Lina Rosewell is Suspicious
“Oh, right. Danya.”
“What do you think of Lina Rosewell? Have you noticed anything strange about her lately?”
Ian had been consistently suspicious of whether Lina Rosewell could be the culprit.
But Lina was a kind and cheerful girl.
He couldn’t casually ask others from his class about information on Lina.
In fact, even in Fanta X Aca, she always ranked high in the heroine popularity vote.
In reality, considering only her profile, it was hard to imagine Lina as the culprit.
‘That’s why it seems more likely.’
It could all be just a facade.
The culprit could be undetectable.
At least that crazy developer noticed.
If Lina’s appearance was a perfect mask?
‘It gives me goosebumps.’
Ultimately, once suspicion arose about the heroines, they needed to find solid evidence.
Someone had tried to kill Ian, and still was trying, as evidenced by Pongpong.
Or that she’s a v*rgin… or something.
Surprisingly, listening to rumors from people around could be a good way to start the investigation.
And if Danya Catsnesia, who had no friends, were to gather information about Lina Rosewell, it might be a safer approach.
After a moment of contemplation, Danya Catsnesia spoke up.
“Lina’s definitely a nice girl for our class.”
Ian’s jaw dropped at her words.
‘…Is it really just me?’
After all, the title of #1 heroine you want to be friends with in Fanta X Aca isn’t just given to anyone.
“I guess it’s because she handles spirits, not magic. I like that.”
Danya had a spontaneous nerdish inclination.
In other words, Lina Rosewell had earned the endorsement of a spontaneous nerd like Danya, who wanted to get close to her.
“Chi, I don’t want to get to know her!”
Danya responded with a huff, but her tail and ears were honestly revealing.
Ian was gradually learning how to read Danya’s sincerity. But if he teased her too much, he was sure to get on her nerves, so for now, he decided to play along with Danya’s words.
“Okay, okay, I get it. But what I’m curious about is whether Lina has recently exhibited any peculiar or unusual behavior.”
Danya, who had narrowed her eyes for a moment, suddenly opened them wide, “Ah!”
“Are you stalking her again?”
A sharp gaze met his, and Ian couldn’t help but feel unfairly accused.
“It’s not like that. I was just curious if anything happened while I was away.”
Danya’s gaze remained suspicious.
When Ian raised his hands in defense, she finally relented and replied.
“I did see her a while ago with a lot of red stuff in her mouth.”
“Yeah. She was mumbling something like ‘Not enough yet’ while doing that. She did look quite different from the usual Lina. But why are you asking about this?”
That’s what Ian said, but he couldn’t help feeling uneasy.
Ian felt that Lina Rosewell, whom he had been observing, was definitely different from her usual self.
‘She looks at me as if she’s targeting her prey, and earlier she tried to sneak up on me.’
Sudden strange behavior.
If there were no suspicions, it would be strange.
‘…I may need to seriously consider the possibility.’
Lina’s fear came not only from her abilities but also from her personality. Even Danya, who wanted to get close to her, admired her. Because of that, she had gained popularity within the academy.
He needed to approach her with caution.
Ian stared at Danya intently.
If it weren’t for her, he could have been in serious trouble.
“Why… why are you looking at me like that?”
If he came to this forest as a team with Lina… Maybe. Could he have become fertilizer for those big trees?
At the very least, if he were to reject Lina’s proposal, it could potentially trigger Lina’s anger or turn those who admire her into enemies.
‘…It’s just a hypothesis that Lina is the culprit, after all.’
Still, the fact that Danya had suddenly proposed forming a team had reduced the possibility of danger. Suddenly, Ian felt immensely grateful for her.
Suddenly, she became extremely grateful for Danya in front of her.
“…Nya? Hmph? Why?”
Was it such an unexpected expression of gratitude?
Danya, sounding taken aback, turned to look at him.
“Oh, nothing. Just this and that.”
She stared blankly for a moment, then abruptly turned her head away.
Hmm, did she get upset?
“Well, if you’re really thankful like that, maybe I’ll team up with you again next time?”
Perhaps she had misunderstood something, but judging by the way her ears perked up, she seemed pleased.
Let’s enjoy it.
Danya was in a battle.
She was concentrating all her efforts to lower her tail, which was raised high in an attempt to climb a tree root.
Caught up on the tree root, she managed to lower her tail after making a comical posture at the end.
It was just a simple word of thanks, but why did it make her feel so good?
Upon some reflection, Danya quickly realized the reason.
‘It’s been so long since someone said ‘thank you’ to me.’
It’s been a long time since I received a thank you or a compliment.
Words of thanks and compliments were rare for her. It had been quite some time since she left the sanctuary of her tribe. There, she had known people, and her unique magical talent had made it easy to receive various expressions of gratitude, compliments, and even admiration.
‘But at the Academy…’
She had chosen the path of a nerd, and she had also hit the limits of her magical ability, failing to manifest any extraordinary talent. She was just an ordinary, unremarkable girl.
Words of thanks and compliments had become unfamiliar to her.
It was too far away for Danya.
Danya didn’t notice it, but her self-esteem had taken a hit.
In this context, someone suddenly saying ‘thank you’ had a significant impact on her, even though it was in a completely unrelated context. If anything, it made her feel it more deeply.
‘Could it be that he’s a surprisingly good guy?’
A quick glance.
Danya couldn’t help but sneak glances at Ian as they moved forward.
Honestly, when she first suggested teaming up with Ian, she had been worried. Had he changed temporarily? That was her initial concern.
But she might have been mistaken.
He didn’t look at her with strange eyes.
He didn’t tease her unnecessarily.
Moreover, they got along pretty well.
She could see that he was genuinely trying during their training. While Danya did have a goal in mind, something along the lines of ‘I’m going to flatten the noses of those classmates in our class with this opportunity,’ it seemed like he was actually enjoying it.
Although the forest path was no trouble for Danya since she was used to it…
In Ian’s case.
Occasionally, he stumbled over vines and branches but still silently followed her.
‘He wasn’t like that before.’
She wondered why he was suddenly working so hard. She even had the urge to encourage him.
‘No, not to that extent!’
She shook her head. But as she swayed back and forth, she noticed something in the corner of her eye.
‘Oh, that vine over there…’
As she hesitated about whether to warn him, Ian stepped on it and stumbled.
… Ah really.
Danya snapped at the pitiful appearance without even realizing it.
“Oh really. You really are a fool.”
“Hmph. I knew it would happen. Klutz.”
After grumbling, Danya bounded ahead, her tail bouncing energetically.
“… Be careful; the ground here seems damp.”
Danya muttered, her voice soft and somewhat embarrassed, as if it was meant to be heard but not quite.
After all, when someone was working hard, it was natural to want to help them.
He had to get stronger.
To avoid dying to the non-v*rgin heroine, and to navigate through the scenarios that lie ahead.
Of course, these reasons were also motivation for growth.
But above all else,
‘The process of becoming stronger is fun.’
He was working hard for growth itself.
He enjoyed training and used it as the driving force for his growth. The repetition of this process.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t difficult; it was enjoyable.
All Pongpong had to do was to redirect the energy he used to pour on others toward himself.
‘Instead of pouring energy on others like Pongpong used to, it’s better to direct that energy towards myself.’
This was something he proved by living it himself.
So, he also gave his best in Academy classes.
– Finding objects or traces with magic.
He put his best effort into practical exercises with a training mindset.
Actually, thanks to his original talent, his results were not bad.
“Danya, wait a moment.”
“I sense magic on the right. It’s about 2 meters high. Yes, that way.”
Teamwork with Danya was surprisingly good.
‘We work well together.’
Danya finds the way or does physical tasks, while Ian detects magic to find their targets.
They already had over six magical spheres in their hands.
“Hmph! It’s all thanks to me!”
“Yeah, yeah. It’s all thanks to you. Without you, we wouldn’t have collected those beads hanging between the trees.”
It was also fun to tease Danya, who was weak to compliments.
Even a little praise would make her tail sway happily. However, in order to maintain a blank expression, her lips quivered.
‘It’s quite helpful, you know.’
She was agile and nimble for her size.
A single cat seemed to be frolicking in the forest.
“Of course! The sacred place of my clan was in the Northern Great Mountains. It’s no big deal!”
She walked with a confident face but stumbled along the way.
As I was laughing, a question naturally arose.
‘Why wasn’t she a public character?’
No matter how hard I tried to think, the only thing that came to mind was Casternats (a musical instrument). With her presence, she would have surely shone in “Fanta X Aca.”
Even small gestures can appeal to certain groups. Her appearance is flawless. Being a beastperson but with the role of a magician was also unique. Why wasn’t she released as a public character?
Was there a story behind it?
While he was lost in these thoughts for a moment, Danya, who was leading the way, suddenly stopped.
“…It seems like we’ve ventured quite deep.”
Ian looked around.
The darkness had definitely intensified.
As they raised their heads, towering trees loomed, easily surpassing ten meters in height.
The sunlight filtering through the dense leaves cast a hazy glow around, as if it were a cloudy afternoon.
With closed eyes, he could feel the flow of magic.
The powerful magical presence he had been tracking along with Danya was becoming more intense.
“The flow of magic is definitely getting stronger.”
“Then this direction should be the right one…”
As Danya mumbled, she suddenly sniffed the air.
“Wait… I smell something.”
Danya rushed forward in the direction of the scent. Ian followed her.
“…Look at this.”
There was no need to follow Danya’s pointing finger.
Because it was a sight to behold even from afar.
There were enormous footprints, more than twice the size of Danya.
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