Infinite Mage (Novel) Chapter 153

                       



C153

“It’s definitely true that we came close. Just about one more kilometer to go..."

Just as Amy was about to explain, she saw a fireball burst out of the forest, making a fierce noise.

"It's an ambush! Scatter!"

Shirone and the group scattered in different directions. The flame that hit the ground grew larger as it absorbed the air, then dispersed as heat.

"Fireball?"

“Amy! Be careful!"

The second and third attacks flew in simultaneously.

But Amy didn't avoid it. Instead, she took a combat stance and pierced the fireball with an equal number of Flame Strikes.

"Show yourself! Stop ambushing like a coward!"

"Your skills are quite impressive. Coming this far wasn't just luck."

Shirone and the group looked back at the mountain path. A man walked out of the forest. Although he was similar in height to Rian, he had a slim body that gave off a sense of agility.

Even though he didn't have eyebrows, he was a man who looked like a snake with his confidence and pale impression of his swept back hair.

"Who are you?"

“Vice leader of Parror Mercenary Band. Agado Freeman.”

Tension filled the faces of Shirone's group at the word 'vice-captain.' But on the other hand, it meant their destination wasn't far off.

"Shirone, let me handle this. When I signal, take Rian and Tess and go to the cliff."

"I can't do that. It's too dangerous."

“Then what about you? Have you forgotten that you've already plunged into a trap alone? Are you going to keep ignoring me like this?"

"It's not that I'm ignoring you. There are about 20 more people hiding in the forest."

Amy had also already confirmed that with Spirit Zone. But that's why she wants to send Shirone away first.

If they were held up here, it would only buy time for reinforcements at the first checkpoint.

Amy, trying to somehow convince Shirone, raised her hand and pointed at Freeman.

"Shirone, look at that man's weapon. It's a gun."

Shirone turned his head and looked closely. The man clearly held a weapon that looked exactly like the one he saw in the book.

Magic Projectile fired with a bow require replacement of the arrow tip, but gun was a specially manufactured weapon to use only Magic Projectiles.

It is a device that loads a small amount of magic bullets and fires them forward. Looking at the design, it was a revolver type that could fire continuously by rotating the cylinder.

"See? You know what a gun is, right? It can replace bullets faster than bow and is a direct-fire weapon. Unlike arrows that explode after impact, it fires in an already activated state, making it specialized for medium to long-range combat. Probably all the guys hiding in the forest are using that weapon too."

Shirone understood what Amy meant.

"Alright. I'll leave this to you."

Rian and Tess looked back with puzzled eyes. They had heard the explanation about the gun, but it only made the situation seem more dangerous. Why would Shirone suddenly change his mind and leave Amy alone?

"I'll create a Fire Wall to buy time and prevent their pursuit. Use that chance to break through."

"Okay. Ryan, Tess, get ready.”

If it was Shirone's judgment, Rian could only follow. She didn't feel good leaving her colleague alone, but Tess also gulped and prepared to rushed out because it wasn't a situation to take time and discuss.

"Now! Go!"

Amy, who had finished concentrating, opened her eyes and shouted. As Shirone led the way and ran, Rian and Tess followed him to his left and right.

As expected, spark from guns flew from all directions in the forest.

Amy cast a Fire Wall in the shape of a massive circle.

The ground began to boil like porridge, and the flames that began underfoot rushed with frightening momentum and penetrated into the forest.

She then amplified her mental strength, causing the Fire Wall to violently blaze, obstructing the enemies' sight.

At the same time, Shirone grabbed Rian and Tess and initiated Teleportation. The range is shorter than that of a high-ranking mage, but it was effective enough to suddenly disappear before the eyes of enemies.

After hearing the noise of Teleportation, Amy stopped casting Fire Wall and gasped.

The Fire Wall, known as a mana-consuming spell, required continuous mental focus to maintain.

The reason it was not overpowered even though it was powerful was because the cost of casting was too expensive.

But Freeman was gennuinely impressed. The girl standing in front of him was in her teens at most.

As far as he knew, it was extremely rare for a mage of that age to cast a Fire Wall of that scale.

“Impressive. To sacrifice for your comrades.”

“Hmph! Don’t talk like it's a sacrifice. I sent it because I can handle this myself.”

“Really? You seem quite worn out. Sorry, but we’re in a hurry too, so we can’t wait.”

As soon as Freeman's words fell, his subordinates appeared.

The fact that no one was able to extinguish the fire in the forest was proof that none among them were mages. However, they were all Schema users and, like Freeman, were holding guns.

A combat method that mixes Schema and magic. On the battlefield, such people are called Gunners.

Amy had never observed a Gunner's combat, but she could guess what it was like. She herself also had the ability to use long-range magical skills and Schema simultaneously.

Freeman’s subordinates opened the cylinders and loaded Magic Projectiles. It seemed that each cylinder could hold at least six Magic Projectiles.

A total of twelve Magic Projectiles can be equipped on both sides, and the number of enemies is 20. Therefore, the cycle for the enemy's firepower to be reloaded was 240 magic bullets.

“I’m sorry, but your immature adventures end here.”

As soon as Freeman's words fell, his subordinates raised their guns.

Certainly, his subordinates had different disposition from those under Falcoa, perhaps due to his leadership.

They didn’t show any complacency or arrogance; they were solely focused on eliminating their opponent.

Amy chuckled softly. Of course, it may have been because Shirone played a major role in this battle, but she did not expect that evaluation of herself would be so low.

"So you're planning a gunfight with just 20 people against me?"

Amy concentrated, putting strength into her lower abdomen as if she was going to cast a spell.

A gust of wind blew, and fist-sized rocks rose around her, catching fire with a whooshing sound.

"You've picked the wrong opponent this time."

The pupils of Amy's eyes flared up in a red hue.

-----------------------------

Tess kept looking back as she ran. She had followed Shirone based on his words, but she felt that this was a reckless strategy.

Although gunners were inferior to mages in firepower, they had physical abilities comparable to swordsmen.

The thought of Amy fighting amongst them made her stomach churn.

"Shirone, shouldn't we go back? I'm worried about Amy."

"It will be fine. If we drag on, it'll be at a disadvantage for us. We may be pursued by forces that survived the first checkpoint. The priority is to somehow get to the hideout quickly.”

“I know that, but what about Amy? Wouldn't it have been better for you to deal with the enemies?"

Shirone, who noticed Tess's thoughts, smiled bitterly.

"That's not how it works. A mage's ability isn't simply measured by power. It depends on the situation and affinity. When dealing with Gunner, Amy will be several times stronger than me.”

Tess looked like she couldn't believe it.

Of course, she knows that Amy is in a graduate class, but Shirone's performance that she watched when they arrived was truly amazing.

Could there really exist a situation where she would be multiple times stronger than such a Shirone?

"Is that even possible? No matter how excellent one's skills are, there's the matter of numerical superiority."

Very much like a Swordsman, Tess was thinking, centered on physical strength.

Of course, the total sum of quantifiable physical strength is an important issue.

However, when it comes to magic, the situation changes a bit.

For a mage who utilize numerous phenomena through a combination of Omnipotence and Omniscience, the number of enemies isn't that important.

What they focus on rather is the exceptional calculation ability to induce a situation where their honed abilities reveal their optimal efficiency.

“The properties of photons and flames are different. Moreover, Four-Way zone are different. Amy is a mage who specializes in long range. Because she can maximize the advantage of Red Eye. If Amy confronts them in her own domain, no matter how strong the enemies are..."

Shirone spoke with confidence.

"Even if their numbers are great, they will absolutely not be able to defeat Amy."

Tess swallowed her saliva. Normally, when dealing with Shirone and Amy, she felt like she was taking care of her stubborn and immature younger sibling, but in real combat, they were like a field of ice—cold and composed.

"Both of you are really amazing. How can you be so perfectly confident?"

"That's Tess misunderstanding. Instead, I think Tess is amazing."

"Tch. What about me? In reality, you broke through the fortress, and I haven't even been of any help."

Shirone didn't think that way. After all, the proficiency of sword warrior and mage is bound to be different from the beginning.

In mental faculties, individuals showing results that surpass their age often appear, but swords warrior, who require physical growth as a backing, relatively reveal their prominence later.

Tess and Rian will become stronger in the future. And they would walk their own paths, imbuing their individual beliefs into a single sword.

"Shirone, we've arrived."

As we left the forest, a view unfolded where the blue sea was rolling beyond a paradise-like cliff.

On the east side of the cliff, there appeared to be a house made of bricks. That place was likely the hideout. However, to get there, they had to pass through the final gateway.

The Acting Leader Falcoa was waiting for Shirone and his group.

Tess frowned, puzzled. If he was the character she had assessed, he should have long since drawn his sword and dashed into the battlefield.

"What is this? Why was thi guy still here?"

“Kekeke, it's much more fun to wreck havoc right from the beginning. However, we have circumstances on this side too."

There were instructions from Marsha. It wasn't a strategy suited to his temperament, but Falcoa obeyed obediently. Because these were the words of the person who turned someone who was dismissed as an evil in society into a battlefield hero.

“Anyway, you made it this far. The commander was right. The woman you are looking for is in the building over there. Go in and bring her out.”

Falcoa turned his body as if to open the path for them. However, Shirone and his party couldn't move. A killing intent of a completely different nature than what they had seen in the Royal Palace blocked their way.

Tess understood Amy's feelings. In the end, fighting against an expert like this also meant they had to take some risks on their end.

"He's trying to disrupt us. Rian and I will handle this. Shirone, go inside and bring Yuna back."

Shirone nodded obediently. In response to his obvious agreement, Tess realized why Amy had smiled. Far from feeling neglected, it warmed her heart.

'So it's not such a cold world after all. Is this what it feels like to be trusted?'

With Shirone's capabilities, escaping alone was no problem. After briefly glancing around, he cast Teleportation and his body vanished like a flash of light.

But Falcoa didn't even took a glance.

From that look, Tess realized. He had planned to send Shirone from the beginning.

“Why?"

"Well, the commander's orders are there too, and besides, I prefer having women around."

Falcoa drew his sword and pointed it at Tess. It is clear that he is a man with a turbulent temperament. But his drunken and swaying appearance had disappeared.

Without taking her eyes off Falcoa, Tess explained the strategy to Rian.

"He's a Schema user. While I hold him off, you attack."

It was possible to guess how outstanding Falcoa's skills were just by looking at his momentum. Therefore, the way to increase the survival rate was for Tess, the same Schema user, to defend. (팔코아의 실력이 얼마나 뛰어난지는 기도만 보고도 짐작할 수 있었다.)

"That won't work. I'll hold him off; you focus on attacking."

"You idiot, how can you hold him off? I hate to say this, but it's impossible for you alone to stop that guy."

"If it's impossible, I guess I’ll have no choice but to die.”

"What?"

Tess raised her eyes in disbelief. But Rian was serious. Moreover, he hadn't given up the fight. He was simply fighting his own battle.

"We're staying here to defeat him, not to save our own lives."

Tess could not refute.

"If you hold him off, we might buy some time. But you know, right? We can't win that way. We'll both end up dead. So, I will hold him off. You focus on the attack."

Rian was right. Blunting the sword and strengthening the shield won't win the battle.

In the end, the rule was to sharpen the sword even if it meant giving up one's life.


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