Chapter 10: Experiment
Current levels & equipment:
We returned to the inn where we had breakfast.
It’s a very good thing that I managed to become a Mage. Now that I can command the very forces of nature according to my whims and use them at the snap of my fingers, I got overwhelmed by a sense of omnipotence. From now on, I could technically set fire to everything around me simply because I felt like it, and knowing that made me smile involountarily. I am positive that everybody around me, Roxanne included, must be thinking that my smiling face looks very creepy, but at the very least Roxanne was tactful enough not to bring this up out in the open. I am glad that she’s so good at keeping the mood positive without ruining it. It makes the food taste that much better in my opinion. We finished our meal early and then went back to the Labyrinth. Just like the last time, we started from the first floor.
「For today, I would like to focus on fighting monsters by using magic.」
「An experiment involving magic? Understood!」
When I used magic for the first time, none of the spells I tried were enough to defeat the Needlewoods, a.k.a the weakest of monsters with a single hit. I know that using Durandal finishes each and every battle in a literal flash, but if I wanted to do the same with just magic, it would take considerably more time.
「This way, master.」
However, magic has one advantage over Durandal, and it’s a rather significant one. In order to get Durandal, you need to spend 63 Bonus Points. But if I choose to fight mainly with magic, I can spend those points for other things without wasting them for getting Durandal. So whether I spend them on EXP related Skills, Crystal Acceleration or simply for getting multiple Jobs, the benefits are still going to be considerable. So if only I can find a way to fight effectively with magic alone, I should just go for it.
The first of the tests I wanted to perform was to see how effective fighting with magic alone could be. That is why we have started today’s foray into the Labyrinth from the first floor which has the weakest enemies. When Roxanne found us the first Needlewood, I tried launching a single Fireball at it to see how it was going to go. The attack was successful, but not enough for a one-hit kill, so I tried launching another fireball at it right after that first one, but for a few solid seconds nothing was happening, even though I was screaming 「Fireball! Fireball! Fireball!」 in mu mind like some kinda madman. The second shot was finally fired, but by the time it happened the Needlewood was close enough to met swing its now flaming branch towards me, but Roxanne got in front of me and blocked the incoming attack with her Scimitar, giving me enough time to prepare the third Fireball, the one that finally took the monster down.
So taking down a Needlewood with Fireball requires at least three of them to hit it, huh? The delay, or maybe I should say the cooldown between each consecutive spell is a little troublesome, but with a little bit of practice I should be able to get used to it in no time. Also, it was probably because I said that I wanted to experiment today, but Roxanne didn’t do anything else beside stopping that Needlewood’s attack from reaching me, giving me the opportunity to defeat the enemy myself, for which I am grateful. As for myself, I was contemplating if I should switch Durandal for the Copper Sword for the duration of this test, but ultimately I decided it would be best for me to stay with Durandal. If the situation like that one form just now, where I won’t be able to beat the enemy with magic happens again and it will come within melee distance from me, I will have no choice but to engage it in melee as well, and for that, I need all the damage I can dish out in order not to make individual battles unnecessarily long.
The next Needlewood we fought with also managed to get close enough to me to try attacking me, so I backstepped to create enough distance between us to have a large enough safety margin, and used another Fireball. It slowly formed over my head and started advancing towards the monster, covering it with fire until it burned down and fell onto the ground.
「Another one that needed three shots to be taken down. I don’t know if it’s just me, but those Beginner-level spells seem to be unexpectedly powerless.」
「Not at all, master. The fact that you can use magic with such ease is a great achievement in and out of itself, but to be able to defeat monster with just three shots of it is even more amazing. As expected of my master!」
On a side note, we have been driven near the cave’s wall without even realizing it. That’s dangerous. Almost too dangerous I dare say!
「If anything, master, I am sorry for my lack of knowledge about magic, but during my short time as an Adventurer I just didn’t have much contact with the ones capable of using it.」
「It’s fine, it’s not like you could do anything about it. While we are on the subject, is there anything more you remember about magic and using it? Every little bit might be helpful.」
「Well, I heard that certain monsters can be either weak or resistant to certain types of magic. I think it was called… Elemental Affinity? I think you were able to defeat those Needlewoods so quickly because they must be weak against fire.」
「So that means that if we keep on hitting the monsters with the element they are weak to, then we should be able to defeat them that much faster, right? In that case, let’s try fighting by using magic some more. Any problems with that strategy?」
「None to speak of! If that is what you decided to do master, then I will follow your every command!」
Roxanne expressed her agreement with my general plan of action as she was picking up the branches left by the defeated Needlewood.
「Also, feel free to use your Scimitar to assist me more actively. And be sure not to let yourself be pushed against the wall, even by accident.」
「Don’t worry, I will protect you from the front, because mages always fight from the backlines. Not to mention that protecting you is my duty as your slave, master!」
Now that sounds like a solid strategy. Only a genius tactician like me could have come up with something as elaborate like that.
We continued to walk around the Labyrinth with my magic ready to cast and my hand always close to the handles of both Durandal and the Copper Sword. Another Needlewood we have come across got hit with a Fireball straight to its ugly mug. If defeating monsters with magic takes time, then the remedy for that is quite simple: you just have to spam magic as soon as you see the enemy appear, and don’t give him even a moment to react. That is my master plan.
The Fireball advances through the cave, but then something rather bizarre happened: the Needlewood avoided my Fireball by ramming itself into the wall. Hot damn that was weird to watch. Well, they might not be intelligent, but monsters should still have their instincts which should be telling them when the danger is approaching, so it shouldn’t be all that surprising that they are able to avoid attacks like that, so maybe launching the Fireball right from the get go wasn’t as good of an idea as I thought it was? Unlike the Fire Storm, the Fireball is not an AoE spell, so it has to be precisely aimed in order to work properly.
I tried using it again, but failed. It seems that you have to get close to some extent firing the next shot, so I did just that and tried conjuring the next Fireball. However, it did not work. Aww shit, another failure? Having no other choice, I finished the Needlewood with Durandal
As I expected, there is a few seconds delay between each consecutively fired spell, even with my Chant Omission Skill, so even with it active the spells are going to be on brief cooldown each time. All in all it’s not that big of a problem, but in tough fights that might require fast reactions from me it might make that just a little bit tight.