Frieren’s Prequel Novel Chapter 3 part 4

 
The unconscious Louisa was hidden in the bushes to keep her safe from monsters.
 
There was about an hour left until the end of the test at sunset. The sky in the west was tinged with crimson, and the temperature was beginning to drop.
 
Kanne still hadn’t cleared the task. In addition to whether she could defeat the monster, whether she could encounter the monster within the time limit was also a concern. That’s why Lawine and Kanne were hurrying to search for the monster. The setting sun was shining on their backs.
 
“I’m thirsty… Lawine, can I have some water?”
 
“Again? I’ve already drank it all.”
 
“Ugh… Guess I’ll just have to endure it.”
 
Kanne had a frustrated expression. The depletion of her stamina seemed to be more severe than expected. After all, she had fought two monsters and a mage in succession. It’s no wonder she’s tired.
 
In fact, Lawine was also quite fatigued. Both physically and in terms of remaining magic power, she wasn’t confident about defeating the monster. At least while she still had some strength left, she wanted to find the monster.
 
“Hey, can we take a break for a bit?”
 
“No, there’s no time. Let’s keep searching.”
 
“If we don’t recover our strength, we might not be able to defeat the monster even if we find it.”
 
That’s true… but.
 
“If it’s a wolf-type monster, we can defeat it without much difficulty if we approach it calmly. So it’s better to keep moving, even if it’s a bit of a strain. Besides, we won’t be able to rest for long anyway.”
 
“I get that, but…”
 
“Stop blabbering and move your feet. Don’t slack off on the magic detection either.”
 
“Okay, okay.”
 
The two fell silent.
 
In less than five minutes, Kanne opened her mouth again.
 
“Hey, maybe I should thank Lawine?”
 
“What’s with that sudden question?”
 
“Well, you’ve already cleared the task, so you don’t really need to be so diligent in searching for the monster. But you’re still doing it for my sake, aren’t you?”
 
Now that she mentions it, that’s true. I was moving without even realizing it.
 
It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but there’s no reason to lie.
 
“Well… I guess that’s the case.”
 
“Right? In that case, let me say thanks.”
 
It’s a bit awkward to be thanked directly, since we’re always bickering.
 
“Don’t say it now. Wait until after you’ve defeated the monster.”
 
“Ah, good point. Then I’ll forget I said that.”
 
“You don’t have to forget it.”
 
“My thanks aren’t cheap, you know.”
 
“You sure like to boast, don’t you.”
 
I couldn’t help but let my guard down a little.
 
It was right after that when they encountered the monster.
 
The monster was there ahead on the path. It was clearly a different species from the wolf-type monsters they had fought before. White fur, large ears, a giant rabbit-like appearance, but slightly smaller than the wolf-type monsters. It was sitting in a lotus position, like a statue, unaware of their presence or not.
 
It didn’t look particularly dangerous.
 
However, the soulless, glowing red eyes unsettled Lawine.
 
“What do we do?”
 
Kanne whispered.
 
Fighting an unknown monster carries a big risk. But they can’t miss this opportunity.
 
“Let’s do it.”
 
Lawine and Kanne readied their staffs.
 
Suddenly, the rabbit-like monster twitched its ears. In the next instant, there was a loud explosion-like sound, and it vanished in a flash. Moments later, a faint gust of wind rustled Lawine’s bangs. There was dust swirling at the spot where the monster had been, and the ground was gouged.
 
It’s likely not a teleportation spell, but pure physical ability – an incredible leap. But its speed was terrifying, too fast to follow with the eye.
 
“…Kanne, get ready to defend.”
 
“Okay…!”
 
It would be overly optimistic to think it ran away.
 
The two stood back-to-back, eliminating blind spots.
 
Even without looking, Lawine could tell from Kanne’s breathing that she was tense. Kanne also seems to understand the seriousness of the situation.
 
They might have misjudged the enemy.
 
Lawine was already considering the option of fleeing.
 
The enemy’s combat strength is too unknown. This is not a foe to fight while exhausted. I must leave this place as soon as possible.
 
As Lawine was mapping out an escape route in her mind, she felt magic above me.
 
Impossible, from above? She quickly looked up, and it was not a monster that descended, but a completely unexpected person.
 
“That monster is beyond your abilities.”
 
It was a teacher from the magic school.
 
Lawine remembered that before the exam she had said she would be watching from above. Seemss he came to help. Lawine felt relief, but also a chill down her spine realizing how dangerous the monster was.
 
“You two, escape. I didn’t realize it was nesting here, my oversight. I won’t deduct points for this.”
 
There’s still time before sunset. They should leave this to the teacher and go search for other monsters. They hurried away as she said.
 
Running, Kanne muttered with a tense expression.
 
“That monster was crazy dangerous, huh.”
 
“Probably. …Sorry, my judgment was off.”
 
“It’s fine, the teacher came to help.”
 
We stopped.
 
Lawine wiped the sweat from my brow and looked around. she recognized an abandoned house. It seems they had run back to a path they’d taken before.
 
“We should be safe here.”
 
“Yeah, the teacher is probably dealing with it by now.”
 
“…Yeah.”
 
Even if she’s stepped back, the teacher is a second-class mage. She surely couldn’t be defeated.
 
Dusk was already approaching. Less than 10 minutes to sunset. Unless they get incredibly lucky, it will be difficult to find and defeat a monster now. might as well give up and rest.
 
Just as Lawine was feeling a bit guilty for completing the task alone–
 
BOOM! A loud explosive sound.
 
Faster than she could deploy a defensive spell, Lawine was struck by the monster’s attack.
 
“Lawine!”
 
“Damn…”
 
Lawine shoulder was slashed open.
 
A rabbit-like monster stood in front of Lawine and the others. It stood up on two legs, spreading its front legs in a threatening manner. The monster’s huge claws – or rather, the front legs themselves were scythe-like in shape, and blood was dripping from the tips (or the blade edge?).
 
Lawine swallowed hard.
 
They had been caught up with. She didn’t want to think about it, but… their teacher had probably been defeated. This monster, stronger than a second-class mage, had come here to finish off Lawine and Kanne. And Lawine and Kanne were far from being at their best condition.
 
Honestly, it was the worst situation possible.
 
“…Maybe this is the end for us.”
 
“Don’t say such inauspicious things.”
 
“I can’t picture us getting out of this safely.”
 
“If we beat that monster, I’ll say ‘thank you’ “
 
“How much do you think your ‘thank you’ is worth?”
 
“As much as a Mercu-apple?”
 
“…That’s pretty cheap.”
 
Lawine sighed in exasperation. Suddenly, her overly serious thoughts seemed ridiculous, and she almost let out a rueful laugh.
 
“Well, let’s just do what we can.”
 
Might as well fight to the end. That’s what Lawine resolved to do.
 
The monster wasn’t attacking yet. It seemed to be waiting for them to make the first move. Convenient. Lawine urgently racked her brain, searching for a chance to win.
 
And she found a thin thread of hope.
 
“Kanne, run to the abandoned village nearby. Then–“
 
After explaining the plan, the two of them started running.
 
The monster crouched down, taking a leaping stance. Then, with an explosive start, it came charging at them for a slashing attack.
 
Lawine deployed a defensive spell while running, shielding herself. Even through the defense, the impact was transmitted with a tingling sensation through the air. Blocking an expected attack wasn’t too difficult. The problem was the remaining mana. Defensive spells consumed a lot of magic power. She could probably only use it three or four more times.
 
They had to reach the abandoned village before then, or they would be defeated.
 
Both Lawine and Kanne ran desperately, straining their mana and stamina, getting their clothes caught on branches and having attacks graze their cheeks, but they just kept running.
 
After the long, long chase – though it was probably less than three minutes – they finally reached the abandoned village.
 

 
Water is an indispensable part of life.
 
But this Ried Highlands lacked water sources, with no rivers or ponds.
 
So how did the villagers who used to live here obtain water?
 
Wells.
 

 
“There it is!”
 
They found an old well.
 
Lawine risked her life to defend against the monster’s attacks.
 
Before the next attack came, Kanne poured her magic power into the bottom of the well.
 
They were ready.
 

 
“Water manipulation magic”
 

 
Water gushed vigorously out of the old well.
 
The water column, maintaining its serpentine form, attacked the monster. Realizing the tables had turned, the monster fled in desperation. But the water manipulation magic would not let it escape. Crawling underground and knocking down the abandoned houses, the water relentlessly chased the monster, and finally, gulped it down.
 
“Well done.”
 
Lawine strained the last of her magic power to freeze the water column and the monster together.
 
As the monster’s magic power gradually diminished within the ice, its form eventually crumbled to dust and disappeared.
 
“…We defeated it.”
 
Kanne suddenly collapsed to the ground. Lawine fell at almost the same time. Their mana was completely depleted. Their physical strength was also spent.
 
“I can’t move anymore.”
 
“Me neither…”
 
Lying spread-eagled, they looked up at the evening sky. The sun was still peeking over the mountain ridge, just barely. It was on the verge of setting, but they had made it before nightfall.
 
“I wonder who gets the credit for the finishing blow.”
 
“At this point, it doesn’t matter.”
 
“Yeah, that’s true.”
 
Lawine glanced sideways at Kanne.
 
“Hey.”
 
“What?”
 
“Aren’t you forgetting something?”
 
“Hmm, what could it be?”
 
“You know what I mean.”
 
“Uh, something like ‘Good job’?”
 
“Don’t get carried away.”
 
“Oww, oww! Don’t pull on it while I’m lying down!”
 
Footsteps approached.
 
The two of them immediately sat up.
 
It was the teacher, miraculously unharmed. With some injuries here and there, but nothing life-threatening. Perhaps the teacher had been lucky and only had been knocked unconscious.
 
More importantly, the teacher was looking at Kanne and Lawine with an almost ghostly gaze.
 
“Did you two… defeat that monster?”
 
They nodded.
 
The teacher fell silent, with a solemn expression.
 
Perhaps they were being suspected. It was natural to think that the students, who were encountering a monster for the first time, could not have defeated the one that had escaped a second-class mage like the teacher. But even if the teacher didn’t believe them, Lawine didn’t mind. Whether the teacher believed it or not, the fact that the two of them had defeated that monster remained unchanged. The experience of overcoming adversity together was more valuable than the teacher’s evaluation.
 
The teacher quietly spoke up.
 
“I never thought… that Lawine-san and Kanne-san could defeat that monster. But you truly accomplished it. You’ve overturned my expectations…”
 
They were believed – Kanne looked delighted. But upon realizing the teacher still had more to say, he quickly straightened up and returned his gaze.
 
“You may be able to reach a height I couldn’t attain… To become a first-class mage.”
 
The top.
 
A place that even a second level wizard could not reach.
 
“The highest of wizards. …… First class wizard.”
 
Lawine’s heart pounded.
 
Lawine still didn’t think she herself could become a first-class mage.
 
Kanne probably felt the same way.
 
But together…
 
Lawine pictured it:
 
Herself and Kanne, becoming first-class mages.


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