Chapter 24 – A Bet And A Match
After Talcott yelled that out, a flame vortex rose from the center of the group. Screams broke out from the surroundings.
It was quite difficult to handle the position of Firestorm Magic. It was considered unsuitable for battle.
However, the vortex didn’t stray from the center.
No doubt about it. It appeared that he was capable of controlling it. I had planned to cast an area of effect water magic to counter his magic, as I was aware that there would be injuries if the affected area increased…but it still looked fine.
“How’s that everyone, take a look! I don’t need Life Magic!”
Talcott was laughing pridefully. He waved the flame vortex, which moved with his laughter. That was quite dangerous. He needed to concentrate, since he couldn’t afford to lose control.
I had no confidence in knowing how his flame would move after I robbed him of his sense. With that said, I didn’t know how long he could continue to maintain control over the vortex if I left it as it was.
It didn’t necessarily mean that the Firestorm would come this way when he lost control. I first needed to dissipate the flame so that an accident wouldn’t occur.
Pushing aside the students who were on this side, I began to place both of my hands on the ground in order to cast a spell that had been on stand-by.
A sphere of darkness shot out from my hand and began to absorb the flame. However, the people who were in the direct line of fire between the flame and the sphere ended up engulfed in fire before it was absorbed. Although the ignited fire could be absorbed, you would be burned if you were touched by it before it was completely absorbed.
It was necessary to use magic and direct it at the approaching flame pillar.
Only some hot air was left. Just about all of it vanished beautifully.
Talcott’s eyes were wide open as he looked at me. So he didn’t react by attacking me in a frenzy, huh?
“You, what was that Magic you used just now!?”
It appeared that Talcott didn’t know Flame Absorb.
Travis was…oh, it was no good. He had withdrawn.
Tower Magicians were experts in Life Magic. No matter how you thought about it, these people didn’t belong on the battlefield. Although this class took shape through Travis describing the importance of Life Magic, which bound Talcott, it couldn’t be helped if it was unreasonable. I was already involved since he butted in. Well then, what should I do?
“It’s Magic that counters flames. Why are you such an idiot?”
I clasped my hands and released a magic circle in my left hand, a Magic Shield, and in my right hand, an Air Bullet, and began to talk with them on stand-by.
Well, there was no use in arguing about it, so I thought the best solution was to knock him out. I couldn’t help but think that Talcott himself was not violent by nature.
More precisely, if he was this unreasonable, it would negatively impact his own interests. My imagination had gone too far out of bounds from my routine thoughts.
As to whether Kennel should have done the things related to Ashley…I had never heard any rumors that stood out too much, but what did stand out was their bad reputation.
I had heard various things regarding him and the Cardiff House.
Like servants using Magic and injuring several of his citizens.
Like his dad fleeing from his people for making a mistake in his farming methods, causing his tax revenue to decrease.
It was certain that there were known scandals. If I were to say it from another viewpoint, then I didn’t know anything about him aside from the gossip.
I had thought about it too abstractly…I had thought about deciding that they were just rumors if the information had been corrupted.
Though, there certainly was some disgust, as if I was seeing my step-mother and brothers.
Although the fiancé’s injuries weren’t that severe…could he, for example, have been driven by a sense of guilt that would have ended up hurting the fiancé–?
“Huh? You’re the idiot. Did you not understand me? Why the hell are you getting in my way like this? How will you ‘let me see a painful experience’ with that response?”
I thought as much.
I felt that Talcott took great pleasure from being able to prove his power and had never blamed himself to the point of despair from being driven into a corner or from having possibly injured people. As a result, my curiosity was piqued.
Although he had been sticking to his own opinions like this…perhaps he didn’t realise what would happen if he were to behave like this outside?
If that was the case, perhaps the pretense of his dissatisfaction from earlier was actually in protest against the dissatisfaction of showing that his own true abilities were weak, or that he needed to improve his control.
Although he might have been unwilling to cause injuries by accident…it wasn’t that they were caused frequently, but that he was largely unwilling to admit the fact that they were unintentional. He wanted to put up a fancy performance.
In short, he was a violent person who had a talent for magic. Surely he was a watchdog from his territory…no that wasn’t it. Oh, I’ve remembered. He was the second son who was called, ‘Cardiff’s Fierce Dog.’
“I don’t know the extent of your Control.”
“…What did you say?”
Talcott grew angry. Aah, without a doubt, with a sentence like this, I was basically saying that I doubted his Control. Before he acted rashly, I decided to guide him in a better direction for a bit. Compared to me, he was more of a small child. It would be troublesome if he turned violent.
“In short, you’re a great person who excels at handling Magic. You’ve thought about such things, right?”
“Isn’t that natural? Although my old man had been looking at me favorably, that is the way things are now. I’ve always done it like this, you know?”
Not a watchdog, but a Fierce Dog.
In order to incite his usefulness. In other words, it meant that his dad demanded he play a role in a violent organization, since it was convenient to suppress his population with force. Well, I generally agreed with that.
Well, it would become like this if he only needed to know about his house and territory. If only one person could do Magic, then that person would be spoiled.
Anyways, that guy was…It couldn’t be helped that he was protected by Count Moris.
Although I had talked about various boring things, perhaps I had had too many illusions about Nobles up until this day.
Something like “Noblesse Oblige” was my ideal. Should I, who moved around for my own benefit, not speak of Nobles?
Termuilles was a militaristic land. When push came to shove, the tendencies and values of the guys who were skilled were said to be correct…well that was certain. Although Count Moris was surely a Magician of the Military when he was young…Talcott probably wasn’t one.
However, it was too soon to talk about these things. His thoughts belonged to a category that was easy to understand.
It appeared that he thought I was worth listening to after I used Flame Absorb.
In any case, I got involved with him, who needed to be persuaded. If we were following a hierarchy based on power, then I needed to take care not to leave any seeds for future trouble by making it clear who held the authority in the relationship.
“…Understood. Will you have a match with me?”
“A match, you say?”
“You will have a match with me, and if you lose, regardless of how you will be handled by the School, you should properly study your noble education and classroom studies. At that time, you will never speak with discontent like you did earlier. However, if you win…”
“If I win?”
“I’ll teach this to you.”
I laughed meaningfully, and then cast a Magic Circle from my palm.
Even without listening to his reply, I understood what he was complaining about from his expression. It was indeed attractive if one was imagining an actor who played the ruffian that intended to use Magic.
Any intermediate Magic didn’t need chants, and one’s Control would also improve.
Well, it was clear that if this was my victory, perhaps Talcott would receive some type of punishment either way. The matter of his Control capability. The issue with avoiding damage. Talcott’s age. The things related to the Count’s House, and the expectations towards the future as a part of Termuilles’ spirit and a Magician of the Military. If I were to include all of these things, I probably couldn’t predict the extent of the punishment. Well, it depended on the thoughts of the punishing side, so I wouldn’t count on that.
However, there was no relation between the match and the punishment.
Studies could be conducted anywhere as long as you had the motivation. The only issue was whether Talcott could fulfill a promise related to betting his dignity.
“…As for the terms of the match, you must not kill your opponent. Advanced Magic is not allowed. In other words–”
“It would be a Chantless Beginner Magic shootout, right? It’s a match, after all.”
Perhaps this was a common type of Magic Battle. Chantless was quicker compared to magic circles in regards to Beginner Magic, and if it was a one-on-one battle between fellow magicians, it would be advantageous to get the first shot, since the opponent’s combat efficiency would be affected if they received a direct hit, even with this kind of magic.
The one who would win would be the one that used a magic circle, even though it was a pot shot.
“So this time we won’t use Circles. Shall we state the terms of defeat? Of course, losing consciousness or running away would be a loss.”
A smile appeared on Talcott’s face. It appeared he was confident in a chantless battle.
“Theodore-sama, this is…!”
People had gathered around to see what the fuss was about. Grace was also among them.
“I’ll be fine. It’s just a normal match after all. Please be careful of stray Magic.”
“Understood, I’ll leave it to you.”
Grace nodded. The outline of her shadow wiggled just slightly.
“I think I, too, will be able to help out…if an injured person appears.”
Ashley placed her hand on her chest as she said that. I nodded at Ashley, then looked back towards Talcott.
We moved to a place that was a short distance away, where we would confront each other.
Talcott took out his Staff and took on an oblique stance. Nevertheless, it was a non-lethal, chantless magic battle, huh? It reminded me of the PvP when BFO was still in its initial stages.
“Are you making fun of me…not using a Staff?”
“You don’t need to worry about that.”
Although I didn’t have a Magic Staff…it would only become a hindrance if I brought such a long item to the School. Besides, the main point this time around was Control. That’s why, instead of attacking with Joujutsu, it would be easier to show some tactics to temper one’s Control, so that even Talcott could easily understand it.
After Talcott gnashed his teeth, the end of his Magic Staff shined, and what remained in its place was a pale magic sphere, which rushed at me counterclockwise.
A Magic Slave. By accumulating a mass of one’s own mana, one could use it like a Magic Gun by manipulating mana from a distance.
Simply put, it was capable of adding some pressure in battles, so it was probably a necessary skill if you were a Magician of the Military.
Although I could use it too, due to my Circulation state…Battle Mages were Magicians who specialized in close combat. The moves we had were compensated in another manner.
Like a white mist, what was fired from Talcott’s Staff was a wind bullet.
Well, as far as non-lethal attacks go, it was the correct choice. It was hard to see it, after all.
I read the approximate path of the wind bullet that was shot from its movement and timing, and returned fire with the same Magic. The aftermath of the Magic I cast reached him, and Talcott’s hair and clothes fluttered from the strong wind.
Talcott’s eyes were wide open. It was clear that the power of my Air Bullet was above his. The range of my Magic was short, and although the power decayed faster than normal magic if it was from a bit of a distance…though, at this range, it could intercept his.
Since Wind Magic was hard to see, you needed to be far enough away to avoid it. It was easy to either protect yourself from the front or to shoot it down, and if the opposing side was running around in a shooting battle, they would only strike with effective hits that shortened the distance.
By decreasing the space with ease, as though he was confident in close-combat, Talcott continued to put up with the Air Bullets I was firing at him while he ran around, trying to maintain his distance. In regards to a chantless magic shootout using beginner magic, it was fundamental to rapidly cast the same magic, as long as they couldn’t counter it.
It was necessary to remain focused on your individual control in order to change the spell to chantless magic. If it was the same magic, then one could use rapid cast without keeping a fixed focus.
I continued to shoot him down while matching his breathing. It was countermagic that read trajectories. This was done repeatedly during PvP.
Besides casting Magic in my direction, Talcott’s vision was swimming.
After observing him, I figured out his aim and timing.
Aiming at the Magic Slave that had stayed in the air, I cast a Rank 1 Fire Spell: Cracker Bomb.
Coming in diagonally from behind, a red magic bullet clashed with the wind bullet that came from the Slave, and burst open. I also shot down the magic that came from the front with an Air Bullet.
“A Double Spell!?”
If it was chantless, then you could rapid fire one type of Magic. This was fundamental. It was like operating a car while conversing. Like doing a piano performance, with your left and right hands playing different notes. It was nothing special if you were used to such things, and Magic Manipulation was no different.
You manipulated one spell consciously, and then you manipulated another spell naturally…If you thought about it, then Life Magic was the most suitable for practicing Double Spells.
An Air Bullet from my right hand. A Cracker Bomb from my left hand. The number of my moves simply doubled.
Talcott, who fell on the ground from the approaching red bullet, unable to counter it, wouldn’t be able to avoid this.
Talcott’s body rolled onto the ground after taking a direct hit from an Air Bullet.
At least the counterfire that ensued should have been avoided. When not attacking with Magic, one would focus on dodging and would become unable to use counter Magic.
Afterwards, to reflect his shots–I crossed my arms together, and it would be fine to shoot Talcott down after predicting where he would be with Wind Magic.
I instantly shortened the distance by kicking the ground with a timing that completely interrupted his counterattack.
After seizing Talcott’s back, who had tried to get up, I intertwined my arms around his neck, as if crossing them. This wasn’t a martial art from BFO. This was just a simple sleeper hold.
Whether or not he had expected close combat, Talcott’s arteries were being pressed down on, and he was unable to react at all.
His chant came too late, and he couldn’t focus on chantless magic while taking on the Air Bullets. In particular, this situation was like his neck was being strangled.
If you couldn’t think, you’d end up losing, and of course, since there was no counterattack, it matched the terms of victory for the match.
It was easy to press down on it, since children’s arms were thin. All of Talcott’s strength left him in mere seconds. Well, that was good enough.
Talcott was uninjured for the most part. The School would probably prepare a suitable compromise afterwards…I wondered how that would turn out, since it was Count Moris.