Volume 8 Chapter 1 Part 4
And I was right—no second Ether Cannon was fired.
I closed the distance further and activated Fast Shield. Shortly after, the enemy closed one eye. But they didn’t cast Ether Cannon.
The enemy wasn’t moving; they were only watching my movement. If I did the same thing as before and moved as they closed their eye, Ether Cannon would have come zipping toward me right as I couldn’t dodge.
Maybe they realized that I noticed their habit… Nah, I don’t think so. If I had to guess, closing their eye is not an involuntary habit, but something they were doing on purpose. The idea is to make the target think they had some sort of habit, and then use it to create an opening.
A very basic tactic in combat, but not a bad trick. I kind of expected it too, which is why I didn’t dodge it this time.
And then, a few seconds later, an Ether Cannon came flying at me, as if they grew tired of waiting. The spell didn’t hit me. It only landed on the ground a few meters away.
Seeing me cast my flight magic, the enemy shouted something.
They were too far for me to hear what they said. But from the way their lips moved and the current situation, I could kind of guess.
They probably said something like: It curved again.
From my perspective, it looked like their spell followed a straight trajectory toward me. But to the enemy, it was different.
Of course, the reason why the enemy’s magic spell had been missing so far was not due to a lack of skill on their part. It was because I specifically set things up so they would miss. My Awakened Skill, Ether Hack, made it possible.
To find out what the enemy is doing, I cast a spell that boosted my hearing. It’s not as powerful as the eavesdropping spells that Spirit Archers use, but if I can get close enough where there’s no noise, and there’s no one else but me and the enemy, I can hear what they’re saying.
“I-It curved! Only a little bit, but the spell curved!”
“Shit. What the hell is that shield?! At this rate, all our shots will be useless!”
“Stay calm! You’re playing into the enemy’s hands! There’s no way they can use a spell advanced enough to interfere with Ether Cannon without any cost or conditions. Did you forget that he dodged without using his shield?!”
Yup, exactly the reaction I expected. I know that I can avoid the enemy’s magic by just running normally. The reason I took evasive action despite that is to mislead them.
The spell they shot did not curve. But to the enemy, it looked like it did. All thanks to a particular illusion spell.
It’s a magic spell that distorts the enemy’s vision and makes them miss their aim, such as with long-range magic. When used by a high-level Mage, its effects become so powerful that it makes it impossible to walk straight. A magic that can almost incapacitate an opponent.
Despite being such a useful spell, Sight Distortion was rarely used in PvP and against monsters. The reason being, dispelling it is very easy.
Many illusion spells are easy to dispel, but this one can be dispelled with just a little impact to the face—like a slap. Of course, attacks would also dispel it, so it would be useless against monsters. Rather than using this kind of magic, it would be better to fire an offensive spell right from the get-go.
In PVP, hitting a single attack can greatly affect the tide of battle. It’s a little different when fighting monsters, though. In any case, when you cast it, there is a good chance that the enemy will notice, and immediately dispel it. It’s a spell that can be lifted by simply tapping your cheek, so the moment the target notices, it’s over.
In the first place, it can’t normally reach the target at this distance. The range of Sight Distortion is twenty meters at most. It’s not much different from Deadly Pain, and if that’s the case, casting Deadly Pain is a quicker way to neutralize your opponent.
It’s no different from Deadly Pain in that it’s easily blocked by defensive magic, and considering the difference in the effects the two spells provide and their respective ease of application, it’s understandable why it’s not used at all. Sight Distortion’s only advantage is that it’s a basic Skill. Unlike Deadly Pain you don’t have to spend Skill Points, but even then there is too much difference in their effects. I myself have never used regular Sight Distortion in an actual battle.
But with Ether Hack, it’s a different story.
One of the greatest effects that Ether Hack has is the modification of a spell’s property. Those who gain this Awakened Skill can increase the range, power, and modify the effects of ordinary magic to suit the situation.
But of course, it doesn’t mean that you can create powerful magic all you want without limit. If you enhance one aspect of a spell, some other aspect will always be sacrificed.
If you make a spell more powerful, either it takes longer to cast, it consumes more mana, or the cooldown increases. If you look at the amount of damage over time, it would be better to just cast the same spell twice. If you sacrifice range, you can limit the other drawbacks, but your own spell might destroy you in that case.
Extending the range of attack magic is even worse. Long-range spells at the expense of power and speed is just a pea-shooter. If you want to attack from a very long distance, you should probably just become a Mage and learn Ether Cannon.
The magic spells you can learn as Skills are, in a way, balanced. Altering the nature of a spell means upsetting that balance. It’s much better to just use a spell that fits your needs than use Ether Hack without proper consideration.
However, there are cases where you want to boost a particular aspect even if it upsets the balance. Let’s say you double the power of a spell and the result is that the mana consumed and the cooldown increases tenfold. In terms of simple efficiency, it’s clearly worse.