Chapter 7 – Bruneciel

 

 

We arrived at Bruneciel without any problems. It was a rather large town, roughly 5 times the size of Aldenaf. The best word to describe it would be “lively”. Although the street weren’t crowded, everyone looked like they were living a happy life. In the merchant section of the town, numerous merchants were shouting at the public to try to get some attention on their products while many people were trying to bargain the items sold on the stalls. There were also several shopkeepers displaying their best tools and weapons while one could hear laughter and music from the nearby taverns. The smell of alcohol, incenses and perfume reached nose and my head started spinning with these new sensations.

I quickly got drunk with this magnificent sight, which was something that was totally unknown to someone like me who had grown up in a quiet environment.
Seeing me like this, Father showed a wry smile on his face and approached me.

 

“Zwölf, here are 10 gold coins. If you find something that you want, please buy it. Consider it a birthday present from me.”

“Wow, 10 gold coins ! Can I really, Father ?”

“Of course. Now go. We’ll meet up here in one hour.”

“Thank you very much !”

 

After separating from him, I walked straight to the town’s bookshop. Although I had noticed all the tempting things the other shops had to offer, I ignored them as my mind was set on one thing : buying as many magic books as possible.
As expected, there was a rather large number of magic books displayed on the shelves. I decided to buy “Deeper analysis of the Magic concepts”, “Wind Magic – Expert level” and “Earth Magic – Expert level”. I would have liked to buy the other “Expert level” elementary magic books but I didn’t have enough money as I was left with only 1 gold coin after my purchase.

 

Since I didn’t waste any time meaninglessly, I had 50 minutes left to before the meeting time. As expected of town dedicated to commerce : there was no library. All the books from this town had to be bought from the bookshops. Having nowhere to study quietly, I decided to put the books in my bag and read them in later . I headed to the nearest tavern to buy my first beer – the legal drinking age in the Porcephone Empire is 15 years old.

When I entered, I was welcomed by a waitress who looked more like a dancer. Waaa, too much skin was exposed ! Her clothes revealed her beautiful thighs and deep cleavage, which she was almost shaving in my face while greeting me.

 

“Welcome to the “Dragon’s Breath” !”

 

Talking to her without stuttering was indeed a challenge for me as I wasn’t used too much to the opposite sex. She led me to the bar. The bartender looked at me suspiciously.

 

“How old are you, kiddo ?”

“I just turned 15.”

“Is that so ? Well, there are witnesses around me. If you lied, you’re the one getting in trouble with the guards, got it ?”

“Of course.”

“So, kid. What will it be for you ?”

“I’d like some beer please. Will 1 Gold Coin be enough ?”

“With 1 Gold Coin, I can serve you my best beer, boy. It’s expensive but heh, you’re in the best tavern in town after all.”

“I’ll have that, please.”

 

The maid approached me. Her sweet scent made my head dizzy and as I was bewitched by her lukewarm breath that tickled my neck, she whispered into my ears.

 

“So you’re having your first beer as you turn 15 huh… shall I also take your other firsts as a special service ? For only a few more gold coins, fufufu…”

“W-W-W-What !? O-Obviously that’s out of the question !”

“Ara ara… what a shame… such a cute boy.”

 

I blushed furiously when I heard that and turned to face her. I saw her jiggling and heading to another table. My heart was beating fast just because of this small stimulus. Since when were waitresses that bold !?
As I thought that I was still ignorant of the world, my beer was served by the bartender.

 

***

 

I was savouring the delicious taste of my very first beer when a man wearing only black clothes entered the tavern. At his belt was a sword that was characteristic of imperial knights. In fact, under his heavy black clothing, an imperial armor could be seen. He was wearing a menacing expression and when he entered, everyone in the tavern quieted down.The happy atmosphere that floated in the air died down as it was quickly replaced by a general feeling of fear and anxiety.

I inquired quietly about his identity to the bartender.

 

“Who is he ?”

“… This is Grog… He used to be the captain of the guards but he got kicked out because of his tendency to get drunk and go on a rampage. Despite this, he is quite skilled at Magic and also rather strong with sword techniques. Ever since he’s been fired, he has gone berserk more often but even then, the guards are too scared of their former leader to do anything…”

“Hmm…”

“Be careful not to get in his way, kiddo. He’s killed people for stupid reasons before.”

“No one tried to stop him ?”

“No one is strong enough. He is probably the best swordsman in the whole town and his knowledge about Magic is enough to help him to face most opponents who dare stand in his way. This only contributed to make him more arrogant; since no one opposes him, he thinks he is above the law…”

 

He definitely looked strong. Probably not an opponent I could win against in my current state.
The waitress approached Grog with a pale face. She looked terrified.

 

“W… Welcome to the… “Dragon’s Breath”…”

 

Grog stared at the waitress then shouted to the bartender.

 

“Oi, old man. You’re the one in charge, right ?”

“That’s… that’s right.”

“Serve me your best alcoholic drink. And I’m taking the bitch as well. All for free of course.”

“W-What ? Even that’s…”

“Oooh ? You dare oppose me ? Do you have a death wish, old man ?”

“Please… at least let the girl go…”

“Haaaa ? I’m giving you 10 seconds, gramps. Serve me a beer or else I’ll butcher you.”

 

There was nothing the bartender could answer to such threats. Grog had already grabbed the waitress who had tears flowing on her face. I’m not really the type to stand for justice and I knew I don’t stand a chance… but even then… even then I couldn’t forgive his man for behaving like that. Without thinking, I stood up and went to face him.

 

“Let her go.”

“Aaaah ? A kid ? What do you want, brat ?”

“Are you deaf ? I said, let her go.”

 

His face turned red from anger. The tavern had gone dead silent. Everyone’s attention was focused on the both of us.

 

“Oi, oi… I’m gonna slice you, you brat.”

“…”

 

He released his grip on the woman’s arm . With a single look, I told her to get away from Grog. A terrifying killing intent could be felt from him. I sharpened my senses. He had drawn his sword. He was going to attack at any time, most likely with his sword and then probably follow up with magic. I could see that although he was probably underestimating me because of my age, he wasn’t too careless either.

He attacked first. Grog went for a surprise attack by throwing his scabbard at my face. Although I didn’t expect him to do that, I was prepared for some kind of underhanded attack and sliced his scabbard in half with『Wind Cut』. Although I did say that I didn’t use Beginner level magic anymore, his scabbard could be easily cut with low level Magic so there was no need to exhaust my Mana meaninglessly. After all, I didn’t know how long this fight would last so I couldn’t afford to waste my Magic.

 

“You bastaaard ! I’ll make you pay for destroying my scabbard ! With your own blood !”

 

Grog charged at me. It was a skilled attack, much quicker than the Iron Boar’s charge. However, I was able to avoid it by using『Wind Push』on myself. His sides were left unprotected but that was probably a feint to make me attack at this moment. I had seen Tras do that against Hell before. I ignored the temptation to attack him and jumped back.

I fired a『Wind Blade』towards his chest but he deflected it with his sword. I didn’t expect that much. I understood that his blade had to be enchanted with a Magic capable of deflecting lesser spells like mine… Which mean it would be extremely hard to inflict any damage to him as long as he had his sword. I was totally incompetent in close combat so I had to stay away from him to avoid getting sliced but none of my Intermediate level spells seemed to affect him as he also resisted and 『Earth Spike』.

 

“Hahaha, it looks like you’re all talks, kid. If that’s all you can do, it’s the end for you !”

 

Straight after saying that with a triumphant look on his face, he ran towards me at an impressive speed and although I pushed myself back one more time with『Wind Push』, he followed me and didn’t leave me any time to recover. Aah, I get it. He used the same spell as me to make himself accelerate.That’s what the bartender was talking about. He uses wind Magic to improve his speed and the sharpness of his sword while his skill and power are already very developed. I can now understand why the other guards fear him. This guy is a truly balanced fighter and he’s got experience. On the other hand, I have barely anything to fight him with.

He drew close to me and held his sword high in the air. This strike would most likely behead me if I didn’t do anything. In the face of this desperate situation, I couldn’t do anything but watch as he struck down. In a last effort, I gathered 60% of my total Mana inside my body and attempted something that I had never tried before : “Self-enchanting”. I spread my Mana all over my body and imagined a dragonfly. The raw Magic that was stuck to my body turned itself into Wind Magic and my whole body started oscillating.

I blinked and suddenly, the world seemed slightly slowed down. I could clearly see the trajectory of Grog’s sword and dodged it rather easily. Everything around me was going about 10% slower. Or rather, I was the one who was going faster. Even with this new power I wouldn’t be able to take down Grog due to the inability of my offensive magic, however I could now efficiently manage to dodge his strikes without using
『Wind Push』.

 

One could say that casting self-enchantment Magic was purely a fluke. I did it as I had a hunch that it may work but to be honest, I didn’t expect it to actually work. As I was recalling the situation and wondering how I managed to enchant my own body, it all came clear to me.

 

“That’s how it is ! Then, it all makes sense now ! Hahaha !”

 

I called the self-enchanting I performed 『Dragonfly』. Successfully activating that spell finally allowed me to understand how to cast spells using only Mana. My whole thought process was actually wrong from the very beginning because I had assumed that the steps for casting the spells using only Mana were the same as the ones when using Cindril. This is where I was wrong.

Using Cindril is basically a two step process. The first is to locate the elementary Magic under the form of Cindril and then shaping it with Mana.
However I thought that to achieve the same result with only Mana, I needed to turn Mana into elementary Magic as a substitute for Cindril and then try to shape it.
But I realised that it was simply impossible to turn raw Magic into elementary Magic because what is required for the cast of a spell to work only with Mana is to visualise the final result immediately.

 

For instance, instead of trying to create Fire Magic from Mana and then turn it into a Fireball, I had to think about making a Fireball directly.

The Mana consumption was indeed much higher. However, now that I knew the basic theory, a whole new range of options opened up to me. I could basically cast anything as long as I had enough Mana.

For the first time since the start of the fight, a smile showed on my face. Considering all the spells I had cast so far, I had about 25% of my total Mana left remaining.

 

“Let’s finish this, kid. Die now !『Hateful Slash』!”

 

Looks like Grog was getting fed up of me dodging. He used a skill that was like a berserk version of『Furious Slash』. Strikes came from multiple directions and it was going so fast that one could see their afterimage. However, thanks to『Dragonfly』, I was able to dodge them although I received some damage on my flank and shoulders. Still, I was able to hold on against what was most likely his strongest skill. It was time for my counterattack.

I gathered up 20% of my remaining Mana into my fist and imagined a blue fireball. I tried to imagine it as powerful and hot as possible and as expected, as soon as I got a clear image in my mind, it appeared in my fist. Not only was it a fireball (which was supposedly Expert level Magic) but it was also affected by『Dragonfly』. Looks like self-enchanting also applies to my other spells. The blue fireball started oscillating and looked like a ghost flame. I named it『Phantom Fireball』 and fired it at Grog.

Grog noticed that and since it was too fast for him to dodge him, he used his sword to protect himself. As expected, the enchantment on his sword must have been a higher level one as it absorbed even my Expert level fireball… or so it seemed.

It looked like the sword had successfully absorbed the fireball but in reality, it was just an afterimage. This was due to『Dragonfly』 having affected the properties of my spell. The real fireball landed magnificently on Grog’s chest and blew up. An explosion of blue flames occurred and the fallen guard was blasted away. He immediately fell unconscious as the blue fire kept consuming his clothes and burnt skin.

 

“Ah… I won…”

 

Finally, the fight was over.

Advertisements