Infinite Mage (Novel) Chapter 148

                      



C148

“Huhu, I still wish they would come this far. Right, Yuna? I'm dying to see what expression that kid will have when he sees me."

"Help me. Please send me home.”

Yuna knelt down and begged Marsha. She could tell from the attitude of her subordinates that she was number one in the organization.

"It's okay, don't be afraid."

"Then, will you send me home?"

"Of course. It's noisy outside right now, so I'll send you when everything settles down. Speaking of which, can I ask you a favor?"

"Yes? What do you want?”

Approaching Yuna, Marsha gently stroked her hair. Gradually, Yuna's eyes started to lose focus and close.

"Huh? What?"

Yuna didn't even realize that her eyes were closed. She heard a ringing in her ears and lost consciousness without realizing it.

Catching Yuna as she began to fall forward, Marsha looked down at her tenderly, then turned her head and gave a cold smile.

"Huhu, now the fun game begins."

* * *

Falkoa's men were wild and violent. As if fear did not exist in the first place, they was swinging their sword while dealing with mediocre attacks with bare body.

"Attack with the wall force! Charge!"

Their main attack strategy was guerrilla warfare. They took turns attacking in a zigzag pattern, managing their stamina. For Shirone and his group who had never experienced war, it was terrifying.

But the essence of guerrilla warfare was not in ambushes, but in retreat. It seemed the enemies had no intention of fighting head-on.

"Disengage the wall force! Retreat for now!"

"Where are you running to!"

Amy hurriedly fired a series of Flame Strikes. At that moment, the bodies of the enemies glowed and turned into flashes of light, soaring into the sky. A high-pitched voice that shook the air pierced the sky.

"Ugh, so annoying! I missed them again."

As Amy stamped her feet in frustration, Rian comforted her by patting her shoulder.

"But the enemies are also giving their all. Their numbers are increasing, so for now, Yuna should be safe. That's good news for us."

Shirone looked back at his friends and said.

"Let's assess our situation. Anyone injured?"

Injuries must be checked visually. If it's a neighborhood fight, you'll notice just by nosebleeds, but in a life-threatening battle, you might not feel pain because too much endorphin is secreted against adrenaline.

The four people were relieved to realize that there was no problem only after checking each other's physical condition.

However, the enemies had not sustained any injuries either. Even if they tried their best to drive them away, they was running away like a ghost at the decisive moment.

“We haven't been able to knock down a single person so far. This could adversely affect future battles.”

Amy shared what she had analyzed so far.

"I've observed, and I think the secret is in the bracelets they wear. It's definitely a magical device that triggers spatial movement."

Shirone asked with a skeptical expression.

"Is that even possible? It's different from a Magic Bullet. Spatial Movement is a magic that moves a mage. Without Spirit Zone, you can't set a destination, and it's impossible to activate."

Amy had doubts about that too. But strictly speaking, it wasn't entirely impossible.

"Perhaps…. There is a possibility that it is linked with Magic Circle.”

Magic Circle is a schematic that engraves a specific image in space and emits magic on its own. Therefore, by borrowing the power of Magic Circle, it was possible for non-mage to use magic as well.

“Of course, you can't cast Spatial Movement with Magic Circle. But theoretically, if you link it to a recorded Magic Circle in a specific location, it's possible."

Understanding the concept of magic, Shirone nodded. However, Tess was concerned about something else.

"Is that even possible for a fallen mercenary group? From what I know, drawing Magic Circle requires not only manpower but a huge amount of money. Moreover, Spatial Movement is a high-level magic, isn't it?"

"That's right. It's probably an intermediate level Magic Circle. Even if you want to draw just one Magic Circle, you need at least 5 mage working all day. But for them, it's possible. Falkoa has a monopoly on Loop. The mercenaries I met at the ruins were like that too. Loop's profit margin is huge. After all, they fortified the base by selling drugs. They sold drugs and fortified their base. Everything makes sense then."

“How much money did those bastards get from selling drugs? Isn’t this a radius that can’t be reached with just one Magic Circle?”

There was some truth in Tess' words. Based on her question, Shirone began to review the battles they had fought.

In the valley where the first battle took place, the enemies first retreated. They also retreated in the forest, and once again, they used Spatial Movement here.

"In my opinion, if we calculate the distance we have to go, there are probably hundreds of magic circles drawn."

“Hu- Hundreds?”

Tess' mouth fell open in shock. An intermediate Magic Circle that requires 5 mage to cling to it all day long. f there are hundreds of those, just how much gold did they scatter on this land?

“Do you really think they’d spend that much? If you just look at the distance, a few dozen would be enough. If there really are hundreds of magic circles, we wouldn't be able to catch them in any situation."

At that moment, Tess realized something from her own words and slapped her palm.

"Ah! I see!"

“Right. Now you get it? They set it up so they can't be caught in any situation. They’ve networked the entire northern forest. If we keep fighting like this, we, who are numerically inferior, will get exhausted first. We’ll collapse before reaching the summit."

Their resentment towards those who fortified their base by selling drugs intensified. But now was the time to think of a solution rather than be emotional.

“So, what do we do now? How about we erase the Magic Circles? No matter where we fight, if the enemies run away, it's not something that can be done by rushing into them.”

Amy shook her head. Tess' idea made sense, but there was another problem.

“It’s not easy. A Magic Circle is a record engraved in space. So, to remove it, you don't simply erase the drawing; you have to obliterate that space. Doing that for hundreds might take days."

Tess finally understood the situation and bit her lip. When a minority is dealing with a group, it is important to somehow reduce the number. But they were blocking that method in advance.

Shirone unexpectedly agreed with Tess.

“No, it might be worth a try. Let's erase one.”

"Just one? Out of hundreds, erasing one won't make a difference."

“From our point of view, yes, but they might think differently. If they’ve put so much effort into building the network, wouldn't they value even one magic circle? They might swarm in to defend it."

“Aha, I see! Psychological warfare!”

Tess quickly recognized Shirone's plan. It is often said that war is a power game played with money, but the side with superior funds was not always the winner. This is because human psychology works in a complex way in war.

The more you have to protect, the weaker you become psychologically. For example, if you raised an elite soldier with 100 gold coins but couldn't deploy him, it’s a waste.

This kind of situation actually happens in war.

Even though they poured money to start a war, they was unable to put in elite soldiers because it was a waste of money, and in the end, their castle was taken by cheap soldiers.

Amy analyzed Shirone's strategy. He was saying that if he couldn't chase his enemies, he would rather draw them in. It was, in fact, the most viable strategy in this situation. But that didn’t necessarily solve the original problem.

"This time, we have to weigh the efficiency. Actually, I didn't say it because I thought destroying Magic Circle wasn't an option, but neutralizing the effect of Magic Circle circle is much more difficult than you guys think.”

Rian grabbed his straight sword in reverse and slammed it into the ground with all his might.

“Wouldn’t it be fine if I plowed the ground with my sword? Until the magic circle completely disappears.”

"That's not a chance. The magic circle we see with our eyes is nothing more than a symbol that embodies a concept.”

Shirone understood what Amy was trying to say and gave a clear definition.

“So, unless the space itself is destroyed to the point of erasing it, the concept of Magic Circle doesn't disappear?”

"That's right. So, there are two main ways to destroy Magic Circle. Either neutralize the concept itself with clear magic, or destroy the Magic Circle until the concept disintegrates. The former is impossible for us and the latter requires time.”

Tess realized why Amy was skeptical of this approach.

“So it’s like that. Are you saying that the labor force needed to destroy a single Magic Circle is less efficient than advancing recklessly?"

"That's right. If you don't destroy it in at least 10 minutes, I think it's better to just go to our destination in this state. Of course, the basic intention itself of using the psychology of the enemy is a good idea.”

As soon as all the information necessary for the strategy was shared, the number of words decreased. In such situations, it was best to follow one person's opinion. Rian looked at Shirone, asking for a decision.

“What will we do, Shirone?”

Shirone was also bound to be in conflict. As long as the hostage is being held, it would be best to move as quickly as possible, but being too greedy could jeopardize the rescue mission itself.

"Let's destroy the Magic Circle. I'll try.”

When Shirone, who had finally made up his mind, spoke out his thoughts, Amy looked back at him in surprise.

Shirone, whose strong point is insight, wasn't the type to be tied down by odds, but he also didn't completely ignore chances of success. In her estimation, the likelihood of destroying the magic circle within 10 minutes was less than 10 percent.

"Are you sure that's alright? You don’t have a magic that can accomplish that in time, do you?"

Of all the magic Shirone could use, the most powerful was definitely the Photon Cannon. However, giving mass to light was hardly sufficient to counteract the weight of the earth.

Of course, if it was fired at high speed, it would be possible to destroy one of them in 10 minutes. However, the mental energy depleted in the process would undoubtedly put him at a disadvantage in the battles to come.

Another possibility was Laser, but Amy was skeptical about it too.

The magic that focuses energy locally to cause molecular vibrations has the advantage of destroying matter regardless of its durability. However, its range was inherently limited.

"I'll try. I have an idea."

Amy couldn't imagine how Shirone intended to destroy the magic circle, but for now, it was best to trust his words. This is because Shirone's intuition, which calculated various variables at once, was rarely wrong.

To get a more accurate conclusion, there might be someone like Iruki, but as he wasn't present, if Shirone's predictions went astray, it would be seen as an unforeseeable circumstance.

Concluding her thoughts like that, Amy nodded and said.

"Good. Then me and Tess move in a group, and Shirone and Rian move in another group. Keep a distance of 50 meters between each pair. Let's search the surroundings using Teleportation. We need to find the magic circle."

"Understood. But be careful. If we focus only on maintaining the distance, we might collide with other obstacles. Teleporting in a forest is risky."

Even Shirone, a specialist in teleportation, needed a high degree of concentration to traverse a forest. However, Amy retorted, seeming a bit irritated by Shirone's cautiousness.

"Who are you worried about now? You don't think of me the same as those supernatural whatevers, do you?"

It was a statement to alleviate Shirone's worries, but it wasn't necessarily wrong either. She was also Amy. She was also a senior who had mastered the bridge that could not be crossed, and she even had Red Eyes, which meant the chance of an accidental collision was almost nil.


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