Wizard! Chapter 419
William’s robes were dripping with sweat. The battle seemed to be lasting forever. Neither side had gone all out at the start, but they slowly worked their way up to peak performance. William had never fought a stronger opponent… at least in single combat.
Staff clashed against sword and shield, but neither often connected with anything of import. Even so, over the course of the battle hits built up. William had several gashes on his arms and legs, and even some scrapes on his toso. Lord Stirling’s armor was battered and beneath his armor he had bruises and cracked bones.
With a shout, William created a flash of light. At the same time, Lord Stirling countered with magic of his own, liquifying some of the ground under WIlliam’s feet. William swung his staff down at Lord Stirling, but the mud caused him to slip and only strike him on the shoulder instead of the head. Even so, there was a cracking sound and Lord Stirling’s arm hung limp at his side.
William knew Lord Stirling could have prevented the damage with what ki he had remaining… but that just meant he was saving his energy for something else. William already knew that the bottom edge of lord Stirling’s shield was sharpened. One of the gashes dripping blood down his arm was from a moment of carelessness when he hadn’t realized that.
Of course, neither of them would be safe unless the other couldn’t use their arms and legs and also couldn’t speak. While Lord Stirling hadn’t displayed any flashy or earthshaking magic, he was quite adept at quickly gathering a small amount of mana to use to turn battle to his advantage- hence the mud.
William took a half step back to keep Lord Stirling at a better distance. He wanted to keep his advantage of reach provided by his staff. Speaking of Chris, William knew that without him his chances of winning would be much lower. It might not be impossible without him, but William didn’t fancy his chances.
William and Lord Stirling continued to face each other, maneuvering around to try to get a better position among all of the rocks and mud.
Lord Stirling began a loud chant. The words meant nothing in his case, but William could see approximately what form the spell would take. He would be gathering wind… no, compressing air around himself. William speculated he would use that to control his limp arm, and even make himself move more quickly. He was even gathering some of it inside himself. William wasn’t entirely sure how it would work, but it was a very inefficient use of energy. On the other hand, it was also harder to counter than a spell launched at him. If it gave just the right edge Lord Stirling needed, that would be sufficient.
William began a chant of his own. He often defaulted to English when he wanted to sound mysterious, but he only barely remembered the language. He hadn’t had any real use for it in over a gross of years that he had been in this world- beyond seeking other reincarnated people and taking some secret notes. Now, it was good for just saying words without thinking about them so that he could concentrate on the magic.
Mana flowed into the area around the two from a great distance. Even the gevai who weren’t trained to understand magic could see something significant was happening. A large amount of mana flowed to around William… but an even larger amount gathered around Lord Stirling.
With a final shout, Lord Stirling finished his magic and dashed forward. At the same time, William also finished his spell… and took a step back calmly. Lord Stirling coughed and toppled over forward, his momentum carrying him to William’s feet. “H-how?”
William shook his head, “You should have made sure all that mana you were gathering around you… was actually controlled by you.” William struck Lord Stirling in the jaw, then brought his staff down on each of his legs in turn. Lord Stirling summoned what ki he could to defend, but without the ability to move to absorb the force of the blows it was not sufficient. He was also currently suffering internal injuries from William’s artificial mana feedback, so he was barely conscious.
After dealing with his remaining arm, William lifted him up by the throat and started concentrating. Then something caught his attention and he looked out toward Lord Stirling’s army. What had made him look was the sound of horses… and indeed the cavalry was charging toward him. “Back off!” William shouted with great force. Seeing that the cavalry didn’t even slow down. He turned back to what he was doing.
Lord Stirling only felt an icy cold piercing into him and spreading throughout him. It was like he found himself lost in the dead of winter with not even a scrap of clothing… and if his insides were on the outside. In a way, he felt they were. His body was beaten and battered, but the chill completely ignored it. Instead the chill spread from even deeper inside, the very depths of his soul. As it did so, he felt pressure growing on his soul- a constantly growing pressure that made him feel he would soon burst. He scratched and clawed at the ice spreading through him with every mite of ki and every bit of his being but it was like trying to stop winter itself with a single candle. Then, mercifully, he went numb.
William looked up toward the cavalry that were rapidly approaching. In a few seconds they would run him down… and in his weakened state they could actually kill him. However, he didn’t turn to run. Instead, he picked up Lord Stirling in both hands. “I warned you.”
He flung Lord Stirling’s body through the air. Without him able to resist in any way, William was able to fling him a dozen yards away- using all of his physical strength and much of his nearly depleted ki as encouragement. Only then did he turn to run… but not from the cavalry.