On the icy fields in front of the Skeletal Fort.
When the dark red fog appeared, Link had stopped using his Flame Blast spell.
He'd now cast a total of five Flame Blasts, consuming about 1800 Mana Points. Because of the Clear Thoughts effect from his robe, his Mana was constantly recovering. Thus, his Mana was now at 3600 points, slightly more than half of what he started with.
The dark red fog moved quickly towards him, and it caused a mysterious fluctuation in the air as it traveled across the distance.
An Occult Magician! Link realized. A very strong one, too! At least Level-7!
The thought had just popped up in his mind when the dark red fog reached about 400 feet away from him and condensed into a blood-red, shadowy figure. The figure condensed even more and eventually became solid. It was now a person wearing a black robe.
In that process, Link could feel that there was an explosion of Mana like a lightning flash in the sky. Immediately afterwards, a blood-red light ring appeared in front of the black-robed figure.
As soon as that happened, alarm bells rang in Link's mind.
It's a Level-7 spell, and it's extremely dangerous!
Link knew that this must be something the opponent unleashed using special magic gear, possibly a tremendously powerful wand!
The blood-red light ring rapidly expanded in the air. In less than half a second, its diameter had reached about 15 feet. Furthermore, a large number of silky strands of blood appeared in the air surrounding it at the same time.
Link was alarmed at the sight. He'd recognized this spell now. At the same time, a notification popped up on the interface showing the spell's specific information.
Level-7 Master Spell
Mana Consumption: 3900 Points
Effects: Creates a terrorizing light ray with a diameter of three feet and the range of 500 feet. This ray of light will circle around the spellcaster once and shoot out towards the target. Unless the target has the protection of an anti-magic shield that works against spells higher than Level-7, then the target will be disintegrated into a fog of blood.
(Note: You can't escape from this spell!)
Had Link been a Warrior, he would definitely turn around and flee by now. He'd run as fast as possible until he escaped the range of 500 feet from this Magician, then he'd be safe.
But he was a Magician.
If it had been a few months ago, Link would be utterly helpless against this spell. The only way out would be to use Dimensional Jump and escape. But now, he was a full-fledged Master Magician.
Within seconds, Link had found a way to deal with this frightening spell. He focused his attention and entered the spellcasting state. Then, he pointed his wand at the space in front of him and chanted, "Spatial Distortion!"
Grade-less Dimensional Spell
Mana Consumption: 230 Points
Effects: Distorts the space and diverts the movement direction of all types of physical materials or energy forms.
(Note: Mortals, if you value your life, don't bother trying to understand the principle underlying this spell.)
This was Link's own dimensional spell. The principle around this spell was derived from his own space-time thesis and Vance's notebooks. On the surface, it didn't seem complicated at all. But, any ordinary Magician would melt their brain if they attempted to understand the complex theories that made this spell possible.
The Mana in Link's body quickly surged into the wand and took the form of an extremely intricate and mysterious spell structure. At first glance, this spell structure might even seem simple. The Mana it consumed wasn't all that much either, nothing more than a normal Level-4 spell. This made it possible for Link to complete the spellcasting within 0.01 second.
Then, as his intention directed it, the spell structure began to oscillate at high speed.
A strange occurrence then followed. In the oscillation process, no elements responded to the spell structure at all-no basic elements, no light elements, no dark elements nor any secret elements were reactive to this spell structure.
Immediately afterwards, the air in front of Link appeared to change. No-a more accurate way to describe it was that the light in front of him was twisted, and at a glance, there seemed to be a giant lens in the space in front of Link.
In the instant when this lens appeared, the Blood Ray struck it.
There was a roar of anger, and the thick ray of light shot out and hit Link's body.
The greatest advantage of using a light spell was that its speed was basically as fast as the speed of light. Once it was aimed and shot out, there was no way for the target to dodge it.
But precisely because of that speed, though, it was difficult for such spells to be controlled after it was cast. The aim must be locked before the spell was unleashed because once it's out, it would be impossible for the spellcaster to control it.
A moment later, the light column had reached Link, and it inevitably fell into the distorted space.
Then, something peculiar happened.
Once the Blood Ray entered the lens, the originally straight ray of light suddenly bent and took a turn around Link's body. Although the scene looked shocking, Link was actually completely unharmed.
The Bloodmage Talon was surprised for a moment and couldn't understand what he saw. He thought that maybe Link had used a teleportation spell to send the ray of light away, but he'd never expected Link to directly break down his attack like that.
But this is a Level-7 spell! Talon thought. How did he...? Could it be...a spatial spell?
As a Master Magician, it wasn't difficult for Talon to see through Link's tricks.
Of all the types of spells, only one kind could be used against spells of any level.
It could deflect any spells no matter the level, with the same amount of efficiency. For instance, even if Talon cast a Level-8, or even a Level-9 spell at Link, as long as it was a light spell, it would always get bent and distorted away from Link.
That was what set spatial spells apart from the rest.
This kind of spell was so powerful that every Magician dreamed of mastering it. Alas, these types of spells were notoriously difficult to master, difficult enough that it would make most Magicians give up!
So far, the only spatial spells that normal Magicians could master were those used to create storage gear, such as storage rings and storage pendant and so on. Yet, those that could be used in battles were of such high difficulty that you would have to be an unrivaled genius to be able to grasp its principles enough to learn it properly. So, as soon as he saw Link used this spatial spell, Talon immediately discarded his underestimation of the Magician in front of him.
It was no exaggeration that people called this Demon Slayer the true successor of the Legendary Magician Bryant!
At this point, Talon had completely condensed into his human form. He stood about 300 feet away from Link. This distance was the range limit for normal Magicians. If he took a step backwards, he'd be able to dodge the opponent's attacks. If he took a step forward, he'd be able to kill the opponent directly with his attacks.
He began to carefully observe Link, looking for another opening to attack him. His mind was so focused and preoccupied that he didn't have time to cast a defensive spell to protect himself. This was because the moment he did so Link would immediately attack him and force him into a defensive position. That would give Link the upper hand.
Talon knew that he still had a huge advantage over Link. The Skeleton Warriors were still surrounding Link and attacking him tirelessly. This meant that his attention was diverted, and there was always a chance that he would make a mistake as he fought off the Skeleton Warriors. And when that happened, Talon would pounce on him immediately!
On the other side, Link was also observing Talon.
The Magician in front of Link had eyes that glowed red. His whole body was clad in a black robe, and the peculiar wand in his hand shone with a strange green glow.
The singular wand had a cat's eye stone on its tip, and this stone was carved into a face that was screaming in horror. The green glow was from the eyes of this face.
Link recognized this wand. He locked his gaze with his opponent's every move, and the Glass Orbs kept emerging non-stop from the tip of his wand, crushing the heads of any Skeleton Warrior who dared to approach him. At the same time, he opened his mouth to utter the opponent's wand's name.
"The Century's Nightmare," Link said, "the Soul Taker's Wand."
Link had dealt with Morestern before. His wand, the Night's Stare, the Dark Arbiter's Wand, was the third most powerful epic-quality dark magic wand. But this wand, the Century's Nightmare, was the fifth.
Judging from this fact, the Magician was able to quickly cast a Level-7 spell earlier because of this wand.
"Demon Slayer," sneered Talon, "you have a big reputation yourself."
As he spoke, his eyes still carefully observed Link's movements, waiting for him to make the tiniest mistake as he unleashed his Glass Orbs.
Link didn't rush, though. He was as calm as ever, and he was waiting for an opening to attack his opponent as well. He then took a glance at the Skeletal Fort behind the black-robed Magician.
"There's someone extremely powerful in that fort behind you," he said. "Why didn't they appear? Why did they send such a weak opponent like you to fight me?"
Talon was stunned and angered.
"When you bite the dust by my own hands," he threatened, "then you'll see how weak I really am."
At that moment, Talon suddenly noticed a movement in the corner of his eye. His eyes shone immediately when he discovered that it was Bruttan, and he was rushing towards them. In no more than half a second later, Bruttan would be joining this battle.
When that time came, there would not be a chance for this Magician to defeat both of them at once!
"You are strong, I'll give you that," said Talon with a smirk. "But you made a grave mistake in coming alone. You will meet your end soon, Demon Slayer!"
But just at this point, something unexpected occurred.
Link suddenly made a mistake. The Glass Orb that was supposed to crush a skeleton soldier's skull had missed the target, and in the end, it only broke the skull in half. The Soul's Flame inside the skeleton's brain was not extinguished, so the skeleton managed to break through Link's line of defense.
Link seemed to panic, and that's when Talon's eyes lit up.
Now was his chance!
It was a rare opening, and as long as he managed to cast a spell before Link, he would surely kill him. Almost subconsciously, Talon's Mana surged into his wand, and he prepared to cast a spell.
But just at this moment, Talon suddenly noticed a smile in the corner of Link's lips!
He was taken by surprise, so his movements slowed down by a fraction of a second.
Was that mistake deliberate? Talon wondered. Was that a trap? Or does he have another trick up his sleeve?
Doubts and hesitations were hazardous to a Magician when they were in battle, especially when both sides were Master Magicians.
No one knew what spells the opposing Magician would cast next. Sometimes, even when one Magician clearly had the upper hand, they could still be toppled and defeated at the very last second.
Link's strange smile had made Talon hesitate, and he suddenly didn't want to take any risks. He could just wait a dozen or more seconds, and Bruttan would be there. Then, he would certainly defeat Link with half the risk and effort.
He must be patient.
But could Talon afford to hesitate at such a crucial moment in the showdown between two Master Magicians?
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