Battle preparation with Harold! The poor guy won’t know what will hit him. Enjoy the chapter!
ED: eristol, xtostos
When I told Harold about how I would be fighting in a duel trial, he held his head.
“You, why did you get yourself involved in such a troublesome affair? Can’t you think a bit like a sheltered young lady?”
“It was on the spur of the moment. What’s your opinion on boys who trample on a girl’s hands?”
“Well, okay, I do understand that sort of disposition as well.”
Hearing my excuse, Harold sighed with a dumbfounded look.
At the very least, if Chloe were in that place, I wouldn’t have stepped forward, but what has been done is done.
“So, this is the main reason I came here, I thought about borrowing your wisdom on how to fight.”
“Me? Since you’re doing simulated battles with Klaus-sama, wouldn’t you know about it more than me?”
“That’s the problem. I have never fought with people other than Klaus-sama, so I can’t imagine a normal duel.”
“Harold, you’re the only one I can ask for advice.”
“Ah~ geez~ since you have said it up to this extent, it can’t be helped.”
Hearing my idea, Harold laughed while lowering his eyebrows worriedly.
I don’t have many friends.
Among them, Harold, who has deep knowledge about wands and also happens to have knowledge about magic, should be the most dependable.
“Anyway, can you tell me about your simulated battle with Klaus-sama?”
“Right. What we did recently was……”
I recalled the battle with Klaus half a month before I entered the academy.
Under the assumption that the battle was happening in an accidental encounter inside a labyrinth where there are many covers, we set the limits where prior preparation was not allowed and attacks that could cause a cave-in were prohibited.
By using earth magic to make a pseudo-labyrinth, the battle started at the place where each of us could see the other party.
To start it off, Klaus deployed his Delay Barrier.
I managed to escape by using Castling on the small golem I had created beforehand behind me.
Simultaneously with my escape, I used Digging directly above Klaus and hit Dispel onto the barrier itself.
As the ceiling and the barrier disappeared, I deployed Crystal Cluster at the same time, but Klaus defended himself with a full-force Protective Circle.
From that point on, the battle focused around the offense and defense between my Crystal Cluster against his Protective Circle.
Judging that it would only become a repetitive tie, we ended the simulated battle there.
Speaking of new things, at that time Klaus showcased a magical sword that incorporated spatial magic.
“Another thing we did last winter was trial-shooting ancient magic recorded in ancient documents Klaus-sama had deciphered……”
“No, that’s enough, I get it. I get it that you guys only did frightening simulated battles.”
Harold stopped me with an appearance as if he is getting a heartburn.
What a terrible treatment, the frightening one is Klaus, I was only going along with him.
“Because ordinary mages will not use time and spatial magic casually, or do trial-shoots of ancient magic as a personal hobby.”
“As expected, you’re right……”
While I was sighing deeply, Harold also let out a sigh.
“Somehow, I feel pity for your opponent……”
I feel that I’m being treated more like the perpetrator.
Even though I have said that the other party is the one who brought it to the duel trial in the first place.
“Well, right. I guess I’ll give you the standard moves of a duel using magic as far as I know.”
“The first thing you have to watch out for is the Disarm spell. It’s a spell that can become a trump card in a duel.”
Disarm is a spell which is special in a duel as it can knock off the opponent’s weapon.
I saw Eduard-oniisama use a Disarm wand before.
I recalled the sword that flew away from Louis’ hand on the day of the Advent Festival six years ago.
It has a short range, but I feel like it is a very powerful magic with a quick casting time.
“Does that mean that the wands in my wand-holder or glove of storing can also be knocked off?”
“Aah, if an alchemist is on the receiving end of that spell, the situation will turn-around in that single shot. So, first of all, you must remember the behavior of that spell.”
Since I prioritize equipment that can oppose phantom beasts and magical beasts, or explore things like ruins, I don’t have a wand of Disarm.
However, since Harold has handled it during reparation and charging, it seems that he’s familiar with that wand’s internal behavior as well.
“Characteristics of Disarm spell can be roughly summarized as follows.”
While Harold listed them one by one, I made bullet points on parchment.
It has a high attenuation rate of power in accordance with distance.
When a mage casts a spell, they consume a lot of magical power.
And same with how one can determine swords, bows, etc. by their shape, it is determined by its magic resistance penetration ability or by the presence or absence of magical power amplification mechanisms.
“The other standard spells are Glam Sight, Bind, and Dispel. You’re also well-acquainted with these spells, aren’t you?”
“Yes. Those are familiar spells.”
Each one of them is a standard technique.
Bind is a spell that cannot be charged into a wand because it requires spellcards to work, but Klaus uses it, that’s why I know it well.
“In addition, if he’s a mage, you should pay attention to his area of specialization or his aptitude.”
“On that note, are there any hints written in the material?”
“Aah, there is that, huh.”
Harold pounded his hand and headed to a large bookshelf in one corner of the room.
This bookshelf is a magical device with an incorporated mechanism so that only Harold can take the books out.
He offered to make it so that it will also respond to me, but I declined.
It would be a problem of privacy and I thought it would be good to leave it to Harold who seems to be self-disciplined.
Harold took out a black-dyed leather book and flipped through it.
“By the way, what’s the name of your opponent?”
“I think it’s Evan Haearn.”
I told Harold the name Tir gave me.
Harold quickly found the corresponding page from the thick book and read it.
Second grade of the East Dorm. A prestigious mage and the second son of Earl Haearn.
Prefers to use the Staff of Frozen Grounds.
It is mainly a staff to strengthen magic related to ice and earth.”
Staff is a magic-augmentation device.
Since it is a basic thing to do to tailor a staff to strengthen the magic one specializes at, that means Haearn specializes in ice and earth magic.
Before going to bed, let’s learn more about ice and earth magic.
“Hmm. The number of materials purchased for spellcards is extremely small.”
“Is he on a faction that doesn’t make spellcards that much?”
“At least he probably won’t have enough prepared to use spells like Bind.”
This is good information.
In this case, it should be safe to assume for starters that he won’t create tremendously powerful defensive barriers or other such spells in return for consuming massive amounts of magical power and spellcards.
It is a great harvest that I found out about this.
Furthermore, Harold taught me the demerit of there being a subtle decline in magical efficiency when mages don’t use spellcards.
“He regularly has scrolls delivered from a certain company. This company is a store that has an established reputation for Glam Sight and other demonic eye magic.”
“It is a basic thing to do for mages to prepare scrolls for magic that is their weak point. In other words, there is a possibility that he is not good at Glam Sight magic.”
“How pitiful, with his purchase history alone, it seems his abilities can be determined up to such a degree……”
For mages, the difference in constitution greatly affects their strong and weak points.
There is a limit to the magical power which an individual can hold, so their individual characteristics can be both a strength and a weakness.
In order for the fight to advance advantageously, it will be necessary to thoroughly hit those weaknesses.
“When Haearn was at his family’s house, he had a tutor who was a retired former magic knight. He is the second son, so maybe he wants to become a magic knight in the future.”
“He certainly has such a personality.”
He is hot-blooded and a man of justice.
Perhaps he is also confident in duels.
If not, he wouldn’t apply for a duel at that place.
There is a high possibility that he will attempt a direct confrontation, fair and square, rather than using sneaky moves like Bind.
Nevertheless, just to be sure, I shouldn’t be careless in taking my countermeasures.
“Is the owner of the talisman Charlotte Phladur?”
“You knew about it?”
“I haven’t looked into the talisman matter. But, speaking of Evan Haearn’s childhood friend, it seems like she is the one. A~ah, as it is related to his favorite girl, blood came up to his head, huh.”
While smiling bitterly, Harold showed the pages of the black-leather book to me.
It was not only Evan Haearn’s personal information that was written there.
His parents, siblings, relatives, his circle of friends, the Earl’s circle of friends, and other personal connections.
The special products of the territory, the output of the mine, the economic circumstances, etc. were densely written.
I wonder why the family which his older sister married into, that family’s economic circumstances, on top of that, their business partners and the loan source have also been investigated.
No way, did he investigate every student like this?
“Um……I think it’s enough to only investigate the family and teacher-student relationships, and even that is already an overkill……”
“You said you wanted me to investigate further, right?”
Harold shrugged his shoulders with a curious expression.
Harold continued talking without noticing my turmoil.
“Now then, how are you going to fight with this guy?”
“Right. Since the real culprit should also come and watch the duel, I want to get a complete victory to constrain them as well……”
By the way, in the original duel trial, Harold defeated his opponent in an instant, didn’t he?
It was a piece of still picture and it didn’t describe how he won.
Since his life is different from the age of eight, it would be useless if I ask Harold now.
I will think about how to win this by myself without being careless.
“I’ll prepare two sets of gloves of storing and take twenty wands into the fight.”
“Since one wand will be charged a thousand times, it will be twenty thousand times in total……”
“I was going to take measures against Dispel, but I wonder if this is an overkill?”
“It’s fine, isn’t it? If you do it flashily, there will be no other victims who would pick a fight with you. It will be a good insect repellent.”
Harold said so, affirming the number of charges for my strategy.
It is Harold who will support the quantity.
Even if Harold has the ability to charge it, it takes an hour to build a thousand spells.
The twenty thousand times charges that were planned this time would take at least three days assuming that he works seven hours a day.
I can’t thank him enough.
“So, what are you planning to use?”
“For my main offensive wand, I’m going to use Crystal Cluster that we have made a lot. And if we consider the delay and the conditions to prepare it, I think it is better to narrow down the type of spells.”
“Ooh, isn’t that great? It would look flashy.”
“Apart from bringing Hold in order to target his weak point, the problem is the counter-measures against Disarm……”
I assembled the strategy roughly in my head.
The strategy would focus mainly on fighting using non-offensive wands, which won’t have the ability to penetrate magic resistance that much.
Given that it would be a final ace up my sleeve, I would prefer to also have a wand that can give an unavoidable knockout blow.
“I am troubled whether to use Digging or Castling, but which one do you think is better, Harold?”
“Since the opponent is good at using the earth magic, Digging will be easily invalidated by its counter-spell.”
“I will use Castling then.”
It’s a fundamental method to cast Castling on allies-and-others to switch them. Originally, it was used for exploring labyrinths, after all.
In general, it is a non-offensive wand that can be defended against by even a minuscule amount of magic resistance as long one is even slightly wary towards the caster.
However, there was a precedent that it was also effective against a thieving mage called Rob, when it was shot a hundred times collectively.
“If possible, it would be great if I can do it in one hit, so I wonder if I should try using a thousand charges with wand alteration.”
“All at once……in order to penetrate the magic resistance of a mage specializing in dueling, a little more ingenuity might be necessary.”
“A little ingenuity……?”
“Well, I wonder if you can pull off something like a surprise attack, exhaust his magical power in advance, or make him sacrifice his range.”
Harold calculated using a calculator similar to abacus with one hand and made a note on the cut end of the parchment nearby.
A surprise attack. Exhaustion of magical power. Shortening of the distance.
It would be great if I can incorporate preferably everything altogether.
“Also, this is just in case, but I will use a scroll of magic resistance enhancement tomorrow morning. Failing to defend myself by chance would be scary otherwise.”
“Are you worried? I can’t imagine you losing, though.”
Hearing Harold’s strange trust, I responded with a wry smile.
As for me who has no experience in duels, except for Klaus’ standards, I can’t afford to look down on my opponent.
And then I remembered another thing.
Considering his investigative power after seeing this black-leather book, Harold would be a good candidate.
“By the way, I’d like you to investigate someone who seems to be the real culprit.”
Harold pointed to himself with an empty look like a haniwa1.
I told him the story while smiling.
“Because I was challenged to a duel, I would stand out more, right? Fortunately, all the students have been investigated and you have the widest information network.”
“Well, that’s true. Hmm, but, was Glaw-jou really falsely charged?”
“She is innocent based on her personality and circumstances. She doesn’t gain anything if we consider her situation.”
“When you say situation……”
“If Beatrice Glaw can graduate from the academy safely, she will be the successor of the Earl House of Wynt.”
“Aah, I see. That’s why a single talisman would not be worth it.”
While throwing in interjection to show that he was paying attention, Harold looked at the page of Beatrice in his black-leather book.
The Earl House of Wynt is a prestigious noble family which specializes in future vision and past vision, they have served in an important post in Hafan since a long time ago.
If one thinks of it in terms of chess, Beatrice is like a pawn promised to be promoted to a queen.
“Well, if Glaw-jou is innocent, then who is the real culprit?”
“Harold, if it were you, where would you be at the moment of executing the plan, assuming that you planned to put false charges on someone else?”
“They wouldn’t interfere directly, right? Still, I would be in a place where I can see everything for the time being, I would be wondering if the plan would progress as I want.”
I nodded to Harold’s answer and handed him a piece of parchment.
It is a list of students taught to me by Tirnanog.
“I also thought of the same thing. Perhaps, the real culprit must be among these people.”
“I see, you’re well-prepared.”
“Since we will get our priorities backward if she is still falsely charged, I want you to thoroughly identify the causal relationships.”
“Well, I understand. Leave it to me.”
I asked Harold to investigate the incident and decided to return to the dorm.
Well, I will switch the gear in my head and think about the duel trial.
1 Haniwa: a hollow unglazed terracotta figure. (source)
Harold has become an information broker, wow. Also, are you excited for Erica-esque face-slapping?
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