What just happened? I couldn’t read his moves!
Jack only needed to hear to understand the situation. It was a two-pronged attack, exploiting Jack’s carelessness, but Lugia only cut his robes. Joshua’s eyes were gloomy.
“How dangerous. That might’ve gone through my ribs if I hadn’t heard it.”
Jack used Blink and reappeared 10 meters away from Joshua.
“What is that?” Jack examined Lugia in Joshua’s hands. “An antique artifact?”
Lugia was rather lovely, having changed from an iron rod into a spear. Two blades sprouting from a pure white shaft, like a strange sort of fork, but exuding a mystical aura. Most striking was the blood-red blades, which shone so brightly that the light alone could rend flesh.
“An artifact with its own integrated subspace—and quite large, too. Is this the source of your lightning?”
“Well, if you don’t want to talk, there’s nothing I can do about it. But, you know, I won’t stop until I get what I want. I’m going to start with spiritual magic to pry open your lips.”
“You’re planning on using Mind Control…” Mind Control, the highest degree of psychic magic, was only available to wizards of Class 6 or higher. That implied that the man in front of him was one of the most powerful wizards on the entire Igrant continent. The Seven Magicians were no joke.
“I’ll have to deal with a little headache, but it’s better than nothing, right?” Jack laughed sullenly.
Mental magic, unlike other elemental magics, consumes mental capacity as well as mana. Most wizards disliked that, and most wizards couldn’t use it; mental magic is reserved for the upper castes of wizards, who have prodigious mental abilities.
The issue was that any magic that directly affects the brain could destroy the mind of the caster.
“Lightning Blade.” Jack smirked and casually produced 4th-Level magic with a mere word.
The lightning blade flickered with sparks from the ultra–high-voltage current running through his hand.
“I won’t murder you. I need information from you, so… I’ll just use torture. Psychic magic is more effective that way.”
Joshua hefted Lugia.
Jack wasn’t a battle wizard, but he picked Lighting Blade, a close-combat spell, for a reason: his opponent was a knight with great pride in his abilities. The damned kingdom of Avalon was particularly dismissive of magic, such that wizards were often treated like aliens.
An undefeated child genius—what if he loses a close-quarters battle to one of the wizards he looks down on so much? The wizard grinned. The mental shock would boost Mind Control’s effectiveness even more.
“Hooh.” Jack let out a low chuckle.
Long ago, Jack got his thrills from crushing people where they were most proud. It seems like old habits die hard.
“You’re too quiet. What else can you show me?”
Joshua bit his lip but said nothing.
Jack laughed. “If you’ve got nothing, I’ll move.”
And then he vanished.
Joshua was starting to feel the stress, but his mind was ice-cold.
I need to memorize his attack pattern. But any unnecessary movements would give the enemy an opportunity.
Joshua stabbed his spear to the left.
“Huh?” Jack was surprised to find that Joshua had blocked his Lightning Blade, sending a shower of sparks flying in all directions.
The wizard vanished again. Joshua thrust—to the right, behind him, above his head. He was beginning to feel hopeful.
Lugia’s Lightning Spear, a 3rd-Class spell, causes a series of explosions. Joshua used the effect to strike in front of him.
Jack canceled his Lightning Blade and Blinked away.
“You truly are an incredible kid. Instead of avoiding the attack, you took it head-on; some B-Class Knights can’t even take one hit.”
Joshua was too focused to listen. He couldn’t afford to relax like Jack did, he needed to be vigilant at all times. A single moment of inattention could decide his fate.
Joshua’s eyes widened.
“Are you listening now?” Jack’s smile widened. Hundreds of lightning spheres had surrounded them in all directions—there were no holes to escape from.
“I suggest you move carefully, because these adorable balls will stun you the moment you touch them. It’s called ‘Lightning Bolt’, basically a 1st-Class magic. Its effects would be completely different if a wizard from this country casted it. Best avoid it if you don’t want to be completely roasted, boy.”
Joshua trembled a little, but examined his surroundings calmly.
The man clenched his fists, sending hundreds of lightning spheres on a collision course for the same spot. A bolt of lightning struck the floor, sending sparks in all directions, shaking the very ground and air.
“Lightning Bolt.” Before the dust settled, Jack formed and detonated hundreds of additional lightning spheres.
Joshua emerged from the dust; he was burnt here and there, completely transformed from the neat appearance he had earlier.
But, he was still standing.
“This is interesting.”
Jack pondered using the 5th-Class magic, Thunder Cannon, but shook his head. It wasn’t the right spell for the job; Jack wanted to torture Joshua, not kill him.
“Rune Flare,” he eventually whispered.
Of the four classes of magic, fire magic is regarded as the most destructive.
The man fashioned a spear of red-hot flames and laughed.
“I could stop this… Yes, if you beg for forgiveness and admit I’m not ‘just a wizard.’”
The red light was aimed straight at Joshua’s lower abdomen—where his mana hall would be, if he were a typical knight.
Joshua bit his lip as he watched the scarlet flames bearing down on him. Every spell was powerful enough to rattle Joshua’s little body.
Dodge? Joshua’s young body was too weak to many attacks, much less use attacks of the same level.
[What idiocy is this, Joshua?]
Lugia? His eyes widened.
Time stopped. No… more like it slowed down, as if each second had been divided into ten thousand.
[All I see is a pathetic boy who can’t even use his new power.]
But the enemy is too powerful!
[Since when did you care? Your way was always to break through, no matter what stood in your way.]
[Even if it leads to your defeat, I’ll always be by your side. So let’s do it. If you do it, Bronto’s power of growth will propel you to new heights.]
Lugia’s voice faded away.
Joshua made a choice—but first, he had a few hundred lightning spheres to deal with. He swung his spear slowly, creating an infinite number of spears. Or were they shadows? Their continuous motion looked as if they were moving as one.
It doesn’t matter who the enemy is. I am Joshua Sanders.
His key to win is disguising the spears and striking his opponent when he leasts expects it. Jack can’t banter when he’s fending off spears from in ihs blind spots.
Magic Spear Arts, 3rd Class.
Hundreds of Lugias embroidered the air.
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