Frieren’s Prequel Novel Chapter 3 part 2

 
“I’m well aware of Miss Kanne. She’s skilled at water magic, isn’t she? Her magic would complement yours perfectly, and you’d work in sync.”
 
“But I was the one trying to match up with her.”
 
A strange defensiveness slipped out. Louisa carried on the conversation without paying much heed.
 
“However, the Ried Highlands lack water sources, so Miss Kanne may not be able to showcase her full potential. If you team up with me, defeating monsters would be as easy as twisting a baby’s hand. I can guarantee you the highest praise from the teachers.”
 
It felt like her true motive had slipped out at the end. So that was the real purpose.
 
“You’ve done your research well. I’m a little impressed.”
 
“Then-“
 
“But I have no intention of changing my mind.”
 
Louisa tilted her head, genuinely perplexed.
 
“…I don’t understand. Miss Kanne was quite behind in the previous flight magic practice, and she doesn’t have a distinguished family like you do. Why are you so attached to a magic user who can’t fight without water?”
 
That stung a little.
 
Bringing up Lawine accomplished brothers as examples? That was part of it.
 
“…Do you know that the human body is 60% water?”
 
“Pardon?”
 
“If Kanne wanted to, she could easily destroy a human body. If you ever oppose her, you won’t get off easy.”
 
A look of fear flashed across Louisa’s face. But she quickly regained her composure, clearing her throat with a “Ahem” and saying regretfully,
 
“It seems my unsolicited advice was unnecessary. Let’s make a clean retreat from here. Excuse me.”
 
Louisa lifted herself with flight magic and descended down the cliff.
 
During Lawine’s conversation, most of the students had already headed into the forest. Realizing she had fallen behind, Lawine clicked her tongue.
 
“‘Clean retreat,’ my ass. She sure was stubborn.”
 
“Was it good that you didn’t team up with her?”
 
Kanne, who was still at the top of the cliff, called out. Apparently, she had been listening to the conversation. Lawine felt uncomfortable.
 
“It’s fine. She’s just not my type to begin with.”
 
“That thing about the human body being 60% water… what was that about? I can’t do anything like that.”
 
“I know.”
 
“Then why did you say that?”
 
“…I got pissed off.”
 
“What about?”
 
“It doesn’t matter, really.”
 
“But I’m curious. Tell me.”
 
Lawine averted her eyes from Kanne, looking embarrassed as she replied in a low voice.
 
“…That you were looked down on.”
 
“What? But Lawine says horrible things to me all the time too.”
 
“I’m fine with that.”
 
“No, it’s not fine…”
 
Kanne scratched her cheek with a complex expression, then cast her gaze towards the forest.
 
“Well, let’s go.”
 

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The forest was filled with tall coniferous trees, making the visibility surprisingly good. They shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the monsters. However, as that young lady had said, there was a lack of water sources. Even after walking for 30 minutes, there was no sign of a river or pond. Kanne was clearly at a disadvantage in this field.
 
“I wish it would rain.”
 
Kanne grumbled.
 
Lawine looked up at the sky as she walked. The gaps in the trees revealed a magnificent autumn sky.
 
“Forget it. With this weather, it’s unlikely to rain.”
 
“Isn’t the altitude up here high? They say mountain weather is changeable, right?”
 
“Pray all you want, but don’t let it drag you down.”
 
Kanne puffed out her cheeks.
 
“I was just saying. You don’t have to put it that way.”
 
“You’re too easily distracted. This is a real battle, so focus.”
 
“I haven’t slacked off on detecting magic power. If this is a real battle, you should watch your words too.”
 
“Why?”
 
“Don’t you know? Communication is important. There’s quite a lot of friendly fire incidents among magic users. And if I get discouraged and can’t fight, that would be a problem, right?”
 
“You’re so damn stupid.”
 
Kanne became even more sullen after that dismissive remark.
 
Lawine did have valid reasons to refute Kanne’s argument. First, she knew Kanne’s mental state wasn’t so fragile that she’d be broken by this. Secondly, she didn’t have enough enemies to be targeted from behind. And lastly, the possibility of accidental friendly fire was incredibly low – Lawine had a lot of confidence, or trust if you will, in their coordination.
 
But such feelings cannot be conveyed if they are not put into words.
 
“Lawine’s idiot.”
 
That’s why “You’re so damn stupid” was the right thing to say.
 
“If you’re going to be so cold, you should have just partnered with another kid.”
 
“Don’t start complaining now that it’s decided.”
 
“It’s not decided yet, you know. I can still choose to go my separate way if I want.”
 
Lawine was a bit surprised by this suggestion, so she remained silent.
 
Then, Kanne smirked provokingly, almost mischievously.
 
“Or, does Lawine-chan really need me around? You’re always making some excuse to stick with me…” Ouch, ouch, ouch! “It’s coming off, it’s coming off!”
 
Lawine let go of Kanne’s twin tails, which were like dog ears.
 
Kanne, with tears in her eyes, rubbed the spot where she had been pulled.
 
“Oww… You better be ready for a fight, you know…”
 
“It’s your own fault for having such grabbable hair.”
 
Lawine couldn’t think of a good response, and ended up saying something quite unreasonable. As a result, Kanne glared at her furiously.
 
“I don’t even care anymore.”
 
“Hey, wait!”
 
As Kanne turned and tried to move on, Lawine chased after her.
 
Lawine had completely angered her. Maybe she had gone a bit too far. For a moment, she felt a twinge of regret, but then she just thought, “Oh well, this is normal for us.” These kinds of spats were a daily occurrence. In fact, it felt like they argued every time they saw each other. “Wow, we really don’t get tired of this, do we?” she thought, as if it didn’t concern her at all.
 
But even though this was their usual routine, they were in the middle of a practical training exercise right now. And it was their first real battle against a monster. Kanne wouldn’t actually attack Lawine’s back, but it might be better to try and appease her a little.
 
Just as Lawine was trying to come up with something to say, Kanne suddenly stopped in her tracks.
 
“What is it?”
 
“This place…”
 
Lawine looked over Kanne’s shoulder to the front.
 
There was an abandoned building. The walls were covered in vines, and all the windows were broken. It was clear that no one was living there. Lawine and Kanne couldn’t just ignore it and pass by, so they approached the abandoned house.
 
The door was wide open, and there were signs that the place had been ransacked. As they entered the room, Kanne let out a soft “Ah,” as if she had noticed something.
 
“There was a monster here…”
 
On the wall of the room, there were large claw marks. The wall was gouged, as if a giant axe had been swung, and the gaps let in the outside light. This level of force could only be the work of a monster.
 
A tense atmosphere fell between the two of them.
 
For now, there were no signs of any magical presence detected. But there was a possibility that the monster was lurking nearby, suppressing its aura. Lawine and Kanne exited the abandoned house, closing the distance between them and maintaining a cautious stance as they moved forward.
 
Eventually, they emerged into an open area and saw more abandoned houses. As far as they could observe, this had once been a village, with remnants of human habitation scattered about. The reason the villagers had left was unclear, but it was likely due to the threat of monsters. It was easy to forget, living in a bustling city like Ausserst, that abandoning one’s village to escape the dangers of monsters and demon tribes was not uncommon. This area was still relatively better off, as they had heard that the northern frontier was in even worse condition. Even after the Hero Himmel defeated the Demon King, a true era of peace had not yet arrived.
 
That’s why they were here, carrying out this practical training exercise to defeat monsters.
 
As they exited the abandoned village, Lawine and Kanne simultaneously halted their steps.
 
“Lawine.”
 
“I know.”
 
The two exchanged a few hushed words.
 
They had found a monster.
 
It had a wolf-like, ferocious-looking physique. However, it was larger than an actual wolf. It seemed to be in the midst of a meal, relentlessly devouring some small animal.
 
Fortunately, it had not noticed them. This was the perfect opportunity for a surprise attack.
 
Lawine quietly readied her staff, channeling her magic power.
 

 
Crack, crack, crack…
 

 
The moisture in the air condensed, emitting a creaking sound as it formed icy arrows.
 
This was Lawine’s magic – the Ice Arrow spell.
 
She took aim and prepared to fire at the target. It didn’t matter that the target was a monster; the process was no different from what she had practiced.
 
Lawine held her breath.
 
Suddenly, the monster’s ear twitched, and it turned to face their direction.
 
Its blood-stained mouth, revealing sharp fangs…
 
For a moment, Lawine’s concentration was gripped by fear.
 
Acting on instinct rather than thought, Lawine fired the ice arrow. But it only grazed the monster’s body, failing to deliver a fatal blow.
 
She missed!
 
“Wooaah!”
 
The monster let out a cry and charged towards them. Its speed was incomparable to a human’s. Lawine tried to fire another ice arrow, but without the time to aim properly, it missed completely. The monster was rapidly closing the distance.
 
This is bad.
 
The sharp claws were approaching right in front of Lawine.
 
The vivid image of death flashed through her mind, but at that moment, the monster’s attack was blocked by a defensive spell Kanne had deployed.
 
“Lawine!”
 
Kanne’s voice snapped Lawine back to her senses.
 
Lawine unleashed her ice arrow magic. And this time, she hit the monster’s head with certainty. The monster collapsed like a puppet with its strings cut, crumbling into dust and disappearing completely. Lawine silently looked down at the vanishing monster.
 
If she had been alone, she might have died.
 
“Are you okay?”
 
Kanne called out worriedly.
 
When Lawine turned around, Kanne was smiling teasingly.
 
“That’s a horrible face. Were you that scared?”
 
Since Lawine’s facial expressions were usually sparse, it shouldn’t have shown. Or maybe Kanne was just making fun of her. Judging from Kanne’s smirking, the latter seemed more likely.
 
Even so, Lawine’s reply was set.
 
“Sorry, but you saved me.”
 
Kanne’s eyes widened, as if hit in a vulnerable spot. It seemed the reaction was different from what she had expected. She looked flustered for a moment, but then a gentle smile appeared on her face.
 
“I’m glad you’re not hurt.”
 
Seeing that smile, Lawine finally felt the tension leave her shoulders.
 
The two of them continued deeper into the forest.


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