After the entrance exam ended,
I was walking down the town street with Mil.
The faint sunset peeked through the sky, dyeing it orange.
As I looked up at the evening glow, I stretched my back deeply.
“Hey… We’re done with the entrance exam.”
Somehow, I felt nostalgic.
Perhaps it was the relief from the tension of the exam.
Mil seemed to share the same feeling, with a soft smile that could crumble at any moment.
“I never thought I’d end up cooperating with someone for the exam.”
Considering my unfortunate nature that brings misfortune to others, I thought I would be treated like a fragile object during this exam and wouldn’t be able to cooperate with anyone.”
As Mil spoke like that, a faint shadow crossed her face, showing signs of contemplation.
However, she quickly returned to her previous smile.
Well, being plagued with misfortune like Mil must come with various worries.
It wouldn’t be strange for her to be treated delicately.
Above all, the entrance exam only happens once.
I heard there might be a second recruitment, but those who fail the first exam are generally ineligible to apply again.
They can try again next year, but a year can make a surprisingly big difference.
Especially for a magician.
With such an important exam, it’s certain that all applicants are filled with a sense of determination.
So, it would have been unimaginable for them to cooperate with other examinees.
Although I did meet some unpleasant people, though.
“Sachi-san, you truly are blessed by luck.
It’s amazing that you’ve been with me all this time and haven’t encountered misfortune.
That’s quite remarkable.”
“What kind of compliment is that?”
I’ve never been complimented like that before.
While we were talking, we had already reached the central district of the royal capital.
The inn where I booked a room is just a left turn from this street we’re walking on.
We reached the corner, and with a slightly reluctant feeling, I raised my right hand.
“Well then, I’m going this way.
Let’s meet again on the day of the results announcement, Mil.”
I intended to bid farewell, but Mil opened her mouth as if she had something to say.
And for some reason, she pinched the edge of her hood with her fingertips, her gaze darting around.
Seems like she’s feeling embarrassed or something? That’s how it looks.
“What is it? What’s wrong?”
“N-No… It’s nothing after all.”
It didn’t seem like nothing.
Curious, I stared at Mil’s face with a puzzled look, and eventually she reluctantly revealed her thoughts.
“W-Well, I was thinking… how about having a meal together?”
I never expected Mil to invite me like that.
It’s not like I hadn’t considered the same thing.
Since we had overcome the exam together, it would be nice to grab a meal casually.
But Mil seems to be a bit shy around people, and even though we took the exam together, I thought it would still be a barrier for us to go out for a meal just the two of us.
However, surprisingly, it wasn’t such a big deal.
Mil, who invited me, must have gathered a lot of courage.
Her pale cheeks reddened as she fidgeted.
Witnessing her like that, I involuntarily swallowed a gulp of air.
What is it? It’s so endearing.
The timid, shy girl gathering her courage, even while feeling embarrassed, is it so alluring?
Mischievous feelings within me began to stir unknowingly.
Without realizing it, a mischievous smile appeared on my face.
“Hmm, why is that?”
“I’m just wondering why you want to have a meal with me.”
I naturally smirked.
It’s not like I’m expecting any special reaction or anything.
I just felt a mischievous urge, wanting to tease her just a little.
It often happened when I was with Mulburry-san.
After all, Mulburry-san always gave such interesting reactions.
“Well, even if you ask me why… um, well, um…!”
Mil, who was asked the mischievous question, looked flustered and uneasy.
What an amusing and cute reaction.
But perhaps I was a little too mean.
“Hahaha, sorry, sorry.
I just said something mischievous.
Actually, I wanted the same thing, so let’s have a celebration together.
Do you know any good restaurants?”
“Yes, I do! I found a delicious restaurant yesterday.
How about going there?”
Mil seemed relieved and sighed in relief.
Since we’ve just become friendly, it’s better to avoid causing too much trouble for her.
Let’s keep it moderate.
In any case, with the proposal from Mil, I didn’t turn to the left street but continued walking down the street with her once again.
The restaurant Mil recommended was located in the central district of Blossom, the capital city.
It had a stylish atmosphere and was quiet and comfortable.
While the central district was known for its numerous entertainment facilities, the area around this restaurant seemed relatively calm.
On top of that, it was affordable.
It was a great place.
And most importantly, the taste of the food was excellent, despite the low prices.
“Phew, that was delicious.
Thank you so much.”
“I’m glad it suited your taste.”
Mil and I finished all the dishes on the table and sipped our post-meal tea, enjoying a leisurely time while engaging in small talk.
“I still don’t know the results of the exam, but I’ll be staying in this town for a while longer.
I think it would be good to find more hidden gem restaurants like this.”
“I may not know as much, but I’ll do my best to share what I know with you.”
We shared information about which shops were delicious and which ones were inexpensive and less crowded during lunchtime.
As newcomers to the capital city, we exchanged knowledge.
During our conversation, I asked a question that had been on my mind.
“By the way, Mil, did someone teach you magic or anything like that?”
“Someone taught me? Well…”
“I had a sort of mentor.
But you mentioned that your hometown was a rural area, so I wondered if you had the opportunity to learn magic.”
Ever since I heard about Mil’s birthplace, I had been curious.
When and where did they learn magic?
“It’s true that I didn’t have the opportunity to learn magic from anyone.
Wealthy nobles can hire national magicians as private tutors from a young age, but our farming family couldn’t afford such luxuries.”
“So how did you learn magic then?”
Mil stated firmly, “I taught myself.”
“Self-taught? You learned everything on your own?”
“Yes, I had study materials at home.”
“Study materials? What kind of materials were they?”
“My father passed away from an illness before I can even remember, but my mother said he used to work as a magician,” I explained.
“Oh, really? Was he a great magician?” Mil asked.
“He didn’t have a national qualification or anything, but my mother said he independently crafted magical tools.
He always dreamed of becoming an ‘Artificer’ since he was a child, so there were magic books and such at home as remnants of his studies…”
So those became the study materials for learning magic.
That makes sense in various ways.
It explains why there were magic study materials in Mil’s farmer family’s home and why Mil has an extraordinary talent for magic.
It seems that while Mil’s father wasn’t a national magician, he had enough skill to independently create magical tools.
Perhaps that passionate involvement with magic was deeply ingrained in Mil’s bloodline.
“But it’s impressive that you were motivated to aim for becoming a national magician through self-study.
As for me, I’m not good at studying, so I often got scolded by my mentor for dozing off.
I definitely wouldn’t have been able to study on my own,” I said.
“Haha, I can easily imagine that,” Mil responded.
In response to that, I took a small paper napkin from the table, crumpled it, and flicked it with my finger, hitting Mil’s forehead directly.
Mil let out a faint “Ow!” and continued speaking while rubbing their forehead.
“I don’t particularly enjoy theoretical studies either.
But when I was young, I was delighted to be able to use magic, so I tirelessly tried every spell written in the magic books one by one.
It was a remote countryside village, so there wasn’t much else to do…”
She modestly spoke, but in reality, it would have been quite challenging to advance her studies to the point of attempting the entrance exam for a magic academy alone.
Like her father, who was engrossed in creating magical tools, Mil must also have a deep love for magic.
I consider myself to have an above-average curiosity about magic, but studying alone would have been impossible for me.
“I might have a similar personality to my father, getting absorbed in something on my own.
If I were to start making magical tools, I might become as engrossed in it as my father,” Mil said.
“Magical tools, huh? I haven’t used many magical tools myself, but what kind of magical tools did your father create? Glasses that see through clothes or love potions that captivate the opposite sex?” I asked, jokingly.
Mil narrowed their eyes as if exasperated and cleared their throat before answering, “Individual crafting of magical tools was limited to creating small props.
If he had become a national magician and had access to more research funds, he could have made bigger things.
Suddenly, Mil reached into their collar and pulled out what appeared to be a chain.
“I heard from my mother that he often made pendants and various decorative items.”
“Wow! It’s beautiful! The blue gem at the tip is sparkling.
Is this also a magical tool?”
My mother said it’s a pendant that changes color according to the owner’s magical essence.
It’s the last magical tool my father made before he passed away, and my mother gave it to me as a protective charm.”
The pendant that Mil wore faintly emitted a “blue light.”
So there are magical tools like this too.
I’ve heard that magical tools are mostly helpful in daily life, but this one has a playful and lovely touch to it.
It changes color according to the magical essence.
Did she say that?
“Then, Mil, is your magical essence ‘blue essence’? The ice magic you showed me during the practical exam was incredibly powerful…”
“Yes, that’s correct.
I’m what you would call a ‘Blue Mage,’ so I excel in water-based magic.”
One more doubt that I had during the exam has been dispelled.
Mil is a ‘Blue Mage’ with blue magical essence.
Magical essence varies in size, quantity, color, and character for each person.
Among them, the “color” indicates the adeptness in a particular type of magic, and by using magic that aligns with the color, one can unleash a stronger power.
Blue essence corresponds to water-based magic, red essence to fire-based magic, green essence to wind-based magic, and so on.
And depending on the color of the magical essence one possesses, the mage is referred to by a different name.
So, Mil, who has blue magical essence, is called a Blue Mage.
It’s understandable that she was able to use such a powerful ice magic.
It’s probably also because her original magical power is high.
As I’m thinking how enviable it is, Mil suddenly looks at me and tilts her head.
“More importantly, I find your magic incredibly intriguing, Sachiko.”
“Huh? My magic?”
I wonder if I used some special magic and start to question, then suddenly realize.
Ah, she must be talking about the instant death magic.
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