Chapter 81 – No grounds for it
The storm of attacks, faster than the speed of sound.
And as time passed, the Holy Blade’s attacks grew more precise.
I was nearing my limit.
The situation reminded me of the day when I first started working at the Royal Magicians Order.
…The Sixty Seconds of Blood.
When I had faced Mr. Gawain.
‘It’s just to test the strength of newcomers. You pass by surviving it. But you wanted to win, and went in to defeat him, didn’t you?’
Luke had asked me while I trained to face the Holy Blade.
And so I answered.
‘Well, I know that it’s probably hopeless. But…if I’m going to fight someone, I want to try and win, no matter who it is.’
‘That’s fine. It’s a good thing.’
I was surprised by his answer.
‘I will create an opportunity for you. And so I want you to stake everything on it, and go for the win.’
And then he told me the final plan.
‘You can do it, Noelle. We’ll do it together.’
I didn’t expect Luke to say such a thing to me.
We used to not get along at all. I had actually hated him. It was interesting to think about that now.
I was not alone.
Even if the opponent was too strong for my power alone, we could surely overcome this together.
I retreated under the Holy Blade’s vicious attacks.
My mana and energy was depleting as I was pushed back.
Or so I pretended.
I was luring the Holy Blade to the edge of the field, where he had blown me at the start of the fight.
The ground had been gouged out, and parts of the wall had crumbled to the ground.
It was good that there was a magic barrier that could continue to function without issue, in spite of being hit by so many powerful attacks.
Because of this, I was able to unleash my magic without holding back.
The ground was now more uneven than ever, and it should be hard to keep your balance.
And yet, the Holy Blade’s attacks were just as accurate.
He had incredible core strength.
He was the real deal. I couldn’t help but be happy.
This was someone who had dedicated his whole life to the blade.
And so it was so beautiful.
Every single movement was so breathtaking that one could not take their eyes off of them.
If only I could get close to that.
To match him.
I wanted to be like this.
One day, I wanted to be the kind of magician that could move others.
But perhaps that was too much to hope for…
Low-ranking wind magic.
The upwards gust of wind was not powerful enough to be an attack.
However, Luke’s aim was to block my opponent’s vision.
The wind picked up the dust and debris, creating cover.
And like that, I rapidly activated more magic.
Wind that crushed everything below it.
The average person would not be able to stay on their feet. It would slam the Holy Blade against the ground.
However, his body did not move.
I knew that would happen.
But the crumbling ground under his feet was a different matter.
His body began to sink.
The legs were being caught in the ground.
My instinct was telling me that this was the only chance I’d ever have.
The rarest of opportunities do defeat the strongest knight.
So with everything I had, I took a step forward.
But even with his feet bound to the ground, the Holy Blade’s attacks were much faster than I expected.
A flash at godly speed.
It was faster than any previous attack.
However, I had seen his attacks many times during this fight.
And in this situation, I could react to it.
I could dodge it.
It grazed the tip of my nose as I evaded the attack.
And then I moved around to his back, and activated my magic.
Seven layers of strengthening magic.
I put all of the mana I could use into it.
The greatest firepower I was capable of.
This was the opportunity that Luke had created for me.
My opponent was not someone who I could face alone.
But if it was both of us, we could overcome this.
That’s what I believed… And so for this moment, I attacked with everything within me.
An explosive, giant wind cannon.
The stone floor shattered and rose into the air.
The entire area was bathed in blinding light, and shockwaves crashed against my body.
Eventually, a giant crater appeared behind all of the dust.
The best magic that I was currently capable of.
I felt that it was something that I could be proud of.
However, once the dust settled…the Holy Blade was standing in the center of the crater.
So it didn’t reach him…
He had reacted to the attack from behind, nullifying it with his own speedy attack.
And while he had taken some damage, the fact that he could still fight meant it was the end for me.
It was one chance in a million. I had put everything into it. And it was still not enough.
I barely had any mana left.
Continuing the battle now was hopeless.
I let out a sigh, realizing that I was defeated.
At that moment, screams and shouts echoed around me.
“Hey, the magic barrier has a crack in it…!”
“That’s impossible… It is a special barrier that was prepared by the Kingsguard…”
“Stop! Stop the fight now!”
The organizers were stunned.
My magic had created a fissure in the barrier…?
I watched in disbelief.
The nobles in charge were running around frantically.
I couldn’t help but smile.
‘We all know that you won’t stand a chance. So you just need to stand there. And it will be fine.’
But it looks like I was able to surprise them a little.
Even if I could not win.
However, no one had been able to defeat the Holy Blade up until now.
It just means it was a little too early for me.
I should have known.
This was still my first year of being a Royal Magician.
And though I had prepared with the help of Luke, it was no surprise that I would lose.
But one day, I would be able to face him.
Perhaps I had no grounds for making such a claim, but that is how I felt.