“So… you use magic to keep your Familiar in a compressed space. Who’s the one mistreating her Familiar now, huh?!”
“Baladd’s size makes it hard for her to stay out – and besides, she did agree to this. Now… looks like Tarawo is having difficulties standing in front of Baladd, hmm? I wonder what’s wrong?”
“Tch – hey! Hurry it up!”
“Y-y-y-y-y-you called for me?!”
“Do you see any other Tarawo around here?!”
Tarawo turned to look at us again.
‘Are you not going to step in? Aren’t you the only one capable of preventing this situation from escalating further?! You’re not going to stop them?!’ – such was written all over Tarawo’s face, but I put on the heart of a demon just this once and ignored his pleas.
Both Tifa and Tarawo were still in the learning stage. Stopping this fight – I mean, match – would be equal to stopping an opportunity for growth. That is what I believe.
“Ooh, looks like we arrived at a great time!”
“Bruce… didn’t know you were coming here as well.”
“I’m here, too!”
Bruce arrived with Lala riding on his shoulders.
“Hey, looks like you two are getting along real good lately.”
“Hahaha… oh, y’know. Lala’s dangerously fast and all, but she’s totally dull and pretty unreliable in a real fight, you see. I’ve been teaching her a thing or two.”
“Bruce’s teaching is kinda crude, but it’s pretty nice!”
“She’s a mage, remember – her movements are incredible by that standard!”
In contrast to our good-natured banter, Tarawo looked quite downhearted as he dragged his heels toward Tifa, giving up on everything.
“Hey, Asley? Gotta feel a bit sorry for Tarawo, yeah?”
Lala pointed at Tarawo as if to question whether I should stop the fight. Bruce looked up and proceeded to answer her,
“If they were adults, Asley probably would have stopped them, but he’s letting them learn from experience – so that they’d know to stop themselves in the future. By not stopping them today, he’s stopping them from tomorrow on.”
“Ohh~~ Am I supposed to understand that?”
“Hahahaha, well, maybe not… oh. Looks like they’re getting started.”
As Bruce had indicated, Lina was now ready to fight, her hand tightening its grip on her staff.
Tarawo, on the other hand, still hasn’t reached Tifa. He must be extremely reluctant… which was perfectly understandable.
“I won’t use Swift Magic, so don’t worry, Tifa.”
“Oh, you won’t be talking big like that for long…”
And so the battle commenced.
It seemed that Tifa was starting out as the aggressive side, with Lina being on full defensive. Baladd stayed put with her arms crossed, staring down Tarawo.
The sheer pressure she exerted seemed to have affected Tifa as well, however.
Now then, let’s see how fast Tifa’s air tracing is, hmm?
The hexagram pattern… so a Craft Circle. The drawing was fast, for sure, but opening the fight with magecraft was… strategically questionable.
“Rise, A-rise, A-rise! Transient Blades!”
Her Craft Circle unleashed countless slash attacks.
That’s an exactly by-the-formula magecraft. Huh, I don’t exactly recall – did those old books not contain derivative magecraft material?
Or was it because of Tifa’s lacking improvisation skills that she wasn’t coding in altered formulas?
Well, I suppose I could think that over some time later.
“Rise! Earth Control!”
Lina’s drawing was quite fast. Considering that this was an elementary-leveled spell, this speed could be her at nearly fastest.
Earth Control was a favorite of high-leveled mages – good choice. Still got some room for improvement, though.
“Called it! Rise, Parasitic Control!”
Oh, so she’s been doing one-handed tracing in anticipation of her main attack being guarded. Pulled that off fairly quickly, too.
Could it be that both of them were actually as fast as the other?
Stopped by the dirt wall, the light slashes lost their momentum, but that didn’t mean they were stopped completely. The remaining streaks of light darted their way through toward Lina.
“Lina, watch out!”
“Who’re you worrying about, doggo? My li’l sister taught her martial arts, remember?”
“Yeah, this is Lina we’re talking about. She’ll get through this, no problem!”
The tip of Lina’s staff, infused with arcane energy, unleashed a sound blast.
The blades that had slipped through the wall were repelled, some destroyed and others reflected.
“Haha, look at her go. She might even be good enough to make it to Rank A as a warrior, huh?”
“Oh, for sure. She’s already started learning how to fight with swords, you know?”
“Yeah, started with Betty a bit before you had to leave for the Rank-up Evaluation. Always healed up the scratches on her face no matter how much MP she had to use up. Man, I wonder who she’s doing that for? Hahahaha!”
“Oh, yes, I wonder who? Hohohoho!”
Bruce and Pochi looked my way, both with greatly irritating looks on their faces.
And then there was Lala, seeming to have figured me out despite looking clueless as ever. Damn it, now her face’s turning a bit red!
Now, back to the fight – Tifa leapt backwards to dodge the attack that had been reflected back to her.
Oh, Tifa’s movements looked fairly good, albeit still clumsy. By warriors’ standards, I’d say she was on par with D-ranked adventurers.
Which reminds me, what level was she on now? Seeing that Pochi’s attention has shifted back to the match, I took the opportunity to invoke my Appraisal Glasses.
TITLES: Pupil (Excellent); Mage; Rank D; Top Student
- Attack Magic (Advanced)
- Support Magic (Intermediate)
- Recovery Magic (Elementary)
I was reminded once again that the concepts of genius and talent were a thing in this world. Her attack magic mastery was quite remarkable.
Her mastery of support and recovery magic was perfectly in line with her level, but she was sure to have a great abundance of combat spells at her disposal. But then again, she was bound to have difficulties rising above the ‘advanced’ level of mastery exactly because of this discrepancy.
To achieve that, especially at this young age, she would not only need to put in a great deal of effort, but also possess a suitable mindset.
Her physical strength also seemed lacking, but her age might be a factor here. She still had quite a lot of time to grow up, after all, so she ought to be patient and plan for long-term results.
Now then, I might as well look at how much Lina has improved so far, too.
TITLES: Little Sister; Swordsman; Mage; Magic Classroom Graduate; Rank A; Student Council President; The Swift; The Silent Witch
- Attack Magic (Advanced)
- Support Magic (Advanced)
- Recovery Magic (Skilled)
- Light Body
Huh, she’s actually not so different from Warren’s level in his corresponding time frame.
The ‘Student Council President’ title sure was a big deal. Moreover, Betty’s teachings definitely were showing solid results here.
All things considered, Lina’s gonna win this by experience alone. She may be taking a defensive stance now, but if she wanted to, she could take Tifa down whenever she wanted.
Lina wasn’t necessarily holding back – surely she wanted to measure how much stronger Tifa has become as well.
But more importantly… I ended up being quite worried about what was going on with the rest of the combatants…
“Oversized lizard! You dare you laze around before me?! And that condescending look in your eyes! Very brave of you to disrespect me!”
Oh, no, Chihuahua… it is very brave of YOU to directly confront a Dragon like that.
Well, I’m sure he’s being completely serious, but Baladd probably wouldn’t take that as anything more than a puppy barking at her.
I mean, that description IS exactly what’s happening, too, so…
“Know that I am a Garm, a King Wolf! Your attitude in my presence is punishable by death!”
Come to think about it, I’m pretty sure he’s been saying that before, too?
When it came to Garm the King Wolf, one would think of the dangerous A-ranked monster, which was arguably fit for the S rank depending on the individual. I wouldn’t expect this Chihuahua to be one of them, though.
TITLES: The Cursed King Wolf; Unwavering Pride; Unranked Anomaly; Weakest Familiar
…What in the blazes?
His level wasn’t matching up with his experience points, not to mention his physical strength and arcane energy being far too low even for this level.
And his titles – I’d never seen any of them.
I had my attention on the ‘cursed’ title in particular. How in the world did he even get that?
“Fwahahahaha! I see you’re too intimidated by my threat to even take a step forward! Step aside! Leave my sight this instant, or else!”
Baladd, either bored or busted a vein at this point, unfolded her arms and breathed in.
A breath attack? No, I’m sure that by now, Baladd is smart enough to not use lethal force-
“Hmph! Don’t care!”
She blew him away with a shot of compressed air.
Tawaro just kept rolling on the ground, looking like a child’s rubber ball – Oh, he stopped.
“GWOOOOOHH-! Oh, earth, why must you send such impact running through my body, such pain biting into my bones?! Heh heh heh… I never knew you hated me so!”
“So… it hurts?”
“That’s right! Ah – I mean – NO!”
A ‘curse,’ huh… I ought to look deeper into it.