༺ Innate Quality ༻
Shubaltsheim City Hall.
The female student dormitory of Opal Black.
For the past three days, the students had been spending their time in the dormitory, unable to go outside.
In fact, while it was called a dormitory, in reality, it was just a vacant room in the city hall that was roughly arranged for everyone to stay together.
The academy had initially reserved several places as dormitories for the practicum. However, the instructors decided that scattering the students around in the chaotic city was too risky, and the only place that could immediately accommodate the 200 or so students was the city hall building.
Of course, even if it was a decision made for the sake of the students, placing them all together in a room without beds and only a modest blanket was an environment that could not help but lead to dissatisfaction from the students’ perspective…
Unexpectedly, there was little resistance.
This was because most of the students participating in this practicum belonged to the Garnet Red class.
Common life in one room? A blanket sleeping bag without a bed? That’s a situation any commoner would have experienced.
If they were Diamond White students, they would have been in chaos by now, but from the perspective of Garnet Reds, this kind of environment was ordinary. On the contrary, the past two months living in the academy had been ridiculously luxurious.
And if we’re talking about the Opal Black class, the one that had the three top aristocrats- or rather royalty- that even the Diamond Whites were wary of, and which the Garnet Red instructors were most worried about…
“The inside is cleaner than I thought?”
“It is! It’s like we’re on a group trip.”
There was no resistance whatsoever.
From the start, aside from Elizabeth, Marian, and Schultz, the other students had grown up in environments far from luxurious, and the remaining three students also fully understood that this was an emergency.
And thanks to the intense training under the relentless instructors over the past few months, their relationships had become stronger, so sharing a room didn’t cause much discomfort.
“Hey you, don’t come over to this side? And if you snore when you sleep, I’ll kill you.”
“There’s no need for that. And if we’re talking about snoring, Batar is worse-“
“Hmm? What did you just say?”
At least, that’s how it was in the girls’ room.
Tiny Titania, huddled on the blanket, murmured in a whining tone.
“Instructor, it’s getting late….”
It had already been four days since Instructor Eon had left the city for reconnaissance.
The sun had already set outside the window. He was supposed to return by today at the latest, but the promised time had long passed.
Thanks to this, everyone in the room could see that the expression of Instructor Lirya, who was patrolling the dormitory, was not normal.
Gwyn cautiously hesitated and said.
“Well, no news is good news, so….”
“Even so, he could at least contact us, given the situation outside! He could even send a Juggler!”
Marian who was saying this also knew well that it would be difficult.
Even if a Juggler were sent from within enemy territory, it would be caught immediately. She just said it out of frustration.
Yes, it was frustrating.
The city could be attacked at any moment, and even with a slight mistake, everyone was in danger, yet the students couldn’t even go outside the city hall.
Being an imperial princess, the granddaughter of the commander of the imperial army, a disciple of the Sword Saint and the Archmage, or a High Elf of the Great Forest, what can one do?
At this crucial moment, the students were merely beings that needed protection.
At least the students with carpentry or blacksmithing experience could help strengthen the city according to their will, and thanks to her position as the princess, Elizabeth was busy all day acting as the deputy mayor, but the students with no special abilities other than combat could only wait.
Suddenly, Oznia opened her mouth.
“We have to do something.”
“Do something… What do you suggest we do?”
“Anything that we can do. We didn’t train just to end up like this.”
The girls in the room stiffened at Oznia’s piercing words.
Since Instructor Eon’s bombshell announcement, the students had been dedicating themselves to training, to improve their skills and do what they could do on their own.
They did it not because someone told them to, but because they themselves wanted to, so they could be of help to Instructor Eon when the time came.
And it wasn’t to waste their time meaninglessly, trapped in a room like this.
Marian spoke in a frustrated tone.
“So, what do we do? Sneak out and look for Instructor Eon?”
Of course, she said that as if it was something they couldn’t do. Going out into the city full of undead without any plan would be nothing short of suicidal.
But Gwyn spoke with a hopeful expression.
“Do we necessarily have to go out ourselves?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Why can’t we use Titania’s spirits? They seem incredibly convenient.”
Titania was often seen talking to spirits that were invisible to others.
Having seen this side of Titania multiple times, Gwyn suggested that these spirits might be able to move around without attracting attention.
However, Titania shook her head slightly.
“That’s not possible. I only ask favors of the spirits, I don’t command them… Spirits would dislike going to a place filled with such negative energy. Besides, I heard there are many types of evil spirits that attack spirits.”
Natural spirits tend to avoid places filled with the energy of death. And even if they were forced to go, they would merely become targets for evil spirits that can sense the presence of spirits.
Gwyn, who knew nothing about spirits, reluctantly agreed with a disappointed expression.
“I see… Then there’s noth-“
“No. It’s worth a try.”
“There is one. A spirit that wouldn’t get attacked by evil spirits and can hover around in a place full of negative energy.”
Titania reacted with surprise.
“Are you… talking about dark spirits?”
Spirits exist in all things, and even lands occupied by the undead are no exception.
While natural spirits may not exist there, spirits that feed and thrive on yin energy or death energy tend to gather in such places.
Spirits of death, destruction, suffering, etc… Such spirits that deviate from the common laws of nature are referred to as ‘dark spirits’.
Titania’s expression was slightly frightened.
“Would it be alright? Dark spirits are extremely difficult to handle… And spirit users who use dark spirits are usually treated as Dark mages. I don’t want to become infamous across the continent.”
“Just because most people who handle dark spirits are dark mages, doesn’t mean summoning dark spirits itself is forbidden.”
“Is, is that so? But wouldn’t it be dangerous?”
“Master knew how to use dark magic, and I know about it theoretically. As long as you don’t use it for evil, it’s okay. I’ll help you.”
Oznia’s complexion noticeably darkened.
“I… don’t want that kind of thing to happen again.”
Her tone was carefree as usual, but the students who had become quite close to Oznia over time could understand what she meant.
She was saying she didn’t want the instructor to leave due to something unrelated to us, somewhere we didn’t know about.
And the same was true for everyone in the room. Hadn’t Titania, Gwyn, and Marian all tried to do something because they didn’t want the instructor to leave that way?
Titania rose with a determined look.
“Alright. I’ll give it a try!”
After saying that, she immediately closed her eyes and concentrated her mind.
There was no need to choose a suitable place. Shubaltsheim was already a place filled with so much negative energy that Titania’s spirits would want to flee.
It wasn’t a top-tier spirit to be summoned, but if it could perform the role of a messenger adequately, this amount of negative energy was sufficient.
In fact, both of them were still in doubt while preparing for the summoning of the spirit.
Dark spirits, in general, were easily excited, extremely destructive, and had eccentric, uncontrollable temperaments. There was a reason why they were called dark spirits.
If a spirit user had the affinity to form a contract with such a spirit, it would naturally imply that their core was deeply twisted from the start. There was a reason why Dark mages made contracts with dark spirits.
It was unknown whether the bright and cheerful Titania could summon a dark spirit just by setting her mind to it. In such cases, there were countless instances where the spirit didn’t respond at all.
However, Oznia had been observing all along how extraordinary Titania’s affinity with spirits was.
Perhaps, she might even be able to summon a spirit completely at odds with her nature.
Oznia spoke in a slightly tense tone.
“Just summon it. I’ll take care of the rest.”
In a place like this, a powerful spirit wouldn’t be summoned anyway, but a dark spirit, even if it were of the lowest grade, could attack humans without reason as soon as it appears because of its eccentric personality. Or it could impose an unreasonable contract on the summoner.
In such a case, Oznia planned to subdue the spirit by force and make it obey.
However, Oznia had overlooked something, something even Titania herself had overlooked.
“Could it be…?!”
The innate qualities of the High Elves of the Great Forest, a race naturally loved by spirits.
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