A sound of slicing through the wind echoed.
“Danya will join your special team! It’s on the house!”
In the blink of an eye, a girl appeared, gazing up at Ian with wide eyes.
She had cherry blossom-colored hair and pointed cat ears. She didn’t seem particularly dangerous, at least not at first glance due to her small size.
Moreover, if she was a humanoid, she likely possessed physical abilities that could be helpful in searching the forest.
This time, Ian glanced at Lina with a puzzled expression, his eyes darting to the side.
A very embarrassed expression.
Her demeanor was certainly unusual. Just moments ago, it seemed like she was subtly approaching as if suggesting they should be on the same team.
A heroine who may be the culprit, in a shadowy forest, where anyone could be lurking.
It was the worst combination.
It was clear to Ian who he should team up with.
Ian extended his hand towards the girl in front of him, Danya.
“All right. Let’s do this together.”
Danya smiled and shook his hand.
“You know I’m good at searching, right? Hehe. It’s a good choice.”
The fact that she wasn’t a heroine pleased him. Even though she seemed somewhat mistaken, it was still fine.
There were several things Ian was looking forward to in this search exercise.
“If it’s a Shadow Forest, there should be a few Hidden Pieces here.”
The first is a hidden piece.
Shadow Forest is a place with a gloomy and mysterious atmosphere in Panta
First was the Hidden Pieces. The Shadow Forest was the place in Fanta X Aca responsible for its eerie and mystical atmosphere. Although he had limited information about it being an unplayable area, there was a sufficient possibility of hidden elements that could aid in growth.
And second was having a teammate.
‘Whether it’s dealing with the Disciplinary Committee or confronting the culprit, having a teammate is a significant help.’
In any case, having a teammate was always beneficial. The problem was that due to Pongpong’s terrible reputation, it was challenging to approach others.
In the current situation where he was teamed up with Danya, it wasn’t a bad thing.
‘The conversation is quite interesting too.’
She had a somewhat aloof demeanor, but she answered all his questions, even if she found them annoying.
— I don’t like being pretentious.
That was just her personality.
Was this what it felt like to be friends with a talkative cat?
Even if he stood upright, it felt like there was a small body nestled against Ian’s chest, adding to that feeling.
‘I might become a cat mom.’
Ian had many questions on his mind, and he was taking this opportunity to ask them.
“If it’s not because of magic detection, why did they choose me, of all people?”
“… Well, I was curious because it seemed like something had changed about you.”
“Hmm. What changed?”
Danya turned to look back.
She was surprisingly skilled at walking along this forest path.
“The look in your eyes has changed.”
Just as Ian looked at Danya in amazement, Danya also found Ian fascinating.
To Danya, Ian seemed like a carefree child with endless curiosity.
All his attention was focused outward, unable to cater to himself. She often thought that being too kind wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
But within just a week, Ian had changed.
His gaze had deepened.
It was directed not outward but inward.
It was fascinating from Danya’s perspective.
Such a change in Ian.
‘He always had a strange gaze…’
Now, there’s no stickiness in her gaze.
But there’s no warmth either; it’s a somewhat unusual look. It’s like looking at something fascinating…?
It was quite an insightful observation.
Coincidentally, Ian found Danya in front of him equally fascinating. Even though she was looking back, her confident and composed stride, her tail maintaining balance without wavering, and her twitching ears.
Those ears, that tail… she was a real beastperson. Beastperson.
Danya’s eyes narrowed.
“I just thought you were being rude!”
She couldn’t stand magicians like this. They probably had all sorts of sinister thoughts while pretending to be aloof on the surface.
“Well, you could say that.”
Danya was taken aback by Ian’s response.
He just readily admitted it? Even though he spoke so honestly, she almost got angry but refrained.
‘He wasn’t like this before.’
It was as if the straightforwardness she only felt when she was with friends from her tribe had briefly emerged.
“So, speaking of that, is it okay if I touch those ears of yours? They’re so fascinating.”
“Sure, why not!”
“Hmm, maybe it was a rude thing to say after all. I’m sorry. I got confused between the game… No, I confused it with the etiquette I know.”
“…If you put it that way, what can I do? I’ll allow it. Consider it an apology.”
Danya lowered her head slightly as she looked ahead.
It was difficult to regain her composure.
She was too straightforward, even though it was a good thing.
Moreover, she hadn’t received such compliments and thanks for a long time, so it was hard to keep her tail from wagging.
But that didn’t mean she would just meekly accept everything.
Danya decided to give Ian a little tease.
“Hmph! Of course, you should be grateful! Consider it an honor that Danya is on your team!”
“Right. Thank you.”
After exchanging a few straightforward remarks, the two quickly became friends.
A genius from the Catsnesia tribe, one of the most renowned humanoid tribes on the continent. While the Catsnesia tribe was known for agility and physical prowess, Danya had an unusual talent for magic.
If you narrowed it down to the scope of magic, she was treated as a once-in-a-century genius among beastmen tribes.
However, after enrolling in Lichten Academy, Danya’s self-esteem had taken a hit.
While she was treated as a magical genius among her tribe, she realized that there were plenty of people like her at the academy. As evidence, she couldn’t even make it to the top-tier integrated class, “Aether”, and ended up in the Mezai class.
Furthermore, training in magic was challenging due to the inherent limitations of being a beastman.
Magicians needed to absorb magical energies from various natural sources, corresponding to their elemental affinities.
However, the senses of humanoids were sharp, and the multitude of energies they sensed made it difficult for them to identify the specific elements they needed.
The strengths unique to beastmen had become Danya’s weaknesses.
Danya thought to herself that she was like a scatterbrained bullet.
She even wondered if it would have been better if she didn’t have any magical talent at all.
As Danya brooded endlessly, she suddenly heard,
Danya was truly at home when it came to navigating through nature.
Moreover, the location of her clan’s sacred grounds was at the northern tip of the Great Mountain Range. She had roamed around the depths of the mountains as if they were her own backyard.
Searching the Shadow Forest was a task that seemed incredibly simple to her.
‘Finally, I can be active too!’
Danya thought with excitement, feeling that this search practice in the Shadow Forest was her chance to shine.
‘This forest is nothing compared to the Great Mountain Range!’
She believed that the students from Mezai class, who mostly spent their time indoors, lacked real-world experience. In her eyes, the pale complexions of those who knew nothing but academic success were just a façade.
Danya clenched her fists.
‘I’ll put everyone under me.’
The majority of students in Fanta X Aca came from noble or wealthy families, and they often considered themselves refined and sophisticated. This made it difficult for Danya to connect with them, as she found their sense of etiquette to be pretentious.
Finally, she was leaving behind her tearful past of low scores and feeling overshadowed.
“Ah, so you wanted to team up with me?”
Ian, who was walking behind Danya, tilted his head.
“But wouldn’t it be better to do this alone?”
They were at the entrance to the Shadow Forest, walking together as a team.
Danya, confident in her abilities in the forest, took the lead, while Ian followed behind.
Ian had some suspicions about why Danya suddenly wanted to team up with him, and that’s why he had asked her.
The awkwardness from their first meeting had lingered, and he thought this might help break the ice.
Danya’s shoulders twitched, and it took a moment before she responded.
“… I-I’m not good at tracking traces of magic power.”
‘She just wants to shine in the subject she’s confident in.’
Teaming up with him was a reasonable choice to maximize her performance.
“But why me, specifically?”
“Well, you seemed like you didn’t have any friends.”
Ian was taken aback by her directness.
‘She really knows how to throw a curveball.’
In fact, there is bound to be something in common between the two.
In their world, there was often some connection between individuals who could be considered outsiders. It could lead to camaraderie, a mutual understanding of being different, or create a sense of competition.
‘Danya leans more toward the latter.’
Although she had a touch of the “tsundere” personality, with a stronger “tsun” side, there was no need to be overly cautious. Ian believed there was no reason to be overly wary of those who were coming his way, despite their initial awkwardness.
Ian sighed lightly.
Even the approaching children should doubt like this at least once. The influence that heroines, the main characters of the story, had was formidable.
Ian was fundamentally a giving personality as much as he received. Since he received a direct question, it was now his turn to answer.
The time when he was an observer in Pongpong’s body. Naturally, there was a brief opportunity to observe the atmosphere of the class as well.
If it was Danya, even if she wasn’t exactly like Pongpong, she was an obvious member of the nerd territory.
“So, you should be grateful to me.”
Ian smiled widely in response to Danya’s gaslighting.
“You don’t have any friends either, do you?”
Suddenly, Danya approached a nearby flower.
“Uh, uh-oh! That’s a really pretty flower.”
Yep. All that textbook reading.
Hit the nail on the head.
Anyway, she’s a beastman magician.
‘It’s definitely a rare tech tree.’
Ian recalled Fanta X Aca’s strategies.
Among them, there seemed to be a beastman magician class.
How do these things stay in his head?
‘Because these were all strategies I wrote.’
Ian had a personality of trying everything. Thanks to that, he had written many p*rverted strategies.
Of course, it’s an endlessly perverted nurturing concept, but if possible, the potential is limitless.
The sharp sense unique to them, which had been an obstacle to mastering mana, would suddenly turn into a rocket launch pad that took down the obstacle.
Ian looked at Danya walking ahead.
Her swaying tail and perked ears.
‘I don’t think it would be a bad idea to try raising one, right?’
Fant X Aca surely was difficult to overcome alone.
A story about the compulsory use of 5-star heroines.
However, if it’s possible to raise one like this whose potential hasn’t bloomed yet…
‘It would be an excellent countermeasure.’
Of course, there was no need to rush.
First, after he had to grow himself.
He could take care of the remaining things.
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