A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 279

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 279. Collapse (5)



Upon hearing Priscilla’s answer, Zod’s will was reforged anew.




She must be stopped here.




First, he needed to break through their encirclement. He could run, but the moment he did, Priscilla would restore the gate and begin hunting Desir.




That was not an option.




[Trinity Lightning]




Zod invoked one of the strongest Sixth-Circle spells.




A triangle of lightning formed over Priscilla’s head. Shortly thereafter, a vast amount of epilepsy-inducing light began to cascade onto her, creating a scene so bright that even Zod had to avert his eyes.



Though his eyes had been spared, his ears were assaulted by the deafening roar that followed.




“Didn’t I tell you it was no use, old man?”




Once the aftermath of the shock subsided, Zod saw four knights standing in front of Priscilla. They were protecting her like a wall, each of their aura-imbued shields positioned to defend their leader.




Not one of them had received a fatal injury.




‘Is their defense equal to, or perhaps even greater than, the Aurora System?’




Between their Blessing of Light, aura, and teamwork, they were an extremely formidable opponent, one that Zod never wanted to face in earnest combat.




Though he was shaken, Zod did not hesitate. Before the storm had even lifted, he had already begun arranging another spell.



[Arcane Blaster]




Sixth-Circle explosion magic.




*Booom*




A huge explosion swept through, but the knights remained in place and solidified their defenses.




The Holy Paladins calmy defended against his attack, but they did not immediately strike back. Until now, they had been fighting for a quick resolution, hoping to quickly defeat Zod such that they could begin pursuit of Desir, but they had realized that was no longer an option. Zod’s counterattack had intensified, and to act rashly against the Great Sage would likely result in defeat. At this point, Desir could be anywhere on the continent, so it was best to ensure that Zod was eliminated, even if it took them a long time to do so.




Zod had to fight with the limited mana remaining in his body, since the Choir’s Chorus blocked him from gathering mana from the atmosphere.


Nevertheless, he had no choice but to fight in this unfavorable situation. He could not afford to stop casting spells. As soon as he did, they would repair the gate and go after Desir. Every moment he fought was another second that Desir had to formulate and enact a plan.




Priscilla and her paladins could simply seize victory by defending Zod’s attack and waiting for his mana to run out.




However, despite the unfavorable situation, Zod’s expression remained calm.




‘As expected.’




It was a fight that he started knowing that it would be disadvantageous to him. Already determined, Zod was calmer than ever.




[Elemental Punishment]




Zod Exarion was the only magician on the continent who could deploy multi-element spells.



Materials of different properties resonated in harmony. Flame and wind raged in unison, followed by huge panes of ice that buffeted them from all sides.




*Boom*




The Seventh-Circle spell, its tremendous destructive power unrivaled, shook the entire city. The remnants of the Magic Tower, which had barely stood until now, finally collapsed in earnest.




But the paladins in front of him still remained firm, albeit somewhat worse for wear.




Priscilla waved lightly inside the collapsing building. A halo wound around the tower and returned it to the state before the spell had broken it.




She restored the building itself.




He had intended to take down the entire tower and make a follow-up hit, but was thwarted by her ability.




*Wheeze*




*Wheeze*




Zod tried desperately to develop more spells, his ragged breath scratching his throat, but his spells failed to eventuate.




*Slice*




Blood spattered in all directions, and Zod’s body suddenly fell to one side.




*Drop*




*Drop*




Blood poured down from his severed left leg.




Maybe it was because of the continuous invocation of magic.


His spell invocation was delayed for a moment, and the paladins did not miss that gap.




“It’s an unbecoming mistake.”




It was a tone filled with ridicule.




“Well, it’s not like a calculating old man to continue such an unfavorable fight in the first place.”




“Not like me.”




Zod thought Priscilla’s words were not wrong. He would not have tried to fight in the first place if his chances were uncertain.




Blood trickled from his two severed limbs. His clothes had long been dyed red with blood, and the floor had been slicked with it. It would not have been strange for him to have already drawn his last breath, considering the amount of blood he had lost.


[Lighting Road]




Despite the fact that the chances of victory had already been decidedly tilted against him, he held out. He managed to maintain his posture with the cane in his left hand, and continued to invoke magic, resolving to do so until he died. He was on death’s doorstep. Just continuing to live must have been painful.




Nevertheless, looking at his serene expression, the Saint flapped her eyebrows to an excessive extent.




Zod’s eyes gleamed with the swagger of someone who was about to clutch victory from the jaws of defeat. How could he be so foolhardy?




“Really, I don’t understand.”




“Pricilla, you’ve seen me for a long time, but evidently, you still don’t know me.”




“… ?”



“Did you really think I would fight a meaningless battle?”




The moment Zod finished talking, the atmosphere changed.




*Roar*




To be exact, the mana flow around him changed.




It was impossible. Choir’s Chorus should have completely stopped the flow of mana. Each of the four paladins, who had been awaiting his next attack, sensed the oncoming danger and sprung to attack.




But it was too late. It had been a long time since Zod finished his preparations.




*Boom*




*Storm*


A vast amount of mana began to accumulate around Zod, each drop buzzing with energy. Even the Holy Paladins, with no aptitude for mana, felt as if their skin was crawling in response.




The mere movement of the mana gave off intense pressure.




The charging attackers began to buckle under the pressure. A sprint slowed to a walk, which then faltered to single footsteps, until they were all kneeling before him, unable to move.




“No way… Is this even possible? How are you manipulating mana? And even still, where the hell did you get that much of it? You shouldn’t be able to stop people with just raw mana, damn it! How?!”




Priscilla began to lash out in uncharacteristic rage, but in truth her face was pale white. She was terrified. She had been so certain of her absolute advantage, and she had been made an absolute fool.




*Rustle*




A strange feeling gathered at her feet, and her eyes were


subconsciously dragged towards it.




A small piece of silver was digging into her foot. It was a piece of shrapnel from the Choir’s Chorus, which had begun to crack. The artifact had exceeded its limit, unable to stop the impossible deluge of mana, and was falling apart.




Priscilla’s eyes widened in horror. Though damaged, the Choir’s Chorus was still functioning: the mana had all come from within Zod.




Though it was the only explanation, it was equally impossible. He had clearly already expended most of his mana.




‘How the hell… ?’




Priscilla got her answer. The loud snap of bones cracking burst out from Zod, as he winced over in extreme pain.




‘He just… used a circle… ?’




Correct. That was the answer Zod had come up with, but the


slightest opening of his mouth made him cry in pain and throw up blood. As a result, he closed his mouth and answered with his eyes.




Mana circles were an organ of ultra-dense mana. They needed to be formed out of mana in order to extend control over it, to perform their duty as a battery and allow their owner to cast spells. The amount of mana required to forge a new mana circle increased exponentially, which in turn allowed the magician to call on even more mana for more powerful spells.




Zod had unleashed a flurry of spells just moments before, completely draining his circles of their mana. He was ready to use his most important organ as a sacrifice for an unimaginable amount of mana.




He shuffled the alignment of his magical circles. Having reached this far, all of his preparations were now complete.




*Crash*




Seven circles began to collapse like dominoes.


First the seventh circle collapsed, followed by the sixth and fifth circles.




The mana circles disintegrated and returned to being just mana. At the same time, the mana bursting forth from his body grew more and more powerful.




*Cough*




The blood he coughed up was mixed with chunks of other organs. He struggled to collect himself.




The pain was no longer a sharp stab of distress; it had morphed into an agonizing ache. Every moment, his body begged for death, his very being having long forgotten anything naive as human preservation. Not even someone like Zod had the mental strength to hold it back.




So he did not. Tears gouged out his eyes and his mouth forgot what it was like to not taste blood. He openly accepted the wave of misery, and as a reward, barely held onto his sanity.




‘I was off guard.’





Priscilla blamed herself. She had looked down on the determination of humans too much.




She judged that if she took mana away from Zod, a magician, she would be able to subdue him just by dragging his feet.




That was a misjudgment. Her opponent was the foremost magician on the continent. It was arrogant of her to believe she had a chance at an easy victory.




Even if they suffered losses doing so, they had to make a decision quickly.




‘This is dangerous.’




The mana Zod had summoned was formulating a single spell, something as strong as Desir had used on the Beast of Revelation, or at least the attack he used to slay Dadenewt.




Either way, this attack was entirely different from any of the spells Zod had invoked so far.




Priscilla made a judgement. This magic was beyond the threshold of what humans were capable of, unprecedented both before and after the collapse.






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