「Haaaa, haaa, haaaaa………」
Kyrill who was out of breath still ran with his all.
The forest that wasn’t terraformed by the hands of human wasn’t helping at all. The roots of some trees that peeked through the ground, there’re natural traps that would catch anyone’s legs if they weren’t careful.
The shorter tree’s branch would always stand in his way, forcing him to slow down. If he would step into the mud hidden by the leaves, all his momentum will be stopped instantly at his legs.
「Why, haa―haa, did, this……」
Kyrill who had been learning all these for the past few days desperately moved his legs while asking no one.
There were footsteps pursuing Kyrill from behind. The sounds were becoming louder by the second, it was the undeniable proof that their distance is closing.
The moment his gaze turned back as if to ascertain the distance unintentionally. He was punished for not looking straight at his path.
Having his foot caught on a small rock that protruded from the ground, Kyrill dived headfirst into a bush.
The pursuer wouldn’t let this chance pass. Easily narrowing the distance, leaping towards Kyrill who still tried to get himself up.
The one who came for Kyrill pounced on him.
It was going to be a deathly pinch originally. But the sound that came from its mouth was unexpectedly strange.
Kyrill looked at the creature who held himself down. It was a one-meter-long quadrupedal beast, with golden fur covering its entire body. The tip of its nose was in his view, the sharp fangs that peeked through the opened mouth, and the triangular ears that was on its head.
「I guess fifteen minutes or so is your limit huh. 」
Kyrill who was still gasping for air and calming down when there was another man’s voice from above.
「Haa, haa, ……Ar―dis-san……」
Kyrill turned around to the voice, and Ardis jumped down and landed on the ground nimbly.
「Your first stride is slow. Don’t just use your legs. Swing your entire body, use that momentum to gain the initial speed. 」
Ardis was starting to give advice to Kyrill.
「Don’t turn around. You will only make it worse if you dull your movements. Don’t try to look for the pursuer but to feel its presence. 」
「E-Even if you say so……, Haa―. Something like presence……」
「The sounds at your ears. The vibration on the ground. If you have your focus in your senses, they’re natural to perceive, you can instinctually recognize a phenomenon that was caused by something else other than yourself. 」
「Even, if you, said so……」
Kyrill was almost crying.
Certainly, Ardis would be able to do that. He’s one of the most famous mercenaries in the world, he would have the skills to sense danger. But even so, asking Kyrill who had no prior experience in anything regarding fighting was too much.
After all, Kyrill was still a student that barely touched the 『M』 in 『Magic』. If training had piled up, he might be able to sense presences like what Ardis said but, it’s an impossible task for the current Kyrill.
「Well, I won’t say that you can do it immediately. For the time being, you’re still lacking in stamina. You need to be able to run like that for at least an hour, if not you won’t be able to get through this forest by your own. 」
「Umm, that……. Do I just have to keep running? 」
Kyrill who had finally regained his breath asked reservedly.
「There’s no need for you to win or fight. It’s not like you got any subjugation request after all. The point is for you to get through the forest safely. And for that, stamina and the capability to escape dangers will be the most important. 」
Although Kyrill understood Ardis’s words in his mind, he still seemed a little reluctant at accepting that 『Just running away will be enough』, after all, he is a young man who admired the strong.
Seeing Kyrill who replied unenergetically, Ardis had a bitter smile as he sat down on the ground and continued.
「Let’s rest for a while. 」
As if responding to it, the beast with the name Rona curled up beside him after a cry.
「How about the academy? Did you fit in? 」
Ardis was talking about the Mariules Academy that Kyrill had enrolled in recently.
「I’m fine……. It’s still the same that it took my all just to follow the course. 」
「Isn’t it pretty much the same for the others? 」
「Even if commoners are the majority there, there’s still some nobility. The others who came from fortunate family had already learnt some magic before admitting in the academy……, I’m desperately trying not to get left behind now……」
Of course, there were children that had received magic lessons from young and could already use the basic magic spells upon entering the academy.
Even more so for the nobilities, they needed to keep their reputation, so they would already have the required knowledge and techniques drilled into them way before admittance.
As for Kyrill who only thought about entering the academy half a year ago, their starting point are different.
A sigh came out unintentionally.
「I really envy those who have talent. 」
「If talent is all you need to become strong, no one would suffer. Of course, if you had to catch up to someone with talent, just the same effort won’t be enough. 」
Ardis’s words of consoling came out for some reason.
「Yes. I must put in twice the effort. I guess that’s also one of the reasons why I’m being chased around in this forest. 」
「Don’t be like that. There’s not much difference even if you have talent or not. Of course, if you have it, it’ll be better but, there’re also difficult things for those that has it. 『Talent is like rain. Sometimes it is a blessing, sometimes it is a disaster. Sometimes giving hope, sometimes being the shackles that hold you down. That’s why, the talented have the talented ways, and the talentless have the talentless ways』, it seems. 」
「What’s that? 」
「Someone I knew said that. He’s someone with enviable amount of talent. Though he’s the only talented guy I knew that would say something like that. 」
「Even more gifted than Ardis-san? 」
「Me? I was desperately trying not to drag down my comrades. I fully know how talentless I am. 」
That would be overly humble, Kyrill thought. He could suppress any and every beasts or demonic beings like they were all ants, if Ardis who was referred as the 『Three Great Demons Subjugator』 in Nagras Kingdom has no talent, then would there even be anyone talented in this entire world.
「Well, even if you don’t have talent, as long as you study well, the techniques to fight will naturally come to you. What’s important is to keep a balance between confidence in your own strength, and to not overestimate your own strength. 」
Ardis stood up and lightly patted Kyrill.
「But that’s also after you have the basics in you. You had enough rest by now right. There’s still an hour left for today, let’s continue the chase with Rona. 」
「Uu……, again? 」
「Of course. 」
Kyrill was shaky as he lifted his heavy body. Starting from his calf, every fiber in his body is screaming in pain. He can still move today but, he could imagine the scene tomorrow where he suffers.
Recalling that there will be the Practical Basics class for him in the morning, Kyrill ran in the forest for another hour anxiously.
The capital of Nagras Kingdom, Gran. There’re two main education institutions in the capital.
The first is the Royal Academy. It is the institution reserved for the royalty and nobles. Ethics, discipline, knowledge, and behavior, it’s an academy that was built with the intentions of teaching their students that, of course, only nobles are allowed to enroll.
On the other hand, Mariules Academy. It’s an institution founded by Mariules who was a royal court magician. Different than the purpose of the Royal Academy, it gathered all talented and developed them for the purpose of the kingdom’s prosperity. That is why, the academy accepts anyone who are excellent.
But of course, for commoners, it’s hard for them to bear the cost of enrollment. Even if they had talent, there’re many that are deterred because of the high cost.
If Marrieda wasn’t supporting him, Kyrill would most probably be the same. As he thought so, Kyrill exited the dormitory of the academy and headed his way to the lecture hall.
He tried his best moving the legs that didn’t felt like his, all while enduring the electrifying pain that came in every step, he managed to creep his way to the lecture hall and collapsed on a seat nearest to the entrance.
「Oi, Kyrill. There’s no need to sit so close to the entrance right. Why not sit over there together? 」
「Nn? Ah……, Rai. 」
As if a machine on the verge of breaking turning around, Kyrill looked at the owner of the voice. There was a lively looking young man with a yellowish green hair. He was looking at Kyrill as he commented with a tired gaze.
「Again―, you have a dead person’s face today. 」
「……I will stay here. I can’t move yet. 」
When the answer to that question came late, the young man whose name is Rai sat down beside him.
「Home tutor again? 」
「Unn. ……I’m fine here, Rai can sit wherever you like. 」
「Then I will choose this seat. But it doesn’t make sense? Why being a home tutor makes you look like this? 」
Taking up on Kyrill’s offer easily, Rai took the seat beside Kyrill and started taking out his textbooks.
「Unn, it doesn’t make sense right. Why me, why are my muscles screaming in pain when it’s just being a home tutor……」
Hahaha, Kyrill had a dry laugh.
That’s right. Kyrill’s job was supposed to be teaching common sense and normal speaking to the twins under Ardis’s shelter. Then why is he running away from a fierce looking predator――Rona every single day? Kyrill couldn’t stop questioning himself every time.
Is he even working as a home tutor, or is he undergoing some hellish trial.
「By the way Kyrill. There’s the Practical Basics class later though? 」
「Unn, I just want to forget it all……」
Practical Basics is one of the classes that trained their fighting techniques. Even though everyone here aimed to 『Study in the academy』, all of them had different ambitions.
Some who wishes to become merchants, some who wants to learn medical techniques, some who wants to become famous through literature, some who wants to succeed through management, and those who are walking the path of martial.
Those who are in the martial section are compulsory to learn fighting techniques, but for the others, it’s optional. If they even had time to train their body, they should instead spend it to read more books and deepen their wisdom.
Of course, the academy understood that well. That’s why the classes each student took was different depending on their ambitions.
Those who pursue martials――most with the intentions of becoming a general in the royal army, or to join the private army of some nobles, more than half of their curriculum were practical training or exercising. The young man named Rai falls into this category precisely.
On the other hand, Kyrill is walking the path of a magician. Magicians needs to have a broad range of knowledge. Leaving aside the vast knowledge required to learn magic, there’s still ancient language, spells, and medicinal studies for them.
Of course, magicians needed to be familiar with the systems of magic as well, they couldn’t avoid the study on the evolution and history of magic.
Kyrill who just enrolled in the academy was dizzy at the amount of curriculum he had to attend. That’s why the majority of magicians wouldn’t spend time on 『Unneeded courses』 like ethics and morals.
In fact, amongst the students who study magic like Kyrill, there’re many that are out of the ordinary. If they weren’t so, it can be said that they wouldn’t ever succeed as a magician.
The moment when they are recognized for their abilities and become court magicians or noble magicians, they would have to be able to handle stuffs other than magic as well, ――such as the difference in ethics of different social hierarchies―― it’s natural they have to suffer through this now.
Regarding that, Kyrill had already experienced it when he was an apprentice merchant. Magicians who excel in interpersonal communication are quite rare, those that are would often be treated with courtesy.
「Being a magician is tough too huh」
Rai was sympathizing Kyrill as he said so. Magicians are scholars as well as researchers, and also a combatant at the same time. That is why they are expected to learn everything and the bare minimum to fight in the academy.
The lesson will get more specialized as their year progresses, and the senior students can choose their own combat specializations. But Kyrill who had just enrolled in the academy had no choice.
Under the pretense of learning the basics, they are forced to partake in the Practical Basics class. Although it’s a practical class, it wasn’t anything difficult for their year like using magic or sparing, they are just plainly running and building up their muscles.
Rai and Kyrill would be participating in that class despite Rai aiming to become a warrior and Kyrill aiming to become a magician, after all, physical strength is useful for both. Needless to say, it is a class unpopular with the magicians, regardless of if they’re graduates or students.
「Tomorrow……, I can finally get some rest」
In any case, after the Practical Basics class today and the home tutor work――in name but actually some kind of training――, Kyrill would be able to rest for tomorrow. If it’s a day off on the academy as well as his work, he would be able to rest for the whole day.
It was different than what was agreed upon. Kyrill suddenly realized. It was supposed to be on the afternoons when he has no class. Then how come, Kyrill is getting Ardis’s training every day after his class is over.
『Well, it’ll be hard to proceed if Kyrill can’t get here by himself after all. 』
The black-haired demonic instructor said.
For Ardis, it seems like Kyrill being trained is more prioritized than being a home tutor. In the end, it became that he would undergo the hellish training every day except for the days when he was supposed to work as a home tutor.
Kyrill objected at first, saying that 「I won’t make it in time after my classes are over」, after all, there was a two-hour walk in the forest. Despite so, Ardis would fetch him two ways, and the problem was solved somehow.
「To think that he can fly in the sky……」
Ardis would carry Kyrill up in the air, and flew the entire distance, making the two-hour journey into ten minutes. At Ardis’s unexpected recklessness, Kyrill was holding his head again.
「Nn? What about the sky? 」
「No, it’s nothing……」
As the round-trip time that was needed reduced to almost nothing, Kyrill had nowhere to run. After that, he had to take part in Ardis and Rona’s training in consecutive days. On top of that, it was two hours a day.
Kyrill thought that he heard the schedule was an hour for home tutor and another for training……, where did the home tutor work went. Kyrill’s question that he had put aside deliberately came at him again.
There was only a single day that there’s no class. Come to think of it, Kyrill had no reminiscence of having went out anywhere on that day. Maybe it was a total mistake of his to have accepted the home tutor work. Kyrill had started thinking like that.
Although he was undergoing their training every day, the wage of his home tutor work was still being paid, it is the only saving grace.
「Oh, the lecturer’s here. 」
The male lecturer had entered the hall. The time that he could bury himself in the desk was over. Even if his whole body is screaming in pain, he couldn’t betray Marrieda who is willing to help out in his studies, and Ellie who is his Nee-san.
「『Talentless have the talentless way』 huh……」
Recalling the words that came from Ardis, Kyrill was somehow able to get his heavy body up.