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Chapter 2 - Potential of the Weakest
The Terra Garden during lunch break. The flowerbed and grass patch were neatly trimmed. Majority of the upper classmen had already occupied this place to enjoy their lunch. Sitting around the table under the parasol, Chloe and Yuri were discussing about their upcoming schedule.
“Then let’s end the practical training early today, and help out with the city security activities later, ok?”
“Un, that’s about all the tasks for today.”
After becoming Royal Guards, apart from the normal practical training, their off-campus activities had increased. This time, their plan was to cooperate with the city’s internal security police .
Most of the students in the Terra Garden casually took glances at where Chloe and Yuri sat, others blatantly focused their gazes upon them. Their gazes contained respect and reliance.
There were also female students squealing after making eye contact with them.
“......What happened, Yuri?”
Yuri continued to add sugar cubes into her red tea to hide her embarrassment.
“No, how should I put it......I still can’t get used to this attention no matter how long it has been.”
Then she sipped from her cup of overly-sweetened red tea.
“Ahaha. It seems so, now that you mention it. We were still training hard at this time last year.”
Chloe was like that at first, but the large number of special missions made her so busy that she became used to it without realizing.
She could not afford to worry about Yuri much, but when Yuri pretended to speak like an adult, some childishness still remained.
By the way, she could not drink coffee as it was too bitter. She also could not drink red tea unless a mountain of sugar cubes was added.
“Speaking of which......Is Kanata-senpai still in rehabilitation for his injury?”
She probably didn’t realize it herself, Yuri would ask Chloe about Kanata every time they met.
Rehabilitation due to injury was the plan Chloe helped Kanata with as an excuse to be absent from special missions indefinitely. She had pleaded to the Kuusen Madoushi Division Head to look out for Kanata as well.
Although Chloe managed to deceive her each time, Yuri began doubting the truthfulness after a few months.
“Well, that’s how it is for the time being. Even though he cannot be on the field due to rehabilitation, he had become the instructor for an E-rank squadron yesterday.”
“Become an instructor? ── Kanata-senpai!?”
“Un. That’s right. It was also my request.”
“I cannot agree to this! Why, that traitor! I thought that he did not participate in our squadron activities to help the Logistics division, but now he became an instructor!?
He was once known as an ace with absolute power......It’s true that I could not understand what he was thinking most of the time in the past, why is senpai always so selfish ──”
“......Yuri, please. Don’t criticize Kanata.”
Gently appeasing her, Chloe showed an angelic smile and looked around their surrounding.
Before her gaze, some students from Machina division were fervently discussing something. There were also economic division students chatting happily during their lunch break, and many other students enjoying their daily lives.
“Protecting the daily lives of these people here is the responsibility of us, the Kuusen Madoushi division. Kanata must also feel the same way.”
Seeing that smile, Yuri could only sip her extremely sweet red tea uncomfortably.
Afternoon practical training. E601 squadron room.
When Kanata entered the room, Misora’s team of three had already been waiting for him inside.
“Heh, it’s not even time yet and everyone is here already, you girls do have some merits.”
They focused their attention on Kanata who just casually strolled into the room. They still had a negative impression of the traitor Kanata at the same time yesterday, but today it was slightly different .
“Then from now on, it will be special training for each individual......Nn, why are Misora’s eyes sparkling like that?”
“N-No such thing! B-But, I do look forward to the special training a little......”
Despite still saying some sulky things, Misora had gradually acknowledged Kanata’s abilities. She could no longer deny Kanata’s ability as a former ace from yesterday’s training, albeit deteriorated.
This was something others apart from Misora also experienced. Lecty timidly raised her line of sight.
“U-Umm......I am happy to receive Kanata-san’s guidance!”
She looked at him with respect. Kanata felt somewhat troubled and scratched his head.
“I will say this first. The special training program is not going to be interesting. Special training is meant to be strict, not something fun that can make you stronger.”
Finishing his declaration, he paid attention to the last person ── Rico’s behavior. She was a problem student that always boasted about not wanting to do the tiresome trainings, her existence made people want to tsukkomi her “Why are you still staying in the Kuusen Madoushi division then?”.
Rico noticed Kanata’s attention towards her and snorted before stroking her hair.
“Fuu, I have no intention of joining the special training. You should know by now, my sniping technique has already reached that of a goddess’s realm.”
“W-Wait, Rico! No matter how much of a pervert he is, you can’t say those kind of things since he is still an instructor!”
“No, like I said I’m not a pervert.”
Misora rebuked in a hurry. However, Rico’s reaction was within Kanata’s expectations.
“Well, your sniping sense and situational judgement ability are exceptional. At least you have the highest combat ability amongst the members.”
“Fumu, you can praise me some more. Seems like you are not just an average person. Compared to the mortals around, you are able to understand a fragment of my talent.”
Rico expressed her joy and confidence at being praised. However, Kanata was yet to be finished with his words.
“Apart from that, you were able to grasp the difference between your ability and mine, and judged that further sniping would only miss and stopped shooting altogether, right?”
His words were spot-on, Rico’s elegant face showed an obvious twist.
“I already possess above average ability. There is no need for special training.”
She said so and left after opening the door.
“It’s fine, leave her alone......”
“What ‘leave her alone’?! Rico not receiving training isn't fine, right!?”
“Rather than worrying about others, you should worry about yourself now. Or do you think you have the time to worry about others?”
Kanata did not panic at all. Rico skipping on her training was within his expectations. However, rather than insisting that prideful girl to receive training, it would be better to focus on the remaining two people and raise the squadron’s overall combat ability.
After waiting for Misora and Lecty to calm down from the sudden events just now, Kanata asked.
“── Then, regarding the topic on special training, I will provide special training for you two individually, the condition is to continue it for a week, at least. Do you two have the resolve for it? You must be determined to do it even if it’s difficult.”
Difficult......Misora and Lecty immediately settled down. Kanata’s words seemed casual but had a mysterious weight in them. It was like the pressure released by someone who had been through much carnage.
She thought of something and suddenly stood up from her seat, nervously facing Kanata and looking up at him from above the neck area.
“What happened, are you that nervous?”
Getting questioned by him, Lecy timidly spoke.
“Stronger......You are providing guidance to make us stronger than now right?”
“Ah ah, that’s what i intend to......”
“T-Then, I’m f-fine! N-No matter what the training is, I will e-endure it through!”
Lecty’s sincere attitude got through to Kanata immediately.
“......I understand. Then I will brief Lecty about her special training later. No matter how rigourous the training may be, you must endure through it.”
Lecty bowed deeply after saying so, then returned to her seat and lowered her head shyly.
“So Misora, what about you?”
Misora was still a little hesitant after being looked at by Kanata.
“Y-You know already. I am also......yes.”
As her reply was not decisive, Kanata reaffirmed her will.
“Are you really fine with it? Didn’t you treat me as an enemy?”
“I have yet to forgive your betrayal ── betraying everyone’s expectations and being absent from the competitions without permission. I hate those kind of irresponsible people the most.”
After her complaints, Misora continued speaking. Although she was not used to seeing the serious Kanata.
“Even so, my magic cannon sword art could not reach you. So, for the sake of getting stronger, even though I do not acknowledge you the slightest, I will still use you to get stronger.”
Kanata smiled fearlessly.
“Heh, you two have already steeled your resolves, huh?”
And hence Misora and Lecty’s special trainings began.
Once afternoon came, with the Economic division students as the center, people involved in business activities became active.
The students were also in charge of the shopping district’s operations. The academy discouraged acts that would create a rich-poor segregation, so the necessities were lightly taxed while the luxuries heavily so.
In there, Kanata and Lecty had a boutique tour in the shopping district at the city center. He made Lecty try on various kinds of clothes, and bought some goodies that she liked.
At first Lecty believed that this was a harsh training, so she continued to try on those clothes seriously. After reaching the fourth boutique, both Kanata’s hands were already full of paper bags, she then started to get suspicious and made up her mind.
Lecty pulled aside the curtain of the dressing room after being forced to change into the deep blue coloured maid uniform, and questioned with her head lowered in embarrassment.
“U-Umm Kanata-san. C-Ca-Can I become s-strong like this?!”
Even though he was the one who chose such a cute uniform for her, Kanata was still surprised himself. How to put it......it was so cute that such kind of fetish might be awakened.
“Un, maybe the bunny-san is more suitable than a maid uniform. Unlike Misora, Lecty’s style is good.”
Only after regaining his composure did Kanata judge if the clothes suited Lecty.
“Umm......K-Kanata-san! Are you l-listening?”
“But well, there is still time to try on both sets.”
Saying so he instructed Lecty to change her uniform, and he bought both the maid uniform and bunny uniform in the fourth shop.
Then he asked Lecty to help carry some of the shopping bags, the two of them started to walk back in the direction towards the school building against the flow of students leisurely strolling.
She was getting even more confused about his intentions. What exactly did the special training mean? The serious Lecty had another matter of concern.
“Umm Kanata-san......Is it fine to spend the precious fund for squadron activity like this?”
She looked at Kanata with insecure eyes shyly.
But he did not show any concern, and used the usual casual tone to reply.
“Nn? This is also a proper activity, is it no good?”
“......N-No good I think?”
“No, it’s fine. It’s a proper activity after all.”
How exactly would this be a proper activity? The weight of the bags she was holding in both hands seemed to increase due to her guilty conscience.
“What are you planning after buying so many things?”
“Of course it’s to wear them. Lecty will wear all of them in school that is.”
“Heh, I will be wearing these in school......N-No wayyy!”
The shopping bags almost fell out of Lecty’s hands.
“Why not? It’s alright, each of those clothes suit you.”
“I-It’s not about that! Umm, K-Kanata-san, uu......I-If I wear those, I will be e-embarrassed......”
“But while trying them on just now, you seemed to be rather happy.”
Kanata thought back on Lecty’s expressions. In the first shop, Lecty still showed a serious face, but after reaching the second and third shop, she had already revealed a normal teenage girl’s excitement in trying on various fashionable clothes.”
“B-But I didn’t think that I will be wearing those in front of everyone in school......”
Despite Lecty’s explanation, Kanata ignored her and continued to walk into the dressing building, stopping right before the female dressing room.
“We have arrived. Then I will be waiting outside the dressing room, just pick one you like and change into it.”
“C-Changing into one that I like......Umm, d-do I really have to change?......Or rather, why must I do something like this?”
“Ah, I forgot to tell you, this is Lecty’s special training.”
“Eh!? T-This is my special training......!”
“Ah ah. Image change is Lecty’s special training program. Try to walk around the school building after changing.”
“T-That kind of training really......Umm, make me stronger?”
This kind of behaviour would definitely attract attention, it would be an intense pressure to the easily-embarrassed Lecty.
The insecure, almost crying Lecty, with her hand guarding her chest, gave off “a small animal wanting to be protected” image to Kanata.
Facing such pure-hearted girl’s troubled appearance, Kanata’s tone also became gentler despite seemingly unaffected.
“Your Magic Twin Sword style come from Eisenach Magic Twin Sword Style founded by the Sword God Albert·Eisenach right? Letcy’s family name is also Eisenach after all.”
“Umm......Do you know about my family?”
“I know a bit about Eisenach’s Magic Twin Sword Style. To use the Eisenach name outside, one must go through a certain amount of training to become strong enough for it. Even the heirs of the main family would be exiled from the family if they did not possess the matching aptitude, it was such a strict family rule.”
Lecty became quiet upon reaching this point. It seemed that Lecty held some sort of chagrin towards the Eisenach family name. Taking a glance at that reaction, Kanata then divulged in a low voice.
“In the onigokko yesterday, the best and the worst person is you.”
“That’s, what do you mean by that?”
“Your sword play is like slashing from Misora’s openings, if you had properly kept me in sight and used your full power at that time, you should have the skill to go against A-rank members......”
Getting praised like that, Lecty was still confused. As expected, he had not finished speaking.
“However, you did not dare to make eye contact with me, and continued the fight timidly in the end. You could not use even one tenth of your full strength like that. Do you know why, Lecty?”
“Umm, I-I......have s-stage fright!”
And then her words became stuttered, but Lecty continued to explain.
“In the past if I make eye contact with anyone, or in a place with many people looking, I will feel embarrassed suddenly......And cannot move like how I want to.”
She had realized it herself, her weakness named stage fright.
Lecty had thought about curing herself a few times before. However, she did not know how. If it was so easy to cure then she would not be suffering so much.
Towards Lecty who was bowing in apology, Kanata gently stroked her bangs, but until it was a mess.Then he spoke confidently.
“Isn’t that fine, not like it’s a complex......People that are unsatisfied about themselves are strong. That’s exactly why we desperately try to change ourselves by working hard.”
Lecty thought that she would anger him with naive words, timidly looking up after the sudden realization. Her expression was that of respect from the bottom of her heart after feeling moved by his words.
“Does Lecty want to change?”
“......I-I want to change! I want to change so that I will not be embarrassed in front of other people!”
“I see. Then walk around the school building in this dress. You can run away if you are scared, but if you give up like that my guidance will also end. So then do your best later!”
Leaving those words behind, Kanata left Lecty alone there.
However, once Kanata disappeared, she became anxious, and felt embarrassed.
Lecty lowered her head while standing alone next to the three big paper bags in front of the dressing room despite nobody around.
“......it’s still e-embarrassing after all!”
Afternoon practical training time. Misora sighed while waiting with Kanata at the school gate.
“What exactly is this special training? Special training normally should be be at the Training Ground.”
There were unexpectedly many students after school. The Kuusen Madoushi Division had practical training everyday, but it was not so for other divisions. Kanata was scanning the stream of students going home for a familiar face.
“Here will be fine.”
After shopping with Lecty, he confirmed her presence in the school building. Kanata thought that it was about time for her to go home......His expression lightened.
“Looks like the person we are waiting for has come.”
“Wait, t-that is Rico right......!?”
Rico was going home alone with her bag in one hand. Kanata blended into the crowd and started following behind Rico. Misora naturally followed after Kanata, he then said something unexpected at that timing.
“Yes. Then your special training 「Tailing Rico」 begins.”
Tailing? Me tailing Rico? ── That is......s-special training!?
“......Y-You serious!? What the heck are you thinking asking me to tail Rico!”
Misora raised her voice without thinking, but Kanata remained calm.
“Nn? I am always serious though......”
“How would a serious person think of such a nonsensical special training! My dream is to become a Magic Cannon Blader......”
Kanata suddenly made a move at that moment. He seemed to notice something amiss and hugged Misora up quickly to hide into the shade.
“Mu, I thought I heard Misora’s voice.”
At the same time, Rico turned around after hearing Misora’s angry voice, but was confused after not seeing her figure anywhere.
Kanata and Misora hid into the alley at the roadside that was barely wide enough for one person. They were squeezed together and unable to move.
“W-Wait what are you doing? Let go of me!”
“Shut up. Rico will notice you if I let you go now, and I can’t move like this as well.”
Misora’s face was right below Kanata’s face. Kanata was hugging from her back. Their hands and legs were entangled in a weird way.
“Hiya, w-wait you are touching ── T-touching it......”
For some reason Misora’s face reddened and lowered her head, mumbled in a small voice.
“Touching? Where do you......── !”
At that instant, Kanata noticed. Some sort of momentum made Kanata’s left hand grope Misora’s chest from behind, how to describe that touch......A little bit of swell with some warmth and softness......
“S-Sorry, I didn’t n-notice......”
The rarely-flustered Kanata wanted to pull his hand out in the narrow space. Misora also tried to twisted her body away while still entangled.
“......Didn’t notice!? What are you trying to say by didn’t notice!”
“Yes yes, it’s my bad, so don’t struggle so violently in this narrow place. Not like I will be interested in a kid three years younger than me anyway.”
After that they somehow pulled themselves out onto the road, and resumed tailing. Misora grumbled in a small voice.
“Kid!? What do you mean kid......You don’t have the right to call me kid after instructing me to stalk Rico as special training! You seem like a sex offender after all!”
“It’s your freedom to think like that, I will only accompany you until here. The rest is your own responsibility......”
“~~! I won’t do such a criminal act~~!”
“Oi oi what kind of erotic things are you thinking. I am not asking you do something weird like a sex offender.”
Towards Misora’s hostile stare, Kanata showed a confident smile and said.
“You, go find out Rico’s weakness.”
Misora tilted her head in confusion.
“? Rico has a weakness?”
“However, humans always have one or two weaknesses. The cool looking Rico may have an unexpected weakness.”
Unable to comprehend Kanata’s intention, Misora raised her voice.
“Look here! What exactly are you planning to do with grasping the weakness you mentioned just now! Even if Rico is hard to get along, I won’t do something despicable like that to her......”
“For the time being, just tail Rico today. There will be a continuation after that, you can just try your best to find out Rico’s weakness.”
After finishing his words with an I will leave the rest to you attitude, Kanata lightly tapped Misora’s shoulder and left the place.
Grasping Rico’s weakness. Although she did not know what purpose it was for, and thought that it was a pretty reckless method, Misora still stealthily followed after Rico who was gallantly walking down the shopping street.
Rico suddenly came to a stop from her strolling, then turned backwards. Misora noticed something was wrong and hurriedly hid behind a vending machine.
“What are you trying to do since just now, Misora?”
Rico walked towards her all of a sudden. It seemed that she had been discovered so soon that she didn’t have the chance to investigate.
“~~! W-Why did you notice! Y-You......Don’t tell me you have some divine power!”
“......Are you treating me like an idiot?”
Rico felt unhappy and questioned her sullenly.
“I’m not treating you like an idiot. Just that......I was surprised when you discovered me......How did you notice that I was tailing you?”
Haah, Rico sighed and revealed the answer with a what to do with you attitude.
“I have been continuously making left turns since just now. You also turned left with me for five times. Consider that there are three branches at the cross-roads, the probability for choosing left all five times is one out of two hundred forty three. This is no longer a coincidence.”
Misora had no tailing sense in the first place, she was discovered since some time ago tailing her in an ambiguous distance.
Hence, Rico did not think that Misora was tailing her, but wondered why was she following behind her and not call out to her......? She became alert for the possibility of some prank.
When she made up her mind to expose her, she did not feel any evil intent from Misora. Rather ──
“......You are really smart.”
Is this really Misora? Rico could not help but suspect, Misora was nicer than normal. Rico raised her vigilance for whatever she might be planning, then snorted in a good-humoured way.
“Fuu, it’s obvious since I am a Goddess......So why are you following behind me?”
“Ah ah, you don’t need to say it. It’s Misora after all. You must have nothing to do with your free time.”
“Err......W-Well. Something like that......”
“Fuu, but unfortunately, a Goddess like me is busy unlike you. I still have things to buy. You should stop such nonsense and go home.”
She would really like to return, but tailing Rico was part of Misora’s special training.
“I-I say, Rico......”
“Can I tag along on your shopping trip......Aww! W-Why did you pinch my face!?”
“No, I am just thinking that someone might be using illusion magic. At least the Misora I know has never been interested in my private life.”
So that’s how she thought of me, Misora solemnly reflected.
On the other hand, Rico crossed hugged her arms in thought before opening her mouth.
“Fumu, well it’s fine. You can just follow after a Goddess like me.”
Misora accompanied Rico to visit a few specialty shop together later on, as a result she realized the difference in interests between the two of them.
“Ugh! You, you actually bought such a boring book?”
“Fuu, not being able to understand the fun of exploring the truth of the world, you are still a kid.”
She bought a few philosophy books that gave Misora a headache just by seeing it at the first book shop. Furthermore, she seemed to be in a good mood after buying those books, heading to the shop window to admire her reflection, and stroked her hair with a Fuu, I am beautiful look.
“Hang on Rico! You actually wear this kind of clothes......”
“It’s just as you said Misora. My beauty will be paled no matter what clothes I wear. However, I can’t go around not wearing any.”
In the boutique shop next, Misora watched Rico try out the high quality dress that she could not hold up with her physique, and the shop attendant also praised her with sincerity. After that, Rico went in front of the mirror to admire her appearance, and stroked her hair with a Fuu, I am beautiful look.
“Uwa, look at this!? It’s super cute!”
“Fumu. This is so adorable......Correction, academically interesting.”
They visited the doll shop last with Rico claiming academic interest as a reason, and bought a winged dragon doll that was designed with female taste in mind. She had a similar interest as Misora for loving cute things, but Rico stubbornly claimed it to be for academic interest.
She pretended to keep her cool, but Misora noticed her eyes going sparkle sparkle.
With that the trip would be over. I still haven’t found out Rico’s secret, Misora was anxious with such thought when Rico kicked the signboard for glasses specialty shop on the road.
“Glasses......I hate it.”
“You, could it be that you hate glasses?”
“I said it’s nothing right. The perfect me don’t have any weakness.”
Since Rico did not want to talk about it then let it be. Thought why glasses......? Misora withheld her question, but what she said next was more of a complaint than changing the topic.
“Haa......Though I’m only saying it now, you are really an incomprehensible person.”
“Of course. The low level humans like Misora cannot understand a Goddess such as myself......Are you treating me like an idiot?”
“No no, I’m reflecting on myself, not treating you like an idiot. I didn’t even try to know more about you......”
“I’m not sure what you are saying, but I will excuse myself here. Time is limited. Time will flow by quickly if you don’t use it effectively.”
Rico quickly left after leaving some sort of epigram.
Then Misora who was left behind let alone finding out Rico’s secret, she had not learnt anything about Rico. She confronted this fact. This means my training has failed huh, she returned to school in disappointment.
Lecty was crying in the shadow of the cleaning tool crate in the corner of the classroom, Misora found her by her voice and hugged her. She started sobbing after then.
It was difficult to find her due to the hard to find hiding spot. For the part two of her special training, she needed to help Lecty.
“I say Lecty, it’s fine if you want to cry but......Why are you making yourself standing out so much......Why are you wearing a maid uniform?”
“T-This is......Gusun, s-special training!”
“? What kind of special training needs to wear a maid uniform?”
“N-No! The special training is not about wearing maid uniforms......It is to walk around in a maid uniform!”
“? Like I said what kind of special training is that?”
Lecty who was being questioned seemed to have gone through some hardship, then after idling a while as if she remembered something, she only wept Uu, Misora-zaan~~! without answering her question.
Although she did not know the details of the matter, Misora gently stroked Lecty’s head for the time being.
“Hey hey Lecty. Cheer up. Nobody is looking now.”
And then until Lecty stopped sobbing, Misora continued to comfort her gently.
Even though Lecty had never been accompanied like this before, she hugged Misora without reserve. After she slightly regained her calm.
“Hey you have calmed down a little. I don’t know what happened, if there is anything I can help just tell me.”
“Uu, Misora-san......Gusun, will you r-really help me?”
“Well, only if it’s within my ability......”
Misora had a bad feeling and spread out her defense line, but Lecty easily crossed over it. She took out some pure white clothes overflowing with cleanliness from the bloated paper bag.
“......Wear t-this, and walk around the school with me together!”
“This is ── What is this? Don’t tell me you want m-me to wear this nurse uniform and walk around!”
Against Misora’s accusing voice, Lecty nodded her head. It was already a desperate plea, the normal Lecty could not be seen already.
The normal Misora would strictly decline, but this time she gave it a deep thought. Since she had already said that she would help her, and Lecty looked like she was suffering a lot as well.
“Well, it can’t be helped since Lecty is really suffering. This time is special, I will also wear this to help you.”
The feeling of not being able to leave Lecty alone forced Misora to agree.
Chira chira chira chira chira. The glances from the students in the hallway hurt. Amongst them ── There were those stares with indecent desires, there were also students pointing at them and whispering amongst themselves.
Haa, why must I do such things? Misora sighed as she walked down the hallway wearing a bunny girl cosplay with pathetic chest.
Lecty at her side had thought of running away from this situation countless times, but managed to suppress herself after seeing Misora helping with her special training in that appearance.
“Umm, M-Misora-san! P-Please don’t leave me a-alone!”
Lecty was using her watery pure eyes to plead her even now, Misora could not refuse.
It seemed that this was related to the special training from Kanata, but she could not get any more details out of Lecty’s mouth.
They continued to endure the weird and curious glances from the students for about thirty minutes. Then Kanata appeared when Misora was just about to be fed up about this.
“Hey you! What kind of special training are you making Lecty do! I don’t know the details, but Lecty was sobbing in the classroom you know!”
As she thought that she could not trust this guy after all, Misora criticized him along with the share from Lecty who did not dare to voice out her opinion.
“See, she’s suffering so much!”
Lecty could not endure her embarrassment any longer, she hid behind Misora’s back to avoid as much attention as possible, but Kanata just spoke lightly.
“Say Lecty. If you are suffering so much, want to end the special training? It won’t cause any trouble even if you stop here, you can end it if you want to.”
Then, Lecty who was hiding behind Misora’s back was about to nod her head silently.
Just at that timing, Kanata casually continued.
“But Lecty looks fine in that appearance no matter how I look at it, there is no need to be shy.”
Lecty forcefully stopped her head’s movement before she was going to nod.
“W-Wait! Are you going to ignore m-my appearance!?”
“......Well, that’s about all.”
“W-Who is ‘that’s about all’!”
After glancing at Lecty again, Kanara casually left behind some words before going away.
“Then, Misora. The rest is up to you.”
“W-Wait a minute! You are the one who caused Lecty to be in this state. Then you should take responsibility on your own!......He’s already gone.”
Misora who was left behind thought that he was irresponsible after all, but stayed with Lecty again. Even though this was the content of her special training, Misora who couldn’t leave people in trouble alone comforted Lecty from the bottom of her heart.
“S-See Lecty. Don’t keep sobbing, cheer up. But why are you not wearing the uniform, and dress yourself in this cute appearance instead?”
Reacting to the word cute, Lecty felt a little bit happier. Her tear-swollen eyes still looked weak, but she properly said it.
“Uu......I-It’s not like that! This is......is special training! It’s special training!”
“? I don’t get it since just now, if you are so embarrassed why not stop? I can tell him for you.”
With that Lecty should be able to stop. Misora was sure about it, but Lecty seemed to refusing.
“......I-I can still continue. Not only Kanata-san, even Misora-san also said that I’m cute. Kanata also said that I can become stronger.”
She stopped sobbing after saying so, and walked out from the curtain that was Misora’s back, becoming the subject of public attention herself. Her face completely red from the embarrassment, Lecty still endured her shame with shaky knees.
“Like I said how is this special training......”
Misora grumbled while frowning.
“So, how is it Misora, today’s training result is?”
“It’s a big failure, though it’s frustrating.....I finally realized how ignorant I was about the two of them......”
Kanata asked her about the result of her training after school that day. It seemed that Misora did not stay in the dorm, so they could not walk back together. Lecty had sustained a big mental trauma, and went back to rest first.
“Rico could read the difficult philosophy books, but unexpectedly loves cute things, totally a big contrast......Lecty is always serious and hardworking at everything she does, but I totally don’t understand why she is so easily embarrassed at all......”
Misora gloomily looked down at her feet while walking.
At that time, Kanata strode towards the popular ice-cream stall, and replied while taking out his wallet.
“Is that so. That’s a good result.”
“I say......I just mentioned that I was completely ignorant! Not a single positive point counts as a good result, are you trying to pick a fight with me......Hyan!”
Kanata stuffed the soft cream into Misora’s mouth just when she raised her face full of anger. The sweetness spread out in her mouth, the cold extinguished her flame of anger. Kanata then blandly replied.
“This is the reward for working hard today. Is it delicious?”
“I’m not talking about this......No, if it’s about whether this soft cream is delicious or not then of course it’s delicious......But, I’m not talking about this......”
Misora tiredly bent herself forward and answered.
“I didn’t get any result, how is it good. I even reflected on myself for not knowing about Rico and Lecty at all.”
“Nn? Like I said that’s a good result.”
What has he been saying since just now, Misora licked her soft cream while staring at Kanata.
“I don’t dare to let someone who doesn’t know me protect my back. Since you won’t know what can happen in the sky.”
He sensed Misora’s line of sight, and spoke while looking at the sky burning in dusk color. Misora suddenly exclaimed with anger mixed in her voice for some reason.
“Wait! What do you mean by that!”
“You already understand my meaning. Otherwise, you won’t be angry, right?”
Kanata asked back superficially, Misora could only make an Uu sound.
Just like he pointed out, Misora had realized that since just now. Rico and Lecty were the members of the same team she had to rely on when something happened in the sky......However, they could not approve of one another and come to a mutual understanding.
“T-That I do feel ashamed for not trying to understand my comrades in the past.”
Misora hung her head down after finishing her words. Kanata on the other hand revealed a confident smile towards that girl.
“Then you lot should just eat lunch together, that way you have more chance to talk with them.”
Misora raised her head in surprise, Kanata continued nonchalantly.
“Then you pass today’s special training. You have sufficiently grasped the chance to make yourself stronger.”
These words blew away Misora’s hesitation, her expression changed into a gentle smile completely different from before.
“Then tomorrow is the real special training. Don’t forget the chance you grasped today. Your teammates are the people that you can really rely on when the time comes.”
“W-Wait up! What do you mean real training......!?”
“Nn? I didn’t say it? Today’s special training is the special training for you as a squadron leader. Tomorrow’s special training is something else.”
Saying so Kanata walked towards Artemia Dorm from the branch road. Misora only realized after he walked far away.
“~~! T-That kind of important thing you didn’t tell me at all!”
His second day as their instructor ended. Kanata was still reading a lot of data in the Artemia Dorm. They were all about Misora’s group.
“I say you, don’t just freely come in here. This is the male dorm.”
“Un, but the dorm supervisor will not discover if I come from the window, and only me and Lloyd will visit your room right. I mean the others all dislike you.”
“That said, rumor will spread if someone finds out. I hate it you know, rumors about me bringing a girl into the male dorm......”
There was almost no place to stand in Kanata’s room that was messy from trash all over the place. It was probably because he had no roommate, Chloe would sometimes invade his room by using flying magic. They were both wearing uniforms, definitely not in a male-female relationship.
Members of the same team naturally preferred to stay in the same dorm, apart from Chloe, Lloyd and Yuri also stayed in Artemia Dorm.
“Well well, aren’t we teammates of the same team?”
Fufu as Chloe showed an angelic smile and pacified him, and asked about Misora’s group.
“So, how are you going to provide special training for that squadron leader girl? Have you found out the reason for her acceleration boost?”
“Un, actually, that girl’s magic power has exceeded A rank. It’s probably got to do with that.”
“Fuun, she is a talented girl huh......But why is she in F-rank squadron?”
Chloe sitting on his bed almost dropped the cushion she was hugging in panic.
Magic power was the root of all magic art. That power was not something that could be increased easily through training, it had a lot to do with natural born talent. Hence it was not wrong to say that Misora had a natural talent.
“That’s about that. But then honestly speaking, she was just wasting her gift, her talent for magic art was lacking. Hence, I thought of making her convert to Magic Cannoneer but.”
“After reading through her data, she seemed to be unusually obstinate on being a Magic Cannon Blader. Because normally speaking, she would have realized that she had no talent for being a Magic Blader after experiencing a hundred thirty-four consecutive losses. So she must have really wanted to be a Magic Cannon Blader.”
“Un, so does Kanata want to make that girl convert to Magic Cannoneer? Or do you not want to?”
“Ah ah, about that ──”
After hearing Kanata’s consideration, Chloe tilted her head with a Uun.
“......It’s really something like Kanata would say, but you may be hated by that girl. Something like a traitor is a traitor after all.”
Chloe felt anxious, she tried to dissuade Kanata, but he smiled confidently and declared.
“If hating me can make her stronger, then it’s not a big deal at all.”
During the lunch break next day since Kanata’s special training. Misora as the squadron leader made her decision.
In this Kuusen Madoushi Division preparatory second year class C classroom, Rico and Lecty who were invited by Misora had shown up. The three desks were joined in a triangle shape, they sat down facing one another with a basket on top of the desk.
“Un, thank you all for coming today.”
Misora spoke full of smiles upon her face. She had left a message indicating that she wanted to have lunch with them together under their desks early in the morning when she reached school.
“Fuun, I am the aloof Goddess, I dislike crowds. I have especially come here only because Misora has written her words of worship to me.”
“Un, thank you for making the trouble to come.”
Rico widened her eyes in shock.
“You have changed a little. I had thought that you will begin yelling again......”
And then, Lecty bowed deeply towards Misora.
“Umm......Misora-san. I also want to thank you for yesterday. I have managed to endure through the first day of special training hiding behind Misora-san’s shadow. Please look after me from now on as well.”
“It’s fine, not a big deal......Sorry for not being able to help much yesterday.”
“I-It’s totally not like that! It’s only because Misora-san was there to accompany me that I managed to endure through yesterday......”
“Muu, what happened yesterday?”
“Umm......Misora-san was in nurse costume and walked around the hallway a few times. I was in maid uniform, it was really very embarrassing......”
“......Fumu, Misora wears that kind of costume huh.”
“H-Hey Rico! Why are you only staring at me!?”
“I didn’t know that you have that kind of special fetish.”
“N-No! T-That was due to some circumstances......”
“So due to circumstances you became a nurse. It’s hard to comprehend a mortal’s way of thinking.”
“H-Hey! No matter what there is no way I would like to cosplay like that ──”
“Fuu, it’s a joke. Misora and Lecty wearing those kinds of costumes, it’s something not normally possible.”
“Eh? Is that so......”
Misora was confused, Rico snorted, Lecty tilted her head. This is the first time I am casually chatting with these two, Misora had thought. Although she had not grasped the whole situation, it did not feel bad.
However, as they did not know much about one another, therefore, they could not get enthusiastic into conversation. Eating quietly like this was not bad, but that would defeat the original purpose of this gathering, hence Misora slowly started to speak. The topic was a common Kuusen Madoushi Division matter.
“Speaking of which, why did you two want to become Kuusen Madoushi?”
“What, you want to know that?”
Fuu, Rico snorted.
“To prove my existence as the Goddess, there is a woman I must beat with my own hands. The woman sitting at the top of 「Mystogan」 is someone that I cannot acknowledge no matter what.”
Rico declared energetically with a vengeful feeling for some reason.
“I-I......Umm, with the Magic Twin Sword I learned......For the sake of protecting the people living in the Floating City I think.”
Lecty timidly revealed her clear objective.
“Then what is Misora-san’s reason?”
“Un, for me......There is someone I don’t want to forget. In order for her not to be forgotten, I want to become the special Magic Cannon Blader in Kuusen Madoushi.”
Misora’s expression faintly became distant, as if looking at something far away.
“You say Magic Cannon Blader? I heard that that guy also used a Magic Cannon Sword during the ranking battle......”
Comparing the person in her heart against that former ace traitor, Misora laughed bitterly.
“That guy is worlds apart from that person. She was much more responsible, I held the greatest respect and gratitude towards her in the whole world, someone that I definitely must not forget.”
However, Misora could hardly suppress her excitement, she could not wait to see what kind of special training she would get today. Receiving Kanata’s special training did not seem to be bad, at least that was what she thought for the time being.
The afternoon practical training. Misora who was called to a corner of the training ground looked bored, she watched the students training themselves afar.
Students wielding weapons such as Magic Sword, Magic Gun, Magic Battleaxe were doing battle training.
The sound of metal clashing against metal. The rolling dust blown from the wind. The sharp howls of the students.
Such a scene was repeated every day in Kuusen Madoushi Division.
It was necessary for a squadron to use the sky for the 3D maneuver strategy training, but they would not neglect ground training. Without the burden of the constantly-operated flying magic, they could focus more on their battle skill practice.
Misora would not only train her Magic Cannon Sword during flight, she also practiced her swings on the ground. To meet her target number of swings, she would spend at least two hours a day making a huge number of swings. She had never missed this training everyday.
Right beside her, Kanata who was slightly late for their appointment appeared.
“Sorry. I took a bit longer to prepare, so I have come slightly late.”
As a traitor he was hated by the students in 「Mystogan」, but Misora slowly started view him with expectation unknowingly.
Kanata handed over the stuff he prepared to her without a speck of guilt.
“Then Misora. Your personal special training is ── this.”
Saying so Kanata took out something from the empty space, a barrel longer than Magic Gun, a big cannon barrel-like armament ── Magic Cannon Staff.
“W-What is this!?”
Misora showed an expression that was between confusion and troubled.
She observed Kanata carefully, and confirmed that there was something about it. Even so, he spoke with a normal tone.
“Nn? It’s a Magic Cannon Staff though.”
“I’m not talking about t-that......”
“Your special training is to convert from Magic Cannon Blader to Magic Cannoneer. That way you will be stronger.”
Misora might have held too much expectation for him. Though he, being a traitor, had always said unexpected things, he was still a good guy. It might be because of that, she was displeased with what Kanata said ── she felt that she was betrayed.
“......Just now, what did you say?”
Misora spoke in a cold and bland tone. This is my voice huh. She suspected herself, it was a chilling voice. However, Kanata continued his peaceful facade, and told her.
“Nn, you didn’t hear me huh. You will convert from Magic Cannon Blader to Magic Cannoneer. Then you will use this and start shooting training is what I am saying.”
“I have considered about it for quite a while, you should not be the vanguard Magic Cannon Blader, but go for the middle guard as a Magic Cannoneer with support fire. You are lacking in Magic Sword skills, but your flying magic acceleration speed and magic power can be considered as a natural talent. This is not something that can be achieved easily through training, so converting to Magic Cannoneer will allow you to utilize your talent much better.”
Saying so, Kanata began explaining the important factors for Magic Cannoneer training.
Misora did not look up since just now, her bright red long hair was like a veil hiding her expression......
“......That alone is absolutely impossible. Even if I get stronger, that alone I absolutely hate it!”
Misora still hung her head down and replied with an eerily quiet tone. However, Kanata purposely pretended not to hear it.
“Lecty also said that at first, but she still obediently continue her training today, stop saying such selfish things. Magic Cannon Sword is an unbalanced weapon hard for beginners and already outdated.”
The Magic Cannon Sword she cherished dearly was cruelly criticized by others.
Kanata became famous also because of using Magic Cannon Sword, he should have the same feeling as her, but she did not realize the contradiction.
Misora became more emotional than ever, she stared hatefully at Kanata as if he was her father’s murderer.
“── I’m not saying selfish things! I have no intention of becoming anything other than Magic Cannon Blader! Even if you think that I have the talent to become a Magic Cannoneer, I absolutely won’t!”
“However, you don’t have any talent for the Magic Sword. Your personal record is hundred thirty-four consecutive loses.”
“Even so, I still want to become a Magic Cannon Blader! I don’t want anything besides Magic Cannon Blader no matter what! I will work hard! I will put in effort to produce results, please let me continue to be a Magic Cannon Blader!”
Misora desperately pleaded. However, the word effort was easily discarded by Kanata, then he frankly spoke.
“You will continue to be weak now if you continue to maintain your effort. I don’t know how much effort you have put in, but doing the same thing now will only produce the same result.”
All my efforts until now have been completely denied. Misora thought. This guy did not know how much effort she had put in at all.
Even so......He sounds as if he completely understand me, not even knowing the reason I want to become a Magic Cannon Blader, then making decisions for me selfishly......the most despicable instructor.
“Don’t make such decisions without knowing anything! ── I’m going back!”
She was already shouting by the time she realized.
Then she suddenly thrusted the Magic Cannon Staff back to Kanata, wiping the corner of her eyes with her hand on her face that became red for some reason, and left the place in big steps.