Section 13: Nearing the Enemy
Magic can roughly be divided into three different types.
Magic that is exercised with the help of spirits.
Magic that calls a spirit to you and then utilizes the spirit.
And then the type of magic that spirits themselves use.
[Iris]: “Carol!! I need to get closer to that ball!!”
The Deceit Shield is less effective against magic that produces a physical effect. So whatever spell this sphere is using to melt the stone floor and turn it into magma, I can’t divert it.
So I’ll have to use some other means to prevent it from using magic.
I called out to Carol who was the closest person standing to me before checking behind me again.
The older sister gnome was holding her sister’s hand while kneeling next to her on the towel we had laid out. Rose-san was still using her prayer with a serious expression, pouring all her focus into healing her patient.
It’s clearly going to take a little longer for the little sister gnome to be healed completely. So I can’t ask Rose-san to accompany me yet.
[Carol]: “It’s okay. Goldmund and I will handle things here. Saluena and Toslin are busy holding back the enemies though, so take Litzreich and Ashel with you.”
[Iris]: “Got it”
I nod and take a deep breath.
I’m about to plunge into a crowd of a hundred bold loires. This is a genuine, life-threatening assault, and I do not know how well Unicorn’s defensive barriers will hold up.
But I can’t not go. There is no way I can stay still when I see a sister so desperately praying for her little sister’s recovery.
[Iris]: “Then let’s move Lapris!! Don’t fall off!”
I wrapped my hands around Unicorn’s mane as she powered forward. Her hooves hit the hard floor, creating a pleasant sounding echo.
[Lapris]: “Ah, geez. If I knew this was going to happen, I would’ve stuck with Goldmund.”
[Iris]: “Don’t say that. You’re the only person here able to see magic power.”
Concerning the type of magic this sphere is using, it’s extremely unlikely that it consists of the first type.
There is almost zero chance that this is a person we’re dealing with. It would be one thing if it was like Litzreich’s magic shell and a person was wearing it, but it is a bit unreasonable to argue that even a single person could fit in that thing.
[Iris]: “Litzreich!! Ashel-sama!!”
Jumping over a fallen bold loire and slipping through a few of them that were still on their feet, we immediately made our way to Litzreich and Ashel-sama’s vicinity.
They were standing a short distance away from each other, haphazardly bashing or slashing the nearby enemies. Knight statues swung down their weapons from all directions, but the girls managed to parry or sidestep every attack thrown their way. It was as if they had eyes on the back of their heads.
[Litzreich]: “Iris!? Were you that worried about my body!?”
[Lapris]: “No fucking way!! Iris has to get closer to that ball!!”
[Ashel]: “…….I see, we must prevent it from using magic.”
Despite being stuck in the middle of an intense melee, they both seem like they have ample room to spare. Just what you would expect from the Brave and the deputy leader of the Shirayuri Knights.
[Iris]: “Yes, sorry about……..”
*Gakin!* A loud noise from the side of my head cut me off. A giant sword swung by a bold loire had crashed against one of Unicorn’s defensive barriers.
I knew the barrier would catch the attack, but that one attack……left a crack in it.
[Lapris]: “It won’t be able to take too many of those.”
[Litzreich]: “Indeed. Well, Iris is relying on me. I must live up to her expectations……….Hah!”
When Litzreich reached our her hand, the magic shell hanging over her mimicked her movements. The thick metal fingers wrapped around the attacking bold loire’s head, tearing it clean off.
[Lapris]: “Tearing someone’s head off with a smile on her face. Seriously, this woman”
Surrounded by these huge knight statues on all sides, I suddenly started feeling real small.
The bright light shining above our heads and at the knights’ backs caused deep shadows to become engraved on their fronts, making them all look even more powerful. If I were on my own, I would probably roll up into a ball out of fear and be unable to do anything.
The reason why I can just barely bury that fear is because I have my friends with me. Because there are people here who I have to protect.
[Litzreich]: “There’s no need to kill them Ashel. Break their legs and leave them on the ground.”
Litzreich directed and Ashel-sama followed. I’m still unsure what kind of relationship these two have, but I know I can rely on them both which is good enough.
[Litzreich]: “Do you know its location?”
Litzreich knows I can borrow Phoeniko’s sight which is why she turned to me.
[Iris]: “Yes, that way.”
When I have eyes in the sky, it doesn’t matter that there is a wave of colossi as far as the eye can see. I won’t lose sight of my target.
After I pointed out the sphere’s direction, Litzreich began running.
[Litzreich]: “Then let’s go!”
She bashed one of the tree-like knight’s legs out from under it and slipped into the crowd.
[Litzreich]: “You’ll be crushed if you fall behind, so stick close to me!”
*Thud*, *Thud*, a flood of knight statues bore down on us as we cut our way towards the sphere. However their big bodies got in the way, and they were too slow to corner us.
[Iris]: “It moved to the right!! Turn a bit left!!”
I sometimes gave Litzreich directions as she pushed on and dug us a path forward.
The floor felt like it was trembling under the weight of the giants. It would probably be hard for me to stand on my own, yet Litzreich and Ashel-sama were proceeding with zero trouble.
Unicorn is forming barriers parallel to the floor and galloping on those which is why she isn’t being affected by the shaking. Although this does mean we have less barriers to defend us, this doesn’t seem like it will be a problem because of how fast Litzreich is blowing the knights in front of us away.
[Litzreich]: “Ooh, I see it. Up close, it’s a lot bigger than I expected.”
We could see the sphere floating several meters above the floor through the gaps in the forest of colossi. It looked black from a distance, but beneath Phoeniko and Unicorn’s natural light, it turned out to be a real dark indigo with a brick-like structure. And yet, the surface still had a nice, polished luster.
I can’t know its exact size for sure, but I would say it’s about a meter in diameter. Like I thought, there’s no way a person could be in there.
[Iris]: “How about it Lapris?”
[Lapris]: “Hm, it has so much accumulated mana it could fire off another spell at any time. Anego and the others aside, it’d be bad if it aimed for those gnomes. The sooner we take care of this thing, the better.”
The gnomes can’t move right now because of their injuries, so if that spell is pointed towards them once again, they will be swallowed up. The distance between us and the dark blue sphere is still a couple dozen meters still, but my magic power can reach it.
[Iris]: “Litzreich, here is good enough!!”
[Litzreich]: “Roger. Leave breaking that sphere to me. However we’re in the middle of a tremendous crowd of enemies. If you ever require your wife’s help, I will come running back and immediately disperse these monsters for you.”
Litzreich is taking advantage of the moment to make a joke when I don’t have the leeway to make a comeback, so I just ignored her and turned to Ashel-sama.
[Iris]: “I’m sorry Ashel-sama, but please stay close to me.”
[Ashel]: “We are friends. Friends are people who help each other, so don’t feel that you must apologize to me.”
She gave me a refreshing smile and even winked at me. What a noble gesture. If I were Charlie, I would have hearts in my eyes right now.
[Iris]: “Thank you.”
I surrounded us with my defensive barriers to prevent any bold loires from getting closer to us. Obviously the enemy will try to break through, but it will buy us some time at least.
In the meantime, I have to focus on destroying that blue sphere. That is the surest way to save the injured gnomes right now.
[Lapris]: “Oi, its mana is swelling again! Iris, you’ve got to hurry up and stop it!!”
As I said earlier, it is difficult to cancel physical magic using the Deceit Shield.
As for the Probe Spear, it is flat out impossible to counteract any magic that doesn’t require the connection to a spirit.
So how do you counter any spells cast by elementals or spirits themselves?
[Iris]: “Mm, got it”
That technique was also described in the book Grandpa gave me.