31 – Graduation Test
“What….What in the world-…?”
The one who whispered that was a female Clerical Knight.
It seems like she was also a mage as she could correctly grasp what the golden glow emitted by Tatsumi meant.
“C-…..Lady Calcedonia….Don’t tell me… That golden light on Tatsumi’s body, it’s…?”
“Yes. Master’s…No, Lord Tatsumi’s magic system is… <Sky>.”
Immediately, a huge disturbance burst out within the crowd of spectating Knights.
<Sky>, it was a magic system close to a fabled legendary concept which only appeared once in the past, being used by an ancient legendary mage! And if someone suddenly said that that legendary magic was being used right in front of them then of course they would be godsmacked.
“T-Tatsumi’s system is <Sky>…?”
“B-But isn’t <Sky> that legendary…”
The knights in the surrounding were making a huge ruckus. It’s been a long while since the fundamental training for Tatsumi’s grou[ started. Almost all the senior knights now knew of Tatsumi and the other 4 cadets, and from time to time they would even help them out and act as their sparring partner.
But even so the senior knights could have never imagined that Tatsumi was a <Sky> system mage. Rather, they didn’t even know Tatsumi was a mage at all.
Because when he was training Tatsumi would always wear the magic seal. So even the other mages among the Clerical knights never noticed it.
On the other hand, including Verse, the other 3 didn’t show much of a reaction.
Probably, Tatsumi already told them about his magic beforehand.
Right now, the 4 cadets were simply concentrating on the ongoing battle between Tatsumi and Odin.
Because for them, this battle wasn’t some other guys business.
The Clerical knights all gave a sidelong glance towards the 4 cadets’ reactions, and then they too began to concentrate on the battle just like Calcedonia.
Right now, Tatsumi was not blinking with his teleport.
He was putting a stopper on his legs, as he simply wielded his sword.
But Odin who was on the receiving end was completely on the defensive.
This wasn’t because something like Tatsumi’s sword skills being leagues above Odin’s, but because his sword strikes were mind-blowingly fast.
Tatsumi continued to slash out with a speed no ordinary man could even imitate.
Odin was somehow able to block the strikes with the handle of his battle axe. No wrong! Odin wasn’t blocking with the handle, but Tatsumi was aiming for it.
As proof of that, Odin could not even see Tatsumi’s sword flashes. He was simply standing there while enduring Tatsumi’s attacks.
If Odin’s earlier offence was a tornado, then it could be said Tatsumi’s current offence was a Jackhammer.
Tatsumi was only aiming for one single point of the handle of Odin’s battle axe.
It didn’t matter if the sword he was using had its edges dulled. If one simply bashed the metal sword onto a wooden axe handle then the wooden axe handle will take damage.
The handle which was as thick as a child’s arm was visibly chipping after being attacked by Tatsumi’s flash like offence.
Of course Odin himself was aware of that. He clearly knew Tatsumi’s goal was to destroy his weapon.
The reason why he let Tatsumi act as he wanted before was because he was Tatsumi’s instructor and wanted to see his progress. But right now, he simply couldn’t do anything about it.
Well he could simply jump out of this bout and retreat, but then again Tatsumi had his teleport. So even if he tried to retreat Tatsumi would just transfer to where he was.
Because he understood that Odin was trying his hardest to endure Tatsumi’s onslaught. Honestly, he could do nothing else other than that.
“T-That…Can’t be a simple body fortification…right?”
“Yeah…But what is it…what in the world…?”
The clerical knights who witnessed Tatsumi’s abnormal speed gasped as they wanted some answers.
And of course their questions were meant for someone who was greatly knowledgeable about magic even among her peers, and knew Tatsumi very well privately, Calcedonia.
“Lady Calcedonia…Just…Just what is that abnormal speed?”
But Calcedonia on the other hand returned their inquiry with a question of her own as she grinned teasingly.
“May I ask how much you know about the <Sky> system?”
“Eh? <Sky> system is it..? Well I do know it’s a legendary system of magic… It’s also the highest order of the <Light> and <Holy> magic system tree. They say it’s a magic to control space-time…”
Yes, <Sky> was indeed a magic to control space-time.
‘Space-time’. In other words, the ‘Space’ and ‘time’ signified the four dimensions.
The <<Instant Transmission>> Tatsumi had used earlier was a magic just like its name stated. It literally controlled space to teleport.
And right now.
What Tatsumi was controlling was ‘Time’, not ‘Space’. It was magic that could control the flow of time surrounding oneself in order to speed it up.
Giuseppe named this magic <<Acceleration>>.
But of course, the only reason Tatsumi could use this magic was because he was an outer origin mana user. For every moment he sped up his own flow of time, a huge amount of mana was consumed. If it was not Tatsumi who could gather mana continuously, then the person using it would have run dry long ago.
Till now Tatsumi has been practicing frantically in order to control his mana properly. Though they may not be completely perfected, Tatsumi could now skillfully use the magic of <<Instant Transmission>>, <<Acceleration>> and the one where he clads mana on his fist to strike out an explosive attack called <<Mana Strike>>.
On the contrary, one could say that Tatsumi only had the arsenal of these three magics. Other than these the only thing he could even use was <<Self Heal>>. Just like its name, it was literally a magic that used mana to heal oneself. It was useless on other people.
Of course, since he has been doing knight training side by side with magic, his current physical abilities were rather high. Right now he wouldn’t suddenly dry out of stamina after continuously using magic.
“At first both me and grandfather…Oh! I mean the supreme pontiff lord Chrysophrase thought that <Sky> was similar to <Light> and <Holy>. But after observing lord Tatsumi use <Sky> magic for a long time… his holiness began to conclude that it was not so.”
The reason why <Sky> was said to be the upper order of <Light> and <Holy> was because it was very effective against <Devils>.
The most effective spell against <Devils> is <<Exorcize>>. And that spell belongs to the <Light> and <Holy> category.
And according to old documents, <Sky> was just as effective against <Devils> as <Light> and <Holy>.
Maybe this was because the past folks wanted to make the previous <Sky> magic user’s deeds even more grandiose. And it’s a fact that Tatsumi had previously defeated a very powerful <Devil>. It could be said that there was no mistake <Sky> magic was more powerful against <Devils> than <Light> and <Holy>.
“What we can see is that both <<Instant Transition>> and <Acceleration>> of the <Sky> system are magic related to movement. They are completely different than the light based or healing based magic we see in <Light> and <Holy>. From this the supreme pontiff has deduced that <Sky> is an independent magic system.”
Though Tatsumi’s magic also includes <<Mana Strike>> and <<Self-heal>>, this was the same as the <Fire> system having the <<Glow>> magic and the <Water> system having the <<Heal>> magic. They are secondary functions of the magic system.
Calcedonia explained all of this calmly to the Clerical knights. After hearing to her explanation, the knights once again looked at Tatsumi.
And it was the exact same moment when Tatsumi’s jackhammer like attacks on the Battle axe’s handle was just about to break it.
“Okay, that’s enough!!”
Odin aimed for the moment the handle was finally going to give in, and he retreated backward giving the order to stop the battle.
Replying to that, Tatsumi stopped and took a haggard breath, followed by a standard bow to Odin.
As expected, even Tatsumi would get exhausted after using <<Acceleration>> for such a long time.
Odin dropped the battle axe with the now broken handle on the ground and looked at Tatsumi in satisfaction. He approached him as a manly smile slowly crept onto his face.
“Let it be then. I will acknowledge you graduating from the cadet training. From now on you are not a Clerical Knight Cadet, but a full-fledged Clerical knight.”
“Yes! Thank you very much!”
That’s right. Today’s battle with Odin wasn’t a simple training or a mock battle. It was the ‘Graduation test’ to promote to an official clerical knight.
The reason why Verse, Niez and the rest were watching the battle so closely was because they too would be taking this Graduation Test today.
As Odin stood before Tatsumi’s eyes, he quietly reached out his right hand.
“Good job getting this far. But, just because you are now an official knight does not mean you can stop your training. And I hear what you’re aiming to become is an Exorcist, not a normal clerical knight, right? The job of an exorcist is far more difficult than a normal clerical knight’s. So from now on do not slack off, and stay true to your objective!”
“Yes! Thank you for everything!”
Tatsumi tightly shook Odin’s right hand.
He heard loud cheering coming from Verse and the rest behind him.
Just when he was about to turn around, a sudden silver and white something covered his field of vision as it jumped onto his face.
That silver and white something then proceeded to hug his head in between two big squishy round objects.
“Congratulations, master! I always knew master could do anything easily!”
The sudden silver and white squishy round something— Tatsumi was almost suffocating in between Calcedonia’s breasts, and he might have died then and there if Calcedonia didn’t release her hug.
At the two who were currently hugging face to face, all their friends and colleagues in the surrounding started to happily jeer and congratulate them.
Even Odin seemed like only for today he would tolerate the flirting, as he too looked at them with a happy expression.
Calcedonia was looking at Tatsumi, with her big glossy eyes upturned and a perfect face dyed crimson. Tatsumi on the other hand, on contrary to Calcedonia, tilted his head somewhat tiredly.
“T-This is, I-I mean……Something I want to give master because he passed and, it’s a gift and, a-also like a…”
Calcedonia moved her gaze away from Tatsumi shyly, but then started to peek glances at him.
After hardening her resolve, Calcedonia glued her body to Tatsumi, stood up on her tiptoes and pressed her glossy pink lips onto Tatsumi’s.
“C-Chiiko…?! W-Wha-, just now..!?”
“Ehehehehe. I did it, yay!”
Calcedonia cutely put her tongue out. Tatsumi on the other hand finally realized what happened, and his face instantly big banged into a pink pile of embarrassment.
And, from behind a huge amount of ballistic assault hit them.
“Damn you bastard!! The hell you showing off for huh!!???”
“I don’t wanna meddle between you and Lady Calcedonia after all this time but, DO THAT STUFF SOMEWHERE WHERE PEOPLE CAN’T SEE IT DAMNIT!!”
“Oi you sod, you insulting us?! You insulting me? Me who hasn’t got a lover since the moment I was born, are you mocking me?!”
Though there was a few who were genuinely about to cry, the expressions of the senior knights were all happy contrary to what they were saying.
And of course, there was a bunch among Tatsumi’s friends who didn’t know their place in the world.
“L-Lady C-Calcedonia… T-That….I-If we pass the test too…s-suppose we do pass… t-that… Can you give us a k-kiss like Tatsumi…no, r-r-ight here, like a smooch…?!”
The Niez siblings were all rising up in expectation. Among them Niez himself pointed at his cheek with his finger.
Beside them, Verse shrugged his shoulders with a hopeless look. And then,
“I don’t want to.”
With a smile. No reaction, just cleanly.
Though they actually knew it wasn’t going to happen, being rejected in such a manner caused the Niez brothers to visibly become depressed.
“….You know. I knew, I actually knew it but…but…”
“Damn Tatsumi….I’m so jealous…”
“E-Excuse me…if a kiss on the cheek is no good…t-then can…can you at least step on us…?”
The last was a bit unpleasant but, it must have been the wind.
Well no matter what, it’s a fact that Tatsumi has taken one big step towards his goal.
“And so? What are the results?”
In a finely decorated room, an elderly woman was listening to her subordinate’s report.
“Yes mistress. There are no bad rumours about this person called Tatsumi Yamagata. Even in the neighbourhood he lives in along with Lady Calcedonia, they have high credibility. And it’s said his reputation with Lady Calcedonia is a very harmonious one, as the two get along very well.”
“Is that so. Then, have you noticed anything amiss?”
“I’ve already investigated that. There are no brothels, bars or gambling halls the one called Tatsumi frequents. And he doesn’t have a hidden mistress either.”
Unlike modern day Japan, this world had few means of public entertainment.
Well there were sometimes visiting troupes performing plays and musicals, and listening to minstrels singing their stories was fun.
But even so, for a male, an adult male the most common way of having fun was ‘Drinking’, ‘gambling’ and ‘Sex’.
Wine, casinos and prostitutes. These mainly represented how a commoner man could have fun in this world, in a different way than nobles. Like after returning from work having a few shots with close friends was really enjoyable. In this world, fun equals to pleasure in a lot of different levels.
The Elderly woman did not plan of blaming the young man called Tatsumi if he wanted to have a little fun here and there for amusement, but the story would be different if he went to brothels all the time. And drowned himself in gambling and alcohol.
There has been many past examples of a man falling to ruin because of gambling, wine, and of course the pleasures of a woman. This is true for both commoners and nobles.
But after investigation, it seems like the young man called Tatsumi didn’t touch any of these, all together.
Every morning, he went to the temple as per scheduled. And after finishing his duty there he returned straight home. Though sometimes he does go to the town and market to shop, but he mostly buys food ingredients. Most probably they are requested by Calcedonia for their everyday meals.
“…This Tatsumi. He appears to be hard resolved considering his age. No, he is too serious. Maybe, could this all be a facade to deceive…?”
As expected, there was a huge difference in the stereotypical image teenagers had in this world and Earth. That’s why the elder who obviously was not aware of that found Tatsumi’s behavior odd.
“No, at the least, the people who meet him every day, and to his friends he has a sincere image of a young man.”
There has been instances of the Niez brothers inviting Tatsumi to go for a drink in the town bars after training. But Tatsumi had always refused them.
“And then, this may not directly concern the one called Tatsumi but…”
Saying that, he continued,
“It seems like people other than us have also been investigating him lately.”
“Oh my? Who in the world would that be?”
“Yes, I have found out that it’s the elder son of the house of Gargadon, Lalaic Gargadon.”
“Lalaic?…Ah! That child who never learns and continues to send Calcedonia marriage proposals even after getting rejected every time.”
The elder knew of Lalaic Gargadon’s deeds. It seems like he had an obsession with Calcedonia.
“….Though I have no intention of letting Calcedonia marry Lalaic…isn’t there a way we could leverage him in our own investigation?”
After replying that, the subordinate quietly left the room.
Hearing the door close, the elder— Former Duchess Eleesha Couletto looked out of the window of her room silently.
“….At least, he doesn’t appear to be a bad person but… there is a need to test him once. Let’s see what happens…”
Eleesha said those words quietly, but there was none present in the room to hear them as they too silently disappeared.