Next week in the second training room all the students had gathered. A lot of luggage had been brought and was placed around the room.
It had the feel of preparing for a long journey.
As the bell rings signalling the start of lessons an owl flies through the window.
“Good morning everyone.”
Menou’s voice came from the owl’s mouth. I guess she’s talking through the owl using magic.
“Today you are departing for Azeshion for the academy exchange. Your destination is the royal capital of Gairadeite. As previously announced there is no guide provided by the school for this journey. The 3rd years have already been briefed so I’ll explain to the first years now.”
I perform a quick check and find another owl in the 3rd year’s classroom as well. Presumably, we are all hearing Menou speak.
“In Deruzogedo we don’t have guides. If you are aiming to be a demon emperor then you must get to your destination by your own power. Aah, I don’t mind you helping each other out as students though.”
Part of the lesson is getting to your destination?
“There are various obstacles between here and Azeshion. If you chose to go by sea then you have to cross the Eluga Straights. If you chose to go overland then you have to beat the Deltest mountains or you could detour around the mountains and go through the Tora forest. Finally, if you attempt to fly there then be warned that the magic field when you enter Azeshion airspace is disturbed and causes issues with flying.”
Which route is the quickest? Of course, the ability to chose the correct route is also part of the test.
“Azeshion is different to Deiruheido. I’m sure everyone here will come across things you’ve never seen before. We want you to learn not only the things that will be taught in the academy but also how to deal with unknown things during your journey there.”
This seems more interesting compared to previous classes but unfortunately, I’ve been to the Eluga Straights, the Deltest mountains and the Tora forest a number of times now.
I suppose they could be different from 2000 years ago though.
“You have 10 days to make it there and those that don’t arrive in the allotted time will fail and will not be allowed to take part in the exchange. Of course, the time you take to arrive will affect your grades. 1st years who arrive before 3rd years will also get more points so everyone do your best.”
10 days? That sounds about right.
Even if you go overland, if you keep running at a reasonable pace you will arrive in plenty of time.
“By the way, sensei arrived in 2 days so 3rd years please use this as a guide as to how long it should take you.”
2 days? That’s pretty fast by herself.
I wonder if she only teaches 3rd years? Her magic power is higher than Emilia’s.
“That’s it everyone. The Gairadeite expedition exam starts now!”
At her signal about half of the students immediately left the room and the remaining half were checking maps and talking about which route to take.
“Nee Arnos. You’ve actually been a bit interested in all of this but you haven’t brought any luggage.” (Sasha)
Sasha hasn’t brought much luggage herself. Only a few days worth. I guess she intends to arrive in 2 or 3 days.
“Why would I? It’s only a day trip to Gairadeite. I went a number of times in the old days.”
Whenever the humans were showing signs of some type of shrewd plan I had to go over and crush them each time.
“A day trip……..As unreasonable as ever I see…….”
“What route should we take?” (Misha)
“The sky is no good due to the magic in the airspace as you enter Azeshion being disturbed. You might be okay after our self-study session though Sasha.” (Arnos)
Sasha likes to use Flight <Fres> so during our self-study I deliberately affected the magic in the air and made it hard for her to fly. As a result, she can fly pretty good even in disturbed magical currents now.
“Ray and Misa?”
Misha looks over at them.
“Ahaha. I can’t fly but if I use Rain Spirit Mist <Fuska> I think I can keep up.” (Misa)
Misa can move freely anywhere in <Fuska’s> range. Its efficiency is poor but its speed is respectable.
“I guess I’ll just run. I’m not very good at <Fres>.” (Ray)
“Then isn’t overland better? If I fly low then we can all travel together.” (Sasha)
Sasha creates a map using magic and shows the 3 routes with a red line.
“The shortest route is through the forest of Tula and after that there are 3 routes you could go. The quickest of those is through the Mireinu desert. If we don’t encounter any problems it will take one day to arrive.” (Sasha)
Because Menou said that the 3rd years should use the 2 days as a guide Sasha is competing with them.
“If we were intending to walk there then that is a very accurate assessment Sasha but why are you opening a map to go to Gairadeite?” (Arnos)
A few different expressions cross Sasha’s face
“I’ve already said I’ve been before. What magic do I use to go home with?”
“Can it be used over such long distances?” (Misha)
“It can. If I was to put it in modern-day terms it was originally developed for busy mazoku to travel long distances multiple times a day on business.”
“…..I understand and you didn’t need to put it in modern terms.”(Misha)
I explained it clearly though?
“Anyway, forget one day. It will take us one second.” (Arnos)
I reach out to Sasha and we all take hands before I use <Gatom>.
The pure white landscape regains its colour and a vast lake appears before us. A cityscape surrounded by walls is situated on the lake.
The royal fortress city of Gairadeite was built on an island in the centre of the lake. The vast lake is called Lake Seimei (1) and is said to be a holy lake which acts as a natural magic circle and has the power to seal evil.
It seems the holy water is still flowing strongly but do they have anyone that can use it after 2000 years?
“It’s a bit of a let down to arrive so easily.” (Sasha)
“Heroes are said to be good with swords. It would be interesting to have a sword exchange with some of them.” (Ray)
Sasha looks at Ray with an amazed look. I can see her thinking, how do you intend to ask for a sword exchange when we haven’t even started the academy exchange yet.
“You only ever think about swords Ray.” (Sasha)
“Maybe so. Just like you only ever think about the demon king.” (Ray)
“Wha……what are you saying…….” (Sasha)
Sasha’s face goes bright red.
“Students of the demon king academy are supposed to only think about the demon king though. You look like an honour student.” (Ray)
Sasha glares at Ray.
“………I’ll remember this sword fetishist………” (Sasha)
Unusually, Sasha and Ray are trading barbs with each other as we saunter over to the castle gates.
Seeing our uniforms and badges the soldiers on the gates let us right in.
As we went through the gate a voice came from behind me asking something even I didn’t know the answer to.
“By the way, where is the 3rd hero academy dorm located?”
“To the east of the hero academy near the wall.” (Misha)
“Fumu. And where is the hero academy?” (Arnos)
“Arno’s doesn’t know either?” (Misha)
“It didn’t exist 2000 years ago.” (Arnos)
Misha points to a tall building in the distance.
“There. Hero academy Arclaniska. It was in the material we were given.” (Misha)
Fumu. That was the name of the royal castle 2000 years ago. Did they turn it into the hero academy?
I guess even though its a peaceful world and military facilities are no longer required its a shame to lose magical facilities. Not a bad decision actually. It would make a good place of learning. My castle of Deruzogedo was turned into an academy as well.
On the surface, it seems a good idea but it feels suspicious to me.
“For now let’s go and meet Menou Sensei.” (Sasha)
“Will she be there? She won’t think anyone will be arriving today.” (Misa)
“……You have a point…….” (Sasha)
We might as well go anyway so we head over to the 3rd hero dorms.
After walking for a while and taking in the unfamiliar cityscape we arrive in front of a beautifully decorated stone building.
It’s pretty big. I’d say it houses around 200 people. A sign above the gate says [Arclaniska 3rd Dorm].
Misha points and Menou comes out of the dorm.
“Fumu. We’ve arrived Menou.” (Arnos)
Menou stiffened like time had stopped for her.
“It should be a pretty good new record.” (Arnos)
Menou is still stunned as she listens to my words. After a few seconds she opens her mouth.
“Wha… just a moment…. impossible….right……? A day……not even one day….. Hardly any time has passed……How did you get here…….!?” (Menou)
Menou keeps talking like she can’t believe it. She would have seen through the owl that we were indeed at Deiruheido just a little while ago so there can’t be any doubt that we cheated or anything.
“I’ve been to Gairadeite before so I used <Gatom>.” (Arnos)
“…….I’d heard that you can use lost magic but I never believed that it could connect to a space so far away……” (Menou)
From the bottom of her heart, Menou looks truly astonished.
“……I knew you had a talent for magic….. Since I’m a teacher I’ve seen many children called geniuses and even many mixed-bloods who had superior magic but you are in a dimension where the words genius means nothing.”
Menou stared straight into my face and used her demon eyes.
“Arnos-kun……..who are you?”
“I’ll give you the same answer I’ve given everyone else. If you trust in the words of others but don’t trust your own demon eyes then you will never learn the truth no matter how long you live.”
Demon king of tyranny. Did those words appear in your head?
Menou falls silent.
(1) Means something like sacred brightness.