As I heard that bonding partners and their masters cannot attend the same class, I nervously sat on an empty seat fumbling with my robe under the dark fine wood tables placed in the classroom.
I already had a hard time sleeping this night since I was so nervous, and now I can’t even sit next to Hinata and Kageyama.
A loud sigh escaped my mouth before the teacher walked into class.
While looking around carefully I realized there weren’t as many witches and wizards as I saw in the pharmacy.
Most students must be magical creatures then… i wonder if they actually have a bonding partner already…
“For today we will start official classes in the afternoon”, the teacher started to write something on the blackboard and I titled my head to the side as the chirping of the birds indicated it was early in the morning.
If classes start in the afternoon, what will we do until then?
“On the expression of your faces without using any magic I can see the questions as you all wonder about why we would assemble you all so early in the morning”, she let the chalk drop back on her desk and with her hands on her hip she gave us a serious expression.
This woman seems scary… the unpredictable type…
She is just like Hinata and Kageyama then.
I held back a sigh and the tension she built up wasn’t going well with my stomach as I stared at the questioning looks of my fellow classmates.
A girl next to me who played with her tie and muttered something as she turned towards me, her light brown-colored hair cut in fringe cut style, jumping along with the movement.
I couldn’t get used to people suddenly doing that around here, yet I knew I probably needed to since everyone in this academy seemed to have the urge to scare those around me.
“E-Eh, hello”, I nodded and she nodded back replacing the nervous expression with a worried one as I could hear her muttering a bit more clearly.
“Even though she warned me that they suddenly do it, I didn’t think it was that sudden…”
What does she mean with that?
With a quick glance I analysed her attire and wondered which clan she belongs to, it was usually very clear from first sight but I didn’t recognize this one yet.
So she is neither from one of the current Kingdoms…
“Okay, get yourself ready. After the magic creatures are done with their assessment test you guys are up next. I will explain the rules when we arrive at the stage. First thing on today’s course is watching the magic creatures assessment test which will start soon”, the teacher moved her arm up and something appeared on our desk, a little box neatly decorated with a red ribbon.
So that is… what she meant with early…
I gulped as I imagined anything weird could come at us anytime given the already turbulent welcome I had to see yesterday.
What if some owl thing is coming out?
Or that weird cat suddenly jumps out?
Or worse… they-
“Those are your uniforms for practical exams and studies as well as for similar occasions like the assessment test. It’s a long-lived tradition which is held every year when the new students arrive. It will help those of you who still didn’t find any bonding partner or are to be scouted by other wizards or witches for a contract”, again the word contract was dropped.
Yesterday Shirofuku and Suzumeda already showed me a lot more about what there is, I thought the world was just as simple as to have one or two bonding partners and focus on that but the range of what is possible was already shaken from its foundation.
“Is it true that our upperclassmen will watch both assessment tests? Those for our class and the magic creature one?”, one inquired as he heaved his hand.
“Yes, indeed. We will explain the school rules and system soon enough since there is a good reason why even the other years are watching carefully at these events. Their classes start a week later in order to scout out”, she clapped her hands indicating she was done talking and prompted us to get changed in the locker rooms.
Which means right about now Kageyama and Hinata need to prepare for the assessment test as well?
I am already nauseous enough knowing that I had to perform in front of all these people but with Hinata I am not really sure how he will cope with this intensity…
And even worse Kageyama gets a bit grumpy about it as well.
While in thought I took the white robe that seemed very simple out of the box and regarded it.
All the other witches already changed and it seemed like we could still wear our former hats and shoes as we please.
“White robes are not what I expected”, I muttered and an energetic one smiled widely.
“I heard from the upperclassmen that the robe changes according to the result of the assessment test. Meaning if a group chooses you to join via a contract, and it fits depending on your achieved points and rank, the robe shifts and becomes entirely different”, I had already placed the robe over my head and pulled the end down making my head pop out right when she finished her sentence.
With a surprised look I tried to comb my hair back in place and nodded as she went and explained to the other ones who were just as confused as I was.
So I will not choose, but I get chosen?
Into a group via a contract?
I already saw some different robes meaning there are at least a handful of groups to be chosen into… but I wonder what will come and how we are tested.
Since there are two tests the possibility that ours will be different than Hinata and Kageyama’s-
“Yachi they are about to go, aren’t you coming?”, a girl yelled and I wondered where she knew my name from until I realized there were numbers and signs hovering over her shoulder as well.
An identification spell? I only read about them in books but I never saw clothes that realized such a spell in practical matters.
“Ah yes, I am coming”, while almost tumbling over the boxes left behind the floor I followed the crowd and wondered if Hinata or Kageyama were able to hear me.
As I focused to catch their voices I felt a blockage, noises similar to a broken radio that only made you feel there was nothing but void.
My voice isn’t going through is that due to the environment or maybe-
It dawned upon me when we finally reached our destination, a lot of people almost like an festival in a big city gathering around the arena that went into depths revealing many students clothed in white loose shirts and cream-coloured pants stuffed into knee-long boots.
So we got robes and they got something different to wear?
They really do separate us here just like they mentioned.
There were seats everywhere as if they hovered slightly over the air and at some places there were railings. It seemed like the seats were reserved for the teachers and higher-ranks around here.
Some familiar faces from yesterday were located close to our group which stood on a big platform close to the railing. Right from our platform several students leaned over the railing to look down, whistling as they yelled some encouraging words. Left from us were some seats hovering until someone sat down on it and adjusting the height with their magic aura.
Magic around here seems like a daily necessity unlike where I come from… I was wrong to assume that I could have something special in me, in the end even my magic didn’t seem helpful at all when it came to it.
“Yachi!!”, I heard a familiar shout in the distance and ran over to the railing seeing a bush of orange-hair move from side to side as he waved vigorously.
The glowing number and signs that represented the name Hinata Shoyo showed me that my ears didn’t deceive me when I heard his voice faintly.
He sure is loud despite him shaking in his boots.
I smiled widely and waved back.
“So this is your bonding partner?”, out of the corner of my eyes I saw two figures approach the railing I was leaning over and placing their hands on it as well as they looked down.
One of them nodded to me with a slight frown on his face and I nodded back nervously, “H-Hello, Senior Iwaizumi”, my eyes wandered to the brunette next to him who had asked me the question and I as well nodded to him as he gave me a wide smile.
“No need to call me senior every time. Iwaizumi is enough”, he scratched his head and seemed to observe something.
“It’s the sleeping witch, nice to meet you. My name is Oikawa Tooru from the Blue Castle”, he looked back to Hinata and to me, “so this little crow is indeed your bonding partner if I may inquire?”
He sure talks polite I feel even more nervous unlike Iwaizumi.
“Oi, don’t ask her twice in a row she is obviously scared of you”, Iwaizumi interfered and tapped his shoulder before Oikawa widened his eyes, gave him a surprised look and eyed me carefully.
“Do I actually scare you?”, why did he ask me if Iwaizumi just pointed that out.
In order to dodge his last question I answered the first one he asked, “ Yes, Hinata is my bonding partner and there is another one”, I searched for Kageyama but it took me a bit to find him as I saw him move around to observe his competitors.
“Oh~ Two right off the bat, aren’t you a lucky one, so who is the second one?”, I answered his question with a swift motion pointing to Kageyama in the middle of the arena as he almost sticked to a tall person giving him a grumpy look.
Oikawa’s face stiffened and he had a hard time holding his smile for a while before he said, “ah, Kageyama Tobio”, there was a slight difference in his voice as he said those words.
Did he know Kageyama?
It’s not like Kageyama or Hinata ever left my side since the day we met…
“Oh, isn’t that-”, Iwaizumi tried to start and Oikawa interrupted him.
“We sure have some interesting freshmen, don’t we?”, he laughed before some more people joined the railing.
“Hey, hey heey! Oh~ This is sure the best spot to watch the greenhorns kill each other!”, the owl guy called Bokuto jumped right next to them and almost fell over the railing.
“Ohoho, come on dude don’t go die first. I actually don’t care if you do but Akaashi is going to have a hard time. Wait, will the top five spots rotate then?”, he had grabbed Bokuto by his pants to keep him from falling and pulled him back.
Bokuto made some provoking expressions and Kuroo grinned.
Oh… oh no did they just say kill?!
I grasped the railing tighter and watched Hinata with almost teary eyes.
“Don’t die Hinata…”, I muttered with a shaky tone before a voice brought me back.
“They simply fight against other spells and students chosen by the teachers, they won’t get hurt let alone die. Bokuto-san and Senior Kuroo”, he firmly called out the other two who were in their discussion.
“Akaaashi!! Why aren’t you calling me Senior?!”, he yelled in an outraged tone.
“Is that really the thing you have to say to him?”, Oikawa asked and Bokuto pointed at him while Oikawa eyed his finger with wide eyes.
“You wouldn’t know, your whole group calls you Senior and Grand King. All they call me is Owl despite my greatness, I am in the top five and that’s what they call me! I am the representative of the Noble Owl Castle Fukurodani”, his movements were so energetic that it almost made me dizzy and forget what the real event was.
“Hey don’t worry they call me sly cat too, maybe next year you will get a cool nickname”, Kuroo patted his shoulder showing fake sympathy but Bokuto slapped it away.
“There is no next year for us!”
“But isn’t the top five a more honored title than simply being called any title?”, Oikawa narrowed his eyes as Bokuto seemed dumbfounded for a moment.
“You are right”, he turned instantly to the guy called Akaashi, “look don’t be down now standing in my shadow. Next year you will be known As the great Bokuto-”, he was cut off by more people joining.
“It seems like the others claimed the place for some good scouting as well, haha”, the familiar face of Daichi and Sugawara appearing gave me slight relief all of a sudden.
While I was busy listening to all of them two other figures stood right behind me.
Onion head and… and…
“Kunimi-chan and Kindaichi”, Oikawa patted their shoulders, “show them what you’ve got when it’s your turn.”
Wait, they are wizards?!
I was so nervous I didn’t even see them…
But they have small leaf-crowns. It’s adorable compared to Oikawa’s and Iwaizumi’s grand one.
“…I’ll try”, Kunimi muttered as he lazily stared down at the arena.
“S-Sure!”, Kindaichi nodded and Iwaizumi patted his shoulder in order to calm him down.
“How have you been?”, the grey-haired man approached me with a smile and I felt a bit more relaxed.
“Thank you, they took good care of me”, my eyes slightly glanced to the people of Johsai and back to Sugawara.
“Yes when it comes to it they are the best when it comes to healing!”, he looked over his shoulder and observed Daichi who was already deep in thought watching the new students.
“Futakuchi there is still a spot left, come over here!”, a new face appeared as his robe resembled something close to a knight’s armor with the metal plates on his shoulders and knees.
“Yeah, yeah I am coming. It’s harder when they block us from using magic at times like this”, the guy behind him sighed and walked close to him leaning against the railing to take a breath.
Oh that explains why I cannot reach them with my inner voice…
“Watch closely, next time you will be doing this alone! This is the best spot for-”
“Yeah yeah, scouting new members. I already know”, his eyes wandered over to Sugawara and the others giving off a different vibe than before as they flicked back to the one he was talking to.
“Say Moniwa, why did you drag me along this time, I mean isn’t it too early to scout freshmen as we are now?”, he asked him and the guy called Moniwa with his black and curly hair.
He slightly sighed and gave him a helpless smile, “you will never call me Senior even now.”
They seem very close, despite the many sounds I could hear the conversations around me clearly…
Futakuchi gave him a glance and looked back down, “it’s because you’re so easy-going and not stern unlike some other representatives of the groups.”
“I think he means you”, Kuroo gave Bokuto a slight punch on his upper arm and Bokuto narrowed his eyes.
“No, no he meant you!”
“But at least you are not an idiot like some”, he eyed Bokuto annoyed while whispering those words.
“I am graduating early. This is my last time I will be able to watch a scout out”, Moniwa mentioned and Futakuchi straightened as his eyes seemed to not believe what he was saying.
“You found a mentor?”
“Yes, so in order to leave my group in good hands”, he patted Futakuchi’s shoulder, “I will teach you my successor the ways of the iron wall”, the little tears that formed in Moniwa’s eyes were almost not visible but it made me emotional enough to avert my gaze and hold my own tears.
At some point maybe I will see such a nice friendship as well.
“Keep it down, it’s starting”, Daichi declared and a voice that echoed in my ears, speaking like an announcer started the test.
Every single one of them stood in a long row, waiting for something as their eyes were serious.
Hinata stumbled to the last empty spot at the beginning of the row.
More familiar faces were visible that I saw on the other beds of the pharmacy.
“We have some interesting people this year”, Oikawa had a wide grin on his face and Daichi as well, affirming his statement.
“… Sorry Kuroo, I… overslept. Did they already start?”, a delicate person with blonde hair which’s top was showing his natural hair color approached Kuroo and stood close to him letting his arms dangle over the railing.
“You right in time, the first one is about to start”, the most mischievous grin on his face appeared as he pointed back at the arena.
My heart almost dropped to my feet as I saw Hinata’s signs being pulled to the ground and stretching big so that they covered the ground.
“Hinata Shoyo! Our first examinee”, the announcer must have amplified their voice with a spell because it was almost as if he was standing next to me screaming in my ear.
I followed Hinata as he strode to the middle of the arena, his face looked serious but I felt the nervousness until here.
“Shoyo…”, the last person who arrived propped his head now and his eyes seemed almost as if they were glowing in a deep golden colour.
“Is that your new roommate Kenma?”, Kuroo asked him and he hummed a yes as reply.
Everybody fell silent as the delicate and small figure came to a hold and one siren went off to indicate the start.
Nothing happened at first, but there was a single column of earth emerging from right under his feet.
Hinata barely escaped the column and grazed his face which caused a little bleeding wound on it.
Calm down Hinata, you usually are much more-
But there was a single wide smile on his face as his eyes changed entirely, the wings on his back spreading as wide as they could.
“Bring it”, I could hear the mutter until here.
My heart relaxed as I saw that expression which anybody else would find crazy.
As the next two columns emerged from each side trying to surround and trap him, Hinata’s feet shone orange for a split second before there was no trace of him where he stood.
“Huh?!”, Kindaichi’s surprised sound made me look over to the others.
Some of them surely are amazing but I bet there are still enough who would be surprised by it.
“Look up”, Iwaizumi said with an impressed face as Hinata’s knees were touching his torso, his eyes facing us from above us.
The place he stood at had cracks in the ground and the wings that grew back instantly had cut through the columns leaving them to ashes.
In another instant he somersaulted his body back to the ground, even though his former jump had a lot of force cracking the ground below, his landing was almost graceful as the dust below it stopped the acceleration completely.
“How can he fly with those wings?”, someone else muttered behind me.
“Was it really flying?”, Futakuchi gave Moniwa a questioning look.
“Not, really…”, Moniwa was rubbing his chin and looked over to the other side watching Oikawa who had leaned over the railing along with Bokuto and Kuroo, as they almost squashed Kenma who seemed irritated by their sudden touch.
“Isn’t that rather close to your fight-style, Bokuto-san?”, Akaashi still watched Hinata with an expression that was deep in thought.
“I was about to say that. The way he used passive magic to amplify his physical abilities is just like the way you use in mid-air battles”, Oikawa’s eyes widened with a smile as he seemed excited.
“N-No?! I mean kind of, but it’s different. Akaashi help me out here!”
“It’s still raw around the edges, obviously still someone who is using it without really knowing what he is doing. Still that’s what makes it impressive, you rarely see people making use of their passive magic as their main weapon”, Kuroo added.
“Magical aura which he subconsciously converts into passive magic… but still his sheer jump force must be really high to pull-off such an instinct-based approach of magic”, Daichi gave me a look as he was contemplating something.
“Does that mean he cannot use magic directly yet?”, he asked me and I didn’t know how to say it in another way without making Hinata look bad.
“Hinata, is still in the process of using direct magic spells so he is kind of an amateur at active magic. But his sheer jump force and agility and the way he amplifies it like you mentioned – I still think no one can match Hinata in that”, my face must have looked too serious as Sugawara ruffled through my hair as if to tell me I shouldn’t justify Hinata’s use of magic.
“I think that’s an amazing trait. It is quite obvious when seeing his wings that he is not far yet in his use of magic, but that just now… with using active magic-”, he was cut off.
“Shoyo was flying… on his own accord”, Kenma said with a slight smile.