Wizard! Chapter 110
After exiting the Endless Forest, the first proper city was Domaro. William’s first impression was that it was very large. It seemed to rival Ostana in size. William was pretty sure that had not always been true, but he had never personally visited. However, it had also been many generations, so it was expected that it would change. New cities would be founded, and old cities would either prosper or fall. It was not strange that the city would change.
Because it was a border city, it likely prospered through trade. Thus, it was no surprise that the caravan was planning to stay for several days. William took the time to explore the city. Dong Xin and Big Sister Li came with him, because although they were becoming more proficient in the language, they weren’t comfortable enough yet, especially with the different surroundings. Although William had been to both Ostana and Liaoyang, and seen pictures from many different cultures and travelled to a few countries his first life, Yu Li had not experienced much outside of Liaoyang. Although she had read about other countries and seen drawings and paintings of architecture, nothing was quite the same as actually visiting. Though, William thought pictures and video came pretty close sometimes.
At first they browsed the markets. This was purely for pleasure, since they didn’t have any intention of buying anything, nor the excess funds to purchase them. William might have been interested in some books, but they were rather impractical to bring on a journey, and he would have nowhere to store them. At most, he could bring a few with him. He did see that there were staves for sale, and was reminded that he had never ended up buying one for Big Sister Li. They were actually cheaper here, and with a better selection for the purpose of magic. On the other hand, cheaper did not mean cheap, and they didn’t have any way to renew their funds. It would be completely irresponsible to purchase diamond or ruby topped staves, but they did find a birch staff with quartz. It wasn’t amazing, but it was better than a staff meant for melee combat.
William was also surprised to find a shop selling magical items. Not many, and they were very expensive, but there were some. Staves were not inherently magical, but rather the materials amplified the ability to use magic. Actual magic items generally had a specific thing that they could do, such as producing light, or a specific enhancement such as making a weapon more durable. There were also magical staves, which could further amplify a wizard’s abilities, but these were very hard to create. Their magic could easily interfere with the wizard’s control instead of enhancing it, so good magical staves were hard to come by. Not that William had ever needed that kind of staff, even if he hadn’t had Chris.
Although he didn’t have any evidence, William felt certain that Chris was still in Ostana somewhere. However, feelings weren’t necessarily any good, and if he was buried a foot underground somewhere, William would never be able to find him. Unless Chris wanted to not be buried, in which case nothing would stop him forever. However, since there weren’t any rumors of him, William feared he was hidden somewhere.
After visiting the market, William found himself lost in thought about Chris, and soon found himself on the road outside the city. Dong Xin cleared his throat. “Though I continued following you since you seemed to be confident in your direction, I don’t believe we have any particular business outside of the city.”
William stopped and looked around. “Right, I was just distracted…” At that point, William heard the sound of an explosion. In fact, it was a particularly familiar sound… like a fireball. The sound came from along a side road, and William found himself running in that direction to see what was happening.
The young man finished chanting his defensive spell and stood in front of his sister. They weren’t too far from the city, but they couldn’t keep running. His sister had twisted, her ankle, and he was already out of breath. He was in no state to properly chant, but his spell completed successfully anyway. Two men on horses came out from behind a small patch of trees, though they were not unexpected.
One of the men grinned. “Daniel. It was rather foolish for members of your traitorous family to leave your family’s grounds unprotected.”
“You’re right…” Daniel exhaled and inhaled heavily, “I shouldn’t have expected scum like your family to respect the law. It was a mistake.”
“Respect it? We are the law. It is perfectly within our rights to hunt down traitorous, rogue wizards.” At this point, it appeared the gloating and formalities were over. Both of the riders began chants, which Daniel instantly recognized as fireball spells. The two of them were far enough apart to not interfere with each other’s control of mana. One of them was chanting more slowly, which disappointed Daniel. He was hoping they would make a mistake and clash their fireballs with each other.
All Daniel could do was start chanting again to supplement his defensive spell. He had mostly given up hope. Although if he could kill one of them he would have a chance, that was impossible. They had defensive enchantments on their robes… and Daniel knew his own limits. All he could do was try to hold off the inevitable.
The first fireball struck his defenses and the flame gouted around him, and his sister behind him. Daniel’s shields barely held, and he felt the heat wash over him still. He finished gathering more energy to supplement the shields, but the next fireball was going to be stronger, and he couldn’t sustain this indefinitely. He was physically and mentally tired from running, and he wasn’t that powerful to begin with.
The second fireball came. It was much stronger. Daniel doubted his shields would hold. He really had been stupid, thinking that he would be safe. However, if nobody knew exactly how he died… even if it was obvious, there would be little that could be done to avenge him. Plus, he would be dead. He was going to die now, in fact, and what’s worse is his sister Ivy would die with him.
Daniel knew he should face his death with courage, but he couldn’t. He closed his eyes as the fireball approached. This was it. Then, there was a sound. The sound of wind, among other things. He also heard the sound of crackling fire, which was surprising since he should have mostly heard the explosion of the fireball, if anything. There was also a sound he couldn’t have anticipated. It sounded like a cracking stick, but there was nobody in front of him to make such a noise.
He opened his eyes, and saw a young man, no, a kid, with a staff stretched out in front of him, as well as the trail of fire from the fireball. It appeared as if it had suddenly curved off to the side, and Daniel turned to look… only to see the fireball explode some distance away. Daniel turned his eyes back forward, and was glad he hadn’t been chanting a spell, because he was speechless at what had just happened.
Wizard! Chapter 110