preliminary opinions were that Karen was the dominant victor.
It was a logical assessment.

“Now then, the match―begin!”

“!”

Right at the start, Karen launched into a rush.
It was a surprise move to strike promptly without generating any magical power.

From what I had learned from Fina earlier, Karen has been carrying out her fundamental training in the early mornings since then, and her physical abilities have made remarkable strides.

“Oraa!”

“―What!?”

But then, early on, a noteworthy upheaval unfolded.

Karen, who sought to initiate a preemptive strike, was blown away by Shiryu at the very next instant.
As a result, Karen fell back against the wall of the maneuver hall.

A cacophony ensued from the students.
Rather than being stunned by Karen’s preemptive strike, they were more taken aback by Shiryu’s physical ability.
He wielded the claymore, a weapon of expertise, with “one hand” and devoid of any magical power.

Even with the super-heavy sword in his grasp, he was able to outrun Karen at a speed that exceeded hers.
When I peered around, it was apparent that even Aldar’s mouth was half-open.

Amidst all this, only the younger sister, Shizuku, was staring at the match with a concerned expression, in other words, at Karen, who was a semi-first-class magician.

“Wow, even though I didn’t mean to go overboard, you did a good job of holding off that one.”

“…Don’t bother to worry about me.”

“Yes, that’s the first line that comes out of your mouth after seeing what happened.”

While Shiryu was slightly withdrawn, Karen regarded her opponent with a stern expression.
She must have been appalled by Shiryu’s uncanny physical abilities, yet her expression never betrayed her incredulity.
Her poker face speaks for itself.

“Are you really human?”

“Isn’t there a better way to put it? But, well, I can understand your skepticism, but I am indeed a human being.
From the moment I was born, I have lived in a somewhat harsher environment than here.
My training is different.”

“…The way you say it is a little obnoxious.”

A variety of lights enveloped Karen’s body.
Within a blink of an eye, she may have simultaneously applied a number of strengthening magic to herself.
Her control of magical power was so flawless, as one would expect from a semi-first-class magician, that it astounded people.

Seeing this, Shiryu’s expression tightened as well.
When he was about to cast sorcery on himself, Karen made a move.

“‘Thunderbreak’!”

Karen’s choice of intermediate-class magic was a higher-level version of Thunder.
Three bolts of lightning were shot out at the same time, extending at speeds surpassing the velocity of sound.
She may be using an only-type magical tool, but even so, the speed was too rapid.
As always, the speed and accuracy of the magic were of different dimensions.

However, as fate turned out, none of these endeavors were fruitful.
For they were all powerless to seize Shiryu, which was dashing forward at an extraordinary speed.
Even I was left with my mouth half-open at this.
His speed has reached a level that an average magician, even if enhanced with sorcery, would not be able to keep up with.
It was out of this world, no matter how you thought about it.

Shiryu continued his evasive maneuvering as he pressed closer to Karen.
Thunderbreak failed to land on him at every turn, causing Karen’s face to scrunch up and she made her next move.

“‘Freedom’.”

“!?”

The first time Shiryu laid eyes on it, his expression broke into disbelief.

Karen had applied Psychokinesis to herself, using her magical power to control others without touching them, sending herself floating into the air.

“Instructor Rivalz…”

“Ah, there aren’t many people in the royal court who can pull off a move like this.”

Even advanced-class magic, requiring further intricate manipulation of magical power, was adjusted even more finely in order to self-levitate.
A person would plummet to the ground if the adjustment were even slightly off, and in the worst event, their own body may be crushed by the magical power.

“That’s the superlative-class magic that Ortesia created… a veritable prodigy.”

At the same moment that Rivalz spoke in a vacant tone, Karen moved.

Three, four, five… magic circles were deployed in the sky above us one after another.

“Hey, hey… this must be a lie.”

An inadvertent murmur crept out of me.
This wasn’t the same as “Flameblade”.

What she was now deploying in profusion in the sky above was unquestionably advanced-class magic.

It was once the specialty of the commander of the Garrisoned Corps in this city, lightning-calling magic in the shape of a bird.

“I’ll make an effort not to overwhelm you, but at the very least you should scramble to escape―’Li Thunderbird’.”

“Heh, bring it on!”

Within the same instant, nine Li Thunderbird swooped down from the sky and pounced on their prey all at once at high speed.

——————

T/N:

[i] The “You” here is an extremely rude way of saying in Japanese, not the casual one

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