Chapter 8:

New Weapons and Planned Fire

Magic and the Black Cloaks

"Number one rule of firearm training: Always treat the weapon as if it was loaded, do not, and I repeat, do not ever point a gun at your comrades, it's the same as holding a knife to their throat, you hear!!"

As of now, the 102nd Special Student Magic Company were doing firearms training and getting the basic rundown of how they worked, the safety, and general rules when using one.

Ten bolt-action rifles, the usual gun, were brought in and with twenty students, half of them were able to practice right now. That is if they can even get the weapon to fire.

They were standing in the firearms training fields, a clearing in the forest with targets that were being manipulated by Ash for her fellow soldiers to hit. The students were waiting to properly load their weapons and then aim, that was for whenever the instructor finished yelling at them about the guns.

"And finally, ready your weapons, load the stripper clips, turn off the safety, then feed the system a moderate amount of magic while also supplying some to the magic dust within the bullets. Pull back the bolt, then flare your powers when you pull the trigger! Ash, create the targets!"

Ten dirt targets in human forms collectively popped from the ground below and started moving around to make themselves harder to hit.

A flash of lightning sparked off of Sakura as she pulled the trigger firing a round right through the head of a target, shocking it and killing it.

Well, killing it as far as you could kill a dirt summon.

One other thing was noticed, another target had dropped by they had no idea who was the culprit, but if it was completely silent, they had a single guess who did it.

Chisai cycled her rifle, making more noise than it took to kill the dirt summon.

Everyone else besides these two couldn't get the right order of things to work or simply couldn't output the right amount of magic at the rate the weapon needed. Out of an entire group of ten people, only two passed.

It was also harder for people of higher aptitudes to use guns because of their high magic flow rate, but people of low aptitudes couldn't even get the magic dust in the bullets to ignite properly. Medium aptitudes usually had the best time but even then, they usually had trouble trying to do all the steps needed, and then, running out of magic and keeping a high magic flow rate was troubling.

But, guns came with their benefits. Depending on the person, and element firing, they could cause serious damage, aiming them was far easier than any sort of spell, and their range far succeeded whatever spells could output unless you were someone like Akari, Winter, of Amiya.

Who were all Wildcards.

But, if the person was skilled enough, a single gun user could even get the drop on a Wildcard. Stupidly hard to use but the payoff most of the time was immense, which is why even skilled people like this class had to go through such training.

With a little more instruction and more training, it was guaranteed that only two people out of the entire first group could use guns. The second group consisted of the two wildcards, it was a high chance neither of them could use the weapons but, it was worth a shot.

There hadn't been a Wildcard that could use a gun yet, but, it still wasn't completely outside the realm of possibility.

Winter already went through this training and even though he could the mechanics right and even the right flow rate, his Wind Wildcard simply didn't want to cooperate with the gun. So, that's why he was nowhere near.

The second group was put through everything the first group was put through and everyone at least got to the stage of flaring their magic and pulling the trigger.

But, when everyone pulled the trigger, only two guns fired and one blew up.

Amiya, a Wildcard, had her weapon fire and the target she struck had a bright light flash off of them when the bullet struck and killed the summon.

The second person who was able to successfully fire the weapon didn't have anything special happen when it went off but, she herself could probably produce something special with her magic.

Selen Eos, a Sheep Demon who was very reserved was the second person who was able to fire and she specialized in Moon Magic, a self-created Sub-section of Light Magic. Though she chambered the next round and then put the safety on her gun, everyone was paying attention to the only person to overfeed the system and make a gun explode.

Akari was the culprit but everyone expected this to happen already, no one laughed, mostly because she would yell at them but they simply stared in surprise.

"Well, at least I got to shoot a bullet." She said as they looked forward and saw the smoking pile of dirt.

She soon started dusting herself off and went off to the sideline with the two others who were able to fire their weapons.

"...Did that hurt?" Amiya asked about Akari's health.

"Not at all. How did you shoot the gun anyway, you're a Wildcard, right?" Akari came around to the important question that she and Selen were wondering, just how did she fire that gun?

"Oh, that's because I have an inherited Wildcard, when my father died, it was passed onto me. So, you can consider me to just have some really strong Light Magic." Though she was versed in a lot of different spells for Light Magic, she wasn't a full Wildcard, she didn't know everything and though her magic reserves were increased, it was nowhere near that of a real Wildcard.

It was more like a super power-up than becoming a Wildcard but since the Wildcard doesn't seemingly appear anywhere else, it's best to say it was inherited by the child of the former one. This was also quite rare to happen so it wasn't a matter many people knew about, for all Akari and Selen knew, she was as much a Wildcard as Akari.

"I guess that makes sense but also, what's the Moon Magic about?"

"I can reflect traits of the moon, it has to be out for me to draw my full power." Monotone as most would call it, she was pretty cute but never made any sort of facial expression, she was also willing to talk but conversations never got too far as people think she was uninterested in whatever they had to say.

Which wasn't far from the truth but to say she was completely not interested was wrong too.

"Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing more of what you can do? Moon Magic sounds interesting."

"I would also like to see how you manage your Fire Magic, as well. On our next mission, I'll be sure to stick close to you."

"But..." Amiya looked up to Selen who tilted her head, she had no idea why she could be so nervous, but then it hit Akari too, "That would mean you'd be close with Major Flynt?"

Selen wasn't one for paying complete attention to her environment if she didn't have to, out of his entire company, she was probably the only one who hasn't been messed with. Yet.

"I don't see the problem? He's our Major, right? He has good plans?"

"You- no, you'll see." Amiya sighed as explaining it feels fruitless, the best way to teach sometimes is to let them experience something firsthand, right?

Selen shrugged again, "How could he possibly be that bad?" She had faith but would that faith betray her, in the end, was something they didn't know yet.

"Yeah... maybe she's a special case? Win- Major Flynt won't do something stupid to her, right?" Akari instantly took that back if he had the audacity to mess with her constantly and make fun of Amiya in the first ten seconds of their meeting.

"I just pray he doesn't do anything embarrassing to you. I feel like you can't be embarrassed, actually?" Amiya stared at Selen's blank pale-skinned face and yeah, it was hard seeing her make any type of emotion.

She felt like a doll in a way, with violet eyes and puffy soft-looking ash gray short hair, you could just tell she was a Sheep Demon, the horns on her head only helped that look. Speaking of those horns, they resembled those of a Bighorn Sheep.

"Just because I'm not showing it, doesn't mean I'm not feeling it. I feel just as much as you two, showing it just isn't something I'm good at."

Taking from how she said it, and from the explanation, it would be said that she was possibly annoyed.

"Hm, good point. Sorry for not thinking of it that way-"

"Private Amiya and Second Lieutenant Selen! Get over here so we can issue your weapons!" The Instructor's loud voice came clear again and the two girls said goodbye to Akari as they speedily walked over to the Instructor.

And just forty minutes, they were back in a classroom with Winter sitting on a desk in uniform. He was reading through a report of what had happened in the firearms training and was thankful for no accidents except for Akari blowing up one of the guns, he was obviously going to tease her about this, she was simply preparing for it.

"...Wow, so we have four gun users in our class, for high aptitude classes like this, that's impressive, I can't wait to flex on all the other teachers." Winter tossed the paper to the side and stroked his non-existent chin hairs, "Also, thanks Liuetanant Kazami for blowing that gun up, I have to pay for it."

"You're welcome."

"Don't talk." Winter shook his head, "Anyway. Congratulations to our four gun users: Second Lieutenant Sakura, Eos, April, and Private Lance."

Amiya then raised her hand and Winter allowed her to speak, "Can I be a Second Lieutenant? Why are all of the other cool girls LT's but I'm not?"

"...Why are there no cool guys in this class? Erwin, step your game up."

"What?! Don't bring my name into it, tell that to Jaune, he's pretty strong!"

Jaune looked up from his lap at his name being called and it was obvious to everyone around him that he was on his cell.

A gust of wind shot the device out of his hands and then Winter caught it as it came flying toward him.

"Get down here, Private."

The blonde-haired boy ran down to the middle of the floor only for the wind to knock his feet out from under him, he was able to stop his body from hitting the ground using his hands but a foot pushing him into the ground stopped him from getting up.

"I should break this. But anyway, we have a new mission coming up. Or, should I say deployment?" Winter walked back over to his desk and then ordered Jaune to do thirty push-ups.

Multiple people shook their heads, they knew how quick Winter was to notice anyone on their cell, and yet he still went for it, in fact, the device was still open, Jaune knew what that meant so he closed off his ears as Winter grinned while looking at the cell.

"Woah? You and the little Fox Demon got together a lot quicker than I thought? Texting while right next to each other, you, come on. Join your little boyfriend in his push-ups. Even better, I'll add another twenty just for you to be together a little longer." He waved her down and she started doing her push-ups with an annoyed look on her face, "Oh yeah, you gotta go and talk to someone else about that, Private Lance. That's not my jurisdiction if you wanna become an officer. Though I'd go against it, we already have like what? Four or five officers?"

"Major Flynt, the deployment..." Akari said with a sigh as she knew he was already getting off track.

"Oh yeah, we'll be heading East, the Northern theater there hasn't been going so well in our favor, but snow is starting to roll in, so they're getting desperate for results."

"The Northern Theater... does that mean we have to get snow gear again..." With Chisai saying that, everyone grimaced at the idea.

They simply couldn't wait until Summer to start next month and be done with these cold missions.

"Well no, it's not much colder up there than it is down here. But, reports of a snowstorm was coming from there so they want something done before that. That gives us about... a week or so to do something."

"They want us to deal with an entire Theater in a week...?" Akari asked with doubt in her voice, even if they were Black Cloaks, that just sounds impossible.

Sure, in a whole week, if they were allowed to fight however they wanted, these kids could cause some real fucking trouble in every way possible for the enemy. It was almost unfair how skilled they were in disruption and killing, but, Winter wasn't finished.

"I never said we were the only ones going. A lot of Black Cloaks are going, but we're the main attack force on the enemy HQ. Miles behind enemy lines, we're enacting a Scorched Earth, we kill and burn, no one and nothing escapes our path."

As these boys and girls were already taught, civilians don't matter. If they aren't from the Empire, they're an enemy, it was up to the individual to decide if they would kill or not. This was a general rule on both sides, of course, those civilians could surrender but Black Cloaks aren't taking them. That isn't their job.

But anyway, they knew why they were the main attacking force, they were efficient and even though they've only been sent on two missions, each of these individuals have gone on pretty impossible missions to even be sitting in this class.

They were a part of the best, and three Wildcards were among them, it only made sense that they would be the ones making their way towards the main enemy HQ.

Of course, they would be getting more information when traveling, for now, you could say they were excited. To be entrusted with something like this was a big job and they'll gladly get it done.

Bodies will be buried, just how many is the real question...