Volume 6 Chapter 4 Part 1
Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
“Fall back! We have to get out of here!”
“Fall back to where?”
“He’s a demon! A demon!”
A few hours after I commenced Operation: Take Back the Royal Palace, the inside had been turned into a hellscape.
“I wonder who’s the demon around here,” I said.
“It has to be the enemy,” Sachylis said. “Sending soldiers to another country to take the king hostage and take over the kingdom. Only demons do that.”
“Right. Steam Explosion.”
I cast a spell to blow up the remaining enemies. Steam Explosion looks like it consumes a lot of mana, but it’s actually a very mana cost-effective magic spell.
As long as you aim at the right place, you can kill several dozen people with a single, unavoidable blow. The mana it consumes is less than ten Fire Bombs, so it’s not a mana-draining spell when you consider the cost effectiveness. Fire Arrow would be the least mana-consuming if it could kill with a single hit.
For efficient subjugation, it is important to know the position of the enemy. When I used my scouting spell, I noticed enemies concentrated in one location, a move I hadn’t seen elsewhere.
Enemies tend to avoid Steam Explosions and spread out. This makes it harder to use a pincer attack on them, but easier to use normal spells to take them down. They probably thought they’d rather have the latter than getting blown to bits by Steam Explosion.
The fact that this group gathered together in spite of the risk meant that the enemy must have a plan to prevent them from being destroyed altogether at once.
I started walking towards their direction. If the enemy is planning something, the sooner we crush it, the better.
The enemies were gathered in a large hall, probably a room originally used for parties or something.
The area around the entrance of the hall was heavily protected. Thinking magical barriers would not be enough, they set up a simple barricade using rubble and desks as well.
Of course, force fields and barricade can’t really block Steam Explosion. Otherwise even Cardinal Georgis’ army should have been able to put up a better fight.
The barricade would still lessen the impact of the spell, however. If it was a smaller room, my Steam Explosion’s power would be enough, but in a large hall of this size, I think it’s safe to say that by the time the blast reaches the enemy, it’s lost almost all its power.
Then again, using other spells to destroy things little by little is awful as it would turn into a war of attrition. Considering the number of enemies, it’s highly likely that the force fields will be replaced as soon as I break it. Since we’ll have to defeat many more enemies after this, it’s not an option I want to take.
“Normally, I would break the entire wall…”
If they had fortified the entrance to the room, then all I have to do is destroy the walls to create another entrance. It’s basic tactic, but I don’t think I would want to actually do that here. One wrong move and the whole structure might collapse.
Large halls usually only have a few pillars, making it vulnerable to collapse. In the old days, people said, “If there is an earthquake, run to the bathroom. A bathroom has many pillars that makes it resist crumbling.” This hall is basically the opposite of that.
A powerful spell cast onto such a place could carry with it considerable risk. Sure it’s the royal palace, but it’s not like it was built with structural analysis and safety in mind like Japanese buildings, and I can’t really bring myself to destroy a weak place.
Even Japanese buildings are not designed to withstand some kind of explosion magic from the inside. One mistake and it would be like demolishing a whole building.
So I need to fight, destroying random spots but still make sure I don’t get crushed under some rubble. In that sense, the hall is a tough place to attack.
After some thought I decided to protect the pillar. Of course, it won’t completely protect them from my powerful spells, but it’s enough to reduce the damage. I can blow up the barricade and door without risking collapse.
Nevertheless, the enemy would have expected this too. In fact, the barricade was most likely built to bait this spell out of me.
I’m sure the enemy also knows that Steam Explosion is a spell that takes a long time to fire continuously. I made sure to wait some time after the spell came off cooldown before I cast it again so it would be harder to gauge the exact time. Anyway, I can’t cast the spell any faster and the enemy must know that already.
So they expended a large amount of magic power to create a force field that would bait my spell, and created a barricade that would not be destroyed by any other magic.
The enemy probably thought that there won’t be any Steam Explosions for a while, giving them the opportunity to strike back and win.
As a matter of fact, they were somewhat correct. In a room as huge as the hall, it will take some time to annihilate them using magic other than Steam Explosion. There will be more opportunities for them to counterattack, and I will expend a lot more mana.
Attacking right away and waiting before I can use Steam Explosion again probably takes about the same time. That’s why my strategy for now is to wait for the spell to come off cooldown and then end it once and for all with a huge Steam Explosion.
It feels like I’m too predictable, relying only on one spell, but you could also look at it as me not showing the enemy my cards. Powerful and wide-range magic is hard to counter even when you know it’s coming. Being able to restrict the enemy’s movements just by showing one such spell is a bigger advantage than it looks.
As a matter of fact, only about thirty percent of the enemy had been taken down using Steam Explosion. Most of the others were shot by simple spells and Sachylis’ arrows because they were too wary of Steam Explosion.
Now the enemy had spent a large amount of mana just to develop a countermeasure for my Steam Explosion—only one of the cards I have in my hand.