Walking on frost and accompanied by ice, he appears with the snow.
But the most wicked thing about him
is that he looks so cute.
“Hoh, hoh, hoh.”
It crept out of the ice room slowly, as though to see what we were doing.
Each time it took a step, needles of ice would appear at its feet. Touched by its hands, the ice room’s walls froze.
It wasn’t too tall. Around the same height as Ai, perhaps?
It had a big, round head sitting above its round body. Its mantle had icicles hanging from it. Staring into its black round eyes was like staring into the abyss, its emotions unreadable.
It was a being entirely unknown to me for this world. Bears, deers, rabbits, names like that could be applied to just about all of the animals here. The evolutionary trend headed toward much larger bodies, more feet, or more horns, but it could all be explained simply by thinking of the trend as being more diverse.
I could understand that the things living here were similar. Evolution would converge on certain things according to function. Birds needed wings to fly in the sky, for example. Not even in this magical world would something as basic as that change. Magic was something born from the development of their original capabilities, after all.
But then there’s this.
Jack Frost was a fictitious existence. That is, one from Earth’s fiction.
Her eyes fixed on Jack Frost, Ai whispered, her tone firm.
Jack Frost opened his mouth and a terribly cold wave of air blew out from it.
Driven by reflex, I opened my mouth wide and spewed fire against it. The flames and storming cold air collided with each other, negating themselves.
“… No way!?”
However, my flames couldn’t last against the never ending flurry as they started to dwindle. After all, me breathing fire was me exhaling. I quickly took a hold of Ai, unfurled my wings, and took to the sky.
“What in the world is he?”
“Mentor, this won’t work! We have to land!”
Together with the falling snow, a storm blew against my body. I made an effort to stabilize myself by flexing my wings, but I wasn’t able to move them well due to the freezing cold.
I started to spin in circles as I fell toward the ground.
Bad, this is very bad! I have to do something!
I embraced Ai closely, wrapping my tail and wings against her so that I could at least protect her.
However, the impact I felt several moments later wasn’t the crash I had expected. I’d been caught by soft branches and leaves.
“What’re you doing?”
Standing on the elongated branch like a little bird, Nina looked down at me.
Hearing a barbarous cry come from below me, I looked down.
Darg had just sliced Jack Frost in two with his crag blade.
A burst of snow scattered and Jack Frost crumbled apart.
But immediately after that, snow clumped together and formed the snowman once again.
Darg opened his eyes wide and slashed at it again, as well as taking a distance.
“Brother, what the hell is this thing!?”
“Well… I don’t know, either.”
I understand that it’s Jack Frost.
I understand that, but what is it?
A demon? An apparition? A sprite?
Even in this world that has dragons in it, this is the first time I’ve seen a creature that doesn’t die from falling apart like that.
“Brother, can you deal with it with your flames?”
“His breath was stronger.”
“Wha—!? Stronger than that?”
Darg was probably recalling the matter from five years ago. He took a glance at the ventilation hole still in the side of that mountain.
“The was after I recited an incantation with all I had. What lost against it was a chantless, ordinary breath.”
“Could you defeat it if you use that incantation?”
“I think so, but…”
I answered Nina’s question with a shake of my head.
“Even a short incantation would probably blast away the ice house.”
“Let’s think of another way then.”
Nina instantly shot down her idea.
Fire was simply too compatible with me.
If I went and used an incantation, I wouldn’t be able to hold back at all.
“I’ll do it!”
The one who broke into the conversation was Ken.
“Ken, you came too?”
True, we might just be able to defeat this Jack Frost with his fire magic.
He’s better than me when it comes to adjusting his output.
“Are you guys done talking!?”
Repeatedly cutting Jack Frost to pieces, Darg shouted out to us.
Even though it immediately reconstructed itself, it wasn’t as though his attacks were entirely useless.
At the very least, it didn’t seem like he could attack while he was destroyed.
However, things froze just by touching his body. Darg’s crag blade itself was covered in white and his arms were starting to freeze.
Rather, just how is he even swinging his sword in that state?
“I’ll give you a chance then. Ken, take it out in one big shot.”
Ken nodded and Nina leapt to the ground soundlessly.
He looked my way with and spoke.
“Mentor, you can let Sis down now.”
Hearing him, I finally realized that I was still holding on to Ai.
I hurried down from the tree and let go of her.
“It’s okay… I have to stop, that child…”
After looking down in what appeared to be a trace of embarrassment, her expression hardened as she gazed at Jack Frost.
“Oh trees, roots, branches and leaves! Grow and form a cage!”
Responding to Nina’s incantation, all sorts of roots and trees broke through the ground and enclosed Jack Frost.
However, just because it finished imprisoning him, Jack Frost waved his hand.
That alone was enough to cause what he touched with his palm to freeze.
“Come on! Why’re you growing so slow!”
The plants that usually sprouted up like eager serpents were moving awfully awkwardly.
It was due to the surrounding temperature itself being considerably lower.
Leaping up, I turned my head to the sky and uttered a single-worded incantation.
A giant fireball erupted from my mouth, illuminating the night sky like a newly born sun.
“Woah… that’s crazy.”
“Oh vines, tangle and twine!”
Rays of heat raining down on the surrounding ice incessantly, it all evaporated in an instant. Nina took advantage of that and caused the nearby ivy to extend towards Jack Frost. The ivy that tangled around him froze the instant it touched his body, fixing it in place.
“That which extends its tongue of red, which is clad in garments of flame, oh salamander, consume it as kindling—”
Jack Frost slowly turned to look at Ken, who was reciting an incantation.
Then, a snowstorm blew from his crescent-shaped mouth.
“Icy mantle of frost, to me!”
Immediately following Ai’s quick shout, icicles stood towering before Ken like a shield.
… Right. If it’s just for defense, isn’t ice more effective than fire?
“Use your tongue to bore through and eradicate it with your breath!”
Ken, completing his incantation, fired off an unbelievably hot ball of fire from his fingertip.
It easily penetrated the ice pillars Ai had produced, as well as continued on to pierce Jack Frost in the same manner.
The sound it make was like a red-hot metal rod being thrust into water, Jack Frost disappearing without a trace.
“Phew, you did it…”
“Looks like it.”
After confirming that it wouldn’t sprout back up, Darg thrust his sword into the ground and caught his breath.
Nina seemed to lose her tension as well.
I could finally calm down.
“Still though, Brother, to think that you were too strong was the problem.”
“I’m really not good at regulating my fire. Even so, I can handle average opponents with my ordinary breaths and my claws.”
I should probably come up with some attacks that use something other than fire.
I’m alright at manipulating wind, but it’s not too suitable for attacking with since air is too light.
“Sis, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, it’s nothing…”
Ai shook her head.
Her words made it sound as though she was thinking about something.
I wonder what it was?
She turned to me.
“Umm… Mentor. Could we talk for a moment?”
“Oh, sure. I don’t mind.”
“Then let’s go to my house.”
I nodded and started to follow her back to the village.
“Can… we not hear it, too?”
Just then, Ken stopped us.
“It’s not that you… can’t.”
Nina rose her voice as she looked up into the sky, cutting Ken off.
“It didn’t stop snowing?”
A flake of snow floated down and landed on her outstretched palm.
Following that, the snow that was falling down whirled together, gathering in one place.
Reforming from the head down, Jack Frost’s mouth drew into the shape of a crescent moon.
Ai’s actions as she turned around from facing me… they felt like they were in slow motion.
She spread her arms wide and shouted.
And a white wind was blown.
The next instant, Ai’s body had frozen completely solid.