Methods and Convictions
※Told from Pipi Barlier’s perspective.
“Very well done, Pipi-sama.
Let’s take a ten minute break.”
“Phew…! Hah… Ah… Hah…”
I had just created and maintained a magic field that caused vibrations in the air for around ten minutes now.
The moment I cut off the flow of magic, I felt the exhaustion hit me all at once.
It wasn’t as though I had done anything physically intensive, but I was still dripping in sweat.
“Pipi-sama, please take this.”
“… Hah… hah… Thank you, Misha.”
I used the towel Misha offered to wipe off the sweat.
Then, without any concern for my skirt, I plopped myself right onto the ground.
We were in House Yule’s family garden.
The Yule family had fallen from grace, so while their garden was still large, there were no flowers.
They must not have had the money to hire a proper gardener.
I had asked Misha to accompany me as I honed my magic, and this wide open space was perfect for that.
“You’re able to spread the magic field out quite a bit further than before.”
“Yes, it’s all thanks to your advice, Misha.
Thank you so much.”
“No, not at all, this is a huge honor for the Yule family as well.
To think that you’d ask someone like me to be your tutor.”
That’s right, I had asked Misha to tutor me in magic.
I possessed a medium aptitude for wind magic, and, until now, I had primarily fought by generating crescents of wind and other conventional means, but I realized that wasn’t enough.
(I never want to see Loretta make that face ever again.)
The battle we took part of on the coast that day had left quite the impression not only on Loretta, but also on me.
I had stood by Loretta’s side as her escort, but in truth, Loretta was much stronger than I was.
I didn’t have the ability to command troops in a large-scale battle like Loretta, so, to the very least, I wouldn’t get in her way, I wanted to hone my magic.
(I mean… Loretta was crying.)
It frustrated her from the bottom of her heart that her insufficiencies had led to the death of so many fighters.
If I myself had been a little stronger, perhaps Loretta wouldn’t have had to go through that.
If, instead of me, Misha had been there instead, the fight would have been easier.
That was just how amazing Misha’s Siren was.
When I asked her to tutor me, I also asked her to demonstrate it.
It was overwhelming.
The most remarkable thing was the area of effect.
As the Siren spell used the surrounding air, it could practically expand as far as one’s magic would allow.
If she had stood on that coast, I was sure that she could have easily taken down dozens of undead all by herself.
(Though I don’t think that I can do the same things Misha can… I still do want to be even a little stronger.)
Those were my thoughts as I requested MIsha’s instruction.
“Okay, that’s enough of a break.
What should I do next?”
“Hm… It’s important that you continue to extend the range as well, but now that you’re able to cover a significant area, next you should work on controlling it.”
“Hm, I see.”
“I’ll set up some targets, please only hit the ones that I point to.”
Misha lined up some targets similar to the ones that we’d use for our magic class at the academy.
They were just about fifty meters away, a good distance that was neither too far nor too close for me as I was now.
Following Misha’s directions, I formed crescents of wind and hit the targets one after another.
The second and the eighth.”
“The fourth and the tenth.”
“The third and the fifth.”
The instructions were getting more and more difficult, but I was doing my best to keep up.
However, when Misha began instructing me to hit three different targets at once, the majority of my attacks missed.
“Looks like you should focus on your control next.”
“Haah… Haah… Yes… It seems so…”
Things had generally gone smoother when I was trying to increase the effective range of my magic, but I was struggling to improve my control.
For reference, I asked Misha to show me what she could do and… Forget three targets, I could specify anywhere between one and ten targets at a time, and she’d hit all of them.
“Well, I did enroll in the academy as a scholarship student.”
I thought I understood just how powerful Misha’s magic was, but it really was depressing to have her show me just how large the gap between us was.
“Isn’t there some quick way for me to improve my magic control?”
“Well, hm… There is but…”
“What? Please, tell me!”
Misha showed hesitation in the face of my enthusiasm.
“Is there some sort of problem?”
“Well, you could say that… How do I say this? It depends on your personal values.”
“Just go on and say it.
I’ll be the one to decide whether or not I want to go through with it.”
“… I suppose that’s true.
What do you think about using instruments?”
“I am well aware of your proficiency in the violin, Pipi-sama.
During one of your concerts just before vacation, you received an invitation to a recital, didn’t you?”
Just as Loretta had secured an invitation at the Academy Founder’s Festival, I too had managed to secure an invitation to perform at the Autumn Music Festival.
The day we found out, Loretta and I had practically jumped for joy.
“In other words, to Pipi-sama, the violin is an instrument that you can manipulate as though it were an extension of your own body.”
“What does any of that have to do with magic?”
“Well, magic artifacts can also take the form of an instrument.”
So in summary―
“You want me to use my instrument as a weapon… Is that right?”
I understood what she was saying.
Controlling one’s magic was difficult because the process of reflecting one’s mental image into one’s magic was so abstract.
If it were possible to better define that process for myself, I could likely expect a significant improvement.
How much of an improvement was potentially unfathomable.
“The issue is whether or not you, Pipi-sama, can accept that or not.”
“… I see.”
To me, the violin held special meaning.
I could accept the use and application of sound in magic, but felt resistance to the idea of taking my violin to fight in battle.
I was sure there were many out there who were content to compartmentalize the different applications, but to me, the violin was the furthest thing from violence.
I did not simply say that as a platitude either.
One’s sensibilities directly reflect in their performances.
If I allowed blood to stain my violin, I had no idea how that might take shape in my music.
Reportedly, the person who invented telepathy was in fact a famous vocalist, but it was also said that once they used their voice for their magic, they became unable to sing.
“I cannot personally recommend that you do this.
Separating the arts and war is for the best.”
“… That’s true, I agree.”
“Alright then, let’s think of ano―”
“I agree, but… Could I ask that you still teach me how it works? I want to be prepared for any eventuality.”
“… I understand.”
Putting whether or not I choose to apply it aside, there shouldn’t be any demerits to having the required knowledge.
Misha taught me how to create magic artifacts from instruments, as well as the basics for how to control my magic using them.
“Thank you, Misha.”
“Not at all, I’m not sure how much I’ve helped, really.”
“You’ve been a great help.
To the very least, I do feel that I am stronger than before.”
Even a small step forward could lead to a sense of accomplishment.
Compared to the powerlessness and frustration I felt on that day, I had come a long way.
“Pipi-sama, you really do love Loretta-sama, don’t you.”
“… What, something wrong with that?”
In the face of Misha’s wry smile, I hurled a retort.
When I had come to ask for her instruction, I also explained my motives and the events that had led me to this.
I thought that I wouldn’t be able to convey my sincerity otherwise.
“No, not at all.
If anything, I’m jealous.”
“What about you, then? Misha? Haven’t you ever thought that you wanted to become stronger for Yuu-sama’s sake?”
Misha didn’t even flinch and simply maintained her smile.
There wasn’t necessarily a reason that she had to open up to me just because I had opened up to her… I knew that, but it was still rather vexing.
Let’s continue with practice.”
I closed my eyes and concentrated, trying to further extend the effective range of my magic.
“… I really am jealous.
Both of you, Pipi-sama, and Rei as well.”
I thought I may have heard her whisper something like that.
Was I simply imagining things?
Translator Note: The extra lore about musical instruments being used as magic artifacts to cast is interesting.
This does appear to be set up, I wonder if Pipi really will have to go through with it at some point…
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