And so the journey to the Nizabel mountain range in the shaky carriage begins.
In the carriage meant for four, Rei and Rinna sat beside each other, with Shifle opposite them.
Atop of her head was Fuu-chan, who was happily stepping about.
「It’s pretty impressive that you were able to take down two Orthros Rinna」
「Nah, that was…」
Uncomfortable, she shifted her gaze.
「Rei did that by herself, I wasn’t able to do anything」
「What do you mean? Rei is Rinna’s summon so it could be said that it’s Rinna’s strength too」
「That’s true but…」
「I think you should have more confidence in yourself」
Shifle said with a smile.
Fuu-chan squawked, seemingly agreeing.
「Rei is as you can see, just a human. The one who allows her to be able to fight A class summons with enhancements is Rinna」
「That’s right Rin, I cant do anything by myself. I’m the one who’s helpless without you」
「That may be true, but… I want to become stronger. That’s why…」
She wanted to become Rei’s strength.
Even just by a little, she wanted to get closer to her sister.
With various thoughts floating through her head, she looked towards Shifle with serious eyes.
「I would like you to teach me your techniques」
She was ready to continue pleading regardless of how many times she would’ve gotten rejected but that took a load off her chest.
On the other hand, Shifle changes the topic.
「By the way are the two of you always together? Don’t you ever return her?」
「Ehehe, we’re pretty close to each other」
「Even when I want to send her back, I can’t」
A single word from Rinna changed the smiling Rei into a slouching one.
And so she went over to sit with Shifle and hugged her.
「Shifle, Rin’s so cold」
Rei had her face buried in Shifle’s stomach while being patted on her head.
Rei’s side tail moved about as if it were a dog’s tail.
Rinna, seeing that felt an uneasiness in her chest.
–Hmm? What’s this feeling.
「A-Alright, you’re bothering Shifle」
She pulled Rei away with both hands.
「Ehh, not really」
「Shifle’s ok with it too」
「Just let go already~」
Rinna struggled to get Rei back to her side.
Shifle seemed to have understood something after looking at the two.
「The two of you seem pretty close to each other」
「No we aren’t!」
Rinna denies it, but her face was flushed red.
Rei’s hand somehow ended up in Rinna’s hair.
It seems like she couldn’t resist herself.
「Shifle and Fuu-chan are pretty close too」
Shifle raised her hand above her head to pat Fuu, which made a satisfied noise.
It’s expression still looked very sleepy though.
「Shifle and Fuu are always together too?」
「Yes. Fuu-chan was originally my mother’s summon. We’ve been always together ever since I was small」
「I’ve never seen a summon like it before. What’s it called?」
「Fuu-chan is Fuu-chan」
「No, not like that…」
She tried asking that question as bluntly as she could but it seemed like she wouldn’t be getting an answer.
Shifle placed Fuu on top of her lap, gently patting it.
「…If not for Fuu-chan, I wouldn’t have been able to become an A rank summoner. Shifle is here because of Fuu-chan」
「You’re here because of Fuu-chan… hmm…」
As she heard Shifle’s words, she looked over at Rei who was sitting beside her.
It is because summoners have their summons that they’re so strongly connected.
Rei noticed Rinna’s gaze, and their eyes met.
Rinna was unable to look directly at Rei’s smiling face, and immediately looked away.
–Why have I been acting so weirdly since just now Rinna!
「It’s about noon soon. I’m a little hungry」
The carriage was heading towards a green plain.
The sun was directly overhead, it was about to become 12 noon soon.
「Yea, let’s have lunch」
Rinna took a basket out from her luggage.
With help from Rei, the amount of luggage became much more common sensical.
In the basket were pork cutlet sandwiches for two.
They were made from livestock around Valfront, making them refreshing.
「That looks good~」
「Rei’s cooking’s good after all」
「Seeing Rinna eat up everything happily makes it fulfilling」
Shifle followed, taking a lunch box out from her bag.
With thought behind the colors and nutrition, it was a lunch filled with love.
「Is that made by your mom?」
「If I remember correctly you’re living in the capital with your family right?」
「Correct. Though, I’m often unable to go back」
Shifle ate up the bentou, giving Fuu some meat while doing so.
While watching Rinna happily chow down on the sandwiches, Rei stuffed her mouth as well.
In this peaceful atmosphere, the carriage made its way to the midpoint of the town.
As the sun started to set, the three riding the carriage reach the town.
They were to rest here for today, and head to the town at the bottom of the mountain tomorrow.
And it was planned for them to enter the mountains the day after.
The three alighted and were standing in the streets.
「Alright, it’s time for us to start training」
Shifle announced loudly in the middle of the street, with both arms crossed.
「Erm, shall we do this somewhere we won’t cause trouble for others?」
Though there weren’t too many people, it was in the middle of the street.
「It’s pointless to choose the place to do this. It’s impossible for people with huge summons, but Rinna’s summon is Rei so…」
「Is that so?」
Shifle said as she showed off.
Fuu almost fell off for a second.
「By the way Shifle, roughly speaking, what are we going to do?」
「Even though we said Rei needed the training too…」
Shifle pointed her index, exclaiming
「It’s called [Partial Strengthening] training」
「This is a pretty advanced technique」
Normally, summons respond to the power of the summoner, giving them enhancements.
But on top of that, it is possible to improve the enhancing stage by another.
Power, endurance, speed, it is possible to according to the situation, improve one of these three stats.
That is the greatest strength of this technique.
「However, it is dangerous to use this technique for too long. It takes quite the mental toll on the summoner after all」
「Is it possible to improve all three stats at the same time?」
「That is impossible. Regardless of how strong the summoner is, that is something like a rule, which cannot be broken.」
「Partial Strengthening huh…」
Rinna felt a definite response after hearing the explanation from Shifle.
If she was able to pick this up, she would be able to help Rei more.
「We’ll then let’s get started right away. Hmm, try sending your power to your summon with a ‘Gununu’ feeling」
She didn’t really understand what Shifle meant by that but she decided to give it a go first.
Holding her staff and channeling her focus, into her summon, Rei, to send her mental strength to her.
Picturing the strengthening of her feet, she raised her staff let released her energy.
Power flowed into Rei’s body, and she was covered in a pale light.
「Ah, it kinda feels like my body’s lighter」
She felt much lighter than usual.
She had intended to do a light jog, but ended up with a sprint.
And so, she reached the end of the area in seconds.
「This is awesome Rinnnnaaaaa」
Rei returned with alarming speed, however, Rinna’s was a little off.
Her breath was unnatural, and her face was pale.
Afterwards, the light surrounding Rei disappeared, and the effects of the speed boost were lost.
「Rinna, what’s wrong! Are you ok!?」
「I’m alright…, just, a little tired…」
Rei ran to Rinna’s side to support her.
On the other hand, Shifle seemed like she knew this would happen.
She did not seem flustered or worried in the slightest.
「It’s like this at the beginning. It’s hard to control how much power to give, so if you give too much, it places great strain on the summoner」
Even while breathing on Rei’s shoulder, Rinna still held her staff.
「Rei, let’s go again…」
「You can’t even stand, don’t push yourself!」
「Indeed, you can do this training within the carriage as well. Let us first head to the inn」
「It’s alright… I can still…」
Rinna tried to tighten her focus once more.
Her feet wobbled, as her vision darkened.
She lost her consciousness right there and then, and toppled over.