As Michelle said that, she took out a paper from her bag. On that paper was a magic formation draft drawn with a pencil.
“A magic formation… Are you an alchemist?” [Elia]
Michelle went wide-eyed when she said that, but she quickly smiled again and said.
“Unfortunately, I’m not an alchemist. I’m merely studying magic formations.” [Michelle]
“Magic Formations, huh.” [Elia]
Magic Formation is a minor field that originates from the magic formations of alchemy, which would emit light when mana was coursed through them. Why do magic formations give that reaction? Can that reaction be used for anything? The field of Magic Formation is one that seeks to answer such questions.
After being explained that, Elia looked at the magic formation drawn upon the paper with deep interest.
“So there was a field of study like that, huh.” [Elia]
“It branched out from alchemy and hasn’t achieved any major results, so it’s becoming less and less popular. The reason I came to this school is because I heard that there’s a teacher who teaches the subject here. Unfortunately, it seems the teacher in question retired last year. Now, I have no choice but to learn by myself. I have too much time on my hands.” [Michelle]
“Really. By the way, Elia.” [Michelle]
“What is it?” [Elia]
“I’m surprised you knew that alchemy uses magic formations. Even though there’s so many rumors flying around that says that alchemy needs medicinal ingredients or sacrifices to be used. You also don’t seem to have a bad opinion of alchemy.” [Michelle]
When Michelle said, Elia realized that she’d slipped. Michelle seemed to have picked up on that as she immediately added.
“I’m not prejudiced against alchemy or anything. If anything, I’m interested in it.” [Michelle]
“Magic Formations originated from the magic formations used by alchemy, so I’m also interested in it. I don’t think it’s weird. I mean it is the origin of my field. Of course, I hate the frauds that give a bad name to alchemy, but it’s not like all alchemists are frauds. There are also real alchemists in this world, who continue to research their field, hoping to bring out results, just like magic formation scholars. At least, that’s what I think.” [Michelle]
Elia was relieved when she heard that.
“I see.” [Elia]
“If possible, I’d appreciate it if you could teach me alchemy.” [Michelle]
But Elia wasn’t an alchemist. Although she may have gained some knowledge from being acquainted with Ryouma, she wasn’t skilled enough to teach others. And even if Michelle might not be prejudiced, Elia couldn’t help but hesitate to introduce Ryouma when this was their first time meeting.
“Unfortunately, while I have met an alchemist in the past, I don’t study the subject myself.” [Elia]
Naturally, Elia refused her. Michelle didn’t continue to pester her after that, and meekly backed off and prepared to perform her experiment.
She placed the paper from before on the ground and took out a pink-colored powder from her bag and started mixing it with ink.
“Michelle-san. What is that?” [Elia]
“It’s ink. Just ink. The powder is made from crushing fire and neutral magic stones and mixing them together. The formations used in Magic Formation is different from the ones used in Alchemy. Mana can’t course through them with just the magic formation alone. That’s why I have to mix the ink with powdered magic stone and then write the magic formation with it.” [Michelle]
“Will something change if you do that?” [Elia]
“All I know is that the effect changes according the attribute of the magic stone mixed with the ink and the power changes according to the ratio of magic stone.
For example, if you draw a formation using ink mixed with fire-type magic stone and course mana through it, you can create fire. The strength of the fire can be regulated through the ratio of magic stone in the ink and the fire itself can be controlled through the formation.
You can’t just draw the formation any order you want either. First, you have to draw a circle and then inside it draw the pattern. This part I don’t understand very well.” [Michelle]
“What do you mean?” [Elia]
“The efficiency varies according to the pattern drawn inside. But I don’t know which pattern is most efficient. Because of that I have no choice but to draw all sorts of patterns to try them out and figure out which one fits for what purpose and which one is most efficient. Thanks to that, though, I need a lot of money to be able to purchase all the magic stones I need. Which consequently results in my research not progressing all that much.” [Michelle]
“I see… Michelle-san, why are you researching this?” [Elia]
“Because it’s fun. A subject not researched by many and hasn’t advanced as a result. Another way to put it is that there’s still a lot more to be discovered. I want to discover those things and find out if they can be useful.
Besides, I’m the daughter of a count, and the household of Willdan has always been a line of researchers, so my family is supportive. ‘If there’s something you want to research, then go ahead and research it,’ is what they told me. And they even gave me funds to help advance my research.” [Michelle]
As Michelle said that, Elia couldn’t help but think that she resembled Ryouma to some extent. Michelle drew the formation with the ink she mixed and then said.
“I don’t know what reaction will come of this, so please keep your distance.” [Michelle]
Elia immediately moved away from the formation. Seeing that, Michelle sent her mana coursing through the formation, causing a red light to illuminate.
When Michelle saw that, she quickly ran away from the formation, and 5 seconds later… A small fire ball flew out of the formation, shooting itself above the formation and giving rise to a sound akin to that of a firecracker.
“Kyaa!?” [Elia and ???]
“Ho, ho… So, this is the kind of a reaction this one makes… Hmm?” [Michelle]
At first, Michelle was preoccupied with the reaction of the formation, but then she realized that there were two voices that cried out, so she turned around. When she did, she noted that the owner of the voice was a female student from the fox tribe who had entered the training facility.
“It seems I startled you. Sorry about that.” [Michelle]
“It’s fine. This is a training area, after all. So, it’s a given that there would be loud noises here. If anything I should be apologizing for intruding.” [???]
“Please don’t. It’s nothing like that. You’re Miyabi-san, yes?” [Michelle]
“We’re in the same class, right?” [Elia]
“It’s an honor to have the daughter of the Willdan family and the daughter of the Jamil family remember me.” [Miyabi]
Miyabi answered formally just as one would expect when one spoke toward nobles.
“There’s no need to be so formal. Will you be training here?” [Michelle]
“Actually, I came here to pass a message to the daughter of the Jamil family.” [Miybabi]
“To me?” [Elia]
“Yes. An acquaintance entrusted me with a message. So, I thought I’d call out to you today.” [Miyabi]
Rumors might spread if others found out that it was a man who entrusted Miyabi with a message, so in order to avoid that, she took her time this past month, looking for a time when she could talk to her alone. One month after enrollment, she came to the training facility where Elia always went alone, but for some reason, Michelle was here today, so she was actually panicking a little inside. Still, she was calm enough to be able to answer.
“A message for me?” [Elia]
“Yes. Does the name ‘Ryouma’ ring any bells to you?” [Miyabi]
“From Ryouma-san!?” [Elia]
Ryouma hoped to give an opportunity for Elia and her to be friends, but whether they really became friends or not, whether they got along and got to know each other or not, was still something that depended on the both of them. Because of that, although Ryouma did try to give them an opportunity to be friends, he didn’t say anything to her. They have a common acquaintance, so it’s not like they won’t have anything to talk about.
But another reason why Ryouma didn’t tell her was because he wanted to surprise her. So, yes, there was indeed a little bit of impishness regarding why Ryouma hadn’t said anything to her.
“So, you do know him.” [Miyabi]
“Yes, but how do you know him?” [Elia]
“I got acquainted with him through my dad. When I told him that I’d be going to the academy, he asked me to pass you a message.” [Miyabi]
“I see…” [Elia]
It was then that Michelle joined the conversation.
“Is that an acquaintance of yours, Elia? That Ryouma guy.” [Michelle]
“Yes. He’s a bit weird, but he’s my friend.” [Elia]
“Well, you’re not wrong. He’s definitely not normal.” [Miyabi]
When Miyabi heard Elia say that, she muttered that out. And when Michelle heard that Ryouma was a strange guy, she couldn’t help but become interested.
“So, what did Ryouma say?” [Elia]
“‘Do your best’. He seemed worried about you.” [Miyabi]
Although it was only a few words, Elia could understand Ryouma’s feelings from them.
There was no reason to ask another person to pass on such few words. He could have just written a letter. So, he must’ve remembered that Elia told him she had ‘no friends’ before they parted, and this was his way of helping her meet Miyabi. At the very least, this was Elia’s conclusion.
“Thank you very much. I have indeed received his words. And, Miyabi-san… Meeting like this must be some sort of fate. If you’d like, won’t you be friends with me?” [Elia]
“Are you sure? I don’t know if someone like me is worth being told that.” [Miyabi]
“Social standings don’t matter at a place like this. And besides, it’s too lonely to spend the rest of my days at school without any friends.” [Elia]
“In that case, please take care of me.” [Miyabi]
“Can I join you ladies too? I don’t have many friends myself.” [Michelle]
Miyabi accepted Elia’s offer with a smile. And Michelle joined in as well.
Like this the three girls were able to meet and after shaking hands, their lunch break ended.
When they got back to the classroom, they had to endure the boredom of the afternoon classes again.
But on that day alone, they might have enjoyed themselves more than usual.