It was sudden. I could only exclaim at the flame spewing on the ground not a step away from me. Springing vertically from the once empty ground, it took a form which can only be described as a “wall” and blazed up to the height that exceeded the tall Gilbert-senpai.
The ruined practice field was dyed in orange for a moment. The “gougou” sound of the sucked up air indicated the intensity of the fire. We were attacked. We were really attacked!
I somehow managed to stretch my trembling hands to Senpai and then cling. I have to get ready for the next. Even if I’m not going to be directly hit, I don’t know what will happen next!!
Upperclassmen, why are you doing this?!!
I grasped his clothes very tightly, to the point that I’ll almost tear it. I curled my body as much as possible to endure it. But the impact from the magic I’ve been waiting did not come.
When I slowly raised my face, the students from across the flame were wide eyed. Why are they surprised……
“You cancelled it out . . . just now?!”
The upperclassmen in the front row muttered disbelief.
I also can’t believe it. I didn’t see him use any magic. When I turned my eyes to Senpai, he calmly stood there and asked, “Is something wrong?”He still had the time to stroke my head, who was clinging to him.
But to say something like that…?!
In the end, this “fire wall” was not an attack but was Senpai’s magic. Evidently, despite burning at a close range, nothing like a spark or even hot air has come towards me.
“Si-Since when have you prepared?”
“With this much power, preparation is not needed.”
When I asked him in amazement, Senpai replied in a straightforward matter as expected. I think he was mistaken when I heard his answer. Although I don’t know it very well, it is an “ignition magic” that was taught at the beginning of the elementary course, so fire magic should be easier to use than others. Even so, suddenly creating a large wall is a different story. Incredibly using magical powers, I cannot imagine what level of difficulty it is like for him to instantaneously create magic without a procedure.
“…Didn’t I properly tell you, Meryl?”
This time he whispered slowly while smiling to me, who has not realized the immediate situation yet, like a teacher teaching a child.
“I am a specialist of destruction.”
Loving words spoken in a sweet voice. Overlapping with the sensation of his hands stroking my head, my tremors subsided. His gentle touch, mixed with his sigh, sent a chill of delight up my spine.
“I am not afraid of anything. So please, let me embrace you.”
His left hand stroking my head smoothly descended and this time, grabbed my waist. Glued together without a single gap, he grinned, baring his white teeth.
……The effect of the wall of flame disappears even during a chat between lovers. Beyond the transparent side, of course, the upperclassmen are holding their staffs……
“Se-Se-Se-Senpai! Being intimate is nice, but look out, look out!!”
“Hmm? What is it?”
“I said look out!! An attack is coming!!!”
The wall completely disappeared. In front of the upperclassmen, who are perhaps imprudent or very angry, magic circles as tall as them are shining brightly. Those are attack magic regardless of how they look. Moreover, there are a lot more than the first attack…!!
This time, Senpai has prepared nothing. Barrier . . . I’d like to set up a defensive wall, but will I make it in time?!
“Kralvane . . . You’re really a bastard…!”
A man who is in the frontline… probably a sixth year student… bellowed in a deep voice.
We are in trouble now! I knew we are going to be attacked, I knew and yet!
“I’m sorry! I have apologized, so please stop hurting us!”
“Why are you apologizing, Meryl? You did nothing wrong.”
“Yeah, yeah. Everything is Kralvane’s fault! Popular guys should die at once!”
The one shouting is obviously envious, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is in the highest year level in this academy.
My field of vision was filled with light. Some were shaped like an arrow, some were rounded, and some were thunderbolt-shaped. A lot of magic were aimed towards us.
Strangely, my own gasp sounded loud. My body froze and I couldn’t move. I should run away, but I can’t.
“So . . .”
In the pure white world, I heard a voice overhead. The voice that I liked, while sounding composed, hid a little sarcasm.
“You thought you could win against me through attacks?”
Senpai, whom I revere, was smiling fearlessly. His sharp eyes narrowed as he delightedly looked at what was in front of him. He cut through the air as if shaking off the pitch black staff in his right hand.
Immediately afterwards, an intense, trembling explosion reverberated throughout my body.
“Hey―stupid, put up a barrier quickly!!”
On the other side of the intense, tectonic sound, I heard their disconnected, panicking voices. Shrouded by black smoke and dust, the rattling noise created by the moving shadow is not Senpai.
“………Are you serious?”
“I’m serious. Deadly serious.”
I was speechless. While still holding my waist, and his staff in his right arm, Senpai swayed like he was enjoying it. I wondered what they meant with “cancellation” but . . . it was exactly as they stated.
“That attack magic . . . did you amplify its power?”
“Yes. Since I am a specialist of destruction.”
There was a smile of elation in his handsome face. Though there’s nothing funny to smile at.
As soon as the smoke cleared up, I finally understood what happened a while ago. The stone floor of the practice field was impressively smashed into pieces, and even the ground underneath was completely burnt black and crumbled. Although the upperclassmen confronting us seems to have firmly erected a defense magic, their faces were blackened with surprise and fatigue and each and every one of their uniforms are dirtied. In spite of that, nobody was hurt, though they are in terrible condition.
“You… When fighting in practical exercises, normally―”
“I settled it by perfectly cancelling it, didn’t I? It’s rude of you to disturb us [lovers].”
“We’re in the middle of the exam. Be serious!!”
A sixth year student raised his voice and his underclassmen at the back firmly nodded.
Since the other person is right, I can’t say anything. No, I plan to take this seriously, though.
However, the sound argument he was insisting touched Senpai’s nerve. Although he passed it off as a joke, his golden eyes slowly narrowed and he smiled. Strangely forbidding because of his sharp facial features, his smile looked condescending.
“Be serious, you say?”
A deeper voice than usual echoed in the ruined practice field. Pulling my hips even more, he slowly advanced and hoisted his staff. Small particles of magic circles started to form at its tip.
“I do not mind doing this seriously only for now, because the group of top students who are my usual opponents are not here. My standard for moderation may shift.”
The shining white particles was gradually mixed with red. It was the same magic I saw during the incident with Eliza that particular after school. Tinged with red, it gradually looked ominous.
“Meryl is here with me today, so I thought I’ll finish this properly.”
I wonder why the air felt colder. The side of my body that touches Senpai felt very warm, while the other side felt like it was forsaken.
The upperclassmen who were confronting us seemed like they were further away than before. Rather, are they progressively . . . retreating? Somehow, their dirty face turned pale this time.
“If I call out names, it can’t be helped.”
Senpai’s lips crooked into a sneer.
……I noticed just now that this person’s lips were moving even if he is not talking.
Ah, I see. “Spells” must be uttered aloud but in his case, it was not said “in a voice that can be heard by others”.
I see, I see. Then Senpai was properly preparing magic before I became aware of it……
The magic circle, while radiating red and black, took quite a long time compared to the previous one and spread more than twice the height of Senpai. What’s this . . . to use such a big magic circle against other people……
At the command of his formidable cold voice, black arrows popped out of the huge magic circle. Also, each one is as big as an adult’s arm. Not being able to restrain it in time, my field of vision darkened in an instant.
“Tighten up the defense to the maximum! Hurry up!!”
But even though it was transient, the defensive wall was destroyed and the distance between us widened in a blink of an eye. The difference in the power was as overwhelming as that of breaking a thin ice, and the angry instructions soon turned into screams.
“Senpai, uhm, this . . . Are they all right?”
“Yes, I tried not to hurt them. Though my aim was a little intense.”
When I timidly looked up, Senpai was his usual self. But when I looked at him closely, there is a hint of apology in his bitter smile.
“Intense, you say . . . particularly how?”
“Like I was aiming for the center of the face, between the eyebrows.”
He did not listen to me. There are a lot of vital points in the human body, but the center of the face in particular is a dangerous location. Even if the attack was not tempered or whether it will hit or not, the opponent will definitely protect himself as a reflex.
When I hastily looked at the direction of the upperclassmen, I can see that they were really targeted around their faces. Disappearing before I could see if it hit properly, it was as intimidating as his fist striking at a high speed. Everyone screamed when he waved his hand and some were even paralyzed with fear.
“Senpai, you don’t have to go that far as to involve my classmates…”
“I thought of showing you my strong points…… Ah, sorry. Maybe this is overkill.”
Suddenly, Senpai bowed to me, who was astounded and confused. If I compare him to a dog, it looked like his ears and tail lowered. His motives has made me slightly happy, but this time, he should reflect on it.
Anyway, cancellation of magic first. At Senpai’s signal, the magic circle vanished and the black arrows also disappeared. However, the half of the almost twenty people are sitting in surrender. The rest seemed to be kneeling in frustration . . . A few people who could barely stand up are probably disqualified because they are already out of magical powers.
The one who is standing must be a sixth year student. He is glaring at Senpai in a reproachful way.
“…You didn’t make a violent move.”
“I’ll be troubled if I’ll look like a soft person. I will not lose to Duke (second placer) when it comes to attack magic… But I overdid it this time. Sorry.”
We closed the distance between us. Both of them still have their staffs in their hands. There’s no dangerous magic for the time being, but what are they going to do? It seems like no one has any intention to surrender.
Their difference in power is clear, so why…… Hmm?
Suddenly, Senpai tapped my waist with his fingers. He kept his eyes on my face, but his lips moved.
Before long, the distance between us and them became three steps. Only the sixth year students were on guard. I saw no signs of putting up a barrier. They were all covered with wounds and fatigue was clearly written in their resentful face.
……I see. So the word 『drop』 was said to me.
《Saying my prayers for the little ones. May you find serenity as I tuck you in.》
I focused on my magical powers and whispered as softly as possible.
After small sound similar to a tinnitus resonated, the bodies of the sixth year students slowly collapsed. It was the very elementary level magic “Sleeping technique” that Monica used to me before, and even the lullabies that does not work on them will be effective for them.
“The conditions for disqualification are withdrawal, surrender, running out of magical powers . . . and fainting (sleeping). Amazing, Meryl.”
“It was you who did all the work until everything was ruined, right? Well, since the technique lets them see good dreams, I would like to wish that it was better than making them faint.”
I sighed and when I looked at him, he gave me a sweet smile that made me melt. I thought of touching his silky hair even just for a short while, but he grabbed my waist and this time, I was hugged completely.
“……Thank you, Meryl.”
“It was your victory, you know.”
While laughing at his misplaced gratitude, the feel of his body temperature and heartbeat felt very comfortable. I forgot that we are in the middle of the battle and that the surroundings are in ruins.
Thus, while being watched over warmly , we successfully won the first battle of our practical exercises.