Section 14: Number 3
A lesson by Grandpa――
“The bottom line is that the Deceit Shield and Probe Spear are ineffective when dealing with spirits like gnomes and undines or on spells with a physical component to it. As stated earlier on, the Deceit Shield can, at best, temper some of the strength behind a physically altering spell. The Probe Spear meanwhile is meant to sever the link between magician and spirit. So it follows that if the opponent is a spirit itself, there is nothing there for the Probe Spear to cut.”
I stuck out my arms and pressed my index fingers and thumbs together. I made a triangle shape just like that with the sphere floating in the middle.
“There is however……..an alternative.”
As if added in as an afterthought, the letters etched in ink had continued on.
[Lapris]: “Iris, not yet!?”
“You can hit it as hard as you can.”
[Iris]: “And, now”
(For those children’s sake…….fall!!)
Gathering up all the mana inside my body, I released it out of my hands without bothering to hold anything back. Needless to say, I aimed it directly at the floating sphere.
My mana slowly made its way out of my body and traveled across the room.
As a direct result, the sphere disappeared from the triangular frame I had set up with my fingers. Pulled down by gravity, it was quietly inching closer and closer to the ground.
[Lapris]: “………Hah? Oi you, did you just…….”
“Iris. With the skill I have cultivated from my long years of study and sufficient enough magic power, I hypothesis that it is possible to temporarily restrain a spirit. Pour enough mana into the spirit’s body, and it will enter into a drunk-like state. Irma la Area’s third technique…….”
[Iris]: “――Usury Mallet”
[Litzreich]: “Hihihi, I’m not sure what you did……it’s moving!? Or did you move it!? Either way, I’ll crush it!!”
Litzreich ran towards the falling sphere. Swinging her arm around, she combined centrifugal force with the weight of her magic shell and brought her fist down hard on the sphere.
This wasn’t like my little magic mallet. This was a genuine, bone-breaking hammer.
*GAGON!!* A loud bang like a gong being hit filled the room.
The sphere’s gradual descent accelerated, and it slammed down onto the ground. The stone floor gave away, splinters flying into the air as the sphere sunk down.
However to Litzreich’s great surprise, the sphere itself managed to escape without any damage being inflicted on its surface. Rather, it was her magic shell that ended up with cracks running up its arm. Pieces of it scattered after the initial impact, falling to the floor among the other slivers of broken rock.
[Ashel]: “Rinrin-sama, I’m up!”
Litzreich was clearly dissatisfied, yet she still obediently kicked off the buried sphere and flew backwards away from it, surrendering her spot to Ashel-sama.
Ashel-sama drove her sword through the gaps of the ornately designed, puzzle-like sphere.
No, it was repelled. It just looked like it pierced the sphere because her blade bent inwards like a spring plate.
[Lapris]: “Oi Oi Oi Oi!! Those bold loires ain’t got nothing on that hardness!!”
[Iris]: “This is a little……unexpected.”
The plan was for me to seal the sphere’s magic and then have Litzreich and Ashel-sama destroy it while it is unable to do anything.
If the bold loires were still moving even after we broke it, we would have retreated from the center of the army and taken our time wiping up the rest.
But if we’re unable to destroy it, the story changes completely.
Taking a quick glance around me, the bold loires are madly waving their weapons and fists. They’ve already broken through several of my barriers, and the rest all have cracks running through them.
[Lapris]: “Oi, build some new barriers already! Those statues are about to break through and swarm us!!”
I do just that and bring up a new set of barriers, but the bold loires have turned frantic in an attempt to protect their queen. They’re desperately trying to get at me, so much so that my second round of barriers is clearly not going to last as long as my first.
In the meantime, that sphere is likely to finish casting its spell towards my friends, and in all likelihood, the gnomes specifically.
(……in that case)
I ran my finger down a page of my grimoire. Then as I turned the page,
[Litzreich]: “Hihihi……troublesome, truly troublesome. Won’t I end up disappointing Iris if I carry on like this?”
Litzreich cut through the tense atmosphere with an out of place smile.
[Litzreich]: “This is supposed to be the moment where I get to show off in front of Iris. Followed immediately after by her falling madly in love with me. Even so, you are trying to imply that I can’t win?”
Litzreich reached out towards the back of her gauntlet――and removed a gem that was embedded in the metal. The gem itself was dull and looked little different from a stone you would find on the side of the road.
[Lapris]: “No. Not happening. Absolutely impossible.”
She pocketed the dull gem, and moving her hand over to her other pocket, she pulled out a gem that glowed with a bright blue light. She snapped that gem into place where the previous gem had been set.
[Litzreich]: “I’m a woman who always does as she says. So I’m sorry, but would you kindly get crushed Ms. Thing Whose Name I Don’t Know”
The dark grey shell shimmered and bent like a mirage in the desert, but after a second, it reconstructed itself.
The cracked fist had regenerated, and the pale blue metal turned dark, becoming almost as black as the dungeon’s shadows.