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Against Dmitria and Valerie
There must be a way.
My head quickly did a mental calculation of the path behind me vs the path in front of me.
It would totally be unwise for me to turn back now and undo the mess that Shula made. Anyway, I believed that with Dmitria’s command, Shula’s magical flames could be undone immediately and there shouldn’t be any problem.
Then, that would only leave me with one choice: to break my way forward, no matter what it took.
But the thing is, the rule stated I wasn’t allowed to fight back, so…
Wait a minute! Not allowed to fight back…
But that didn’t mean I wasn’t allowed to defend myself and restrain them, right?
Restraining or stopping them didn’t mean fighting back, right?
If so, then I should stop them.
For Shula, since there was no rule that stated I couldn’t do anything to anyone other than the trio troublemakers, I guess I could use my magic against it, like, freezing its legs and wings so it would be immobile.
As for Dmitria…
“What? Still not wanting to admit defeat yet?”
Dmitria asked again after not hearing my response at all. I noticed her finally making her way to me.
My eyes immediately scanned my surrounding.
How to restrict her movement without being considered fighting back?
How to make her feet stop…
My eyes reflexively looked at her feet and that was when I noticed something.
Thanks to the sea of flames that Shula made, our surrounding became bright enough that we finally had shadows again.
This is it! My chance!
“Wha, what? What are you smiling for? Don’t you understand that it’s your loss?” Dmitria was stunned to see my unexpected smile.
I raised my face to look at her straight in the face. As I did so, I adjusted a bit of my feet to touch Dmitria’s shadow.
Then, I silently cast a dark magic spell that would restrict her movements, not her entire body’s, but just enough to make her immobile in that place.
After making sure that my magic was already set in place, I deepened my smile.
“Huh? Have you gone insane?” Dmitria was surprised to see my deepening smile and asked.
Inside my heart, mini devil me laughed.
‘Mwahaha, you can speak like that for now, but wait until you see what’s going on!’
Well well, this was unexpectedly fun.
I kept deepening my smile before I couldn’t resist the urge to say, “Hehe, it’s your loss, actually.”
Before Dmitria could say anything else, I decided to take a leap of faith—I meant, a literal leap, to reach her peryton’s shadow.
“I won’t let yo—what? What did you do? Why can’t I move?!”
Dmitria instantly panicked the moment she realized what was going on.
Apparently, she wanted to grab me when I did that jump.
Dmitria’s peryton, Shula, growled as it raised both of its front legs, but I immediately landed on its shadow, pressed my palm against the ground and silently cast the spell to immobilize it as well.
No sooner than that, Shula’s movement halted, and in quite an awkward pose of it raising its front legs and body.
Oops, sorry, it might be tired for standing with only its back legs… But hey, it can’t be helped!
“You?! Just what did you do?!”
Dmitria shouted again, unable to comprehend what I just did.
Of course, it might be because nobody knew that I could use [Dark] magic well.
And ugh, I just realized that I ended up using one in front of a student here!
But… that was the best solution in this situation that I could think of.
Anyway, right after I immobilized both of their movements, I immediately unleashed a strong ice magic to freeze all the flames in front of me, clearing my path.
Obviously, after I froze the flames, I applied enough magic power to make my ice broken to pieces, making it possible to take a nice stroll there instead of jumping here and there through my ice.
“HOLD IT, YOU! THAT’S UNFAIR!”
Dmitria’s annoyed howl could be heard. I immediately replied without even stopping my feet.
“Sorry, but the rule only said I wasn’t allowed to fight back. I only held your movement, that didn’t count as fighting back, right? Hehe.”
I could sense Dmitria’s unwillingness to admit defeat.
Understandable, child. I would find it difficult to admit defeat as well.
I walked and walked until I could see the lake I need to cross to reach my destination soon.
Well, well, she drove me to this place.
How to cross the lake?
I could freeze it and slide through the ice… right?
Well, that would be a plan, but freezing such a huge lake would be tiring.
Then, I could just apply ice magic to my shoes so anything I stomped would be frozen, enabling me to cross the lake just fine.
I felt content with my plan and was about to implement it when I noticed a shadow that was standing in the middle of the lake—on the small land located in the middle of it.
I narrowed my eyes slightly to see what it might be.
If it was a monster, then I needed to prepare beforehand to defeat it.
But alas, it was quite far away, so I had to use my eyesight strengthening magic…
It seemed that it would be unneeded after all.
The shadow suddenly galloped its way straight… at meeee!
I could see it “swimming” so fast through the lake, and even if the distance between us was quite far away, I could feel that it would soon arrive here…
No good, I need to get ready!
But the moment the shadow got closer and closer to me, I could finally see what or who it was.
The beast that was running easily through the lake—I could see that it possessed the body of a horse—at least its front half body, as its latter half of the body was completely submerged in the water.
On top of the beautifully gallant white horse, there was… Valerie!
I stood there silly, this was yet another surprise that I could actually predict with how Dmitria surprised me with her peryton…
But hey, just who the hell were these twins… or sisters?!
I wanted to think of ways to deflect Valerie and her horse companion, but then I realized that there was no way it was a regular horse. A regular horse won’t be able to “dash” through the lake so swiftly like that.
I had something in my mind, I’ve read countless books after all.
But I couldn’t be certain before I saw it before my own eyes.
Therefore, I waited.
In no time, the “horse” galloped free from the water, exposing its bottom half body that was… of a fish, or more correctly, the bottom half of the horse was like the bottom half of a mermaid’s.
But the moment its front legs landed on the ground, its bluish fish bottom half shapeshifted into that of a horse’s as well.
Ah, now that I saw it more clearly, there was something akin to a fish’s fin or something like that on its front legs when it galloped, but it immediately turned into regular horse’s hoof.
This… There’s no mistake, it’s a hippokamp!
The beautiful and gallant horse swung its neck and its wet mane was tidied to make it appear more beautiful.
Meanwhile, its rider was looking at me with her lazy eyes as usual, as she also brushed the hair around her neck.
“Hmm? I see that you managed to brush my sister away, huh? Quite impressing, I must say,” Valerie said, still riding in quite an ‘arrogant’ pose on her hippokamp.
Well well, the two of them made quite a beautiful and elegant duo.
“But sadly, you will be stopped here by me. Consider it a honor, though,” she said and then—
Her hippokamp neighed as it raised both of its front legs, then, it ran immediately, as if it was about to stomp me.
I reflexively moved my body in order to avoid getting stomped by it, but in doing so…
I slipped into the lake.
I tried to swim back up—the water was so cold and furthermore, it didn’t feel good.
The next thing I noticed was how Valerie and her hippokamp also submerged in the water.
I noticed it as I heard the loud sound of water splashing and so I turned my head around, still underwater (trying to move up), and saw…
EEEEKH, the half-horse half-fish and Valerie were coming at me!
I instantly hurried myself to move back on the water—as the underwater would be the hippokamp’s territory.
In doing so, I boosted my body movements with an enhancement magic, then I also used water magic to manipulate the water around me to make it easier and faster for me to swim upwards.
The hippokamp—with its frightening speed—swum towards me and to be honest, it was scary, so I quickly used my ice magic to build an ice wall between us.
The hippokamp neighed under water as I heard it trying to break the ice.
However, I managed to let the upper half of my body to surface on the water again.
Perhaps noticing it, Valerie and her hippokamp also decided to move upwards.
Before that, I quickly manipulated the water around me to make me jump up, free from the water, and used an ice magic to freeze the water I stepped on.
With that, I succeeded in my former strategy of “walking on the water”—that was frozen instantly by my magic, lol.
But then, the hippokamp and Valerie emerged and saw me as well.
They immediately moved to chase me and sure enough, the hippokamp’s swimming speed was so amazing!
I decided to summon icebergs in the lake to make sure the hippokamp was delayed with the hurdles as I jumped on the water surface, freezing the water I stepped, and repeated the process as I tried to cross the lake immediately.
Just when I felt that the hurdles were more than enough to delay Valerie and her hippokamp as I could no longer hear the sound of their movements near me, I immediately noticed something odd.
The movement of the water under me… was odd.
As I looked down to see what was going on under the water while still moving forward, I noticed a shadow…
Valerie and her hippokamp decided to submerge deep under water, enough to not be disturbed by the hurdles I created, and then they decided to attack me from under the water.
“I won’t let you!” I instantly declared, even though Valerie might not hear my declaration.
Then, I halted my steps and placed both of my hands on the ice that I created, strengthening the magic there and…
Made the ice grow downward, with the hopes it could brush Valerie and her hippokamp away.
And yes, I could see the ripples moving away from the spot.
However, a new problem arose.
I was about to continue moving forward when I saw Valerie and her hippokamp appear on the path I needed to take.
Yup, they blocked me.
This is not looking good…
“Phew, what a good job, Brioc. As expected of my stallion. It seems that victory’s ours,” Valerie said as she stroked her hippokamp.
Her hippokamp—a stallion whose name seemed to be Brioc—neighed in such a happy tone.
“It’s not your victory!” I said as I prepared myself to leap towards their side.
If the front is blocked, then I can move from their left or right side!
So I thought, but they proved me wrong as…
When I tried to make my way from their left or right side, Brioc’s fish tail was hurled my way, making me unable to proceed.
“Uuuh…,” I said as I retreated back to my original position when I faced Brioc and Valerie.
This is not good. Water isn’t the right territory for me to fight…
Come to think of it, [Water] happens to be one of my strong magic.
Even if hippokamps have their advantages with the water field, I can…
Hmm, what if I made it storm?
Or trap them in a water vortex.
Obviously, I would moderate it so it won’t endanger them at all.
It went against the rule—blah, more importantly, it would go against my conscience if I were to endanger them like that!
Again, just like how it was with Dmitria, I needed to make it seem inconspicuous, to lower Valerie’s defense against me.
I closed my eyes as I placed my right palm behind.
And then I took a deep breath and concentrated my mind in order to manipulate the water.
“Hmm? You’re not resisting anymore? That’s kinda boring, but I see you’re smart enough not to resist when there’s no more hope. I applaud you for this,” Valerie said as she smiled.
…A little bit more…
I twisted my right hand a bit in order to make sure I did the right movement for the vortex.
I wasn’t used to this spell at all.
Then, when I was sure I did it correctly, I opened my eyes and looked at Valerie.
“Hmm? Ready to admit defeat now? Or should I and Brioc really suppress you to make it game over?” Valerie asked as Brioc splashed its large tail on the water.
“Well… No offense, but… it’s your defeat,” I said as I revealed my smile.
“…Huh?” Valerie tilted her head to the side, not understanding what awaited her.
I twisted the right hand I placed behind me as I chanted.
After I completed the magic, a water vortex was invoked around Valerie and Brioc, trapping them right away.
“Wait, hey, you!” Valerie’s voice sounded different than it normally was—she definitely lost her composure.
“I’m not breaking any rules, okay? Don’t worry, you will surely be able to escape from the vortex just fine. However, it will… take plenty of time,” I said as I immediately dashed forward, paying no heed to what their next responses might be.
Then, I used my ice magic again, now combined with water and wind magic to enhance my movement forward.
Damn it, I would surely need to rest and eat a lot after exerting myself like this!
Sure, my mana capacity was huge, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t get tired or hungry after all this, okay?
I also moved my body quite a lot.
My muscles… I hadn’t really trained them as intense as I did when I was Reinst, the daughter of the swordsman clan.
Would they cram and hurt? (இ﹏இ`｡)
I regretted not training them more.
It seemed that I really enjoyed life more this time around, huh?
After running through the water for quite a while, I finally stepped on the land again.
I took a deep breath several times before I calmed myself and walked towards the Wetstone Cave.
With Dmitria and Valerie out of the way, then…
I suppose I’d face Briar-Rose when I arrived at the Wetstone Cave?
I wonder what kind of surprise she has in store for me?
Oddly enough, I was looking forward to it.
Finally, after walking leisurely (with the help of the map along the way), I arrived in front of the Wetstone Cave.
The cave was surrounded by many trees and it was so dark. I was about to move away from the bushes and enter the cave when I heard someone talking.
I reflexively hid myself behind the bushes (hey, I don’t even know why I did this reflexively!).
Then, I peeked from behind the bushes to see the troublemaker trio together.
Did I really get lost that badly, to the extent that the miracle twins—miracle sisters managed to break free from my immobilization attempt?
…Alright, I strayed my path quite a bit here and there.
Anyway, it seemed that my reflexes were right!
I stayed hidden until the troublemaker trio finished their discussion and dispersed.
After making sure that they were no longer nearby, I made my way inside the cave.
Since the inside was dark and humid, I decided to use my light magic to light up my way.
Now now, where is the so-called gem that I need to find?
The Wetsone Cave was quite a deep cave, to be honest, but they couldn’t have gone so deep in the cave, right?
The entrance of the cave was quite small, so neither Dmitria nor Valerie could make their ‘pets’ enter.
However, after the small entrance and a small long corridor, the inside would only get bigger.
The huge monsters that might reside inside should be monsters that were already here in the first place, or were born here, or monsters that could adjust their body sizes. Or another option: monsters that could find another way to enter the cave, such as digging or swimming here.
Anyway, I was sure they couldn’t be hiding another ‘pet’ here, right?
So, I walked inside and sure enough, before it got any deeper or before I reached another level of the cave, I saw a small…
A small… wyvern?!
I stood there frozen as I looked at the small, cute creature in front of me.
In response, the small creature looked back at me with its eyes widened.
Then, I noticed.
Hanging around its neck—was the obsidian jewel I was supposed to find and get.
Gah, they even have wyverns as their pets?!
Hang on, hang on.
I really needed to study more on the nobles, like their houses’ specialty.
Even though the Flugel household was located in the west area, they were still close at the border, and wasn’t that prominent back when I was Reinst.
Besides, if I remembered correctly, my Grabberton house and their house weren’t in a cordial relationship. It was even more right to say that my house was quite indifferent to their house.
And I seemed to have forgotten the reason behind that. I just took it as a matter of fact. There was no business with them, anyway.
Aaah, really. Ignorance can be bliss sometimes, but it can bring calamity, too.
I have a suspicion now that either the Remus or the Flugel family has something to do with these beasts?
Like, their specialty is taming beasts or the likes of it.
Anyway, before I could grab the wyvern, it quickly ran towards a certain direction.
I had no other choice but to chase after the wyvern.
And… it led me to a dead end.
Speaking of which, this dead end was on the greener side, so several bushes and other plants grew there, making it look real comfy for a creature to nest in.
It was cornered now, but it didn’t seem to be bothered, as it immediately curled itself and closed its eyes.
I was standing on the other side of the path—close to the intersection, as I looked at the carefree wyvern and shook my head.
It seemed to be very comfortable in its sleeping position.
“Yare yare, this little one…,” I said as I made my way slowly towards the little creature.
Several steps away from the small wyvern, before Lyra’s extended hand could grab the little creature, suddenly…
The ground under her shook and crumbled, revealing a hole that soon engulfed Lyra down.
And then, a thud could be heard.
Immediately after that, the trio troublemakers appeared from the plants nearby and laughed.
“We did it!”
“We managed to capture her!”
Cheers of joy could be heard.
Now now, as for the trapped Lyra…
What other fate could await her other than her crushing defeat?
Her goal was just right in front of her eyes, but… she fell into the trio troublemakers’ trap?
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