The days passed and the girls’ training never ceased just as the people hustled about their daily lives. Until finally, a month passed. Countless researchers dropped by during the time, pestering us to no end about the slime research.
Fortunately, Director Paul was able to handle them. There were some pushy ones, sure. But Paul says they’re still way easier than his old superiors back at his old lab. I don’t know whether he enjoyed his time there or not, but he certainly learned a lot.
Oh, speaking of which, it’s actually been awhile since I last showed my face at the lab. But then again, I was never really one to show my face much because of my adventurer work. And they would just send me a letter whenever there’s a problem, so I guess it’s not really anything new. I would just end up drowned in proposals if I show my face anyway, so I guess it’s best that I keep my distance for now.
Recently, more and more people have been wanting to work at the lab. Apparently, they caught wind of our lab’s favorable accommodation from the employees when they ate together during their visit.
We were actually already expecting people to apply since we knew the slime research would inevitably lead to people getting laid off, and have already made preparations, but the turnout was much more than what we could’ve expected. Hiring is a delicate process. We can’t just carelessly hire people, we also have to watch out for corporate spies. Because of that, applicants have to work at the laundromat first, where they’re monitored for any unusual behavior. After which, they are then ran through some further background checks.
In the process, some people end up just working in the laundromat instead, being fully content there, and no longer pushing to apply for the lab. Regardless, the sudden influx of new workers resulted in us abruptly opening a new branch.
The girls’ training is going splendidly too. They’re getting better and better by the day.
Elia can now consistently use the advanced fire magic ‘Fire Storm’, and she’s also learned a plethora of other fire and ice spells. She’s particularly skilled at ‘Flame Carpet’. She’s also gotten much better at Magic Manipulation.
Miyabi also specializes at fire magic, but she’s also able to handle poison magic. She’s been training her advanced spells along with my originals for both, but it seems she’s more interested in poison than fire. Well, she is going to be a merchant, so I guess it’s not really surprising that she’d favor something more practical. If we have time, I’d like to teach her ‘Antidote’.
Kanan’s reactions have improved a lot. She’s now much better at dodging, and her attacks are a lot heavier compared to before. Sometimes when she has the time, she also teaches me how to make accessories.
Riera’s also doing well, Usually, she’s either sparring with Kanan against me or against the slimes. And I don’t mean with just one kind of weapon, but every kind from swords to spears, to staves, to daggers, and even hand-to-hand combat. Her improvement is really amazing. Especially when it comes to gauging distances and her defense. I guess having her fight against a gloop of slimes, and against my underhanded tricks really polished her defense. We should probably start some live combat soon… Well, I’ll talk to Sebasu about it.
As for Michelle, her growth’s the most varied of the lot. She’s been studying so many things after all, like Alchemy, for example.
Apparently, she’s had her suspicions about my identity as an Alchemist for a long time now, but just didn’t know how to bring it up due to the nature of the subject. So, when I made a passing remark about how I could use Alchemy, she jumped at me like a hungry shark.
I don’t know about other alchemists, but the only reason I keep quiet is to keep away from strange looks. So, when it comes to people who don’t mind or people I can trust, I don’t mind showing off one bit. Besides, Serge-san, Granny Gri, and the members of the Jamil family already know about it.
In any case, the point is Michelle ended up studying Alchemy, among other things… Not that there was much to teach or anything. Aside from the magic formation and its effects, the only other things I could teach were the chemical elements from my previous life, and the basic precautions one should take. Michelle had a lot of questions after the lesson, but I was able to fool her by saying, “What I’ve taught you are the basics of Alchemy. From here on out, you should look for the answers yourself.”
Michelle also often converses with me regarding my original magic. In fact, even now…
“Picking up from last time, Ryouma, I think you’re needlessly overcomplicating your magic. For example, ‘Dig Tornado’ uses the elements: Earth, Wind, and Water. That’s three elements, you know? There’s not many people who could cast that. Considering what you’re trying to achieve with the spell, don’t you think just earth and wind is enough?” [Michelle]
“Water is needed to keep the dust under control when digging.” [Ryouma]
“If it’s just about managing the dust, then isn’t having another water magician use water magic to spread water enough?” [Michelle]
“It’s not enough, and if you combine the spell with ‘Hardening’–––“
‘Dig Tornado’ is one of the construction magic I used in the tunnels. When casted, it gives off the image of water and rain swirling together to shave boulders and rocks to create a valley. With the earth magic ‘Break Rock’ it’s a magic made specifically to dig. Things get quite dusty in the process, so the water element is needed to keep them down.
I’ve been coming up with new magic to accomplish my tasks more efficiently, and one of the spells I came up with was exactly this ‘Dig Tornado’. With this I can efficiently dig holes, and even shallow ones without dirtying myself. When you add ‘Hardening’ on top of all that, the walls of the dug hole can even be strengthened at the same time. As a result, it’s efficiency is no less than that of tunnel boring machines.
But because it’s a three-element spell, most magicians won’t be able to cast it. Which is why Michelle’s been wondering whether or not there’s a way to simplify it into a two-element spell.
It’s a difference in priorities. Well, we both understand where the other is coming from, so…
“Why don’t you two have some tea first?” [Elia]
“Ah, t-thank you.” [Michelle]
“Being eager is good and all, but it’s already afternoon, you know?” [Elia]
“I know. Anyway, as I was saying, Ryouma–––“ [Michelle]
“Sigh… I wonder if she really understands… Then again, it’s just as usual.” [Elia]
We tend to lose track of time when talking like this, so there’ve been times when we were scolded by Elia and the others. I wonder why she came this time? Was it just to bring the tea? Or is she perhaps trying to remind us not to forget lunch? Well, whatever.
As I was thinking to myself, I saw Elia off. Speaking of which, they just randomly helped me whenever I cooked before, but recently, they’ve put together a proper schedule for cooking duty.
After seeing Elia off and a short moment of pondering, I went back to my conversation with Michelle.