The Distant Trail of Ciara Badvia - 1-7-6 Negotiation: Conclusion
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The Saria Magic Academy
Part 7: Professor Raknag’s Make-up Classes
Did Alceste manage to sway Raknag? If so, then that wasn’t good news for Tyril. Would she be taking the Raknag’s make-up lessons alongside her? And what would become of her then? In truth, she didn’t want to imagine.
An adorable sound rang out. Lute was rubbing her stomach and grumbled about lunch break being over.
“I see. I understand what you’re saying, but it appears you misunderstood mine. I am neither being modest or misjudging myself—I am an amateur in the field of applied sorcery. There are other professors here who specialize in spirit magic, Wendt jurisprudence (1), and Badvian magic. My specialty is simply teaching magic fundamentals; when it comes to the basics, I take pride in being able to teach them more effectively than anyone else.”
“So you’re saying that you can’t give us the extra lessons we want?”
“You can take it that way, yes. You lot have always had a high proficiency in magic—as long as you are diligent in your studies, you will have a solid enough foundation.”
Raknag spoke sternly and with crossed arms, but he was also fidgeting—his feet and fingers were constantly tapping against the ground and his arm. Tyril’s heartbeat quickened, and Alceste’s unwavering smile only added more to her anxiety.
“Well then, how about letting us observe?”
“If you feel that it’s impossible for you to accommodate us, allow us to experience it another way, by seeing it for ourselves. (2) If we still feel there is something to gain from it, then we’ll participate. But if not, we’ll look for another professor, as you suggested. How does that sound?”
“Letting you observe, you say…?”
“We don’t mind the form of make-up classes Zeeland is taking, of course. For now, how about we observe the lessons in that format?”
“As I’ve said many times, Zeeland’s extra lessons are not suitable for you—”
“What I mean is that you let us decide that for ourselves. To avoid burdening you, why not let us get just a taste of the lessons? We can observe the lessons Zeeland is taking or something similar. That would save you some time.”
Alceste smiled, and Raknag fell silent—a silence that spoke volumes to Tyril. Raknag didn’t know how to refuse again.
He glanced at Tyril. In that second, perhaps even less, she understood what he was feeling at that moment.
There was no room for Tyril to object to this. After all, it would be strange for her desires to factor in this decision, just as it was strange when Alceste initially made her bear her request.
Raknag let out a resigned sigh. “Very well. That’s certainly within your rights. If you’re willing to go to such lengths to attend these lessons, then I’ll oblige.”
“Thank you! I couldn’t be happier.”
Alceste broke into a wide smile and bowed down to her waist, with Lute and Eint following suit. The whorls in her hair seemed like they were gloating at Tyril, taunting her.* Goosebumps ran down her spine.
Tyril sighed deeply. That’s it, then… This particular worry of hers seemed like it wasn’t ending here. What was going to happen to her make-up lessons from now on? At the very least, she hoped that Raknag’s eyes being on the trio would prevent them from doing anything troublesome.
Professor Raknag’s make-up lessons with Alceste and the others took place a week later.
They could still back out if they so wanted. Tyril was hoping for just that, but she knew it was a long shot.
During the week, all harassment toward Tyril had entirely vanished, and the stares directed at her had decreased. Alceste was keeping her word, and Tyril couldn’t imagine them going back on it—though she was still suspicious of Alceste being the source of all her woes. Likewise, Tyril was expected to hold up her end of the deal.
As expected, after the practical class on Windday, the trio were on Tyril before she even got up her seat. They smiled and urged her on. Tyril kept her composure to hide the gloom she was feeling. Smiling as warmly as possible, she followed behind them, her feet as heavy as lead.
“We’ve been looking forward to this, Zeeland. We have great respect for Professor Raknag, so we’re truly glad to participate in these extra lessons you’ve been monopolizing,” Alceste said.
Tyril might have felt some measure of relief were those words true, but Alceste deliberately made it sound like otherwise. Lute’s smirk only added to its sickly sweetness, like butter-fried carrots with ground meat on the side. (3)
Raknag awaited them in his research lab.
His expression looked unusually strained. The change was so faint that Tyril probably wouldn’t even notice it were this their first meeting.
Is he also not comfortable with them? Tyril wondered as she took her seat on one of the four, small wooden chairs, the one furthest from the center, prepared for them in the research lab.
“What are you doing? Sit in the front.”
Tyril’s eyes widened as everyone focused on her.
“Alceste and her friends are only here to observe,” Raknag said, reverting to his normal stern voice. “This make-up lesson is for you, whose proficiency in magic is still lacking.”
Raknag had already decided on their seating arrangement. The newcomers did not complain, only nodding quietly in agreement.
The content of the make-up lessons was predictable: for Tyril to practice magic similar to the one in her practical lessons, but at a much lower difficulty. For instance, today’s summoning practical task was to conjure a small light the size of a fingertip, then use it to ignite the end of a rope, which she only managed to scorch faintly with a small light. Raknag would decide how to tackle their lessons based on today’s performance.
(1) Unsure about the term here.
(2) Took more liberty here since it sounded repetitive.
(3) Okay, this one is exactly what it says it is. I just find the comparison awkward. The food also has an actual name: ホーンバウ