Mages and Dragons in a New Land? They Obviously Haven't Seen a Modern War Man
The next morning, Nobaru woke up refreshed. He got ready silently after taking a shower and brushing his teeth. He made himself some breakfast, a sandwich and left. Nobaru had something different today to train on so he didn't take his staff Kyōka with him.
As he departed, he noticed Eri outside with something in her hand. Her sword, The Executioner's Blade-Supplicium.
She was swinging it ferociously, her body drenched in sweat. The flexible metal extended a long way. Akio did say that mastering such a sword needs a flexible physique to use it. Eri clearly had that sort of body.
And with her creativity and intelligence, she would create a sword fighting style fit for her.
"It seems you are up early!" he said, walking towards her.
"Yeah." she replied, not looking at him, still focused on swinging and controlling the movement of her flexible sword "Couldn't sleep so I'm doing this."
"Wow, first time hearing that come out of you." said Nobaru and chuckled, "You are usually a heavy sleeper, no offence."
"Oh shut up." she said, pouting "But there is a first for everything you know?"
"Right...sorry," he said with a cold sweat.
"I'm going to train on the hill." he said after a few more moments "You want to come?"
"Sure!" replied Eri, overjoyed "I'd love to."
The two then stepped out. Nobaru handed her a sandwich, figuring that she hadn't eaten yet. Eri inhaled it. They continued walking. The streets were silent. The entirety of Gracius was asleep. The sun was slowly rising as they walked.
Then they reached the place. The hill where he and Kaeda first met and trained together on.
And then he saw her.
Kaeda was firing some fire type spells one by one. The size of her spells grew bit by bit. She was slowly increasing the mana she put into it. Her auburn hair flowed with the wind. Her orange eyes filled with focus and concentration. Nobaru's heart beat thinking about the previous night. If his parents wouldn't have barged in that night, they would've...
Nobaru's face turned red thinking about it. He took a deep breath and approached her.
"Hey," he said as he neared her.
"G-good morning, Nobaru..." she said, her face red. "Looks like both of us had the same idea...huh?"
"Yeah..." said Nobaru, flustered.
Eri looked at the two of them and was confused.
"Why is this awkward?" she asked, Nobaru. "Did something happen last night?"
"NO!" shouted the two in unison.
"Okay okay," Eri said, giving up.
"So...Nobaru." said Kaeda, attempting to change the topic "Training with magic today?"
"I'm planning to do something different today," he said. He took something off of his neck. It shined brightly in the early morning sun. The necklace that his master Tamura Akio gave him as a gift was what he held out.
"This is your necklace right?" asked Kaeda "Never seen it like this, up close before. It looks beautiful... But why a dragon?"
"Don't know." replied Nobaru "My master said his friend used it. I really don't know anything about this thing."
"Used?" asked Kaeda "But it's just a necklace."
"Well..." said Nobaru, smiling "That's where you are wrong."
Kaeda looked at him confused. Eri just smiled.
Nobaru never "unsheathed" the swords before. But he knew how to. He held the necklace in his fist, closing his eyes. He slowly pumped mana into the dragon-shaped, purple pendant.
Slowly, it was welled up with mana and began to change shape. Kaeda stepped back, her face full of amazement. Because a few moments later, Nobaru held two curved, well-balanced swords.
"These are the Swords of Purification- Kiyome!" exclaimed Nobaru.
"This looks so well made!" Kaeda said, "It can do a lot of damage."
Then came the big question.
"Do you know how to wield swords?"
Nobaru thought of that. It had just crossed his mind that he, in fact, did not know how to wield them.
"Actually.." he started "I've never used it even once since Master Akio gave it to me. I really don't know how to."
'So there are some things that even he can't do.' thought Kaeda 'But maybe...'
"I-if you want..." started Kaeda "I can teach you you know."
"Really!" said Nobaru, coming closer and looking her in the eyes. Kaeda's face turned red and her ears fluttered.
'S-s-so close!' she thought.
Nobaru instantly noticed her face and stepped back, his face a shade of red.
"Y-y-yeah..." replied Kaeda "The elves started sword fighting classes too as soon as you left on that day. I am at the top of the class, not meaning to brag or anything."
Her smug expression said otherwise.
"Wow!" exclaimed Nobaru "You are even more amazing than I thought you were!"
"Thanks.." said Kaeda, blushing.
By the time, the sun was high up. A lot of time had passed since the two met. Eri who was watching the whole thing smiling to herself finally said.
"You both would make a great pair! I give you my blessings."
Nobaru and Kaeda turned red all over.
"It's not like that!" they said in unison.
"Well others would say otherwise," said Eri with a grin.
"It is NOT what you think it is!" they both shouted even more flustered.
"Okay okay!" said Eri, laughing "It's getting early. Almost time for school."
The three said farewell and parted ways.
'Looks like we didn't do any training today. But it was fun!' though Nobaru.
Nobaru and Eri reached home and changed into the clothes they wear for school (it's not a uniform). As they left, their awake parents greeted them with a farewell.
"Don't overexert yourselves okay?!" said them both as the duo ran "We are worried!"
"Don't worry guys!" shouted Nobaru "We won't!"
Nobaru and Eri met with Kaeda and Hugo by the front gate. The quartet ran into the campus as an announcement was heard.
"THE NEW APPLICANTS FROM DAY ONE ARE REQUESTED TO REPORT TO THE HEALING MAGIC CLASSROOM FOR THE LAST TEST...GOOD LUCK!"
"Where is it though?" asked Nobaru "Don't think I have seen it before. Sorry, I sometimes have a bad sense of direction in these big places. Will take time to get used to it."
"No worries!" said Kaeda.
"Yeah! It's our first time here as well you know," said Eri.
"Look!" exclaimed Hugo "There is Ms Tabata."
"Let's go ask her alright?" said Eri "Come on!"
"S-sure.." said Hugo.
'Oh what is this..' thought Nobaru, looking at Hugo. He smiled.
Kaeda saw Nobaru looking at Hugo. She understood what was going on and smiled.
"I-is anything the matter?" he asked Nobaru.
"No no. It's nothing!" said Nobaru "Go with her. She's calling you too right."
Hugo nodded and followed Eri as Nobaru and Kaeda smiled.
Moments later, the two came back with confused faces.
"Apparently," Hugo started, "It's behind the school in the forest."
"In a forest?" asked Nobaru.
"Yeah." replied Eri "And get this, it's a room in a tree."
"For real?" asked Nobaru.
"Yes. For real" said Eri with the most serious face ever.
"Well..." said Kaeda "Let's go...I guess."
The four rushed behind the school, only to feast their eyes on the most beautiful scenery ever. It was just breathtaking.
The forest was covered with tall beautiful trees with leaves of different colours. There were many unique, exotic creatures like transparent butterflies (Lucid Butterflies), squirrels the size of a mouse and many others.
It looked like a natural sanctuary full of unique but beautiful creatures.
"Beautiful..." the four said in unison. There was one tree in particular. It stood in the middle of the canopy and was the tallest there.
A man with a serene smile gestured to the four to enter.
They walked towards him and noticed his warm serene smile. It was a little unsettling. He had dark blue eyes and black hair. He was a man of average height. As they entered the room (the tree), they noticed everyone else was there already.
The man closed the door of the room after entering. It was a big room filled with tables, fossilized animals and animal parts in jars. It was basically like a science lab.
"Hello students." said the man "I am Yamane Yuichi, the healing magic instructor. I will supervise the test. Attack and offence are important, but healing is the best defence. If you master it, you can stay in the battle to protect your mates. It is important to look after yourself and them too. Healing is the way to protect yourself from fatalities." He pointed to the tables at the distance. There were a group of large birds. They were reddish-yellow, almost like fire.
Nobaru stared at them with interest. He swore he had seen them before. Then it hit him.
"A phoenix," he said.
"Correct." said Yuichi "I found them today morning. Their wings were damaged severely. A severe fracture. They were attacked by monsters deeper in the woods. They escaped when I got there. Heal them, that is what you should do."
"Oooh!" exclaimed everyone. They were excited for this one.
"Now..." said Yuichi "Let the test begin!"
Nobaru went to a table. He looked at the bird on it and the other tables too. He looked at them sad but confused. Something was bugging him and he was about it say it. But Eri read his mind.
"Aren't phoenixes supposed to have regenerative abilities?" she asked.
"Yes but these are not strong enough to use them," said Yuichi.
"I see..." said Eri as he went to her table.
Nobaru reverted his attention towards the bird in front of him. It looked extremely nervous.
'I read in books that phoenixes are herbivorous.' thought Nobaru 'They devour fire too. That's where their name comes from. I don't have berries or anything but..'
Nobaru produced a flame and gestured for the phoenix to eat it. It seemed doubtful but finally came closer and took it. Slowly it gained a little bit of energy. Its eyes became sharper. It nuzzled his hand and tried to fly to him but realised his wings were hurt. The phoenix was sad all over again. It looked at Nobaru pleadingly.
Nobaru smiled calmly and stroked it gently. "Say tight." he said "This won't hurt...I think."
Nobaru touched its feathers with care. It was made of fire but it was warm, cosy and welcoming. Nobaru felt good as he touched them and slowly focused mana into his hand.
"GOD'S HAND!" he said.
'God's Hand is an advanced class healing spell.' thought Yuichi 'He's got no chance-'
But he was damn wrong.
A beautiful, bright green light illuminated Nobaru's body. It was slowly transferred to the phoenix and moments later, it was enveloped in a green sphere. Its eyes shone with energy. The wounds slowly healed and the phoenix could move its wings. The phoenix was restored to its original form.
"All better?" asked Nobaru.
The phoenix latched onto his shoulder. It looked great!
Yuichi was awestruck. He had never seen an advanced spell being performed so easily by a person of this age. He smiled, overlooking the scene.
‘The stories about prodigies at this age were true it seems.’' he thought 'Good luck, boy...'
Eri looked at her phoenix. Its aura showed fear and pain. Eri looked at it with caring eyes. She had a calm aura, a smile of serenity.
"It's alright..." she said "I'm going to help you. So don't be scared, ok?"
The phoenix's aura shifted, showing confusion as Eri stroked its feathers.
Then she touched its head and closed her eyes.
'This is the most complex healing spell I can master at the moment.' she thought to herself 'It requires a chant to be said. Chantless healing...I'm not ready yet. But this spell...was simple enough for me to master. Let's try it shall I?'
The bird's body was enveloped in gold light. Slowly, its wounds were mending. Its wings healed. Moments later, the phoenix was flying inside the room, its aura reflecting its happiness.
Yuichi looked at her with shock. This spell he recognised very well. The one type of spell he couldn't master even after all these years.
Yes! This was the power of the mages after the death of Ogino Sumiko. The Ancients' power. It required extreme levels of mana control, but the mana it required is to the minimum. Moreover, it was chantless.
Yuichi also recalled that she could do long-distance healing as well.
He was curious to know about it.
'Why not ask?' he thought.
He went to her who was watching over the phoenix and asked with a smile,
"If you can, please show me the "Long-distance healing" that you can do. If you don't mind, that is."
Eri smiled at Yuichi "Alright! I'd be honoured to."
Eri led everyone outside. She concentrated hard, closed her eyes. Moments later she opened her eyes and said to Yuichi.
"I sense many creatures in pain. Their aura contains some disturbances. They are just little ones and there are no threats around so it's safe."
Yuichi was confused. "Sensed?"
"She can sense auras." said Nobaru, watching her "She was born blind but can sense auras. This is why she can function normally."
"But how?" asked Yuichi "Only dragons and a few elves can do that."
Nobaru shrugged. He didn't know why Eri could sense auras but he was happy for her to be able to perform normally (or as normal as a person of her state).
Eri led the group deeper into the forest. It was covered with trees and was practically empty. It got darker and darker as they ventured deeper.
Eri's footsteps were quiet. She signalled the others to the same. This was to not attract attention to huge monsters.
Minutes of walking later, the group found themselves staring at the injured bodies of birds, squirrels and other creatures. They were trying to move but were too hurt. They were pained but desperately clinging to life.
Eri looked at them with an expressionless face. She sat down. The rest just watched. She closed her eyes and channelled the natural energy into her. Mana flowed like streams in every corner of her body. The "stream" merged in her core, her centre. She concentrated the little amount of mana that she had gathered and then uttered a single word.
Eri released the concentrated amount of mana she had from her centre core. Eri controlled the mana like a maestro, making it flow to each of the injured. Green coloured domes formed around each of them like private infirmaries. Slowly the wounds healed and closed up. A lively look showed in the creatures' eyes.
The creatures, healed completely, swarmed around Eri. She slimed at them and stroked them with care. She got up and turned towards Yuichi. There was only since from them. They couldn't process it. Yuichi broke the silence.
"You are a great one." he said "As strong as your brother is in your own way. You with your mastery over Ancient Magic and this kind of healing deserve a title. So...How does Mergan sound? It means Ancient Healer. But it can be called Mergan."
Everyone looked at her with awe. Some looked at Yuichi because he sounded eccentric.
Eri just smiled and said "I gladly accept and will live up to this name. Thank you very much."
Yuichi then returned to his calm self and directed everyone else back to the room.
Hugo looked at Eri. She was stronger than he thought. He liked it.
'I have to be stronger too...' he thought as he entered the room and stared into the table 'And I got just the spell for this case.'