The ward didn’t prevent the gathering of mana, merely the casting of spells through it. That immediately made William’s job easier. Another key difference is he wasn’t bound, and he had Chris. William though he would be most successful if he could try to move mana back and forth through the ward, but he was being watched. Professor Zakkai was trustworthy enough, but William would rather there not be any questions. Thus, he started by firing a few simple spells. The ward did seem to have some sort of polarity, and it took him a few spells to be able to hone in on the most effective method he could reasonably expect to get in the timeframe of a battle.
Those down by the gate saw how ineffective his spells were, so they didn’t seem to be worried. They were trying to get through the gate, but brute force wasn’t working. Spells were even less useful than striking at it with their swords. Perhaps if they had a battering ram, they might have had the chance, but it didn’t seem they were expecting to actually engage in a siege. William thought they could use some of their previous slowness in decision making, but he supposed when provoked they wouldn’t allow the provoker to get away with it.
Perhaps if they were on guard, they would have been able to do something about William’s next spell… but perhaps not. He was able to leisurely take his time to gather mana. With Chris, he could control much more without going past his limits, though he couldn’t say he was incapable without him. William wished he could use a lightning bolt to take out all of the enemies at once, but that was impractical. Even the most careless person would take note of a trail of mana running to various people’s heads, or chests, or anything else. Unfortunately, a fireball would probably damage some of the nearby buildings. Thus, William had to expend a bit more effort to get the results he wanted.
Nobody even flinched when a sudden breeze arrived. Wind magic was one of the least dangerous forms of magic- though it was effective in deflecting arrows, it wasn’t something that could be used to kill anyone. Though, William wasn’t planning to kill them with the wind, it was just part of making his spell work. They certainly reacted when they suddenly found themselves engulfed in fire, but it was too late by that point. The wind brough very specific parts of the air- fuel and oxygen to perpetuate the fire. Perhaps the demons at the gate might have been fine if they didn’t panic, but when suddenly surrounded by fire and smoke, they didn’t think to split up in different directions. Then, after a few moments, two of the five did split off from the group, but the remaining three quickly became charred corpses. The last two were panting for breath as they retreated, and they were somewhat injured so it wasn’t too difficult to finish them off. Of course, William found himself out of breath afterwards from continual chanting, but it wasn’t a major problem.
Just like that, the battle was over. Baron Elmar was dead, killed by Lila- a fate shared by most of those at the front gate. William admired the efficiency that combat had in solving conflicts, while at the same time frowning and how often it came to that. William didn’t want to be a person who just used power to get what he wanted. That seemed… bad. He felt justified in his actions, but on the other hand… who didn’t? Did anyone ever go through life expecting that they were in the wrong? William supposed the fact that he at least considered his actions was important for making sure he avoided going on the wrong path.
William thought about how he’d killed those by the gate. It was surely not a pleasant death, but then again, death was never pleasant. At best, it could be barely felt. Was it wrong to kill people in a painful manner? William thought about it, and decided that as long as he avoided causing pain on purpose, he would be fine. He didn’t want to avoid an efficient method of killing people just because it might be more painful than others. William supposed he could ask the opinions of others. “Is it wrong to kill people in a painful manner?”
Lorelei shrugged. “As long as you’re not doing it for fun… pain is inevitable. If you’re worried about it… make sure they die fast. Well, perhaps it’s alright if you’re mortal enemies, but generally those who enjoy causing pain are very unstable.” William wasn’t sure what else he should have expected from Lorelei.
Lila contributed as well, “I basically agree. You’d better not enjoy it. If you become a psycho, I’d have to reconsider our friendship.”
William thought about the battle at the gate. Now, he wasn’t thinking about it from a moral perspective, but just in terms of efficiency. If he didn’t have to worry about collateral damage, there were better methods. On the other hand, he also had an idea for something new. It wouldn’t be something that could be avoided, and it couldn’t be blocked by magical armor because it wouldn’t cause damage. It was rather unpleasant though. Still, William couldn’t help but think about his manipulation of the air. If, instead of gathering fuel and oxygen, he had merely removed oxygen from the area… they would have suffocated.
There were certain advantages to that. It wasn’t a direct attack, so people wouldn’t be expecting it. Suffocating enemies also weren’t particularly dangerous, and they would soon be unable to do much. If they didn’t realize what was happening, they might be incapacitated without any chance to react. However, they might have enough breath to cast a spell, which could counter him. With ki, they could move out of the area, and there was nothing to stop them from attacking him either. Sure, it would be in desperation, but if they were sufficiently dangerous he could die or at least be injured in their final attempts. William would also only be able to control the spell in a small number of areas, and would have to keep the effect up until they passed out. Otherwise, there was a good probability of enough oxygen mixing back in that they had some sort of breath.
If he could remove the air from their lungs, it would be even easier, but it was very difficult to affect the inside of bodies, especially without being in physical contact with them. It wouldn’t be as efficient as some other methods, in most cases. Still, the general idea of suffocating someone was intriguing, if a bit morbid. He would try to avoid thinking of too many similar ideas.