“That’s enough! Winner, Lucas!” [Roche]
As soon as I announced that, the spectators cheered.
The third match ended without incident, and the victor was our party’s Lucas. Winning or losing here doesn’t really mean anything, but I’m still happy to see my party member win.
Of course, I have to be impartial since I’m the referee.
“Alright. It’s time to study. You two. Please explain to the students. Let’s start with you Lucas.” [Roche]
“Got it. Just as I said when I introduced myself, my weapon is this hammer. It’s heavy, so people say it’s hard to use, but just as you’ve seen, that’s just a question of strength. So long as you train, you’ll be able to handle it just fine. And more than anything else, if you can get a clean hit in, the resulting power is amazing.” [Lucas]
“You got that right. I was sent flying with my shield.” [Teacher 1]
The swordsman he was fighting chuckled. He handled his one-handed wooden sword with his right hand and his shield with his left hand effectively, but one straight-up hit from Lucas’ hammer immediate changed the situation.
There are all sorts of shields. The shield this guy is using is a one-handed type that’s not really meant to stop other people’s attacks. The shield he’s using is meant to parry.
But he failed to do that and instead ended up receiving the hammer with his shield. As a result, his shield dented a little and his left hand became unable to put strength into it.
As the two reviewed their match, they talked about the special traits of their weapons and concluded their discussion. When it was time for the next participants to come, I called out to him.
“Carmine, is your hand okay? Are you wounded?” [Roche]
“It was numbed when I got hit, but it didn’t hurt afterwards, so it should be fine.” [Carmine]
The hammer’s special traits are its weight and its power. That’s why I got him and Lucas into a match, so they could duke it out with their hammer and shield.
“That’s good then. Don’t push yourself too much. Just to be safe, you should drop by Ryouma’s station. Get him to cast healing magic on you. His slimes, I mean.” [Roche]
Before the first match started, Ryouma informed me that he had taken his heal slime with him.
He said the slime will be healing the participants in his place, so he can conserve his mana. Currently, the slime could be found rested on top of his head.
“He says it’s free during this teaching session.” [Roche]
“I’m happy to hear that. Maybe I should get him to do a full body inspection… But then again, he might find out I have some weird disease. That would be scary…” [Carmine]
“No. If you have some kind of disease, the sooner you find out the better.” [Roche]
Besides, healing magic can only heal wounds anyway. And what does he mean by weird disease? Could it be he actually thinks he has something?
“Roche! We’re ready!” [Lucy]
“Oops. I’m going right now!” [Roche]
It seems the next match is ready to start.
“See ya. Be sure to get him to examine you.” [Roche]
I left Carmine and went back to my job as a referee.
“Lucy the Mage versus Bosco the twin-swords-user! Fourth match! Begin!” [Roche]
Cheering voices rose up once again. But…
“Uo, Oo!? AaAAAA!?” [Bosco]
But deep voice suddenly cried out, drowning out the cheers.
The source of that voice was none other than Bosco, whose body had sank into the ground. He had already let go of his sword and was clearly suffering.
He was not doing this on his own will.
Looking at his enemy, Lucy… I guess this is about what I expected, but… She sure is looking at me indifferently.
“Ah… That’s enough. Winner, Lucy!” [Roche]
Although I’d announced the victor, this time no one is cheering.
Instead, the students were making a commotion, unsure what had just happened.
But before that, I have to do something about Bosco. How many people do we need to bring this guy away? At least, it doesn’t seem like he’s injured. He’s covered in dirt, though. I’ll ask Ryouma to do something about that later.
He’s also responsible for healing, but he’s really working proactively behind the scenes… That guy. He works fast too. Having someone like him sure is a huge help.
“Lucy. Explain.” [Roche]
“Yes. Yes. Attention! Umm… For starters, you guys do understand that I made this situation happen, right?” [Lucy]
Well, yeah. They should at least know that much considering I declared you victor. The students are all also nodding.
“I am a ‘Mage’. Naturally, this is a result brought about by magic. But what kind of magic did I use? Does anyone know?” [Lucy]
“Earth Magic!” [Student 1]
“I’m sure it’s Water Magic!” [Student 2]
“But the adult was buried all the way to his neck. That has to be earth magic, right?” [Student 3]
“Look at the ground. Didn’t she just use water magic to soften the ground?” [Student 4]
Most of the opinions were either earth magic or water magic. They’re not wrong, but their answers are lacking.
“Was that a Compound Spell that utilized both earth and water magic?” [Ryouma]
Oh! A student got it right! Wait a sec, that’s Ryouma! What are you doing blending in with the students so naturally!?
“You’re exactly right, Ryouma-kun! It’s an advanced technique, but mages don’t always use just one element. They can combine multiple elements too. These combination of spells is what we refer to as ‘compound spells’. They’re hard to use, but with them, the number of things one can do greatly increases.
For example, the spell I just used was a combination of earth and water attribute. It’s a spell known as ‘Mud Magic’. The attribute, ‘mud’, doesn’t actually exist, but it’s a common name. As you can see, you can turn the ground into a bottomless quagmire with it.” [Lucy]
“She prepared the spell before the start of the battle and activated it as soon as the signal to start was given.” [Roche]
Bosco’s strong point is his speed. He’s not weak by any means, but the mud completely crushed his strong point.
“Concentrating is crucial when using magic, so you’ll always be left defenseless right before you cast a spell. That’s why children who are aiming to become magicians should first get some distance before using spells. You should also take measures to prevent the enemy from approaching you. It’ll also do you a lot of good to learn some close combat abilities too.” [Lucy]
Her teachings aren’t wrong, but ideally speaking, I think she should have chosen her methods better.
It was really childish of her to do that to the person next youngest to Ryouma. He’ll definitely be depressed, you know?
But then again, this will be a good lesson to him… I’ll just do something about it later.
Now then, the next match is the last one.
Ryouma and Howard stepped forward.
“I’m good to go. What about you, Ryouma?” [Howard]
“I’m ready.” [Ryouma]
Howard’s weapon is a makeshift spear made out of shaved spear with a cloth wrapped around its end, while Ryouma is holding a bow with one hand and has a large quiver on his shoulder.
“What’s inside that?” [Roche]
“Spare jintouya (a type of arrow not meant to harm others).” [Ryouma]
I asked him to show me the arrows, and the tip of the arrows had been changed with something akin to the weight used in fishing.
“So these arrows are called jintouya in your hometown?” [Roche]
“Right. They’re probably not so common around here, though.. Normally, they’re to be made with wood, but I was in a hurry, so I just made them with earth magic.” [Ryouma]
“Well, as long as they won’t penetrate me, it’s all cool. Please take care of me, Ryouma.” [Howard]
“Please take care of me too, Howard-san.” [Ryouma]
Although it’s right before a match, they sure have a peaceful aura about them.
Well, Howard is always easygoing, so that’s nothing unusual for him, but isn’t Ryouma nervous?
“A few years ago, I showed off my skills to others as entertainment to celebrate the end of the year. Unfortunately, I didn’t know any other art to show at the time. I also have experience going up the stage because I was acquainted with some sword dancers during the Founding Festival.” [Ryouma]
“I see.” [Roche]
“Ah, but I don’t actually have any experience with fighting matches… Whenever I showed off my abilities in front of others, it was always with a partner.” [Ryouma]
“Matches aren’t that much different. Don’t think about it so much and just shoot!” [Roche]
Ryouma gave me a good reply as he ran to his position.
The weakness of the bow is too obvious, so I had them start with a distance of 20 meters between them.
“I’ll be going then.” [Howard]
“Good luck… Howard.” [Roche]
“Hmm? What’s the matter?” [Howard]
“Don’t let your guard down. Ryouma is supposedly strong.” [Roche]
“Ahh. You’re talking about that story, huh? I know.” [Howard]
Howard’s expression seemed to cramp a little just then. Although he might appear like he’s not thinking most of the time, he’s actually a man who can get the job done when it comes to it. Despite how he looks, he must actually be quite tense.
I asked them one last time as the two adventurers faced each other
“Ready whenever!” [Howard]
“I’m ready!” [Ryouma]
In that case, let’s begin.
“Fifth match! Begin!” [Roche]
I raised up my voice and announced the start of the match, but as soon as I did that.
Suddenly, something changed.
It was the air. The change was so apparent that I could feel it from my head to my skin. Until now, the air was normal, but suddenly, it was so painful it felt like I would be crushed.
The last release is slightly longer than usual and this one is significantly longer than usual, so this’ll be counted twice against the queue.