A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 294

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 294. Rhapsody (9)



With the ice fortress destroyed, Priscilla was able to proceed without hesitation. The noise of battle faded behind her, and the center of Dresden was utterly silent.




After being trapped in the throes of battle for far too long, the calm wide-open boulevards of the Empire was a relaxing change of pace. There would be no military forces gushing towards her, or sudden magical bombardments attempting to kill her and her followers. There was only silence.




They had finally broken through the final line of defense the Empire could muster.




Priscilla lifted her head and looked at the huge iron gate before her, only visible under the faint light of the streetlamp. A giant lion was engraved upon it, representative of its placement within the heart of the Hebrion Empire, and a fitting emblem for the pride manner imbued within the graduates from the world’s best academy. Together the magicians and knights of the Hebrion Academy were responsible for clearing the majority of the continent’s Shadow Worlds.


“It’s been a long battle.”




In the end, their plan was perfect. They blocked off their enemy’s supply routes, prevented their capital from receiving additional reinforcements, and used decades of planning and gathering of individuals with the Blessing of Light to bolster their military strength. Of course, the Hebrion Empire was strong, and they had hit far more snags than they originally account for.




But they overcame everything and reached here eventually.




As Priscilla was close to her destination, she began to walk impatiently, much unlike her usual self. She approached the Academy’s main gate with an outstretched hand, the cool iron nearly within reach.




*Thud*




Something sparked under Priscilla’s foot. Something invisible was stopping her from moving forward.




As she squinted and looked around, there was a translucent


layer. Hebrion Academy was an international cornerstone, and thus had a defensive barrier placed around it, reinforced and restructured by Professor Bridgette year after year.




The barrier was very exquisite and solid, even though it was made by a single professor. Professor Bridgette was actually one of the few hundred Fifth-Circle magicians on the continent. The magic shield she established with the culmination of all of her heart and soul was powerful, sure, but it would only delay the inevitable.




Despite the final stage of her plan being riddled with yet another unforeseen circumstance, Priscilla did not lose heart. In the end, the only emotion she was left with was pity.




The Imperial military, the once-strongest force on the continent, had been conquered in less than a week. The professors and students of Hebrion Academy, however powerful, would not be able to stop them. Seeing them try to resist the obvious fate that awaited them was only pitiful.




“… ?”




Still, something was strange. Despite the defensive barrier


being active, there were no combatants in the courtyard. Given the situation, the once relaxing calmness began to feel eerie. Surely they didn’t think a thin barrier would block the entirety of the Artemis Church?




Besides, why was the barrier even active? Was it accidentally left on?




‘Or is there something else… ?’




While Priscilla stood there and agonized, one man approached her.




“Your Eminence.”




“You don’t have to report, Cardinal Ninahart.”




Beneath her feet, the natural flow of mana began to mutate. Not only did it circulate bizarrely, but a vast amount of it began to gather beneath her. The area around them began to grow darker, but the streetlight beside her hadn’t dimmed or been shut off.



Once Priscilla realized the cause, she panicked.




“A Shadow World!?”




*Shatter*




Noises echoed as if a million windows broke simultaneously in every direction. Shortly after everything was plunged into pitch black darkness.




* * *




Darkness consumed half of the Hebrion Academy. The research lab, training grounds, and dormitories were all eroded away by the generation of a Shadow World. Under normal circumstances, this would be a cause of substantial concern, but the current situation called for celebration!




“I never thought we’d succeed.”




“This was perfect!”




Students and professors huddled within the main auditorium of Hebrion Academy burst into glee, hugging one another and cheering. A large terminal displayed a live feed of the Academy’s entrance, which had been completely obliterated. Professor Bridgette stared at the static image in delight, the fruits of their labor having come to a complete victory.




‘We succeeded, Desir.’




Under Desir’s plan, the faculty used the facilities in the Academy to generate a Shadow World, making use of it to trap Priscilla and other members of the Artemis Church inside.




Though it was Desir’s plan, it would not have been possible without Skull Mask. He was the progenitor of weaponized Shadow Worlds, and although he used it to throw the entire continent into chaos, Desir was able to use his research to design a comparatively simple prototype for the sake of humanity.




It was a massive amount of work, and the device created was several centuries ahead of their current magical engineering technology. Detailed theories were accompanied with massive spreadsheets of data, but the entire process was incredibly


convoluted. Even a career engineer with above-average talent and tools would likely take a year to understand they were being presented, but Desir had faith in the Hebrion Academy’s success.




In the end, it was Professor Pugman who was able to comprehend the technology, and he played a vital role in ensuring the Shadow World operated correctly and maintaining the necessary infrastructure.




“Thank you for your work, Professor Pugman. You saved a lot of people’s lives.”




“Yes? Ah, it’s not a big deal.”




Pugman was absolutely ghastly. Whether his current state could be considered “alive” was certainly up for debate. He had severe bags under his bloodshot eyes, and his eyelids could barely stay at half-mast. Despite this, there was still an excited glimmer dwelling within his pupils.




“All I did was adjust the facilities according to the data. Any engineer could do this. You should be thanking your student, who sent the accurate data, not me.”




Professor Bridgette laughed at his answer.




“Yes, the Starling Party gave us the information, but not just any engineer can dedicate himself like you. Our plan went perfectly, so you should relax and celebrate a little!”




It was functionally impossible to replicate the facilities Skull Mask had created within the short period of time they had to prepare. Even if they were able to make a functional prototype, they still had to overcome the inherent obstacle in using a Shadow World against a single person.




Skull Mask’s Shadow Worlds were generated in a preallocated geographic location, so trying to hit a single mobile target with one would be incredibly difficult. Luckily, Adjest ended up having the answer to that. She waited until Priscilla appeared on the battlefield and moved to match her, making sure that her “defeat” would lead Priscilla directly towards the main gate of the Academy, where she would inevitably be temporarily halted by Bridgette’s barrier.




Bridgette was lost in thought looking at the darkness.


‘Although the Saint and her escorts are powerful, they can’t easily clear a Shadow World at this scale.’




The Shadow World was created using magic stones provided by the Magic Tower, and was estimated to be equivalent to a naturally occuring Level Two. At that difficulty, even if they were able to clear it without casualties, the quest should be convoluted enough that Priscilla and her few dozen soldiers should take a while to clear it..




By the time they emerged from the Shadow World, the war would already be over. They would return to the real world besieged on all sides by the most powerful forces the entire world had to offer.




‘Finally, everything can go back to normal.’




[-Professor, something is strange… ]




The communication came from Ronde, the leader of the Starling Party. She immediately gave the student her undivided attention.


“What is it?”




[-Something is wrong with the Shadow World. The eroded area is starting to distort, almost like it’s been… ]




The noisy main campus calmed all of a sudden, their gazes falling back to the live feed. There was anxious stillness.




“… They cleared it already?”




“There is no way!”




Pugman shook his head firmly. It had been less than ten minutes since the Shadow World appeared. It was impossible to conquer a Level Two Shadow World within that period of time.




So what the hell was happening?




Pugman, determined to get to the bottom of the situation, began unfolding several spell arrays.


[Owl’s Vision]




Professor Nipleka Pugman widened his eyes after looking into the darkness with his vision enhancing magic.




*Crumble*




A gruesome noise, which sounded as if space itself was shattering, resonated. The pitch black darkness began to distort again and return the surroundings back to the way they once were.




“What…?!”




The darkness started to lift. It looked as if it was forcefully erased by something.




“That… was really dangerous.”




Priscilla’s soft voice echoed across the silent auditorium, her unharmed form emerging from the cloak of darkness. Everyone observing the situation paled in shock.





“That… ?”




Pugman squinted his eyes. Priscilla had a ruby gem as big as a fist in her hands. Stored within it was an unimaginable amount of mana, at least twenty times more than the entire Rogfelas family’s stash.




*Crumble*




It took him a moment to notice, but Pugman realized the mana within the stone was slowly draining out, moving to restore Priscilla’s personal mana pool. After about ten seconds, a Paladin proudly displaying a golden badge strode out of the shrinking Shadow World. Then another. And another. With each departure, the professors and students grew more terrified, the prospect of their incoming crushing defeat feeling more and more real by the moment.




“Unbelievable… ”




How could they break the plan so easily which combined all of the technology that the Hebrion Academy had to offer? Was the


Saint able to use her power to undo the creation of the Shadow World?




The fear of the unknown tightly gripped everyone in the auditorium, save for one.




“Are all of you just going to stand by and watch this?!”




Professor Hersaint-Blanc roared.




“They haven’t had the chance to recover, and Priscilla is busy closing the Shadow World! This is our only chance to defeat them!”




Absent-minded people snapped back to their senses. The Imperial military had yet to arrive, but they had prepared encircling nets in case of an emergency.




The Red Dragon Party.




The Starling Party.



The Blue Moon Party.




The most powerful parties the Hebrion Academy could offer quickly moved into formation, using the tall buildings of the surrounding business district as cover.




“Open fire!”




Ronde Fizzlebang, leader of the Starling Party, gave the opening signal. Hundreds of elite students began invoking spells, concentrating their fire on the few opponents below them.




[Wind Cutter]




[Explosion]




*BOOOOOM*




Tremendously powerful blasts continued non-stop. They were still students, but they were select magicians with excellent


talent from amongst the entire continent. A majority of the spells sent forth exceeded the Third-Circle, and there were a few magicians among them who displayed the prominent signs of a prodigy.




[Blaze Fountain]




As Ronde waved his hands, countless spell arrays formed before him, with torrents of flame pouring out shortly afterwards. His blazing explosions destroyed the dormitories, which were unfortunately within the range of where Priscilla and her knights had exited the Shadow World. The crystal-clear lake and vibrant trees which comprised the inner courtyard’s scenery, an area which held significant emotional value to a large number of students and alumni, was completely ruined. The lakebed had all but dried up and most of the trees had been reduced to burnt stumps.




Unfortunately, that was not all the damage the schoolyard would incur.




‘… You’re never going to set foot in this place!’




Ronde clenched his teeth and gathered all his mana. Again,


the spell arrays formed in front of him.




[Flare Meteor Shell]




A blood-orange colored flame rose and formed a gigantic battering ram before shooting towards the Saint and erupting in a show of raw violence.




*BAAAAAM*




*BOOM*




Every single artillery spell he used emphasized strength above all else. His favored spells all had destructive power equal to Fifth-Circle spells as a result. Giant blazing pillars soared up and incinerated everything.




An endless number of spells were launched towards Priscilla and her Paladins. Spells repeatedly bore into them, and it did not seem like they would get a break anytime soon.






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