Frieren’s Prequel Novel Chapter 3 part 1

 
Chapter 3: The Two of Them
 

 
The morning air was cold and slightly damp.
 
At the time when the sun had just peeked over the horizon, 12-year-old Lawine was walking through the forest. She had snuck out of her house about 30 minutes ago, following the faint magical energy to navigate the game trails.
 
As she parted the bushes, a pond came into view. The water surface was still and calm, without a single ripple.
 
Next to the pond, a young girl was standing.
 
She was gripping a wand, staring intently at the water as if aiming at prey. She was about the same height as Lawine, with her hair tied on both sides like a dog’s ears.
 
It was Kanne, Lawine’s childhood friend from the same magic school. She seemed to be concentrating, so Lawine didn’t call out and just watched.
 
The magic energy emanating from Kanne suddenly sharpened. Without any wind, ripples formed on the pond’s surface, and the water began rising up on its own, gurgling.
 
In the next moment,
 
a powerful jet of water burst out from the pond, crashing into the nearby rock wall with a loud “BANG!” The splashing water hit Lawine’s face, making her squint her eyes.
 
Kanne was skilled in water magic.
 
She repeated the same action, manipulating the pond’s water and forcefully slamming it against the rock.
 
After watching for a while, Lawine noticed the sky beginning to cloud over. It looked like rain was coming. Thinking it was about time, she approached Kanne.
 
“You’re really giving it your all, huh.”
 
“Wah, you scared me!”
 
Kanne almost dropped her wand, startled.
 
“It’s good that it was me who showed up, not some monster. You’d be dead.”
 
Lawine subtly chided her for neglecting her magic sensing. Kanne let out a sound of realization.
 
“Don’t say scary things like that! I can totally take down the monsters around here.”
 
“You haven’t even fought any before.”
 
“But you haven’t either, Lawine.”
 
“Don’t underestimate me. I can handle the monsters around here.”
 
Lawine said the same line, just to tease Kanne. Truthfully, she was also confident in her abilities.
 
Kanne frowned and glared at Lawine.
 
“Anyway, how did you find this place? I didn’t tell anyone about it.”
 
“I saw you going into the forest before. And you’ve seemed a bit sleep-deprived lately.”
 
“So you stalked me here. You’re a stalker?”
 
“I’ll punch you.”
 
“Oh? You wanna go?”
 
Kanne took a fighting stance.
 
As Lawine moved closer, ready to engage, she noticed the rock wall. The area Kanne had been using as a target had a large, incredibly smooth depression, like it had been scooped out by a giant spoon.
 
This couldn’t have been done with just a day or two of practice. Kanne must have been training here for a week or even longer, in secret, all on her own.
 
“……”
 
“What, why’d you suddenly go quiet?”
 
Lawine looked back at Kanne.
 
Today, she had followed Kanne out of simple curiosity, suspecting there might be something Kanne was hiding. But seeing this unexpected dedication, Lawine felt a sense of defeat, even though they weren’t actually competing.
 
“…Never mind. I don’t feel like beating you in this state.”
 
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
 
Kanne lowered her shoulders, looking puzzled.
 
A drop of water fell on the tip of Lawine’s nose. Glancing up, she saw it had started raining.
 
“Let’s head back. I think we’re done for today.”
 
“I’ll have you know, I’m incredibly strong when I’m serious, you know?”
 
Her boastful tone was surprisingly confident.
 
“Oh really? That’s surprising.”
 
“You don’t believe me, do you? That’s fine, just watch.”
 
Kanne readied her wand again, concentrating her magic even more intensely than before.
 
Suddenly, Lawine felt magical energy gathering on the surface of the pond. Looking that way, she saw a crystal-ball sized water sphere forming in the air. It began growing rapidly, seemingly absorbing the falling rain. Starting small enough to fit in one hand, it quickly became large enough for a person to be swallowed by.
 
…Was it still growing?
 
Lawine’s eyes widened slightly.
 
Finally reaching the size of a small hut, the massive water sphere suddenly remembered gravity and plunged back into the pond. With a deep rumbling sound, a splash of water surged up, engulfing Lawine’s ankles in waves.
 
If something like that fell on a person, even an experienced mage wouldn’t stand a chance.
 
Seeing Kanne’s proud display,
 
Lawine sincerely praised her.
 
“Not bad at all.”
 
Kanne puffed out her chest, grinning.
 
“Right?”
 
“But how about your magic power?”
 
Kanne’s confident expression cracked.
 
“…I’m completely out of it now.”
 
As expected. Lawine could barely sense any magical energy from Kanne anymore. She must have exhausted it all creating that giant water sphere.
 
“What about today’s practical training?”
 
“What should I do…? Should I skip class?”
 
“Well, I’m going home then.”
 
“Just kidding, I’ll go. Hey, don’t leave me behind!”
 
Kanne comes running to catch up.
 
As Lawine walks, she thinks about the future. Eventually, she’ll have to take the entrance exam to become a wizard. The highest level exam, the First-Class Exam, is said to be so brutal that casualties are common.
 
Lawine can’t imagine herself becoming a First-Class Wizard right now. But if she trains hard, and has Kanne, who is compatible with her magic, by her side.

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“Hey.”
 
Lawine stops and turns to Kanne.
 
“Include me in your training from now on.”
 
“Huh? Lawine, you’re going to train too? Why?”
 
“Why? “
 
She hesitates a bit before continuing.
 
“You know, Because you’ll probably die if I leave you alone.”
 
“Are you making fun of me?”
 
“Maybe.”
 
Kanne makes an angry face and puffs out her cheeks.
 
“I hate Lawine!”
 
“Say what you want.”
 
Lawine resumes walking.
 
Even on the way home, Lawine and Kanne bicker back and forth.
 
But Kanne never rejects Lawine.
 
Their morning training sessions became a routine for the two of them.
 

 
A year has passed since then.
 

 
“I need you all to defeat some monsters.”
 
The teacher stood at the edge of a cliff, with about a dozen students gathered in front of her. Lawine and Kanne were among them.
 
There was a tense atmosphere among the students. It’s understandable, as most of them have no combat experience against monsters.
 
The area for this practical training – the monster extermination test – is the Ried Highlands in the northern countries.
 
The weather is clear. A forest stretches out below the cliff. The high altitude makes it chilly, with a dry wind blowing. Thin, wispy clouds drift across the sky.
 
“The quota is one monster per person. The method of defeat does not matter. You’re allowed to form parties, but the one who delivers the final blow will get the credit. The time limit is until sunset.”
 
After briefly explaining the rules, the teacher looks over the students.
 
“Any questions?”
 
“Yes. ”
 
A female student raises her hand.
 
“So does that mean we can steal kills from each other?”
 
“Yes, that’s also a valid tactic. Please act cleverly and safely.”
 
The student nods in understanding.
 
“Anything else? “
 
Another student raises their hand.
 
“What do we do after defeating the monsters?”
 
“You don’t have to do anything special. If I had to say, just don’t die. I’ll call you back when it’s sunset, and you can report whether you defeated any monsters or not. Until then, I’ll be watching over you from the sky.”
 
In other words, lying about it is not possible.
 
The teacher is a Second-Class Wizard. In a world where Fifth-Class Wizards are considered full-fledged, she is a formidable figure. Even though she’s retired, she can easily track the students’ movements with her magic detection abilities.
 
But the fact that she’s watching over them means their basic safety is guaranteed. If a student’s life is in danger, she’ll literally fly in to help. Some of the students seem to realize this, and the tense atmosphere eases a bit.
 
The teacher looks over the students one more time, confirming there are no more questions, then claps her hands.
 
“Then, begin.”
 
The teacher flies off to the forest above with a levitation spell.
 
Well, now what?
 
Lawine takes a look around. Most of the students aren’t dispersing immediately, either observing their surroundings or discussing forming parties. A few have already gone down the cliff alone, either confident in their ability to handle a monster alone or aiming to steal kills.
 
Lawine is confident she can complete the task on her own. She’s practically a full-fledged wizard, even if she’s never fought a monster before. Still, she thinks it’s unwise to act alone. She knows that even a slight carelessness in the battlefield or a dungeon can be fatal.
 
To complete the task reliably, she needs to team up with someone.
 
That leaves her with one choice.
 
“Lady Lawine.”
 
Just as she was about to start walking, she’s called out to.
 
Turning around, a girl is standing there. Her dress is elaborately decorated, and she’s holding a high-quality wand. With her vertical curls, she has the air of a noblewoman. Her name is Louisa, if Lawine remembers correctly.
 
“Won’t you team up with me?”
 
“With you?”
 
“Yes. I have some combat experience, but I feel rather uneasy on my own… I was looking for a partner to fight alongside. If it’s you, Lady Lawine, I’d feel tremendously reassured. Together, we could easily annihilate the monsters in this area.”
 
She extends her hand invitingly.
 
While it’s a bit of a humble act, there’s an unmistakable confidence in her voice and demeanor. In fact, Louisa’s grades are quite good. Lawine recalls she’s always been at the top in both academics and practical training, even being the first to reach the destination in a levitation magic exercise.
 
Excellent, no doubt.
 
Yet, Lawine’s policy remained unchanged.
 
“Sorry, but try someone else. I want to team up with someone.”
 
As Lawine was about to turn on her heel,
 
“Is it Miss Kanne?”
 
She stopped in her tracks, having correctly guessed the person she was about to team up with.
 
Louisa rested her hand on her cheek, looking troubled.
 
“That person would be better off quitting, don’t you think?”
 
Reflexively, Lawine’s brow twitched.
 
“Why do you think so?”


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