I create a small ball of pure destructive force in the palm of my hand and send it into my target, accelerating the projectile to incredible speed. I watch the javelin of flame pierce the air and collide with its target, my opponent. A violent burst of heat explodes, engulfing both the target and the nearby location with fire.
It is a low-level spell, but I became proficient enough to compress the force I put into the ball to create a more dangerous and versatile version of the spell. As a side effect, it is harder to control, but not by wide margin.
I create another one and send it in the same direction as the previous one. It is good that this so-called low-level spell needs no preparations and is very cost effective. I have a rather large mana pool because of my elven heritage, so I can use it as a magical equivalent of a sub-machine gun.
Honestly, I see no reason why mages of this world try to learn advanced magic, if it takes so long to chant and activate it, if my version has both speed and destructive abilities. I mean, even my teacher was pleasantly surprised, when I showed him an example of this spell.
And yet, that person still manages to annoy me, brushing of my magnum opus as if it is some kind of cheap fireworks. It is not normal for a person to have such high resistance for explosions and extreme temperatures, but that dunce somehow tanks them with his sword.
It is impossible to cut a ball of fire since I am pretty sure it has no mass, but common sense doesn’t work against this person. As I muse over what would I do next, a figure appears out of the dust cloud, raised by my spells. His cocky smile makes me want to strangle him once and for all.
“That one was better, Marie! Have you altered its properties somehow?”
He even has gait to laugh at my misery, that bastard! I should teach him a lesson not to simply stand at the battlefield and have casual chit-chat. If he has time to talk, he also has time either dodge or run to me, right?
I am not sorry for this! I mean in it in a totally not tsundere way! However, I am not that confident in my physical strength, so if he were to pass away, I wouldn’t be able to drag him to the village. Thus, I will try to pull my punches a bit.
“Hey, that was rude! I was talking, you know!”
His annoying and energetic voice moves closer, as the idiot runs to me, and when I say runs, I actually mean, moving on the speed of a car on foot. It seems, people naturally accumulate mana over the course of their lives, but intensive training can do the same faster, which gives them powers I’ve never seen before. It is safe to say that some of distinguished warrior cannot be called mortal anymore.
“Here I go! Be prepared to lose, Marie!”
However, this guy is even worse since he actually didn’t have to train as hard as a normal human should. His mana pool is already massive from the start, and he can easily copy any martial skill he ever saw. It is good that he has no interest beyond fighting or eating, otherwise, I might lose my confidence in magic.
“O, Fiery Heaven! Descend and Crush! Inferno!”
I use my last resort, a middle-level spell I tried to “work with” as my last project. Normally, it also involves a small sacrifice like killing a small animal, but a sufficient amount of mana can also do the trick, which is more pragmatic, leaving more space in my inventory. Also, the chant itself was too long to be used in battle, so I experimented and found the key words.
I should clarify that “chant” is not an essential part of a proper spell, despite what my so-called colleagues in capital might say. However, it makes magic easier to conduct and apply, so it’s not completely worthless. And yet, “chant-less” magic is, for some reason, considered either a sign of a genius or a potentially suicidal individual.
A pillar of fire engulfs his form; the idiot only continues to laugh. I don’t even need to aim this time, and I adjusted the heat just enough to scorch him a little. All I need now is to make him admit my victory, so we can go home and have Martha-san’s lunch. Ah, I am hungry.
“Hey, that was kind of weak! This has, like, no heart in it at all!”
No, he didn’t. And yet, he did. He pulled himself out of the pillar. Damn, the distance between us is less than five meters: he can reach it in a moment. I also nearly exhausted my reserves! I won’t lose! And even if I do, I will do it with dignity and pride.
“Take this! Sword Mirage!”
Hey, wasn’t that a high-level sword skill Percival-san treasured so much. The one he used all his life to master. What kind of a cheat-character are you, pulling heroic last moment like this and showing me a cool special move? He swings his dulled swords and creates two images of the same weapon, both coming from different directions.
It goes against common sense! A human’s arm cannot produce speed high enough to create such after-images, no matter how much you train! Also, I’ve never seen you train this skill before, so it must be the first time you use it. Then, why in the world you are such proficient with it? It took me nearly five years to create my ‘advance’ version of the fireball, you know? I mean, five years of hard work and diligence, you know?!
I tried really hard, even though they call me a prodigy. I never used any shortcuts, but he is too talented to understand this. To him, everything is as simple as “two times two equals four”. Granted, I am the one who does all the math in this pair.
Ah, the swords are coming closer. It feels like a film in slow-motion. Now, I will be hit and lose since my defense is as strong as that of a kitten. I don’t like physical activities, and spent most of my time either reading, studying or cooking, so I turned into an example of a sheltered and fragile maiden her needs to protect.
But I refuse! I still have my magic, so I am not that hopeless.
“Alan! Marie! It’s time!”
I hear the blessed voice of Percival-san. Instantly, the idiot stops and turns his head to the direction form where the voice came. Damn, he is too light-headed!
I silently mutter, sending a tiny bit of flame from the tip of my staff. At this point, it’s nearly all smog and no fire, so he starts to violently cough. So, getting hit face on with my spell doesn’t hurt, but getting a face full of smoke does? What kind of twisted logic is that?
“Ouch! Why would you do this, Marie? The training is already over! It’s dinner, you know?”
Don’t act like a spoiled child, dammit! I suddenly feel frustration rise within me, so I pinch the idiot’s face with my free hand. It is a very good and healthy way to relieve stress. Also, I do this with full intention to hurt him, and not out of embarrassment, so it is not a tsundere act at all.
“Ouch! Ouch! Why?!”
Ah, what a pleasant sound. It seems, I am a sadist at heart. Well, I could live with it.
“Because of your attitude, idiot! It’s not just a training, it’s a mock battle, an imitation of a real conflict, and no solider on the battlefield will ever take a lunch break in the middle of war! Is your head a decoration, or is it plainly empty?”
“I am sorry. Please, forgive me, Marie-sama. This humble me will honestly regret his brash decision, so, please, stop pinching my cheek: it hurts!”
“Huh? So getting hit with my best spell doesn’t? You seemed awfully nonchalant, considering you never bothered to dodge them, damn hardhead! Are you calling my magic capabilities weak?”
I pinch harder, making him moan harder. Wait… that sounded incredibly wrong and indecent.
“Sorry! Please, accept my sincerest apologies!”
I sigh and finally let go of his cheek, which, at this point, turned red. Man, how does his defense against harm works? Is he subconsciously thinks of me as an ally, so my attacks can easily pass his shields? If so, I need to create a way for him to identify whether this is really me or some kind of imitation. Knowing him, it is only a matter of time before such bizarre thing happens.
“Marie, you are spacing out again…”
I can think about this later: food is my main priority right now. I march faster, and see Percival-san in the distance. He smiles at us and waves.
“Good work, you guys. It is good to be so young and full of life”
“Greeting, Percival-sama. I am grateful for you praise”
“Yo, Gramps! Have you seen that? Marie was all ‘foosh’ and ‘bam’, but I was ‘swish’ and did that thing you showed the day before!”
Honestly, calling my masterpieces such derogatory names, and referring to the legendary sword skill as ‘that thing’. Even the ‘swish’ he is talking about actually means ‘I passed though the barren field without any covers while being constantly shoot by artillery-grade magic from at least five-kilometer distance’. That man amazes me, even though I already know him for about… how much?
“The dinner is ready. You go first; I will go for a short walk”
I bow properly, and say:
“Then, excuse us, Percival-sama”
“See ya, Gramps”
Honestly, Percival-san is such a hard-working person. Even though he was granted a title of nobility and lands for military exploits during the war, he still acts humble. His house is made of simple wood, and his meals are not luxurious at all. He even inspects his lands by himself from time to time. I always question how such a wise individual managed to have such an idiotic grandson like Alan.
“Hey, Marie, you know…”
I turn my head and saw a surprisingly thoughtful expression on his face.
“… How long do we know each other?”
I cannot help it: I giggled.
“We’ve met when I was eleven, so that makes about seven years”
Yes, it was almost seven years since I, Satoru Yamada, died and reincarnated as me, Marie Klausel. And an idiotic person beside me is Alan Muller, my self-proclaimed childhood friend.
“This long, huh? I guess, I should thank you for bearing with all these years, Marie. For this, I am grateful”
He shoots me a smile that made all girls back in the village swoon, but for me, it’s another flag I need to dodge. I am not sure if Alan goes for a childhood friend route, since he acts very suave sometimes. Though, he is too dense to realize this.
“Is that so? Well, I thank you too. For saving my life back then, and… for becoming my friend”
Alan may be a complete moron, but he is my complete moron. However, stop staring at me with those puppy eyes! I won’t allow you to set flags on me, idiot!