At the school training ground, I stood facing Bagiran.
“Have you heard about my fight with Elgil?”
“Yeah, I heard about it. If you lose you’ll have to leave Class A. The school has even permitted it so this should be interesting.”
It seems the school has really allowed it.
That means I definitely can’t lose.
“Well, the class name may be trivial to you, but to Elgil it is very important.”
“The feeling that you must be the best is in some ways necessary to becoming an adventurer,” Bagiran adds this to defend Elgil.
However, Class A is also important to me.
“Class A is important to me too. Not the name, but the people in the class.”
“If that’s true you must win.”
Sensei’s words made sense.
I’ve been accepted to the Academy already. I must win.
“Right now you’re just in training, but one day you may be involved in a fight to the death. So, this should be good practice for the future.”
Is this the difference between a professional and an amateur?
I’m not even thinking about practicing or improving. It’s just painful thinking about parting with Luluna.
I’ve heard after a few years in the Academy, it’s common for the students to form pairs and later work together, in these same pairs, once they graduate.
If we were to spend the next few years together, we’d be able to form a perfect team.
However, if I lose here that won’t happen. I won’t be able to form a team with Luluna.
I don’t know anything about the rest of the people in Class B.
It’s possible they’re all really good people. Maybe we would even be a good match with one another.
However, Luluna was my first friend; she’s my precious friend.
You can call me childish, but I don’t want to leave her.
“Now, come at me. I’ll determine how much you’ve improved since our first battle. However, I don’t plan on holding back myself.”
Bagiran falls silent and lowers his stance.
Right, if I want to win, I have to become stronger.
If it means I can stay in Class A, I won’t fail.
“Here I come….!”
That’s all I said as the fight with Bagiran began.
I can’t afford to hold back against Bagiran.
First, I release magical power all around me, surrounding myself in traps. Of course, they’re not only placed on the ground but also in the air.
With this, my defense is perfect —
“Well, Lute, do you really think that’s enough to stop me?”
Bagiran activated his strength enhancing magic and charged headfirst into my traps.
【Raging Wind】,【Hidden Flames】, and【Eternal Ice】 ……….all of them hit him directly and yet Bagiran didn’t even slow down as he kept charging at me.
I-Is he a monster!?
I fall back using 【Anti-wall】. Bagiran’s speed is almost equal to mine when he’s using his strength enhancing magic.
I set traps in Bagiran’s path as I continue to retreat.
“He~e, do you expect this to faze me?”
Bagiran charged through my traps showing no sign of slowing down.
The distance Between Bagiran and I didn’t grow, nor did it shrink.
Bagiran raises his fist with a war cry.
I don’t stand a chance if I get hit by that! What do I do!?
What do I need to beat him!?
— That’s it! It’s courage!
I quickly change the direction I’m moving and charge toward Bagiran.
I activate 【Anti-wall】on my right hand and prepare to catch Bagiran’s punch with my own hand.
I caught his fist with my right hand.
I can’t get hit by that and I also don’t have enough power to completely stop it.
The only thing I can do is send it right back at him using 【Anti-wall】!
As I think this I prepare to rebound the attack towards Bagiran.
Just as I planned Bagiran’s fist bounced back at him —- or not!?
Bagiran puts even more force behind his punch.
This probably isn’t even his full power, and yet my【Anti-wall】can’t even stand against it.
【Anti-wall】was destroyed and I received the full force of Bagiran’s fist.
What is this…..I feel like I might even die……!
The second the punch connected with my stomach, I fell unconscious.
“Oh, are you awake?”
When I regained consciousness, I noticed I was on the floor.
I looked towards the voice and saw Sensei lying next to me.
At the same time, I noticed the terrible pain coming from my stomach.
“Sorry, I was a little too serious.”
According to Bagiran, even though he had a doctor come to treat me, the pain would remain for a day or so.
Bagiran seems worried about me and looks genuinely sorry.
“No, I’m the one that asked you to fight me.”
I’ll be completely recovered from this injury by tomorrow even though Bagiran was fighting seriously. I really need to thank that doctor.
I didn’t think the difference between Bagiran and myself was so great.
None of my attacks had any effect.
【Hidden Flames】and【Eternal Ice】. Then, of course, my main spell【Anti-wall】was completely useless. And Bagiran’s power was completely overwhelming.
A complete defeat.
……..Ah *kusu*, it’s so frustrating. (TN: Kusu is a Japanese SFX for crying)
I honestly thought I could win at the start of the battle. Yet, in a matter of seconds, I was just trying not to lose. In other words, my heart was already defeated.
I turn my head so Bagiran can’t see me crying.
I wasn’t embarrassed about it. Moreso, I was just incredibly frustrated.
“Just now, you and I fought as enemies. I don’t know what you were thinking, but that’s how I felt while we were fighting……That’s why Lute…..As your teacher, if you ever need help, I’ll be there.”
I looked back at Bagiran as he was giving me a thumbs up.
I’m still inexperienced.
But, I’ve been blessed with great friends and a great teacher.
“I……..I want to be stronger…..I want to become the strongest!”
I looked Bagiran straight in the eyes as I said this.
Bagiran just nodded once and began speaking.
“Your【Anti-wall】is incredibly versatile. However, it is incredibly weak compared to users of reflection magic. You can’t rely on it too much.”
I quietly listened to Bagiran’s words.
That’s definitely true. People who focus on one type of magic are much stronger than me who focuses on several different types.
Then, what should I do?
No, that much is obvious. If I can’t win using one type, I just need to overwhelm them using many types.
In other words, my true strength is —
“Your most important weapon is diversity.”
Bagiran gave a satisfied nod.
“And, of course, your incredible amount of magical power. However, that is not enough to defeat a trained magician. You’ll need to be much more flexible in a fight like that, but…….that’s all I can say. After all, I can’t be favoring one student too much.”
“Yes!……Thank you, Sensei!”
He understands my strengths and weaknesses well.
I’m truly grateful for the advice and bowed my head to Bagiran.
“Lute, I am your teacher. This much is only natural.”
Bagiran scratched his cheek, slightly embarrassed.
In a corridor leading away from the training ground.
I walked alongside Bagiran.
“You’re amazing, Sensei. You weren’t hurt at all by my traps.”
The battle against Elgil may not end well with the traps I can use now.
I need to be able to use more traps.
“You’ll have to warp space and time to be able to stop me! Gahahahaha!”
Bagiran showed a rough smile as he laughed.
After hearing his words, I suddenly had a great idea.
“I see!……..I understand. Thank you, Sensei!”
“Did you figure something out? Well, I’m satisfied after our battle. This is my way of thanking you.”
“Suuuuuuuuuuu~…..” Bagiran suddenly took in a deep breath.
….No way, it can’t be….
“Wai-, I don’t need your thanks!”
Aah, my ears. His voice is too loud!
I felt confident as I was heading home after parting with Bagiran.
This is my chance.
I need to learn new types of traps. That way, I don’t have to worry about encountering any magic I’m weak against.
The experience I gained from fighting Bagiran was invaluable.