As the carriage advanced, crossing into the forest path that had been made by many before it, Boris Melt looked back to see that, at a certain point, small chairs of ice had been made within the vehicle and the three girls were seated comfortably—minding themselves—though one of them shook with coldness and tried her best not to show it as her bunny-ears drooped. He thought it somewhat cute but how the heck had the chairs gotten there? He had no idea. It was as much of a mystery as to where his magic staff would hop off to whenever he was home and his daughter happened to be around.
He blinked his eyes and shook his head, then turned back to focusing on the road. Moment by moment, he glanced at the dirt floor, eyes tinted blue, picking up faint footprints of animals or furs stuck to the bark of trees. As an added addition, the deeper he went the more broken branches and waning vegetation he found.
Yup, this was a forest of demonic beasts alright, the roars and growls in the background told him that much. Yet, they seemed a bit too many and a bit too close? Driven by instinct, the man narrowed his eyes then stopped the vehicle to see the smoke of dirt spitting in the distance. He knocked on the wood of the carriage.
"Hey, pst, protection party, we're gonna need protecting right about now," He said, "Based on the sounds I'm hearing, I think it's a pack of silver-backed wolves chasing a prey. If they spy the carriage in their way, they are likely to attack us instead."
The three girl's attention perked up. They hopped down from the carriage and came to the front of the horses at a leisure place. In the close distance, the beasts made themselves known. It was a black boar, tusks and all, hampering away with stubby legs from seven wolves—growling—with silver fur that shined with the midday's light.
It was somewhat comical, Claire thought as she looked at the coming force. Really, it couldn't be called a force by her standards. The creatures were all ranked C or lower. This wasn't even a situation where Asta was needed. In fact, she thought summoning him would be a waste of time.
"They're all weak," Claire said, eyes traced gold, immediately earning a look of disinterest from Alicia. To the vampire, fighting weak opponents only mattered if there were many of them. 7 was not many.
"Will you take care of them?" Via asked, "Or should I?"
As Boris watched, puzzled while the trio debated who would fight them with no urgency, Claire smiled.
"I'll finish them off," She said.
"Okay," Via raised her hands and backed away.
The beasts were now within five meters.
"Alright. . ." Claire spoke as she grasped forward with her right hand. A ball of water summoned into the world before rolling and wiggling about. She tightened her grip and a frozen handle was made; a thin film of liquid extended from it to form a blade that looked akin to glass and reflected the sun's light.
She raised the weapon before her. She took a breath and released it, frost lingering in the air. Then, she smiled.
"You can all be my test subjects."
She waved her hand with a slash.
The sword's length extended and it sliced through the air, water cutting until four heads came clean off with a swirl. As the beasts fell, dead, the weapon shortened back to size until she was gripping a katana of liquid which floated two inches above the ground.
Being able to control water, shape it, and freeze it whenever gave her the possibility of a more flexible fighting style.
She took a step forward as the remaining three—out of their shortstop from shock—charged, fangs bearing to rip into her.
She stabbed with her blade.
They leaped to dodge and she smirked.
The sword—which she now termed a Water Blade—divided into three and spun, drilling forward until each tendril passed through a skull and came right back out, clean of filth as the animals dropped dread.
Since she didn't need to re-summon water every time—since she only had to freeze it when she needed toughness instead—it was faster than her usual style at close to medium range. And since it was perpetually changing, few would be able to keep up with merely the sword, much less whatever else she threw their way.
She stood amidst the dead creatures, a malleable weapon swimming in hand. She had yet to know it but this would later become one of the signatures of the 'Ice Queen,' wielder of the Water Blade—a precise construct able to slice through iron like tofu.
A sound a sort of snort rang and she looked below, weapon disappearing into mana, to find the boar rubbing against her legs.
"Aww," She said as she bent down, "How cute."
She caressed its head and it snorted and allowed her, rubbing against her gloved hand. Then it shook, looked up to her, and stamped a small foot with another snort as if wishing her goodbye. It turned and charged deeper into the forest.
She smiled and waved it away.
"My word. . ." Boris muttered in disbelief at the ease at which the white-haired girl, Claire he remembered she was called, had picked the creatures off. "The heck was that?"
"Alicia is just as strong." Via shrugged. "You'll get used to it."
She already had.
"And you're plenty strong as well," Claire spoke, standing back up, "When you want to be."
Via rolled her eyes.
The three girls turned and retreated back into the carriage, disregarding Boris Melt's shock. 'Ah. . .well. I suppose this world's wide.' The man thought and restarted their advance.