Chapter 317, To Overwhelm the Overwhelming
Stepping outside, I found myself in quite a familiar-looking place.
Though I have no idea where exactly this is… I can see that we’re high up on a mountain, in a decently spacious clearing that seems good for sparring matches and the like.
Probably shaped artificially with magic — I’m sensing trace amounts of residual arcane energy in the air.
I’ve been back to this era for a few hours now.
By this time, the night is starting to crack into dawn, the streaks of red in the sky dazzling our eyes.
“I feel like I know this place…”
“Worry about that later.
Bah, I’ve been holed up in the cave for so long, I swear I’m getting rusty…”
Irene grumbled as she swung her arms around.
Okay, this is getting weirder and weirder…
I was about to present the Limit Breakthrough Craft Circle to everyone in the meeting back there, but Irene stopped me from doing so.
Then again, she IS Irene the Invincible Sprout, one of the best of the best mages of this era.
She probably felt obligated to earn things for herself, instead of it being just given to her.
“Warren, Trace, Jennifer, Dallas… No need to hold back!”
Wait a second… why are all these guys here, too
“What’s that look for”
“Oh, this look means ‘I know you’re gonna cause me trouble again,’ if that’s what you’re wondering.”
“Good, just how I want it.”
Man, how arbitrary can she get
Now that I think about it, Irene was angry about something the last time we met… right
The time before that, too.
Huh And the time before THAT as well
“This look means ‘damn, the person I’m looking at is so weird,’ no offense.”
“Hey, sorry for being weird, all right!”
Okay, looks like I’ll have to fight her — which will probably improve her mood.
“Miss Irene, may I participate as well”
Um, Miss Viola, aren’t you supposed to bow to ME, not HER, while asking that
“I’d like a part in this, too, ma’am!”
It feels like so long ago since I last fought him.
Lina and Fuyu spoke up at the same time.
Their eyes are still red, but it looks like they’re feeling mentally fine now.
I gotta thank Pochi later–
“Master! Good luck!”
–Actually, no, I won’t.
Everyone here is fighting, and she has the audacity to sit this out…
Am I the only one around here who has to remind their Familiar to do work
Let’s see here… Irene, Warren, Jennifer, Dallas, Trace, Viola, Hornel, Lina, and Fuyu.
Nine against one.
What do they think they are, a ring of bullies
Huh I feel like there’s still someone missing.
Who could it be
Which reminds me, I haven’t seen Barun since–
“Now let’s see what the Holy Warrior Poer can do!”
“…You do realize that my ‘Holy Warrior’ power is already gone, right”
“Well, that’s fine, too — I just want to see how much of a difference there is between you and me.”
Well, at least she’s honest.
And I guess that’s reasonable — she probably wants to make sure that she’s ready for the Devil King’s upcoming Fetal Stage… And also see how much she’s achieved so far.
“…Great, just great.”
Come on, let’s get started!”
…Huh, I’m actually getting into this.
Despite the pluck they’re showing, though, I DO think some of them should get some rest first.
Those who were fighting Billy yesterday don’t seem to have gotten any sleep since… the day before that, I would guess.
But, hey, if this is how they want to roll, I’m not about to stop them.
Everyone moved to the center of the clearing, and I followed them.
Surprisingly, I’m not dragging my heels on the way.
Well well, looks like I’m looking forward to this, too — To see how much stronger everyone’s become, and to show how much improvement I’ve achieved.
“All right, bring it on!”
Those few words from me prompted a change in the look in everyone’s eyes.
I have no idea why they’re so surprised — Now I’m showing them a look of surprise as well, probably in a different way from them.
The first one to make a move is none other than the first one to ask to join this fight — Viola.
A flame burns brightly in her purple eyes — as if she’s looking at Gaston.
She charged forward, and at the same time, she drew up a Spell Circle.
“Sharp Wind Asteriskos & Remote Control!”
That voice — that’s not her, but Irene!
A sharp blast of wind, shout out from behind Viola, passed just over her and flew right at me.
Irene’s remotely controlling such a complicated spell — damn, she’s good!
I swung my Drynium Rod down to break the projectile apart.
At this time, Viola was just about done with her Spell Circle, inducing it with her arcane energy.
“Rise, Parasitic Disruption!”
With my spell, I instantly rewrote Viola’s Spell Circle.
I know she’s also about to rush in for a physical attack; editing it this way is sure to prevent her from doing that!
“What in the–! …Hmm!”
The Spell Circle’s energy ran wild, and it refused to untether from her hand.
She’s panicking at the possibility of her own spell lashing back at her — that’s how much she trusts in her own magic.
Hornel popped up out of nowhere; he seemed to have snuck past Viola just now.
Dude… you’re not even drawing a Spell Circle!
Looks like no one else is using Swift Magic, either — Are they under some unspoken agreement I’m not aware of
Damn, Hornel, since when have you turned into a melee fighter!
“Dah–! Dah–! Dah–!”
“C’mon, c’mon, c’mon!”
Above, left, left, ri– oh, left again.
He’s mixing in a number of feints, watching my movements as much as possible before committing to each strike.
So this is what Hornel can do when he’s calm, huh
I heard Lina and Fuyu’s voices coming from behind me.
I see… the close combat with Hornel and Viola has increased my blind spots, enabling them to circle around behind me.
At this point, Hornel shifted to focusing on trying to sweep my legs.
Okay, they ARE working together… and he’s trying to limit my movement so I can’t get away! Well, I’m not without my tricks, either!
As Hornel tried to sweep-kick my legs, I hopped up and did not land back down, instead dropkicking Hornel’s shoulders.
The kick knocked him away — and at the same time, it pushed me in the opposite direction, outside of the Gravity Stamp area.
Riding on the momentum, I let myself fly toward Lina and Fuyu.
“Here we go! Lina, Fuyu!”
Huh, now Lina and Fuyu are drawing Spell Circles again
What, does this mean…! Viola’s gonna–!
Viola seemed to have managed to regain control of her Spell Circle and rewrite it again.
The ground in front of Lina and Fuyu morphed into a gigantic wall.
And I’m… going TOO FAST! Okay, fine, I just gotta break right through it!
I braced myself, crossing my arms and crashing head-on into the earthen wall.
“What in the–! That’s supposed to be as solid as steel!”
Immediately following, the wall crumbled into dust, and I appeared in front of Lina and Fuyu.
“Huh! Weren’t you two about to attack me with magic!”
“”We were just feinting!””
Okay, they got me there.
Really, this is impressive.
These two have had their plan ready in advance, including the part when the wall appeared in front of them.
And they’re smiling — that’s good.
I know they’re feeling gratified from having successfully tricked me, but still… seeing them smiling at all makes me kinda happy.
They really have gotten good — Props to Gaston for his excellent teachings, no doubt.
Both of them are holding their staves tightly, lashing out one heavy hit after another.
“Yoh–! Whoa–! Hah! Ah-hah!”
And for each that came, I dodged, blocked, and parried them all.
Oh, and I’m hearing some quiet footsteps behind me.
That’s probably Hornel, bouncing back from the hit he took.
Now, three against one IS still scary even for me.
I bulked up my muscles, practically turning them into armor.
And just for a second, I stood my ground and took on the hits that came at me.
“It’s like I’m hitting a metal plate…!”
Lina and Fuyu, startled by how I did not even flinch, stopped attacking for a brief moment.
“I’m not THAT SOFT! Hmph!!”
I grabbed them both by their arms and threw them straight behind me.
They flew past Hornel’s sides, starting him quite a bit.
Hornel charged at me, and behind him, Viola was finishing her new Spell Circle.
Still… Irene hasn’t done anything since she launched her first attack, standing there with her arms folded.
And Dallas hasn’t done anything, period.
The same goes for Trace and Warren, the former standing around and smiling, and the latter… sitting on the ground and reading a book.
Are they really here to fight me Jennifer looks like she’s raring to go, but… Wait, could it be that–
Before I could finish thinking, Hornel had made his way up to me.
I can’t see what he’s doing with his left hand — yup, probably drawing a Spell Circle in a blind spot.
All right, if that’s how you wanna play…
“Grit your teeth, Hornel! This is gonna hurt!”
“Grit! Your! Teeth! And now, cover your head!”
I grabbed Hornel by his face and pushed him straight back.
The dull impact lingered on my hand for a second.
In the distance, a look of horror was painted onto Pochi’s face as she saw Hornel hit the ground.
The impact to the back of Hornel’s head must’ve been super heavy — though he did cover his head just as he had been warned, so he simply fainted from it and did not sustain any long-term injuries.
“Rise, Holy Virgin’s Boundary! All right, next!”
Viola pointed her Spell Circle in front of her.
“Eat this– WHAT!”
I instantaneously moved in front of Viola and grabbed her right hand — which she’s been drawing her Circle with — and circled around behind her.
Locking Viola’s whole body in place, I proceeded to rewrite the Circle’s magic formula just before she could complete hers.
“H-how did you gain so much power!”
“By building up my MUSCLES!”
“I wasn’t asking about THAT power!”
“Ah, no more talking — time’s up.”
Suddenly, Viola collapsed to her knees.
Since she’d had her right hand held and locked behind her, she was never aware of what her spell was turned into.
With Parasitic Edit, I had altered her Spell Circle — whatever it used to be — into that of a spontaneous-type Slumber Sleight.
Viola tried to fight her severe drowsiness, and in the end, she lost.
If I hadn’t distracted her by talking about my muscles, maybe she would’ve been able to fight it — I see, I see! My muscles are too enticing to resist! This is it! Muscles are magic!
“Rise, Holy Virgin’s Boundary!”
I placed a healing Circle under Viola’s body as I had done for Hornel.
“How nice of you, Sir Asley.”
I heard Lina’s voice coming from behind me.
“I did hit them pretty hard.
They look fine on the outside, sure, but there’s no telling how much they’re injured inside.”
I said to her as I turned around.
“I’m sure Miss Viola would appreciate that, but Hornel probably would be fuming about it later, don’t you think”
“That’s why I hit him super hard.
He wouldn’t complain about that, right”
“I see… So you’re going with how your opponents want to roll.”
I answered Lina and let out a dry chuckle.
Now wait a second, where’d Fuyu go–
“Ah, no more talking — time’s up.”
Lina said… as she cracked a smile.
Holy **, what in the– Since when was she this scary!
“Fire Lance Rain & Convergence!”
Suddenly, I heard Fuyu’s voice coming from behind me.
Okay, as its name suggests, it’s a rain of fire projectiles… What, they’re gathering!
Yes, the spell is supposed to create fire projectiles and rain them straight down on a wide area.
But this time, they’re being redirected to focus on a single point.
And the target is… Oh, why do I even bother Of course it’s me!
Man, when did Fuyu even prepare such a complicated spell! Wait — was it because Lina bought her time by talking to me!
And Lina’s great, too — She’d trained in melee combat from Betty, and at the same time, studied under Irene.
And then she went to work for Gaston and train as a soldier… All that makes for one hell of a fighter!
By the time I looked up, Lina had already hopped away to a safe distance.
Really, they’re good.
Now what should I do — Hell, scratch that, I don’t have time to stand and think! I’ve gotta JUST DO IT!
“HAAAHHH!! Magic Shield!”
And then I invoked my Ultimate Limit.
The very same moment, Warren’s eyes lit up with joy.