~~Seven Past Nine in the Afternoon, Thirty-First Day of the Third Month, Ninety-Fourth Year of the War Demon Calendar~~
Lina and Tifa stood in the Pochisley Agency reception room, beside the window that faced the street leading to the marketplace, staring intently at each others face.
In a standing unusual of her, Tifa tried to keep calm, gripping her gray robe tightly.
Minutes passed with neither of them speaking nor making even a move.
Both kept their eyes trained on the other, observing the changes the other had gone through over the year.
The one to eventually break the status quo was Lina.
Putting on a smile, she turned to the window and looked up at the sky above.
“It sure has… been a long time.”
“I heard some time ago that you were coming to Beilanea, and I did try to find you in my free time, but… I guess I didnt look hard enough.”
“But… where did you hear that from”
Only a handful of people would know what Tifa had been up to in recent times.
Up to now, she had been keeping her activities discreet while using a false name most of the time.
“From Chief Ryan.
“Chief You mean you got to meet him”
“Yeah…… Everyones here in Beilanea now.
Chief, my brother and sister, Miss Reyna, and even Adolf.”
Tifa stepped forward, not hiding any of her surprise.
“Wait, wait! Whats going on – …oh.”
It meant that their hometown was no more.
However, there was one thing that Tifa did not understand.
She had left town before anything had happened.
She could more or less accept the facts regarding the whole thing, but that one point she could not understand.
“Well, I did arrive here just last month.
That must have been pretty fast, if I say so myself.
Traveling in a big group shouldve been difficult to manage too, so howd everyone got here before me…”
“So… its Sir Asley, you see.
He went to help, and then he used the Teleportation magic spell-“
With Lina saying that, Tifas already wide eyes further widened.
She then proceeded to draw a Spell Circle behind Lina.
“Rise, A-rise, A-rise… Rise.
Surprised by the Circles reflection on the window, Lina turned around.
“Tifa… howd you…”
“Its part of thehomework Sir Asley gave me to do.”
[- Tifa, Ive left some homework for you at the house I used to live in.
Please give it a good look.
When youre done with it, you must then study and train on your own… Understood -]
Lina now recalled what Asley had said to Tifa years ago, just before Asley and Lina left Faltown.
And at the same time, she now remembered how strange Asley sounded at the time.
He had been, in his own way, trying to keep up the teacher role to the best of his abilities.
Perhaps because of how funny that was to think back to, Lina could not resist her urge to smile.
Although perplexed by Linas expression, Tifa proceeded to take out an old book from her Storeroom, and then placed it on the table.
Tifa then took a seat, followed by Lina sitting down beside her.
“Look at this…”
“Thats not all.
Instant Transmission, Space-Time Transmission, and even Water Materialization… theres a whole lot of stuff here.”
(Anna: Instant transmission Did Asley learn that from Goku)
The shock rendered Lina speechless.
Even Tifa, who had been in possession of the book this entire time, was shaking with awe as she held it in her hands.
“So Ive heard that one of the Six Archmages had invented the Teleportation spell two years ago… but from the looks of it, it was by Sir Asley, after all”
Lina, now perfectly calm, nodded lightly.
Tifa closed her eyes and sighed, seemingly relieved by that fact.
“But Ive never heard about these three.
And considering that the Teleportation spell is already instant, whats the difference between it and Instant Transmission”
“Its messed up here and there by Pochis paw prints and drool, so I dont know that much either.
But even more annoying than that is… how many misspellings Sir Asley made in it.”
“Hes got at least one misspelling every five words.
Its fine and all for the simple parts, but it makes the important explanations almost impossible to understand.
I swear, hes really testing my skill with this-“
Tifa spoke as if she thought that Asley had thought this through, but Lina was holding back her urge to shake her head and state otherwise.
“Anyway, to keep it short… the Instant Transmission spell is designed to for use in battle.”
“Then wouldnt that be…”
Tifa nodded, preemptively confirming what she knew would follow that statement.
“As the name implies, its not amovement, but atransmission.
For example, you could instantly put yourself behind your enemy…”
The two looked at each other, bewildered at the prospect.
“Its extremely versatile… or would be, if its actually usable.
Id say its the key to blur the lines between warriors and mages capabilities.”
“Right, it sure would.
So… what about the Space-Time Transmission”
Lina was surprised by two different things.
One was Asleys achievements, of course, but above that was how much Tifa had improved herself.
As a mage, Lina was impressive enough to be given the nicknameSilent Witch.
Just by sitting next to Tifa, she could already get a rough read on the latters combat capabilities.
Lina could detect that Tifas arcane energy was abnormally powerful for her age, but also that the latters abilities were not yet on her level.
Regardless, Tifa had in her possession a great deal of knowledge unobtainable from neither the Magic University nor the Adventurers Guild.
This was the result of Asleyshomework.
Of her teaching and learning things herself.
Her knowledge and degree of effort were the most surprising things.
Tifa, as if to encourage Lina, proceeded to say,
“So the most realistic thing out of the bunch would be… the Water Spell Manifestation.”
“Hmm… Water magic usually requires a water source to be usable, right If this is successfully implemented, its sure to change everything…”
If people could call water out of thin air with magic formulas, then they would be able to survive as long as they have arcane energy.
Its widespread use would quickly open up ways to make barren land fertile, too.”
“So what does the book say about it”
“It looks super complex and needs some supplementary magecraft formulas, too.
But the important part of it is… well…”
Tifa stopped her explanation and showed Lina the particularly crumpled pages of the book.
The letters were so distorted that they were impossible to read.
[Ahahaha… Thats got to be Pochi drool again… Chances are theres some of Sir Asleys in that, too… Haha…]
Tifa put on a wry smile as if to agree with Linas thoughts.
Lina then spoke up, as if she had just realized something.
“-Wait, Tifa, you already know how to do magecraft”
Hes left a lot of books about it with his homework…”
“And here I am, not knowing much of it after all this time…”
“I wouldve preferred to be the first to leave, really.
Im jealous of you, you know, getting to be with Sir Asley all this time.”
Although Tifa had said all that calmly, Lina noticed otherwise based on the words alone.
It was jealousy directed at her for being the one who got to live a privileged life, and not only because she had been hogging their former teacher for just herself all this time.
During Asleys two years in Faltown, despite Tifa being a child at the time, he had influenced her life greatly.
Not only that, his mere presence meant a lot to her.
The thought made Lina feel a tingling sensation in her c.h.e.s.t.
Tifa, having somewhat of a bad feeling from how she acted, watched over her.
She wondered, could it be that Lina also-
“Anyway… wheres Chief living at now And the others”
Although Lina fumbled as she hurried to reply to Tifa, it took only moments for her to remember that it was a simple enough question and answer accordingly.
The hour approached ten, but this matter was too important to wait until morning.
When it came to informing everyone of Tifas safety, a delayed report was not an option.
Lina initiated a Telepathic Call with Ryan, and the latter picked up almost immediately.
Lina then passed the message to Tifa that the Chief was delighted by the news, prompting Tifa to heave a sigh of relief.
After that, Tifa held up her index finger to her lips.
In response, Lina cracked a wry smile and nodded.
They tip-toed to the door and swung it open without warning, causing all those who listened in to avalanche into the room, their stack toppled.
“Ah – Im – Im a Chihuahua”
Hearing the throaty voice of her Familiar spew a storm of excuses with the intensity of the Seventh Lunge, Tifa shifted from her sigh of relief to… a sigh of a bizarre mixture of emotions.