How did I end up like this? I am currently in a wooden-cart and I am the only one here. I cannot even move due to the rope. My mouth is covered by some dirty cloth. I can only watch and hear. The cart is being surrounded by multiple weird looking people. They were the group that captured me. It was all my mistake. They captured me because I was a [Mage], yet… It has been a few days and...They have no realized I am not a [Mage]! Also, they took away my academy uniform and put me in rags. However, the most depressing thing is that. My long hair had been forcefully cut. I cannot see it, but I know it’s in terrible shape.
‘So this is why I should want to get a class?’ I regretfully murmured. Although what came out, was a muffled murmur that could not be understood.
I might have questioned the importance of classes. But now I see why even nobles need them. This world is not perfect. One needs a class to simply survive, although my doubts are still there. Is life all about acquiring a class and then dying? I am currently classless so, I should be able to acquire a class sometime in the future. However, right now I need to worry about something else. Where am I being taken? I don’t have a slave choker and I am just tied down with my mouth covered up. Do they want to ask for money from my father? No… That doesn’t make sense, they captured me because they thought I was a mage.
We left the capital like two days ago… The guards did not check the cart for whatever reason. I wonder what will happen now? I rolled my body to look at the brilliant sky. It was beautiful, yet I couldn’t help but feel depressed about what was going to happen. Was this alright? I could only see the foggy figure of the sky, not being able to make out anything I was looking at. My vision was blurry and I felt a somewhat weird sensation run-down the side of my eyes. I can’t help but want to be saved. I am sorry... Towards everyone…
I felt the cart started moving faster for whatever reason. Suddenly it stopped, making me roll over again, from the aggressive force I felt. I ended up hitting the front part of the cart making a dull sound. As I was getting over my pain, I started hearing some talking.
“Oh, what do we have here?”
“We are just a traveling group.”
I recognized none of the voices and they all sounded pretty casual. I somewhat understood that one of them was an adventurer.
“Well, so why are you guys dressed like bandits?”
“That is none of your business!”
They suddenly turned hostile and I heard the drawing of swords. It was somewhat exaggerated, but I could feel bloodlust surging in the air. The pointless conversation continued. I could not hear swords being sheathed so I think they still had their swords drawn out. Suddenly they started battling. Making dull noises and groans of pain, that subsided just as fast as they started.
I started hearing the battle shouts of some people. I did not understand them.
“Die, you dirty bandit!”
“Over my dead body!”
I mean, if he dies doesn’t that mean he is dead? I don’t get it at all. The battle continued until everything was silent. I could hear the surviving group getting away from the cart. I could only help but assume our group won. ‘Looks like I won’t be getting sa-.’
As I was muttering I suddenly heard the voice of one of the bandits.
“Oh, you two girls will make perfect slaves.”
Girls?! However, I heard no battle. I just heard a dull sound strike the ground. Somehow, I had a bad feeling about this.
“A mage?! Capture her at all costs, she is strong. So be careful!”
Someone started giving orders to fight the girls. I heard something unusual though. [Mage]? Why would a mage be outside the capital? I wonder. Suddenly I heard a battle start. Well, it wasn’t a battle…
All I heard were screams and things hitting the ground. The more things I heard, the surer and more scared I became. People kept mercilessly falling to the ground, they were being attacked by something. I started feeling terror. I wanted to move, I wanted to escape.
With my trembling body, I started twitching trying to get out of the wooden-cart, I had to escape somehow. However, it was futile. I ended up hitting the cart's floor as soon as I tried. When I attempted to somewhat lift myself up, I fell over again, making the cart somewhat tremble. I had a bad feeling as I started hearing footsteps coming towards me. However, they were no longer heavy like before. They were somewhat quiet and rhythmic without any rush.
I started trying to move further away. I did not want to meet those people. As I was struggling to get away. I felt a shadow cast over me. Looking back, all of my fear vanished. I saw a silver-haired girl with orangey eyes. And a white-haired girl with… Two different eye colors? That was odd. They looked to be about the same age. When they saw me, they tilted their heads and then backed off from the cart.
“What should we do?”
I heard a somewhat concerned voice however, the response it got what somewhat cold and sounded tired.
“Haa? Why are you asking me? Didn’t you save Ari back then anyways?”
“Yea… But that was on a whim. This one doesn’t even have a slave collar…”
“Well, doesn't this mean she was taken for a special reason or something?”
“Well… Now that you mention it, it does make sense, I guess we could at least her untie her…”
The conversation was dumb in my opinion. But… I am glad they were going to save me. I heard them get close to the cart again. And the white-haired girl took the dirty cloth off my mouth with a somewhat disgusted face. Suddenly I felt the string or rope. Whatever they used to tie me down; break. Rather, it was cut. However, wasn't she next to the white-haired girl? I glanced where the silver-haired girl was. However, I could no longer see her.
“Well, that is done. You can leave now.” Turning around to the source of the nonchalant voice. I noticed the silver-haired girl was already inside the cart standing up. Looking at me. She quickly got off and started going back with the white-haired girl.
“Umm…” I awkwardly called out to them and they turned around with visibly confused faces.
“Yes?” The white-haired girl answered while scratching her cheek. Her voice was not as cold nor as casual as the other girl, which made me relax a bit. I don’t know where I am but I think it’s better if they take me with them.
“Can I go with you?”
“That is…” She quietly said while scratching her cheek and turned to the other girl. She ended up shrugging in response. I noticed her face brightened seeing this.
“Yes, you can come back with us. We are going to the capital right now.” The white-haired girl casually said while gesturing me to come towards them. I quietly moved in front of them.
“I am Yami and this is Aizen.” She said while gesturing her hands towards the silver-haired girl. She did not move or say anything for some reason. I have never heard names that sounded like that. Are they from outside the human territory?
“Well we are going back to the wagon I guess.” The white-haired girl casually said while shrugging and started walking. The other girl quickly followed. I think they were Yami and Aizen? For some reason, I had no trouble remembering their names. I am guessing it was because they were names I had never heard before. I noticed all of the bandits groaning and some dead adventurers as I was walking, making me shiver. When we were arriving in front of the carriage. I noticed a bandit that seemed to have mauled by a wild beast.
For some reason, Yami started muttering something when she saw said, bandit. But ended up sighing after she heard him groan. They entered the carriage and I followed soon after. As soon as I peeked into it, I noticed a girl that had the same eye and hair color as me. She was wearing some expensive looking clothes and was hugging a white wolf monster. I think its size was average, I had never seen one before.
When she noticed me she tilted her head to the side, and started muttering things while holding her chin with one hand but eventually ended up nodding.
“So Yami saved her?” Aizen ended up nodding without saying anything. She seemed to understand the situation and completely stopped hugging the wolf. She got out of the carriage and stood in front of me.
“Nice to meet you. I am Ari.” She said with a bright smile while extending her hand with a cheerful smile for a handshake. I shook her hand, however, I noticed she was slightly trembling. But it did not seem related to any of this. At least she looked completely relaxed. She kept my hand grasped and dragged me inside the carriage. Once we were inside she stopped holding my hand and got behind the wolf.
“This is Fenri.”
“Woof.” The wolf barked?
She waved her hand towards her for me to come over. I slowly went close to her, I noticed the wolf had a taming scarf. For some reason, it did not resemble the wolf from the monster drawing books that much. And no one inside here looked like a tamer. Ari made me pet Fenri. His fur was extremely soft and silky as if it had never gotten dirty. I noticed Yami walked past us and headed towards the back of the carriage. I noticed there was a well-dressed man in the corner. I think it was a merchant.
I noticed they talked briefly and the merchant left the wagon. I took a look outside and two wagons were left, only this wagon was moving. Ari told me to sit down next to her. Yami and Aizen sat in front of us.
“So, how did you end up in the wagon?” Yami asked.
I froze and started thinking. In the end, it was better to tell the truth.
“Umm… I was in the capital and was captured for being a [Mage].”
“Oh, a mage? Can you show me a spell or something?” Aizen asked.
I froze, I was not a mage, I just said it entirely wrong…
“I-I am not a mage. I was coming out of the magic academy and they captured me because of that.” They did not seem very impressed but Aizen started thinking about something.
“What kind of place is the magic academy?” She suddenly asked.
“Well, they teach you how to acquire the [Mage] class. And magic in general…” I awkwardly answered. It should be common knowledge after-all.
“Oh. Is there a reason you don’t have the [Mage] class?” She casually asked. My heart ached.
“Umm… I-I can’t perceive or manipulate mana despite trying for years now…”
I regretfully and quietly said it. I said the truth… However, she tilted her head and seemed confused about something.
“Well… If it’s something that simple I guess I can teach you.”
She casually called it 'simple' unbelievable, she also said it while shrugging her shoulders. How can she teach me? I had been trying for a long time… Yet no results… I started to feel nervous; mad. I felt like she was lying to me but she said it so casually as if it was possible. I had to ask.
“H-how.” My voice trembled under the mixed emotions I was feeling.
“It’s simple really. You just need to feel mana and be able to know it’s there, correct?”
She asked the obvious and I ended up nodding.
“Well, what if you were forced to feel mana?” I heard a dumb question.
“That is impossible. No one can directly control mana after all.” I tried to dismiss her.
“Just give me your hand.”
She nonchalantly said, and then grabbed my hand. After a few seconds of her grabbing my hand, I felt a strange sensation. like if something was entering my body and leaving it, it was warm. I started to feel strange energy I had never felt before, I tried moving it, and it was surprisingly easy.
“Oh, you are doing well.” She tried to sound excited but it sounded more like she was interested in what was going to happen. She continued talking.
"Just keep doing that for a few minutes." She let go of my hand.
After a few minutes of doing that, I felt a weird sound in my head and a voice resounded inside.
[Requirements met: Intermediate-rank mana perception acquired.]
[Requirements met: Intermediate-rank mana manipulation acquired.]
[Requirements met: Class Archmage.] Class bonuses have been applied.
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.” I let out a high-pitched voice in disbelief…
“H-How.” I turned to look at Aizen. I could see some kind of air flowing around yet when I looked at her she seemed to have no air going close to her… No… I noticed the ring she was wearing. It was dimly shining in a dark golden color emitting some kind of air that gave me an uneasy feeling. I think. That was mana, for some reason it seemed to be unmoving. I started looking around I noticed Ari had some white mana entering her body. I also noticed Yami’s glove repulsed mana and no mana was entering her.
However, soon enough I started feeling a head-splitting headache and held my head in pain.
“Oh does it hurt? You can turn it off.” Aizen casually informed me.
“H-How…” I asked in a struggle.
“Just think about it.” She casually answered again.
How am I even supposed to think about it? Do I just say: 'Turn it off or something?!' As I was thinking I noticed all of the weird colored air I was seeing, disappeared. What just happened was… Unbelievable.
“Who are you?” I decided to ask Aizen the first thing that came to mind.
“Ah, well… I got a recommendation letter to the academy.” She said while scratching the back of her head as she pulled out a letter with red waxing. I noticed it had the kingdom’s crest… Wait… Very few people can give letters like that one. How did she even get it?
Also, what was that? I heard intermediate-rank mana perception was… Well, something only the best mages acquire at the end of their lifetime. Yet this random girl casually forced me to learn it. How is that even possible? Is it even possible?
“Come to think of it. We haven’t heard your name.” Yami suddenly said bringing me back from my thoughts.
“Ah… I am Cecil.” I said with a wry smile trying to organize my thoughts.
Yes. Votes: 40 30.8%
No. Votes: 17 13.1%
Maybe. Votes: 12 9.2%
B-baka. Votes: 61 46.9%