All magic is born from intent.
All intent is born from wishing.
All that could be heard was the sound of a girl crying.
“Sh-Shut uuup! Stop crying already!”
Although Tia yelled at the top of her lungs, it was but a mosquito’s buzzing compared to Lufelle’s voice.
Tears even larger than Fae’s body flowed down the girl’s cheeks, creating a small pond on the ground.
“I-It’s because of the rocks I used, so…”
He was probably wanting to say that it was the remnants of the stones he’d used against the wall that tripped her and that it was his fault. That’s all he was able to squeeze out as he looked back and forth between Lufelle and the collapsed wall, however. He tried to reach out toward her, but his short arms couldn’t even reach up to Lufelle’s face.
Seemingly unfazed by Lufelle’s bawling, Aqua was just twirling her fingers through her hair.
Lufelle didn’t seem to be injured, so she was likely crying out of surprise and pain. Either way, though, I had to do something to calm her down.
I wonder if my dragon form will be able to compare to her body and how loud her voice is?
Just as I stepped forward with that in mind, Nina stretched her arm out to stop me.
Following her gaze, I saw Rin slowly floating up into the air as if she were swimming through water.
Her huge waist fins with more than a century’s worth of annual rings gently wrapped around Lufelle’s cheeks.
Flicking Lufelle’s forehead, Rin spoke with a gentle voice that somehow mysteriously overpowered and erased her cries, managing to even reach my ears.
“Mentor isn’t mad.”
The crying only calmed down a little at her words.
“B—…. b-but I….!”
Still sobbing, Lufelle barely managed to get the words out of her mouth.
“I-I… I b-broke… Me—…. M-Mentor’s, important… b-building…!”
So she wasn’t crying from pain, then?
I admired both Lufelle’s reason for crying and Rin’s ability to realize that so swiftly.
“Don’t worry, that won’t be hard to fix. Mentor is amazing, after all. What’s more important is if you’re injured. Does your head hurt anywhere?”
Hearing Rin’s question, Lufelle, still crying, managed to shake her head no.
“Alright. You’re strong, aren’t you?”
Seeing Rin smile so warmly at her, Lufelle calmed down to show that she was alright, but still shook a bit from suppressing her sobs.
“… Rin’s grown up, hasn’t she.”
She was always the girl who acted like the youngest sibling with her my pace attitude and was loved by everyone. I didn’t think she’d changed much on the inside as she grew up, but she truly had grown into a splendid adult.
Standing next to me, Nina was probably thinking about the same thing.
＊ ＊ ＊
Several hours later.
After calming Lufelle down, I brought all of the furniture and teaching equipment into the new school building, as well as repaired the broken wall. Once everything was ready, I had everyone gather in the auditorium.
“Now then. There is something that I would like for you all to decide on when you’ve settled down. That is, your research topics.”
Hearing Yutaka parrot back the term, I nodded and continued.
“This university, as I explained when recruiting applicants, is not a school where I teach you things. It is a place for you to think, test, and try out new areas of magic. You can study anything you wish… but rather than setting your sights on something at random, I felt it would be easier to decide on something specific first.”
The students looked at each other once I finished speaking.
“Something you want to do, something that interests you, anything is fine. Something specific is good, but so long as it isn’t entirely vague, it should work. For example, ‘I want to become strong’, ‘I want to study agricultural magic’, ‘Magic concerning fire’ could all work.”
“I got one!”
Just as I was about to follow by saying that they didn’t have to decide right now and had time to think about it, Yutaka’s hand shot up into the air.
“I—err, I have something… I want to do.”
“What sort of thing?”
“Umm, well… something… about memory. How to put it… transfer it? No, that wouldn’t… Umm.”
Although he’d raised his hand unhesitatingly, Yutaka was unable to put it into words.
“Well, I take it you want to research magic concerning memory?”
I hadn’t expected that. I thought that, as a Swordsaint, he’d definitely want to research something battle-related.
“No… that’s not it. It’s more like… Could I create a body for someone with no body?”
The Swordsaints were a family that protected this village and kept it safe. Among them were many who’d lost their arms or eyes in battle. Even ignoring those, there were still people in the village who had acquired one sort of disability or another. If his research bore fruit, it could save many people’s livelihood.
“I see… I’m not sure if it is possible, but I believe that is a wonderful goal.”
There were things that could be produce results in the process, even if they didn’t manage to reach their respective goals. Even alchemy in my past life—it had never managed to actually change base metals into gold. Its research wasn’t useless, however, and eventually lead to great strides in science.
“Oh, I know! I’m going to use super amazing magic!”
The next one to speak up was Tia, whose research goal was straightforward.
“If I can do that, no one will look down on us anymore, right?”
As the fae looked, they weren’t that strong.
In other words, they couldn’t use powerful magic like the elves, instead taking advantage of their small bodies to run away from enemies, surviving on flower nectar and small insects.
It seemed like a splendid survival strategy to me, but it appeared to be unbearable for this spirited fae.
“I see. That research goal is also commendable.”
A scene from nearly a century ago where a swarm of black mice covered the village came to mind.
They hadn’t made another attack since then, but they were still out there. I couldn’t imagine that they would simply give up on this village’s good. They would be back someday.
Even if they didn’t, it wasn’t as though this village wouldn’t run into its fair share of conflict as it developed in the future. Studying how to fight more effectively was a necessity.
“I believe there are two ways you could go about it, Tia. The first would be to think about how to use magic more effectively with less mana. The other would be how to make the magic itself stronger.”
Mana. We still didn’t know what exactly decided how strong a given magic would be, but we decided to call what fueled it mana. All we understood was that it varied with races, individuals, training, and as one aged.
“I… want to know what about magic itself. What is it? What can it do? What can’t it do? I guess I just want to examine it.”
Aqua’s statement surprised me. It was a very fundamental question… and was exactly the same as what I wished to know.
“That might be an especially difficult, if not impossible, question… you could even consider it to be the truth of this world itself. Even so, that is also the reason why it is a splendid topic.”
That said, given that she was an elf—a race with a nigh-infinite lifespan—she may one day see her research to fruition. I’m always busy tackling short-term issues, so I haven’t had time to do such fundamental research.
“However, for the short term, I believe it might be better to set a more specific goal. For instance, what are magic formations? What exactly are incantations? That sort of thing.”
“Mmm… I’ll think about iiit.”
Aqua responded casually.
Given the grandeur of her topic, her lightly given response took a bit of the momentum out of me.
I could never tell if she actually did or didn’t understand something, nor what she was thinking about.
Poked by Tia, Lufelle’s eyes swam about in puzzlement.
“It’s alright, you don’t have to decide right now. You can take your time.”
When I said that, Lufelle just shook her head.
“I… I, well… magic that’s useful… for people, would be nice.”
Looking around and seeing that she was the center of attention, the girl trembled timidly as she spoke.
“Making homes… fixing them… I want that too.”
“Yeah. That’s a great topic.”
Contrary to her timid attitude, Lufelle’s theme was the most specific of the bunch. Civil engineering and architecture was literally what supported society, so it was an extremely important research topic.
“So, Rin. What about you?”
Rin looked back at me almost as though she didn’t think she’d be included here.
“I wonder… Oh. Oh! Oooh!”
Rin smiled. She seemed to have thought of something good.
She looked up at me, putting on airs as she dragged out the word
“—am going to be a dragon like you, Mentor!”