Chapter 7:

Chapter 6: School

Your Healer

Chapter 6: School

Did you like school trips? For me, they were a very mixed experience. On the one hand, I could escape the responsibilities from home, but on the other hand, I had to spend time with my classmates.

Why am I asking? Because I will go on a trip with Miko. Her promised boot camp would be held in a magic school.

"You are still sure to lend us your car?" Miko asked Eliza for the third time that day.

"It's fine, and I trust Kayla to drive like a sane person," while talking, her gaze wandered to Lilith, who was slurping from the latte I bought her earlier.

"I am sure everything will be fine," I said with a forced smile. It was for the best that I did not mention that I got my driving license around two years ago and never drove a car again after that.

"I could try to create a portal for you," Lilith added.

"Sadly, they aren't safe and forbidden too. Please just go to prison before you try to kill us with your spells," Miko replied.

"Just go now before we jinx something," Eliza said, smiling. "And don't forget to call us occasionally… we need to know if Miko is behaving."

"Since when am I the one who needs supervising? Just for you to know, I am Kayla's master, not the other way around!"

"Master? What do you two actually do when you're alone?" Lilith asked, narrowing her brows.

Before this conversation could go any further, I grabbed my travel bag, threw it over my shoulder, and pulled Miko's hand, dragging her with me.

"Be careful on the road." Eliza reminded us before we left.

We were in the packed car and ready to go a few minutes later. All our bags were stowed in the trunk, and we put an electric cooling bag in the back seat.

The weather got fairly hot recently, expectable if you consider that we just hit June some days ago.

"Did you bring a bikini?" Miko asked while we were driving on the freeway.

"Of course, the school is close to a beach, so I thought we could go swimming or something like that."

"You know we're going there to work? I'm not sure you will be able to swim after I'm done with you."

"Please be gentle with me, or I will break down again," I said, chuckling.

I never disliked working out or practicing in general. The positive feedback from my dad and teachers was the fuel to get me through school...

Until now, we were listening to the radio, but Miko started pressing some stuff on the display to connect her phone to the car's audio systems.

"Is there any genre you hate? I will consider not playing it if you tell me."

Wow so considerate

"I am open to anything, but I don't enjoy this electric stuff that just tears apart your eardrums."

Of course, there are more genres I don't like, but I don't want to deprive Miko of her music.

And luckily, she decided to play some pretty generic pop music, some English songs, some Korean, some in Japanese. The only thing I noted was the beautiful, strong voices of every single vocalist.

"They are great, aren't they? The songs."

"Definitely enjoyable."

"Can I sing along?" she asked shyly.

"Why not."

Somehow, I expected her to be a good singer; she always seemed kind of perfect in everything she did, but it comforted me that she barely hit any tone.

Don't get me wrong, listening to her singing was not painful. I would describe it as cute how she could just let her go in front of me, somehow sharing a weakness.

At some point, Miko fell asleep, and after she suddenly awakened, she said, "We got ice cream. You want some?"

"Yeah, sure, let me look out for a rest stop."

"Nah, you don't need to. I feed you."

"I don't think so, that sounds very distracting, and that means dangerous."

"You just missed an exit..."

"Yeah, thank you for the info."

"Shit, the next stop comes in 15 kilometers."

"You know that this isn't really far at all…?"

"I want the ice now."

She was starting to get on my nerves, and it was hard for me to focus on the street, the signs for rest stops, and her whining. It did not help that her voice sounded like she wanted to make me angry.

"Just eat your ice. I can wait."

"Nah, that's unfair. I can't be that cruel to my little apprentice."

Just shut up

Normally, I enjoy every kind of attention I get from Miko, but I regret sitting with her in this car right now.

It took just some minutes before we reached the next stop, and guess what… Miko, who put the cooling box in the car and filled it with ice cream and drinks, forgot to plug in the power cable.

"I definitely plugged It in," she said.

"Just confess that you forgot it."

"I will neither confess nor deny anything."

By now, I really wanted that ice cream, too. The thought of something cool and sweet made the whole ride a bit more tolerable, but my so-called Master failed completely.

"I go to the toilet and cry a bit," I exclaimed, still disappointed.

"Take care," Miko said, staring at the molten ice cream, deep in thought.

When I came back, I saw her grinning happily. I did not expect anything good from this expression.

"You still want some ice cream?" she asked, snickering.

I looked into the box and found a solid block of ice surrounding every item inside.

"I swear it was the first time I tried ice magic," she explained proudly.

Did she expect praise? I sighed. "Will you cut it out with fire magic, or what is your plan?"

"I could try to." She said, still smiling.

It felt like Miko evolved into an idiot the moment we sat in the car this morning. Why exactly did I admire her before?

We ended up not eating anything. I just wanted to arrive at this school already. This road trip with Miko was stressing me out a lot.

"I'm sorry," she said in a silent moment. "It felt like you are a bit tense, and I suck at being a funny companion."

She did not need to apologize. Now, I actually felt bad for thinking negatively about her.

"It's fine. It is my fault for being so sensitive," I said, smiling slightly.

"Come on. I'm trying to apologize to you right now. Don't tell me it is your fault." It seemed like she was struggling a lot to get these words out.

"You are suffering right now, aren't you?" I asked to tease her.

"Don't be so cheeky, or I will take it back."

"No, please don't. I appreciate your apology, Master."

"Please don't call me like that in the presence of anyone else. It gets more embarrassing every time you say it with a straight face."

"But, Master, how else can I show my deep love for you?"

"Keep talking, and I take over the wheel to steer the car into the next ditch."

"OK, OK, I am sorry," I said, laughing. Was it so hard to get this kind of atmosphere from the beginning of the trip?

After around an hour, we had to depart straight into a forest. The paved street slowly turned into a bumpy road.

Five minutes later, we had to stop at a gateway. A middle-aged man approached us after he left his small cabin. Miko explained who we were, so he opened the barrier that had closed the road before.

We came across some different wooden buildings while driving toward the school property's parking lots.

Everything looked more like a holiday resort instead of a campus.

"There it is. Parking for guests." Miko said, pointing at a sign that was placed on a tree.

I followed the road ahead, and finally, we found the parking space.

"Should we take our bags with us?" I asked, unsure if we had really stopped at the right place.

"Yes, of course, we will meet with our contact person at the cafeteria."

"Oh, we got a contact person. Good to know." Yeah, why should she tell me that we meet a certain person? I am not that important; I don't need to know that at all.

"Just follow me," Miko said as she hung her bag around her shoulder.

And so, I did.

If you are a fan of nature, this campus would be your place to be. They got several kilometer-long hiking trails, a waterfall, and even a lake. Maybe we could go swimming in there.

But we headed in the exact opposite direction of all these attractions. Our destination was the cafeteria district, which was next to the educational buildings.

"This place is huge." I was impressed. This was not even comparable to the small school in my hometown.

Miko seemed to enjoy my amazement because she just stared at me occasionally while I couldn't close my mouth in wonder.

After a short walk, we met other people for the first time. They actually wore a kind of uniform. That reminded me of universities in other countries where it is normal for everyone to wear the same clothes.

The students just eyed us and started whispering after passing us. Maybe it was something special for outsiders to walk around here. Or they knew who we were. Perhaps we are the hot talk of the whole school?

"Do you know anyone from here?" I asked.

"Yeah, some students and one teacher. But I don't know that girl we will meet now. I just know that she is the leader of this school's student council."

As we arrived at the cafeteria building, I saw a few people gathered around someone. And the moment I laid eyes on this person of interest, I knew that she was someone special.

She had beautiful long brown hair tied into a ponytail, a nice tan, and shining green eyes. The last time I was so impressed by someone's presence was when I met Lilith for the first time.

Our eyes met; she started waving in our direction and shooed away her followers. After she finally managed to get away from the other students, she walked over to us.

"I am so sorry that you had to watch that." She said, laughing. "I rarely got time to talk with my fellow students, and meeting me outside the student council is fairly uncommon for them."

"No problem, my name is Kayla, and that is Miko." I introduced us as I put out my hand toward her.

She took it and shook it softly. "It is a pleasure." She said while giving Miko a cautious side-eye.

"So, you two want to use our facilities to train, am I right?" she asked.

"Exactly," Miko answered. "I don't want to sound disrespectful, but why are you taking care of us?"

"The principal is on vacation, and his representative is busy teaching, so I have been tasked to ensure that you have a great time here."

There was a weird tension between these two, but I could not grasp what it was.

"How should we call you?" I asked, genuinely interested since she did not introduce herself.

"I am so sorry. You can call me Hannah," She smiled awkwardly, "I see you got your luggage with you. Let me show you the place where you will stay." And so, we started walking to the dormitories.

"I suggested giving you a room in the teacher's dorm, but they denied my request, but I managed to get you a room next to mine."

The dorm building was a huge villa from the outside. And from the inside, it looked a lot like a hotel. There was a reception, and every room had a unique number at its door.

Our room was at the end of the right-wing on the second floor. It was quite a walk, but we had the advantage of a separate exit from the dorms leading straight to the educational building.

"This exit is worth more than you may think. I can't imagine running through the dorms when I need to get to my lessons on time." Hannah explained… she definitely had problems because of her popularity.

The room was not that special. It really felt like a hotel suite. I immediately felt at home. Even the size reminded me of my own apartment.

"I hope the double bed is not a problem. The rooms are actually designed for a single person, but it was requested that you both stay in one room."

I didn't know who requested that, but I was happy with it.

"If you got any questions, just text or call me," Hannah said, handing me a business card.

She had a business card with her name, photo, and mobile phone number on it.

"Thank you," I said, smiling at her while storing her card in my pockets.

"Um, would you two like to have dinner with me and my friends from the student council tonight? I'm assuming you two won't be starting your training immediately, so I thought it would be great if we could get to know each other..." Hannah asked, sounding a bit shy.

"Great idea," Miko answered. "I am curious what you think about me at your school." She added.

I think I know now why people started whispering behind our backs. If anyone heard about what happened three years ago, they knew that Miko had a past worth talking about.

"I can assure you that we from the council deeply respect you for your actions."

"Everything is fine, Hannah. I look forward to our dinner, and thank you for your help so far," I said, trying to end this conversation before it could continue.

"See you later…" she said, leaving the room.

"Are you pissed?" I asked, looking at Miko, but she was already unpacking her bag and ignored my question.

Some hours later, someone knocked at our door and started speaking.

"It's me, Hannah. I am here to pick you up."

It was already 7:00 p.m., and I did not eat anything today, so I rushed to the door. "Let's go. I am starving."

"Go without me. I decided to meet up with an acquaintance soon."

Normally, my emotional health bar would take huge damage now, but I was so hungry that I could survive a dinner without Miko despite the fact that I would sit with a bunch of strangers.

"Okay, I see you later."

"Oh, Miko won't eat with us?" Hannah asked, somewhat disappointed.

"Not because of you, but she will meet up with a friend. I guess that is more important to her." I tried to explain.

"Ah, I understand. Luckily, we will have more opportunities to eat together." She said, smiling.

We took the backdoor exit and arrived at a similar hidden entrance to the cafeteria building.

"This is a closed-off area for special occasions, aka where my friends and I hang around."

Hannah was more like a normal young woman than I expected; the first impression she gave me was much more serious and stricter.

I was relieved that she was so kind to me.

We finally arrived at our destination for tonight's dinner, where we were greeted by three other students already seated at a set table.

The student council was an exciting mix of people.

There was Nada, a 13-year-old girl who had been studying at this magical school for three years.

Alex, a 23-year-old woman who has been a student here for seven years.

And Elliot, a man who looked between 18 and 35 who just recently joined the school as a scholar... he concealed his age with the words, "Age is just a number."

We had the choice between several salads, meat, and vegetarian snacks. There was water, soft drinks, and even some champagne with fruit flavor to drink.

But I quickly realized that I was the only person at that table who was there for the food.

The others seemed to have other priorities.

"Tell us, Kayla, why are you here exactly? Hannah mentioned that you need to undergo some training?" Elliot asked.

"Recently, I had my first mission at a dungeon and overused my magic, causing my mana system to rebel and damage my body... Since I never want to make that experience again, I asked for special training to learn my limits and hopefully improve my skills." Pretty solid summary if you ask me.

"So, you are fighting for money?" Nada asked.

"No, no. I am just a healer. I never fought in my whole life."

"Healing magic? Hannah also specializes in that field."

"Really? Will you also join a guild after graduating?"

Hannah shook her head, "No, never. I don't want to come near any dungeon. I want to start working in a hospital."

Right, some healers are working in hospitals. Mixing her magical abilities with traditional medicine to help sick people.

When my mother died, finding a magic user in a normal work environment was still unusual. But one cannot deny that magic's special opportunities are a blessing for any job.

Why did I never think about it? I guess because it was out of the question for me to use my magic seriously at all.

"I definitely respect your bravery; there must be people who clear the dungeons," Hannah said.

"Thank you, but I haven't done anything so far."

"And what is it like to work with Lilith and Miko? Are they as special as they're rumored to be?" Alex asked, with her head resting on the table.

"To answer this question, I first need to know any rumors..."

"They say Miko is a berserker, insanely violent, but incredibly strong and capable. It's rumored that the only reason she wasn't marked like Lilith was that the higher-ups feared Miko's reaction."

That sounded ridiculous. The Miko I knew was nice and maybe even silly at times, but she had her heart in the right place. But I never saw her fighting or seriously angry. In the end, I didn't want to imagine her being someone terrible.

"She's actually super friendly. You need to talk to her when you can. The rumors sound like pure fiction". I laughed a little, but no one seemed really convinced by my words.

"I guess you are right. She really seems like a good person." Hannah said.

She was the only person who had met Miko so far and could confirm that she wasn't a violent person at all.

"Do you think she's up for a training fight?" Elliot asked, grinning. "I am just too curious; I want to know how strong she really is."

"I will ask her if you want." If I am totally honest, I really wanted to see her fight, too. All the talk about her abilities got me excited.

"Are you a fighter, Elliot?" I asked since he wanted to go against Miko.

"You could say so. I've been a group leader in a pretty strong guild that has cleared countless dungeons in the past."

"Why did you quit?"

"At some point, I was burned out. I had seen enough suffering. So, I wanted a change of pace. Now I study psychology and work with magical therapy for people with trauma."

"You can study psychology at this school?" I was surprised. I had no idea what you could choose to study here.

"Yes, of course. There are over a hundred fields of study in the general area. They are not mandatory; you can also study something magical only. But I always wanted to do a regular major, too."

"Impressive. What are you guys studying?"

"I'm studying otherworldly life forms and dungeons; so far, it's very theoretical, but maybe one day we'll dive into a dungeon together," Alex explained.

"My major is magical items, plus I am going for a regular high school degree," Nada said.

"I am studying medicine and healing magic," Hannah exclaimed, smiling brightly. She seemed to love what she did. "How did you become a healer?" she asked.

"Tough question..." I scratched my cheek, "I just tried it out, and it worked pretty well... So, I kept using it for different occasions..."

"Sounds illegal," Nada noted, smirking.

Cold sweat began to form on my forehead. "Haha, sounds like it."

"You should start studying here. A healer with a degree has all the possibilities in the world." Hannah suggested, but I just shook my head slightly.

"I'm pretty happy with the way it is now. Maybe one day," I said.

Because of all the chatter, we barely got to eat, so a wordless agreement was made to shift the focus to feeding.

The topics of conversation eventually drifted off to quite amusing things, so the evening flew by. I helped the others clear the dishes, and we went to the dorms together afterward.

What I then discovered at the back entrance shocked me for a moment, Miko was in the arms of an unknown man.

The moment her eyes met mine, she smiled and ended the hug. The other person walked away.

"Who was that?" Elliot asked quietly.

"I don't know. It is way too dark…" Nada said.

Before they could continue whispering, Miko came up to us.

"Good evening. Sorry again that I could not attend tonight's dinner."

"No problem at all. We will definitely find another day to sit together." Hannah said.

"Ah, where are my manners? My name is Miko. I am glad to meet you all."

"I have a question," Elliot announced a little too loudly.


"Would you please fight me? I've never been lucky enough to meet you in a dungeon, and I've always wanted to see your abilities."

"Oh wow, it seems like you have high expectations, but I hope I won't disappoint you since I've got these." Miko pushed up her sleeves, exposing several black rings on her arm.

"Magic seals… A lot of them." Elliot said, shocked.

It was the first time I saw Miko's bare arms and also the first time I heard about magic seals.

"Well, you surely know I'm a little weakened because of these, but if you want a sparring match, I'll be up for it. This should be a good warm-up before I start to torture my sweet apprentice." Miko said, smiling brightly