Frieren’s Prequel Novel Chapter 3 part 3

If Kanne could defeat the monster, their task would be complete. The earlier battle had been nerve-wracking, but if they remained calm, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Lawine steeled herself again.
 
…However.
 
She recalled the giant claw marks left in the abandoned building. The monster they had just defeated had large claws, but they didn’t seem powerful enough to gouge the wall like that. If that was the case, there might be another,
 
even more formidable monster.
 

 
They encountered the second monster an hour later.
 
It was the same wolf-like monster as before. By the time Lawine and Kanne noticed it, the monster had also detected their presence, and they were locked in a staring contest. The monster was drooling excitedly, growling to intimidate them.
 
“Freeze the ground under its feet,”
 
Lawine said.
 
“Its movements are fast, but I barely sense any magic power from it. So I should be able to stop it. Then you can finish it off in one strike.”
 
“Okay, understood,”
 
Kanne replied, gripping her wand tightly. Her voice was strained.
 
“Don’t get scared.”
 
“I’m not scared, but…”
 
“Your hands are shaking.”
 
“It’s just battle jitters.”
 
She still had the composure to brag. Lawine felt a little relieved.
 
“Alright, let’s do this.”
 
Lawine channeled her magic into the ground. Like the setting sun casting a long shadow, a thin layer of ice crept across the ground, reaching the monster’s feet. In an instant, its limbs were frozen. Noticing the change, the monster started thrashing violently.
 
“Now!”
 
“Okay…!”
 
Kanne readied her wand.
 
Of course, Kanne’s magic was not limited to water manipulation. At the magic school, she had learned the basic spells, including a powerful one that had taken the lives of many mages, both novice and experienced.
 
“General Attack Magic.”
 
A flash of light pierced through the monster.
 
She missed the vital spot, but the attack inflicted a fatal wound. The monster collapsed, its gaze toward them weakening as it drew its last breath. The ice bindings no longer seemed necessary, but Lawine kept them in place just in case.
 
Kanne pointed her wand at the monster, but she didn’t move from her spot, hesitating to deliver the final blow.
 
“Hey, what are you doing?”
 
“W-wait a moment…”
 
Kanne was taking deep breaths, as if trying to calm herself. Perhaps she was still reluctant to kill, even though the monster was a threat to humans.
 
It was kind, or perhaps a little naive.
 
Lawine wanted to say, “What are you going to do now?” but she kept silent. She wasn’t in a position to lecture.
 
“…Alright.”
 
Kanne’s eyes steeled with resolve.
 
She channeled magic into the tip of her wand, preparing to deliver the final blow to the monster.
 
But suddenly, a thick beam of light enveloped the monster from the side.
 
“Wha…?”
 
Lawine and Kanne were stunned.
 
The sudden event had caused them to take a moment to realize that their prey had been snatched away.
 
“Who’s there?”
 
Lawine called out in the direction the light had come from. From the bushes emerged a familiar figure with vertical rolls.
 
“Good day, Lady Lawine.”
 
Holding the edge of her skirt, she lightly curtsied, an unnecessarily prim and proper gesture that almost made Lawine forget her anger.
 
“To come out so boldly after stealing our catch, you’ve got some nerve.”
 
“I am honored by your praise.”
 
“I wasn’t praising you.”
 
Lawine retorted, and Kanne chimed in from the side.
 
“Hey! What do you think you’re doing?”
 
“Ah, Lady Kanne. I couldn’t help but interfere, as you two were taking your time even though the monster was already grievously wounded. After all, it would have been cruel to leave it suffering.”
 
“But I was just about to finish it off!”
 
“In that case,”
 
the woman interrupted Kanne’s words.
 
“Lady Kanne, you could have instantly killed the monster by manipulating the water in its body, couldn’t you?”
 
“Huh? Water? What?”
 
The expression on Louisa’s face suddenly vanished.
 
“…So, it was a lie after all.”
 
At that, Lawine realized why Louisa had suddenly appeared and intercepted the prey.
 
“Lying was wrong. But don’t hold a grudge about it.”
 
“I’m not holding a grudge.”
 
“You followed us and waited for Kanne to use magic, didn’t you?”
 
“No, I just happened to pass by by chance.”
 
“Well then, just keep going. We’re leaving now.”
 
As Lawine tried to leave with Kanne,
 
she was stopped by a commanding, low-pitched voice.
 
“Wait a moment.”
 
“Being constantly looked down upon is irritating.”
 
Louisa readied her wand.
 
Lawine sighed and took a battle stance as well.

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“What a pain.”
 
“Th-Are you going to fight?”
 
Kanne didn’t seem to fully grasp the situation.
 
“Well, what else can we do? She’s itching for a fight. And in the selection exams, it’s not unusual for mages to battle each other. Might as well get some experience now.”
 
“Ehhh, can’t we do it some other time…”
 
“If you say so, then convince her.”
 
“No way, she doesn’t seem reasonable at all.”
 
“I can hear you, you know.”
 
A flash of light flew towards the two of them.
 
Lawine’s defensive magic blocked it, but battle was now unavoidable. Kanne seemed to understand this and, with a hint of exasperation, readied her wand as well.
 
Louisa continued her attacks. Lawine focused on defense, trying to gather information about her first.
 
Her attack patterns weren’t too complex. There were light beams that seemed dangerous to touch – less powerful than regular attack spells, but with a high rate of fire. Likely a unique magic that Louisa specialized in. She didn’t seem to be manipulating anything, and that was about all Lawine could discern.
 
In contrast, the other side seemed to have a grasp of the magic they were using. Even with a two-to-one advantage, the situation wasn’t favorable. If there was a chance to win…
 
“Kanne, please focus on defense for now.”
 
“Got it.”
 
Lawine gathered her magical power and, just as she had frozen the limbs of the previous monster, sent ice crawling across the ground to freeze Louisa’s feet.
 
… Or so she had planned, but Louisa’s clothes seemed to have a defensive enchantment built in, and the ice simply peeled off without her doing anything. It wasn’t a complex spell, but low-power magic seemed to pass through unconditionally.
 
“Damn. She’s got a nice outfit on.”
 
“Isn’t that the one they sell at the magic shop in town?”
 
“…You’re joking. That thing cost about as much as a horse.”
 
“She’s a bourgeois…”
 
“Do you have time to chit-chat?”
 
Louisa’s attacks grew more intense.
 
For now, they were on the defensive. Continuing like this would only wear them down, especially Kanne, who was solely focused on defense. It was time to take the initiative.
 
While pondering a breakthrough strategy, Kanne quietly called out, “Hey…”
 
“I have an idea…”
 
After hearing the plan whispered in her ear, Lawine thought it over and nodded.
 
“Understood.”
 
Lawine and Kanne split up.
 
For a moment, Louisa hesitated, then set her sights on Lawine. Likely because she deemed Kanne no real threat without a water source.
 
Lawine went on the offensive. Attacking with ice arrows while defending against the light beams. A simple magical brawl one-on-one. They were evenly matched in skill, but Louisa seemed to have more magical power to spare, and was overwhelming with her sheer number of attacks. This wouldn’t do.
 
Apparently confident in her advantage, Louisa let out a sadistic laugh.
 
“You look so pitiful. If you had joined me from the start, it wouldn’t have come to this.”
 
“Shut up. That’s in the past now.”
 
“I’ve been hesitating whether to mention this, but Lawine, you really should be more mindful of your choice of words. Given your excellent family and talent, you should strive for more refined speech.”
 
“That has nothing to do with it.”
 
“It most certainly does.”
 
Suddenly, Louisa closed the distance. Lawine was caught off guard, as Louisa had only been attacking from a distance or mid-range so far. Bracing for an attack, Lawine hastily deployed a defensive spell. But what came flying at her was not a light beam, but a blinding light.
 
“Guh.”
 
It was a dazzling light,
 
as if the sun had appeared right before her eyes. Lawine instinctively squeezed her eyes shut, but was thrown into disarray, and the next moment found herself on the ground, having dropped her wand.
 
She messed up.
 
She had thought Louisa’s magic was only capable of attacking. But it seemed to have some versatility as well. Likely the ability to generate light sources or manipulate refraction or something along those lines.
 
Through her blurred vision, the figure of Louisa standing over her emerged.
 
“Talent and lineage do not lie. Even that Himmel was able to slay the Demon King only because he was chosen by the Hero’s Sword.”
 
“…You don’t understand anything at all.”
 
Lawine lightly propped herself up and provocatively raised one cheek.
 
“Himmel, the Hero, was an orphan.”
 
Louisa’s expression became distorted.
 
“…Well then,”
 
Louisa pointed her staff at Lawine’s throat.
 
“I’ll shut that big mouth of yours right now!”
 
Suddenly, Louisa’s voice cut off. Instead, a gurgling sound, as if she were gargling, continued.
 
Water was clinging to Louisa’s mouth and nose. She was panicking, trying to remove it, but her fingertips simply passed through it, and the water wouldn’t go away.
 
It seems like Kanne’s plan was successful.
 
Louisa must have realized that the water was Kanne’s magic. But she doesn’t seem to know where Kanne got the water from, and her confusion is evident.
 
Lawine stood up and picked up her own staff.
 
“That was just too much. The water Kanne can manipulate isn’t just from rivers and ponds.”
 
Behind Louisa, Kanne was standing with a water bottle. She was holding it upside down, showing that the contents were empty.
 
The contents were now clinging to Louisa’s mouth and nose.
 
“Sleep for a while.”
 
Lawine cast a magic spell, firing an ice arrow with reduced power at Louisa. Louisa, who was drowning on the ground, had no room to evade or defend. She was hit directly and lost consciousness as Lawine had intended.


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