Arica swung her sword covered in flame towards miss Lilith's neck which she easily dodged by bending herself backward. Combining fire magic with a sword was a cost-effective method for frontal attack because it needed less mana and was easy to control. Arica knew that attack won't work though because she has been trying to land an attack on her for almost a month now with no luck. When the attack missed a little "oops" could be heard from her but there was no sign of disappointment in her face.
Right at the moment, when she bent backward, Princess Anna launched a fire javelin towards the lower region of her body targetting her feat. Miss Lilith narrowly dodged again by touching the ground with her hands and flipping over. Princess Anna said "not again" in disappointment. This narrow dodge wasn't because we were predicting her movement or because of a coincidence. It was because she knows our moves better than we do hers.
We had predicted up to this much so Nina had already used 'earth hole' to create a small hole in the place where she would land. But that didn't work and she jumped a bit further by pushing her hands that were on the ground. Nina clicked the tongue in disappointment. If she had fallen into the lower ground we all could attack her at once.
Our first plan failed at that point but this was within the range of predictability since we had been at it since days. If this much was enough we would have landed hit on her days ago.
We moved to plan B where Princess Eliane laughed a 'Water slash' towards her. It wasn't possible to dodge by bending backward this time since Nina had already created an 'Earth wall' behind her. She could either go to her left or right. As she was about to go right Ronald launched an 'Air slash' from her left side. But she easily dodged by jumping over the six feet tall 'Earth wall'. It's as if she already knew this was coming, she probably did.
It wasn't over yet, Sistina was there waiting for her behind the wall with a fist covered in fire magic. Miss Lilith was still mid-air so there was no way she could dodge an attack there. Sistina used physical enhancement to jump up to her. She was planning to punch her when she was mid-air using her 'Fire punch'. But as soon as she reached up to her, Miss Lilith grabbed Sistina's shoulders and used it as a hold to get past her.
As Sistina was about to fall towards the 'Earth wall' that Nina had created before, Marina caught her using 'Water Manipulation'. Marina breathed a sigh a relief when she saw that she wasn't injured while Sistina struck her left palm with her right fist in disappointment saying, "I will get her someday".
Plan B failed at that point but we still had one last trick up our sleeves. As she was about to land, I was there to intercept her. I had prepared a small wind-water bomb in my hand for that exact moment. She could block it if she wanted but there was no way to dodge it without using magic. I shot it towards her the exact moment she was about to set foot on the ground but she used wind magic and dodged it doing a side flip.
"HA! you used wind magic just now," said Sistina when she saw her do that.
"I never said I wouldn't," Miss Lilith replied.
'Now that I think about it there was no such rule in this practice.'
"But that's not fair!" said Princess Anna who was coming towards us with Arica and Ronald.
"Well, they say 'everything is fair in love and war'," Arica was the one who replied, to which, Miss Lilith unusually nodded in satisfied tone saying "hmm-hmm".
Everyone sighed in disappointment. Even after all this training, we weren't able to land a single hit when all she did was use magic for physical enhancement to dodge.
'Well, at least we made her use magic and Sistina even managed to touch her, though it was more like her touching Sistina.'
"M-Miss Lilith is so strong, I don't think we will ever beat her," said Marina. That was a logical conclusion based on our fights until now.
Miss Lilith stood there for a while and hummed after which she turned towards us. "You are getting better at coordination and your individual skills have also improved but you guys still need a lot of training. With this much, you will be able to win tomorrow - if you are lucky."
'So, if we are not, we will get our asses kicked.' As I was thinking that princess Anna said, "We will definitely beat them, we've trained hard" in her ever-positive attitude. I knew that me saying that out loud will only discourage others so I gave a fake smile when Princess Anna said that.
We had no idea whom we were up against, nor had a single one of us seen a fight between trained knights and magicians. We had no plan or strategies and what we were fighting against was what we wanted to be in the future.
Plus, Duke Singha didn't look like a man who would go easy on us just because we are kids. 'If he is how I think he is, he will probably select the best knights and magician to fight us saying something like, "people become stronger by facing trials"'
"Well, there isn't much point worrying about it, let's go back to the dorm and rest to prepare for tomorrow," said Ronald sensing everyone's worry.
"Yeah, it's already the usual time," said Nina. It was already the usual time for us to return to the dorm so we started walking back.
Since last week, we had been fighting miss Lilith to improve our teamwork. Our coordination wasn't perfect, nor was our individual skills polished. We only had a month's time to prepare for this. To perfect our skills in such a short time was impossible when people needed years of training to master these skills.
On our way back Marina asked, "will we really be able to do it?" to which Nina replied with, "Let's do our best. If we can't beat them, we simply have to work harder". Marina was the one who was most worried about it so Nina said that to comfort her.
"Hey Miss Lilith, you made a bet right, what will happen if you lose?" Asked Princess Eliane. Now that I think about it she never told us about that part.
"Nothing much, everyone else will go to Academy like normal kids while you princesses will study in duke's castle."
"Ehh... how could you make such a bet? I thought it was just a contest. Why didn't you tell us about this earlier?" Nina asked.
Till now we thought the stakes weren't that high nor was there a great reward. We thought it was just a contest between Duke and Miss Lilith but that was no longer the case. Now the stakes are high and our team being together or falling apart depends on it.
"Well, he wouldn't let me train you guys the way I wanted if I hadn't made that bet. The king only gave me permission to train you all but that would have to be under the Academy's rules," said Miss Lilith.
The worry, in this case, was fair but just worrying about it won't prevent what's inevitable so we all decided that we would give this our best.
After we reached the Dorm, we took baths like always where Ronald and I took a shower in the bathroom and the girls went to the hot spring. We all gathered in the sitting room after we were changed. Sam didn't bring anything like tea or any other drinks because it was almost time for dinner.
Even though we all were here, the room was silent. It looked like everyone had something in their minds but none of them could say it out loud.
"So, are we going to fight them at the Duke's castle tomorrow?" Arica asked. Usually, Arica wasn't a conversation starter so this was something rare.
"Yeah, after the last show to the nobles during our entrance test, showing the results of that makes sense," Ronald replied.
To show the result of the project after doing such publicity makes sense politically. Even back in my previous world, companies used to increase their influence by showing the progress in sales that they did after a ton of advertisements.
"Will we be able to beat them?" Sistina asked looking a bit worried. Since none of us have seen actual knights in combat we were not sure. But by what we had heard a knight and a magician together could defeat a lesser demon so it was a tough fight as we are now.
"I don't know that, but we have trained hard so we won't go down that easily," Princess Anna said in her usual positive tone.
"Well, just remember if you don't beat them and I lose the bet, you are going to receive a hell-ish training," said Miss Lilith making a scary face and the room went back to silent again.
As we were talking, Sam signaled that it was time for dinner so we went towards the dining hall.
Next chapter: Fighting a Knight squad