Chapter 2:

The Night of Magic Blades

Magic and the Black Cloaks

"He's insane?!?!"

"Though you can't lie, his plan is fool-proof."

Currently, the 102nd Special Student Magic Company was engaging in magic and ground combat against a foe that had literally been blindsided by them. This battle was one-sided until reinforcements had started to appear which forced the company to perform a tactical retreat.

"He's a genius but a blind one! We're being fired at from every direction!"

Akari ran forward as two enemy soldiers appeared from the woods, though they were the ones who probably planned to intercept her, they looked far more surprised than she did.

Through her cloak, she reached and ripped out a sword which instantly set fire and she slashed forward sending a blaze of heat to cut down anything in its way. Nature or human, they were cut through like butter and the girl kept running as lightning spells struck close to her again.

"The damage we did is irreplaceable. There's no way they'd expect a bunch of kids to show up on their doorstep and blow up their ammunitions and burn a majority of the forest around them trapping them in that blaze. I'm almost horrified if it wasn't for the fact we're the ones that did it."

The dry chuckle Erwin let out was proof he was glad he wasn't on the receiving end of that move. After all, if they got out of the fire, students were waiting for them on the other side to slaughter them like cattle, truly, it was unfair in every sense of the word.

Nothing could be done and Akari could at least be happy about that. Though still, as a test, this surely was very real, taking them to live combat on an active battlefield was probably the best experience they could've gotten, she wasn't sure if Winter wanted them to die or he was just so confident in his students that he'd do something this idiotic.

She felt like it was a mix of both of those things as Erwin's voice came through the magic reception again.

"You should be coming upon them now. Pin them and burn them before they can even react. Though, I doubt I have to tell you that. The Major is in place."

She kept running forward, moving in and out of the treeline to dodge the rapid-fire spells being tossed at her from behind. The current enemy thought they had the students on the run and that their force was much bigger than it actually was. Through a combination of clever magic uses and spreading the students thin, the force they came with could be that of an actual company from the darkness from which they attacked.

It was not clear to the enemy that in fact, they were fighting nothing more than 20 students and a teacher.

Winter fell from the treeline and Akari turned on her heel and stabbed her sword into the ground as a repulse of wind sent the spells flying back at the enemy. Winter slammed his hand down on the ground and a cage of wind went up and cornered the enemy not letting them out, sure, he could deprive them of oxygen and let them suffocate but why do that when you can push oxygen into the chamber that had over fifty soldiers?

Akari lifted her blade above her head and slammed it down as a wave of flames shot from the weapon and into the cage of enemies. The next thing they knew, it was nothing more than some fireworks as the oxygen burned up as the combustion spell activated.

Akari, even though she hated being here, couldn't help but high-five her teacher who gladly gave the same enthusiasm back.

"With that... Erwin, tell us the current location of the 140th Infantry Battalion?"

"But sir... no. I'll be on it, right away."

Akari had no real clue as to what Winter was talking about but if the receptionist sounds worried, then it must be bad.

"What are you having us do...?"

Winter said nothing as the gave the order to converge on his location which all of his students did, linking up with their teacher as he had yet to really say anything. Akari, who was appointed second in command, was worried that she hadn't heard of this, she couldn't help but bring out some of that firey noble spirit she had been oppressing this whole time out of respect for Winter.

"Major Flynt! Please tell us what we're doing, right now!!"

Her shrill voice calling out to him broke him out of his daze as he let out a small, "ah...?" in response to her yells of direction, "Oh yeah! The Battalion we're about to go and help was recently put under siege after they got the door closed on their exits. We're not planning on helping long term as you all are students but we're going to punch through the enemy's defenses on the..."

Winter's pause had startled the people around him as it almost sounds like he didn't know where they were going to attack from. And that was simply no good, as Akari opened her mouth, their receptionist chimed in on the waves.

"The right. If you keep going straight, in about ten or so minutes, you'll run directly into their flank, the Major wants you to cause as much damage as possible while bursting off the hilltop. Oh yeah, good luck surviving the jump."

Ah, Erwin, the snarky bastard was safe all the way back in the capital and only was relaying magic signals and helping with recon and research using magic drones. But there was a bigger problem, did he say "survive the jump"? Just what could he possibly be talking about? The creeping feeling as the trees started to thin was apparent, they were running right at a cliff face.

"Keep running! Trust in me and you won't fall!!" Winter could easily tell them he was planning on air braking them as they jumped but instead left it ambiguous as they ran at the cliffside, "Jump as far as you can!"

They could feel the air current around them change as Winter jumped high into the sky and off the cliff face. The students followed after their completely unhinged leader as there was just barely enough faith he could get all of them with that power of his, Akari thought it was quite nice the way they were falling with enough velocity to not keep them in the air for long but just slow enough to not break their bones into a million pieces when they crashed into the ground and rolled to dissipate the energy.

That didn't mean everyone was ready to simply put their lives on the line, they were soldiers, they did as they were told before even thinking about it. It had only hit the students that they really just did that after they touched down on the ground.

"He's completely insane..." Akari was knelt over with her hands on her knees taking deep breaths.

"Akari, that's the fifth time you've said it..."

"Tell me something I don't know, Erwin? Shut up already." She didn't feel like hearing his smart tone as the Major started walking toward his students.

"Boys and girls, demons and spirits. We're on our final march until you can get back home and rest those heads of yours, are you ready? This might be the hardest part."

Trapping and killing the reinforcements that came after them was quite hard seeing as their forces outnumbered them by a lot. But they did it with basic encircling tactics, if there was another thing to be thankful for, it was just how good Erwin was at mapping areas and enemies.

He was almost like a cheat sheet for these super dark woods, the enemies moved based on sound and light while the 102nd moved on killing blows and showing up from everywhere the enemy wasn't looking.

"Everyone prepare! You heard what we're doing!" Akari's voice was so high yet so demanding, she was perfect for this in a way.

Maybe that was the noble in her but she had a voice for commanding and yelling, Winter was glad he picked her as the second even with all the promise he had in this class. It really was weird how he hadn't lost a single student, he expected to lose at least two or three by the end of this but they were all hanging on by a large margin.

He threw his hood back on and waved for everyone to form up which they did almost immediately...

But, moving over to the trapped battalion, which was currently in a grave siege against an enemy that was ever-encroaching. Their backs were against a rock and a hard place.

Directly behind was a stream going at Mach 10 and above, jumping into that thing with as much armor the Imperial soldiers wore was even a death wish. Though their empire was all for maneuverability when designing their soldiers, this stream must've had magic coursing through it to go that fast.

It was possibly set by the enemy, they had fallen right into their hands and were going to die for it.

"Men, hold on! We still have a chance!! Guard that left flank with your life! The center, stay close, or else their mages will blast you to high hell! They're waiting for us to come into range to not waste manpower! Do not let them close and do not give up any ground! Once we've tired their front, we divert to the right and-!"

The commander of this whole hopeless operation was cut off by a magic receptionist making itself known on Imperial lines.

"Major? Please focus your strength on the left and commit a sweeping motion with the movement of incoming units. You should detect their signals any moment now."

The commander of this whole operation was doing nothing except stalling their deaths, the men were resolute to die like heroes so he wouldn't lay down and die until they did. As long as his maw was yapping like a mad dog, they would fight until their last breath. But with incoming Executioners, things changed quickly.

A grin that had been nothing but a facade genuinely crept to the Major's face. He almost felt like laughing at what he was about to do to the enemy, the few mages he had with him were about to have the time of their lives.

"Front line! Fall back now! Stall while the right breaks inwards, half of you stay while we push the left line! On my mark!"

He had a clear view of the enemies on the left, he had noted that they were breaking but without any real way of bursting through that line, he could do nothing but think and think.

The hundreds of soldiers fighting in these woods weren't ready for when the catalyst of spells blasted from the left side almost taking both sides by surprise.


The warcry that could rival the gods came from the newly found resolute soldiers who weren't fighting just to die anymore was immense to the point it almost made the enemy want to break on the spot. It was a terrifying sight as a boulder of magic and men came charging at you...

But, back with the 102nd Special Student Magic Company, they were dicing and firing their way through the field with a large band of soldiers coming right behind them.

"I hate you so much!!" Akari's thoughts leaked out as she ran through multiple men with only a few slashes setting their souls ablaze.

She threw more slashes of crimson flames at the enemy mages who were planting magic mines while their retreat was trying to be assured. With them on the run like this, it only made sense to chase down the enemy and destroy them.

The 102nd went from hit and run to search and destroy in a matter of moments.

The infantry which was mostly spears and bows made short work of any slacking enemies and anyone who was in plain sight. The 102nd ran and ran cutting, burning, electrocuting, crushing, and running over any unlucky soul who was unfortunate enough to encounter this massive myriad of skills and abilities.

Not to mention the first and second completely decimating anything that stood in front of them.

Winter wasn't even swinging his sword as blades of wind did all the fighting for him. Invisible, impossible to detect if you were just a normal bozo, and most importantly, razor-sharp and massive.

If he had eyes on you, in moments of getting close and a wave of his hand, you were nothing but sliced ham. Akari was as ferocious as she was angry, her flames were worse than hellfire. Anything that was hit was instantly turned to ash and anything unlucky enough to be blasted by her spells was simply annihilated.

In a way, the enemy would be considered lucky this wasn't a flat plain as then, the rest of this charge wouldn't even be needed as she could pick them off with flaming arrows or one massive blast. To the poor people who were simply caught in the afterburn of her flames, may your soul rest in pieces after how much you suffered burning to death.

"We're through! We're really fucking through!!!" The Major of the infantry yelled as they came out of the forest and into a flat clearing. The archers made easy pickings of the enemies that had nowhere to go along with any magic bolts that flung across the field and struck them into the next plane of existence.

In a few minutes, all enemies in the area could be confirmed as dead. They were still on guard but a small rest area had been set, nothing more than a thirty-minute refuge.

The 102nd Special Student Magic Company was tired but they felt like if needed, they could still fight way more. This was nowhere near their limit but they weren't going to show Winter that, they got their share of combat, the taste of victory was fresh on their tongues and they knew once they got back to school, they'd certainly be welcomed back like heroes.

But that was then, this is now.

Akari flipped back her black hood on her cloak and sighed up to the stars while sheathing her sword. Their black uniforms were perfect for this, boots, a basic jacket with some magic spell dissipation, and pants to match. Gloves were also given and you could say they felt like shadows on the battlefield sometimes, they weren't entirely stealth units and classes like these more or less found themselves fighting in the front.

But, their black appearance and the madness of war can make people see things. A black cloak with a hood covering their face just melted your best friend like he was butter? Would you think such a monstrous thing is something a human would do to another human?

If you were there, you'd think the same, these things running around were nothing but vengeful spirits, those who met these special units usually never lived to tell the stories and you could probably tell why.

"This has been the experience of a lifetime." Surprisingly, Akari wasn't worried about her black and white hair's condition considering she's fallen more than a good few times and been struck with magic.

Her hair was primarily black with white strands being noticeable here and there. The largest bunch being her bangs which didn't cover her firey red yes.

"Tell me about it... he's like a calculated demon..." Sakura walked over with one more person in tow. Her normally relaxed face was on edge just like everyone else, though this had been their first battle as Black Cloaks, she found it strange how normal it had felt to take the life of someone else.

It was as simple as using her sword and all of a sudden that living, breathing being was reduced to a pile of sellable parts if you were gross enough. Fortunately, they weren't disgusting enough to do something like that.

"Ahhh, Sakura. He's so tiring. I wanna go to my room..." While Akari was talking with Sakura, the girl standing next to her was just as cold and calculating as Winter when he was in fight mode.

Black hair, a stone yet pretty face, and evenly cut bangs. Short hair on top of that, she felt like some sort of doll in some weird way, like she was just popped off the shelf...

"Oh yeah, this is Chisai April. She helped me out earlier when we were charging."

The charge tactic of running the enemy down was quite dangerous for both sides. A well-defended line suddenly broke out into an even but still massive charge containing hundreds of soldiers. They wouldn't be surprised if one of their own died simply because he tripped and got trampled.

"It's nice to me you, First Lieutenant Kazami." She gave a polite bow and Akari simply accepted her gesture of formality.

Before their conversation could get any further, a call came from their little own annoying receptionist, "Major Flynt has called all units. It looks like you guys are coming home, congratulations on the first victory."

Of course, he held some of the glory to himself, it was deserved. Without his magic drones, this would've been mostly impossible or at least much harder than it was.

"Oooh! Finally, we're stopping the killing!" Akari stood up from the log she was sitting on with a big stretch and once she was done, she flipped her hood back up with her fellow classmates.

Tonight had been eventful in every single shape of the word. They'd hit an important enemy command center, killed a majority of the reinforcements, saved a friendly battalion while wiping out the enemy. If that's not a successful night, Akari had no idea what could possibly qualify for better nor did she want to know, she kept her feeling of glory until she couldn't and for that night, she felt like a champion all she wanted... 

Taylor Victoria