I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought,
but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
“And there we go.”
Next to the building I’d built to be the schoolhouse, there was a large area set aside to be the schoolyard. In addition to physical training, it’s also meant to be used for magic experiments. Finished with drawing a line across the ground with a stick, I nodded in satisfaction. After putting three desks around five or so meters away from the line I drew out, I set some small pieces of wood on them… well, they were basically kindling.
“Then, from the other side of the line…”
I picked up a suitable stone and gave it a toss to the kindling.
The stone hitting its mark, the piece of wood gave off a slight sound and fell down.
“Throw ten stones, the person to knock down the most pieces of wood wins.”
With such a short distance as this, even Rin should be able to throw the stones far enough.
But hitting the small pieces of wood wouldn’t be so easy.
“You can choose whatever stones you want, just make sure you’ll be able to throw them.”
As soon as I said that, Shig and Rin bolted to look for stones they wanted to compete with. Violet followed after them, leaving Luka to trail after them all in thought.
“Now then, let’s see what happens…”
Watching them, I set the fallen piece of wood back up.
“Alright, I’m first!”
The first one to return a few minutes later was Shig. Carrying all of his stones in his arms, he breathlessly shouted in joy. The contest is about how many pieces of wood they can knock over though, not how fast they get their stones.
“Here I go… hah!”
The stone Shig threw with all his strength missed the wood by quite a ways… and struck the schoolhouse’s roof, echoing out with a loud bang.
We’re a good distance away from the schoolhouse, I made the schoolyard pretty big after taking into account how large my dragon form is.
For it to make it all the way to its roof, didn’t he just throw that several dozen meters?
He was honestly really bad at his control, but that went without saying.
He ended up losing his cool and getting angry, so Shig’s following stones all continued to miss their marks.
“Gaaah! No way, Mentor, this is impossible!”
“Let’s see how the others do. If no one hits any, we can re-do it.”
Soon after I appeased Shig, I heard wheels spinning about behind me. Rin was back.
“Mentoooor! I’ma do it with this!”
But what she was carrying was more of a big rock that took her entire grip to hold on to than small stones.
“No it’s not! He said we could choose whatever we wanted!”
Shig shouted at her, but it was outside of my predictions as well.
However, Rin was barely able to throw the rock that far at all, so it wound up falling to the ground straight away.
“What, so there was no point?”
Shig spoke half in mockery and half in relief. However, the rock continued rolling after falling to the ground and stuck one of the table’s legs. That collision provided enough force to the table to knock over one of the pieces of wood.
“No way that counts!”
“Hmm. Well… I guess it’s alright?”
Shig protested as he pointed at Rin, whose arms were up in the air and waving about in glee. However, I responded after a moment of thought. I told them to throw stones to knock the wood over, but I never said how they had to go about it.
Still though, that way’s a lot simpler than hitting the wood directly. Rin’s strategy might just bring her the win.
“Haah. I’m wiped, that’s good enough!”
The moment I thought that, Rin stopped with a smile on her face. What a free personality…
“Could I try next, then?”
I didn’t notice when she’d come back, but Violet was just suddenly behind me.
“Oh, yeah. Sure. Rin, please move away now.”
Once I’d set the fallen wood back up, Violet held a small stone on her palm. Starkly contrasting what Rin used, hers was as small as a plant seed.
She threw it like a throwing star. The pebble hit a piece of wood dead on and knocked it down. Looks like the third person up to bat managed to hit one straight away.
Violet then continued on to hit her second one, then her third. She kept going…
Her tenth throw. A small cry made it’s way not from Violet’s mouth, but Shig’s.
As demonstrated by that voice, that particular stone just barely missed the wood.
“… My aim erred.”
Violet responded in slight disappointment.
“Then I’m up next!”
The one to say that carrying pebbles was Yuuki.
“I thought she should be able to participate in this class too.”
I explained my thoughts to Shig, who was confused.
Even if she hangs out when them usually as well, I think it’s important for them to have a human included in their class. This will also serve as a good comparison between how humans and other races study magic.
The stone Yuuki threw drew a large arc through the air.
“What, that’s way off.”
It happened just as Shig said that.
The stone suddenly fell from the sky and bashed against the wood.
“That’s got to be a foul!”
“Eh? Using magic’s bad?”
“No. I never disallowed it.”
I refused Shig’s protests and shook my head. The only conditions I imposed on them was for the location they threw from and the amount of throws they could use. They could throw whatever rock they wanted, however they wanted. The only ones to realize that fact were Rin and Yuuki, though. In the end, Yuuki’s method of throwing the rocks finished with none missing and all of the wood being knocked down.
“Good job, Yuuki.”
Rin was bubbling over with excitement and Violet praised her.
Shig appeared discontent, but he didn’t complain.
“Umm… are these alright?”
Late to the party, Luka came back. She was carrying three palm-sized stones.
“Umm, I couldn’t find many good stones…”
“How slow can you be? You spent that much time just getting three of them?”
Luka’s ears and tail hung low at Shig’s comment.
“Of course they’re alright. Give it a shot.”
I extended my arms and urged her forward. Nodding, she took a short distance from the line.
Then, dashing forward as fast as her lower half could take her, she threw the stone the instant she reached her top speed.
However, missing the pieces of wood by a large margin, it struck the ground below a desk and wedged itself into the ground.
“Oh boy. Looks like she’s going to be the leader now…”
Shig sent a furtive glance to Yuuki as his shoulders sagged.
“Eh, why? Luka’s not done yet!”
“Idiot. Yuuki got all ten of them, it’s over if she misses even a single one.
Luka threw her second rock. It also hit the ground.
“Why? Why would that happen if she missed one?”
Rin tilted her head to the side in confusion as she asked Shig the question.
“What do you mean why? You don’t even get that? There’s ten pieces of wood, so her being able to knock them all over with less than that many stones is…”
Shig was interrupted by Luka’s shout as she launched her third stone.
It hit one of the desk’s legs—and, together with a cracking sound, broke right through it.
Its balance broken, the desk collapsed, knocking into the one next to it. The second desk knocked into the third, continuing the motion. In the end, all of the wood placed upon the three desks fell over.
“Umm. Is that alright?”
Turning around, Luka sounded confident.
“… That was your goal?”
“Yes. Umm, Father… Father said that when I’m hunting a big target, I should go for the legs.”
Luka nodded in response to my question and explained herself.
Lykoscentaur were a race with superior stamina. They were good at chasing their prey for as long as it took and would capture them once they grew exhausted. Them going for the legs of enemies that wouldn’t be beaten with a single strike was sound logic.
But even so, that’s easier said than done when it comes to breaking a desk’s leg with a rock. When I picked up one of the stones Luka threw, it was heavier than I’d expected it would be and was blade-sharp.
“Could it be that my strategy wasn’t allowed?”
“No, it’s fine. And since you managed to knock them all over in just three throws…”
“It’s Luka’s win!”
Yuuki spoke over me in her excitement.
“You’re so awesome, Luka! Hey, hey! I wanna do that too! How’d you do it?”
“I didn’t do anything that great…”
Rin seemed to have gotten excited and started pulling on Luka’s sleeves. Violet also seemed to have been impressed, judging by what she said. Even Shig was standing there with his eyes open wide as he stared at the desk’s broken leg. Looks like it’s a unanimous agreement.
“Well then, Luka. Congratulations on being the leader.”
Hearing my congratulations, Luka blinked twice.
Not having actually expected to win, her voice raised into something like a cry.