Here’s the beat down—I mean, duel. Yeah. Enjoy the chapter!
ED: eristol, xtostos
After school on the day after the theft happened.
At the same time as the ringing of the bell, I headed to the designated dueling place.
This academy has various physical education facilities.
The venue for the final battle is the stadium used for simulated battles using magic and dragons.
The stadium is a round building without ceiling.
Spectator seats arranged in mortar-shape surround the perimeter of the grey cobblestone.
It looks like a smaller Roman amphitheater from my previous life.
I took out two sets of gloves of storing from my leather bag.
There are nine Crystal Clusters and one Hold in one set of the gloves.
And I put the other set with nine Crystal Clusters and one Castling in the pocket of my jacket as my reserve.
I could hear the noises from the audience seat even on my way there.
It seems that there is a big audience.
“I don’t want to stand out……”
“Hahaha, I don’t want to hear that from you.”
I handed my bag to Harold who is my second and walked up to the dueling stage.
My duel opponent Evan Haearn had arrived first and was waiting.
He has the Staff of Frozen Grounds in his hand as per Harold’s information.
At the entrance on Haearn’s side, Charlotte, the owner of the talisman, is watching with a worried expression.
“Good job for not running away. I’ll praise you for that.”
“The same can be said for you.”
At the end of our greetings, a prefect stood between us.
In order for the duel to not develop into a private battle, the duel in the academy is supposed to be conducted under the supervision of the prefects.
The prefect explained the rules of the duel.
This duel is to be performed while wearing a runestone with a substitute effect on the chest.
The side who has their runestone destroyed, gives up, or goes out of the stage loses.
There is no rematch and retaliation is absolutely prohibited.
The price of the destroyed runestone (very expensive) must be paid by the person who was wearing it.
Once the explanation was over, the prefect took out runestones with a shape similar to a desert rose.
After seeing me and Haearn wearing the runestones, the prefect stepped back to the edge of the stage.
“I will let you move first. If I knock down a woman without giving her a chance to resist, even as a joke, it will bring dishonor to the mages’ population.”
Haearn quietly said as he started walking calmly with his back towards me.
It is a dignified attitude which says that he has nothing to hide.
In fact, he is not a bad person.
He just wanted to help his childhood friend who had something important stolen from her in righteous indignation.
One can even say that it was an unfortunate accident that he had stepped on Beatrice’s hands.
Haearn’s actions were all part of the calculation of the true culprit; he is also a victim.
I also walked to the predetermined position and looked back.
The distance between me and Haearn is about 100 meters.
For alchemists and mages, this distance is as good as none.
When the prefect raised his hand, the noises of the spectators’ seats got smaller and smaller.
The prefect raised his voice and gave the usual statement that the trial will be conducted in the name of the magic academy.
Then, the prefect confirmed the statement regarding the case.
Its contents are mainly in line with Haearn’s complaint and my defense.
When Haearn and I confirmed that each other’s claim was worthy of honor, the prefect nodded solemnly.
“Now then, the duel trial starts from now.”
Even after receiving the starting signal, Haearn had a composed look without taking a stance.
In accordance with his previous declaration, he will give me the first move.
Since he has given me this chance, it will be rude if I don’t take him up on his kind offer.
I took out eight Crystal Cluster wands from my gloves of storing and set them up for Haearn.
Immediately, eight magic circles incorporating high-speed rapid-fire using wand alteration were created and activated.
Haearn began to chant with a surprised expression.
In no time, countless crystal bullets were fired from the magic circles and hit the ground with a sharp noise of wind.
Haearn accelerated using magic and escaped from the line of fire, he looked at the aftermath with astonishment.
Even though he handed over the first move to me, as expected he wouldn’t receive my attacks quietly.
I continued to attack while checking the effects using my Glam Sight lens.
The magic that he activated just now were Glam Sight and Longstrider1.
And the magic that is being cast now is Condensation Shield.
Longstrider is a geologic magic that increases one’s running speed.
Unlike the time magic Haste2, one’s reaction speed doesn’t change, but the magical power consumption is light.
Condensation Shield is an ice defense magic.
The artificial spirit automatically senses the direction of the attack and instantly generates an ice shield to block the attack.
If he can prioritize defense over attack, that means he is a surprisingly steady person.
So far the shield appears to be hard, so I can’t use simple attacks.
I made a long-acting rapid-fire barrage with the wands in my left hand, and reshaped the spell of the wands in my right hand into something completely different.
The target is to cover the entire area above the stadium grounds.
Putting emphasis on the number of bullets, I covered it in small crystal clusters similar to Rain of Stone.
By making use of delay in its activation, the rain is set to keep falling for a certain amount of time automatically even without me operating it.
The Crystal Clusters in my right hand are now out of charge. I stored the four wands and took out Hold.
Haearn gave up avoiding my attack and turned the newly completed Condensation Shield overhead.
A rain of crystal clusters poured down over the ice shield, shattered crystals and pieces of ice scattered away.
I feel like I saw approximately more than ten layers of the ice shield being deployed.
It will probably require a stronger attack in order to penetrate everything and damage the person behind it.
Now that Haearn is unable to move, I set up Hold at my feet.
I set the activation condition to a sharp drop in the ambient temperature, so all that is left is to allocate the power distribution to it—let’s hit him with all of the wand’s charges at once.
And now all five wands from the glove of my right hand are out of charges.
While focusing my Glam Sight lens at Haearn, I could see that his magical power was being absorbed by his Glam Sight and Condensation Shield.
Against the rain-like onslaughts, the automatic protection of Condensation Shield is incompatible.
In addition to that, the Glam Sight, which is the weak point of the Haearn family, is his enemy.
Although the magical power consumption is great, it would still analyze every one of the activation condition and delayed activation I have set.
Now then, to be doubly sure.
I compressed the remaining two-thousand charges of four Crystal Cluster wands in my left hand to only four shots.
Enhanced penetration, high-precision aiming ability and increased bullet speed.
Four shots of Crystal Cluster with the power of slaughtering a kraken in a single shot were generated at the same time near Haearn.
Haearn accelerated momentarily and escaped the first attack by the Crystal Cluster.
He probably used too much magical power.
When I checked it using my lens, he had given up on using Glam Sight.
It was a good decision for him to give it up quickly because there is a very complicated spell weaved into the Crystal Cluster, so analyzing it would have taken too much out of him.
The four crystals turned and repeatedly aimed for Haearn.
Haearn barely avoided the first few times while defending using the Condensation Shield.
However, he seems to have seen through the path of the crystal clusters spears to some degree and became able to avoid them merely by speeding up using Longstrider.
It seems that he can afford using magic after giving up his Glam Sight and he is starting to cast offensive magic.
Once that magic is completed, Haearn will come close.
If so, these last few seconds are my last chance.
Let’s calm down.
I can’t afford to make a mistake.
I put away all the empty wands in my left hand and took out the last Crystal Cluster.
The empty Hold that was held in my right hand is now transferred to my left hand.
Using the 1000-charges Crystal Cluster in my left hand, I placed an attack overhead that will become my trump card.
While building my trump card, I took off my right-hand glove and replaced it with a new glove.
I took out four Crystal Cluster wands with my right hand.
Almost at the same time as when I completed my trump card, all four crystal spears were destroyed at once.
A wide longsword longer than his body-height was being gripped by Haearn’s hands.
The handle is the Staff of Frozen Grounds. The blade is made of ice magic.
When he swung the ice magic sword, a frozen air reminiscent of midwinter blew across my cheeks.
“This is the first time that I’ve been pushed to this point. But, you’re finished!”
I guess he’s close enough that I can hear his voice, huh.
I waved my wand and made a crystal wall between me and Haearn.
However, he came closer to the wall while breaking it with the ice magic sword in his hands.
I silently weaved together the wand extension and put up barrages and barriers.
Magic circles of Crystal Cluster were fired rapidly, shooting crystal spears with aiming ability.
Haearn gradually reduced the distance, avoiding all of it.
It seems impossible with one hand.
I took one wand from my right hand and transferred it to my left hand and made crystal clusters with different shapes on left and right.
I ejected a large crystal pillar while maintaining the rapid-fire.
However, the bad thing is that the effect time of the crystal clusters that were pouring down from above has just expired.
Haearn defended from the crystal shards with Condensation Shield that finally became free and cut the crystal pillar with the ice sword.
A few more steps.
I used up all the remaining spells in my left hand and set up multiple rapid-fire magic circles behind Haearn.
In order to make sure that I don’t look like I am urging him forward, I created a line of spears using Crystal Cluster in my right hand between me and Haearn.
It should look like I’m aiming for a pincer attack.
“It’s no use!”
The crystal wall, which was made by using up all the remaining spells in my right hand, was crushed to pieces by his ice sword.
Crystal bullets aimed at Haearn from behind were also blocked by the multiple layers of the Condensation Shield.
Now, there are no remaining charges in the Crystal Cluster in both my left and right hands.
One more step.
Yes, he will arrive in just one more step.
I was watching over Haearn’s movement, confident that things are going as planned.
But he didn’t take the last step, he just stopped.
“A Hold spell? What an obvious trick!”
Haearn cast a spell for Disarm.
On the next moment as I saw the magic circle being deployed, a white flash resembling a lightning bolt hit my hand.
Ten offensive wands were knocked off from my hands.
Five wands were also blown off from the last glove of storing I was about to take out, and rolled out of reach.
“Checkmate, alchemist. You have no means to attack.”
When Haearn raised the ice sword over his head, its blade grew larger.
I see, if he does that, he would be able to attack from outside the range of Hold.
It seems that he has released the Longstrider and using the remaining magical power to attack.
Even if I turn to run away, I think that he will be able to catch up only based on his leg strength.
“You should have released the Glam Sight spell, right?”
“This Hold should have been set up before I released Glam Sight. I remember all the traps you placed at that time.”
“I see, I’m glad. You shouldn’t be able to see anything now.”
I was able to smile from the bottom of my heart for the first time today.
Haearn froze with an expression as if he saw something horrible.
It is too late to notice now.
I took the last step myself.
I took out Castling that remained in my right hand and activated it.
Using a thousand charges, cutting down the range, I hit the blow that specializes in penetration with all my heart.
The wand, which should have been weak, penetrated the strong mage’s magic resistance, causing a forced transition.
As soon as I changed places with Haearn, the coolness from his ice sword and ice shield met the established conditions for starting the Hold.
The condensed thousand-charges of Hold caught him.
Even so, few will be able to block the movement of Haearn who is a talented mage.
But, a moment is enough for me.
Far overhead, the crystal clusters which has been set with Hold as the condition is materialized.
This is my genuine, last trump card.
The aim of the final attack, which is a thousand-charges of Crystal Cluster compressed to the size of one stitch needle, is the runestone on his chest.
Only the artificial spirits built into the Condensation Shield noticed the small crystal needle ejecting at supersonic speed.
The brave artificial spirits made prompt defenses for their Lord.
All twelve layers of Condensation Shield.
The ice magic sword which was raised above his head.
Haearn’s own magic resistance.
The substitute effect of the runestone.
The crystal needle finished the materialization time of only one second and went through all of it and then destroyed the stadium’s stone floor.
“……eh? What? This is—?”
Haearn was looking at the shattered pieces of ice and the pieces of runestone rolling on them.
A thin blood streak dripped from a small wound on his cheek.
“Just, when exactly……”
With a hollow whisper, Haearn knelt down.
His exhausted face turned pale.
“From the beginning……I, I had lost from the very beginning……”
Haearn’s staff fell over, making a dry clanking sound.
After a long silence, the prefect’s loud voice resounded.
“Winner, Erica Aurelia!!”
At the same time, a surprisingly deafening cheer rose from the audience.
It seems that there are more spectators than I expected.
And then, while admitting me as the victor of the duel trial, the prefect declared Beatrice’s innocence.
1 Longstrider: another spell from DnD, which increases the target’s speed by 10 feet until the spell ends. (source)
2 Haste: another spell from DnD, which doubled the target’s speed. (source)
I forgot about this, but here:
Condensation Shield: This spell causes a disc of dense vapour to condense out of the air surrounding the caster. It acts like a normal shield, but its stopping power depends solely on the power of the spell. In this novel, this shield has built-in artificial spirits that will automatically senses the direction of the attack and instantly generates an ice shield to block the attack. (source)
eristol: In case anyone is having trouble with the battle flow I will just put in a summarized version.
• Erica pulls out 4 crystal cluster wands out of each of her gloves and goes rapid fire with 8 wands at the same time.
• Used the 4 wands of the left hand for a long duration crystal barrage attack and the 4 in the right for a stadium-wide raining crystal particle attacks both from overhead in order to keep the opponent busy.
• As the opponent is struggling with the dual attack she puts up a trap of high powered Hold at her feet with wand alteration which will activate if the surrounding temperature suddenly drops sharply.
• By now all 5 wands of her right glove are out of charge, and she used up all the charges of the left glove wands for 4 Kraken-killing missile attacks chasing the opponent around.
• The opponent tries to survive by cutting out on Glam Sight, his biggest leecher.
• As soon as his Glam Sight is off, Erica plans out her surprise attack aka final trump card by using the final crystal cluster wand remaining in the left glove as she has exhausted all 9 out of 10 wands from both gloves. The wand is exhausted after putting up the final attack. The condition for triggering this attack is if the Hold trap activates.
• Since all 10 of her wands are out, she replaced her right hand’s glove with a spare glove containing 5 wands, 4 of them are offensive crystal cluster and one is castling. At that moment the 4 Kraken-killing spears are destroyed by the opponent as he pulls out a magic ice sword.
• The opponent goes on offense, and Erica aims to lure him closer to shorten the distance and get him caught in the Hold trap, so she puts up a pincer to cover her intentions.
• The guy had seen the Hold Trap while he was using Glam Sight so he stays just one step out of the range area and completely disarms Erica and she loses all her offensive wands, but like mentioned in the previous chapter, Erica was keeping a Castling up her sleeve and was aiming to “Shorten the distance, exhaust the opponent’s magical power and a surprise attack”. And she got the perfect condition.
• Erica uses Castling, thanks to the guy’s ice shield and sword, the temperature drops and Hold triggers and he gets caught. And as the Hold triggers, the final attack also triggers. Boom, game over.
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