Many of Schwartzekatze’s black catkin sat down by a fire or began fanning themselves the moment Fran’s lecture came to an end. She’d not only taught them about the two elements needed for lightning magic, but also about water and earth magic as well. It seemed that the topics had piqued quite a bit of interest here and there, as a couple black catkin had started practicing the methods she’d mentioned for those two in particular. The vigour with which the villagers trained convinced me that at least one or two mages would end up popping up in due time. Or so I thought, until I’d come to a realization.
“Wait, don’t they need to get magic manipulation to actually cast stuff?”
Amanda had told us that the magic manipulation skill was the key to learning magecraft, and I highly doubted that any of Shcwartzekatze’s villagers already had the skill. Simply interacting with the magical energy abundant in the natural environments around them wasn’t nearly enough to actually teach them how to manipulate mana.
“Yes, what is it?”
“Nn. Stand here.”
The village chief obiently listened to Fran’s orders and stood himself up right in front of her while she raised a palm and began to focus.
“I-I’m feeling some sort of strange sensation. What’s happening?”
“Nn. Using magic.”
She tried seizing control of the chief’s mana through the use of her magic manipulation skill. Much to her surprise, it’d worked out surprisingly well. She wasn’t able to gain full control, but she at least managed to gain the ability to mess with it and stir it up.
“I… can! I can’t tell what it is, but I can feel something!”
“Nn. Magical energy.”
Huh, that’s a pretty solid idea.
“Nn. Get everyone. Form line.”
The chief ran around the town square and gathered all the villagers before Fran. It only took them an instant to form a pair of perfectly neat lines.
And so, both Fran and I got to work. We began manipulating the mana within each black catkin in turn in order to get them accustomed to the flow of mana. Neither of us really knew exactly how effective the action was, but we were convinced that it was at least better than leaving Schwartzekatze’s villagers completely unaware of what manipulating magical energy was supposed to feel like.
It took us a good bit to go through each and every single black catkin, but neither of us particularly minded it. We didn’t really have anything else to do.
“Thank you very much,” said the chief.
“Not big deal.”
“It is, for us! You not only taught us that it truly was possible to evolve, but also mentored us in magecraft. We’re so grateful for your actions that we’ve no way to express it!”
A couple other black catkin chimed in and mentioned that what we’d just taught them would normally be considered top secret information as they nodded along in agreement.
Magic wasn’t the only thing the villagers were focused on. Some asked Fran questions about swordplay as well. There were quite the number of them, so Fran ended up hosting a second lecture not too long after she was done the first, one focused on the more physical aspects of combat.
She taught them how to hold their blades, how to swing them, and what they needed to do to improve. The experience she’d gained from training her three apprentices had really shown. She managed to give effective, meaningful explanations despite still speaking in her usual taciturn manner.
The combination of the magic and swordplay lectures caused Fran’s popularity to skyrocket and reach even greater heights. It seemed that all of Schwartzekatze adored her. I was pretty sure the chief would be totally willing to hand his position over to her should she ask for it.
Speaking of which, the chief ended up approaching Fran not too long after she finished answering most of her newfound students’ questions.
“To be honest, I would love for you to take over as chief so that you could lead our villagers and teach them your ways.”
Holy shit, I called it.
“Leaving in few days.”
Unfortunately for the villagers, Fran refused. Disappointed expressions immediately appeared on all their faces.
“But will do best while still here.”
“That sounds both wonderful and awe-inspiring. Thank you!”
The chief perked up and began to sing Fran praise the moment she voiced that she’d be willing to help.
God damn, I really have to give it to Fran. She’s gotta be one helluva bigshot to remain completely unaffected by the fact that they’re all worshipping her and shit.
Once Fran finished speaking to the chief, she began another training session centered around magic. But unlike the other two, the third training session failed to reach completion.
“What is it?”
The red dogkin guard that’d accompanied us on the goblin hunt dashed into the town square. He was out of breath and panting as heavily as he could. A single glance was enough to tell that there was once again some sort of emergency.
“We’ve found another group of goblins!”
“What!? How many of them are there?”
“There’s only ten, but it isn’t normal for them to come around so often.”
“Hmmm… You’re right. That really is weird.”
Wait what? Aren’t goblins supposed to be everywhere anyway? Like, I swear they’re fertile as all hell, so seeing them really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, should it?
Fran shared my opinion, so she asked the chief, only to learn that there’d never actually been many evil beings in Schwartzekatze’s vicinity to begin with.
Most of the youngers that’d accompanied us yesterday had never even seen a goblin before. They were born and raised in Schwartzekatze, where it was, for the part, peaceful and devoid of creatures hostile to the black cat tribe. Getting attacked two days in a row was so out of the ordinary that it meant that there was probably something wrong.
“There might be a nest nearby.”
“Hmmm… I hope that there isn’t going to be a stampede…Schwartzekatze will be in deep trouble if the goblins birth a king.”
“Yeah… We’ll need to find the nest as soon as possible.” The red dogkin grimaced.
If twenty goblins were already more than enough to plunge the village into despair, then an entire nest was sure to lead to its complete collapse. Or at least it would’ve under normal circumstances. Fran was currently in town, and it was highly unlikely for any harm to come to the village so long as she was around. Schwartzekatze’s villagers were really lucky. They would’ve been screwed had the nest shown up any earlier or later.
“Chief. Will check surrounding area.”
“W-Will you really do that for us?”
“Nn. But can’t bring everyone along.”
“I understand. All we’d be good for is dead weight.”
The chief seemed to think that Fran would have a hard time protecting all the other black catkin mid-combat, but that wasn’t actually true. We’d long become strong enough to kill a hundred goblins in less than ten minutes, even while keeping everyone that came with us safe.
The reason we didn’t want to take all the other black catkin along was because we needed to get around as quickly as possible if we wanted to find the goblin nest. Specifically, we were going to teleport. And since we needed to crush the goblin nest ASAP, we’d judged that it would be much more effective for us to go alone.
“New goblins, where?”
“T-They’re hovering around the same place we found them last time.”
“Got it. Don’t let anyone leave village. Call people out looking back.”
“Yes ma’am, I’ll get that done immediately!”
Wow. Fran’s influence sure is coming in handy.
The guard’s obedience allowed us to focus on the matter at hand.
“Will leave now.”
“Good luck on your hunt.”
I know he said good luck, but for some odd reason, I could’ve sworn it sounded kind of like “gob luck.” I mean, we’re hunting goblins, so I guess it kinda fits.
“Alright, here’s to hoping we find that goblin nest sooner than later.”