It’s time to test whether or not Bouncykins’ words were true. A warrior can’t fight a magician even if the magician is at a lower tier of strength. Lucia’s already disproved that claim, but, quite frankly, Lucia’s special. She’s blessed by the earth with an outrageous ability to recover her qi in the matter of seconds as long as she’s on the ground. Her physical strength is enormous, and her ability to regenerate wounds is ridiculous. Sometimes, I wonder if she really knows how strong she is compared to everyone else. Even if Lucia hadn’t found me, she’d still be a monster after discovering qi.
Compared to Lucia, I’m weak. The only aspects I’m better than her in are experience, technique, and concentration, but her instincts are comparable to my experience and technique while her lack of focus is fixed by consuming bones. It’s fitting, I suppose. A weapon spirit shouldn’t be stronger than their master; otherwise, how could they be called master? Now that I’m weaker, I’m really going to miss the days I could bully her. Well, I’ll have to make do with humiliating her opponents instead.
“Fire, engulf my enemy. Flare!” The fourth prince summoned a sheet of fire which obscured him from view. Meanwhile, Gae Bulg clashed against Ancile, using his flexibility to fight Ancile’s stiffness. Even though Ancile was bigger, Gae Bulg was holding the advantage in strength. Well, that’s to be expected when one’s a divine warrior spirit while the other’s a spirit warrior spirit. As for these meager flames, a simple layer of qi around my body is enough to let me pass safely. I don’t have the Armor of Slaughter like Lucia, but the concept is similar.
The fourth prince’s smiling face greeted me when I passed through the flames. “Rise!” he said and tapped the butt of his staff against the ground. Pointed spears of earth shot out of the ground towards my legs and chest.
This level of magic isn’t enough to stop me. Steps of the Phantom: Illusionary Grace! If Lucia’s Steady Mountain Footwork is the embodiment of strength and stability, then the Swift Phantom Footwork is the embodiment of speed and flexibility. It’s actually extremely similar to the footwork Snow uses, the same one that doesn’t seem to work on Lucia.
The fourth prince’s smile widened. He stomped his foot down. “Grease.” A layer of light spread out from his foot, coating the arena ground.
“Ah!” Lucia shouted. Was she in danger? “My hot chocolate’s slipping away! What the heck is this?” I’m disappointed in myself for even questioning Lucia’s safety. But as her weapon spirit, I couldn’t help but turn my eyes away from the fourth prince when she had shouted—that little motion cost me. An invisible force crashed into my spear, but I had no way to support myself after the floor became as slick as oil. “Whoa, Durandal was sent flying!”
Please don’t state the obvious, Lucia. It was your fault in the first place. While I steadied myself, the fourth prince pointed his staff at me. “Thunder, trap the weasel. Lightning Cage!”
A thunderbolt rained down from the clear sky, striking the ground beside me. An instant later, a crackling cage of white lightning formed around me. I tested its strength by sending out a bit of qi. I could escape, but not without suffering some injuries.
“Fire and earth, combine your strengths. Magma Pillar!”
Heat bubbled out of the ground beneath me, and I jumped through the lightning cage. The lightning clung to me, shrinking while dancing against my skin. It felt like hundreds of snakes biting me, but staying inside would’ve been a lot worse. The pain isn’t an issue—how is he reading every single one of my moves? It feels like I’m fighting while two steps behind. It’s upsetting to admit, but a warrior is predictable, a magician is not.
The fourth prince grinned like a savage. “Darkness, roam free. Pain Amplification! Aggravate Wounds! Mana Detonation!”
The lightning circling around my body turned black, and the shocking feeling increased by at least tenfold. Everywhere the lightning touched, blood poured out as my skin was lacerated. Before I could do anything, the lightning exploded, creating craters in my flesh. How unpleasant. So this is the difference between a magician and a warrior? But I’m no longer an ordinary warrior. While the prince laughed and chanted another spell, my injuries were already healing. The wounded flesh wriggled and reconnected like mating worms.
What would Lucia do in my situation? Her attacks seize the flow of the battle, building momentum nonstop, forcing her opponent to defend without giving them a chance to strike back. It’s unrefined with no thought behind it, but it works. “Breaking Spear!”
Qi, shaped like a spear, flew out of my weapon as I thrust it forward. Lucia should have enough qi to support me if I let out an onslaught of spear qi. “A hundred Breaking Spears! No, a thousand!”
“Ah! That’s clearly plagiarizing my super-secret final technique!” Lucia said, but I ignored her. I lost the initiative when the prince greased the floor; I have to gain it back and force him into a corner. He won’t be able to plan as many steps ahead if the pressure’s great enough.
“Earth, protect me. Diamond Wall!”
My spear qi crashed and dispersed against the transparent wall that rose out of the ground, but I didn’t stop. I refuse to believe Lucia’s qi is weaker than a sixth-circle magician’s hastily formed wall! Dozens, then hundreds, of qi spears flowed like waves, crashing and disappearing against the diamond shield. Cracks formed along its surface with every strike, and Gae Bulg and Ancile stopped their struggles to stare.
“Earth, protect me. Diamond Wall! Diamond Wall! Diamond Wall!” The fourth prince shouted and slammed his staff against the ground repeatedly. “If one isn’t enough, then I’ll summon two! If two aren’t enough, then I’ll summon three! Give up! You’ll run out of qi before I run out of mana. Your master’s powering two of you.”
“Ten thousand Breaking Spears!” I believe in Lucia’s nonsensical strength! Even if she’s powering both Gae Bulg and me, she’ll last longer than the prince.
“R-ridiculous!” The fourth prince took a step back as the first two walls he summoned shattered. “You want to fight a war of attrition!? Bring it on!” He took out a potion and drank it before slamming his staff against the ground. “Earth, protect me. Diamond Wall!”
This might be the most pathetic fight I’ve ever participated in. But struggle is necessary for growth. My next fight against a magician won’t be as shameful as this one; however, right now, I’m fighting for victory, not honor! If ten thousand Breaking Spears aren’t enough, then I’ll do twenty thousand. A war of attrition may be what Lucia’s best at considering how many bones of strength she has lying around. What a foolish prince.
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