A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 180

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 180. Evolution (4)



“Pram!”




Desir ran over in an instant and checked Pram’s condition.




He had been knocked unconscious by a strong shock. His body was covered from head to toe in abrasions.




Desir  paid  particular  attention  to  Pram’s  abdomen.  Besides the clearly broken ribs, he was losing a substantial  amount of blood at a concerning rate.  It seemed like there wasn’t much time before this deteriorated into fatal injury.




*Clash*




The sound of Adjest’s sword striking the homunculus pierced Desir’s contemplation.




Desir rushed to administer first aid.


‘What the hell was that?’




Obviously  the  situation  had  been  favorable  for  the  Starling Party. It was enough to say that it was going smoothly.




At some point though, Pram was struck by the homunculus.




The  injury  was  the  result  of  a  bizarre  attack.  It  wasn’t  as though they had lost sight of the homunculus, nor did it feel like the homunculus had suddenly accelerated.  There was only the injury left on Pram as proof of the assault; no one had seen the homunculus move.




Desir was confused.




‘Zod didn’t say anything like this happened during his duel.’




*Bang*




There was a loud noise.


Adjest was slowly being pushed back.




Desir clenched his teeth and moved Pram to a safer location before forming a spell aimed at the homunculus.




[Lightning Strike]




[Gravity Control]




The  level  of  magic  he  was  invoking  had  increased  by  one circle.




Up until now, he had been conserving mana in anticipation of a long battle. He was hoping to stall for reinforcements, but he now couldn’t afford to.




He had to fill  the support role that Pram left vacant.  Adjest urgently needed assistance.




‘This is bad. We won’t be able to endure for nearly as long as I had planned.’



‘My mana consumption has increased exponentially too.’




His mana reserves were rapidly depleting.




With just Pram out of the battle, the difficulty had soared. If someone else were to be taken out by that attack, then truly, all hope would be lost.




‘And we can’t afford to move too aggressively.’




They   now   focused   solely   on   defense   and   evading   the homunculus’s attacks.




While   Desir   didn’t   know   how   the   homunculus’s   attack worked, they couldn’t afford to take any additional risks.




This was a huge obstacle.




[-Adjest, it’s about to shoot a beam. Run left.]


*Baaang*




This  change  in  tactics  wasn’t  without  benefit  though.  The homunculus quickly lost control of its emotions and had begun to rampage. Obviously thoroughly enraged, it now dedicated all of  its  resources  on  going  on  the  offensive,  and  put  its  entire might into pressing the Starling Party.




However,  all  it  took  was  an  unguarded  instant.  Avoiding  a critical   strike  from  Adjest,  the  homunculus  used  the  force behind her strike to bounce over towards Desir.




“What  do  you  think  you’re  doing?  Did  you  think  I  would ignore you?”




In  a  flash,  the  homunculus  approached  Desir.  It  punched down on the floor, instead of attacking Desir directly.




*CRAASH*




The floor had accumulated too much stress as a result of the all-out battle conducted on it.  Desir and the homunculus were in the center of the collapse, both falling out of sight of Adjest


and Romantica.




[Raise Wall]




A wall of mana was projected below Desir, soaring up from the floor below to break his fall.




Desir rolled away, feeling an oncoming wave of killing intent. A limb of the homunculus smashed down where he had been just a moment prior.




*Boom*




The wall burst apart.




Desir   looked   around. The   aftershock   rumbled   through Jormungand   Citadel,   shaking   the   castle   at   its   foundation. Thankfully, Desir’s Clothes Line was able to absorb the shock and eased the impact.




‘It managed to get me into a one-on-one situation… !’



Desir, who immediately rose up, deployed detection magic. It was  drastically  inferior  to  Romantica’s,  but  it  was  able  to pinpoint the opponent’s approximate location.




‘She’s on my right!’




*Boom*




Desir chained several spells in quick succession.




[Flame Vortex]




[Wind Press]




[Fire Spear]




The  chain  of  attacks  were  more  than  capable  of  dealing serious damage to the homunculus, no matter how powerful  it was.


‘I’ve bought myself some time.  While it’s dealing with those spells, I can back up and begin to prepare a new strategy.’




Desir had made a prediction of how the homunculus would behave, and formed a strategy based on that.




*Boom*




*Crash*




But  the  homunculus  moved  beyond  Desir’s  expectations.  It crossed its arms and took the attacks head-on without avoiding them.




‘Seriously? If it’s taking my attack directly, it must want to end the fight quickly.’




With this shift in tactics, any attempts to buy time in order to invoke a strong spell would be meaningless.




Desir   stopped   shooting   randomly   and   poured   all   of   his concentration  into  invoking  a  single  spell.  The  homunculus


drew closer to engage him head-on.




[Parie Arund]




Originally a Third-Circle spell, but now with the power of a Sixth-Circle spell after his effort re-working it.




For a moment, in the small area around Desir, the atmospheric  pressure  rose  as  though  gravity  had  increased several fold.




The homunculus’s body was torn away before it had a chance to react. Its blood splashed onto Desir.




‘This sense… !’




At  that  moment,  he  felt  like  time  was  slowing  down.  He recognized the feeling, and dread filled his heart.




This was the signal that the homunculus was doing something heaven-defying.



He had a brief opportunity.




He  calculated  defensive  magic  without  delay.  At  the  same time, he stared at the broken body of the homunculus.




He couldn’t begin to imagine what its plan was.




[Sigh of Kizard]




A mere moment later.




*Crack*




Desir  felt  violent  pain  in  his  upper  body.   Shards  of  ice exploded   everywhere.   The   Clothes   Line   was   torn   asunder without even giving off a warning alarm.




He managed to pull himself together.




*Cough*




Desir  vomited  several  mouthfuls  of  blood.  Along  with  the iron-life taste of blood, his mouth soon filled with bile as his body forced him to throw-up.




His  arm  seemed  to  have  dislocated,  but  the  good  news  was that miraculously, he didn’t seem to have any open wounds. It was all thanks to that defensive magic he invoked just in time.




Desir looked forward.




Clearly, his spell  hit the homunculus and destroyed its body. It would have needed to recover using its power over causality.




But at some point or another, it had perfectly recovered and attacked in a single instant.




It was a situation that defied all common sense.




It is an entirely unreasonable result.


“How in the world… ?”




He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt this kind of powerlessness  before.   He  cast  his  mind  back,  and  recalled feeling something similar, but far more overwhelming, when he faced Dadenewt.




If  he  felt  like  an  ant  facing  off  against  an  elephant  when dealing  with  Dadenewt,  he  now  felt  like  an  ant  against  a sparrow.




Not as overwhelming as an elephant, but he still couldn’t find a way to cope.




“Give up.  You don’t understand the meaning of controlling causality.”




Desir desperately put his brain to work.




There was too little information to work from. If he had any clues to deduce what was happening, he could have continued struggling onward somehow, but…



‘This is nonsense.’




Desir  could  only  attempt  to  get  back  up  on  his  feet,  while swearing   against   the   heavens.   His   entire   body   was   in   a disgraceful state.




It was hard for him to even stand up properly, let alone walk. He coughed and found more blood mixed in it, as well pieces of internal organs.




It was when Desir was about to spread his hands to wipe the blood  off  and  start  invoking  more  spells,  when  he  suddenly noticed something strange.




‘There’s no blood?’




There was no blood on his clothes.




Of   course,   the   wounds   he   suffered   at   the   hands   of   the homunculus  were  not  external,  but  internal.  Other  than  the blood he had coughed onto the floor, seeing a lack of his blood was only natural. But it wasn’t a lack of his blood that made him


suspicious.




Something was wrong.




Desir had been drenched in the blood of the homunculus.




‘Why?’




This was a vital clue.




The  homunculus  wouldn’t  stand  by  idly  any  longer,  now moving to finish him off.




“You should feel honored. I have done everything within my power.  I  didn’t  even  use  this  power  when  dealing  with  Zod Exarion.”




As it finished gloating, a sword appeared out of nowhere as it pierced its abdomen.




The body of the homunculus began to freeze on the spot, and


rapidly collapsed.




Adjest fell  in from the ceiling between the homunculus and Desir, forming a division between the two. At the same time, ice columns burst forth from all around them.




[Ice Empress]




[Frozen Palace]




It was Adjest Kingscrown.




A  sovereign  palace  of  ice  formed  around  her.  This  was  the combination of both Adjest’s Ice Empress and her Frozen Palace, her  two  signature  techniques  working  perfectly  in  harmony, two imagery spells being invoked simultaneously, each amplifying the ability of the other.




This was Adjest’s full power.




She struggled desperately to protect Desir.



It was a struggle that indicated the willingness to throw away her future to protect the present.




Numerous  spells  poured  down  on  the  homunculus.  Though the   homunculus   desperately   attempted   to   reach   Desir,   the exchange between her and Adjest had quickly put a wrench in her plans.




“Hmm, I was a little bit too slow.”




The homunculus and Adjest began to clash. Tapping into her future potential through a stronger than normal Ice Palace, she instantly  reached  the  level  of  strength  that  the  homunculus possessed.




Using  the  Ice  Empress  to  engage  in  close  combat  with  her strengthened body, and at the same time firing countless spells with the Frozen Palace, she persevered.




She desperately fought back, doing all she could to attack the homunculus while defending both herself and Desir.


Desir clenched his teeth and stood up.




[Summon Lightning]




*Boom*




There was a massive impact.




Desir invoked spells and began to defend Adjest.  Moreover, Romantica also took up a new position and was once again able to support them. For the moment, they had the upper hand.




Desir  again  felt  as  if  time  were  slowing  down.  Desir  knew what catastrophe it heralded.




Only the result of this action would exist. It was impossible to respond to it by any means.




Yes, it was impossible to cope with it, no matter the cost.




But now it was strange.





*Boom*




In  an  instant,  the  homunculus  jumped  over  and  attacked Adjest, but Adjest successfully fended it off.  Of course, it was still a powerful attack with both terrifying speed and precision,, and Adjest’s posture collapsed as a result.




‘It didn’t attack straight away… ?’




The   homunculus   rushed   toward   Adjest   again.   Dozens   of defensive spells had been deployed through the Frozen Palace in front of Adjest.




In the gap between it and the spells, the homunculus threw a punch, crushing the walls of ice completely.




Desir approached with an unsteady gait.




[Parie Arund]


Desir’s magic quickly homed in on the homunculus..




Magic with the power of a Sixth-Circle spell, magic that was even capable of crushing the homunculus’s body in one hit.




But the homunculus was seemingly unphased.




It continued its assault on Adjest.




Desir’s  attack  hit  the  mark  and  smashed  the  homunculus’s body into smithereens.




‘… It’s not enough.’




It quickly controlled causality and reversed the damage. In an instant its appearance returned to normal.




And one more time.




A sphere of pure energy formed in front of the homunculus. It omitted the gathering process and produced a ball of mana that


could instantly unleash a powerful force.




“Urgh!”




*Boom*




A  huge  shock  swept  through  everything.   Adjest’s  Frozen Palace and Ice Empress were cancelled in the aftermath.




Adjest collapsed on the floor, unconscious.




The  homunculus  then  looked  over  to  Desir.   At  that  very moment, an incredibly powerful spell hurtled towards its face.




Without the assistance of any imagery magic, it was a spell that Desir had developed on his own.




Once again, the form of the homunculus collapsed, but soon recovered.




“You had better save your power, Desir. Your mana pool can’t


keep up with all these high-tier spells.”




Desir’s anger flared up.




“Don’t worry, Adjest is still alive.”




“I’ll kill you first, Desir. Then, I’ll take care of the rest of your friends  after.   You  deserve  that  much  mercy  as  the  enemy commander.  It’s  obvious  that  all  of  your  party  members  are going to die anyway.”




Desir sneered in response.




“Don’t bluff. You don’t have much mana left, do you?”




It was as he said.  The homunculus’s mana, which seemed to have no end in sight, had been used to such an extent that only a fifth of it remained, at least in comparison to the beginning of their fight. The homunculus nodded, before laughing, seemingly unconcerned.




“It certainly is. I’ll have to make my escape after dealing with


you lot.”




“I’m  sure  you  need  a  huge  amount  of  mana  to  use  that ridiculous ability.”




“Just  because  you’ve  noticed,  doesn’t  mean  anything  has changed.   I  still   have  more  than  enough  mana  to  continue manipulating causality. The amount of mana I have left is still more than enough to kill the two of you.”




The homunculus took up a battle stance once again. Its mana began to move.




“Let’s get this over with.”




There was surely no hope left for Desir. But he didn’t give up. He began to operate communication magic while swallowing a mouthful of blood.




[-Focus on my instructions from now on.]






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