The epic battle of top magi had begun. Saron used Dragonbreath Conversion to raise his offensive capabilities ridiculously, but all that was pointless before Flamecharged. Even though she suffered some light injuries through the battle, the wounds were insignificant compared to Saron's own.
If Saron didn't have the body of a warrior, he would've long lost his ability to fight. However, even he started to look rather ragged, despite his trained body protected by 15th stratum impetus started.
He had suffered quite a number of frost burns on his body from Annelotte's ice spells. Not only that, the flames on him burned like warm embers as if they would be put out at the slightest blow.
Saron puffed heavily and glared at the girl, who seemed far from done. He didn't understand why Annelotte didn't look like she was near the limit despite the fact that Saron had used over three-thirds of his mana.
Annelotte had instant cast two high-level dispels to nullify the magical barriers Saron cast on himself during the past ten minutes. Those were level six spells and instant casting them would cost four times the mana! She had used up enough mana for eight dictations in two casts!
Strictly speaking, she had easily used double the amount of mana Saron did in that short time, yet, she didn't look the slightest bit worn out. Was she even a human?
A look of terror finally materialized in Saron's eyes. He only ever wore that look three times in his life. The first was when he met his teacher, Logg, and the second was when Gahrona took over Leguna's body. These two were of the saint and myth rank. And this time was the third. He was facing a girl who was one stratum inferior to him, but she seemed to have and endless pool of mana!
The humiliation almost drove him to mental breakdown. It was fine for him to fear the strongest magus on the continent, but he could never tolerate the two times he feared those on his level! It was impossible! I, Saron, am the only twin gifted in this world! I'm chosen by the world! How could it be possible? How can I ever lose to this unheard of ice woman? Impossible!
He tossed two spells her way to disturb her and said, "I will show you the difference in our power today! Sometimes, skill and technique isn't enough to make up for it!"
Hladik said the same thing, but he was done in by that fellow… thought Annelotte as she prepared herself to respond to the incoming spell.
Saron's impetus burst out once more as he leaped into the sky, dictating his spell as quickly as he could. The mana gathered at a terrifying rate as a result of the incantation.
That level-nine spell was something he had practiced a few thousand times before! He only needed three seconds to recite the incantation in full, and it seemed he did have enough time for that now!
Annelotte felt the shocking mana waves that were coming from him as her flashed with guile. She ignored the mana cost and instant cast a teleportation spell.
All of a sudden, the beautiful, sculpted face appeared in front of Saron, much to his shock, but his spell was already halfway through. He wouldn't commit the amateur mistake of breaking his dictation midway, so he forced himself to continue. As long as he could finish it, that woman, Leguna and the thousand Stokian soldiers would die!
He was in the midst of casting the strongest fire-aspect spell -- Meteora.
Yet, Annelotte's lips curved into a smile. She looked at him and stretched her hand out.
I have to endure it! If I can finish this spell, all my humiliation will be wiped away! There's no way this woman can wipe me out with Host of Glacier! I need one more second! One more second to complete the spell!
Annelotte wasn't keen in the slightest on fighting Saron in close range. She was a pure magus and all the actions she took was grounded in magic!
She tapped her fine finger onto the magic formation in Saron's fingertips and smiled before inserting a trace of weak mana accurately into the formation.
Saron was still dictating as fast as he could, but half a second later, he suddenly noticed the magic formation he had been building for so long had vanished!
He was stupefied for half a second before he realized the fact that it was all the fault of Annelotte's mana trace!
Was it counterspell? Saron was angry beyond belief. He thought she didn't know how to use it because she hadn't done so even once since their battle began. He now understood that she was only keeping it as a trump card!
A few seconds later, he felt something was off. He was no longer able to tap into his mana.
"Silence. This is a spell mutation I created," Annelotte explained out of nowhere, "It's a improved version of counterspell. The core principle behind that technique is using a trace of mana to interrupt an opponent's casting, but after my improvement, my mana trace can infiltrate the target's diatagi. In other words, the trace will trigger a mana overload and interrupt the flow and transfer of mana in your body, causing you to be unable to use any spells."
Though she wasn't a talkative person, she wanted to humiliate Saron thoroughly by telling him she created that technique. She wanted to show him the disparity between their application and understanding of magic and crush his arrogant ego for good!
"This spell mutation's efficacy depends on the spell you were dictating. In other words, the higher level the spell you were trying to use, the longer you will be silenced," she continued. "Usually, interrupting a level-nine spell will keep you silenced for half an hour at least!"
Saron tried to trigger his mana again only to panic at the odd sensation he got. If he forced it, it would only end with a mana storm and his body would explode as a result.
Now, Saron was no different from a normal high-order warrior. His mana would be in a hectic state for half an hour and he couldn't use a level-zero spell even if he wanted to!
"Impossible… This woman.. is a monster!" he cried. It was only then that he understood that Annelotte was merely toying with him during the past ten minutes. Had she used that spell mutation earlier, he wouldn't have lasted more than ten minutes against her with his prowess as a warrior alone!
Realizing that fact cemented the notion that he would never be able to win against her in his head. She had an almost endless supply of mana and stunningly quick dictation speed, as well as freakish levels of magic understanding. Most importantly, she had created her own spell mutation! It was far more complicated than creating spells from scratch!
Even though there were thousands of spells, spell mutations only numbered a handful, as not just anyone could create them! Many high-order magi weren't able to master all the spell mutation techniques, much less create one!
The moment she showed her hand, Saron saw the disparity between the two of them. It wasn't something mere power level and stratum could make up for. He was absolutely not her match!
I didn't think that the strongest person in Hocke would actually be this low-profile woman! he thought hatefully. Alissanda, Leguna and Annelotte were all hailed as Hocke's three geniuses. Saron had thought himself above them, but now, he understood that the reason he was known as Chino's strongest was because nobody bothered to fight him for that title!
A hint of unwillingness flashed through his eyes, but he had another epiphany. If he defeated Annelotte, that would mean he would no longer have to fear Alissanda and Leguna!
After taking in his surroundings for the next few seconds, he used Host of Gust once more.
But this time around, he didn't rely on it to fight her in close combat. He flew behind Leguna.
"Freeze! This fellow's life is in my hands now! If you don't want him hurt, you better listen to what I say!" he roared with his right hand around Leguna's nck.
"Oh? The famed crimsonflame demon is now resorting to cowardly tactics like that, huh?" She looked a little nervous and tried to throw him a provocation to get him to let go.
But Saron wasn't perturbed in the slightest. He gripped Leguna's neck tighter and said, "I don't care how other people see me. As long as you die today, there wouldn't be anybody else stronger than me! Hahahaha! If you want him to live, kill yourself! You hear me?!"
"You think I really care about this fellow?" she asked with a furrowed brow.
"Well, why don't we see?" He snickered and gradually tightened his grip. "I'll count to ten. If you don't end yourself, I'll let you watch how I snap the neck of the man you love! One, two, three, four, five…"Previous Chapter Next Chapter