A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 197: The Beginning of a Plan (6)
His vision went white. At the same time, five spears materialized and fired at Raphaello.
There were no differences in the mana consumption or invoking speed in the magic that Desir had modified the calculations of, but their power was unrivalled.
Raphaello hid himself and the steel rod behind his shield as he began to concentrate his aura.
A wheel of aura formed on the front of his shield and started to spin.
Two additional wheels appeared and interlocked with the original. The three spinning in conjunction with one another was enough to completely disperse the raging wind.
Desir’s magic did no damage to Raphaello, but of course, he didn’t stop at just that.
Not even pausing to catch his breath, Raphaello began to brace with his shield. At the same time, Desir finished calculating yet another spell.
Attacks with the force of Sixth-Circle magic relentlessly poured down on Raphaello.
Desir’s attacks were increasing in power and intensity; he clearly hadn’t been giving it his all.
“N-No way. How can he invoke such powerful magic over and over? So quickly too!”
Swan’s screams of despair from watching the two battle was a perfect copy of Raphaello’s thoughts.
‘I can now understand why His Majesty recommended him.’
Desir’s attacks felt like they had the power of a Sixth-Circle spell, something that completely defied Raphaello’s immense experience. Even though he was taking his opponent seriously, the fact that Sixth-Circle spells were coming from a Fourth-Circle magician had completely caught Raphaello off guard.
But what had truly surprised him was how quickly Desir was invoking his spells. As far as he knew, Sixth-Circle magic took a considerable amount of time to be invoked. But by the time one spell ended, Desir was already done calculating the next. How was Desir, a Fourth-Circle magician, capable of these two impossible feats?
‘I’ve never met a magician who could invoke magic like this before… ’
Desir completely shattered Raphaello’s perception of magicians.
Honestly speaking, Raphaello acknowledged Desir. Out of the countless magicians he had battled, he was by far the most threatening.
‘But now isn’t the time to reminisce over past battles.’
Contrary to how impressive Desir’s magic was, the steel rod had yet to suffer any damage.
The simplicity of this exercise was the perfect opportunity to exemplify the prowess of one of the Hebrion Emperor’s Royal Guardsmen. He wasn’t recognized as the Empire’s strongest shield for nothing.
His aura, embodying the shape of wheels, were capable of neutralizing any attack with the dispersive force generated by their rotations.
Even spells of the Sixth-Circle didn’t pose a substantial threat to Raphaello.
The fact that a Fourth-Circle magician was using Sixth-Circle magic was impressive, to say the least, but it was something he had already experienced countless times. The only advantage Desir currently has was his calculation speed.
Having blocked the rush of magic again, Raphaello spoke in a triumphant voice.
“You have five minutes left.”
As soon as he finished speaking, Desir invoked his magic again.
Violent winds surged towards Raphaello, tearing up the inside of the drill hall as it bore down on him.
Raphaello instantly gathered his aura to prepare for the impact, but the purpose of the magic was not to strike him down. Raphaello was knocked far back, but the rod was left unharmed.
Desir quickly followed up with another spell. Though Raphaello had protected it the first time, the steel rod had been left completely exposed, doomed to be swept away by the newly invoked storm of flames.
“Your strategy isn’t bad.”
A veil of aura stretched out all around Raphaello.
The amount of aura required to create the veil was much greater than what he had been using so far to cover himself and reinforce his shield.
The aura once again began to compact into a circle shape, but this time it stretched out dozens of meters across the drill hall. The steel rod was completely protected, and the wheels began to rotate once again.
Just like that, both of Desir’s spells were nullified by the massive rotations of the wheels.
“Unfortunately, it’s not quite enough.”
Watching the sight, Desir smiled bitterly.
‘Who knew he’d been able to control his aura this well even back then?’
Desir had already surpassed the limits of his previous life, alongside having a unique magic system that greatly amplified his power. He was sure he would be able to beat an innocent Raphaello, undefiled by the terror that waited for him within Shadow Labyrinth.
But Desir’s attacks couldn’t penetrate Raphaello’s shield.
His aura wheel was a power worthy of granting the user the title ‘Strongest Shield in the Empire.’
‘I need an opening, which I won’t be able to get unless I force Raphaello to make another attack. Otherwise, I won’t be able to scratch that steel rod, let alone break it.’
Desir changed his strategy.
An array of formations began forming in front of him again. But the complexity of the magic circles was even more absurd than before.
Having moved up to the Fourth-Circle, the amount of mana Desir could use at once had increased.
Having a larger pool was a great boon for Desir. Not only could he increase the power of his spells, but it also gave him a much wider variety of options when it came to strategizing.
He was about to give Raphaello a prime example of what his new mana pool was capable of.
Raphaello immediately recognized what Desir was doing.
Multi-casting itself wasn’t a very impressive skill. Though it had an increased mana drain and required adept magical arrangement, it wasn’t a rare skill by any means.
But what if the magic being invoked had the power of Sixth-Circle magic?
“… … !”
Raphaello, who had bounced back from the wind magic, was still quite far away from the steel rod.
Raphaello hurried to get off from the ground.
Unfortunately for him, Desir’s first spell was already complete.
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[Binder of Earth]
Raphaello immediately grew suspicious. Why had Desir invoked defensive magic?
The large chunks of stone created by [Parie Arund] began to hover in the air. After a brief moment, they all flew towards a central point at the top of the hall and began forming a sphere.
Every piece of independent rubble (of which there were many) flew towards the stone sphere, allowing it to quickly grow in size.
Eventually, it grew big enough to engulf the entire hall in its shadow.
The moment Desir’s second spell unfolded, the ground howled.
A spell that was normally only strong enough to subdue humans, made the ground below them churn. It was powerful enough to force Raphaello to his knees.
Desir didn’t miss this opportunity.
Though the gravity greatly hindered Raphaello’s movements, it also meant that the speed of everything around them increased.
The massive sphere that was floating in the air started to move. It was as if a meteor was falling.
As Raphaello watched the sight, the corners of his mouth turned up.
Raphaello, who had been stuck defending against an onslaught of attacks ever since his opponent had gotten serious, raised his sword in retaliation.
A blinding aura began to emanate from his sword before it took the shape of several wheels in front of Raphaello. The wheels flew into a cone of increasing size; the closer to the meteor, the larger the wheels grew.
Three massive wheels began to roar throughout the hall as they spun faster than any of the previous wheels.
That in itself was already impressive, but it didn’t stop there. A moment later, another wheel was added on.
The number of wheels only increased by one, but the aura glowed even more blindingly. Unsatisfied with that, Raphaello summoned yet another wheel.
As the five wheels rotated, they created strong winds capable of hurling anything or anyone that approached them far away..
Raphaello remained firm as he withstood the increased gravity that was weighing down on him.
That itself took up enormous amounts of aura and energy, but it wasn’t enough to become a problem for him.
As he raised his arm, the steel on his armor cracked.
Raphaello thrust his sword at the massive object falling from the sky.
Soon, the immovable wall and unstoppable object collided
Desir’s magic, which had effectively doubled in power thanks to the increased gravity, quickly overwhelmed Raphaello’s aura.
Raphaello was slowly getting pushed back by the overwhelming mass.
‘When was the last time I fought against such powerful magic?’
The initial purpose of the fight had long been erased from Raphaello’s brain.
All that remained was a desire to beat the powerful opponent in front of his eyes.
That primal desire dominated him.
Sword Grand Master Raphaello, praised as the strongest swordsman of the current era, summoned all the power he had.
In an instant, his aura burst out explosively.
The wheels that were on the verge of destruction were restored in an instant. No, they didn’t just get restored; they shone even more blindingly as they accelerated in speed.
And a sixth wheel materialized.
It was the culmination of all the power that Sword Grand Master Raphaello Cheriger could wield.
He could only maintain it for a short period of time, but the effects were monstrous.
The meteor started to crack little by little.
Capitalizing on the meteor’s structural weakness, Raphaello clutched his sword and struck the meteor with all his might.
The impact of the aura created a violent explosion, completely shattering the meteor.
Fragments of the meteor were flung across the drill hall.
‘Did I barely block that… … ?’
As the weight of gravity on him lifted, the wheels of aura also disappeared.
“Haah… … Haaah… … ”
Raphaello panted heavily.
He was exhausted but he couldn’t rest yet.
There was still one minute left.
Having poured out all his power, he no longer had the energy to block a spell like that again.
It was checkmate.
‘If that’s the case… I only have one option.’
He had to get closer and stop the magic from getting invoked at all.
Faced with no other option, Raphaello shot up from the ground at the speed of light.
Traces of fatigue still remained on Raphaello when he reached Desir. As he raised his sword towards Desir, he noticed the calm expression on his face.
“You’re too late, Raphaello.”
Suddenly being reminded of the battle’s victory conditions, Raphaello hurriedly looked behind him.
The steel rod was broken.
In disbelief, Raphaello mumbled.
“When did you… … ”
“I figured that once you blocked that, you’d be running on fumes, and force me into close-quarters combat.”
Desir continued speaking in a calm voice.
“At that point, there was no need for me to invoke a high-level spell.”
Raphaello had come up with the best course of action and carried it out instantly.
But Desir had predicted Raphaello’s actions before he even had the idea.
The inevitable gap that occurred as Raphaello was moving towards Desir.
Des1r had aimed for that gap and invoked a low-circle spell that could be invoked instantly.
‘I was able to block such absurdly powerful magic, but in the end it was a single lower level spell that beat me.’
Raphaello chuckled ruefully.