‘What an incredible growth rate.’
Loyar’s eyes widened as she watched Ellen roll on the floor.
It had only been about a month since that girl had asked for fighting lessons.
However, in that single month, she had grown at a ridiculous rate. Her reaction speed and dexterity were already incomparable to what they were a month ago.
If she learned how to strengthen her body with magic power, in that state…’
Even in Ellen’s current state, without knowing how to strengthen her body, Loyar had a hard time against her.
The difference between knowing and not knowing how to strengthen was like the difference between heaven and earth. People who could do it weren’t called monsters for nothing.
Ellen was able to fight head to head with her without knowing anything about that.
No matter how similar a Lycanthrope looked to a human, they couldn’t be compared to humans in terms of strength in the least. Even still, Ellen managed to catch up with her little by little, even with Loyar’s magical body strengthening.
Loyar had never seen or heard of a human being like that.
Ellen staggered and brushed the dirt off her body. Both her eyes, filled with pain, still looked at Loyar unwaveringly.
Although Ellen seemed really depressed after she collapsed last time, she just continued to rush towards Loyar even if she fell over and over again.
She was just like the ground that hardened after rain.
After Ellen had fallen once again, her mental fortitude got even stronger.
Loyar slashed her sword at Ellen’s shoulder while attempting to thrust her fist into Ellen’s abdomen.
However, as if she foresaw that attack, Ellen turned her body to dodge while not forgetting to attack Loyar’s temple with her left elbow.
But at that time, Loyar lowered her stance to evade it, putting her arm between Ellen’s legs and slamming it sideways into them.
“Huff… Huff… what a monstrous girl…”
Loyar looked down at Ellen, who was coughing, exhausted.
There were a lot of people in the world who were stronger than that girl.
In ten years, no…
Would there be anyone stronger than her in five years time?
For the first time in her life, Loyar felt fear when looking at a human.
Why on earth was her master telling her to help Ellen train and saying that she needed more practical experience, even attaching Eleris to her side to help her out?
Loyar probably wouldn’t even feel that way if she was faced with the Emperor.
She didn’t think she would even feel that way if she saw a dragon’s egg laying before her, about to hatch.
Ellen seemed to be like some mysterious being Loyar wasn’t able to understand. That tremendous pressure and fear she felt wasn’t just because of her strength but also at the speed in which she grew stronger.
It confused Loyar.
This isn’t right.
I don’t think I should do this.
Why was the Lord circling around this girl so much?
“You, let me ask you a question.”
Ellen staggered to her feet as she heard Loyar’s words.
“Can you die for Reinhardt?”
At Loyar’s sudden question, Ellen seemed to feel a little taken aback.
She pondered about it for a long time before speaking:
“……I don’t know.”
In the end, Ellen couldn’t help but answer as such.
“No, I don’t know…”
Loyar just silently looked at her and smiled.
“Yeah, that’s enough.”
She answered that she didn’t know.
However, she seriously pondered whether she would be able to die for Reinhardt or not.
Loyar thought that this was already sufficient enough for an answer.
“I have something to tell you.”
At Loyar’s sudden words, Ellen only tilted her head a bit and nodded.
* * *
After our last class on Thursday ended…
“Uwooh! It’s over!”
Everyone exited the school, led by Kono Lint, who was the most excited about school being over.
It seemed like Mr. Epinhauser’s words when he advised us to spend our vacation in a meaningful way, even if we didn’t have any assignments, completely left Kono Lint’s mind.
There were quite a few among the people there that were born with the silver spoon of talent in their mouths, so they didn’t know how to work hard. A typical example was those three idiot brothers.
I mean, the setting was that they were the way they were because they were only selected based on talent. There would be quite a few cases where they clashed with the Orbis Class, who consisted of incredibly hard-working people.
Still, I wondered how those “best talents” could be so incompetent.
We were leaving the next morning, so I decided to finish up my training schedule beforehand. After returning to the dormitory, I first visited Charlotte.
She had told me to come see her before I left.
What Charlotte handed to me was a medal.
“…Isn’t this the Imperial Crest?”
I held the Imperial Family’s Crest in my hands.
“With this, you should get most public institutions to cooperate with you, and it should serve as a sufficient enough threat.”
The medal proved that I was someone under the protection of the Imperial Family. I didn’t know if that thing had any magical abilities, but it was clear that there were some problems I could solve just by having it.
“I can’t just give this to anyone, okay?”
“Is that so?”
Charlotte made some big gestures as she said that.
“I mean, you always anger people by doing useless things. Sigh.”
Charlotte nagged me for a while longer, seeming slightly annoyed. No matter how strong Ellen was, if I continued to lose my temper as I had during that kidnapping case, things might turn ugly. There was a good chance things wouldn’t end so well next time.
“You’re leaving tomorrow, right?”
“Yeah, in the morning.”
Charlotte stared at me with her arms crossed.
“If I may give you one piece of advice…”
Charlotte smiled subtly.
“Be careful of other people.”
I fully understood what she meant by that.
She had given me the Imperial Family’s Crest to ward off other people, not monsters.
* * *
Our vacation started on Thursday; the ones who were especially impatient hurried to leave Temple.
What was surprising was that Harriet, who I thought would return home as soon as she was able to, saw Ellen and me off on Friday morning.
It wasn’t just Harriet; there was another unexpected person beside her.
Adelia had also come to see Ellen off.
It seemed like both of them had stayed awake all night.
We had already finished our preparations, standing before them with our armor on and the backpacks on our backs.
“Could you… accept this?”
Adelia fidgeted a bit and handed something to Ellen: It was a bracelet made of blue metal.
“Re-Reinhardt… You too…”
And showing that she didn’t only have something for Ellen, she held out a bracelet with a similar shape towards me.
“…What is this?”
Adelia began to mumble when she heard my question.
“It’s… a disposable… protective charm. So when you’re in danger… This might help you. We made it in a hurry, so it can only be used once… sorry.”
It seemed that they stayed up several nights to make those bracelets.
I was sure they didn’t just make them in a day. Adelia’s talent lay in magic crafting, meaning making magic items, but Harriet was also able to do the same thing.
They worked together to make the two magic bracelets. Harriet turned away from my gaze, not wanting to talk about it.
I could see the dark circles under her eyes, though.
Ellen thanked them briefly.
But did Adelia seriously apologize for not being able to give us a better gift?
How low was her self-esteem?
“Thank you, you two.”
At my words, Adelia scratched the back of her head, and Harriet’s face slightly reddened. Then she muttered, acting as she didn’t hear me.
“Don’t forget to come to the Edina Islands.”
She meant to say that we should come back safely and take care not to get hurt.
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Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
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* * *
We would head towards St. Point via the Exian Outpost, and—on the way—Eleris would join us.
Of course, I would pretend as if I didn’t know her and just make her join us as a useful adventuring wizard. She would just act like a novice wizard who wasn’t that adept in using her magic, and if we were met with danger, she would reveal her true skills.
That was the plan.
Ellen and I registered as adventurers at the Adventurers Guild located in the Exian Outpost.
Then, in an inn somewhere in St. Point, we would naturally come in contact with Eleris.
Then we would form a party and just explore the area around St. Point.
With Eleris by our side, we could even go to slightly more dangerous places.
Although the equipment we received from Temple was of great importance, there was also the Imperial Family’s Crest, an object which we could use to politically resolve a certain type of trouble we might run into, and the protection bracelets in case of an emergency.
Insurance layered over insurance layered over even more insurance.
Ellen and I moved to the gigantic Warp Gate located in the Imperial Capital.
Unfortunately, even if we were students of Royal Class, they wouldn’t let us use the Warp Gate for free.
“…This is hella expensive.”
After calculating our expenses, Ellen also nodded to my statement.
After seeing the fee we had to pay to use the Warp Gate, we understood why Temple gave us so much money.
The Exian Outpost was located at the easternmost tip of the humans’ territory, so we had to travel a very long distance.
It would take four trips through super-large Warp Gates to reach the Exian Outpost.
It would take two gold coins per warp. Since Ellen and I were two, we would need four gold coins just for one warp.
A one-way trip would cost us sixteen gold coins, and to make a round trip, we would need 32 coins.
Then the money we could actually spend on our trip was sixteen gold coins.
Still, that was more than enough as travel expenses, but that seemed to be the reason why Temple gave us 50 gold coins, a huge amount, for one month’s travel expenses.
It seemed very expensive compared to a flight with an airplane, but considering that it wasn’t required for us to physically travel that distance, it was actually quite reasonable.
No, in fact, it couldn’t be compared to a simple flight at all, as this was far more efficient.
We applied to use the Warp Gate and then waited for our turn. Since that terrorist incident, it seemed that the security around the Warp Gates had become much tighter. Their identity verification process was also very thorough, and they even did a body search of anyone who wanted to use the Gate.
There weren’t just guards, but personnel that looked like Knights were also deployed to guard the Warp Gate.
Ellen and I handed our IDs to the guard.
Our Temple Royal Class student IDs.
The two of us moved towards our first stop.
* * *
We had to use Warp Gates a total of four times, stopping by each transit point.
However, there was a problem with that.
“…I didn’t expect us to run into this kind of problem.”
Ellen and I stared blankly at the long queue stretching from the super-large Warp Gate.
We couldn’t even get into the line.
“Well… I should have expected as much, though.”
We were in a place called Salam, a trading city located in a part of the Empire. I didn’t really know much about Salam. I didn’t need to, after all. It was just a transit point.
However, if it was a trading city, it surely was a passageway for numerous merchants, suppliers, and supplies.
So even though the super large Warp Gate was right in front of us, it was so far away.
“I think we were too used to how things worked in the Capital.”
There were more than ten super-large Warp Gates located in the Capital, So crowds were equally divided between them, greatly shortening the queues—excluding that time when the Victory Festival was taking place.
However, the places outside of the Capital had at most two to three super-large Warp Gates; usually, they would just have one, though.
In general, a place with just one such Gate would become a huge city simply because of that.
Those super-large Gates that could move you over a long distance were mostly connected to the surrounding small and medium-sized Gates as well.
Therefore, it was inevitable that bottlenecks occurred around the super-large Gates—they were both an exit as well as an entrance, so people just kept on pouring in and out at all times.
That was the difference between the Capital and some provincial town.
There were many people waiting to use it, including what looked to be merchants, wagons, and travelers.
Although the queue was right in front of us, we wouldn’t be able to even get into the line.
We simply couldn’t.
“Even if we managed to get a waiting ticket, we probably won’t be able to reach the Gate before tomorrow.”
That was what Ellen said after she went to ask someone about the situation.
It was only natural that they limited the number of users for the day.
“ I don’t think things will be different at the next Gate either, right?”
It was good that the Gates could transport people faster than a plane, but if we had to wait for two days to use it, what was even the point?
If something like that happened at the next Gate as well, it would take us another two days and another two days at the Gate following it, so it would take us six days to get to our goal. It seemed like Ellen hadn’t even thought of that as she just blankly stared at the start of the queue.
The cost of going back and forth was also immense, but if we just wasted our time waiting, spending that money was completely useless.
I made up my mind.
“…Have you thought of something?”
When Ellen asked me that, I put my hand on her shoulder.
“Let’s use our power.”
I took out the Imperial Family’s Crest, to which Ellen’s eyes widened.
I’m sorry, Charlotte.
I’m going to sell your name!