A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 227

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 227. A Subsurface War (4)



His plan had been entirely grasped.




Crow Mask revealed his hidden card without hesitating. Geometrical figures began to form above his outstretched hand.




The Tesseract.




Before he knew it, Swan had closed the distance between them entirely. Considering the way she fought so far, he thought her strength lay in waging long-distance battle. But this was a dangerous misconception.




The bow that Swan held changed shape and morphed into a sword. She coated the sword in aura and pressed Crow Mask hard. Compared to a typical high-level swordsman, the level of skill she displayed did not lag behind at all.




‘She gave up her long-range dominance and instead rushed in… ’


In the face of such an unexpected counterattack, Crow Mask operated the Tesseract solely for defense.




‘This is so annoying.’




Swan frowned.




Swan already had a rough idea about Crow Mask’s abilities from Desir. Although he was much stronger than the information she had suggested, such strength was second entirely to the artifact she was truly wary of.




‘I thought there was a chance to win since I used spells stored in Memorize.’




He sensed a killing blow, immediately moving his head to the side. The spot it had just been was cleaved, leaving behind several strands of his hair. If his reactions had been just a little bit late, he would have lost his head and not just a few strands of hair.




After making him use-up his most threatening magic, she had deliberately engaged him in close-quarters combat. Her talent


certainly lay in ranged attacks, but her close-quarters threat was still considerable.




She was convinced that she had the advantage over Crow Mask, the magician.




But this wasn’t the case. Crow Mask continued to hold out. Rather, Crow Mask was slowly gaining the edge in this skirmish.




Swan kicked aggresively. But it wasn’t just a normal kick; compressed aura shot out of her leg like a bullet. Just as it was about to make contact, small-scale spatial distortion magic was invoked, blocking the strike.




The Tesseract allowed Crow Mask to invoke magic perfectly in real-time. It would structure spells in an overly efficient manner. The only downside to it was that even the user could not predict what spell would be used. However, no matter what it was, only the best magic for the situation would be deployed.




It truly felt like a cheat artifact. It was as if it were creating a new spell every time a spell was invoked. And to top it all off, each spell looked completely different from one another.




‘It would have been really nice to have Desir here, for times like these.’




The Tesseract operated on a completely different magical system of spell casting to the magical system that Swan had studied and learned to counter. Therefore, nullification by aura was impossible.




It was a quick-and-fast battle.




*Clang*




Sparks flew as blade, aura, and magic all clashed.




After a strong collision, they were bounced apart from each other by the impact. They both leaned against the railing at the center of the room.




They stared at each other, like two cats ready to pounce. Suddenly, the corners of Swan’s mouth were drawn up into a smile.




“This really is a scandal. For some reason, I thought your attack was familiar.”




Crow Mask, which had not been moved by any words so far, felt a sense of unease gnaw at his gut.




“I thought you were dead, but you’ve managed to stay alive… Icarus Quirgo.”




She greeted him as if they knew each other.




They had encountered each other in the past, so such an informal greeting was not too strange.




Swan Katarina stood on the side of the Imperial Army during the Revolution and fought with the Revolutionary Army. It was around that time that she earned the title of the strongest archer in the Empire.




And there was a time when she faced him.


“Where’s that noble ideal you’d been crying for? Why did you get into bed with the Outsiders?”




Swan’s sarcasm appeared to cut deep.




Crow Mask invoked magic instead of answering.




The spell he sent her way carried a larger amount of mana than any previous attack.




[Gravity Compress]




Swan responded to it.




She fired an arrow containing aura and shot down the spell he invoked.




Her mouth continued to move nonstop.




“Why are you covering your face with that ridiculous mask? It wasn’t my cup of tea, but you had a very fine face.”





Swan pinpointed the disgust of Crow Mask.




“Shut up, Swan Katarina.”




Crow Mask replied irritably.




“You only have enough aura left for a few more arrows. Take your last words seriously.”




“That’s true. But that doesn’t really change your situation, does it?”




An arrow was fired so fast it appeared to move faster than light itself. The aura arrow bore down on Crow Mask.




The Tesseract immediately began to invoke defensive magic. In the meantime, Swan dug into Crow Mask once again.




Crow Mask activated Memorize.


For a moment his figure began to blur, and then began to form elsewhere.




He let his guard down briefly, reassured that he had barely escaped.




This proved to be a costly mistake. His figure immediately bounced back and smashed into the wall, now partially stuck inside it, revealing a research facility constructed at the top of the tower.




It may have been a place to study chimera. There were all kinds of meat pieces in vats and on the wall.




Numerous pieces of equipment, presumably imbued with defensive magic, were torn apart, unable to withstand the shock.




“It can’t be helped.”




Crow Mask raised and dusted himself off.


“I don’t know what you can’t help.”




Crow Mask looked up nonchalantly, before seeing Swan’s bow, with an aura arrow already nocked and aimed at his forehead.




“You followed me?”




“It’s really time to bid farewell now.”




The woman’s eyes were completely cold as she stared him down. The compressed aura arrow destroyed Crow Mask’s upper body.




Blood splashed everywhere.




“Yes, why didn’t you let me go as I was about to flee?”




“I can’t do that.”




A disembodied voice responded.





[Void Sword]




A blade of nothingness flew towards Swan.




“Urgh.”




Swan leaped away with an inhuman reaction speed, but this attack was not something that could be entirely avoided.




Her right leg fell to the ground, no longer attached to her torso.




Her balance was broken, but Swan immediately self-corrected and kicked against the ground with her remaining leg. She frowned at the sting of pain.




“How can you… ”




Swan stared forward with an unconvinced face. Slowly, Crow Mask raised himself upright. His destroyed upper body had


already been restored.




“It’s insurance.”




His cape fell to the ground. At that moment, Swan could see a huge gem that was half smashed. It was a device with various magic circles implanted inside.




Everything fell into place. She understood the current situation.




It was a technique similar to the homunculus, the nightmare of the Allied Forces.




“Inversion of causality.”




Swan made the remark in vain.




Crow Mask erased the near-death experience that he had suffered through a reversal of cause and effect.


She didn’t think he would have such technology. No one could have predicted this.




But questions arose and swirled around her mind.




‘Why didn’t he use this from the beginning?’




‘It must not be something that can be used recklessly… ’




Swan’s guess was correct.




It was the last insurance the Skull Mask gave to Crow Mask. It was a single-use item, but those kinds of tools could spell the difference between a win or loss.




She grabbed the stump of her missing leg with her palm before gathering aura and cauterizing the wound. The bleeding had stopped, but the situation was serious.




She didn’t have much aura left.


‘I only have enough for one shot.’




Swan gathered her aura in a display of force, so as to not allow Crow Mask the time to react. This was make or break. Her aura was entirely exhausted, after she let loose with this attack, and Crow Mask had meddled with cause and effect to recover from a fatal injury. In addition to this, Swan had completely lost all mobility.




Crow Mask also seemed to have realized his superiority.




“If you had gone out quietly, you would have survived a little longer.”




“Truly, I hate persistent men.”




“You will die.”




“You’re in a similar situation to me anyway, aren’t you?”




The battle was fierce.



While Swan was well aware of how much aura she had consumed in the battle thus far, this surely applied to her enemy as well.




“Similar? What are you talking about?”




Crow Mask spoke in a mocking tone. Simultaneously, Swan felt an overwhelming force coming from Crow Mask.




“You… !”




A vast swarm of mana raged around him. This wasn’t something as trite as simply hiding mana in reserve, the level of it was different.




Crow Mask had reached the Seventh-Circle.




A circle unattainable under ordinary circumstances.




This was a decisive declaration that drove a wedge into the hope that Swan had been desperately clinging to.




Swan’s smile fell from her face for the first time.




All that remained was despair.




Crow Mask spoke to Swan, who was preoccupied wallowing in her loss.




“You put on a fun show, Swan Katarina.”




“Huh, this really leaves a nasty taste.”




“Let’s say this is a habit of being overly cautious.”




A spell unfolded before him. He invoked this spell without even maintaining a defensive spell. He did this, even after seeing her arrow cancel so many of his spells.




This was a naked provocation from Crow Mask.


With such an absolute advantage, he was provoking Swan. There was no way Swan didn’t know it.




She calmly drew her bow.




“You know that fighting a beast on the brink of death is the scariest thing? You could die because of that beast, you know?”




“Nonsense.”




Swan’s bow began to hum due to the powerful aura imbued in it.




There was soon more aura in this arrow than Crow Mask expected.




The reason was soon revealed.




Aura was a type of energy, and humans were a veritable engine that produced energy too. An engine can be run to produce a fixed amount of power, but if one didn’t care about the life of the engine, they can typically draw extra power for a


price.




Swan managed to squeeze out more energy from her worn out body.




The amount now gathered was not something that could easily be ignored, no matter how strong a Seventh-Circle magician was.




“Do you intend to see your end here?”




“Not even someone like you can escape from this, huh?”




His mouth dried up. The aura arrow, which was formed by burning her King Level talent, was colossal.




It was a collection of the entire woman known by the name of Swan Katarina.




In Crow Mask’s right hand, the Tesseract rotated violently. Each party realized that this was the end of the battle.



The game would end in just a moment.




In a sudden moment of clarity, Swan was left thinking as time drew out to infinity.




This was the last exchange. She only had two options.




The first was to use this power to kill Crow Mask. No matter how much power he had as a Seventh-Circle magician, he had consumed a considerable amount of strength in fighting her. It was definitely possible to deal a major, if not fatal, blow to him.




The second option was using this power to destroy the tower.




The basement of the tower. There might be valuable clues as to the purpose of this tower in there, but if it’s being guarded this heavily, destroying it would surely deal a strong blow to the Outsiders as a whole. And her last arrow was enough to raze the tower to the ground.




Time snapped back to normal, and the time left to make a decision was rapidly shrinking. She had to make a decision.




‘I’ll bet on it.’




[Abyss Hall]




Swan’s arrow was launched.




Almost at the same time, Crow Mask’s spell washed over Swan.




Swan’s body ragdolled at the impact, and slammed into the wall behind her. The force was so violent that she lifelessly bounced off the wall before collapsing in the corner of the room.




*Boom*




Swan could not be seen amongst the rubble and dust, but Crow Mask did not bother confirming whether she was alive or dead. Instead, he stared down at the result of her choice.




There was a huge hole, which tore all the way through to the


bottom of the tower.






==========================
==========================
Previous Post Next Post