CAMAELA's little house was located a few kilometer to the left of Adventurer Guild. It was a small ordinary house, but still better than most poor looking one. She was alone waiting at the bench beside the door; Camaela was not home yet—the woman hadn't return for two days already (she was doing her job as adventurer). Tanya patiently waited for the magic caster to finally arrive.
Tanya didn't wear any special cloth. Indeed first impression was important, but it was for business. In her case, making herself looked poor was the ideal move. After all, that magic caster's master was Fluder Paradyne—the one supposed to be the strongest magic caster in the empire, the head of the royal magic academy. If she were to show her talent for magic while presenting herself in these poor clothes, she might get a chance to get scholarship.
Ah, indeed, this is the ideal first impression! exclaimed Tanya in her mind; her head already working in their absolute best to get the old man's sympathy.
After a while, Tanya's beautiful eyes finally managed to gaze at the form of magic caster who went with the name Glen. He shared a few pleasantries words, of which she smiled at, and asked the blonde girl to follow him. Tanya was led to a fancy restaurant—at least, fancy in this world standard.
People's eyes glued to her as she went inside the restaurant—they must be wondering why a peasant like her came into a high class restaurant for the riches and nobles. But Tanya paid them no mind. They're not important. For this empire which was starting an era of meritocracy, they're a bunch of useless fool. True that she could take advantage of them if she tried really hard. However, their arrogance was really pissing her off. So, Tanya never bothered herself with the likes of them.
The blonde little girl's eyes focused only on the table where the pillar of the empire sat.
Arche often got praised by her master and his many disciples about her exceptional talent. However, today was the first day she saw her master so happy—the happiness his face shown when they first met was nothing compared to this moment. Simply put, Fluder was very excited. It was like…the god of magic had whispered in his dream. It's unbelievable, yet so true.
As soon as Arche found her eyes on a young blonde girl around 3 or 4 years younger than herself, she understood why her master was so excited. That girl's body held large quantity of magical energy. It was greater than even her master's. She didn't know what to do other than watch in amazement.
"Excuse me. I am Tanya Degurechaff. Magic Caster Glen asked me to come here. Is it true that you are the strongest magic caster in the empire, the famous Fluder Paradyne?"
"I'm not so arrogant to treat myself as the strongest, but it is indeed true that I'm Fluder Paradyne. Please, take a seat, Young Lady. God of Magic has blessed us to meet in this wonderful night."
The girl who called herself Tanya Degurechaff shifted her eyes toward Arche. The elder blonde could only nod her head; she was feeling intimidated. Young Tanya was, but the air around her said something else. Between them, Arche was the noble—soon to be ex-noble if the Bloody Emperor decided to continue his cruel work toward noble. However, the way Tanya held herself, it looked like she was born noble. If she dressed herself properly, people might even mistake her for royalty.
Tanya nodded back at the girl and sat herself on the only empty chair around their table.
All the intimidating around the small blonde girl disappeared from Arche's eyes as she stared at how cute the situation was. Tanya was short, shorter than her when she was her age. As she sat, her neck was on the same level as the table. It was amusing, more so with how irritated Tanya looked.
"Excuse me. May I get another chair for this young lady?" Fluder addressed one of the waitresses nearby. "The one comfortable enough for her," he added.
The waitress nodded her head and went away to get the chair. Arche didn't say anything, her eyes glued to the young blonde. She was pretty and cute, she kind of wanted to huge her and rub her face on hers. She looked like a doll, a doll which covered by dirty clothes.
"Excuse me, here the chair." Came the waitress with a taller chair; Tanya was quick to step down and allow the waitress to change the chair. After that the blonde made herself comfortable.
"Now that you have sat properly, let us enjoy the food I have ordered. Do not hold yourself, please eat to your heart content. We will talk while having the food reaches our stomach."
Arche nodded her head, thanking the master and the god above. While her hands reached for the spoon and fork, her eyes were on the younger blonde. Just looked at how grateful she was with her eyes close, no doubt that she was sincerely thanking the god for this blessed dinner. What a wonderful girl!
How long have I waited to taste a better food, a high quality food? Eight years! Eight years have I waited, and finally... Tanya allowed herself to smile wide—of course it was inward smile. Her outer expression was that of absolute calmness. Her eyes were closed for a moment to help her maintain the calmness. No matter how delightful she was, she should not show it.
Take that, Being X bastard! I will savor this tasteful dinner, this tasteful failure of yours to my heart content! Tanya shouted wholeheartedly in her head as her hands grabbed the food and brought it to her mouth. This…. This taste…. I will surely spend my future in bliss with high quality foods and comfortable house.
"I am not good at beating around the bush, may be am I, but for tonight I have lost the ability." Fluder started with joyous expression. "So, Tanya Degurechaff, I will be blunt. Come with me to Arwintar. I want you to learn magic under me. I will personally teach you."
Tanya was surprised. She did not fake it. She was genuinely surprised. She had thought on how to persuade the old man to give her scholarship, but this was better! And she had not even tried to use her poisonous mouth! How unbelievable!
Tanya set aside her spoon and fork, bowing her head in gratitude. "I will be in your care, Sir Fluder."
Tanya didn't try to say anything like she was not special enough to be taught by him. At this moment, she had to take everything she could. Besides, putting aside his faith to that God of Magic, what could go wrong by accepting the proposition?
There are so many wrongs! Tanya screamed in her head as Fluder once again began his praise for the God of Magic that had guided him into the path of reaching the abyss of magic. Three years had she spent time studying under this lunatic, she had lost count of how many times the old man had preaching about the God of Magic. Damn, Being X! Tanya couldn't believe that there's one time when she thought that God of Magic perhaps was not Being X.
"Sir Fluder," Tanya cut the old man from continuing his stupid monologue. "I have decided that this is the time for me to go out and gain experience. I heard that Arche had become a worker a month ago. I think of joining her."
"What?!" Fluder was shocked beyond measure. "What did you say, Young Tanya? Were you implying that you want to leave me alone on the path of magic we have built together?"
Lunatic he was, but Tanya couldn't deny that the old man had helped her so much that she felt pity telling him her decision. However, she couldn't allow Being X to laugh at his successful ploy. Fluder was his agent. He was the tool that bastard used to manipulate her into believing his stupid-self.
"Young Tanya, you have mastered the Fifth Tier of Arcana Magic—the number of your spells almost thrice my spells. You are so close to reach the Sixth Tier. Are you suddenly become stupid? Had something hit your head? Should I check if you're okay in the head? Please, if you don't want to listen to me as your teacher, do so as your grandfather figure!"
Tanya inwardly frowned. Indeed, the old man treated her as though she was his own granddaughter. All her needs were fulfilled. When she said that she was interested in the art of archery to back her up when she was low in mana, the old man used his money and resource to give her a high-quality of Bow. There were two runes crafted on her bow, a splendid work of the dwarves.
"I did not say that I will stop pursuing magic." Tanya didn't lie. She had understood the fundamental of magic and its magic circle. She had learnt it to the point she could create her own spell—that's the reason why her spells were larger in number than even Fluder's. She had done writing theory about Seventh Tier Magic. In a week or two she would reach Sixth Tier. There's no way she would stop learning. "However, I will leave your academy. I believe that walking on the path of magic to reach its abyss should be done alone."
"…Walking on the path of magic should be done alone?" Fluder seemed to ponder about it seriously.
Not wanting to listen and argue anymore (you can't win against lunatic!), Tanya decided to use her trump card: Seventh Tier Magic Theory.
"Here, Sir Fluder," said Tanya as she took dozens pieces of paper from her bag. "This is my theory on Seventh Tier Magic. I will give it to you if you agree to let me quit your academy. I have not yet master Six Tier Magic, so I can't test it yet. But I believe you will be able to—"
Tanya failed to finish her words. Fluder had snatched the papers from her hand. He came back from his thought as soon as he heard "theory of seventh tier magic". The old man read the papers hungrily. His eyes suddenly went wide. "This is….!"
"So, Sir Fluder, do we have a deal?" Tanya asked with a confident face; she had no miniscule doubt that the old man wouldn't agree.
"I see…." Fluder looked between the papers and Tanya, before finally he sighed and resolved his thought. "Walking on the path of magic to reach its abyss should be done alone. That is the meaning of being a magic caster. A truly splendid and dedicated caster you are, Young Tanya. Alright, you have a deal. I give you my blessing."
That's how Tanya managed to free herself from the grasp of the empire's hand before Fluder managed to send his report to the emperor—this would happen three months later.
As soon as Tanya left the Imperial Magic Academy with only a bag on her back and a bow on her shoulder, eleventh years old Tanya walked toward the direction of Arche's house. That girl, her one and only companion closed to her in the academy, had left the academy for seven weeks. A month ago she heard she had become a worker. She worked alone. Having studied the benefit of both worker and adventurer, Tanya decided to become a worker as well. The reason she went toward Arche's house was so that they could work together. Arche who had experience for a month should be useful for her who had no experience at all.
She wasn't afraid of people trying to harass her just because she was eleven years old girl. After all, not only she was a fifth tier magic caster, she was an archer of high caliber as well. Not to mention that Tanya had two knives on both side of her waist. Indeed she didn't have arrows, but she didn't need to. Tanya could create lightning arrow or wind arrow or fire arrow or even crystal arrow.
Thus, Tanya's journey began.