[Luna POV]

Today is the day that all of us take our rank up exams.  It feels weird since this is the first one me and Velvet are taking, but Im actually kind of excited.  The first person to take theirs is Soleil.  Just like the C-rank exam, the B and A-rank exams are mock battles with adventurers of the same rank.  The difference is that the guild master, or in this case grand master, has to be present.

Right now, we are in the arena watching Soleil dodging magic attacks with ease.  Her opponent keeps firing off rocks and creating spikes from the ground and Soleil avoids them with minimal movements.  Every time an attack misses, the mage gets more frustrated.

“Shes trying to get her opponent angry.” (Luna)

“Decent strategy.” (Velvet)

“I agree.  The angrier she gets, the more openings shell show, not that Soleil couldnt have ended this a while ago.” (Luna)

“Shell be a force to be reckoned with when she starts levelling again.” (Velvet)

“And you cant wait for it.” (Luna)

“Of course, who wouldnt want their girlfriend to be strong.” (Velvet)

“I agree.  Not that Ive ever seen Tamamo fight, I just know that I would never win if we had to fight.” (Luna)

{Thats only natural, but youll reach me soon enough, not that I ever plan on fighting you.}

‘Id never fight you either.

At this point, Soleils opponent finally had enough of her attacks being dodged and she started on a big attack.  A large wall of earth rose up from the ground and started to move towards Soleil.  All Soleil did was take a deep breath and shouted “Fus Ro!”

The wall of earth was then blown in the direction it came from and almost crushed the mage that created it.  After that, the mage forfeited the match.

“Its been a while since I heard words of power being used.” (Grey)

“Thank Blake for that, hes the one that taught them to her.” (Luna)

“Have you taught her anything?” (Grey)

“She snaps her fingers for the explosion spell and a few other fire spells like a certain colonel.” (Luna)

“Very good.” (Grey)

Soleil came over to us with a beaming smile.

“That was fun.” (Soleil)

“Even if it was just a warm up?” (Luna)

“Yes, though I kind of wish either you or Velvet could have been the examiner.” (Soleil)

“I should have done that.  It would have been so much better.” (Grey)

“Oh well, some other time.” (Velvet)

“Whos next then?” (Grey)

“Ill go.” (Velvet)

Velvet left the area we were at and walked to the center of the arena.  Tomoe then called over the adventurer that was going to be her opponent.  He was a tall man that used a rapier.

“Let me burn him.” (Soleil)

“I understand how you feel, but you cant do that.” (Luna)

The guy testing Velvet was staring at her like she was an object that he wanted to collect.

“Youre truly beautiful, what do you say we go and have some fun after this?”

“No.” (Velvet)

“Please reconsider, I can give you the time of your life.  One day with me, and youll never be able to accept another man in your life.”

“Absolutely no.” (Velvet)

“How unfortunate, it seems like youll never understand true bliss.”

“Lets just get this over with.” (Velvet)

“Begin!” (Grey)

Velvets opponent took a stance with his rapier pointed to the sky while holing it in front of his face.  He was about to take a step when Velvets sword extended and wrapped around her opponent.  She then channeled some fire magic through the blade and fire slowly spread to each bladed section.  Her opponent started to get visibly nervous and just before the fire reached him, he gave up.

“Impressive.” (Grey)

“I agree, but I dont see how that would count as a good test.” (Soleil)

“You see, it was a combination of extreme dexterity, restraint, and great magic manipulation.  Someone need a lot of dexterity to use a weapon like that, and she restrained herself enough to not cut into her opponent when she wrapped the blade around him, and she manipulated her magic perfectly so that it wouldnt damage her weapon.” (Grey)

“Amazing.” (Soleil)

“Indeed.  I guess its my turn now.” (Luna)

“I would say good luck, but you wont need it.” (Soleil)

I walked into the arena and passed by Velvet on my way there.

“Good job.” (Luna)

“Thanks.” (Velvet)

When I reached my position, my opponent stepped forward.  She was dressed like a scout in light armor and she had several knives and two daggers on her belt.

“Lets have a good match.”

“Lets” (Luna)

“Begin!” (Grey)

Immediately my opponent started to run towards me.  To normal people it would look like she disappeared, but to me she was running at a jogging pace.  When she got close enough, I pulled out my short sword and blocked her attack.  After a few seconds of clashing, she jumped back while throwing a few knives at me, but they passed through me like I was made of air.

“An illusion?”

“Correct.” (Luna 1)

“Theyre fun to use.” (Luna 2)

“Not to mention that they give you so many options.” (Luna 3)

“““Now, can you figure out which one is real?”””

Me and my illusory selves ran towards my opponent before stopping in front of her and running in circles around her.  I threw a knife and grazed her cheek in order to throw her off even more.  She started to look around in panic as I occasionally threw a knife or broke the circle and tried a small slash with my sword.

She blocked or dodged everything, but that was only because I let her.  It looked like she was about to forfeit so I decided to give her a little chance to counter.  I made it look like I tripped a little and she took that opportunity to go for an attack.

I jumped out of the way and dispelled the illusions.  We now had some distance between us.  She was about to start closing the distance when I started to open up some space behind me.  The spear shaped heads of numerous chains started to appear out of the openings and I started to launch them.

Every time she dodged one or I missed the chain would go through another opening in its path and come out again at a different angle.  Soon enough, my opponent was trapped in a cage of chains where I then opened up more openings and prepared the weapons inside.  For added effect, I charged the chains with lightning and just before I went even further, my opponent gave up.  When I heard her words of surrender, I withdrew all of my things and went to shake her hand.

“Sorry for getting carried away there.” (Luna)

“Its fine, I havent had a battle like that in a long time, so I was starting to lose my edge.”

“Whats your name?” (Luna)



“Nice to meet you.  If we ever meet each other again after this, lets have another battle.” (Celica)

“Yes.” (Luna)

We parted ways and I made my way back to my party.  Grey was standing there with a wide smile in his face while Soleil and Velvet were in their own little world.

“Its been a while since Ive seen Gate of Babylon.” (Grey)

“What can I say, its surprisingly fun to use.  Thanks for the chains, by the way.” (Luna)

“No problem, youll hold up your end of the deal, right?” (Grey)

“I dont go back on my word.” (Luna)

{You were very impressive Luna.  Especially the face you were making, it took my breath away.}

“Was I making a face?” (Luna)

{Yes, you had a serene smile and you looked like you could see everything.  Your eyes were also glowing very brightly, which I think was the best part.}

“I see.” (Luna)

“Well, since you managed to do the task that I aske of you, I will now give Soleil my blessing.” (Grey)

Grey moved over to Soleil and pat her on the head.  A light shined for a second and it was done.

“How anticlimactic.” (Luna)

“Were you expecting something else?” (Grey)

“I just thought it would be more flashy.” (Luna)

“Thats not how it works.  There are flashier things, but those arent important at this moment.  Now, go and get your guild cards updated.” (Grey)

I snapped the two of them out of their flirting and we went to update our guild cards.

“Do I get the blessing after this?” (Soleil)

“You already got it.” (Luna)

“Eh?” (Soleil)

“When did that happen?” (Velvet)

“A few minutes ago.” (Luna)

“How did I miss that?” (Soleil)

“The two of you were doing the thing I used to do before I got the parallel processing skill.” (Luna)

“The ignoring the whole world around you thing?” (Velvet)

“Thats the one.” (Luna)

“I never even noticed.” (Velvet)

“And now you know how it feels.  Just wait until you start talking through telepathy and stop paying attention to where youre walking.” (Luna)

“Guess I need to put that plan off for a while then.” (Soleil)

“Fufufu.  We also need to somehow teach that skill to Velvet.  Its no fun having a one-way conversation.” (Luna)

“I wonder how I go about doing that?” (Velvet)

“Try spending a few days staring at Soleil and trying to talk to her without speaking.  If that doesnt work, try doing the same thing, but while also using mana.” (Luna)

“Ok.  How many days do we have before we move on to finding the island?” (Velvet)

“Id say we take an actual break for this week, then we move on.” (Luna)

“Im fine with that, what about you, Soleil?” (Velvet)

“Sounds good to me.  Just remember to let me try brushing one of your tails, big sis.” (Soleil)

“We can do that after we finish here.” (Luna)

We finally made it to Tomoes spot at the reception counter and we handed her our guild cards.  When she handed them back, Soleils had a silver sheen to it, while mine and Velvets were now gold.

“Before you leave for the day, I need to explain something to you.” (Tomoe)

“What is it?” (Luna)

“Requirements for S-rank.  All adventurers that reach A-rank get this explanation, so its very important.” (Tomoe)

“Were listening.” (Velvet)

“There is only one requirement, and it is to get the approval of another S-rank adventurer.  No minimum number of quests to complete, just a recommendation.” (Tomoe)

“That seems a bit too easy.” (Luna)

“The normal way people try and get a recommendation is by beating one in a fight, but as S-ranks, they are insanely strong, not that I think either of you would have a problem with that.” (Tomoe)

“Would we need to come here for that rank up?” (Luna)

“Not necessarily, but its recommended to do so.” (Tomoe)

“Then when we inevitably reach that point, well be back.” (Luna)

“Im looking forward to it.  Please have fun on your adventures.” (Tomoe)

After that we left the guild and teleported to Nias villa.  After relaxing for a bit, I let Soleil try to brush one of my tails and we immediately had to knock her out.  I let Velvet take care of her and went to my room for the rest of the afternoon.

Author ’s Note:

Luna: Atmos, I summon you.

Atmos: Yes, Abyssal Fluff.

Luna: Show me how much your brushing technique has improved since the last time.

Atmos: By your order.

*Brushing commences*

Luna: It is…acceptable.

Atmos: Thank you for your praise.

Tamamo: Is it my turn yet?

Luna: I will take care of you personally.  Atmos, watch carefully so that you can improve in the future.

Atmos: Yes.

*More brushing*

Atmos: It seems like my skill is still inadequate.

Luna: No, anywhere else, you would be considered a master, but what you have just witnessed is the peak.

Atmos: Then I will strive to reach the peak.

Luna: You are ambitious. Good, continue on your path.  May the Fluff be with you.

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