Editors: Miyuchi, Hocchibi
Chapter 5: The Fool and the Black Reaper.
“And that’s done.”
After knocking Jhin unconscious, Glen cautiously waited for his sealing magic to run out, and used the spell [Magic · Rope] to bind Jhin’s hands and legs. Then, he used [Spell · Seal] to prevent Jhin from using magic, and applied [Sleep · Sound] on top of that. Finally, Glen stripped Jhin completely, tied him in a turtle bind, and drew atrocious drawings all over his body. To top it all off, he stuck a piece of paper to his crotch. Written on it, was the word ‘impotent’.
<TL Note: 不能, can imply impotency. At the same time it means incapacitated/unable.>
“Hah—, he won’t be able to do anything like this. My my, this is why it’s so troublesome to take a magician prisoner.”
Just as Sistina was thinking that it wasn’t necessary to go that far, a man’s shirt was thrown over her shoulder.
Sistina turned her head to the side, and saw Glen in a tank top. He was looking away from her, as to avoid seeing her immodest appearance.
“It was scary right? Are you hurt?”
“I’m fine… because sensei saved me.”
“I see. It’s good that I made it in time then. Alright I’ll undo the [Magic · Rope] right now.”
Glen chanted the incantation for the black magic [Dispel · Force], and dispelled the effects of [Magic · Rope] and [Spell · Seal] that had restricted Sistina.
With her arms now free, Sistina pushed her arms through the sleeves of Glen’s shirt, and buttoned it.
“S-, Sensei… you…”
Unable to bear the silence, Sistina called out to Glen.
“Don’t ask. Please.”
And Glen awkwardly rejected her.
“I get it already… I don’t have the right to teach anyone. My hands are too dirty for me to be qualified to guide anyone…”
“No, that’s not what I’m talking about. Uhm… your pants fell off you know?”
It seems like the final round-house kick had loosened the metal fastener on the belt. At some point, his pants had fallen to his feet, and his underwear was exposed to the world.
“Ah, geez, damnit! This is why I don’t like this cheap stuff—!”
“Sensei, you’re really careless aren’t you…”
Seeing Glen’s dumb appearance as he pulled up his pants, there was nothing more that Sistina could say.
“But… It’s good that you’re alive…”
“Hm? Did you say something?”
In an unhappy manner, Sistina turned her head away.
“…? Well that’s fine. Anyway, tell me about the situation, White Cat. What is happening here?”
Sistina told him about the series of events that happened— Two magicians calling themselves terrorists had entered the classroom, restrained them, and locked them in. Hearing that none of the students had been sacrificed, Glen felt relieved. However—
“Lumia was taken away?”
Sistina showed a frustrated expression, and turned her gaze downwards.
“I don’t know.”
“I see… but if that’s the case, was I too hasty?”
“Ah—, no, sorry. I was just talking to myself. Since I managed to saved you, my judgment was correct.”
The sharp sound of metals clattering against each other rung throughout the room.
Just as Sistina’s body froze in surprise, Glen furrowed his brows, and took out the half-gemstone from his pocket.
“What the heck Serika!? You’re late! What were you doing this entire time you idiot!”
“Sorry about that. I was in the middle of a speech, so I turned off the receiving capability.”
The voice that came from the gemstone was definitely belonged to Serika, who was currently at the capital a fair distance away from Fejiti.
“Something crazy happened over here you know!?”
A stiffness could be felt in the voice coming from the gemstone.
“Is that all true?”
“Like I would joke around about something like this. It wouldn’t be funny.”
Glen nervously scratched his head.
“Anyway, the culprits are the Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society. They managed to seize the barrier and lock down the academy. It’s no longer possible to get in, and there are about 50 students being held hostage, all of which have been restrained and locked inside a classroom. Of the hostages, one of them has been rescued, while another seems to have been taken to the person behind all this.”
“The Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society hm… I didn’t think that that group of good-for-nothings would come…”
“The enemy’s force consists of three people, and one of whom is unknown. Of the three, two of them have been restrained. However, the last person is probably bad news. At any rate, the last person probably won’t be any weaker than the two before.”
“Is your original magic [The Fool’s World] not going to work?”
“My original magic will only work if they’re not aware of it. The enemy isn’t stupid enough to let me use it three times.”
“I suppose so.”
“Finally, the most important part… I know that the magic security system of the academy is top-notch. However, the system has been completely put under their jurisdiction… So there has to be a traitor within the academy.”
“Ah, I think so as well.”
“Hey Serika, are there any professors or lecturers on your side that went missing? Especially professors, or any lecturers of that level.”
“I don’t know. We aren’t moving together as a group, so it’s impossible for me to confirm whether or not anyone’s missing.”
“Tch… then explain the situation and confirm it! Also, hurry up and get the imperial court magicians moving to help me out!”
“That impossible. You should already know this, but magical academies are places where various political parties fight for face and authority. If I call them right now… they won’t be able to get there quickly.”
“Are you retarded? Stop kidding around! The lives of students are at stake you know!? Just use your authority and do something!”
“Right now I’m nothing but a normal magician. If people could freely exercise the authority of their past positions, then this nation would be in trouble.”
“Then hurry up and come back! The school has a teleportation circle right!?”
“Calm down. Do you think the people who would go to the extent of seizing the barrier would leave the teleportation circle functional? If it were me, I’d have destroyed it immediately. Well, I’ll try it out, but don’t expect anything.”
She was completely right. A teleportation circle could be used as the origin and destination for long distance transfer magic. If the circle linking the capital and the academy was still functional, then reinforcements would soon arrive from the capital. Thus, taking out this teleportation circle would be the first priority of any well-thought-out terrorist plan.
Glen pressed on his head, as though he was embarrassed by his own behavior, and released a long sigh.
“…Sorry. I wasn’t thinking calmly.”
“People don’t really change on the inside do they? You’re just the same as you were. Anyway, I’ll quickly come up with some countermeasure, so don’t push yourself. Just protect the students and hide with them in a safe place.”
“Ah, got it.”
“Well, I’ll hang up now… Don’t die ok?”
“Like I would die in a place like this.”
Canceling the communication magic, Glen returned the gemstone to his pocket.
“Hm? What’s up?”
Glen noticed Sistina staring at him.
“No… Uhm… It’s a bit unexpected…”
“I thought that… uhm… Sensei was a bit colder than this…”
Glen turned his gaze away, as if he didn’t care about what Sistina had said.
“Erm… The person just now… was professor Alfornea, right?”
“Will she be able to call for help?”
“Do you think she’ll be able to, hearing the conversation just now?”
Hearing that, Sistina dejectedly lowered her shoulders.
A short while later, she rose up with a resolved expression, and moved to leave the room.
“Oi where are you going? White Cat.”
Glen pulled on her arm to stop her.
“I’m going to save Lumia.”
“Stop. Are you asking to die pointlessly?”
“But…But, Lumia… In order to protect me, Lumia…”
“What do you think you can do on your own? You should know already right? Be a little more mature.”
“…Be a little more mature.”
“But… I’m frustrated… I mean…”
“O-, Oi… White Cat…?”
“I mean… uu… hick… uwaaaan….”
All the emotions that she had held inside burst out in a single moment. In front of Glen, who was at a loss for words, she began to wail like a child.
“You were right sensei! Something like magic isn’t anything good! It’s because of this… Because of this, Lumia is… Lumia is… hick…u,–…”
“…Stop crying, idiot.”
Glen placed his hand gently on Sistina’s head.
“Since magic already exists, it is unrealistic to hope for it to not exist. What’s important is for us to consider what to do with it… That’s what your best friend said. My-oh my, my ideology had stagnated for a long time didn’t it? Maybe I’m getting old?”
Glen showed a gentle expression that was unbecoming of his lazy and audacious personality. Towards this unexpected display, Sistina couldn’t help but feel a bit anxious.
“You know, that girl Lumia, in order to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future, she hopes to rise to a position where she can guide the magical world in the right direction. Isn’t that stupid? It’s still admirable though.”
“Does she… believe that?”
“Yeah, so she can’t die here… I won’t let her.”
Saying that, Glen’s eyes flared with resolve.
“I’ll be going now. Once I confirm the location of the two remaining enemies, I’ll assassinate them. There’s no other choice.”
Assassination. Hearing Glen say that without hesitation, Sistina felt a frightening chill down her spine. However, more than that, she felt a sense of dread. Although Glen’s eyes were filled with cold, murderous intent… she couldn’t help but feel that he was suffering.
Suddenly, a dry laugh spread through the room.
“…Assassination, huh? Kekeke, I never thought you would say that like it was nothing… at first I thought you were just ‘different’… but what’s this all of a sudden? You’re not all that different from us in the end after all…Kuhaha…”
Jhin had already recovered consciousness. It seemed that the effect of [Sleep · Sound] had been too weak. Glen clicked his tongue and glanced at Jhin.
“I won’t deny that. In the very end, I’m a lowlife, just like you.”
“Hm? Then aren’t you gonna kill me? Or is it because you can’t do that in front of your cute little student?”
“Don’t group yourselves with sensei!”
Sistina angrily shouted at Jhin, whose comments were displeasing to her.
“Sensei is different from you! Compared to you, who treats people like trash, and would kill someone without hesitation—”
“Kuhaha! And how much do you know about him!? To you, he’s just a temporary instructor that you’ve only just met, right?”
Sistina went silent. It’s true that she had only known Glen for about twenty days. To her, she was nothing but a ‘mysterious instructor that had been brought in by Serika’. She didn’t know a thing about his past.
“I’m just gonna say this straight. This guy is definitely up to no good. Who knows how many people he’s already killed… He’s a real devil on the inside, just like me. That’s just the kind of person he is, and his eyes say it all. I totally understand.”
Sistina hoped that Glen would deny something, anything.
However, Glen remained silent. It was a silence that served as confirmation.
Then, suddenly, the room began to shake from the magic power permeating through the atmosphere, and the space around them began to ripple like water.
From the rippling space, unidentifiable objects began to emerge.
They were skeletons, standing on two legs, and armed with swords and shields. There were about ten of them. No, rather, it would be more accurate to say that they kept increasing in number—
“You’re finally here! Nice! Brother Reick!”
Jhin cheerily shouted.
Glen and Sistina were surrounded by the skeletons in an instant.
“S-, Sensei… this is—”
“Damnit, to think that they would use Bone Golems!? Not only that, but they’re all made with top-grade, alchemically-refined dragon teeth! You guys are being really generous with your cards, aren’t you!?”
The summoning magic [Call · Familiar]. Usually, this was a magic used to summon familiars that were about the size of small animals, however, the caster of this magic was able to use his handcrafted golems as familiars, and summon them from a long distance. It was a frightening high-level ability. On top of all that, because they were made with dragon teeth, they each had abnormal levels of strength, mobility, stability, and were capable of resisting the three primary elements. It was an opponent that could not be handled by normal fighters or magicians.
“More importantly, is his multi-tasking ability some kind of joke!? Is he even human!?”
There was no time to admire the caster’s frightening abilities.
One of bone golems swung its sword at Sistina.
Glen immediately got between them. Using his left hand, he hit the body of the sword to deflect it, and with his left hand, he punched the golem’s head with all his might. But—
“Tch, it’s hard!?”
The impact of the strike had pushed the golem back, but there wasn’t even a single scratch on its skull.
Recovering its poise, the Golem swung the sword again—
“Didn’t you drink a bit too much milk!? Go and drink some soda!”
It was nigh impossible to deal physical damage to golems made of dragon teeth, so the result of punching them goes without saying. However, even the three primary elements – Fire, Frost, and Lightning – wouldn’t have an effect on them.
In order to defeat them, raw magical force was necessary.
(I need to use [Weapon · Enchant]! Shit, I don’t have the time.)
Any attempt to cast magic was behind the bottleneck of three-stage chants. So it was hard to use it flexibly.
Glen resolved to take about two slashes, and prepared to chant—
“<Let light shine upon that sword>-!”
Sistina completed the one-stage chant for the black magic [Weapon · Enchant].
Glen’s fists were enveloped in a bright light, which signified the presence of magic power.
Giving his thanks, Glen swiftly dashed forward.
With three quick flashes, the skulls of the golems on the left, right, and center were shattered.
“<Oh the great winds>!”
Following that, Sistina chanted the black magic, [Gale · Blow].
A violent gust of wind pushed the golems blocking the doorway aside.
Although it didn’t do any damage, it opened a path to exit the room.
“Nice! Let’s go, White Cat!”
Sistina ran along this path to exit the experimentation room.
Two golems immediately turned to attack her.
“As if I would let you!”
Glen, who followed closely behind Sistina, punched and kicked the golem aside.
And thus, they barely managed to escape the room.
Without a moment to rest, the two of them continued rushing down the hallway.
“Sensei, where are we going!?
From behind them came a dreadful cry.
“W-, Wait!? W-, Why me… AHHHHHHHHHHH––––––!?”
The sound of something sharp piercing through something soft could be heard. Accompanying it was a painful and dreadful cacophony. Sistina covered her mouth, her face pale.
“We don’t have a reason to save him, and we didn’t have the time to anyway.”
Glen’s cold voice seemed to be talking to himself.
“More importantly, what happens to one, may happen to us all. Here they come.”
After dealing with Jhin, the golems rushed out of the room—
Glen fired a straight punch.
And the skull of the bone golem in front of him shattered.
“<Oh the great winds>-!”
Sistina had once again cast [Gale · Blow]
The squall that formed around her arms blew away the bone golems that were chasing after them.
Reaching the end of the hallway, the two quickly rushed up the stairs to the next floor.
The bone golems insistently chased after them.
“Damnit, this isn’t getting any better…”
There were simply too many enemies for Glen’s magically enhanced fists to beat. Although Sistina’s magic could buy them some time, it was unable to land a killing blow on the bone golems.
Thus, they had no choice but to keep running.
Furthermore, Sistina’s magic power wasn’t unlimited. Despite the fact that Sistina’s magic power was top notch from an affinity standpoint, using magic non-stop from the beginning of the ordeal would have left her reserves pretty exhausted..
“Sensei! Golems are categorized as magical creatures right!?”
Sistina shouted at Glen, breathless, as they ran down the hall.
“Can’t you do something with your original magic!?”
Glen replied immediately.
“My magic, [The Fool’s World], only stops the activation of magic! It’s meaningless to use it against magic that’s already been completely realized! If I had to give an example, it would be those guys!”
Glen cast a bitter glance towards the golems chasing after them.
“Rather, to deal with those guys we should be using [Dispel · Force] to counterbalance the magic inside them.”
“If it’s like that then I can do it! Should we try!?”
“Wha!? You can use it!? Isn’t it a pretty high level spell!?”
“Yes, but I didn’t learn it from the academy. I learned it from my father…”
“You’re quite the honor student aren’t you… but it’s pointless. Don’t even think about it.”
“Even if you dispel the magic inside them, they’ll just return to dragon teeth… their beginning state. As long as the spell-caster sends magic power back to them, they’ll just return to their golem forms and attack us. Basically, don’t bother wasting your magic power.”
“Just compare the amount of the magic power required to cast [Dispel · Force] with that of what’s already inside the target object. In order to function in a semi-automatic manner, each of these guys have their own built-in magic circuit. If you use [Dispel · Force] to deal with them one-by-one, you’re gonna exhaust yourself in an instant you know? Either way, the support of your magic is necessary right now.”
“Then what about Sensei, you have more ample magic power to use [Dispel · Force]—”
“It’s even more pointless for me to do it. After reciting a really long incantation, and expending a large amount of magic power, I can only temporary cut down their numbers. At that point, I might as well punch them with magically-enhanced fists. The same goes for stopping them from reusing the golem!”
“But at this rate—”
Arriving at the next floor, the two once again returned to the hallway.
“Sensei!? Ahead is—”
“Ah, there’s nowhere to go, is there.”
As Sistina had observed, at the end of this hallway was a dead end.
“W-, What are we going to do!?”
“I’ll stop them here. Go to the deep end of this hallway… and improvise an incantation on the fly.
“The magic I want you to change is your specialty, [Gale · Blow]. Lower the force, increase the area, and keep up its effect for an extended period of time. At the same time, limit yourself to a maximum of three-stages. Once you’re done, give me the signal, and I’ll do something about this.”
Sistina moved closer to Glen, and looked up at him.
“I-, I don’t know if I can do something so high-level…”
“It’ll be fine.”
Glen replied with an air of confidence.
“Though you’re cheeky, you’re outstanding, but you’re cheeky.”
“Don’t put such a strong emphasis on cheeky!”
“If you can understand the contents of the latest lecture then you should be able to do this. Rather, you have to do this. If you can’t I’m gonna mark you down.”
“H-, How unreasonable…”
But because Glen acted as foolishly as usual, Sistina’s anxieties were eased. Whether or not Glen did it on purpose, no one would know.
“… I understand. I’ll do it.”
“Alright, then go ahead!”
Glen stopped and turned around to face the crowd of bone golems.
Sistina ran ahead, leaving Glen alone.
Glen’s punch shattered the bone golem in front of him.
And the bone golems attacked Glen like a surging wave.
This’ll work. I thought this might be the case when that delinquent guy was attacked, but these guys can only follow simple commands like ‘prioritize the nearest person’. Then as long as I stay alive, they won’t be able to reach White Cat. I alone am enough for a barrier.
Glen retreated step-by-step to dodge the countless swords swung at him.
Then, taking advantage of the gaps in their defense, he destroyed the golems.
However, none of it mattered in the face of overwhelming numbers. He couldn’t fully avoid the blades of the bone golems that hadn’t fallen, cuts began to form on his body.
Tch… I need to limit my movements as much as possible, and focus on dodging the fatal attacks… That way I can buy as much time as possible… The rest is up to you, White Cat.
Arriving at the end of the hallway and catching her breath, Sistina quickly began to rearrange the incantation for the black magic [Gale · Blow].
She could see Glen heroically fighting at the midsection of the corridor.
“<Wind—become calm—>, no that won’t work, the force will–––– <Storm—run rampant> ––––”
Based on Glen’s teachings on magic syntax and formulation, Sistina ran simulations in her mind. What were the effects of the change in runic language on her inner consciousness? Slowly but surely, she arrived closer to her desired result.
On the other hand, Glen, who was in front of her, was slowly being wounded. Seeing the red trail that leaked from his body as he moved, Sistina felt a tinge of distress in her chest. Everytime Glen failed to dodge an attack cleanly, and lost balance, she felt a knot in her heart. It didn’t seem like he could hold on much longer. Faced with the immense burden on her shoulders, Sistina desperately resisted the urge to hold her head in her arms and blank out.
“<Obstructing Winds—Rejecting Winds—Barrier of Wind>? If I want to extend the time then—”
Despite all that, Glen didn’t turn and run away. Glen dove left and right to dodge the fierce attacks, all for the sake of buying just a little bit more time.
Sistina noticed. His unyielding spirit and unwillingness to retreat wouldn’t be possible if he didn’t trust her. Though everything that came out of his mouth was nothing less than hateful, he trusted her.
Glen visage, fighting in the face of despair, gave Sistina courage.
There’s no way I can betray his trust.
“Reduce the speed of the incantation to twenty-two… and with a voice tension of forty-five…”
Sistina wasn’t strong. She only put up a strong front so that she could match up to her household’s name. In reality, she was weaker and more cowardly than anyone, and in truth, Sistina had already realized that.
Even if it’s just for now… Let me be strong like Lumia, who didn’t retreat a single step in the face of the enemy… Let me be strong like sensei…-!
Both Lumia and Glen had saved her before. If it wasn’t for them, she won’t be able to stand here right now. If she hadn’t died—then she would have been broken.
That’s why— Let me be the ones to help them this time!
With a flash of spirit, Sistina decided on the runic form she was going to use. The incantation was complete.
“Sensei, it’s done!”
The moment Glen heard Sistina’s shout, he immediately sprinted down the hall towards Sistina. It was as if he had been waiting for this moment for a long time.
Of course, the bone golems hurriedly chased after him.
“How many stages!?”
“Alright! Once I give you the signal start the chant! Give them everything you got!”
Glen ran and ran.
The golems chased and chased.
“Now! Do it!”
“<Obstruct and reject · ––––”
The distance between Glen and Sistina shortened and shortened.
“<––––Oh barrier of storm · ––––”
Ten paces –––– Five paces –––– Three Paces ––––
“––––Bring tranquility to their legs> ––––!”
Glen jumped and rolled across the floor next to Sistina.
During that time, the incantation was completed, and an explosive gust of wind emitted from Sistina’s hand.
It wasn’t a concentrated flurry of wind like that of [Gale · Blow]. It was a storm that covered the width of the corridor that was focused in a direction.
If one had to give it a name, it would be the ‘modified black magic [Storm · Wall]’. With Sistina as the origin, the magic created a wall of wind that continuously blew in an outward direction, which reduced the speed at which the golems could advance.
“N-, No… I can’t stop them completely… Sorry, sensei…-!”
Since it was improvised on the spot, the force wasn’t enough. The golems pushed against the current and gradually advanced. It was just a matter of time until they reached them. Sistina felt sweat trickle down her body.
“No, you did well. Thanks for the help.”
Despite that, Glen rose to his feet with ragged breaths.
With a pop, he flicked a small crystal into the air and caught it in his left hand as it dropped.
Then, Glen tightly grasped his left hand with his right.
“The magic I’m about to use can’t be chanted halfheartedly alright…? Keep this up for a bit.”
Taking a deep breath, Glen closed his eyes, and began his chant.
“<I am the one who slays the gods · ––––…”
Taking his time—
“<I am the one who knows the origin’s beginning and end · ––––…”
Deliberately and slowly—
Glen exerted high levels of magic power, and focused his consciousness to weave each and every phrase.
As Glen continued, three magic circles – facing horizontal, vertical and level – formed with his left fist as the origin. As if they were gears of a machine, each of the circles began slowly began to turn and accelerate.
“…Eh? You’re kidding…”
Sistina realized the true form of the spell that Glen was chanting.
“T-, That magic is…”
“<Return this to the providence of the cycle · Return all that is composed of five elements to the five elements · In order to unweave the binds of anomaly and logic · the creations of nature shall hereby scatter · ––”
Glen jumped in front of Sistina, who had frozen in shock.
“—To the end of the distant void>—!”
Completing all seven-stages, the great incantation that enveloped his entire body was completed.
“Go! Get blown away you mobs! Modified black magic [Extinction · Ray]—!”
Glen opened his left hand and thrust his palm forward.
Then, the three magic circles centered around his hand expanded and shifted forward.
In the next moment, a giant beam of light was released from Glen’s left palm. Passing through the three magic circles, the beam continued in a straight line to the end of the hallway.
What followed could only be called ‘annihilation’. Everything in the path of the beam… the bone golems, the ceiling, the walls; All of it had been devoured by the beam of light. In an instant, all had been vaporized without a trace.
Finally, the blindingly radiant sunlight settled into the empty space.
Silence. Stillness. There was not a single moving object that could be seen.
The abrupt ending of this crisis caused Sistina to enter a trance. The roof of the corridor had completely disappeared, along with the walls on the right hand side. The view beyond could be clearly seen. A long cylindrical shape had been cut from the corridor. A gentle breeze blew through the corridor that had become an outdoors area.
“A-, Amazing… Such a high level spell…”
The modified black magic [Extinction · Ray]. It was a spell that would completely disintegrate the target to its original elements. It was the most powerful magic amongst those that could be chanted by a single user — Serika Alfornea had devised this magic in the ‘Great Magic War’ two hundred years ago in order to kill the apostle of an evil god. It was an original magic that neared the power of a true god-slaying technique.
It appeared that Glen had used a magical catalyst when he chanted this magic… but even so, the ability to use this magic was something worthy of praise and amazement.
“It was a bit overkill, there was no other choice for me… guh, ho…-!”
Glen threw up blood and collapsed.
Sistina rushed to Glen, and touched his body. His entire body was drenched in sweat, and his body was cold to the point where anyone would be horrified.
“This is… mana deficiency sickness!?”
Mana deficiency sickness was a shock-symptom that occurred after an extreme exhaustion of magic power. The source of magic power was mana inside the body, and the true nature of mana was one’s life force. If mana was suddenly depleted, then it goes without saying that one’s life would be endangered. In reality, magic was a double edged sword that one would trade their life to use.
“Well… I did use a trick to forcefully use a magic that’s beyond my own capacity…”
Although Glen always seemed to be relaxed, right now he showed an agonizing, distorted expression.
Regardless of his mana deficiency, his body’s in a terrible state. He’s bleeding heavily from the wounds. Though there aren’t any fatal ones, there are too many of them. If he keeps bleeding at this rate — it’ll be bad.
“A-, Are you alright!?”
“If this can be called ‘alright’, then you need to go see a doctor…”
Even at this crucial juncture, he was still sharp-tongued as usual.
“<Oh angel of affection · Bring tranquility onto this person · With a gentle hand of aid>”
Sistina used the white magic used for healing [Life · Up] to treat Glen’s wounds. However, Sistina specialized in black magic – which pertained to movement and energy – and alchemy – which pertained to objects and elements. Thus she wasn’t proficient in white magic like [Life · Up], which pertained to the body and spirit. With her current skills, treating these wounds would take a vast amount of time and magic power.
“Idiot, this isn’t the time for that…”
Glen wiped the fresh blood off the corner of his mouth and stood up. His knees trembled as he forced himself on his two feet.
“We need to hurry up and get away from here…. And find a place to hide…”
Glen showed a bitter expression.
“Our opponent isn’t so naïve as to give us the time to do something like this… damnit.”
From the remnants of the destruction came the sound of heavy steps.
“To think that you would be able to use [Extinction · Ray]. It seems like I’ve underestimated you.”
The silhouette that could be seen across the corridor was—
The dark-coated man, Reick.
Sistina held her breath.
This was the worst possible timing. Glen was already heavily wounded.
Furthermore, floating behind Reick were five swords. There were most likely Reick’s magic tools. Since they were already activated, Glen’s [The Fool’s World] would not have any effect.
“Ah-, geez, I already have bad feeling about this just by seeing the floaty swords… Those swords definitely move according to the owner’s will, or move automatically using the skills of master swordsmen that are inscribed on them, right? Goddamn.”
“Glen Ryders. The investigation said that you were a third-rate, third-rank magician… but for you to have defeated two people was beyond my expectations. I made a miscalculation.”
“Don’t kid me. One of them was totally killed by your hands. Don’t blame it on anyone else.”
“He had disobeyed his orders, gave up on the mission, and began to do as he pleased. That was merely punishment for that. I’m not a saint. I wouldn’t grant charity to a dog that wouldn’t listen to simple command.”
“Ah, is that right? Well that’s kinda harsh.”
Glen whispered into Sistina’s ear.
“Oi, White Cat, still got any magic power to spare? Can you dispel those swords?”
Sistina glanced at the swords floating by Reick. She could tell just by looking at them that each of them carried a vast amount of magic power. It was also probable that each one carried a magic enhancement circuit inside as well.
“Even if I use all my remaining magic power it probably won’t be enough… I think. In the first place, he won’t give me the time to chant [Dispel · Force]”
Suddenly, Glen pushed Sistina aside.
Sistina had been shoved towards the right side, where Glen’s [Extinction · Ray] had carved a hole – as in, outside the campus building.
Accompanying the loss of balance, Sistina free-fell from the fourth floor of the building.
She seemed to have casted [Gale · Blow] as she fell in order to decrease the velocity of the fall. The only sound that could be heard from outside was that of a squall of wind.
“Hmph, so you let her get away.”
“I guess so. Well, with you as my enemy I can’t spare any attention to protect her. So, what now? Are those conspicuous magic swords a counter-strategy against me?”
“Ahah… was I found out?”
There’s no need to ask a stupid question like ‘How did you know?’. Farsight magic, sense synchronization with his familiars, reading the memory of objects… There were an infinite number of ways that magicians could gather information.
“Seeing Jhin being defeated so one-sidedly without being able to do anything, this was the only method I could think of. Furthermore, you didn’t use that strange magic against the bone golems. Basically, that means it is a special magic that seals the activation of magic. If that’s the case, then as long as I activate magic beforehand, there won’t be any problems… Let’s go.”
Reick snapped his fingers, and the swords behind him collectively pointed towards Glen.
Then, they flew in a straight line towards him.
“I knew it—!”
Glen desperately whipped his wounded body to and fro to dodge.
“O…owowow… Geez, why did he do that… that guy!”
The endpoint of her fall was the academy’s main courtyard. There, Sistina lay spread-eagle on the ground.
Since she had used the black magic [Gale · Blow] to reduce her falling speed, it felt as though she had fallen five or six steps of stairs…
“Is this the way you’re supposed to treat a girl!? If I couldn’t chant the magic in time what did he plan to do!? Geez!”
Despite her shouting, Sistina’s heart rapidly fell into a solemn state.
Thinking about it calmly, it was evident that Glen had done this to protect her.
The mass activation of bone golems, the repeated use of a remote summoning technique that was amongst the highest-levels of summoning magic, and an arsenal of magic swords. The dark coated man had revealed so many frightening techniques, all of which were far more threatening than what the delinquent man had done. Just comparing her chances of surviving if she were to be caught in the unconventional fight between magicians to her chances of surviving if she were to fall from the school building would be dumb.
Though Glen had suddenly pushed Sistina without so much as a warning, it showed how much faith he had in Sistina. She understood that much, but…
“In the end, I’m… just in the way…”
It was true that Glen had said that ‘the support of your magic is necessary’ to Sistina.
However, didn’t that come with the condition of ‘having to protect Sistina’? ‘Dodging the enemy attacks’, ‘chanting spells’, ‘Protect Sistina’. If he only had to choose two from these three options then… maybe Glen wouldn’t have faced as many problems? If Glen had been alone to begin with, would they have been in a situation where they were pursued?
In the first place, why had they been chased by a large amount of bone golems?
What had caused them to be discovered by the dark-coated man?
Wasn’t it because Glen had saved Sistina?
Furthermore, it was evident that Glen’s trump-card, his original magic [The Fool’s World], had been revealed due to this. Yes, everything was because of her.
From above, the sound of objects crashing against one another could be heard. It seemed that the battle had begun.
If that was the case, then there was nothing more that Sistina could do.
“What sensei said is the only choice I…”
Sistina lowered her shoulders and silently stood in place. Haven taken a mental blow from her own inability and powerless, Sistina felt like her vision fading.
However, it was then that Sistina noticed—
“…what sensei said?”
She felt a slight discomfort as she thought about it.
And so, Sistina stood there, pondering the true identity of that discomfort.
From the left. From the right. From the front. The swords slashed one after another.
The sword sliced through the air, and the blade’s point drew closer—
Glen parried one with his left, struck down another with his right, and shifted his body to dodge a third.
The three swords tried to cut apart Glen. Each had skills, speed, and deftness comparable to that of a master.
However, the movements were simple and inorganic, so he could somehow manage for now but—
Suddenly, two swords came in from directly above and behind Glen.
The two swords aimed for the moment that Glen stopped moving. It was as if they had a consciousness.
Although Glen turned his body to dodge, the two swords that had grasped the perfect timing cut into his back.
A crimson flower blossomed from his body. Since Glen had responded appropriately, the wounds weren’t deep. However, they weren’t anything to scoff at either.
Glen jumped backwards, and leaned his back against the wall.
Each of the swords took their time to surround Glen.
“How bothersome… You bastard… you can use both types?”
Yes. The man before him – Reick, controlled the five swords. Amongst them, two would act according to the will of the spellcaster, whilst the other three would move automatically using the skills of master swordsmen that had been inscribed onto them.
“Well said. Although the swords can perfectly imitate the skills of master swordsmen, the swordsmanship is still that of an inorganic object. In the face of a master, having five of these would still be meaningless. However, if I manually control all of them, I, as a magician, still won’t be able to match the skills of a master. After assassinating dozens of knights and magicians, I’ve come to the conclusion that three automated swords, and two manual swords is the strongest combination.”
Glen was completely suppressed. In this situation, he was at an extreme disadvantage.
In truth, it would be far easier to deal with five automated or five manual swords. However, the combination of automatic and manual swords made it hard to find an opportunity to take advantage of.
“However, you don’t seem like a magician at all.”
The movements of the manual swords showed no signs of amateurism. Rather, it would be prudent to say that they were first-rate. If this man could realize those such movements from a distance, than his swords skills were surely nothing to scoff at either. Surely, any ordinary swordsman would immediately die were they to face this man in a swordfight.
In general, magicians tended to turn a blind eye towards training in the physical arts. Instead, they would focus all their attention on cultivating their mind and spirit. Thus, whilst this direction was different, this man also deviated from conventional magicians.
“The pointless chatter ends here.”
Reick swung his arm.
In response, the two manual swords began to close in on Glen. Although the adeptness of their skills weren’t quite at the level of the automated ones, they were able to adapt to varying situations. These conscious swords seemed to be playing with their prey.
Then— from the corner of Glen’s vision came three flashes of silver.
While the movements were simple, their speed and sharp movements attacked Glen from his blind spots.
In response, Glen moved his hands to strike two swords off their course.
Then, he moved as little as he could to avoid being fatally injured by the other three that came from the side. The blades that grazed by left fresh cuts on his body.
After the series of attacks ended, Glen judged that this was one of his few opportunities to counterattack.
“<Oh crimson lion · With a torrent of rage—
As Glen landed on the ground, he began to chant a spell.
The magic spell he had chosen was the black magic [Blaze · Burst]. The spell gathered heat energy, and released it in the form of a ball. When the ball hits the target, it would burst into flames and explode. It was a powerful military-grade offense magic that would mow down everything caught in its wake.
If one were to be caught in the flames caused by [Blaze · Burst], there wouldn’t even be ashes remaining.
In a narrow space like this, there was no room to dodge.
“ · Roar ––––”
However, before Glen could complete the three stage chant—
Reick pointed his finger forward, and completed a one stage chant.
In that moment, the fireball that was generated in Glen’s left palm made a ‘pop’ sound, and dissipated into space in the form of magic power.
The black magic [Tri · Varnish]. It was a counter-spell that would forcefully dissipate fire, frost, and lightning energy, and return it to its elementary state.
“Too slow, magic instructor.”
Glen ground his teeth in frustration and jumped back to avoid the five swords that flew towards him from above. Carrying the momentum, the swords embedded themselves onto the ground.
“There’s no way a three-stage chant could beat a one-stage in a contest of chanting speed. [Blaze · Burst] should be chanted like this—”
Reick gazed coldly at Glen, who had avoided the five swords.
The extremely fast one-stage chant for the black magic [Blaze · Burst]. It was a high-level technique that would allow a single person to match an entire army.
Knowing that the magician before him could not use anything less than three-stage chants, Reick was almost certain that his move would bring forth a decisive end. However—
Reick didn’t think that Glen would immediately charge towards him as he began his one stage chant. Glen took out something from his pocket as he charged towards Reick—
“<Oh fierce emperor of thunder · With a spear of aurora—”
Glen had begun a three stage chant that was impossible to complete before Reick’s.
He had begun, despite being behind and unable to chant less phrases than the opponent. It was a foolish act that deviated from the unwritten rules of magic battles.
Reick killer instincts and senses allowed him to immediately understand Glen’s intentions.
He canceled the activation of [Blaze · Burst] and jumped aside.
“ · Pierce through>–––!”
As if he was aiming for this gap, Glen completed his chant.
The black magic [Lightning · Pierce] appeared from Glen’s finger, and moved rapidly through the air towards the center of Reick’s body.
However— Reick had managed to recall the two manual swords, which crossed in front of him to deflect the spell.
“Tch— it didn’t work huh.”
Glen clicked his tongue.
Immediately, Reick snapped his fingers to command the automatic swords.
The automatic swords pulled away from the floor and began to attack Glen once again.
Using his momentum, Glen rolled and jumped aside to dodge the sword’s attacks.
“Are you kidding me, these swords are also enchanted with [Tri · Resist]. My—oh my, you’re quite prepared for this. And here I thought I was going to score at least one with that play.
Seeing’s Glen’s actions, Reick felt his tongue twist.
The concept of mana biorhythm, was a measure the current state of the mana inside one’s body. In its uncontrolled, basic state, the biorhythm was referred to as ‘neutral’, under control, the biorhythm was referred to as ‘law’, and the out of control state was referred to as ‘chaos’.
To use magic, one most focus their mind and apply breathing techniques to get the biorhythm from the neutral to the law state. When using magic, one’s biorhythm immediately jumps from the law state to the chaos state. Although there were varying extents of the ‘chaos’ state depending on the scale of magic used, on a fundamental level, it was impossible to avoid entering the chaos state immediately after using magic.
Also, in the chaos state, regardless of how great the magician was, it was impossible to use magic.
That was an absolute law of magic.
Glen actions just now – recklessly chanting [Lightning · Pierce] – was most likely a trap. If Reick completed the chant for [Blaze · Burst], then Glen would activate his sealing magic without hesitation to prevent the activation.
In that case, Reick, who hadn’t activated any spell, but whose mana biorhythm entered a chaos state, would momentarily lose control of the magic swords. If Glen had been able to approach in that instant, then with his outstanding martial arts—
On the contrary, if Reick had been too cautious of Glen’s sealing magic, and had sent the swords to attack, then the result would be him getting struck by Glen’s [Lightning · Pierce]. Thinking about it clearly, Glen’s reckless three stage chant for [Blaze · Burst] was most likely a trap to create this situation.
In that instant, Glen had carved two paths leading to Reick’s death. Furthermore, Glen had completely grasped the amplitude of Reick’s biorhythm. Beyond that, the guts and judgment to enact a plan that would lead to his demise were his timing slightly off—
“Your name is Glen, correct? Just what kind of person are you?”
This wasn’t something that could be done by a mere magic instructor. Rather, it was something that could only be done by a battle-worn magician.
Reick could no longer maintain the belief that ‘Glen is a third-rate magician, who can’t use anything faster than three stage chants, and only has an average amount of magic power.’ While there was no doubt that Glen was still a third-rate magician, he was a ‘powerful enemy’ that would take Reick’s life were he to make a single misstep.
If he had not cast [Tri · Resist] on his swords beforehand, then Glen’s [Lightning · Pierce] would have readily penetrated through them, and he would have died.
“I’m just a magic instructor, a temporary one at that.”
“I wonder… Well, fine. Now I see, the fact that you can choose the timing to seal off magic is a bit troubling.”
“How so, I wonder? If you don’t know when I’m gonna use this move, then why don’t you just use some spells to test it out? I’m also gonna really recommend using those military-class spells of yours.”
“Don’t be foolish. Now that I have recognized your strength, I won’t fall for the same trick twice you know?”
“Damnit, so you figured it out. I really hate people like you.”
Seeing Glen’s disgruntlement, Reick’s lips curved into a cold smile.
“Rather, I want to show you my respect, after all, you are the first one who has matched me to this extent.”
Glen thought the same.
As Glen was his opponent, he had to remain cautious of Glen’s sealing magic, and could not bring out his full potential as a result. If the opponent hadn’t been Glen, he would’ve hurriedly summoned all his bone golems and commanded the five swords to attack. On top of that, he could cast an offensive spell for a repeated wave of attacks.
For Glen, there was no telling what Reick still had hidden up his sleeve. If that man were able to freely cast magic, just who could fight him on equal footing? Although Glen personally knew quite a few monstrous powerhouses, he couldn’t think of anyone who could win against the man before him.
Is Serika the only person who could fight him in a direct confrontation?
If that was the case, then his opponent was truly an outrageous monster.
This is bad… What should I do?
The effects of the spell [Weapon · Enchant] that had been casted on his hands by Sistina were running out. The only reason he could deflect those swords with his fists was because they had been enhanced by magic power. If he hadn’t been able to, he would already be long dead. Although he could reapply [Weapon · Enchant], there was no way that the opponent before him would give him to time to perform a three stage chant. His failed, desperate attempt at [Lightning · Pierce] further drove him into a corner—
On the contrary, the fact the effects of [Weapon · Enchant] is still active is quite astounding… that White Cat is pretty amazing isn’t she? Though she’s a bit cheeky.
Unlike Glen, she had been born with far more. Although Sistina Phebell was still an immature, young girl, she was undoubtedly a genius.
At this point, I should get myself ready for anything…
Taking a deep breath, Glen rolled his hands into fists. It was his usual martial arts posture.
“Hmm. What are you planning now?”
Feeling that the next exchange of blows would be the last, Reick readied his posture without a single hint of carelessness.
As Reick rose his hand, the five swords pointed their ends towards Glen.
The atmosphere became tense.
It was as if the temperature of the corridor had dropped to a freezing temperature.
The seemingly everlasting silence was only but a moment.
Reick sent the five swords forward.
“<~~ · ––!”
At the same time, Glen covered his mouth with one hand, and began to chant an unknown spell.
“You idiot! Even if that’s a one stage chant, I’ll still be faster!”
It was just as Reick declared.
There was no way that Glen would make it in time with a three stage chant.
The five swords flew through the air like lightning .
Then, the sound of five sharp objects piercing through flesh could be heard.
The five swords embedded themselves deeply into Glen’s chest, stomach, shoulder, hand, and foot. Although he had twisted his body at the moment the swords hit to avoid a fatal wound — the winner of this fight had already been decided.
––Or so it appeared.
“––Maintaining the balance · Return to zero>!”
“What!? It was [Dispel · Force]!?”
The magic that removes the magic power from the target, and nullifies it – [Dispel · Force] – was activated.
The swords that were embedded in Glen’s body began to shine with white light—
“Surely, if that had worked, my swords would have become normal swords, but—”
It was a poor move. The magic power required the successfully use [Dispel · Force] was proportional to the amount in the target object. In the first place, this was a spell that was mostly used to disenchant objects. If one wanted to dispel magic tools that carried magic amplification circuits inside, then a massive amount of magic power – enough to exhaust the caster in an instant – would be needed. Dealing with an opponent’s magic tool with [Dispel · Force] was a poor move that defied common sense.
Thus, as should be expected, Glen’s [Dispel · Force] wasn’t enough to nullify the magic power inside the swords. Whilst the magic power in the swords decreased, it was not a problem for Reick’s long-distance control.
Once he pulled away the manual swords from Glen’s body, and decapitated him using the retrieved swords — It would all be over.
“Your pointless struggle ends here. Die—”
Reick raised his hand into the air — it was then
“<Return to powerlessness>––!”
From the opposite direction, came the unexpected sound of a one-stage chant.
At the end of the corridor was a human silhouette.
It was Sistina. Sistina, who had arrived there at some point, matched Glen’s attempt at dispelling the swords, and casted [Dispel · Force] with all the magic power she had.
Reick had made two miscalculations. The first was that – knowing how cowardly Sistina was – he believed that she would run away, and that the chance of her returning was nil. The second was that he didn’t think that Sistina would have this level of ability and magic power capacity.
Now, with the combination of Glen and Sistina’s [Dispel · Force], the five swords that stabbed into Glen became normal swords—
Before Reick could reactivate the swords by sending magic power, Glen pulled out the arcana card of the fool.
In that instant, Glen’s original magic – [The Fool’s World] was activated.
In that area, the activation of all magic was sealed.
Glen threw the card aside, and pulled the sword on his shoulder—
Silence. The sword that Glen retrieved was completely pierced through Reick’s left chest.
‘pi-shhhhh’, a red liquid splattered across the floor.
“…Hmpf, well done.”
Reick didn’t move. Standing there, he congratulated the person who had stabbed him with the sword.
He didn’t think that catching one off guard was anything dishonorable, as he was a magician, not a knight. Regardless of whether it was a one-on-two or one-on-three, to him, the one who used every tactic and strategy at one’s disposal, the one who made the first move, and the one remained standing was the stronger party; And to be strong, is to be justice.
“Tch… making me do something so disgusting…”
<TL Note: The words for ‘disgusting’ 胸くそ悪い, has the word ‘chest’ 胸 inside it.>
Glen did not celebrate his victory. Rather, he felt the bitter aftertaste of it.
“I see… so it was the fool, huh. Now I understand.”
Looking at the arcana tarot of ‘the fool’ that lay on the group, Reick appeared to have comprehended something.
“Until recently, there was a person amongst the imperial court magicians whose specialty was killing magicians. Although their technique was completely unknown, this assassin that belonged to the empire had a magic that could seal off magic, and slaughtered the heretical magicians that tried to overturn society.
“He was active for a total of three years. During that brief period, even if I only count the number of master-level magicians confirmed to have fallen to his hand, the number still amounts to twenty-four. Furthermore, all of them were powerful enough that it would be unimaginable for them to lose. The codename of the magician killer that caused fear in any magician, was –––– ‘The Fool’”
“… Is there anything you want to say?”
Seeing the cold and gloomy gaze, Reick’s clips curved into a gruesome smile.
He left behind those last words.
Reick’s fell to the floor, and ceased to breathe.
After confirming that Reick was dead, Glen leaned his back against the wall and collapsed.
“This… is also it for me… huh…”
It seemed that he had reached his limit. As he felt consciousness escaping him, he could hear the footsteps of someone running towards him and calling out his name—
“What… a boring… life…”
Glen’s consciousness fell into darkness—