Mentor and Disciple
After noon on the day we left Rinnal.
We hadn't reached the royal capital, nor had we reached the next city, but we were getting ready for the famed sleeping outdoors.
Right, I thought we could go on further, but Till said stop so we did.
Well, even if I say sleep outdoors, we had prepared a tent beforehand, so it doesn't feel that uncomfortable.
Besides, I had learned how to put up a tent back when I went to a summer camp, so there was no problem either.
There was a nice place right below some trees, so that's where we put it up.
There was a lake nearby, but even if it should rain a lot, we'd probably notice before the water level rose enough to submerge us.
We made the entrance face downwind, properly fixed the ropes with pegs and preparations were complete.
Well, more or less.
"Good work, Ilya."
"You, too, Alice-sama. I would have made it alone, too."
"It's fine, it's fine."
I don't hate moving my body... originally.
However, it's nice that there's a lake nearby.I can go wash up later.
"Do thou have a moment, Alice?"
While I was taking a breather from putting up the tent, Till came over.
She'd taken care of the horse, but had disappeared along the way.
I wonder what she'd done?
"Yes, what is it?"
"Hm, could thou show one thy Status?"
Come to think of it, since meeting we haven't had the time, so we hadn't done that kind of self-introduction.
Even though, I should say, she's my proper mentor.
There's no reason for me not to show her.
"Sure. This is it."
As told to by Till, I revealed my Status to her.
Thinking about it, this is the first time I've showed it to someone other than Shion-san in this much detail.
"——W-what? ... a half, thou say?"
As she confirmed my Status, Till's expression hardened as if she'd seen a ghost.
"Whose... child are thou?"
Halfs are cool, aren't they?
And riding on that feeling alone, I'd made the setting to half an Elf. But Elves themselves seem particular here, what the hell, this is bad!
I stepped on a landmine!?
"Is it Estoria? Are thou Estoria's child!?"
Till shook me by the shoulders.
"Honored mentor, please compose yourself."
Softly rebuked by Ilya, Till awkwardly let go of my shoulders.
Ilya, good job!
I mean, there's nothing I could tell her.
If anything, I'm the child of god.
"I'd known thou were an elf... but a half of all things..."
How should I put it, if Till gets so surprised by it, I start feeling uncomfortable myself.
"Till, isn't it fine now? It's not particularly pleasant having that topic dragged up."
"Apologies. Thou are right."
It's not that it's unpleasant, there's just nothing I can say.
"Anyhow, I also want to know about you, Till. Because there's nothing I know about elves."
"...is that so. Understood."
Name: Tillbell Aynshaura
I reflexively stared at Till.
The way her lovely, pointed ears twitched was extremely cute.
And red as apples, well, I guess I should call them rinnals?
Red as rinnals, her springy cheeks made you feel better just looking at them, like she were some pet animal.
Not one strand of her blond hair, tied in twintails, was dull. You could tell its vibrancy at one glance.
There was not a crack in her cherry-blossom pink lips and not one impurity in her eyes blue like the deep sea.
———in other words.
"A Legal Lo-... crap, crap. I mustn't say it out loud. I mustn't."
"Hey, stop it! Do not pet one's head!"
Till brushed my hand away like it was a bother.
"Ah, I'm sorry, my mistake."
By mistake, I poured my affection on her.
"A little girl having not even lived a hundred years will not treat one like a child."
That's an amazing line.
You'd never be able hear that in my former world, would you.
"Are elves that long-living, after all?"
"Did thy mother not——no, that's right. Elves are fundamentally long-living, but people with strong mana are particularly so."
"Hee, then Till can reach an amazing age."
"The village chief is over a thousand."
"A thousand!? Elves are..."
No, wait a second.
Elves with strong mana are particularly long-living?
Then... what about me?
"Alice, thou will probably live more than a normal human's life span."
Till had replied like she'd read the question off my face.
At the moment, that life span is a fact that hasn't clicked.
Somehow I got the feeling that Ilya started feeling depressed.
From our talk about life spans?
I knew Ilya's Status.
During my business talks with the Firm, it had been shown to me.
And to begin with, now I could operate Ilya's Status myself.
On the other hand, Ilya couldn't operate her own Status.
That was proof I was her master.
In this world, if you couldn't operate your Status, you basically couldn't get a job.
Falling into slavery seemed pretty harsh.
Anyhow, I checked her Status once more.
Class: Apprentice Lancer
What surprised me when I first saw this Status, well, it was the Apprentice part of her Class.
Because she was that strong, I'd thought she'd been experienced in combat, but apparently not.
Bertrand-san hadn't lied or anything.
She hasn't fought with monsters, but maybe dragonkind was originally blessed with an instinct for combat.
Besides, apparently she'd done practice.
Then, there was Ilya's pure body.
Ilya's pure body.
That's important, so I repeated it.
The guys at the Firm hadn't raped her.
A written pledge from the auntie looking after the Firm's female slaves confirmed that.
They told me to check it myself if felt so inclined, but there's no way I could do that.
No, well... well?
"I want to... live the same time as Alice-sama."
While I was having bad thoughts, Ilya revealed her thoughts on the topic.
So was it really about that?
By the way, elves and dragonkind.
Which were rarer in this world?
Honestly, are they possibly both super-rare?
Ilya is young, she has those looks, and she's strong to boot!
With that combination, the price I bought her for feels cheap instead.
I didn't especially ask the Firm the reason, but...
"Dragon lass. Why don't thou just live the time? It's not that there is no way."
"Honored mentor... please, say no more."
"Although your precious meeting might have been a kind of fate."
Somehow the two had started speaking about something I couldn't follow.
Not that it matters, but could you please stop driving me out of the conversation and heat it up on your own?
But a precious meeting, huh.
Which reminds me, how did Ilya fall into slavery?
And dragonkind... they're not like that Ice Dragon, but human-looking?
As always, Ilya was full of mysteries.
Although, as my slave, I think she would tell me a lot if I ordered her.
But that's a little... it's not how I roll.
"Well, don't get so angry. From one's position, your meeting feels akin to fate," Till admonished Ilya with a gentle look on her face.
Ilya in turn avoided her gaze in perplexity and met my eyes.
She immediately looked away.
Is she bullying me?
And then, my training under Till already started.
Apparently that's why we stopped while the sun was still high in the sky.
"Alice, how high is thy proficiency with Thunder?"
"Yes. Right now... it's 13."
"Hm. Then get it to 99 before the sun sets."
Had I misheard?
"Get it to 99 and come back."
"I could hear you!"
I just couldn't believe it!
You don't have to laugh with such a mean look!
"The monsters on the mountain that way are just right for you. I checked it out earlier," Till pointed at the mountain beyond the lake.
So that's why she'd disappeared earlier...
"Proficiency with Attack Magic doesn't go up unless you fight enemies of higher levels or simply strong foes. The basis of everything training while you're young and efficiency is high."
But thinking of Till's scary level, does that mean that Till's not going to get any stronger?
Well, at this point I cannot see the limit to her strength though...
"No need to worry. To begin with, one's level doesn't rise that easily, and it rises no higher than one's age. In thy case, it will stop at 15."
A shocking truth.
Is that how it works?
Well, from seeing Till's level, I'd understood that the limit wasn't 99.
Ah, I see.
That reminds me, both Shion-san and Uncle had trained raised their levels almost to their ages, but they hadn't passed them.
That explained it.
"...and if I don't finish by sunset?"
"Hehe, then you don't need to come back."
"Ri—ght?"She's not soft, I see.But this not-soft attitude reminds me of the time I was pushed during club activities.
It's not a bad thing, I think.
"Let us do our best, Alice-sama. Of course, I shall help you."
"One is going to sleep."
This person really is my mentor, right?
At least ask me to stay safe!
"It's fine, I understand! I'll show you!"
My legend begins now!
The time for me and nobody else to become the world's strongest has come!
Get ready and wait for me, Tillbell Aynshaura!
Right, intending to chase her, I'll never catch up.
I have to aim to overtake her!I defiantly looked at Till.
Her daunting smile gave me a little scare.
Well, I don't have to antagonize my great senior... maybe.
I can just become my generation's strongest.
I'm sure that's right!
"... thou are so cute."
Till let out another big yawn and walked over to the tent.
Now then, if I waste time, I really might not make it.
"Ahh, one forgot. Make sure to come back to make dinner."
"Are you a demon!?"
And this time, Till really got into the tent while carelessly waving her hand.
"... let's go, Ilya!"
Ahh, that immediate affirmation felt so good!
And that marked the beginning of a sleepless night for Ilya and me.
... not in the dirty sense, alright!