The Magic Cannon's Weakness
Leguna cut the throat of that guard open with Lighteater in an instant.
"That was really close... I actually blinked to a place like this..." Leguna spat with his brows furrowed.
It wasn't the enemy he had a problem with. Instead, the tower he appeared inside was actually a toilet.
The poor Stokian guard happened to be relieving himself during a patrol. Yet, he didn't think that trip to the lavatory would cost him his life.
[Annie's going to transfer here in another three minutes,] Gahrona plainly said.
There wasn't enough time for him to find a quiet place in that time. If he wanted to keep his cover, the best choice would be to stay put where he was.
However, he could already imagine her response if she found herself in a place like this. He believed that his life would be less in danger outside than if he allowed Annelotte to transfer into the toilet.
[I shall offer up my life for the sake of the mission!] If anyone could see his expression right now, they would see a rapturous look that seemed to welcome death.
[People give their lives to pull emperors down their horses, yet you're willing to give yours to drag Annie into the toilet?] Gahrona said gleefully.
[Aaaaaaaaaah!] Leguna almost screamed out loud. Regardless, no matter how terrified he felt, he endured the pain to hide to body of the Stokian guard.
Three minutes later, the transport talisman flashed blue and expanded from a single point into a circle. It was worth noting that the space around the oval didn't change one bit, but within it, Leguna could see the wood he left from.
Right after that, Annelotte's stunning face appeared inside that circle. She put her hand through it to test it out before walking through it entirely.
"Sorry, I really didn't mean it!" Leguna was so terrified that his hands and legs were shaking.
But Annelotte didn't buy it. She gave him a murderous glare, but only plainly said, "The mission comes first. I'll get you back for this in the future!"
"Thank goodness." He breathed a sigh of relief.
Even though he could endure the smell, it wasn't something a clean freak like Annelotte could tolerate. She furrowed her brow and said, "Let's leave this place right now."
"Alright." He had best be obedient for now. He quickly entered stealth.
Annelotte also dictated a high-grade shroud spell and an insight vision spell. The shroud spell would prevent her from being detected even if she dictated spells and the other allowed her to see Leguna in his hidden state. But even with insight vision, all she could see of Leguna was a murky blur.
Leguna however could not see her at all. She was completely transparent. Annoyed, she had no choice but to hold his hand as he led them out of the stinking place.
"Let's go there first!" He pointed to a magic cannon not that far away.
Each cannon was manned by two guards. Apart from that, the walls were also frequently patrolled. If he counted on killing the guards and destroying the cannons, he figured he would be discovered after fifteen minutes at most. Given that he could probably only wreck one cannon per three minutes, he could only destroy five at most.
If he continued to force his way after that, he might be able to hold for half an hour more. But he would only be able to take out a cannon every ten minutes at most, so that makes only three extra cannons. In total, he could destroy eight and he had to take Annelotte's presence and movements into account. While she might be able to work faster than he can, the two of them could destroy only around 20 or so cannons and it was still quite far from what they promised Manhattan.
He was quite thankful for Annelotte's presence because of that. With her there, he believed that everything would be much easier. He had no good reason for having such confidence in her, but he really believed her to be that impressive and magical.
The two guards were chatting out of boredom. Seatide's walls were 20 plus meters in height after all and no northerner would be able to actually reach their cannons to destroy them. Their presence there, according to them, was only as a needless precaution.
What they didn't think of was there would actually be people who could make it up those walls. Those two also had the very cannons they were guarding in their sights.
'What do we do?' Leguna asked with hand signs. That was something he learned from Wayerliss's notebook, but he didn't find it to be that useful when he operated alone. After he started working with her, however, he understood how important it was to be able to get messages across without making a sound. The hand signs were something he learned before his last mission.
[Let me observe the situation first,] Annelotte sent with a conference spell. She was completely hidden and Leguna wouldn't be able to see her hand signs.
She circled the magic cannon on light steps and got into deep thought.
'Haven't you read about the cannons before at the bureau?' Leguna asked in a complex pattern of hand movements.
[It's different. The information provided is only the tip of the iceberg. Only after seeing the actual thing can I truly understand its mechanisms.] Conference spells were level-zero spells and the only difference it had with the level-two silent conference spell was that it required actual lip movements. Given that she was invisible, moving her lips wasn't a problem.
'Can you find their weakness?' Leguna pressed.
She didn't reply immediately. If she wasn't invisible, Leguna might get to see her condescending glare from asking such an obvious question.
[I see... The energy channels are numerous and complex. It won't be easy to ruin them. Even if you break them, it would look really obvious and the guards would notice immediately... What about the power source then?]
The power crystal is probably well-protected inside. If Leguna's Lighteater uses Spatial Cut, then it should be able to break it without leaving much of a mark. The soldiers shouldn't notice them that quickly... But what about me?
While Leguna could cut through the core to dispatch the cannons, what could she do? She didn't have any spatial cutting abilities and could only rely on spells to destroy the cannons. But if she used anything destructive, she would be discovered by the guards. If she acted, she would be discovered.
After much thought, she widened her eyes with a spark of insight. She stretched her hand out gingerly and caused a wave of cold air to surge over the cannon.
"Eh? What was with that chill?" asked a guard who felt it.
"Odd... I felt it too," the other soldier said, but the sudden loss of body temperature didn't alert them. The two talked about it for a moment before changing the topic to the difference in breast shapes of northern and southern women.
Leguna put away the weapons he had near their necks. Leguna's Glacial Domain was strong, but the difference in temperature was easy to notice. It was, however, still far less noticeable than spells.
I did it! She checked the cannon and was satisfied to find that the problem was as she predicted. If magic cannons could be mass produced, the number of magic crystals would definitely be a problem.
Usually, magic crystals cost half the price of diamonds. If all cannons used them as power sources, using them exclusively would probably bankrupt Stok.
So, she guessed that the cannons didn't use regular magic crystals. The reason they were only able to shoot high-grade fireballs was due to their use of lava crystals instead of normal magic crystals.
It was also considered a kind of crystal that could store magic essence, but it was only good for fire essence. The gem on Annelotte's robe, Ocean's Heart, could store far more glacial essence than the lava crystals could store theirs. They were rather cheap and rather common in comparison.
But there was one obvious weakness for them: their inability to withstand cold. As the temperature approaches zero, the lava crystals' structure would crumble and they would fail to continue retaining fire essence.
That was what made her try using Glacial Domain. When she tried to infuse mana into the cannon, it wouldn't take any more and that meant that the power source was successfully destroyed by the low temperature.
I see, so that means the Stokians won't be able to use these cannons during winter... She widened her eyes with realization.
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