out from every hole in my face.
Mary went down first. Matty went down early on when he failed to do a head stand and jerked his neck.
Again, only Cliff and I remained.
I was becoming a little lucid thanks to the blood that was gathering there.
“Say, weren’t we just being teased by the teacher?”
“What a coincidence. I was… starting to get… that feeling too.”
Then we both collapsed at the same time.
I’m so tired…
Mary suddenly got up.
She touched the magic stone on her chest with her fingers while looking stunned.
<Lasting for many years> ――― the moment that she muttered that in Mitoan, the magic stone shone brightly.
Mary screamed and waved her arms in the air in a panic.
She suddenly shouted something rapidly when I didn’t know what to do. The light of the magic stone instantly contracted, and Mary fell to the ground.
I immediately turned her on her back to see how she was doing.
Mary’s eyes widened as big as they could go, and she began speaking in excitement.
“I heard it! I heard it! That must have been mana flowing into me!”
It seemed that she had beaten me to this.
The first word was the Opening Spell and although I couldn’t hear what she had said, the last thing she said must have been the Sealing Spell.
“What did it sound like? What kind of voice did it make?!”
“I don’t know! It was like something was in my head. I don’t know how to explain it, it was neither low nor high! You guys can just hear it for yourselves!”
She was blunt.
“Try doing a headstand again! Matty, how long are you going to sleep for?!”
Did the head stand really work? I lasted much longer than Mary though.
We all tried our best to stay upside down until Matty’s nose started bleeding, but no one heard the voice except for Mary in the end.
We all felt exhausted and came to the lounge for a break and to rehydrate. There, we saw Alec gracefully having afternoon tea. He was relaxed even at a time like that.
He was surprised to see us all ragged.
We sat down on the sofa to rest and told him about how silly we were, and he laughed.
“You should have asked me to join.”
Are you insane? Why do you seem a bit disappointed?
“Those methods don’t work though.”
Cliff said stiffly.
His normally pale face was slightly red since the blood hadn’t completely circulated back down his body.
“It can’t be helped. Those methods didn’t guarantee that you would hear the voice, right? Are you alright Matty?”
Alec asked worriedly since Matty had a cloth stuffed up his nose.
“Y-yes. I’m fine. I am sorry for showing you something unsightly.”
Matty quickly looked down. Your nose will start bleeding again if you move too quickly.
“It was pointless to do all that.”
“But I heard it!”
Mary retorted to Rock who said that out in disbelief. She had the brightest expression in this room.
But Rock wasn’t intimidated.
“His Highness heard the voice even without having to do all those foolish things.”
Alec, who had become the object of envy from those who have yet to discover their aptitude, looked uncomfortable as he glared at his aide.
“Did you hear it too, Rock?”
“I don’t need to become a mage.”
So, you haven’t. Well, he just enrolled in the Magic School to accompany Alec, so maybe it doesn’t matter, but you can’t say that in front of people who are desperate to become one.
“What did you hear?”
“Nothing in particular. I was in a daze and then the voice echoed in my mind.”
Then, Alec pulled out his magic stone from his pocket.
<Inside the fog> ――― the magic stone sparkled as he chanted in Mitoan, just like Mary’s magic stone had shone for her. Then he said, “Sari.”
Then the light subsided when he said <past>.
“I heard a voice at first and then another voice when the mana flowed from the magic stone. I answered when asked <What is something unchangeable?> and that seemed to be the Sealing Spell.”
Heh… was all I could say.
You repeat the words the stone says for the Opening Spell and answer its question for the Sealing Spell?
“Me too. I heard <What will never die?>, so I answered <a song>.”
I’m amazed she could come up with such a poetic answer even while panicking.
But is there a wrong answer to those Zen-like questions? What are magic stones?
“Or perhaps it was the voice of God.”
Alec believed that something divine had used the magic stone as a medium to speak. He said it actually felt that way when he heard the voice.
I couldn’t believe it or at least I wasn’t convinced. I folded my arms and thought about this, and he put a hand on my head.
“Aime. You can’t hear other voices when your mind is occupied with your own thoughts.”
I looked up and saw that Alec was patting my head.
“You always seem to be thinking about so many things, but sometimes it’s good to forget everything and empty your mind.”
Empty my mind…
I fretted over this and that but I wonder if I was wrong for trying to grasp an unknown power with the logic that I knew.
Don’t think, just feel?
Human senses are, in fact, outstanding.
Perhaps what I lacked was faith in myself and not in God.
I went for another run after I parted with Alec and the others because I didn’t know how to stay still and empty my head.
I fell to the ground when I reached my limit.
The sound of my ragged breathing repeated for a while and when it finally quietened down, the rustling of the wind reached my ears.
My whole body felt tired. I was no longer in the mood to think about anything.
The blue sky was filled with white clouds that look like they have ripped from cotton plants and the sun was shining brightly. The grass pricked my skin and made it itch.
I felt the world that the great God had created without thinking about anything else.
Then, I faintly heard something. I thought it was the sound of the wind at first, but it became clearer and clearer once I heard it.
<The Day of Extinction>
I heard it in Mitoan.
It wasn’t a voice that belonged to a male or a female.
But it sounded familiar.
My tired mind didn’t have the energy to feel excited. I just repeated the words on reflex.
“… Minfe are…”
Something cold immediately flowed into my body.
I jumped in a panic and looked at the magic stone in my right hand. There was light swirling inside of it.
The invisible force emanating from the magic stone seeped into the crevices of my skin which was touching it and slowly invaded my body.
I felt scared.
Maybe I was screaming. I was afraid of this force that I didn’t understand and knew that I couldn’t handle it.
Quick, quickly. I want to get rid of it quickly.
I wished and the voice echoed in my mind again.
<To see a dream>
Only humans clearly see their dreams when they are sleeping!
I shouted and the cold stream flowed back into the magic stone in an instant.
The paths in my body which were flowing with power was throbbing. That was when I realised that the force was hot, not cold.
I looked at the magic stone and saw that it had returned to the same brilliance as an ordinary gem.
I realised why people say that magic is God’s power.
It was a power that was outside of the logic that I knew.
It was no use thinking about it. This was an occult force.
… But anyway.
In the end, I became a mage even though I didn’t understand what they are.
|↑1||TN: It says half the time has passed. Half a month = 2 weeks, so assuming 1 week has passed|