The moment the students saw my score, they all erupted.
“I never thought he’d win against Blain!”
“He was shooting down those silhouettes with crazy momentum!”
I got 100 points…?
I was quite astonished myself.
This must’ve been some sort of mistake.
…Speaking of which, Firvus said the equipment might break because of my Magic Arrow or something.
I might’ve broken a part of the exam’s mechanism.
…I say that, but I guess my score is what I actually got.
I was certain that I shot all the silhouettes with perfect accuracy, and I could confidently say that I didn’t miss a single shot.
In that case, this is the result of my abilities, I suppose.
I felt pretty proud of myself.
Doing the entire test with only Magic Arrow was a pretty big feat. I suppose this meant I really was a little better at Magic Arrow than the other students.
Besides, Firvus gave me some advice.
The ability to decide how much power to put in your spells also came into play in this exam. Hence, Firvus told me the following:
Shoot with 10% of your Magic Arrow’s power.
Thanks to him, I managed to spend no time at all on making that decision. A moron like me wouldn’t have been able to achieve the same result if I tried making that decision myself.
Way to go, Firvus.
Your advice turned coal into a diamond.
Firvus came out of the testing room, and I spoke to him. “Thank you, Mr. Firvus.”
Firvus rapidly blinked in surprise after being suddenly called out.
Thereupon, the students began adding comments.
“Huh? Mr. Firvus gave some sort of advice to Albert!?”
“I’m pretty sure I saw them talking about something before the exam started…”
The students got rowdy, saying this and that.
After clearing his throat, he continued. “…W-Well… I-I suppose I did. I… I am an outstanding instructor… You did pretty damn well… Albert…”
“You took the words right out of my mouth, Mr. Firvus.”
I said that from the bottom of my heart.
“No fair, I didn’t get any advice!”
“You would’ve gotten the same result, advice or no advice!”
The students started making an uproar.
Firvus turned towards them and spoke. “…Sorry, but I handpick my students, y’see… You’ll all need to get stronger for me to give out advice…” said Firvus, trying to put on airs.
I guess he regained his composure or something.
The students settled down. Then, their eyes all turned to a single male student.
The head of the class, Blain Milhis.
The man who challenged me to a duel, then lost.
Blain approached me and spoke. “…It’s your win, Albert. It’s an honor to be in the same class as someone like you.”
His eyes darted to Firvus.
“I wasn’t given any advice, either… It seems like Mr. Firvus realized that I, Blain Milhis, still has a ways to go as a magician.”
“…Uh, yeah… I-I guess…” replied Firvus, his eyes averted. I suppose even a seasoned instructor had a hard time dealing with the head of the class’ pressure.
“I-I suppose… that may or may not… be the case…”
“I’ve been blessed with such a wonderful environment… I have classmates who act as an obstacle for me to overcome, and an instructor who admonishes me for my inexperience…” muttered Blain in a satisfied-sounding voice.
Then, he turned his gaze toward me.
“You sure know some amazing spells. You fire white arrows—it’s almost as if they’re Magic Arrows. However, they’re definitely different from Magic Arrow…”
“I’m using Magic Arrow, though.”
Hearing what I said, Blain was at a momentary loss for words.
Then, he laughed. “You jest. There’s no way that’s Magic Arrow—”
“I’m using Magic Arrow, though.”
Blain shook his head. “During the water quality investigation, I witnessed the scene of you defeating that Frenzied Spirit… At first, I had believed you used Magic Arrow, but… that’s not quite right. You’re using some sort of trick to hide the spell you’re using! I’m right, aren’t I!?”
I blinked in surprise and responded. “I’m using Magic Arrow, though.”
Blain stared into my eyes and muttered to himself. “…So you’re keeping it a secret.”
“No, that’s not what I mean…”
This was awkward.
Blain was completely misunderstanding something. The spell that I use was genuinely Magic Arrow.
“…Indeed, if I were you, there’s no way I’d go blabbering about my secret to someone who showed up out of the blue. Truly, what an intelligent and magician-like way to go about things.”
After arbitrarily convincing himself, he held out his right hand to me. “I’ve come to understand that you are a man who knows not of limits, Albert Luminous. I want to compete with you as rivals. Let’s get along from here on out.”
I couldn’t just ignore his held-out hand, so I shook back.
…Though I feel like we’re not on the same page…
Lucard gazed at the townscape of the capital from the room in the inn he was staying at.
The Kingdom Festival would start before long.
Crowds of people made their way through the streets to enjoy—or perhaps make a killing from—the upcoming festival.
In the past, this was a time of excitement and passion, but—
the current Lucard felt nothing.
He looked down upon the excited people with cold eyes.
“Can I come in, Lucard?”
Together with a knock, he heard Faltima’s voice from the other side of the door.
“…Yeah, it’s fine,” responded Lucard. He shifted his gaze back to the room.
After entering the room, Faltima waved the sheet of paper in her hand, showing it to Lucard.
“The ‘Student’ contacted us.”
The Student was a spy that infiltrated the academy as a student.
They originally had a rank similar to the Crest Master, but after enrolling into the academy, everyone just started calling them Student.
Before enrolling, the Student had been establishing contact using mana-filled ink, which they had gotten from Faltima.
When they wrote on paper using that ink, Faltima could use her magic to transfer the contents of whatever they wrote onto another piece of paper.
“Here you go.”
Lucard took the paper held out to him and scanned over it.
Written on it was the following:
“I’ll proceed with the merchandise trafficking. Delivery is scheduled for tomorrow. Come to the designated location.”
Merchandise trafficking meant “seizing the Crest of Darkness”.
Written below the message was the date and time of the delivery and a map of the designated place.
Lucard understood where that map was at a glance.
It was the academy.
Lucard was a former student there, so he distinctly remembered its layout.
“I’ll try to be present during the delivery, but proceed with retrieval regardless if I’m absent.”
The message ended there.
The Crest of Darkness, which was sealed deep in the academy, would be displayed to the public for the Kingdom Festival exhibition. Their plan was for Student to use that opportunity to seize the Crest of Darkness, then have Lucard sneak into the academy thereafter and retrieve it.
Faltima began speaking. “What a pain. Can’t we just steal the Crest of Darkness ourselves and run away without waiting a day or saying anything?”
“…The Student is an important card…”
Darkness’ general consensus was to have the Student work hard at intel gathering and networking without getting suspected after the operation.
That’s why Lucard went out of his way to go and receive the merchandise.
“Well, who cares.”
Faltima then snapped her fingers together. “Ah, that’s right! Does the Student know anything about the white arrow magician that defeated the Crest Master?”
“…No, they haven’t mentioned it…”
In the first place, the Student was living in the dorms within the school the whole time, and they were also abstaining from meeting anyone face-to-face so as to not attract suspicion; they weren’t in the position to speak with that magician.
Faltima continued. “Then what if you tried asking about the white arrow magician? That magician might be involved with the academy.”
“…I see… that doesn’t sound too bad.”
Lucard didn’t think a magician strong enough to defeat the Crest Master could be a student, but they might have some sort of connection to the academy.
“Faltima, can’t you send a response with your magic?”
She shook her head. “Unfortunately, no. I can only receive messages from the sender. How about asking the Student if you end up meeting them during the delivery?”
“That’s true. I’ll do that, then.”
Lucard didn’t think the Student would so conveniently have an answer, but—
There’s no harm in trying, thought Lucard.
I’ll try post the second magic arrow chap tomorrow, along with recreator. See you guys then.