Die, you idiot!
Daver continued dictating as he roared the thought in his mind with a monstrous expression. He felt a wave of fatigue rush over him as his magical power was drained away. As long as he could finish the disintegration spell, however, the cursed brat would be reduced to fine powder and disappear from this world for good.
Leguna paled. He knew how terrifying the concentration of magic in Daver's hands was but there was nothing he could do. The four meters between them and Daver's stony skin made him despair. It'd all happened in just a few fleeting moments. They both believed the result of this interaction had already been set in stone. There was one person who didn't think so, though.
Just as the disintegration spell neared completion, a dark blue light entered the ball of magic. The magic Daver'd gathered immediately began to dissipate, much to his shock. In less than a second, both his hands were completely empty. Not even a wisp of magic was left.
Counterspell; it was a spellmutation technique, or, as the magi called it, mutationem magicae. It was often used in magical duels and involved inserting a foreign magic source into an opponent's spell to disrupt their control of it, which would result in the gathered magic dissipating. Though it was a really practical technique, most magi didn't have high enough control over their magic to make use of it. Annelotte, apparently, could, however.
"Annie!" cried Leguna joyfully, having narrowly escaped death.
Though she still wore that same cold expression, he really wanted to hug and kiss her cheeks. This was the third time she'd saved him. Faced with such a timely saving, he couldn't love her more even if he wanted to.
However, she ignored his feelings completely.
"The great snowfiends are catching up," before running off by herself.
He was shocked when he realized what she'd said. He had been so engrossed in the fight he'd forgotten to keep an eye on his surroundings. Now, however, he could hear the approaching snowfiends' cries. He stopped caring about Daver, who was staring at his hands, dazed, and ran after the girl.
"Young Master, run!" cried Kuger.
He and the rest had wanted to hold the snowfiends back until Daver'd escaped to safety, but they didn't expect he'd still be seated on the ground, daydreaming.
Daver snapped back to reality and saw the snowfiends, quickly approaching. He got up in a hurry and ran as he dictated an agility spell for him and his subordinates. Thanks to the magic's enhancement, it didn't take long for them to catch up to the pair.
"How can they run so fast?!" cried Leguna when he saw the group closing in.
"They used an agility spell."
Annelotte may be a magus, but she was in a far better physical condition than one might imagine. She showed no signs of fatigue, even after doing so much running, neither did she look tired when she spoke to Leguna.
"We should use it too,"
The only thing Leguna was concerned with at the moment was putting as much distance between him and everyone else as possible.
"I don't know how. I never learned enhancement spells. I specialize in curses and transmutation spells. I am a damage dealer." replied Annelotte.
I knew she liked violence a little too much! commented Leguna silently.
The group caught up with the pair a few moments later, but, with the snowfiends right on their heels, they didn't say anything, the two groups just glanced at one another as they ran.
"Darn it! It's a dead end!"
Leguna stopped as he stepped into a large space with no exit. There was nowhere to which they could run.
"It's only two great snowfiends. Why should we fear them? Why don't we work together and kill them?"
Daver was also losing his wits. This was his first time being forced into such a predicament by two beasts. His hate for the fiends had eclipsed his hate for Leguna. He considered dealing with them first before thinking of how he should settle his debt with the brat.
Since the two were at a numerical disadvantage, Leguna wouldn't refuse Daver's offer.
"Kuger, Niio, hold the male one back. We'll finish the female snowfiend off first," instructed Daver.
Kuger and the other attendant crossed gazes before they rushed at the strong male fiend.
The moment the female saw her partner attacked, she roared and tried to rush to her partner's aid. However, she suddenly realized she couldn't move. A fireball with a diameter of 30 centimeters came flying at her a moment later. A loud explosion rang as the snowfiend let out a painful cry. The sound of the first explosion hadn't even had the time to fade away when the second fireball came smashing at her.
The snowfiend was struck three times in rapid succession. It was severely wounded. The stench of burnt hair filled the cavern. The fiend's burnt eyeballs blinded it. The pain it felt only served to excite it further, however. Roaring and no longer caring about its mate, it rushed at the group.
"This is bad. Fireballs aren't my specialty. I couldn't do enough damage," complained Annelotte, pale.
She may be Moonshadow's foremost magic genius, but dictating a level five petrification spell and three level three fireball spells was still taxing on her.
Yep, she's in love with violence, alright, confirmed Leguna as he watched her unleash spell after spell in a stupor.
He rushed forward, Flameblade in hand.
As opposed to Leguna's surprise at Annelotte's violence, Daver was impressed by her accomplishments in the field of magic. Unleashing so many spells that consumed so much magical energy in five minutes was an incredible feat. Annelotte's dictation time for each fireball was just over a second. But the speed wasn't the only thing that awed him. He was even more impressed by her spells' might. By his estimation, each was easily 1.5 times stronger than his would be!
There were many factors that affected a spell's strength. Stratum, for example, would separate a magus apprentice and a high-order magus even if both cast the same spell. The purity of the magic energy used was also an important factor. He felt her magical capacity was probably in the range of the eleventh stratum. He was one stratum above her. However, the purity of her magical energy far exceeded his. That was probably why their strength differed so little.
He gave her a respectful glance.
Spellmutation techniques, super fast dictation, and terrifying destructive spells... And she even said fireballs weren't her specialty?
He suddenly felt a so-called magical genius like him couldn't even compare to her. But, given the threat they currently faced, he couldn't afford to remain awed. He focused his attention on dictating another spell.
As Leguna and his three attendants had rushed forward, he didn't dare to use a spell that had a large area of effect like the fireballs Annelotte had unleashed. He dictated some enhancement spells such as Oxen Might and an agility spell instead. Perhaps because of Annelotte putting pressure on him, he didn't dare to pull any tricks during his dictation. Even Leguna benefited from the spells.
Leguna carefully circled the sides of the battlefield. He was aware of his own abilities and knew he couldn't withstand attacks like those strength-based, shield-wielding warriors. Given his slight frame, he would be gravely injured from even the slightest touch of great snowfiend. So, he kept himself in a position to harass the enemy by dealing attacks when the opportunity presented itself and backing down when it didn't.
"Young Master, quickly! We're at our limit!" shouted Kuger.
While he was a warrior of the tenth stratum, Nilio was only a warrior of the eighth and it was quite hard for them to deal with the high-order fiend. One simple strike made Nilio feel as if his shield-wielding hand was about to break.
"Just a little longer!" shouted Daver.
It wasn't hard for four fighters and two magi to fight a great snowfiend. The female's agonized soon rang out again. His eyes turned crimson as he flailed around wildly at Nilio with both his hands clasped together. Even with the reinforcement of impetus, his bones couldn't take the shock; he was turned into meat paste. Seeing his comrade killed, Kuger prepared himself for the worst and attempted to make his last stand, only to be flung to a far corner by a fling of the great snowfiend's arm. He wouldn't be making his way back anytime soon.
"I'll hold it back. You guys hurry!" yelled Annelotte as she approached the male snowfiend.
She dictated her spell calmly, causing magical light to gather at her fingertips. Most of the spells she dictated were diminution spells like the grease spell and restrictive barriers. While they weren't damaging, they were ideal for buying time. But she'd underestimated the great snowfiend's strength. After the last cry from the female, the male roared maniacally, fueled further by anger. The restrictive barrier was like air, it no longer impeded the male at all. It charged forward and appeared in front of Annelotte in the blink of an eye.
With a calm expression, she jumped back as she continued her dictation. The moment her spell was complete, the great snowfiend's palm smashed against her body and sent her flying like a piece of paper.
"Annie!" cried Leguna.
His heart stopped the moment he saw her flying. At the same time, his dark-blue eyes turned lightless black.
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