“Try your best to stick to the plan.”

We were all waiting for Reno’s return.
Reno was tasked with leading a single greywolf to where we were right now.

Fundamentally, monsters possessed an advantage while fighting inside the forest.
Conversely, it’s disadvantageous for monsters outside the forest, where magic concentration was low.
They’re much more used to fighting without that handicap, while running through the forest, dodging trees.

Keeping that in mind, I decided their first fight should be somewhere they have an advantage, and that was decided to be in a relatively open area of the forest.

“I hope Reno’s doing alright.”
“She’s doing what she’s done till now.
There’s no need to worry.”

Kili had become anxious about Reno.
I guess that’s natural though.
She was been tasked with leading a monster towards us, after all.

That said, she’s been the one on lookout to warn us of any approaching monsters, allowing us to escape.
She’ll only be doing what she’s done till now.

At this point, she could move even faster than greywolves, meaning this was the perfect role for her.
Besides, though I haven’t told anyone, both Reno and the nearby greywolves are within range of my detection magic.
I’m fully prepared, in case things go south.

(Oh? Is she back?)

Reno, who I detected, finally came back to us.
Behind her, was a greywolf that followed her as if they were connected by a thread.

I’d told her to bring one without getting too close nor too far, but to think she would do it this cleanly on her first try.
Reno displays her in-born talent, once again.

Wait, if she’s this used to it, does it mean that she’d been cutting it this close every time?
I might have to lecture her later.

“One greywolf coming up!”

Hearing Reno’s voice, the tension among Aria’s group, which was already quite high, grew even more.
They were really tense, but I think this much was just about perfect.

The greywolf had also become aware of us.
It felt like it was grinning, seeing the number of its preys increase.

“We’ll go as we practiced!”
“Got it, count on me.”
“I-, it will be fine.”
Please give it your all.”

Aria raises her shield, while Sui holds her cane while chanting.
Kili aims her crossbow, while Milia squeezes the cross attached to her necklace like a charm.

“I’ll leave the rest to you guys!”

Saying that, Reno vaults over Aria.

“Hey! Kya!”

Aria screams in protest, but her voice gets drowned out by the rapidly approaching greywolf.

“Agh! Take this!”

Aria swings her sword, but the greywolf casually dodges it.
Well, no matter how strong she gets through magic training; there’s no way Aria, who hadn’t even once practiced with a sword, would be able to hit a greywolf with it.

“[Water Sphere]!”

As it stopped in its tracks to threaten Aria, Sui’s [Water Sphere] hits it head-on.
The greywolf starts to flutter around, once hit.
It was an effective move.

“Alright! Now’s our chance!”

While it was moving about unsteadily.
Aria approaches the greywolf.
And brings down her sword.

“Take this! Huh?”

She missed again.

“Raar! Raar!”
“Ah! Wait!”

The greywolf side-steps around Aria.
In front of it, was Sui.

“I won’t let you!”

Reno quickly rushes at the greywolf.
With her momentum, she stabs its left eye with her dagger.

“Once more!”

Kili’s crossbow arrow pierces its right eye.

“This is the end.
[Water Sphere]!”

Finishing it off, Sui’s magic blows away the greywolf.
It crashes down on the ground, turning into a magic stone.

“…Is it over?”

Asking that while picking up the stone, Aria turns around with a wide smile on her face as she realized what just happened.

“We did it! We defeated a monster!! That too inside the forest!!”
“We did it! Aria!”

Reno rejoices while jumping into Aria’s embrace, and the other three join them as well.
The five celebrate their first victory in each others’ arms.

“For the time being, let’s head back to the village.”
“Eh? But we aren’t tired at all!”
“That’s right! Lain nii-chan! We can still fight more!”

When I suggest returning home, Aria and Reno voice their dissatisfaction.

Despite being so tense up until now, once they win this is how they act.
Good grief, how fickle.

“No, you’re forgetting that we have to be alert while returning as well.
You can’t spend all your energy into fighting right? Or did you forget, it took all of you combined to barely put down a single greywolf?”
“That’s true, but…”
“We can come back after returning home.
I intend to replace today’s afternoon lessons with greywolf battles as well, you know.”
“Eh? Seriously?”
“Serious, serious.”

Hearing that they could fight again in the afternoon, they became much more willing to head back.

“Let’s go now.
Reno, we’re counting on you for lookout.”
“Got it!”

Thus defeating a greywolf, we set off on our way back to the village.

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