William intentionally moved inside bow range of the fort. Arrows flew down at him, but with a few words he summoned a gust of wind to blow them off course. They had enough momentum and spread that some of them would still hit him, so he deflected them with Chris. Since this was a display of power, he wasn’t going to dodge the arrows. He hoped nobody noticed the one that he failed to deflect… either way, it barely had any power left and merely bounced off his enchanted robes and fell to the ground with the rest.
William continued to stand there. He knew that arrows were a finite resource. Perhaps they might have a great gross or even several times that many in the fortress, but if they spent them three dozen at a time they would quickly run out. William could continue to do what he did for that long… or he could just retreat. He wasn’t far enough inside bow range for them to be able to hurt him much anyway.
It seems they knew that, because they didn’t fire again. It would be better for them to save the arrows for a situation they could do some use. Not that killing him wouldn’t be useful, but the probability of it actually happening was low enough at the distance they were at. They were still almost three hundred feet away, so their arrows wouldn’t have much penetrating power anyway.
After waiting a few moments, William tossed Chris forward. That wasn’t necessary, but he thought it would make it seem like he was under William’s control instead of independent. William could see the archers debating on whether to launch another volley at him now that he didn’t have his staff.
Before they could come to a decision, Chris had reached the gate. He struck it, but it was a thick, heavy gate made to withstand the force of battering rams powered by gevai soldiers. Coupled with magical enchantments, it was clear that Chris wouldn’t do any damage. In fact, he was knocked back flying, electricity sparking around him.
Then Chris continued forward and hit the gate again… and again… and again. Each time he was flung backwards, but it all seemed like part of a pattern. Chris repeated the same movements almost to perfection, such that William almost thought he was watching a looped image.
Then he had to look away, as the archers had apparently decided- or been told- to fire again. A bit of magic to throw the arrows off course once again did most of the work, and then William swung his arm in front of him. He had made something like a wall of ki, and it swept the arrows away. It took more energy than doing the same with Chris, because the ki had to extend further away from his body into the air… but he could easily do the same dozens of times more before he had to consider retreating.
At the rate things were going, William could see this taking hours… or days. Not that would be a problem for Chris, but William didn’t want to stand around for days… and on the chance that Chris would need him when he left, he decided the process needed to be sped up.
William started with a quick spell… to no obvious effect. He nodded his head. At least they weren’t incompetent. He wasn’t able to gather mana to inside the fort and use that to pull a lever to open the gate. William suspected he would be able to do it if he was standing right next to the wall and uninterrupted… but that wouldn’t happen.
That particular barrier covered the whole fort, so it would be hard to do something like heating up the metal reinforcements in the wooden gates and causing it to break apart that way. He could create fire next to it and heat it up that way… but that would be much less energy efficient.
He had to pause his thoughts for a moment to deflect a lighting bolt. He had seen it coming a mile away… well, technically less than three hundred feet, since it came from on top of the wall of the fort, but it was obvious long before it came. He had seen the trail that had to be made creeping toward him. At this distance, the lightning wasn’t very strong. It barely even took much effort to deflect it into the ground by making an easier path with his ki. The caster on the wall tried to extend the trail into him, but that was easy enough to prevent- especially with the distances involved.
However, just because his opponent had trouble using magic at that distance didn’t mean he would. It would certainly be easier with Chris, but he didn’t plan to do anything large and flashy anyway.
WIth only a few seconds of chanting, William launched an attack that started right next to the fort. A fist sized ball of dirt flew up, impacting against the wall. William frowned and shook his head, then tried again. The second one was the size of a head, and that provoked the reaction of the barrier. The clump of dirt was rebounded back at the ground instead of sticking to the wall like part of the other one did.
William then tried a size directly in between his previous two, and had to go slightly larger the time after that, before finally discerning a size close to the minimum required. He took a bit longer for his next chant, and thus lined up a volley of five double-fist sized clumps of hardened dirt to impact at the same time as Chris hit the gate. The barrier performed its function, and there was still not even a scratch on the wall or the gate.
William grinned. Every single piece had provoked the same reaction, at the same level of power. Each of them carried enough power to knock a human off their feet… but not much more than that. He couldn’t harm the walls with what he was doing… but he didn’t need to. William started walking parallel to the wall, flinging more hardened balls of dirt at the wall as he went.