Weight On My Shoulders
We were sprinting through grass that was up to my knees.
Since this is a time trial, we can’t waste any time.
Then one may say, “Why not use【Anti-wall】to go faster,” well it would be meaningless.
It wouldn’t matter if one person finished quickly.
The entire team has to finish before the time is counted, and it would be foolish of me to waste my magical power here.
There are still demons in the forest.
Even if we are only able to run, we should be able to beat Elgil’s record.
“What to do…..”
I’m trying to think of a plan as we continue to run.
Though, it seems to be hard to think of anything while also focusing on running.
At that time, Patricia jumped out in front with a *pyon*.
“What’s wrong, Peti-dono?”
“I can increase the length of your legs with my magic kero. That way we can all run faster kero. Especially you, Lute.”
Patricia points at my legs as she says this.
Who has short legs!? My legs aren’t too short! All of you just have too good of figures!
“Patricia, you’re words hurt……but it’s still a good idea. Go ahead.”
As soon as I say this, there is a change in my body.
As I feel my body begin to raise, my stride also gets wider with each step.
Eventually, my body finished its transformation.
I unexpectedly let out a sigh of satisfaction.
I was too impressed and my foot got caught on a root, causing me to lose my balance.
I managed to stay upright, but I was a little embarrassed.
“Be careful, Lute-kun kero. You had the most drastic change kero.”
“I…I get it….”
Why do I have to feel so sad……rather, I need to concentrate!
After thinking I need to concentrate, I heard Luluna’s question.
“Wouldn’t it be better to change us into a quadruped or even a bird?”
“It’s not impossible, but it would be rather useless kero. Does anyone think they’d know how to run properly if they suddenly became a quadruped kero? Even more so, to be able to fly without ever doing so before, it’s impossible kero.”
“I see, that does make sense.”
It makes sense to stay as close as possible to our original forms.
Though I don’t want to admit it, the other three seem to be running pretty comfortably. While I am rather awkward.
I looked down at my feet, and when I looked back up I saw Luluna watching me.
And she began speaking, with a kind face.
“You’re probably still growing, so don’t give up just yet!”
“…..Right, thank you.”
I can’t describe what I’m currently feeling.
— ! I could feel something enter into the magic I was giving off around us. It’s an enemy!
“Everyone, there’s an enemy! In front of us to the right!”
I can’t see anything yet, but there is definitely something there.
“I’ve got this! Everyone keep going!”
Tsurugi says this and leaves our group.
A moment later, we could hear the sound of Tsurugi’s blade cutting something.
Judging by the sound, I’m guessing Tsurugi killed the demon.
After this, we each took turns killing any demons that got in our way.
It’s best to take care of them as soon as possible, rather than risking them attacking us from behind.
We also want to reduce the number of fights we’ll have to go through on the way back. We’ll be much weaker on the return trip.
And we continued to run for dozens of minutes.
“We made it!”
We finally arrived at our objective, the shrine.
We need to finish here quickly, we still have a long way to go…..!
We report in to the female teacher that was there.
I confirmed with her after checking in and began running again without a break.
Damn, it’s even harder now after stopping to report in……
“Luluna, how long has it been?”
“We’re currently at one hour and fifteen minutes. If things stay like this….”
Luluna says this with a bitter tone.
There is only one meaning. At the pace we’re going, we can’t beat Elgil’s time.
Even if we only need to return now, we’re too slow.
It’s almost certain that we will lose.
“….I guess it can’t be helped. For better or worse, it’s better than not doing it.”
“Do you have another plan?”
Tsurugi asks this.
I nodded to her.
To be honest, I’m not sure I can do this, but I have to do everything I can.
“Ah, Tsurugi can you carry Patricia, while I carry Luluna on my back?”
Luluna lets out a surprised voice.
“Most likely Tsurugi has the best reflexes…..and Patricia is the smallest, so she’s probably the lightest. Because Tsurugi is a girl and I am a man, it’s only natural I’d carry the heavy one.”
“H-heavy one!? I’m the heavy one!?”
Luluna points at me while shouting.
“? Patricia is obviously lighter, right?”
Next to me Patricia says, “My weight is around 4,000 tree frogs kero!” I have no idea if that’s light or heavy.
“Cer-certainly Peti is lighter…… but that’s not the point! What are you planning on doing, Lute?”
To Luluna’s question, I answered,
“I will fly using【Anti-wall】and I will simultaneously allow Tsurugi to fly as well.”
Honestly, with my current skills using 【Anti-wall】on two separate people will be quite difficult.
It’s completely different using it on two people. But, I can’t let them know my doubts.
“It’s possible I’ll run out of magical power before we finish, but I’ll go as far as I can. If I’m completely exhausted, can I rely on all of you to help me finish?”
“I have no problems, when you pass out I can just change you into a frog kero.”
“Th-then, I’ll get on?”
Luluna shyly climbs onto my back.
There’s a definite increase in weight on my body.
To be honest, after running for so long, my body was already tired.
“What do you mean by, “Oouu!? I’m so heavy that you have to say, “Oouu!?”
“No, you’re mistaken. It’s just that the scenery is so beautiful I had to say, “Oouu.”
“Is…is that so? Then, I’m sorry for saying something strange.”
I’m glad Luluna believed me so easily.
“Alright….Let’s go, Tsurugi.”
“I’m ready when you are.”
After hearing Tsurugi’s words, I create【Anti-wall】at both of our feet.
And we both were launched forward.
“Th-this is even more than I imagined…..!”
Almost immediately after we had leapt forward, Tsurugi seemed to be losing her balance.
Though Patricia is still going kerokero on her back, she’s trying to help Tsurugi keep her balance. From the side, it looks considerably dangerous.
“Tsurugi, don’t look down, try to remain facing forward as much as possible! I will definitely create【Anti-wall】at your feet! Trust me!”
After hearing my words, Tsurugi stopped looking down and began looking forward.
With this, I was responsible for the safety of my friends. I can’t fail……
Cold sweat runs down my cheek.
……No, I’m first-class. Remember everything I’ve been through, all of the training…..
I can do it. I can do it —
“You’re fine, you can do it Lute.”
Suddenly, the voice heard from behind me gave me peace of mind.
I briefly reply, and continue creating【Anti-wall】.
We must be about half-way there.
The people we’ve passed from the general class, seemed to get more and more confused the closer we get to the finish.
“Luluna, how much time has passed?”
“It’s been one hour and twenty minutes…..we’ll be fine if you can keep this pace. How is your magical power?”
“Another ten minutes should be doable —”
As I was answering Luluna’s question, I heard a scream from my left.
The scream was clearly someone in trouble. I unconsciously stop casting【Anti-wall】and come to a stop.
“….Just now, that was a scream.”
We look around to try to find the source of the scream.
The dense forest around us makes it impossible to see very far. It’s impossible to tell what the cause of the scream was.
But, without a doubt, something bad has happened.
“What should we do, Lute? Ignore it or go?”
“It-it’s my decision!?”
Why are the major decisions left up to me?
After I started panicking, Tsurugi calmly began to speak.
“The only reason we’ve gotten here so quickly, is because of Lute-dono and Peti-dono. It’s only natural that you two should decide.”
“I think so, too”
“I will leave it to Lute kero”
I look into the dense forest as I let out a groan.
I still can’t see anything.
The immense amount of trees completely blocks my view.
We don’t even know the name or face of the person in trouble. If we abandon them now, we should be able to finish first.
But this person may be in serious trouble.
“….Then, let’s go find the person that screamed.”
It would make sense to think, “If you are an adventurer, you should be able to take care of yourself”, but I can’t just overlook it.
We pushed through the trees and foliage, before heading in the direction of the scream.