Chapter 107 – First Battle
The World Trophy final qualifier.
It was the day after we arrived in the country of sorcery that the draw was held.
In the venue, I could sense the presence of many powerful opponents.
So these were the people I would have to fight…
This was my first time participating in a magic tournament.
I hadn’t even competed in tournaments in Ardenfeld, and so I had considerably less experience compared to the other participants.
My first tournament was to be an international one.
And it would affect the reputation of the country.
Of course, public’s reactions to me were also quite severe.
Not only was I of common birth, but my career had barely just begun. And so it seemed like a lot of people did not rank me very highly.
That was just fine!
All I have to do then, is defy their expectations!
If anything, it was convenient that they underestimated me.
It would make battling them much easier if their guard was lowered.
It had been determined that I had enough power to participate. I had been chosen.
And so in order to repay them with as good a result as possible, I would carefully prepare in every way that I could.
“Your first opponent will be Allesandro Vortera. A powerful magician from Brandal. A specialist in gravity magic and duels. And while he is not on the same level as the trio, who are our main rivals, it is still said that he is strong enough to pass to the main battle.”
Ms. Leticia relayed to me what information she had, and we came up with strategies.
“He is very experienced, and has no obvious flaws. However, after some analysis, the research team has discovered a tendency of his. The accuracy of spells seems to drop a little after unleashing his strongest attacks in rapid succession.”
The only weakness she could tell me of was a small drop in accuracy.
It was the kind of minor detail I usually would not have considered.
The more I learned, the more impressive my opponent seemed.
Which made me all the more eager to fight.
More than anything, it was a chance for me to use my beloved magic to the fullest.
Compared to those days of being called useless and only being allowed to do simple jobs, this was the height of happiness.
◇ ◇ ◇
The first day of the final qualifier for the World Trophy.
The venue was packed with spectators from all over the surrounding countries.
As this country of sorcery had a high interest in magic, the tournament was practically a national event.
Within the audience, there were magicians from the other countries, who were there for reconnaissance purposes.
In order to support their own magicians, they would gather information, analyze, and look for weaknesses in opponents.
“So the next one is Allesandro Vorter.”
The strongest magician of Brandal, and a rare user of gravity magic. He was one that the other countries kept a wary eye on.
In these individual matches, experience greatly affected the outcome.
Besides, as gravity users were rare, it was more difficult to have countermeasures, and so the battle should be severe.
“And he seems to be in good condition as well. During his last two weeks of training, he has sent nine people to the hospital.”
“Well, that is not surprising, given his reputation.”
The two scouts nodded to each other, and then their eyes moved towards the small magician.
“And his opponent, Noelle Springfield.”
“Apparently, she has become quite famous in her country. A new, elite magician.”
“However, she has never participated in an international tournament before. Or any tournament for that matter. But the World Trophy is less about pure skills with magic, and more about specializing in one-on-one combat, as well as preparation and experience. Well, the outcome should be obvious enough.”
Not only did she lack dueling experience, but she was against a feared magician. The likelihood of her winning was incredibly low.
“It will be rather one-sided, I’m afraid.”
“I wonder how many minutes she will be able to last.”
◇ ◇ ◇
As soon as the battle began, the magician activated his destructive gravity magic, which crushed anything within a specific area.
You would be gravely wounded if you were hit by such magic.
And he had activated such a complicated spell in an instant without chanting. That alone showed how different he was from your average magician.
I accelerated my speed and dodged the attack.
While the destructive power was incredible, as long as it did not hit…
However, such notions were soon proven false.
A magic attack that crushed the ground surrounding the caster, and then lifted the fragments to be fired off towards the target like bullets.
The deadly barrage shot towards me.
It was a wide-area attack that covered the spot I was standing in.
As I could not dodge it with pure speed, I used wind magic to cancel it out.
However, I could not stop it completely.
Fragments slashed at my cheek.
When it came to attacks that made use of so much mass, it was difficult to deal with it with wind magic alone.
Precise understanding of the situation.
He made use of advantages in terms of affinity, and attacked.
Little by little, I was pushed to the edge of the field.
(He is so…strong…!)
The difference in power was clear.
The attacks were so vicious, that my processing ability was not enough to deal with them.
However, I also knew what to do when placed in such situations.
Do not panic. Stay calm.
And one by one, complete the things that you can do…
◆ ◆ ◆
To Allesandro Vorter, the small magician who was his opponent for the first battle, was no one he needed to be concerned about.
“For the first battle against Noelle Springfield, there should not be any need to plan a strategy.”
That had been the opinion of the scouts.
However, he also believed that lowering your guard against those below you, was what could easily lead to defeat.
Besides, the way you approached your first battle could greatly affect the following battles.
And so he made sure that he was fully prepared that day, and analyzed the small magician who he faced.
(While she is young, she has gone through tremendous amounts of training. And she has considerable mana. However, there are a lot of holes as well.)
And so he had rated her highly while he prepared. But once he actually fought her, he felt that she was even easier to fight than he was expecting.
He knew that she would activate Spell Boost as soon as the battle started.
And though some magicians might have found this troublesome, he was more than able to deal with it.
(I expected more from her.)
However, he still remained guarded.
Lowering it could lead to defeat.
It was opponents like her that should be fought efficiently so that victory was assured.
(It’s possible that she has a hidden trump card. It is not good to take risks by trying to finish this all at once. I should make use of the difference in power, and chip away at her slowly and steadily.)
His gravity magic and the fragment bullets were clearly above her wind magic when it came to accuracy.
And she was starting to tire.
There was no need to rush things.
(At this rate, I can continue to push her and be guaranteed victory…)
He had built the foundation, and was just about to raise the output of his magic.
He felt a sudden chill that he could not explain.
The presence of strange mana he had never experienced.
(The speed of her rapidfire has risen…!?)
She was casting spells at a ridiculous speed now.
In spite of her being in a disadvantageous situation, she had accelerated her casting speed to the point where she could nullify his attacks.
What was happening?
He wondered with a shudder.
(This is no ordinary magician…!)