Volume 5 Chapter 10
Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
“It’s time for the commanders to settle this once and for all.”
I used voice-amplification magic to let the enemy hear my words. And then from the center of our troops’ circular formation, I cast an aviation-type magic spell.
When I landed nearby, the enemy’s main force turned to look at me all at once, completely ignoring the retreating assault squad.
“He’s here! Victory is ours if we kill him!” Cardinal Georgis roared vigorously.
I was the commander of Count Meigis’ army. In other words, if they kill me, they win.
And I stood alone in front of them. There was no better opportunity than this.
“Follow the plan and deal with him!” Georgis ordered.
He expected me to come out alone. The fact that he mentioned a plan meant that they already decided on how to deal with me if I actually showed up in front of them.
As if to prove my assumption, an incredible number of defensive magic was cast in front of Cardinal Georgis. Apparently, the Cardinal’s bodyguards didn’t even give it their all when they protected him against the assault squad’s all-out offensive earlier.
“Hah! I already expected you to be the Count’s ace up his sleeve! Small Explosion!”
In response to Cardinal Georgis’s cry, his troops simultaneously launched dozens of spells, all directed towards my location.
A simultaneous attack by a large number of people with long-range combat job classes. It might look like Georgis was using the same tactics as us, but his were on a whole different level.
Cardinal Georgis’ magic force field easily deflected the all-out attack of the assault squad. If his men were capable of that much, one could only expect their offensive spells to be just as powerful as well. If this unit had been deployed in the early stages, Count Meigis’s army would have been unable to block their attacks, resulting in a great number of casualties on our side.
In the face of such spells, I cast my own magic.
It was the same magic that Cardinal Georgis just used. In other words, it was only a basic defensive magic.
“You fool!” Cardinal Georgis scoffed. “Such a weak magic spell cannot possibly block our attacks!”
But when he saw the actual barrier, his eyes widened. The force field I generated contained such mana that one would find it hard to believe I was only using a basic Skill.
And then the enemy’s spells rained down on me. The barrier creaked loudly, made crashing sounds, as it received damage from powerful spells one after another. But the barrier held out. It didn’t shatter to pieces. Just like how Cardinal Georgis successfully blocked our men’s throwing Skills, my own barrier withstood the long-range attacks.
“I guess you were wrong,” I said. “It did block your attacks.”
The solo buffing Skills that Cardinal Georgis received from his men could only be learned at higher levels. Common knowledge in this world would tell you that about basic Skills at least.
But advanced solo buffing Skills can actually be learned at lower levels as well. Many of the spells took time to take effect, but they weren’t exactly inferior to the ones you learn at higher levels. Before I left my troops, I had the spells cast on me.
“Support Skills?” the Cardinal said. “I didn’t know there were people in your territory who could use them.”
Georgis noticed what I did apparently. But it was too late. Time for the counterattack.
“Anti-ritual magic, max defense!”
As soon as Cardinal Georgis saw me cast Steam Explosion, he wasted no time in giving orders to his men. They were prepared and cautious of this particular spell, apparently. They seemed to have mistaken it for ritual magic, though.
“One-Time Shield Enhancement! Magic Shield!”
The defense that the Cardinal’s men cast was clearly a product of the main forces’ combined efforts. The Skill used spoke for itself.
One-Time Shield Enhancement is an extremely powerful defensive buff Skill that can be learned by high level Mages. It drastically improves the effectiveness of defensive magic activated immediately afterwards. Once you use it, you cannot use it for an hour, and the effect is extremely short. It was basically an emergency Skill, the kind that you would use in a situation where “all you have to do is prevent this one blow”.
Georgis’ men activated such a Skill all at once. A barrier with an incomparable power materialized, and a moment later, Steam Explosion activated.
“Tougher than I expected,” I muttered as I looked at the results.
All the barriers were shattered. But they managed to reduce the power of my attack.
Cardinal Georgis’ troops were half destroyed. Out of the hundred or so men, it’s safe to say that about a third of them were killed. Georgis himself was still alive, however.
“To think you could break through such defense. That spell is much more powerful than I expected. But we survived!” Cardinal Georgis shouted as if sure of their victory. He was ecstatic that he withstood the Steam Explosion I cast.
“The enemy has used his trump card! He has nothing left! Get him!”
Using healing potions to recover from injuries, the Cardinal’s men launched their counterattack. I cast defensive spells to protect myself from their magic.
“Look! He’s only defending!”
“We were right. Ritual magic is not something that can be used multiple times in a short period of time.”
“Yeah. Now that he’s used his trump card, our victory is certain!”
Cardinal Georgis’ main troops were talking among themselves as they watched me hide behind defensive magic.
But they seemed to have gotten the wrong idea. I was only on the defensive to buy time until such time I could use Steam Explosion again. In short, I was waiting for my spell’s cooldown.
They were right about how Steam Explosion can’t be cast continuously. But they were wrong about the time it took before I could use it again. If they knew, they’d be more anxious.
They assumed I could no longer use Steam Explosion again today, when the spell’s cooldown is actually only sixty seconds. Hiding behind my magic force field was enough to buy me time.
“It’s over,” I said.
“What, no more tricks up your sleeves?” Georgis asked with a smirk. “Then dispel your defensive magic. As an act of mercy, I will not make you suffer long.”
When he saw that I did not attack for a minute, he mistakenly thought that I had run out of options. Instead of correcting his mistake, I cast two spells.
“‘Delayed Incantation. Steam Explosion.”
“It cannot be!”
Cardinal Georgis turned pale for a moment. But when he saw that the magic was not activated, he regained his composure.
“A bluff. I expected as much. I was a little surprised, but what is the point of doing that? A bluff is only meaningful when you have a follow-up.”
I knew that, of course. I wasn’t bluffing at the very least. The reason why Steam Explosion wasn’t working was because I activated Delayed Incantation, a Skill that delays the activation of a spell.
I wasn’t putting this disadvantage on myself for nothing. In exchange for the extended activation time, Delayed Incantation increases the power of my spell.
Cardinal Georgis had already received his death sentence. He just hadn’t realized that yet.
“It’s about time.”
I got down on the ground and covered my ears. The barrier cast to prevent Cardinal Georgis’s attacks on me could not possibly withstand my spell.
“About time? What are you talki—”
The Cardinal’s voice was cut off mid sentence. Whether he was aware of it or not, the death penalty would be carried out. Finally, the time has come.
With a deafening boom, massive flames rose from the place where the Cardinal’s main force was located. My barrier, which had withstood the Cardinal’s attack, was shattered by the shockwave alone.
It was clear to everyone who won. After the blast, the Cardinal’s army was destroyed, or more specifically—extinguished.
There was a crumpled piece of metal lying around near the spot where Cardinal Georgis had been. Upon closer inspection, it was made of the same material as the armor he was wearing.
“Probably a good idea to think about how much power I need.”
I shook my aching head as I stood up. Even as I cast Steam Explosion so that I was just barely out of its range, and covered my ears while on the ground, the spell’s shockwave was still devastating.
Since the enemy had no One-Time Shield Enhancement to cast, perhaps I didn’t need to actually use Delayed Incantation.
I took a look around my surroundings. The battlefield lay in silence. There were no cheers of joy, nor cries of defeat. The destruction caused by a single magic spell left everyone in a state of shock.
In the midst of the silence, Sachylis slipped out of our camp and ran to me. And before I could say anything, she invoked her loudspeaker magic.
I nodded to her. “The war is over,” I said. “Count Meigis’ army has won! I suggest Cardinal Georgis’s army to immediately lay down their weapons and surrender.”
But no one laid down their weapons. They still could not grasp that they had lost the war.
I couldn’t really blame them. Twenty thousand troops had been crushed, and the main force led by their commander was wiped out by a single magic spell. It was understandable that their minds couldn’t immediately comprehend what just happened.
Well if they don’t get it, I’ll just make them understand.
A blast of fire erupted. A warning shot.
“I’ll say it again. Drop your weapons. Otherwise, I’ll be forced to disarm you, and as you can see, I might not be able to hold back.”
Cardinal Georgis’ troops dropped their weapons one by one. No one wanted to continue resisting when they found out that the Steam Explosion they thought was a ritual magic could actually be cast so easily.
“W-We’ve dropped them!”
“See? No weapons! Please believe me!”
Fearing for their lives, the soldiers tossed their weapons aside and raised their hands to show that they were not armed. Only a very few of them refused to drop their weapons.
“Hey, those guys are still holding theirs!”
“M-Make him drop it! Beat them if you have to!”
“I’m not gonna get killed because of you guys!”
Those who hadn’t dropped their weapons were seized by their surrounding allies and pinned down on the ground.
If I cast Steam Explosion once more, those around them would not escape death. They knew that all too well now. And no one would want to get caught up in another’s mess and die themselves.
Thus, the war between Count Meigis’ army and Cardinal Georgis’ army came to an end.