Leonardo was surrounded by men wearing uniforms.
They were either temporary students, or assassins that had entered the school as new students.
In either case, the entire school was covered in a barrier made by the skill of the teachers that [Disallowed bringing guns into the school grounds].
(If it’s inside the academy itself, you can’t get shot by a gun. But………)
Leonardo moved his sights away from Francesca.
And instantly, the men simultaneously lunged in at him.
(———I knew it. They have knives!)
Knives could be required during some classes as well, so it was quite easy to conceal and bring them to school.
The knives were all aimed at Leonardo’s neck or chest but his expression remained nonchalant, as he calmly deflected the first of the assassins attacking him.
He twisted his centre of gravity slightly to the right, and then grabbed the wrist of the guy who had missed his target. He then used the momentum to turn his body around and snap the assassin’s arm, making the man scream in pain, and then threw the man over his shoulder and behind him.
Right after, Leonardo lunged in close to his next closest enemy and then used his hand to strike the knife out of his hand. He followed that up by grabbing the man by his collar and then punching him right on the cheek.
A dull sound resounded, as the second assailant also lost consciousness. His body crumpled to the ground as Leonardo let go of his shirt, and then carefreely stretched his body.
“Hahaha! Ahh, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten some good exercise. It’s quite refreshing.”
“Shit, what the hell is this guy…….!! There’s like 10 of us here……”
“No choice, hey move out of the way!”
One of the assassins opened up his palm and aimed at Leonardo.
A light blue aura swirled around the man’s body. Seeing that, Leonardo simply closed his eyes unimpressed.
“What a bore. I was having fun having a physical fight but you guys ended up resorting to skills in the end after all.”
The assassin, the moment he tried to fire this power at him.
Leonardo, slowly opened his eyes once again.
And then stared at the man. Suddenly, the group of men that were standing there all collapsed to the floor.
Perplexed by what was happening, they all screamed.
“My body……! I, I can’t move it……..!!”
(That’s……really bad. I need to go!!)
Francesca let go of the window frame and then rushed down the stairs to head to the place.
(……….That was one of Leonardo’s skills. It became slowly clear within the game’s story that Leonardo had the ability to rob a person’s freedom over their own body, and could forcefully freeze them in place…….)
She was sure that the skill he had activated was this one.
During the main story battles, whenever they had to face Leonardo, almost all of them were compulsory defeat events. And he would always begin the battle with this very skill, that made all your characters unable to do anything for 3 consecutive turns.
(Although once this skill is used, it take a while before he can use it again.)
Though this was also probably an effect of how the game system was designed.
In the game, you had a set amount of cooldown turns you had to wait before the skill could be used again.
Now even in the real world, this mechanic was reflected with the limitation that made using skills consecutively impossible. And, the stronger the skill, the more time it’d take before it was possible to use it again.
(Of course, even if it takes a while before he can use the skill again, Leonardo skill had worked on all of his enemies.——meaning all the men in front of Leonardo right now were frozen in place. However……..!)
She frowned as she ran out of the school building, and ran straight to the back yard where Leonardo and the rest were while panting for breath.
As she finally made it to the place, the scene became more and more clear to her. And it was one that made even Francesca gasp in shock.
On the ground lay all the men, unmoving.
And right now, Leonardo was sitting on the back of one of those man while grabbing another one by his collar. Although, he soon noticed the presence of Francesca who was running towards him.
“……..oh, you’re here. Francesca.”
On Leonardo’s cheeks you could see what looked like a little splash of blood. Not his own of course.
As for the men, they were currently on the ground not because of his skill but because Leonardo had tormented them to the point where they could barely move.
They were all holding down on their stomachs and arms, and some even had blood flowing out of their mouths as well. It took only a dozen seconds or so for Francesca to come here yet, he had already brought the situation to this gruesome sight.
“You shouldn’t come any closer. If someone saw you in this situation, you won’t be making any friends any time soon, you know?”
“Hurry up and leave.——–I told you didn’t I, stay away or I might kill you?”
But, Francesca didn’t stop her legs.
Not only that, she was briskly walking straight towards Leonardo, and then as soon as she was close enough, she basically jumped into him.
As you’d expect, even Leonardo was bewildered by her sudden actions but, he still managed to catch her into his arms.
Francesca, now in Leonardo’s embrace, suddenly shouted out loud.
“Aldini-san, please use the skill you used just now once again! You’ll be able to use it again just this time I promise, so please!!”
Of course, hearing that out of nowhere, made absolutely no sense to him. Plus not being able to use a skill consecutively was a truth of the world that everyone knew.
But it would take too long to explain everything so she desperately pleaded him once again.
“Just be quiet and trust for once please……!! There, on the third floor!!”
Francesca pointed her finger directly at the window directly above the window from where she herself had been peeking down on them from before.
“A throwing knife!……….Someone has been aiming for you while you were defenceless—-…..!!”
As soon as Francesca shouted that, there was not even a second to lose afterwards.
From above, a faltering scream was heard.
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Then came the sound of someone collapsing to the ground, and finally silence returned. Once she confirmed that, Francesca breathed a sigh in relief.
Oh right, she was still in Leonardo’s embrace after all.
She panicked to get away from him, and then did a hurrah for the defeat of their enemies. Leonardo didn’t have his usual smile on his face, and was gazing at Francesca with an expressionless look.
Still flustered, Francesca slowly opened her mouth.
“Th, they really hid themselves quite well didn’t they! I’m sure that last assassin must have had a skill that allowed them to hide their presence or something!!”
“Me too, if I wasn’t right below him, I probably wouldn’t have been able to sense that faint bloodlust either……..!! But regardless, I’m glad I made it–…….”
He grabbed her by her wrist, and pulled her close as if he had just caught a rare animal, meanwhile Francesca had already accepted her fate.
“Just now, what did you do to me?”
She knew this was not a situation from which she could escape anymore.
“…….I,…..my. uhh skill. I used it………..I had one. A skill. That is.”
As Francesca awkwardly explained, Leonardo’s lips loosened.
“haha. Why are you stammering now so much after everything? How amusing.”
(Di, did I successfully dodge the questioning……..?)
She had lied about not having a skill when she obviously had one.
Letting that fact leak alone was not that much of a problem.
The excuse she had for convincing him to annul their engagement just went out of the window but, maybe if she can act all vague, she can avoid any further questioning, she had hoped.
However, Leonardo squinted his golden eyes, and then peaked at Francesca’s face.
“——[What did you do to me] that’s what I had asked.”
Even she couldn’t avoid a shiver going down her spine.
His way of talking was extremely soft, and his expression was gentle. Yet, the weight in his voice felt heavier and deeper than ever before, and his gaze was merciless.
[You’re not running from this]. His intent was very clear.
“……….I temporarily released the usage limitation on your skill. Because I felt it would be too dangerous without it.”
She couldn’t hide what she had already shown after all.
She answered while trying to avoid his direct gaze, but he grabbed her chin and made her look back straight at her.
“That’s not all that you did, was it?”
“If you don’t want to talk, perhaps I should make a guess.”
He was confident that he had already seen through her.
“When I used it the second time, I actually tried to lessen the power of the skill. I had completely crushed the guys here but, since there was one left, I figured I might as well grab the [survivor] for some interrogation later.”
(He really thought up all that even in that split second situation!?)
“And yet, the moment I used my skill, the assassin collapsed while screaming. All I tried to do was to stop his movements a bit and yet the shock ended up being too much for him.”
Leonardo, while closely observing Francesca, squinted his eyes looking amused.
“——–Your skill can [Strengthen the skill of others].”
“Unlocking the usage limit was just a by product of that. Am I right?”
It was exactly as Leonardo had said.
All three of Francesca’s skills were made to strengthen and enhance other people, and make them perform better.
Those were skills befitting the protagonist of a game where the core gameplay loop involved collecting and raising a bunch of characters and fighting through them after all.
She could make the skills of others stronger, more free to use, and more efficient.
And the game made it very clear that Francesca was the only person in the entire world that possessed such skills.
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