Chapter 3:

The Light and Dark Mages

Magic and the Black Cloaks

"It seems one of you is missing? Do you know what happens if someone is missing?"

Winter was currently sitting at his desk perfectly fine after last night's mission, his feet were kicked up and the smile on his face made the students worry. Students, if they were hurt enough, could evade classes with specialized forms from the medic staff saying they're unable to come to class for a certain amount of days.

A little-known fact about those slips is that it's entirely up to the teacher's discretion to accept the absence or not. And Winter knew that the person out was hit more than a few times as it was his second in command who was abused the most. As skilled as she was, for what she was, she was hit far too many times.

She kept questioning and complaining but her results were above anything he could expect so he accepted it as he'd usually prove her wrong when his plans were put into action. That didn't mean he didn't get annoyed, and so, this was his revenge.

Ignoring her medic slip. He knew of her injuries, a lot of bruising but nothing that would stop her from moving at a decent pace which is another reason why he ignored it.

"...Major... you really don't have to do something... we're all hurt from yesterday."

They'd come to know him as a crazy person for making them instantly take part in their active war against the Breidal nation that attacked them first and had something of an advantage on them. But recently, it's been a turnaround in the Empire's favor, nothing major but it was more fair than ever.

"If you're hurt and didn't come to class, that just means you aren't used to the pain!" A gust of wind shot from under him and he landed square on his desk putting his hands on his hip, "But I'm joking. I know all of you are actually hurt but excusing from class while you aren't unable to leave your bed is unacceptable! ...Sakura, I see you've been glancing at the cell you've been desperately trying to hide, I'm guessing you're telling Akari to hurry to class? If you are, I won't break it."

Sakura's face stayed calm and lazy as she lifted the cell to reveal she was indeed talking to Akari, "You're so sharp, sensei."

The door flew open soon after that and Akari trudged in, she looked to really be dragging her body along while it yelled at her to stop going. She took her seat and dropped her head on the desk to let every part of her rest.

Healing magic could regenerate wounds but getting rid of soreness was just something it was unable to do. Quite sad, though, she should be happy that their cloaks are equipped with anti-magic spells, or else she might not even be here at this moment.

"Today, I'm going to be teaching you about magic. Aptitudes to Wildcards, any questions before I start?"

A hand was raised and Chisai was the one who had a question which he found a bit surprising seeing as she was one of the quietest students in class. Maybe she was trying to perk up as she was picked as the third most equipped to lead the company in absence of Winter and Akari.

"Major Flynt. Are you a Wildcard?" Or maybe she was just curious about his magic...

Wildcards were, in nature, people born with almost complete control over an element and are able to bend it to their will at a super young age. Masters in their craft as soon as they're able to think past pooping their pants.

"Yeah, I am. But what you probably don't know, Wildcards are unable to learn any magic that isn't their original element in turn for being absolutely perfect in the first."

Most people are born with a certain aptitude for a certain kind of magic. It was the main magic force in their body, the one they could control the most in a way, all you had to do was learn and get better. But, it was entirely possible to learn other magic types by transforming your magic with your catalyst.

Most people would take up two magic types depending on where they're born, who they're around, and if magic is important at all. In fact, everyone in this room, besides two Wildcards, were dual-casters.

"Today, we'll be doing some practice shots with only our second elements. Everyone stand!"

Akari was the only one who didn't stand, mostly because she was the second Wildcard in the room.

"Go ahead. Lay it on me, your most powerful spells that you have with your second element. Just keep throwing them until I say stop!"

"...Major Flynt... you're insane, aren't you?" Erwin, who was a support magic-user had no reason to stand seeing as he'd never have any combat.

"No. I'm just confident. Though sometimes those two things don't seem so different, huh?"

Erwin shook his head as the entire student body launched their spells forward with emergency wands everyone carried at all times. Bolts of lighting, water, wind, fire, earth, and dark magic blasted away at Winter, and once the puff of magic dissipated, Winter was sat on his desk with a relaxed face and a barrier of Wind Magic stopping all of that from hitting him.

"Who'd like to give that a go, hm? I know for a fact we have another Wildcard in the room, do any of you know who?"

The students actually looked around at each other as they genuinely had no idea who it was. Akari, who knew something was about to happen, got up from her seat and dragged herself to the front.

"Oh, Akari. I actually wanted to see how good your magic sense is!"

"...Magic sense?"

The entire class was confused by the words. Of course, there were magic signals that were used in the military to detect friendly units but knowing Winter, that isn't what he was talking about.

"Oh? None of you know... except Erwin up there."

The confident receptionist had been taught in sensing magic in his drones. It was something he taught himself so it's not normal that he knows of it.

"But, yes. Magic Sense is something we mages can teach ourselves if you know of anyone who can teach you. The short version is that by pulling magic into your body lightly from the outside, you can detect when magic is being used around you, it's a great thing to stop sneak attacks as you'll feel the spell as it's being cast."

It was a known thing to be able to take magic into your body from the outside but to take that magic from the outside and point it towards your basic human danger sense was something not many people thought to do. It made your body hyper-aware of magic being used all around you for a good distance, putting one and two together was hard but with time, everyone had basically learned how to do it.

But, Winter wanted to put it to the test and so he did, he went through pairs of students letting them fire at each other testing if that Magic Sense was working.

As of now, he sat on his desk as Akari faced the door and Chisai stood on the other side of the room. She kept Akari waiting in suspense at the attack and to really drive this home in their skillset, Winter didn't let them use their protective cloaks, so if they got hit, they'd better prepare for pain.

These two were the only two who hadn't gotten their senses tested so, it was any moment now.

Chisai quickly lifted her wand and projected three spikes of darkness toward Akari.

Before the spikes could dare impale her, a stream of fire shot from the floor behind her burning away the spikes and turning up the room temperature for a moment.

Just like everyone else, Winter let out a clap for the fact that Akari wasn't pinned to his door now.

"Wooo! Of course the fire magic prodigy Akari Kazami passed with flying colors! Swap positions and try not to use anything too powerful, okay?"

Akari seriously couldn't tell if he was trying to antagonize her or not with the comments but, she ignored her loud-mouth teacher and went on with the test. She did as she was told and used low-level fire arrows to send toward Chisai.

What the entire class didn't expect was for some sort of shadow monster to quickly flop out of the ground and completely consume the arrows.

Not even Winter, who's been around the block a few times when it came to magic, had no idea something like that existed. Shadow magic was known for being able to do some crazy shit but nothing like being able to create creatures and monsters.

When they looked to Winter and saw he was just as shocked as them, they honestly had no idea what to make of that.

"Oh, that's a spell I made myself. ...Those aren't actual demons by the way."

Shadow Magic used to have the misconception that it had everything to do with demons and Hell but that wasn't true. It was just simple magic with no connection to anything evil, with time, it was cleared up and that's exactly why people like Chisai aren't being burned at a cross right now. Not to mention, Shadow Magic was great for sneak attacks thanks to how low-key the attacks are, in the night, it's almost impossible to see if someone was struck by shadow magic as the attacks also have the tendency to fade away soon after landing and it wasn't bright.

Still, what she did was unprecedented.

"I gotta give it to you. You've left me speechless, Lieutenant April. Good job at making your magic your own!" He gave her a small short clap and then told them to sit back down.

He hadn't been surprised when his cell beeped from inside of his pocket. Their time here was up and it was time for their next class, unlike their next teacher, Akari wasn't gonna be forced to go so she went back to her room.

Winter, on the other hand, went through his student listing to see that someone still hadn't come to class yet. He was also quite upset she didn't come to class seeing that she had her ability titled as light magic but he knew for a fact she was in fact the Light Wildcard.

Mostly because he had killed her father, the previous Wildcard user and more than likely, it moved down to her. But, there was only one real way to figure out if he was right in that regard.

He didn't have class until 3rd period, it would take time to look for this girl and drag her to class as she was his paycheck. Their attendance mattered and he wanted to see Light Magic in action and not against him this time around, hopefully, she had no idea he was the killer of her father, or else this was going to get dirty and ugly.

Winter found himself walking through the city that wasn't far from where the school was located. The school was actually located in a "super dangerous forest where monsters and demons" live but in fact, it was just where human demons are trained and made. So, it wasn't far off, it was a place no one dared wandered as people disappeared there all the time, not through the fault of the school but there really were some pretty strong monsters lurking around that forest and people ran into those far before they hit the school.

He went to class in his casual black clothes so there was no need to change before going, he was going to find his little target as he already knew where she lived. She wasn't in her school-assigned room so she was also technically skipping military service, in other words, it was desertion.

He came up to a door and instantly kicked it down and walked inside the house.

"Amiya! I won't kill ya'! Come out, you little runt!" He shot his way up the stairs and kicked down another door to find a somewhat trashed room and the girl he was looking for was completely slumped on her bed. It was quite literally the middle of the day, how could she possibly be asleep?

He stepped over all the garbage and smacked the hell out of her back which was only being covered by a thin shirt. Of course, his overpowered hits instantly woke the girl up like she had a bucket of freezing cold thrown on her.

On second thought, he felt like he should've done that.

She shot to her wall and instantly cast magic making a short sword out of Light Magic.

"Wow, that's another surprise today...?"

Light Magic was mostly used by receptionists and things like that, it was a support magic type and so, her being able to create weapons made of light is completely unheard of, he wished the prodigies would stop being in his class, he has like four!

The reason they weren't currently fighting each other is that Amiya here noticed the tags around Winter's neck and recognized him as being from the military.

"Wait, why is a military guy in my house! School doesn't start until next month!"

"Are you some kind of dumb? I'm your Major and it started yesterday!" He looked around the room and found a calendar slumped against the wall, it had obviously fallen, he picked it up and flipped to the next month and she really had it marked that next month is when school started.

"No way? Wait, are you sure?"

"...What is that smell? Oh my god, when you go to school, you can't be doing that." He pointed over to the trashcan filled with napkins.

"Shut up, shut up, shut up! I live by myself, I'll do what I want!" Her tired voice quickly swapped to an embarrassed one as she grabbed Winter and shoved him outside her room.

"I'll... I'll show up! Just give me a moment to get dressed!"

"You know, I'll be surprised if you actually find a school uniform in that mess of a room? The black really blends in with the vampire aesthetic you have going on in there?"

Even through the mess of that room, he found a lot of things pointing towards this girl seriously liking vampirism. Not to mention the only neat thing in there was the stacks of books and they were all vampire-based, so, he found this girl to be a bit of a weirdo. Not that he really cared.

"Hey, it's an organized mess! I know where everything is, you can't call me out because of that!"

"Oh no, I will and can. A mess is a mess, even if the person who created it knows where everything is. Hey, I have something similar, don't worry. Your tissues and vampire smut is safe with me."

"I hate you already! And there was no smut! I don't read it!!"

Winter was laughing to himself at just how flustered a single person could be. He could tell messing with this girl would be quite fun but he'd keep it to a minimum, after all, he was a teacher first even if they were practically the same age.

As an instructor, another one of his jobs was to make people not like him to a certain degree to make them learn lessons. Well, that was one of the reasons he didn't like being a drill instructor for 6 months, it was terrible but a little fun.

"Oh yeah, you probably watch it instead? You know, people said cells were a bad idea but now we have communication all over the world!"

She felt like he was dissing him for using her cell for other purposes than what he meant. Winter felt impending danger and stopped leaning on the door as blades made of magic slammed into the door, stabbing where he was just standing.

"Shut up! I hate you! Be quiet!"

The door flung open and Winter almost laughed at how red her face was, he's quite literally never seen someone this flushed in his life.

She tied back her dark purple hair into a low ponytail but also noted she was probably a bit of a neet from how lazily her hair was put. At least she was good-looking with soft raven purple eyes to match her hair. Maybe a little on the short and flat side but that didn't really matter for her line of work.

But, he's never seen someone so pink in the face before, he kept it in as he didn't want to push this girl any further but, he did have a few questions for her but those could wait until later, getting back to school was going to be a while.

And she also probably didn't want to talk to the bully of a teacher for a while at that, so, he just kept quiet until they got back...