Chapter 95 – Ringing
Amidst the vicious battle, I felt strangely calm.
I could see everything around me very clearly.
Even the shapes of all the rubble at the monster’s feet.
It was likely due to this state, where I was focusing to the absolute limit.
There was no need to even think now.
My body was just reacting naturally.
It felt like something other than myself was leading me.
On top of that, I was also being supported by all of the experience I had fighting as a Royal Magician.
My fight with the Magus-Rank Magician, Mr. Gawain.
The assassin I fought at the Red Rose Ball.
The mutated Goblin King.
And the mountain dragon.
The criminals who surrounded me at the opera house.
And then the fight with the strongest knight, the Holy Blade.
All of them were a level above me.
But those experiences gave me power.
And more than anything, the thing that assured me was the presence of the friend who fought alongside me.
‘Damn it. Why am I with you.’
‘That’s how I feel, commoner.’
We hated each other so much at first.
But now, we understood each other as if we were connected.
I could not help but feel excited.
…What was this feeling?
I could go so much higher up than when I was alone.
A scene I had never seen before spread out before me.
Even in front of such a hopelessly powerful monster, I felt like we were not losing.
…Let’s keep moving ahead, Luke.
I thought as I unleashed the magic.
…Yes. If you want to go.
The corner of my mouth rose into a grin, and I kicked off of the ground.
A faster jump than previous ones, that took the enemy by surprise.
The monster recoiled just a little. I could sense it.
There was fear there.
Confusion over the unexpected strength of a weak opponent.
It was hesitating.
Our attacks were making this powerful monster feel frantic.
And I was starting to enjoy this.
We weren’t losing.
Our magic was effective against the guardian of this dungeon.
‘You could do it. Definitely.’
I thought back on our childhood days.
Being a Royal Magician sounded so amazing, and too good to even dream about. But Luke had reassured me over and over again.
‘…If you’re going to insist that much, maybe I will give it a try.’
Even though I thought it wouldn’t happen, it was still something I longed for.
‘It would be nice to be able to work together. We can be the famous duo that saves the day!’
In order to make that dream a reality.
I read its movements and dodged its attacks.
Even if it wasn’t a direct hit, you would be gravely wounded.
That’s how strong it was.
And that’s why I felt such great excitement.
Likely, this was a rare, one in a million chance for us.
If we had any hope of winning, it was that small amount of time we had until the enemy learned our attacks.
I would run out of mana soon.
And so I had to take this chance, now…
I wouldn’t think about what came after that.
I just unleashed my most powerful wind magic, over and over.
And Luke continued to cast support magic onto me.
Enhance, Boost, Spell Boost.
As time slowed around me, he predicted my actions and laid down support magic where he knew I would step.
There was no need to think.
I walked through the magic circles as if being guided, and closed the gap between me and the enemy.
Luke would think about all the details.
What I had to do now was slam as much powerful magic into the enemy in front of us.
The layers and layers of support magic we had casted.
We had cooperated to build up the most powerful attack that we were capable of.
The dungeon shook.
The mithril walls creaked.
The Undead King blocked the attack with the flat of its blade.
After all we had done, my magic was still not enough for this enemy.
And so…I called his name.
In the next instant, an incredible current of electric energy shot towards the monster from its blindspot.
Together, we joined our greatest attack into one.
We would overcome this.
…We would overcome the guardian of this floor in the hardest dungeon.
A blinding light burned my vision.
In the next instant, the Undead King’s greatsword was pushed back, and our waves of magic swallowed everything up.
I hardly remember what happened after that.
Before I knew it, I had used up all of my mana, and had collapsed to the floor.
But through my misty vision, I could see the Undead King looming over me.
So we had not been able to defeat it.
While unfortunate, I had no regrets.
I had done everything that I was capable of doing.
And if that wasn’t enough, then it could not be helped.
However, the final decisive blow was never unleashed.
The Undead King merely looked down at me.
‘…I did not expect such an exciting battle in the end.’
Came a voice.
‘…You have my thanks, young magicians.’
The giant form dispersed, turning into light.
I suppose the Undead King was satisfied with this fight.
It had been so ridiculously strong.
Perhaps the trial of this dungeon was not to merely defeat the enemy, but to fight in a way that satisfied the Undead King.
The abandoned castle was quiet now.
Then a voice echoed from somewhere.
“We survived! We have survived!”
I’m glad that I did my best.
I smiled as the cheers erupted.
A strange feeling remained in my body.
A feeling of excitement.
I knew that my magic could improve much more now.
I was able to use magic against an opponent superior to me, in a way that I didn’t even know that I could.
We have so much farther to go. I know it.
I thought, with such expectations in my chest. And then…
“Good. What a relief.”
I suddenly heard that voice.
To my shock, he was dragging his wounded body as he approached.
I quickly rushed forward and supported him as his strength failed, and he began to fall.
“In this state… Why did you…”
“I had to protect you, Noelle…”
And then he handed me his last potion.
In spite of his terrible state, he had brought it so that I could drink it.
“Your wounds come first.”
I opened the bottle and made Luke drink it.
He did not even have the strength to resist.
But even like this, he had been worried about me.
My friend, who had picked me up and given me a wonderful place where I belonged.
He always took good care of me.
Why did he go to such great lengths?
As I wondered about this…
I was bewildered.
What was this?
My heart was beating in a different way than usual.
And I did not want Luke to notice this.
I felt like it was something that he could not know.
I pretended that it was nothing, and I was just my usual self.
But what was it? This feeling?
It was a strange feeling that I had never felt before, and I wasn’t sure what to do.