heir self-esteem was bound to be strong.

“―With all due respect, Your Highness Princess Ortesia.
Even if it is Your Highness, I cannot dismiss those words.”

Here it came.

A male student who looked to be in his third year, stepped forward as if to represent everyone’s feelings.

His shining silver hair was meticulously styled, and it was obvious at first glance that he was a man of high rank.

“I am Luke Strait, a third-year student and a third-class magician.
If you would be so kind as to allow me to be the opponent of Your Highness―”

“―I respectfully decline.”


The immediate reply made the student, who identified himself as Strait, blink his eyelids several times.

Rivalz started bursting into a peal of laughter uncontrollably as if he were losing it.

“Ahahaha! Strait, give up.
You’re no match for Ortesia.”

“…! Instructor Rivalz, by all means, give me a shot at dealing with Her Highness…!”

“Ortesia is a semi-first-class magician.
You’re not so foolish as to not know what this means.”


These students had the same reactions as the students in my classroom yesterday.
Fina was the only one with a composed expression who was motionless and unmoving, though.

Ortesia was no longer even looking at Strait.

I have heard about it.
The Princess was not fond of aristocrats.
Apparently, Ortesia planned to abolish the current aristocratic system, which was riddled with corruption and negligence, in the future.
Although she herself must have been exposed to danger more than once or twice because of this, judging from her behavior, it would seem that her will has not wavered.

“No, even so, I believe we have more combat experience than she does.
Let me do it!”

On the contrary, this seemed to have lit a fire in Strait’s heart.

Rivalz laughed amusingly as Ortesia fixed a new light in her eyes on Strait, who was seized with zeal.

“Oh, I see.
All right, then, you two, Strait and Ortesia, you’ll take on each other first!”


“…I understand.”

Nodding in a contrasting manner, the two of them soon entered the area enclosed by a rectangular white line in the center.

“Just to make sure, no dangerous magic or attacks that leave disabilities are allowed.
Other than that, victory is achieved by rendering the opponent unable to fight, or by sending the opponent out of the area.
You will stop when I tell you to.
Is this understood?”


“Very well.
Then, let’s begin!”

The instant Rivalz called out, Strait pointed his fingertip at Ortesia.

The ring-shaped magical tool on his index finger glowed faintly in response to the magical power sent to it.


A thin but luminous lightning bolt swept through in a straight line at Ortesia.
For a surprise attack so early in the game, it was a fairly well-executed maneuver.

However, the thunder from Strait was drowned out right before Ortesia’s eyes.
It was obstructed by the “Mana Wall” barrier.

It was not especially unexpected that Ortesia could fend off the present onslaught given her might, but…

“Did she just use a magical tool?”

“No, Ortesia didn’t use it.
‘Thunder’ is the swiftest lower-level magic, but it’s less powerful and is a point-blank attack.
It is not a wonder that she used ‘Mana Wall’ to ward it off, but to think that this was done without using any magical tools.”

For a modern magician, a magical tool was a necessity, as Rivalz snarled.

To begin with, a magical tool was an object that had several magic formulas pre-written into it, allowing magic to be triggered by merely channeling magical power into it.
In essence, it was a tool that could significantly reduce the amount of time needed to initiate magic.
Taking Strait’s “Thunder” as an instance, it would take approximately one second for a hybrid-type magical tool, five-tenths of a second for the only-type, and 2.5 seconds without a magical tool.

To put it another way, despite that gap, Ortesia repelled “Thunder” without using her magical tools.
With that alone, everyone present had no choice but to perceive the evident disparity between the two.

“…Since that’s the case!”

Of course, this was something Strait understood as well.
Nonetheless, his combative spirit remained unabated, and he began his subsequent magic move.

Eight flame blades manifested all around Strait as his magical tool began to glow.

“‘Flame Blades’!”

The flame blades swarmed and soared in the direction of Ortesia in response to Strait’s shout.

With a certain accuracy, if not unparalleled precision, these blades surged toward Ortesia.

It was a textbook attack that capitalized on the narrow defensive range of the “Mana Wall,” but…

“―’Mana Wall’.”


In the same manner as before, each of those efforts was also fruitless.
Even I was taken aback by this.
The fact that “Mana Wall” protected against this attack implied that she deployed multiple “Mana Walls” at once without any magical tools.

“Are you done?”

“…! Not yet!”

Putting on a stern expression, Strait made his final attempt to win the duel.
Sparks flew about him from the magical power.
It seemed that he had kneaded a substantial amount of magical power.

“…’Flame Pillar’!”

A pillar of flames that could completely engulf an adult soon rose to prominence at Ortesia’s feet.

The heat wave from the activation reached us, and the students watching around the duel took a step or two back.
Perhaps this magic was his trump card.

“―It’s futile.”

Rivalz, though, who was observing from the side, merely reasoned as such.

Within the following second, the potent pillar of fire was extinguished by Ortesia.
Strait, who was standing there in disbelief, was struck by magic of the lowest level when she lifted her right hand.

“‘Red Magic Bullet’.”

Without even having a chance to scream, a red magic bullet whizzed through Strait.
Rivalz signaled the end of the match.

From here on, it was my cue.
I rushed over to Strait and checked his condition.

…No, he was not severely wounded, but it might be better to have him sleep in the infirmary just in case.

Ortesia’s words could be heard as I was about to carry Strait and step out of the white line.

“―I hope you are now convinced by my strength.”

I can see why you are so overconfident.
Indeed, with that kind of strength, I doubt you’ll have any enemies in your age group.”

“Then, from now on, I would like to ask you for your direct guidance…”

“―Rain Aldar.
Take care of this first-year student who is getting self‐conceited.”

“…I understand.”

“…Are we doing this again?”

My fascination was aroused by this dialogue that I overheard from behind me, even if I didn’t like it.
The duel between Aldar, the undisputed leader of this school, and Ortesia, the Princess of this country and a prodigy magician, in any case, would be a fine card that would ignite my heart, but the guy on my back was in the way.
I should quickly leave him in the infirmary and return here.

I left the gymnasium, walking relatively quickly.

By the time I returned to the playing field, a deafening cheer had broken out, and Fina was standing by the entrance in a state of bewildered astonishment.

It seemed that the duel had already been determined.

Later, when I questioned Rivalz about it, he merely laughed heartily.

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