Wizard! Chapter 418
Lord Stirling stood waiting in his silver armor. William wondered if he chose to have such armor because of his name, or if he chose the name because he liked silvery things. As far as records went, that was what he had been called.
William continued to look him over as he approached Lord Stirling. He had a sword at his belt, though William knew he was fond of using a warhammer against heavily armored opponents. Defensive enchantments weren’t punctured the same way, so a sword was better versus William in his robe. The pommel of the sword contained a large diamond, good for enhancing magic to add to his other abilities. His ki cultivation was at the same level as the Demon King’s, and perhaps even a bit better trained. His soul felt… weaker, but William couldn’t tell how much exactly.
Having a soul weaker than the Demon King meant William could certainly destroy him, but that was only guaranteed if Lord Stirling didn’t fight back. When William had destroyed the Demon King’s soul, he had been fighting constantly for some time and William had just barely succeeded. Here, William was fighting in single combat.
“So…” Lord Stirling spoke once William was within easy hearing range, “You really did manage to tame that staff. We heard the Archmage had found it and been carrying it around. With a staff like that, it is no wonder you style yourself as a mage. It was used not long ago by another mage as well. Perhaps we should not have given up on the idea.”
“Perhaps not. You could have even used your own souls as ingredients. That way we could have been rid of the plague you bring upon this world some time ago.”
Lord Stirling smiled slightly and shook his head, “Ah… I thought one as powerful as you might have a wider perspective. What are a few souls when we can become truly strong?”
“A few souls? A few souls doesn’t cause a massive destabilization of the world. Now then… shall we do this?” William held his staff in a ready stance.
“I had thought we might talk more. After all, this was your last chance. Perhaps we could have discussed magic. I’m sure you have more to learn there.” As he spoke, the mana in the area was flowing toward him. William watched as it formed. It was a rarer sort of magic, not a fireball or lightning or even shifting heat and cold. It wasn’t water either, but William felt he should recognize the patterns… and yet at the same time had never seen someone else use it. Then, internally, he nodded.
“Are you just going to stand there?”
“Oh, don’t worry, I am just… about… done!” With a final shout the mana took its form as it collapsed around William.
William didn’t move, merely standing there letting it flow over him. The total amount of mana used in the spell wasn’t staggering, though it was more than what most of those who styled themselves Archmages could easily gather in that short period of time. The mana didn’t manifest into any sort of visible form as it surrounded him and pierced into him. In fact, it didn’t even have a physical form. It entered inside William and struck at his soul.
William had never felt soul magic from anyone else. He’d faced off against others who had used soul techniques through ki, but through magic it felt quite different. The magic felt like floodwaters crashing into him. They tried to knock him off of his feet, after which they would dash him against the rocks and grind him to pieces. However, if the magic was floodwaters, William was a section of riverbed. The floodwaters could grind against him all they wished, but except in the greatest storm they could only slowly wear him down.
The magic wore out at the point William was starting to feel uncomfortable. It wasn’t that he spent no effort to defend himself, but he wouldn’t have called it strenuous. His magic robes had stopped a small portion of the power, but his ki defenses in the domain of his own soul had easily weathered the rest.
William stood there for a few moments. “Well? Are you going to do anything… useful?”
Lord Stirling frowned. He had thought that William didn’t know how to react to his magic, or perhaps that he hadn’t even realize that magic was happening… but instead it had just been ignored. Any normal gevai or even most lords had weak defenses for their soul. Even those on Lord Stirling’s level would have had more difficulty resisting soul destruction magic. However, this one had shrugged it off like it was nothing. That wasn’t the limit of what Lord Stirling could do… but even with more mana and at close range, he doubted he would be able to succeed without first wearing down this upstart ‘king’. “I suppose we have to do this the hard way.” Lord Stirling drew his sword, and the battle began in earnest.
Soldiers watched from atop the castle and further into the field as the two lords dueled each other. From those distances they could see the major details of the fight but not the smaller pieces. They couldn’t hear that both sides were completely ignoring chants for magic, nor could they see the results of many of the spells.
Though not all of them could follow the movements, sword and shield faced off against staff. The staff was a blue blur, but the shield and sword stood out as well as they reflected the light from the midday sun.
It appeared that neither side had a large advantage. Lord Rutten managed to trip Lord Stirling only to find himself blinded momentarily, long enough for Lord Stirling to collect himself. The sword occasionally found itself with a successful cut, causing red blood to soak into the robes. In return, Lord Stirling’s armor was becoming dented and battered, no longer pristine. Those with especially keen eye would see he had a slight limp.
Both sides were surprised that their respective lords had not won long before. Lord Rutten, or perhaps it would be more appropriate to call him the Eternal King, had previously dominated all of his enemies quite handily. Meanwhile, Lord Stirling had a long and illustrious history of strength. Neither side had imagined that the fight could last more than an hour.