Translator: mayora Editor: Ryunakama
It’s been several days since we departed for the capital city of Prolea by carriage. We traveled with such speed that most monsters were left in the dust.
Our carriage is drawn by a muscular giant black horse whose size is like that of a building.
I’m sure the horse is a fit for the carriage, what with it being for long distances.
Even with our speed, though, we still encountered monsters in cases of bad timing, or when they had fast legs, which was our time to shine.
The horse whinnied, coming to a sudden stop, and I sensed the presence of monsters nearby.
I smelled an ambush.
The horse snorted heavily with apparent wariness, and the coachman turned to bow his head toward us.
「I’ll be counting on you all, then.」
「Roger that! Leave it to us」
Following Milly’s spirited reply, we jumped out of the carriage to face the monsters.
We had made a trade to pay half the carriage fare in exchange for acting as guards.
As we formed a protective circle around the carriage, five small beasts appeared.
Magical Power Level
Land ligers are four-legged beast-type monsters with sharp claws and fangs. They possess low power due to their slender build, but their swiftness makes them troublesome opponents.
「Milly. I think you know, but…」
「Mhm, no using Blue Gale♪」
She gave a thumbs up at my reminder.
While a single cast of Blue Gale would kill a land liger, I forbade her from using the spell as they happened to be ideal practice opponents for Milly, who has low physical skill.
This is all part of training.
「Well then, don’t let your guard down.」
We poised our weapons, a land liger in front of us each.
The land liger I faced leaped into action with a growl at the very moment I readied my paragon blade, Freybrand.
I avoided its sharp claws, and casted Time Square while keeping the monster at bay with my sword.
Time froze, following which I silently cast multiple spells in succession: Blue Ball, Black Ball, Green Ball.Then I cast Red Ball through Freybrand, however…
Darn, the timing must have been off again.
The land liger’s legs were frozen by the initial triple-element cast of magical balls, but the Red Ball arrived late.
It’s a failure.
「Ahahah♪ Zeph-chi failed just now~」
「Be quiet. It’s difficult.」
Lydia had been leisurely watching my failure even as she dealt with two land ligers.
As the land liger I immobilized struggled to pull out its legs along with the frozen ground, I cast Time Square once again while swinging down my sword.
Finally, a golden light cut through the Land Liger, vanquishing it with a single blow.
「…Quadra fusion spell, Tetra Ball.」
「Ahahah~ You did it this time~」
Lydia laughed at me as I murmured to myself in the wake of my success.
I wish she’d just focus on fighting, though it doesn’t seem like she’ll get hit at all despite looking away.
It’s still difficult to control the quadra fusion spell Tetraball, which consists of the elements red, blue, sky and green.
I have, just barely, a fifty-fifty success rate against an opponent that can’t move.
It’s quite “fuel-efficient”, however; the spell consumes little magical power yet is as powerful, perhaps more so, than Pyro Crash.
I want to achieve a steady rate of success somehow.
A swirling globe of water was released from Milly’s hand even as she stumbled, somehow managing to avoid a land liger’s attack.
The huge ball of water engulfed the land liger, making it spin around in circles before sending it flying.
The land liger immediately tottered to its feet, however, and sprung into the air for another attack. Milly dodged with desperation, but she still took the occasional hit.
She still has a way to go regarding close combat. I’ll have to train her more.
“Hah! Taah! Yaah!”
Claude is parrying attacks with her shield while landing solid hits with her sword.
It’s a simple yet sound way to fight. But, how should I put it, the drawback to Claude’s fighting style is that she has a weak offense. Perhaps it would be different if she were to get her hands on a good weapon.
Milly has been teaching Blue Gale to Claude, but she still takes too long to cast the spell, and its power is lacking when she does. Furthermore, she runs out of mana after a single shot, which is why she’s still far from using it in actual combat.
「… All clear on my side.」
「Mhm. The two of them still have a long way to go.」
Lydia and I finished our fights in a flash. While we were observing Claude and Milly struggle, Shirushu called out to us from the carriage.
「Um…Aren’t you going to help those two?」
「Hnn~, I’d say it should be fine.」
「I’ll lend a hand if it gets dangerous, of course, but they’ve got to get strong enough to stand alone.」
「Uhh…How Spartan…I wonder if I’ll do okay from now on…」
Incidentally, I haven’t let Shirushu fight yet.
There’s no knowing when she’ll go on a rampage if I do. Putting aside me or Lydia, It’d be dangerous to have Milly or Claude near Shirushu when she’s in berserk beast form. Besides, there are other passengers on the carriage right now.
It should be fine to start getting her prepared for battle after we reach the capital.
In any case, Shirushu’s level is currently 6. It has hardly increased despite her defeating so many monsters back in the forest.
Perhaps beastfolk have difficulty raising their level due to their high physical ability. I didn’t have many beastfolk friends in my previous life, so I can’t tell.
Well, that’s something to look into from now on.
After a while, Claude’s fight ended, and five minutes later Milly defeated her land liger too.
Milly staggered her way back to us.
「Good work, Milly-san.」
「You hung in there well.」
Milly buried her face heavily into my chest, so I gave her a good patting on the head.
Milly has been demanding frequent pampering in this manner these days.
As I was patting her silky blonde hair, Shirushu looked around the surroundings, seeming alerted by something.
「We have more company…Two land ligers and three rock wolves.」
I scanned our surrounding area; one of them was on the rocky mountain in front, two in the shade of the rock behind us, and two were approaching us menacingly from the left and right.
It seemed more friends had come calling due to Milly taking more time than expected in finishing her land liger.
We could fight like before, but it wouldn’t do to keep the carriage waiting too long.
I readied myself alongside Milly.
「I’ll take that side, so I’ll leave the other to you, Milly. Let’s take them down real quick.」
「…Gosh, they’re such a nuisance!」
I aimed at the two growling land ligers and cast Time Square.
While time was frozen, I cast Red Storm and Black Storm, unleashing the double fusion spell, Pyro Storm.
The crimson winds of flame engulfed the land ligers, frying them.
One of them managed to charge at me without falling, but it was useless. A cast of Red Crash and it was vanquished.
I looked behind me to find Milly having just finished dealing with her side.
She had used a barrage of Blue Gale, as usual. She fires spells carelessly without considering the number of foes…Though, it’s fine so long as she can win.
「Hnn, looks like there are no more monsters around.」
Shirushu sniffed the air, nose twitching.
A beastfolk’s sense of smell, eh. Quite the convenient ability. I was right to have Shirushu join us.
We climbed into the carriage and called out to the coachman.
「Thank you very much.」
The coachman thanked us and the carriage began to move forward again.
「Are you okay, Claude-san?」
She must have been lightly injured during the fight against the land ligers.
Shirushu rushed to Claude’s side as she was holding her arm in pain.
It was revealed that it was nothing big as her sleeve was rolled up. She just had a slight bruise.
Shirushu held a medicinal herb in her mouth and casted Elixir.
Claude’s injury healed right away, and she thanked Shirushu for that with a fair smile.
「Thank you, Shirushu-san.」
「Not at all. This is about all I can do, after all.」
Shirushu grew a little red in the face and averted her eyes in response.
…I thought it a good idea to tell the facts to her, so I quietly drew my mouth near Shirushu’s ear and gave a little whisper.
「…I’ll have you know, Claude is a girl.」
「I know that though!?」
「Zeph-kun, could you please stop having fun with that…」
Ah, so she knew.
Come to think of it, I do faintly recall that Shirushu saw Claude without her armor on back in the city of Izu.
Claude is always patched up by Shirushu after a fight.
I think she’s intentionally creating a “role” for Shirushu, who only watches whenever battle occurs. It’s very becoming of Claude, tactful as she is.
Shirushu might have also noticed that.
Claude and Shirushu seemed to get along well, seeing how the two of them had been chatting a bunch since a while ago.
「I’m glad that you’re all good people.」
Our carriage rattled as it moved through the great plains.
I was gazing at the passing scenery together with Shirushu and Claude when I heard Milly’s voice from up front.
「I can see it now—!」
All the passengers leaned out of the carriage to take a look.
The silhouette of a castle was visible faintly in the distance. Prolea Castle.
I could see its numerous towers, and the Mage’s Association as well.
One of those towers used to be where I lived in—the tower of divine flame, the residence of the Flame of Flame.
My small murmur was drowned out by the rattling of the carriage.