We followed Mare and Kuina out the Scorpion Lion Forest so Fran could spar with Mare. Our party was so strong we instantly obliterated all the goblins and other weaker creatures we encountered on sight. Mare and Fran would immediately charge at any unfortunate monsters they could find.They competed for kills so intensely that I felt not even a manticore could survive a hit from the two combined.
We negotiated to keep all the cores of the monsters defeated along the way and relinquished all the remaining materials to Mare and Kuina. They didn’t particularly mind since all they really wanted was money. Kuina was responsible for transporting all the monsters we defeated. She put the materials into an interesting sort of item bag. It had a small opening, but would suck things inside and had no issues storing things larger than it.
The two catkin chattered and debated their favourite foods as they walked. Kuina, on the other hand, mostly stayed silent. She instead focused on examining the surroundings for any potential danger. Her ears would move about and occasionally twitch. It really was hard to read her expressions though. I couldn’t tell what she was thinking at all.
We journeyed through the Scorpion Lion Forest effectively unhindered, taking about two hours to pass through it. Exiting the forest, we found ourselves greeted by a wide, open plain.
“Shall we begin!?” Mare suggested.
“Nn!” said Fran as she reached for my hilt.
The two warriors, both exhilarated by the idea of a spar, turned to face each other as they prepared to draw their weapons—only to be interrupted.
“Stop right there,” said Kuina as she grabbed onto Mare’s head with an iron-claw grip.
“What now!?” shouted Mare.
“You’ll bother everyone else that wishes to use this route should you two spar right here” said Kuina, adjusting the rim of her glasses with her free hand. “Please move a bit further into the plains so you won’t be in anyone’s way.”
I had to admit, she had a point. I highly doubted that the duel would end with just a clash of blades. The two would likely destroy the road if we did not relocate.
And so we continued walking for another ten minutes and stopped once we were sure that there was nothing important nearby.
“Okay, this will suffice,” said Kuina. “Remember two things: do not kill each other, and do not awaken.”
“That much is obvious!” Mare complained.
“But you needn’t hold back too much. I can heal both of you even if you bring each other to the verge of death.”
Mare laughed. “I can hardly wait! This will truly be a test of my skill!”
“Will that wolf be joining you in combat? I mind not if it participates.”
“That is not a concern.” Mare drew the blade she carried on her back, raised it to the sky, and shouted, “Llinde!”
A red light radiated from its blade and from that light materialized a dragon.
“Cute,” was Fran’s first response.
It was fairly small, but a dragon nonetheless. If I had to guess, I would assume it to be a child.
“Nuhahahaha! Amazing, is it not?” replied Mare. “My sword is none other than Llinde, the Dragonblade!”
Mare’s ability to block me from appraising her didn’t apply to her sword. I was able to appraise both it and the dragon that had emerged from it.
Name: Dragonblade Llinde
Magical Conductivity: B+
T-The fuck, that thing is strong! Hell, it has even more attack than I do! And it’s a Monster Weapon to boot? Shit, I mean it’s not as impressive as a Godblade, but it was still without a doubt a high class magic sword.
B-But I’m still totally the better weapon. I-I have skills and stuff. I-I’m definitely not worse j-just because it’s got a dragon.
Species: Dragon (Dragonsoul)
Flame Breath: Lv 6
Fang Techniques: Lv 4
Fang Arts: Lv 5
Presence Detection: Lv 4
Regeneration: Lv 5
Resistance to Abnormal Status: Lv 5
Resistance to Mental Abnormalities: Lv 5
Charge: Lv 6
Heat Detection: Lv 5
Flight: Lv 8
Fire Magic: Lv 5
Roar: Lv 4
Dragon Magic: Lv 5
Principle of Flame: Lv 6 
The reason the dragon lacked a description was likely because it was associated with the blade and lived within it. That aside, it was decently strong. It wasn’t a match for Urushi, but it was powerful enough to be considered a D ranked threat. Its unique skill apparently allowed it to manipulate any flames in its vicinity.
“Llinde here will take that wolf of yours on.”
“Got it,” said Fran. “Urushi, no losing.”
“The very same applies to you, Llinde! Show them what it means to have a dragon’s pride!”
“This is a spar, so no hard feelings from either of you regardless of the outcome,” said Kuina. “Do I make myself clear?”
“Naturally,” Mare affirmed.
And so, the two began their duel. They did not immediately charge at each other right out of the gate. The match began with neither fighter willing to make the first move.
The two instead stared each other down with their blades raised. They made only the slightest of feints to keep each other in check. The moment I thought the two would be forever stuck in a deadlock, Mare suddenly charged.
The sharp ring of steel on steel echoed throughout the plains as the two young girls let loose their battlecries.
Mare was quite the swordsman. She was able to cross blades with Fran and hold her ground through a short exchange of blows. But unfortunately for her, Fran held the Sword Lord Arts skill, which gave her the edge and allowed her to gradually overwhelm her foe through sheer technique.
“Hahahah! Impressive, Black Lightning Princess! I expect no less from a tribe whose name has been carved into legend!”
“Also impressed. Not bad.”
“Frustrating as it is, I must admit that my skill fails to surpass your own. I’ve no choice but to up the ante.”
“Bring it on!”
The two seemed to be getting along; they somehow found the time to trade words despite being engaged in a furious exchange of blows.
Mare attacked Fran with flame magic, but the black catkin managed to ward off her spell through the use of just her sword and a barrier before returning fire with spells of her own. Fran was the more agile type of fighter, so her attacks came in the form of a relentless barrage. On the other hand, Mare was more a strength type. She launched fewer attacks, but each was much more powerful. The two girls smiled as they unhesitantly launched attacks that each carried lethal force. It was clear that both did not want to yield to the other.
Some of Mare’s flame-based attacks would come without any chants. I couldn’t tell if these attacks were magical spells or if they were instead a trait of her species. I suspected it was the latter, but at the same time I highly doubted it. She was too white to be a Red Catkin, after all.
Thinking about Red Catkin, I remembered that the Beast Lord had once mentioned that he had a daughter, but I highly doubted said daughter would be gallivanting around doing adventurer-like things with a maid by her side…
Wait… that does seem possible seeing as how the Beast Lord is who he is…
I looked towards Urushi and his foe.
The wolf and dragon were engaged in a high speed battle. The two were using the wide open space they were given to its fullest, trying to chase each other down without being caught. I couldn’t help but be surprised at Llinde’s speed. It could generate bursts of speed that exceeded Urushi at his fastest even though the latter had a higher agility stat.
Of course, its ability to fly contributed in part to its speed, but the bigger part seemed to be attributed to the flames that would trail behind it whenever it accelerated. It seemed to be using something similar to the Burnia spell. 
That said, speed was the only thing the dragonling had on Urushi. The wolf was superior in every other category. He held the advantage from start to end even though he was holding back. I was pretty sure he’d eventually win if I just left him be, so I turned my attention back over to Fran.
She and Mare were still happily exchanging blows, but the winner was already clear. Mare had substantial wounds all over, but Fran had only suffered a few light scratches. Mare’s hands were tied. Fran was both the better swordsman and the better mage of the two. There was simply nothing she could do.
Realizing that, Mare used her flame magic to create an opening and distanced herself from her opponent It seemed that she still had something up her sleeve. Fran defended against the spell, and had more than enough liberty to pursue, but stood her ground. She wanted to see what Mare was planning to do.
Mare’s eyes were filled with exhilaration. The battle was giving her an adrenaline rush, one that caused to raise her voice and loose a bestial howl.
A massive amount of magical energy began gathering within Mare’s body. There was so much of it that it caused the air around her to begin crackling with energy. Was she awakening? Or maybe using some other skill?
I couldn’t tell. I only knew that she was trying something big, so I focused my attention on her in hopes of figuring out exactly what it was.
Fran’s expression was identical to Mare’s. She was excited to see what would happen next, to see the challenge she would have to overcome—but it didn’t. Something appeared behind Mare and caused the magical energy she started building up to disperse.
“Geez. Were you seriously about to go ahead and do that, My Lady?”
Kuina had suddenly appeared behind Mare and dumped a large volume of magically created water over her head. The sudden wetness caused the startled catkin to scream and leap before turning back towards Kuina with a resentful gaze.
Naturally, I had picked up on Kuina’s actions ahead of time. I had my guard up against her just in case. She’d suddenly disappeared using what I assumed to be illusion magic, but I did not mind it because she directed her next actions towards Mare and not Fran. Fran had also picked up on the maid’s movements. Mare, however, didn’t. All her focus had been directed towards Fran.
“And what exactly did I say about attempting to kill your opponent, My Lady?”
“B-But I was going to lose if I did not attempt drastic measures…” whimpered Mare.
“And why exactly are you being so obstinate about winning or losing a spar?”
“V-Very well, I apologize!”
And so, that was how the spar ended with the pair apologizing to Fran. She was a bit disappointed with how things ended, but still decently satisfied, so she ended up letting things be. It was a good place to call it quits. Fran was starting to get hot headed as well. We managed to avoid having her and Mare actually try to kill each other, so this was probably as well as things could’ve possibly ended.
 Lit. Principle of fire manipulation, but that sounds lame af
 Recall, this is the spell that Fran uses to accelerate.