Chapter 12 – Battle on the Empire border Part 2 (2/3)
It was a Level 4 Spell originally, but I lowered both its power and area of effect. Even so, most of the empty field went up in flames. I intentionally missed Francesca with it of course, but if I had wanted to hit her, then she would have no chance of avoiding it. It seems she can use some magic, so she might be able to cast Levitation, but unless she can use Fly to move much faster as well, she would still be easy to shoot down.
Her only chance would be to destroy the golem, but a huge golem like that is not that easy to break and I have no intentions of waiting while she whittles it down. After that, I can attack as much as I want without repercussions. There’s nothing she can do.
“So, can we count this as my win?”
Francesca reluctantly nodded, so I got off from the golem’s shoulders.
I went around pouring water on the still burning or smoldering grasses of the empty lot. I could’ve chosen a Spell with less need to clean up after, but I decided to use this flashy one instead, so Francesca would be more likely to give up. It ended up worth the trouble in the end.
“I would like another match where you don’t bring out the golem beforehand, uh, please….”
“We agreed on only one other match, didn’t we?”
“Well, yeah, but….This one was obviously unfair, so….”
I agree. It’s a perfectly valid tactic, but as a match, this was clearly within the bounds of cheating.
“It’s your fault for agreeing to me bringing out the golem beforehand. I only made the best of the resource I had on hand.”
But, well, the spectators, who went out of their way to follow us all the way here, would most likely be displeased if this ended with only that.
“Fine. We can have another match, but that will be a second favor you owe, okay?”
Another favor; easy get.
I returned the golem to dirt and filled up the hole it came from with it. Well then, how should I fight next time?
“We start at the same range as we did in the tournament and no magic use before we start. Also, getting out of range with Fly or something like that is also prohibited.”
A lot of conditions, but since I’m being properly compensated for it, it can’t be helped.
I could use my Item Box or Teleport next, but it might be time for me to just fight properly for once. I’m getting kind of sick of using underhanded means all the time.
“Are you fine keeping that leather armor on? I will be using my magic seriously from now on, so you might get seriously injured if you get hit.”
“….I will change the armor.”
It seems she heeded the warning. I took out Francesca’s plate armor and waited until Sati helped her get into it.
With that I can let loose a bit more. Though it might be a bit too strong for this, I think I will use a normal Air Hammer. I was wondering if shooting a barrage of weaker Air Hammers would be better, but the weaker ones may not be able to take her down properly.
“I will only use Air Hammer this time. However, that Spell is pretty powerful coming from me, so you should do your best to evade it.”
I warned her at least.
Francesca’s forward-bent posture made it obvious that she was planning on charging at me as soon as the signal was given to prevent me from using my magic.
However, if you win against a magic swordsman by keeping him from using magic, then is it truly a win? Won’t that be just a swords only match then?
It was time for my third match against Francesca today to start.
As Sati gave the signal, Francesca darted forward right away as expected. I started gathering my mana, but she kept me from focusing properly with quick and small slashes.
Crap, she’s really strong. I could parry her as long as I focused on defense, but there were no openings I could use to retaliate. I had my hands full.
I tried focusing my mana again while we were in a sword lock, but she quickly interrupted again. It seems she really intended to stop me from using magic at all.
However, why do I get the feeling that she doesn’t properly commit sometimes? Every time I try to focus on my mana, she always makes a move, even if she’s not in the best position for it at the time. That makes her attacks lack a certain punch.
It’s scary how she can keep me on the back foot even so, but―― At last, I managed to dodge the attack I had to block until now.
That was plenty enough time for me to finish my chant for Air Hammer.
I let the spell loose from a point blank range. Francesca, who was in an attack stance, couldn’t dodge it in time. She took it full on with her shield, the impact blasting her away. She rolled over the empty lot, staying absolutely still after she stopped.
Crap. Have I overdone it? Since she blocked it with her shield, I don’t think she’s dead, but….
I left the healing to Ann. Getting healed by me after I caused her injuries to begin with might’ve been too humiliating for her, so I refrained.
After Ann healed her up, Francesca opened her eyes and managed to stand up, though she was still wobbly.
Yeah, for the third time today already.
“I warned you that you should dodge that.”
Well, I guess I was the one that shot the spell when she wouldn’t be able to dodge.
“Was that an Air Hammer just now?”
“My Air Hammer is a bit faster to cast and somewhat stronger than usual.”
There shouldn’t be anyone that can shoot an Air Hammer so powerful as quickly as I can, much less an idiot that would shoot a daughter of a Duke like that.
Ah, well, I didn’t do it because I wanted to either. It’s because Francesca insisted so much.
“One more…..one more time!”
“You are obviously still unsteady on your feet.”
Her brain must’ve been shaken by her roll. She’s not in any state to fight right now.
“Master, I would like to try doing that too!”
Syrah-chan doesn’t have Mana Sense, so she wouldn’t be able to dodge it….
“What? You want to block an Air Hammer with your shield?”
“Don’t hold back please.”
I did as she asked and shot her as she was bracing her shield, but she was still blown away of course. It’s not something a person can just completely block like that.
However, even while looking dizzy, she managed to get up. It seems she didn’t lose consciousness.
“I-I can take it if I know what’s coming.”
Ooh, amazing. She got up without needing to be healed and even managed to hold up her shield again. Our tank is quite exceptional.
“Me next, please!”
Sati requested a match with normal Air Hammers included as well.
Instead of aiming to disrupt my casting of the spell like Francesca, Sati neatly managed to dodge the first one I shot.
As well as the second one. I think I shot them in a too straightforward manner, so she’s seen through them. In that case――
The third Air Hammer managed to nick her. Even with that, Sati was blown back lightly, but she got up right away. It didn’t look like it did any damage to her.
“Will, do you want to try taking one on as well?”
Will wouldn’t be able to dodge it, same as Syrah-chan, so he would need to block it with a shield.
“It’s important to experience what it’s like to get hit. When it happens for real, you’ll know how to deal with it…”
“I want to go next!”
After taking a break, Francesca shoved Will away and stepped forward to volunteer again.
“Just wait a bit, Will is next and-”
“Ah, okay, very well. Please go ahead.”
This guy….His tone was obviously the ‘I survived’ tone just now.
“In that case, as a third favor, I would like you to train Will. As much as you possibly can, until we reach the Village of Swordsmen.”
“Very well. I will train him fiercely.”
“How fortunate for you, Will. Oh, also, after this it’s your turn with the Air Hammer.”