The very moment I noticed the bandits, they all fired their arrows towards the gathered students. I thought there was no way they planned on harming the students, and, because of this, I was slow to react.
I quickly got over my own annoyance at myself and focused all of my efforts to convert the mana in the air into magical power. I sent out a shockwave in the direction of the bandits in front of me to blow back the arrows.
— are the students okay!?
I was only able to stop the attacks in front of me; if there were any bandits behind me, their attacks might’ve got through. I turned around afraid of what I might see. Fortunately, the students were safe.
The arrows had been scattered around in a similar way to how I had dealt with the attack on my side. Alice must have stopped them with her spirit magic.
I knew I could count on Alice, but that split-second where I feared the worst was bad for my heart.
More importantly, why are they suddenly attacking with their bows? Are they not trying to capture the students? Or maybe they’re okay with capturing some of the students, even others have to die.
…I’m not sure what their objective is, but I don’t have time to waste thinking about it.
I quickly turned my attention back to the bandits whose attacks I had stopped. They all seemed annoyed that their attacks had been prevented.
If they’re left alone, they’ll just regroup and attack once more. I have to take them out quickly.
Fire — no, that would end badly. Umm…wind? Wind might work. I’m not too confident in my precision with magic, but if I target their bowstrings I should be able to — cut them!
Now that I’ve dealt with their bows and they can no longer harm the students, I can focus on taking them out individually —
“My arm!? My arm is aaahhhh!?”
…huh? Most of the bandits have collapsed to the ground and…what’s that about his arm? D…did I accidentally use too much power!?
…w-well, that’s fine. These guys were trying to harm us. Protecting myself and the students is my top priority. I need to make sure all of the remaining bandits are completely neutralized.
In other words, I began my assault on the bandits.
I knocked out the bandit that was screaming about his arm with a punch, then quickly kicked one of the collapsed bandits beneath the chin, knocking him out as well. In this manner, I made my way through each of the remaining bandits, knocking them out as I went.
By the way, about their arms — some of the bandits had deep lacerations across their arms. The skin had been ripped open and blood could be seen pouring out. I think I overdid it.
Anyway, I confirmed there were no remaining enemies on my side and turned back to check on Alice and the others.
The majority of the students had grouped up together with Alice standing guard. Of course, Alice had already completely incapacitated all of her enemies.
Elsa was protecting a small group of students that were nearby her when the bandits attacked. She as well had made quick work of the bandits.
However, there were three bandits still fighting with two of the Grances knights. One of the bandits stabbed a knight in his side before slipping past him and running towards a small group of students with Amy trembling among them.
It’s a bit farther than I’d like, but I know I can stop him using my spirit magic. I began to concentrate and channel the mana in the air, before noticing another figure rushing to protect the students.
Liz had positioned herself between the bandit and the students, with her sword held out in front of her.
“I-I won’t let you hurt them!”
Even if she is a skilled fighter, she’s never actually been in a real fight. Liz’s voice was clearly trembling.
“L-Liz, what are you doing!? It’s too dangerous!?”
“D-Don’t worry! I won’t let them lay a single finger on you!”
This is the type of thing that could make the other students trust Liz again. If I just let it go on, it could…no, I’m not sure I feel safe letting Liz fight on her own.
I’m going to position myself so that I can help her the moment she needs it.
And, the next moment —
“I will protect all of you!”
Liz cried out in a magnificent voice while pointing the arm that wasn’t holding the sword towards the sky. A second later, a pale light began to emit from Liz like a myriad of fireflies.
…this is a joke, right? Is that light being caused by magic? The amount of light she’s putting off is even more intense and covering a larger area than even Alice’s magic. I wasn’t the only one that noticed how powerful her magic seemed to be — the bandits’ faces were all contorted with fear.
Shortly after, a gentle wind began to blow through the forest and caused the hair on the bandits’ heads to slightly move, and then…nothing.
…eh? Did nothing happen? Did I miss it?
“– after all, it really was useless!”
What do you mean it’s useless!?
“Was that supposed to scare me!?”
The bandit realized that it was safe for him to attack and began to rush Liz. Liz began to panic and I had already lost my concentration after seeing her brilliant display. I won’t be able to help her in time.
There’s no way that Liz, the clumsy girl that she is, will be able to avoid his attack, and it doesn’t seem as if she can use her spirit magic!
I need to start channelling my magic now, but it doesn’t seem like the spirit of the wind will be able to respond in time!
What can I do — I don’t want Liz to die!
Liz was frozen to the spot in fear as the bandit stood in front of her with his sword raised. Just as the bandit was about to bring his blade down — two silver lines flashed through his body before he crumpled to the ground.
I looked for the source of the silver lines, before spotting Sophia standing there with two daggers in her hands.
Oooooh, good job, Sophia! I’ll make sure to rub her head later. Sophia put away her daggers and turned to me while showing a peace sign. Did she use her ability on me just now?
Recently, Sophia has been really cute — wait, I shouldn’t be thinking about that now.
“Liz, are you alright!?”
I quickly ran over to Liz to check on her.
“…Leo? I’m fine. Is everyone else okay?”
I confirmed Liz was fine before turning to look towards the rest of the students. There are many children that are cowering in fear but none of them appears to be injured.
“It’s fine; everyone seems to be okay.”
“That’s good. That’s….”
Liz suddenly started to collapse. I did my best to support her as there was clearly something wrong with her.
“…thank you very much. I’m just not feeling very well.”
That’s a relief.
I’m still worried about the bandits, but my main concern right now is Liz.
I had Elsa deal with the bandits while I turned my focus to Liz. Liz smiled back at me, weakly. A gentle breeze caused her silver hair to move slightly across her face. It’s similar to the breeze I felt before…could this be?
“Is this…your spirit magic, Liz?”
“Eh? Oh…this is definitely my magic. I lose a lot of the power because I take too long to convert the magical power into an actual spell….”
I remember hearing something about that before…but isn’t that a bit strange?
Even Alice is only able to use her converted magical power up to a few seconds after creating it.
But, for some reason, Liz holds all of the power she’s created inside of her for too long before she’s able to cast her spell. The spirit still tries to do what she wishes, but by that time the power is considerably weaker.
“Liz, you’re incredibly talented.”
As I was doubting her ability to use spirit magic, Alice was admiring her.
“What do you mean? Her conversion speed and ability to picture what she wants to happen are amazing, but her conversion efficiency is terrible.”
“Her ability to convert the mana in the air into magical power is amazing. As of now, it may be impossible for her to use it in battle, but it can be used in other ways.”
“…what do you mean?”
“To put it simply, the magical power created by a normal person is nothing more than a cup of water, but Liz’s converted magic is like a sugary amedama.” (TN: An amedama is just a type of Japanese candy)
“An average person’s magic is like a cup of water, but Liz’s magic is like an amedama? Are you trying to say that it won’t be consumed immediately?”
I looked around at my surrounding to see that the leaves of the trees were still being blown around by the gentle breeze Liz created earlier.
“Then, why have I struggled to use spirit magic so much?”
“Your magic is like a small ice chip compared to Liz’s delicious amedama.”
…a-anyway, I wonder if Liz can use her magic to call on other spirits.
“Hey, Liz, can you use other types of magic besides wind…like maybe freezing something?”
“Eh? Umm…because my power is so low, I don’t think I’d be able to freeze anything. I could probably keep something that’s already frozen from thawing.”
“…then, how long do you think you could keep it cold?”
“I could probably do it for the same length of time that I was able to create wind for before.”
“And that was?”
“At that time…it was probably around three days or so.”
— I’ve found my refrigerator.
…just kidding. I found the Princess of this country and now I’m using her as a substitute fridge? That’s a little much, but I’m sure I can use her magic to keep a container cool for a few days.
So, she can refrigerate the entire carriage and keep any food we need to transport cold for the full trip to Rizelheim.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.