I heard Laura’s scream from behind me.
If I were to give a simple run-down of our situation, we were flying through the air. Overlooking the ground, we cut through the blue, sky-high heavens.
There also exists a flight spell that lets you fly, but I obviously couldn’t use it.
The only spell I could use was Magic Arrow.
Thus, this was also Magic Arrow.
By gripping onto the ejected Magic Arrow, I make it so that the arrow pulls me along with it, which allows me to fly.
The weight of two people should’ve been heavy on my Magic Arrow, but for some reason, I couldn’t feel that either. Maybe it was some sort of spell effect.
It was a feeling akin to growing a pair of wings.
I wasn’t too sure myself how I was able to do this.
I wasn’t able to do these sorts of feats during my student days.
If I were to guess, it was most likely ever since I started living alone.
Day in and day out, I used every bit of my spare time reading spellbooks—more specifically, only the pages that had Magic Arrow.
Magic Arrow stole everything from me, but I couldn’t bring myself to abandon it.
That’s because it was all I had.
That’s why I continued to study Magic Arrow these past ten years—as if I was clinging to it.
Having done all that, It seems like I was eventually able to strengthen my Magic Arrow—but only by a little.
Being able to fly was one of the fruits of my efforts.
It’s not really something to be proud about, though.
The reason being that a magician’s status is decided by the number of spells they can use.
For example, Magnus—a legendary figure considered to be the greatest magician of all time—was able to manipulate 1000 spells to his will, and was extolled by the name “One Thousand”.
Those who have acquired 100 spells are generally considered to be fully-fledged magicians.
One Hundred—acquiring this title is the avid desire of many magicians.
The number of spells a magician can use is paramount.
Just because I made my Magic Arrow a little stronger doesn’t change the fact that I’m still a failure who can’t use more than a single spell.
Laura cut my train of thought.
“T-This is amazing. Y-You’re telling me this is Magic Arrow?! Isn’t this kind of revolutionary?!”
I replied softly.
Laura was probably just looking out for me, even though she was ten years younger than me.
I know my own inadequacies the best.
I felt the Magic Arrow I was grabbing onto lose power.
It seems like I was approaching my 13-kilometer limit.
I held out my free left hand.
The moment I casted, I switched from the old Magic Arrow to the new one.
Our speed considerably rose.
“I’ve never seen magic like thIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!”
What she was about to say was replaced with a scream. Maybe she was surprised by the sudden acceleration.
What on earth was she trying to say?
“Be more careful. You’ll bite your tongue if you keep talking needlessly.”
After switching Magic Arrow’s a few more times, we arrived above the royal capital before long.
We could see the magnificent school building of the Royal Magic Academy near the massive royal castle.
…I usually try not to look at it too much, but it was our destination today, so I had no choice.
Without having changed in the slightest since ten years ago, the school building stood still as if nothing ever happened—as if it hadn’t even realized I enrolled or dropped out.
Laura tightened her grip around my waist.
“..So that’s the Royal Magic Academy.”
She spoke with a voice filled with zealous aspiration.
That reminded me of some nostalgic times.
I also once felt the same—both the yearning for the magic academy and the pride of managing to enroll in it.
“So it is.”
Though all that’s left are bitter memories now…
We landed in a deserted place nearby the academy and set off to the main gate.
The closer we got to the main gate, the more we saw boys and girls the same age as Laura. Anxiety was plastered all over their faces, no matter who I looked at.
Who could blame them?
They were all here to take the examination. Today is the day where they’d be treading the crossroads of life—and firmly they’d march, step by step.
They’re all still walking outside, which means—
We stood in front of the main gate.
“Looks like we made it in time.”
“T-Thank you so much, Albert!”
Seeming overexcited, Laura let out a hysteric voice.
After looking at the massive clock hung over the school building, I saw there was plenty of time left until noon.
“Well, do your best.”
I flashed a smile and wished her good luck. When I tried to turn around—
Someone grabbed onto my right arm.
It was Laura.
I tilted my head in response.
“…Do you still need something from me?”
“U-Um! Um! What do you think of, um, taking the test as well?!”
“You said you had an interest in the magic academy, right? I thought your Magic Arrow from earlier was magnificent! I believe it would be a waste to not show that talent to the world!”
Laura had a huge misunderstanding.
…Though I can use Magic Arrow, I’m a magician who can only use Magic Arrow.
If we were to take Magnus of 1000 as the peak of magicians, I only possess a thousandth of his worth.
She’s over-evaluating me by a long shot.
I did nothing to deserve this—my only worth is that I’m slightly good at Magic Arrow.
Besides, this is the place I once ran away from—where I carved my own failure onto my life. There’s no way I’d have the willpower to bring myself to stand in such a place once more.
I wonder why.
Deep down, I wasn’t 100% against it. It felt like the regrets I could never let go of were stopping me in my tracks.
I’m not interested.
All I had to do was say those words and disappear from Laura.
However, I couldn’t do it.
If I were alone, I’d probably have never even come close to this school. I wouldn’t have even had the slightest notion to take the entrance exam again.
But somehow, here I am.
Laura brought me here on this day, to this place.
Was there any meaning in such a coincidence?
I don’t know. What I do know is that deep down, I’m clearly hesitating as to whether I should decline Laura’s invitation.
In the end, I answered as my heart desired.
“…I guess you have a point. I’m here anyway, so I might as well try.”
After hearing my remark, Laura’s face lit up.
“Yes! Let’s do it! Let’s both try our very best!”
Walking past the main gate, I went inside the school building.
I, who had been frozen in time since ten years prior, began ticking anew.