Episode 109 – Spatial Magic

Previously:

The day of the practical exams is finally here and Kiel is inside a large arena created by the Replica Dungeon. Nelaira tricks Deora into attacking the Rroda brothers, and Deora ends up pursuing Kiel with a barrage of fireballs. Kiel runs away, dodging the fireballs, however, Deora manages to hit him with an explosive airball. Kiel loses his consciousness and remembers how he got trapped inside the burning house as a child. After waking up he gets into a life and death situation that makes him overcome his fear of fire and launch a counter attack on Deora. He manages to poison Deora, knocking him out of the competition. Seeing Kiel win his fight, Rhur finished Nelaira off in a fit of rage. Kiel manages to recover through applying a healing ointment.

Episode 109 – Spatial Magic

“Are you feeling better, little brother?” Rhur spoke up. “Let’s talk about how we will take care of the Arite.” He tilted his head towards Zor. “What does your D.I. report say?”

Kiel stayed silent for several seconds before replying. “My report says that he is proficient in all kinds of different magic spells, making his battle style… unpredictable. However, as proven by the decapitated fellow, the most dangerous of his abilities is his spatial magic.”

Spatial magic was a prominent branch of Arcane magic that specialized in controlling and altering space. Unlike Transmutation and Augmentation magic that controlled either the state or the properties of their target, Arcane magic gave the user complete control over its specified domain. Whatever Transmutation and Augmentation magic could do, Arcane magic could do better.

Not only that, but unlike the other two which could only target the physical world, Arcane magic, as its name implied, also allowed the mage to tap into the more mystical parts of the world. Such as giving the mage an ability to impact the intangible things like time, space, mana and the mind. If it weren’t for the fact that arcane magic required pure mana, perhaps the transmutation and augmentation magic would have long been made obsolete.

As one would imagine, spatial magic could be used to teleport, create Gates and portals or even subdimensions. Yet, the usage of spatial magic didn’t end there – space could be bent, twisted and torn to create various effects. Whether it was used for attack, defense or utility depended on the user.

As soon as Kiel mentioned spatial magic, Rhur’s eyes widened in realization. “Ah! So back then, when he decapitated the poor sod, he used an invisible spatial blade!”

A spatial blade was an offensive application of spatial magic that sent a ripple through space resembling a sword slash. It was one of the most dangerous offensive magics that ended up splitting whatever it passed through into two without fail.

“That’s my conjecture as well.” Kiel nodded. “Since we couldn’t sense his usage of the spatial blade, it means that he is also quite capable in magic concealing.”

In other words, Zor had wrapped his Mind around his spell when he was weaving it, so no one was able to detect it with their mana sense.

Rhur’s face paled. “Now this is… inconvenient… If we can’t see it or feel it, how are we supposed to avoid it?”

Kiel fell silent. That was the same question he had been pondering as well.

If Elaru were here, she would be able to use her Aethernea of Sight to see the spatial blade, but he couldn’t do the same.

Kiel finally got up from the floor, this time without the help of his Acceleration magic. His body was slightly sore but otherwise completely fine.

He couldn’t help but sigh in lamentation. If he had access to such high-quality ointment, he could have increased the intensity of his training.

His moody thoughts only lasted for a moment, before he once again focused on the battle at hand. “Zor Arite might be targeting space instead of a physical object, however, the basic rules of magic should still apply.”

Rhur quickly caught on what Kiel was talking about. “In other words, he still needs to create spell roots over the area of space he wishes to target.”

Kiel nodded. “Right. If we expand our mage armor to cover the area around us, he won’t be able to create a spatial blade in our vicinity. And if a spatial blade enters the area covered by our mage armor we will be able to feel it through fluctuations of our own mana.”

“So, the optimal course of action is to constantly move about while keeping vigilant of the mana in our surroundings, avoid getting too close to him and instead attack him from a distance.” Rhur continued. His quick judgment aligned with what Kiel had been thinking, however…

Kiel sighed softly, giving Rhur a fleeting side glance. “You make it sound so simple…but…what if he can teleport? One second he is sitting there, and in the next…” Kiel snapped his fingers dramatically. “…he is right in front of us, slicing off our heads.”

Rhur rolled his eyes. “He can’t just teleport anywhere. He needs to either set a prior teleport point or envelop a large area with his spell roots allowing him to teleport anywhere in the area covered by it.”

Kiel looked at Rhur as if he was looking at an idiot. “Well yes, but since he can conceal magic, what is to say that this whole arena isn’t filled with concealed teleport points?”

Rhur’s eyes widened and rubbed his arms as if he felt cold. “You are so pessimistic!”

Now it was Kiel’s turn to roll his eyes. “I am just pointing out the worst-case scenario so we can be prepared.”

“Ok, ok. Fair enough. How about this… You distract him with…whatever ranged attacks you can do… And in the meantime, I shall set up a lightning net around him to limit his movements while simultaneously covering his vicinity with my Razorblood petals.” Rhur suggested.

Kiel’s eyebrow twitched in annoyance. This bloody buttcracker wanted to use him as a decoy! A scapegoat! The first one to attack Zor Arite would be the first one to be targeted by his merciless retaliation.

“Dear brother…” Kiel put a special emphasis on the word “Dear”. “…creating a lightning net powerful enough to make Zor Arite hesitant to touch it would be quite difficult. Not to mention it would cost you a lot of mana that could be better spent otherwise. I have a better idea. I’ll enclose Zor Arite in a dome of earth. He won’t be able to pass through a wall and breaking it down will take him some time. While I am working on that wall, you use those petals of yours to distract him. You can even zap him with your lightning – you should be capable of creating lightning powerful enough to cause him some damage, right?”

Rhur’s eyes flashed with annoyance. Neither of the two would budge, and further debate would only waste time. “Hmmm… how about we enact a play? Let’s pretend that we had a falling out and start fighting each other. In our fight, we will seemingly accidentally approach Zor and fill the area in his vicinity with mana. And then, when the area is filled with our mana, we will stop fighting and instead simultaneously attack him.”

Kiel rubbed his chin in thought. That wasn’t a bad idea. If they managed to surprise him, it would be easier to proceed. And besides, they wouldn’t even need to pretend to have a fall out. Falling out was far easier than actually getting along. “Alright.” Kiel agreed.

The two brothers shared a look, preparing to erupt in hostilities.

However, at that moment, just before they could start their “play”, something completely unexpected occurred!

Zor Arite, who had been as silent and motionless as a statue the entire time, finally moved!

He opened his golden eyes and gave the Rroda brothers an incredulous look.

Then, in a deep and charismatic voice, he spoke out a sentence that made both Kiel and Rhur freeze. “Rule number 1 of Warfare: don’t let your enemy find out about your strategy.”

Kiel’s mind reeled. Could it be…?!

Rhur’s face paled. Don’t tell me that…?

Seeing their stiff faces, Zor elaborated. “Yes. I can hear you…”

Kiel’s face fell. &@#$! I forgot! Arites have better senses than normal people!!

Rhur’s face fell almost simultaneously. Shit! That bastard has sharper ears than an elibu!!

“He heard everything we’ve been saying??!” Kiel swallowed a lump that formed in his throat.

“Clam down, maybe he is just pretending he can hear us to throw us off our game…” Rhur chuckled awkwardly.

Zor stared at them speechlessly for several seconds before adding: “…by all means, please continue… don’t let me ‘throw you off your game’…”

The two Rroda brothers shared a look.

Rhur was still smiling, albeit a bit stiffly, and Kiel’s expression seemed completely indifferent. To outsiders, it looked like the two brothers were taking the revelation quite well. As expected of nobles.

But when the two brothers saw each other’s expression, what they saw in each other’s eyes was a shared sentiment: “We are so screwed…”

Followed by steely determination: “It’s every man for himself!”

And thus, the two Rroda brothers darted left and right respectively, accelerating towards Zor in a pincer attack.

Although Zor was now watching the actions of the two, he still didn’t take them seriously, for he still remained sitting down leisurely.

However, although he was sitting, he wasn’t letting down his guard. His aura erupted outwards, expanding the range of his mage armor to cover a 5-meter diameter around him.

When Rhur’s and Kiel’s mind touched that aura, they felt as if a mountain was pressing down on them. That dense aura was simply terrifying. It was an imposing aura of an emperor, crushing all beneath his feet.

His aura wasn’t as dense as Elaru’s, it couldn’t deal physical damage, but it was still one of the densest aura’s Kiel had ever felt. Its density was more than enough to transmit Zor’s emotions and convictions through, dealing a strong mental blow to every mind who felt it.

Zor Arite could defeat opponents without even fighting.

His aura alone could make weaker willed people faint from the pressure.

Luckily, neither of the two brothers were weak willed, so after a brief shock, their mental state returned to normal, and they proceeded with their attack.

Both of them also erupted with mana, expanding their own mage armor and sending the wave of mana in Zor’s direction in preparation to cast spells.

Seeing the two brothers’ mana quickly approaching him, followed by the brothers themselves, Zor’s eyes slowly narrowed.

In fact, his eyes were still in the middle of narrowing when abruptly his diamond shaped pupils dilated in shock. His head snapped towards Kiel, completely disregarding Rhur.

Kiel’s heart shook. What was going on? Why was Zor giving him such a strange look? Why did he attract trouble today? First Deora and now Zor? Did he have a big target sign planted on him because he was the “protagonist” of the exam?

Kiel had no way of knowing that the Replica Dungeon had no way of tampering with the Replica’s thought process. He had no idea that in this moment of shock, the concealed spell Zor was weaving abruptly changed its shape, switching from deadly attack to impregnable defense.

Rhur proceeded with his attack, not putting much thought into Zor’s reaction. In his opinion, his little brother was unlikeable to begin with, so there was nothing strange about him attracting aggro from enemies.

Rhur took out a handful of petals from his pouch and threw them towards Zor. He then pointed his finger towards Zor and let out a lightning flash with balanced speed and attack power.

Kiel’s attack didn’t fall behind either. He swiped his hand towards Zor, and the earth around Kiel shifted as if following his motions. Many spikes sprouted out of the earth, flying up into the air and swiftly whizzing towards Zor.

Kiel’s and Rhur’s attacks reached Zor almost simultaneously.

And just as simultaneously as they arrived, simultaneously they failed.

Rhur’s petals blew over Zor, however, none of them managed to reach him.

One by one they stopped their descent as if they had hit an invisible wall. They slid down slowly, outlining the shape of a dome.

Kiel’s earth spikes were even more direct. They slammed into the invisible dome and crumbled into pieces, releasing a dust cloud that covered the dome like a curtain.

When Rhur’s lightning slammed into the wall, there weren’t even any ripples in space. The lightning just rebounded and spread onto the surroundings, unable to breach the wall.

Zor had created a spatial barrier, sealing off the region of space around him. Besides the metaphysical things such as mana and the mind, other things couldn’t pass through the barrier.

Reflection barriers targeted objects which touched them, preventing them from proceeding, which made it so they couldn’t target objects which were protected by foreign mana. However,  Zor’s spatial barrier was different. Zor wasn’t targeting objects which touched his barrier, he was targeting space itself. By changing space itself, the change would affect anything and everything that entered that space.

This was the principle that the majority of protective barriers used. Even the magical egg Elaru had given Kiel was based on the same principle.

And so, Rhur’s and Kiel’s attack was thwarted before it even began.

 

Coming up in the next episode:

They had already lost the fight!

Rhur’s derisive words agitated Kiel so much that he spat another mouthful of blood.

“I lied to make you fight the ginger.” Rhur shrugged. “But don’t blame me. I had your own interest at heart. No need to thank me. Knowing that I helped my little brother conquer his fear of flames is enough for me.”

Ignoring the agony spreading through his limbs, he glared at Rhur defiantly and stood with his back straight looking valiant and dangerous.

Rhur countered with his own oppressive aura full of confidence, his aura seemed light, like the air yet corrosive like acid, making one feel chilled from inside out. His smirk transformed into a full blown enchanting smile. “Good.” He purred in a husky voice.

A limited repertoire of spells? Kiel’s eyes flashed. No. Imagination is the limit! The entire world is my clay! Morph, Temperature and Velocity is more than enough!

 

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