The white arrow shot from my hand flew directly at Carlyle.
My arrow and Carlyle’s shield crashed head-on.
A sound loud enough to burst our ears reverberated throughout the school grounds.
My Magic Arrow, which everyone thought would bounce off Carlyle’s shield and disappear, defied all expectations.
It dug into his shield, bit by bit.
I heard a faint noise.
It was the sound of Carlyle being pushed back, unable to brace himself against the force of my Magic Arrow.
His right hand, which was holding my Magic Arrow at bay, was trembling from the pressure—to the point where his outstretched elbow began bending at an angle.
The expression on Carlyle’s face—
was a broad smile.
“You really are intriguing.”
The moment he said that, Carlyle yelled.
Together with his scream, he changed the angle of his arm and pushed my Magic Arrow to the ground.
A white radiance burst open like an explosion.
Once the flash of light faded away, Carlyle quickly stood up with a refreshed expression.
“You’ve entertained me quite a bit.”
After seeing his victorious figure, the examinees shouted out with joy.
“As expected of Lord Carlyle!”
“So one-sided! He’s amazing!”
Among the cheers of the examinees, Carlyle walked over to me with a leisurely gait.
“That ends your third shot. Are you content with this?”
“…Yes. I’m satisfied as long as I get to shoot my Magic Arrow.”
“Splendid. Your exam is now over. Good work.”
“Thank you for accompanying me.”
Attempting to give a parting handshake, I presented my right hand.
Carlyle didn’t shake back. Without saying anything, he motionlessly stared at my hand.
When I tilted my head in confusion—
The examiner barged in between Carlyle and me.
“You dumbass! Who do you think you are, requesting a handshake from Lord Carlyle! There’s a limit to how rude you can be!”
Ah, so that’s how it is.
There was no doubt that I was some no-name examinee who no one knew the slightest about. There was no way I’d be able to shake hands with the genius Royal Court Magician, who was this country’s greatest treasure.
“That was rude of me.”
I turned my back to Carlyle and tried returning to where Laura was waiting for me.
Carlyle beckoned me to stop.
“What’s your name?”
Carlyle smiled sweetly.
“I’ll remember that name of yours.”
After leaving me behind with those words, Carlyle went back to his post.
I likewise returned to where Laura was.
“Great work out there! You were fantastic, Albert!”
“Absolutely! You were able to fire a spell at the Carlyle! Opportunities like that come once in a lifetime!”
“Yeah… you’re right.”
I didn’t really care about it, but thinking about it now, it was quite the peculiar ordeal.
If it was going to end up like that anyway, maybe I should’ve let loose a serious Magic Arrow. Carlyle told me not to hold back, so I shot an arrow with around the same power as my first and second shot, but it’s not like I went all-out.
Well, my goal wasn’t to defeat him. I should be happy I made some good memories, I guess.
“Ah! My number was called! I’ll be back!”
“Yeah. I’ll be rooting for you.”
Laura fluttered away to the front.
“Magic Arrow! Magic Arrow! Magic Arrow!”
The three arrows Laura shot flew to the target.
They all hit the bullseye—is what I would like to say, but they all hit the target without missing.
She’d get decent marks with that.
When I looked at the other examinees, I saw people outright failing to reach the target. There were even some people aiming at Casper the Ghost himself—it was downright awful.
I called out to Laura, who came back after she finished.
“That wasn’t half bad.”
“Yes! I was nervous, but I’m glad I didn’t mess up!”
However, she tilted her head with a worried expression.
“It’d be nice if I could get a good score, but… What do you reckon?”
Magic Arrow is a spell many magicians learn first to establish their foundation.
That’s why if you become a Magic Arrow researcher such as myself, you can get a good grasp on a magician’s power just by looking at their Magic Arrow.
Laura was well-disciplined for her age.
She was surely a magician blessed in both talent and familial environment.
A complete 180 from me.
Which is why—
I spoke to Laura with a broad smile.
“It’s alright. I believe you passed.”
“It’d be great if that were true—”
Before she could finish, Laura cheered herself up in a flash.
“No! If it’s Albert who’s praising me, then I feel like everything will be alright!”
It seems like she has some kind of faith in me.
…I don’t really get why she feels that way, but if I’m able to reassure Laura, then I’m happy.
Thus, the first examination ended.
If my memory serves me right, this marks the end of the practical skill portion. Next, we’ll be taking a written examination, and the test will come to an end.
Right, if my memory is—
The examiner raised a loud voice.
“I will now commence part two of the practical exam!”
I guess it isn’t over yet.
I suppose ten years was too big of a gap.
“The second part of the exam will be via Dispel Magic—a mana dispelling test! We will now hand all of you an item enchanted with a spell that we’ve prepared beforehand; Your goal is to dispel that spell within a limited time frame.”
“…This is bad.”
The instant I heard the examiner’s instructions, I muttered to myself.
Beside me, Laura tilted her head.
“I can’t use Dispel Magic.”
I lied again. This is the last chapter today for sure. The next chapter is really really tomorrow this time. 3 chapters a day is my limit.