know what Mars was thinking, but he had no choice. After all, nobody else wanted him

“… I understand. I accept. ”

”…Okay ”

And just like that, the most unlikely party in the class, with Nozomu, Mars, and his entourage was created.

The lessons were still in a mock battle format. There were four people in Mars and Nozomus party. Marss entourage consisted of one archer and one magician.

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The opponent also consisted of 4 people. There were two boys who used swords, one boy who used a spear, and one girl who used 2 daggers.

Along with the signal to start the mock battle, the opponents swordman and spearman first cast strengthening magic on themselves and started to approach Mars.

”Hmm! ”

Mars pulls out his greatsword and receives the attack of two people. A high-pitched sound of metal clashing reverberated, and an attack whose power has been raised by strengthening magic attacked Mars. But Mars, who had strengthened his own body with kijutsu, was completely unphased.

Nozomu tried to attack the two who had stopped moving, but suddenly a blade of the wind passed in front of him and his attack was blocked. Looking in the direction of the wind blade, a dagger-wielder chanted magic.

The blade of the wind hit again, and Nozomu was separated from Mars. Apparently, the opponent intended to separate Mars and Nozomu and destroy them one by one. Certainly, given that Mars had the highest fighting ability in the party, it would be strategically necessary to separate him.

Another swordsman of the enemy party approached the separated Nozomu.

”I got you!! ”

Nozomu immediately pulled out his katana and parried the opponents sword. The momentum of the rush was strong since the swordsman strengthened his body, but being parried by Nozomu caused him to lose his posture.

Nozomu immediately tried to chase after him, but suddenly a fireball rushed in from behind and exploded, and he was blown away.

”Aghh! ”

”Oi oi, is that okay? He also got involved. ”

”Its okay. That kind of unusable guy can only be a decoy. ”

It was Marss entourage who shot the fireball. For them, Nozomu was literally a decoy, and it didnt even hurt for them if Nozomu was involved in the attack.

”Damn! ”

Nozomu got up and got ready, but the opposing swordsman immediately drew near. With one dual dagger-wielder added, Nozomu would be on the defensive side against two people. While parrying three blades, he repeatedly moved so that two people wouldnt be able to attack at the same time.

”Take this! ”

”Hahaha! Easy target! ”

Mars entourage also attacked Nozomu using their magic and arrows, as if it couldnt be helped. Nozomu was swept away by the ranged magic attack, and the gap was pierced by accurate shooting with a bow.

The attacks of the two entourage members were compatible with each other in the sense of a long-range attack, and the strengths were well intertwined. The magic casting time and the gap between the next arrow, which was a drawback of the attack, were successfully eliminated.

In a situation of 1 against 4, Nozomu had no way of dealing with it. He could try to counterattack, but the entourage behind him would attack him, so he would to deal with it. He was stuck in a loop of being attacked again by both his own and the other party.

However, this situation collapsed soon. Nozomu felt a fierce chill from the side. Using his legs, he left with all his might.

The sight of Mars swinging up his greatsword was reflected in Nozomus field of view. Mars, after defeating his two opponents, rushed with a quick movement into Nozomu who was in a state of turmoil

Mars, who wielded a giantsword enveloped with wind blades, swung his sword to the side with all his might. With his enhanced strength and wind blades, Mars surroundings were swept away, and the remaining two of the opponents party were blown away, making it impossible to continue the fight. With that, the mock battle is over.

Nozomu and Mars glare at each other silently. Nozomu was clearly angry with Mars who was clearly mowing down at him, and the two entourages who were attacking him.

Until now, Nozomu had turned a blind eye to everything happening at the school. He would have immediately turned his eyes away and kept to himself.

Nozomu himself was unaware of such a change, but he was clearly changing.

Nozomu was angry, but soon a question appeared from his heart about the unusual behavior of Mars.

Mars was mowing down at him, but he couldnt see the color of Marss eyes that despised him until now. Nozomu didnt understand the reason, but at least he knew it wasnt hostile.

When he thought about it, the Mars behaviour towards Nozomu had obviously changed since the beginning of the third year.

He wasnt swearing at him, and he wasnt poking fun at him during the lesson.

(What is going on?)

There was anger in Nozomus heart, but more than that, he was worried about the change in Mars. However, Nozomu doesnt speak and the two of them remain silent. The entourage talks to Mars, but he doesnt respond to them, he just continues looking at Nozomu.

Eventually, the bell that signalled the end of the lesson rang, and the lesson was over. Nozomu left the training ground without finding an answer to the question that had sprung up in his chest.

===============================================

Marss POV

After the class was over, Mars thought about the mock battle while walking in the school corridor.

”He…has changed ”

He remembered Nozomu who was willing to get involved and the glare at him who attacked. The old him wouldnt do that, he would just look down and turn his back.

Mars didnt know what happened to him, but he could have guessed that his feelings had changed.

“………… But what kind of training did he do?”

Mars admired Nozomus movement, which was actually 1 against 4 in the mock battle. He was able to catch a glimpse of it during the battle because he only fought against two opponents, but from what he saw, there was no waste in Nozomus movement, which handled the attacks of four people.

Mars wouldnt be able to handle attacks from four people in a suppressed state like him. It seemed that the people around him, including those who were dealing with him, didnt notice it. The movements itself were slow, but all the movements were executed terrifyingly precisely.

He always moved to the opponents blind spot and always moved around in a one-to-one confrontation. Moreover, in that situation, he sensed Marss surprise attack and moved immediately. There was no doubt that he had a fairly wide field of view.

”Hes pretty used to combat. Where did he get such experience? ”

In this city, the only way to gain combat experience was to receive a request from the school or the guild. There was no one willing to deal with him at the school, and he wasnt high-ranked enough to receive the subjugation requests from the guild.

Students had to hold a certain rank or form a party with multiple higher rank people in order to receive requests such as subjugation from the guild; otherwise, only miscellaneous requests could be received. The students of the school were, after all, a group of inexperienced kids, and the school side wanted to avoid the loss of valuable human resource candidates, so such an arrangement was made.

“…Does he, perhaps, go into the forest alone? ”

The only place where he could gain such combat experience was the forest, but it was extremely reckless for a student to enter the forest where demon beasts were dominant. No one did that. No matter how strong those demon beasts near the city were, it wasnt absolute, and there were cases where travelers were actually attacked.

But otherwise, the accuracy of his movements couldnt be explained.

“…Should I check it out?”

Mars made the decision and quickly walked down the corridor.

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