Section 2: Irma La Area
[Grides]: “Awe-inspiring knight of wind who overlooks the world.”
Grides-san immediately began weaving her spell.
It was the same spell Lou-chan had started off with during yesterday’s duel.
(Yeah, that’s about right.)
[Grides]: “Penetrate my foes upon your proud spear!!”
Grides-san shoved out her hand towards me, and a surge of purple lightning leapt out of her open palm.
It’s a type of wind magic I’ve read about time and time again in adventure novels. It is supposed to be faster than any kind of sword flash, and it’s said to be impossible to dodge once you’ve already seen the spell rocketing towards you.
(This should do)
That’s why while I was busy thinking I was looking at a bright light, the spell was already upon me.
And then, *Krakoom!!* there was a violent explosion that shook my eardrums.
“……eh, it missed?”
However the spell’s course deviated away from me, creating a small crater in the dirt behind me, but nothing else otherwise.
[Grides]: “………Awe-inspiring knight of wind who overlooks the world.”
Grides-san stood there and frowned for a moment, but soon she was rechanneling the same spell as before.
She still thinks she isn’t going to have to open her spellbook if she wants to beat me.
(As long as I know where it’s coming from, I just need to focus my magic power.)
[Grides]: “Penetrate my foes upon your proud spear!!”
This time Grides-san took a little extra time to fold more mana into her spell.
The lightning this time was more concentrated together, increasing its speed and accuracy…….
(…..stay calm, do it like before.)
It looked like it was going to pierce me. But just before it hit me, the lightning drew an unnatural curve and created an even larger hole further back behind me.
(Great, great. Thank goodness Lapris is able to see magic power. Thanks to her, I know my mana is spreading out just how I imagine it.)
“…….w-what’s going on? Her magic……can’t hit?”
My feet were firmly planted where I stood. I haven’t moved even a bit from where I was standing when this all started.
(She’s using high speed, high accuracy magic just like I thought)
Studying the second hole behind me for a moment, Grides-san focused a suspicious glare on me.
(Her pride won’t let her use her strongest magic right off the bat. She’s going into this assuming she would win, so she’s focusing on ending this as quickly and easily as possible instead.)
The thousand people gathered around us were all asking the same things, surprised by what they were seeing. None of them could explain what was happening.
[Grides]: “What did you do?”
[Iris]: “Why would I tell you that? Aren’t we enemies right now?”
Grides-san bit her lower lip.
[Grides]: “Enemy…….did you say enemies? You think someone like you who can’t use any magic……could qualify as my enemy? You can only fool around so much!! Someone like you could never become an enemy to me!!”
Grides-san’s furious voice rose above the din of the spectators as she began casting her next spell.
[Grides]: “Continuously tranquil, who quickens the stream into a raging river!?”
It’s that tornado creating spell she used the first day of training.
If simple aim and shoot spells aren’t going to work, she’ll use some magic to completely mow me down. That’s probably what she’s thinking.
(I’ve been doing thought exercises about this kind of thing since I first read Grandpa’s book. The only thing I need……is to have courage!)
[Grides]: “Ooh, will you abandon thy name and memories of the past? Then give them to me. That precious name……..shall be called to life! Connected with rusted chains, wind’s sharpened blades, mince my enemies!!”
A violent gale swept across the field as Grides-san finished her aria. Her beautiful golden locks lifted off her shoulders and waved in the breeze.
Up and down, left to right, the whipped up wind blew all around. There was no need for her to aim as the circulating air currents swallowed the entire field with me stuck in the middle.
I could just barely hear Lou-chan’s voice over the sound of the wind whipping around me.
My body lifted off the ground and thrown through the air like a leaf in the wind because of Grides-san’s magic……that is what is supposed to be happening.
But my feet remained glued in place. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t any wind within a one meter radius around me.
I’m guessing Grides-san planned on magically lifting me high in the air and leaving me there until I finally surrendered. Instead I got treated to my first time ever seeing Grides-san’s startled face as the reality that this wasn’t going to work set in for her.
[Grides]: “Why can’t I lift you!?”
Grides-san increased the amount of mana she was pouring into the wind in an effort to make the swirling gales even stronger.
Bits and pieces of the dirt were torn away from the ground and flew up into the air. Pebbles flew, rocks floated, and even boulders buried underground were dug up and teetered under the forceful whirlwind. Even the ribbon that had tied her hair back was ripped away and carried off into the wind.
Yet I did not move. There was not a single follicle of hair on my head moved out of place.
[Grides]: “……tch……if wind won’t work…..”
Grides-san had completely run out of patience. Her position as a noble won’t allow her to be humiliated like this in front of a large crowd any longer.
[Grides]: “O wild progenitor of life. That what comes forth from you!?”
For the first time today, Grides-san opened her spellbook.
I’m guessing she’s looking to recreate the fire/wind combo spell she used yesterday to break through Lou-chan’s barrier.
[Grides]: “Cross the far off seas to where humans dwell and grant us our small desire!!”
Several flickering flames popped and faded around Grides-san’s body.
However just as I figured her aria was ended, she turned a page in her spellbook.
[Odette]: “――!? Don’t do it Montifi-san!! The complete spell is too dangerous!”
Odette-sensei raised her voice over the still howling winds in an effort to get Grides-san to stop.
[Grides]: “I have but one desire. The restoration of all things. Rebirth from death……”
But Grides-san’s unwavering gaze remained straight on me.
Her own wind was blocking sensei’s voice from reaching her.
So I moved for the first time.
Lifting my hand up, I pointed it towards Grides-san.
[Grides]: “One to nothing. Thus, endless oblivion!!”
The surrounding flames swelled as her aria came to an end.
What was about to arise was a much larger pillar of flames compared to the one during the duel with Lou-chan.
[Iris]: “I won’t let you.”
Magic power filled my body. A technique that allows me to completely invalidate an opponent’s spells by releasing all my magic power at once to form a shield. A non-spell that utilizes mana.
In Grandpa’s book, he called it his Deceit Shield.
[Grides]: “Surrender, or else!!”
[Iris]: “I won’t.”
He also wrote about what would happen if I instead focused down that magic power and launched it against my opponent.
[Grides]: “Ku…….what!? Why!?”
A technique that allows me to use my own mana to blow away the enemy’s magic power, forcibly cutting off their connection with the spirits.
Grandpa’s book called this one the Probe Spear.
[Grides]: “M-My magic power……..it’s gone……..what!? H-How is this happening!? Why all of the sudden…….”
A technique to craft a shield and spear out of your own mana that could crush any magic your enemy might use.
Grandpa collectively referred to this as the Irma technique. Or his Irma La Area. Grandpa’s wife is actually named Irma-san, so I’m guessing it has something to do with that?
[Grides]: “You…….again……what did……”
The tornado Grides-san had ripping through the field quickly died down until it had disappeared entirely. A silence flowed through the now still air and as peace replaced the howling winds.
[Iris]: “I can’t cast any spells. So, I won’t let you use any spells against me. That’s why you can’t beat me.”
[Grides]: “Me……can’t win? Me…….Me!? Me…..against you!? There’s no way I’d lose to you!!”
Grides-san threw open her spellbook and once again began reciting a spell.
[Iris]: “…..Won’t you pass out if you try and cast an even bigger spell?”
[Grides]: “I won’t lose…..I can’t lose!! I’m……a great noble, the Montifi earl’s Grides!! I have to be stronger than everyone else!!”
……But her next spell never came.
After she finished reciting her aria, she squeezed out all the mana she had left to release it……
[Iris]: “I’m the same. I can’t lose this fight either.”
and I ran her through with a long spear crafted from my mana.