-Chapter 19, DGM-
Against a fellow magician, blindly attacking his magic spells posed no effect. The most optimal way to defeat the magician was to take the magician down himself.
All battle magicians, including Holm and Link, were very clear on this point.
Peering at the massive frame of the two-meter earth hound bounding towards him in great leaps, Link immediately responded with a spell of his own.
A flash of radiance shone in the midst of the hailstorm. The ground the earth hound was on turned slippery, like oil had been applied. The ground 5 meters ahead of Link turned glossy like a mirror.
“Small tricks!” Holm sneered. ‘Grease’ was a level 0 magic spell. Breaking such a spell was effortless to a magician on the level of Holm.
The magic cane in Holm’s hands flashed. A sandstorm begin to form in the alleyway. When the sandstorm made contact with the greasy ground, the sandstorm began to collapse. The grit and sand from the sandstorm rained down from the air, piling up on the greasy surface of the ground.
The massive earth hound safely crossed the sand, leaping towards Link. In a blink, it had reached the perimeter of ‘secondary hailstorm’. It ignored the acute ice shards streaking around in the hailstorm, dashing straight into it.
Currently, Holm was 40 meters away from Link. This distance still surpassed the effective range of Link’s magic. His target was not to get in a tangle with the earth hound but Holm himself.
Faced with the earth hound ploughing towards him, Link made two moves.
The first was to cancel the ‘secondary hailstorm’ that was in effect. Second, he borrowed the power from ‘feline boost’ to shrink back, before throwing his body to the side. With the guardian enchantment in effect, he darted out of the sphere of the ‘secondary hailstorm’ while dodging the swipe of the earth hound.
Ignoring the secondary hailstorm and the earth hound behind him, Link leapt at Holm, pointing his magic wand at the wall to his side. “Vector resistance forcefield!”
The air seemed to distort, and a warm ripple passed by, like the boosters of a rocket before launch.
The vector forcefield collided against the wall at the same time Link stepped out. With Link’s body still midair, he received a huge boost, his speed increasing two to threefold.
Behind him, the earth hound had already turned around. Upon seeing the fleeing figure of Link, it sped out of the hailstorm and snapped at Link. However, the step of Link’s had brought him out of the jaws of the earth hound, which met empty air.
At this moment, Link was nearing Holm at an extremely fast speed. Behind him, the terrifying earth hound ploughed after him with gaping maws. All it needed was one snap to break Link’s neck.
1 second had passed since Link’s counterattack.
The instant Link landed would be his grave.
In this moment, Link’s mind was working at lightspeed. The world seemed to slow to a crawl in front of his eyes. With his cresent magic wand raised, Link pointed at the cobblestones on the ground.
In a heartbeat, Link cast 3 level 1 magic spells.
A casting time of 0.3 seconds per spell. With every throw, a cobblestone shot towards Holm like a bullet. Every shot was loaded with unparalleled precision.
The title of ‘god of magic’ wasn’t simply a titular one after all.
Within a 30 meter distance, Link’s ‘vector throw’ hurled stones with unfailing accuracy.
Holm’s strong magic technique was limited to only fireball spells. The string of fireballs he had cast earlier was his signature move. However, the magic spells in the world numbered near infinite, every spell with a unique principle or theory of its own. As a mere level 2 magician, he could not apply his magic technique to every single spell he possessed.
Other than casting fireballs, the casting speeds of his other spells were entire leagues away from Link.
When Link had closed the distance, Holm had second-guessed his movements. He immediately abandoned his fireball spells and cast a defense magic spell of his own.
The opponent possessed a level 2 magic defense equipment. Even if his fireballs landed on his target it would be rendered ineffective. On the other hand, he would come under immediate threat from the ‘vector throw’ spell.
He was a magician and not a warrior. His agility was nowhere on par with a warrior’s, and he had not casted any subsidiary spells like ‘feline boost’. Without his earth hound, he was unlikely to dodge in time.
All the stones were aimed at his head, and were faster than missiles. All it needed was for one to hit home, and he would be severely concussed at the bare minimum. He could not fall into Link’s trap!
Time did not wait for level 2 magic spells and they depleted his mana supply quickly. Holm made a swift decision.
Level 1 magic spell
Use: Condense water element from your surroundings into an ice shield. Excellent against physical or elemental attacks.
The stones that were hurled by Link’s ‘vector throw’ were classified as physical attacks. Hence, Holm’s choice of spells was theoretically correct.
Within his entire calculations, Holm had only overlooked one point. He had overlooked Link’s abnormal casting speed.
Link needed simply 0.3 seconds to cast a level 1 ‘vector throw’ spell. On the contrary, Holm required 0.4 seconds to cast a level 1 ‘ice shield’ spell.
When Link had cast the first ‘vector throw’, he had sent a cobblestone shooting towards Holm. When Holm cast his ‘ice shield’, it barely finished forming before the cobblestone connected with it.
“Bang!” The cobblestone collided with the ice shield, hard. Delicate webs of cracks spread on the ice shield as it began to crumble apart.
The second stone closely fowllowed the first from behind.
This time round, Holm did not have the luxury of casting another ‘ice shield’ to block the shot. Met with this deadly projectile, he had no choice but to reveal the ace up his sleeve.
The ring on his left middle finger suddenly exploded with dazzling light. A limpid, tangible radiance rapidly condensed on Holm’s garments. This light shared some resemblance with Link’s magic bracelet, but the thickness of the light shield formed was not up to par with Link’s ‘guardian enchantment’.
This was the level 1 secondary guardian enchantment. Guardian enchantment was the second grade of it.
However, problems immediately arose. The ‘guardian enchantment’ spell series was primarily constructed to defend against magic attacks. Against elemental ones such as the fireball spell or the wind blade, its results were excellent. However, its physical defense capabilities were somewhat lacking.
Just as the secondary guardian enchantment magic congealed, the pebble smashed against Holm’s skull with a savage crack.
The secondary guardian enchantment magic somewhat mitigated the force of the shot, but a large portion of the power contained within the shot still connected with Holm’s head.
Holm’s vision spun as his world jolted sideways. His casting of the second ‘ice shield’ was broken.
His crimson pupils constricted in shock. How was the casting speed of this young chap this fast?
It wasn’t simply one spell that his opponent could cast fast, but instead his entire arsenal of spells. This was terrifying enough to rivet any magician.
“Crack!” The third and final pebble streaked through the air, striking Holm’s forehead.
A small pebble the size of a fist, travelling at a speed of 50 meters every second. What would be the result if it collided with an undefended cranium? If said cranium was lucky, it would receive a severe concussion. If hapless, a quick death would be its fortune.
Death was uncertain, but a severe concussion was promised.
At this moment, Link landed, stumbling forwards a few steps to buffer the effect of his ‘vector resistance forcefield’.
The earth hound behind him had already reached half a meter from him. However, this 50 cm made all the difference in the world.
The earth hound, which had lost its source of magic abruptly ceased motion, skidding to a stop. After a second, it slowly collapsed onto itself, trickling into a pile of coarse sand.
“Vector throw!” Link cast the level 1 spell again, dropping the final straw on the camel’s back.1
“Crack~” The final blow was dealt on Holm’s temple. A depression appeared as his temple caved in. Holm remained motionless. Not even a groan was heard as his faint breathing ceased.
He was dead.
From the start of the battle when Holm had ambushed them to when Link had killed Holm, Link had used 1 level 0 magic spell, 8 level 1 magic spells and even 1 level 2 magic spell. The short but intense fight had exhausted 80 mana. He still had 38 mana and 10 free points.
Staring at Holm’s corpse, Link caressed the magic bracelet on his wrist as the radiance emitting from it dimmed. A huge weight was lifted from his heart. “Thank goodness I grabbed this bracelet or it would’ve been too dangerous.”
A good half of the credit for winning this fight went to Link’s abnormal casting speed and the other half went to Link’s superior level 2 magic bracelet.
Walking over, he picked up Holm’s magic cane.
Information emerged immediately.
‘Fire crystal magic staff’
Additional effect (1): Magic power +30%
Additional effect (2): Flame magic casting speed +10%’
“Good stuff. Much better than the crescent magic wand. It actually increases the casting speed of fire elemental spells, no wonder Holm’s fireballs were like gatling guns. The increase is really not small.”
At this moment, a notification popped up in Link’s mind.
Annie had reached the city barracks, hence completing the escort mission.
Player Link has been awarded 30 free points.
Link’s free points shot up to 40. This was an immense increase in resource. A ghost of a smile spread on Link’s face but it quickly turned sour.
His surroundings were already filled with dark figures. The dark elf assassins had arrived.
Link held no surprise towards this outcome. When he had stayed behind to battle with Holm, he had already foreseen a conclusion like this.
‘These assassins haven’t acted yet. Are they afraid of my strength? Or are they preparing to capture me alive then haul me back to the Black Forest?’
Link decided it was the former. After Holm had died, the dark elves were like a flock without a dragon. 2They were likely to take revenge in place of Holm, but they were cautious of his strength.
This circumstance had danger the likes of he had never seen before, but it was not like there were no chances for him.
Propping himself on the fire crystal magic staff, Link contemplated his choice of actions. He had 40 free points. While the assassins were hesitating, he was plotting his route of escape.
Out of the blue, a beautiful voice chimed out from beside his ear. “Link, why are you so resigned to death? Tired of playing hero?”
Link knew the voice. Link’s heart shook, and he turned to the source of the melodious voice. He realised he had an additional shadow beside him – an additional female shadow.
Beautiful raven hair spilled down from her head, her pupils as dark as midnight. Two curls hung from the corners of her bangs, and a small, nifty pair of canine teeth slightly protruded from her exquisite, florid lips. The ordinary garments the figure wore could not diminish the lithe silhouette. Her legs were as slender as a willow, her trousers tightly wrapped around her perfect legs. All the details combined together in a split second to assemble the image of a devilishly charming seductress, speeding up the blood flow of any creature watching.
This was the NPC that had conquered Link’s heart, Devil Princess Celine Lotus!
She raised a hand, maintaining a semi-circular crystal shield the colour of obsidian while her other hand rested on her waist. Her supple body turned around gracefully, and a pair of ebony eyes watched Link in amusement. Her actions magnified all the perfect parts of her body. Her beauty was a crime.
Link stared blankly, stumped for words. His heart thumped wildly in his chest, and his sight turned to the magic shield protecting them.
The crystal shield was a fortress in itself. Outside the shield, dark elf assassins struggled to scratch it in vain. The inside of the shield emanated a sense of dead calm, a silence which could not be broken.
Link recognised this spell, it was a level 5 black magic spell: Obsidian ward. He rapidly connected the dots in his mind.
No wonder he felt so familiar with her. Celine was Celine Lotus. The appearance she had took on previously was merely a disguise. The current her was the genuine article.
Link’s mouth opened. In his heart, he murmured different words. ‘Celine Lotus, we meet again.’
-Chapter 19, end-
Damn I guess we all saw that a mile away. I expected Annie to return in time with the city soldiers, though I guess battles between magicians are too fast. Or I half expected Link to pull a one man army scene or something along those lines.
I’m actually surprised it only took like a couple of minutes for the dark elf assassins to catch up with Holm.