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Chapter 4 – The Little Prince ④

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Author: Akashari Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library

“Momo, try to steady yourself a bit more. You look like you’re about to bite your tongue.”
“Hothothothot!! Sorry, please tell me after assessing the situation!!”

I desperately ran on the snowy road while dodging the successive fireballs and Laika counterattacked.

The flames were big enough to engulf Laika whole; if they hit me, I’d undoubtedly die. I don’t even know how many times I’d have died if I hadn’t been carrying her. …But ultimately, it was Laika who led me into such life-threatening situations, wasn’t it?

“Still… you’re quite agile.”
“Huh? Did you say something!?”
“Just talking to myself. Anyway, we should be far enough from the village now. Time to make a move.”
“S-So you really are going to do it…”

Sweat, not from the heat, trickled down my back.

The fireballs spewing high-temperature steam onto the snow were definitely not something we could get close to. The bandit was cloaked in the same flames. Could Laika really defeat him?

“What do we do? We can’t get anywhere near that thing!”
“It’s hard to attack with wind or earth like before. But the materials are gathered enough. So, Momo…”
“Yes, what is it?”
“Let’s split up here. Do your best not to die.”


“A-a-a-are you really going to do it!?”
“Yeah, so I’m counting on you to stick to the plan.”

After a brief strategy meeting, I leaped off Momo’s back. I explained it in a way even she could understand, so it should be fine. She had the courage not to falter even in fear.

“But seriously, you’re so persistent. That’s why even your subordinates hate you.”
“Shut up! Don’t you dare open that filthy mouth again!!”
“Oh, did I hit a nerve there? If you’re aware, then make an effort to correct it. ‘Water Shield.’

I gathered the rising steam and formed a circular shield of water to block the fireballs.

It was fast, at least visually untraceable. He wasn’t the boss of the bandit group for nothing.

“You detonated the rear of the fireballs in succession and accelerated them like bullets, didn’t you? Doing reckless acts without chanting, if it backfired, you’d have lost a hand.”
“If that’s the case, you should’ve just shut up and taken it. Why couldn’t it ‘Pierce Through’ the damn thing!”
“Direct hits must be avoided, ‘First’ of all. Even if it’s fast, it’s easy to defend if you can predict the starting point.”

The scorching flames and compressed air bullets collided in the air, and countless sparks rained down like snow.

Mixing chants in your sentences while exchanging words during the battle was like a greeting between wizards. It seemed the opponent still retained some semblance of sanity; it almost brought tears to my eyes, a nostalgic feeling from a thousand years ago.

“Hmm, indeed, the scale of magecraft is different. I’m at a slight disadvantage in this shoot-out.”

The air bullets couldn’t completely offset them, and the shattered fireball particles burnt my clothes.

The advantage lay with the opponent in terms of power between wind and fire. And perhaps due to his desperation, each shot felt heavier than the last.

“B̲u̲l̲l̲s̲h̲i̲t̲! You’re dodging everything nonchalantly. Die, perish, burn to ashes right now, and don’t you dare speak again with that face and voice.”
“No, I’ll keep talking, a lot. A wizard cannot stay silent, and that’s also my role.”
Shut up and die, burn out, char, writhe in agony, until you beg for mercy!
“…Ah, that’s quite a barbaric incantation. It’s easy to overlook when you’re too rough.”

I thought he was just recklessly throwing fireballs, but I see, this was his aim all along.

As the steam obscuring our vision cleared, an unprecedentedly large fireball floated in the sky. Shining brightly like stars illuminating the earth, the blazing flames melted the surrounding snow in an instant, and heat waves began to shimmer in its place.

“As expected, I can’t offset this like before. I suppose I should get serious with my spells too.”
“Dumbass! I won’t give you that time!! Burn to a crisp in an instant and die!!”
“No, I’ve had plenty of time. Why do you think we split into two?”

Once the man finished the final verse of his incantation, the enormous flame hovering in the sky would plummet, turning everything into scorched earth.

There was no time to leisurely prepare elaborate spells, but relying on air bullets alone would only lead to defeat. So, in a very short time, I had no choice but to craft a spell that wouldn’t lose in a shoot-out.

“Alright, let me give you a little lesson. Incantations are necessary when casting spells; only very basic spells can be cast without incantations.”
“What’s the point of that? Any wizard knows something like—”
“I’m not talking to you. I just thought I’d tell this much to a clueless Outlander. Are you ready?”
“Yes, I’ve managed to finish everything!!”

Behind the man, Momo gave a thumbs-up, indicating that all preparations were complete.

The man’s eyes, inflamed with anger, must have only seen me. That’s why Momo was overlooked as a threat, so I entrusted her with the crucial preparations.

“While casting large-scale spells, lengthy incantations are required, but there are a few ways to bypass that.”
“N-no way… You couldn’t have…!”
“Among them, the safest is to express the spell in a different form, such as using a magic circle.”

What I handed Momo was the bandit’s longsword, which I had discreetly retrieved.

That sword was made of a material that conducted magical power, so I had soaked it thoroughly with mine. By drawing a magic circle on the ground after the snow melted, that would provide sufficient material.

‘O’ Water Mass――’
“Kh―! ‘Burn to ashes, all there is!!’

With the completed incantation, the fireball in the sky started to descend.

But it was too slow; my spell was also completed.

“――‘Become a giant warrior.’

The melted snow water wriggled and transformed into a single massive mass before the fireball descended, taking on the rough shape of a person and extending its monstrous arms towards the sky.

“Momo, you’ve worked hard. Come back here quickly.”
“I-I’m too tired…”
“If you want to die, feel free to stay and be burned by the high-temperature steam.”
“I’ll come back right away!!”

She rushed back desperately, and I shielded her behind me, preparing for the clash of water and fire.

The moment I protected us with wind magic, the scorching steam filled our field of vision.

“Waaah! I-It’s not hot, but are we really safe!?”
“No problem, just stay close. Hang in there, Golem.”
“I-It talks!?”

However, the volume of the roaring golem began to shrink gradually. It was natural, considering it was evaporating as soon as it touched the flames, but the intensity of the flames didn’t diminish at all.

Thinking this advantageous, beyond the water vapor, the man showed his smirking face.

“Are you being pushed back, Laika!?”
“Hah, I wo–!”
“Please, I’m not so weak to lose to a junk spell like that.”

As I glanced at Momo, the golem that was on the verge of being extinguished by the fireball started to enlarge once again.

If it evaporated and shrunk, then all you had to do was replenish the evaporated amount. If it pushed back once more, it was easy to see the winner between fire and water.

“W-Why… am I losing…!?”
“When spells are evenly matched, it comes down to magic power capacity. I’ve been a wizard longer.”

In the end, the golem crushed the fireball which was reduced to the size of a palm, completely extinguishing it.

Simultaneously, the flames surrounding the man dissipated, and the match was decisively over.


“Sorry for the trouble. It’s up to you how you deal with him from here.”
“R-Right… but is this really okay?”

It was easy to restrain the man who had lost his will to fight. He was currently sunk into the sized down golem, with only his head peeking out.

If they just wrapped him in the chain, which was the root of this matter, he would have no means to resist.

“If you’re worried, just cut off his head. Also, his subordinates should be lying unconscious around here somewhere. If you interrogate them, you should be able to find out the location of their hideout.”
“Yeah, his bandit comrades were scattered outside the village… But who are you exactly?”
“Who knows? Anyway, my job here is done. See you.”

Leaving the water golem behind, I left the village. I vaguely knew the location of the next town, Elnato, that I should head toward next.

Luckily, I’ve been given provisions, so the journey shouldn’t be a problem.

“P-Please wait! Thanks to you two, this village was saved. At least let me… express my gratitude…”
“It’s fine. I’m in a hurry. This food is enough.”
“No, you’re staying. How else are they gonna turn the guy over.”
“Yes, please leave Laika to me!”
“…No, you’re staying too!”

She was talking so naturally next to me that I totally overlooked it. Just when did this pink-haired girl end up beside me…?

“Please, I have nowhere to go! Don’t leave me behind!”
“No way, just rely on these villagers! Our contract is over!”
“But Laika, can you walk this snowy road alone?”
“………I’ll manage somehow.”

I’ve roughly grasped the limits of this body. It was certainly frail, but it’s not like I had no countermeasures. If I took plenty of breaks, I should, probably, in theory, be able to handle it, in all probability.

“Right! Our contract isn’t over yet! You were going to take me to a safe place, right?”
“I mean, I brought you to this village so…”
“But I think being by your side is the safest for me.”
“………You know you’re quite stubborn.”

Certainly, with the beast repellent fences broken and the village about to be busy with recovery work, it might be safer to be by my side. But still, I didn’t want to take this do-gooder along. Perhaps I should just shake her off.

“And I still have some calorie bars left! Half of them were shared with the village chief, but there are chocolate and cheese flavors too…”
“Can’t be helped then. I’m very reluctant but a contract is a contract. However, if you stray, I’ll leave you behind.”
“Okay, please take care of me again!”

It was a hassle, but there was no helping it if there was a remuneration. It was definitely not because I yearned for more. I was definitely not curious about the flavor or was baited by the food. This was a legitimate contract.

“Anyway, goodbye, village chief. Do your best with the village’s recovery.”
“Ah, yes… Take care, both of you.”

Once again bidding farewell to the village chief and the others, we set off.

Though I gained a lively companion, it would end shortly this time for sure, so I moved on without minding it.

“D-Damn it… This wasn’t supposed to happen… Right, ever since I encountered that monster, everything’s gone wrong…”

…The bandit muttered something behind me, but I couldn’t quite hear his words over the snowy wind.


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