A Strong Desire to Punch (Finne’s Side)
Strengthening your entire body with magic is fun.
There’s no way to describe just how great it feels to be able to move beyond human limits.
Running, punching, jumping, punching, kicking, punching, punching.
Running through the rugged mountains behind the academy, I slaughtered every monster that stood in front of me.
Was the mountain cursed? It’s like there’s no end to the monsters here.
When plants, rocks, and animals come into contact with a curse or some time, they turn into evil monsters that lose their minds and sometimes even attack people.
Well, if the monster was once an animal, then meat is meat. It still tastes good. Usually.
The mountains behind the school were actually part of the academy’s property, so the students were encouraged to go there to train as well as thin out the monster population. I was grateful for that.
“Where’s all the meat today…?”
After finally noticing how strange it was, I came to a stop.
For the entirety of the day’s hunt, I’d only seen plant type monsters.
“Perhaps… It’s because we’ve entered something’s territory? A monster of a significantly higher level or something like that.”
Bard-senpai, who caught up to me, said that calmly. It was a little surprising, since I didn’t think any normal flesh-and-blood human being could actually keep up with me.
“Oh, there was something that strong here? Then, we definitely have to hunt it, right!?”
Bard-senpai nodded at my cheerful words.
There was a barrier that was set up around the mountain to prevent any monsters from escaping, but if there was any possibility of an abnormally strong monster penetrating that barrier, then the monster had to be stopped.
So, there was a reward system set in place at the academy that would give out prizes to any students able to defeat them.
As I daydreamed about the slight supplement to my income, Bard-senpai suddenly grabbed my hand and pulled me behind him.
No, um, why are you getting in my way…
As I craned my neck to look around Bard-senpai’s broad back whilst thinking something rude, I could see a large bear stalking towards us slowly.
A grizzly bear, huh?
It’s a little gamey, but it’s still edible. Let’s beat it up.
But when I tried to step forward, Bard-senpai stopped me.
As he said that without even looking at me, irritation was evident on my face.
But just as that happened, the grizzly bear suddenly began to froth at the mouth and charge towards us, the ones who were trespassing in its territory.
Despite my unwillingness, I poured reinforcement magic into Bard-senpai.
There wasn’t any time to take out my wand, so I placed my hand on his back.
Then, a flash.
Bard-senpai, who moved at a speed invisible to the naked eye, suddenly cut straight through the grizzly’s neck, and a fountain of blood rained into the air.
My voice was low.
After he confirmed the bear was no longer alive, he turned back to face me.
“Why did you do that?”
My voice was full of cold anger as I asked him that, but it didn’t seem like Bard-senpai understood what was wrong since he looked confused.
“I’m strong. Besides, I can use healing magic on myself. Even if I’m gutted or lose an arm, I won’t die.”
Shrinking back a little at my anger, Bard-senpai nodded.
He knew, so why?
“Even though Bard-senpai is weaker than me! Even though you’re bad at healing magic, you still tried to cover for me. What would I do if you had died again!?”
As I screamed that at him angrily, I was suddenly surprised by the words that came out of my mouth.
…What did I mean by ‘again’?
Probably because I was so upset, I said something that didn’t make any sense.
But even though I was shouting at him, Bard-senpai just shook his head, a slightly sad expression on his face.
“I can never beat Miss Finne, and I don’t think I will ever be able to take your number one spot in the future either.”
Then I shouldn’t have been the one providing support. He should’ve been supporting me, or at the very least, we should’ve stood together.
“But, that’s not because I’m weaker than you, Miss Finne. It’s because I’m weak against you.”
The angry words I was going to throw at him disappeared into thin air as Bard-senpai’s words echoed through me.
He’s… weak against me?
And this was coming from the man who said he couldn’t leave my side…?
“Well, I have to admit that my recovery magic can’t compete with yours…”
No, I wish you’d have let me keep thinking you were lying, Bard-senpai.
“Why are you saying something so weird, suddenly…?”
Just when did this guy start saying such embarrassing things?
He looked a little confused as he turned to look at me, then spoke as if what he was saying was the most natural thing in the world.
“Is there any person who could point a sword at you without any hesitation, Miss Finne, when you’re the cutest girl alive?”
Just what is he saying suddenly!?
I could barely contain my embarrassment as I desperately suppressed the strong desire to hide what was showing on my face by punching him.
Before I came to the academy, there were many people who tried to murder me.
As I said that to try and disprove his words, Bard-senpai just shook his head, his face dead serious.
“Then they’re not human; they’re demons or beasts. At least for me, it’s impossible.”
“I-If you’re deceived by your opponent’s appearance, aren’t you unqualified to be a knight?”
“Appearance, you say? Well, it’s because Miss Finne is Miss Finne, after all. Even if there was a girl as cute as you, Miss Finne, so long as she was some kind of criminal that was out to kill me, I’d cut her down without any hesitation.”
Ah, there’s something strange going on in this person’s head.
Even though I dampened the mood like that, he still came out with that weird praise.
Even though it’s just Bard-senpai, even though it’s just Bard-senpai, even though it’s just Bard-senpai!
“…Ah, that being said, if I really think about it, I doubt there’s anyone in the world as cute as you, Miss Finne. But even if there were, I don’t think I’d be weak against them. So, please let me be the one who protects you, if only once in a while.”
Oh please, make him stop.
Even though I was praying, Bard-senpai delivered the killing blow with such a straight face.
As he finished me off with that serious face of his, I could only respond in a tiny voice.
Even if I have more I wanted to say. He had played with me in the palm of his hand so easily that it drove me mad.
In the first place, just what did this man want from me!?
Did he want to make me his mistress or something!? I don’t want that!
What kind of place would I have next to his wife? I don’t want to think about it… Ahhhhhh jeez!
Freaked out by where my thoughts were going, I cut them off.
I ran in the opposite direction, away from the grizzly’s corpse. Wherever the next game was along the mountain path, I wanted to find it as quickly as possible and punch it, hard.
Meat… The reward for a powerful monster… No, wait, Bard-senpai was the one who defeated it, so it doesn’t have anything to do with me… As lots of different thoughts ran through my head, I kept running, freeing myself from the strange atmosphere that had gotten so sickly sweet.
I see, so this is the kind of thing that Lady Liselotte has to go through every day… She sure has it tough.