26 Flame! Blast!


 Lorde charged up to the bottom of the city wall. Once he did, he tugged on the rope, borrowing the momentum to leap up into the air.

Arrows rained on him and the human soldiers threw large boulders down to slow his ascent.

How annoying, Lorde thought.

He could ignore the arrows, but the boulders weighed several hundred pounds each-they were going to be a little tricky to avoid. Even he wouldn't be able to brush off an injury caused by one of those things, but he still had a way to deal with them.

When the boulder hurtled down, he swung his sword, Bloody Pride, with an angry bellow. A ray of blinding, red light, spanning a little over a foot in width shot out from his sword and flew 30 feet up to meet the huge incoming boulder. With a grating sound, the boulder, as wide as a man's waist, was sliced cleanly in half.

That wasn't all. The red light traveled up to slice the human soldiers behind the boulder in half. It traveled up to 100 feet in the air.

"He cast his aura!"

"A true master!"

"How do we block that!?"

Anguish covered many of the human soldiers' faces as they realized the inevitable outcome of the battle.

Minx was still locked in combat with one of the Dark Elf generals. His comrades tried to rush to his aid, but the surge of Dark Elves onto the city walls stood in their way, leaving Minx to fend for himself.

At the sight of the blinding red light, his heart raced. Is this the end?

Annie was helping two of their Level-3 Warriors fight against a Dark Elf General. Seeing Lorde effortlessly cast his aura, gloom and despair loomed over her once more. She attacked her opponent like a woman possessed.

She knew that they wouldn't be able to defend against the Dark Elf Marshal even with the help of the suicide squad. All they could do now was do their best to slow the pace of the Dark Elves' invasion.

The Dark Elf soldiers, however, reacted differently. The show of their Marshal's invincible strength boosted their morale, making them attack more fiercely than ever.

Up until now, everything had proceeded according to Lorde's expectations.

But then, suddenly, something happened!

A dark blue glow emanated out from a nearby archer tower.

It wasn't obvious at first, but it quickly grew brighter and brighter, almost blinding those who looked at it. In the dark of the night, it was as bright as the sun, lighting up the entire horizon.

The next instant, it shot out from the archer tower and like a bright bolt of lightning, leaving a white arc on the retinas of all who saw it.

"Huh? What was that?" Lorde asked out loud.

The attack was unexpected and came at a crucial moment, right as he was unable to release another Aura Scythe.

In the next moment, the blue orb of light slammed into him.

Boom!

Deafening explosions, blinding flashes, and the heat of blue flames reverberated throughout the skies.

The battlefield was as bright as day under the light cast off by the flames.

After seeing the terrifying attack, Lorde suspended in mid-air, went all out with his Battle Aura.

Battle Aura allowed a Warrior to have magnificent strength and agility. Though it was unable to guard well against physical attacks, it could defend against magical attacks very well.

Lorde easily protected himself against the flames, escaping the fate of being burned to ash like the other Dark Elf Warriors.

But the flames weren't all there was to be feared.

In the heat waves, Lorde felt a huge force smash into him. It was immense, far more than he could fend off. Worse, he had nowhere to run as he was still mid-air.

The shock waves from the explosion!

The spell, Flame Blast wasn't just an explosion of flames-it also carried a terrifying wave of energy.

Lorde, even with his strong physique and the strong defenses of the magic armor he wore was unable to withstand the attack. He felt the blunt force of the explosion.

In that moment, he felt sick, bloated, and nauseous, as if all his organs had all been affected.

He'd been injured!

He was flung 100 feet out and landed on the ground with a heavy thud.

Dust billowed around him. The impact of the force had left a crater in the ground where he landed.

The battle between magic and Battle Aura, between the Level-6 Warrior Lorde, and the highly amplified Level-4 Spell, Flame Blast, ended with the Dark Elf's defeat!

Why was that?

The reason was simple. In the World of Firuman, Magicians were far more powerful than Warriors!

When Magicians drew on the various types of energies in their environment, rather than using just the Mana within them, they could call on all types of creatures to their aid. Some examples were elemental magic, Soul Power for mystic magic, and summoning magic.

Flame Blast was a form of elemental magic. In the spellcasting process, the Mana first formed a framework, which drew in large amounts of fire elements that condensed into a ball of flame having an extremely high temperature.

Since the Mana was supplemented with the energy around it, the magic it formed was naturally on a much larger scale.

In contrast, Warriors could only rely on the aura within themselves.

One summoned the strength of heaven and earth while the other could only rely only on himself. Of course the former held the advantage.

If a Warrior and a Magician were to face each other head-on, the Warrior's Aura would be depleted by just a few spells, leaving the Magician with ample Mana.

Lorde, a Level-6 Warrior, defended one strike of Flame Blast with almost one-third of his aura!

Perhaps it wasn't fair. But such was life.

Magicians fought with wisdom. The spells wrought with it had always been the most formidable forces throughout the World of Firuman!

However, Lorde remained vigilant. Though he was injured, he knew that as a marshal he couldn't allow himself to show any weaknesses. He rolled to his feet immediately.

"Who is the Magician who ambushed me!?" He roared, his voice strong and firm, obviously not that of an injured man.

His pupils constricted as he took in the tragic scene on the city walls.

The Dark Elves, on the winning side earlier, had gathered more than a thousand of their troops below the city walls, leaving them all within the range of the Flame Blast's shock waves.

The normal soldiers, without the protection of an aura, were just stronger than the average person and thus defenseless in the face of the powerful Level-4 Spell.

Heat waves still rolled into the area. More than 300 corpses lay there burning, and further still were littered body parts.

Lorde, despite being strong at heart and known as the Bloody Hand for his cruelty and ruthlessness, shivered nonetheless.

He had only brought 20,000 soldiers. The death of more than 300 at once hung heavily on him.

Just then, he saw the Magician responsible for the ambush. He stood on the archer tower, still casting spells. A seemingly unending chain of bright blue small orbs of flame flew out from his staff.

Each little orb of fire burst out into flames that spanned more than a foot, and reaped the life of at least one Dark Elf Warrior.

Lorde recognized his magic staff instantly.

It's Holmes' Fire Crystal Staff-it's the young Magician who had escaped! But he's so young, how can he have such power? Lorde didn't understand.

Magicians were powerful. But that power was only gained through years and years of diligent study and practice. The powerful Magicians in the Silver Moon Mage Council in the Kingdom of Pralync all consisted of middle to old aged elves.

With the young Magician's age, the most he could have attained was that of a Level-2 Magician. Even that was a feat only possible by a prodigy among prodigies. But the range and power of the Flame Blast he had cast earlier had been horrifying. It was comparable to that of at least Level-5 magic.

How was that possible?

Even as Lorde stood there, stunned, another group of Dark Elf Warriors succumbed to the Fireballs from the Magician. Their shrill screams shook Lorde from his daze.

As he looked up at the young spellcaster sending out spells as if there was no end to his Mana, Lorde knew that he would have to kill the Magician if he were to take the city tonight!

The Marshal's injuries had improved extremely quickly. In less than half a minute, he had recovered from most of his wounds, which weren't even that heavy in the first place. The only thing was that just slightly more than half of his Battle Aura remained. That wasn't something that he could replenish so quickly.

Still, Lorde was confident that he would be able to slay the Magician even with only half of his Battle Aura.

He had been careless earlier. This time, he wouldn't be so lax.

...

On the city wall.

Minx, with the help of Link's Fireball, finally managed to kill the Level-4 Dark Elf Warrior he had been fighting. He watched in awe, his mouth agape, as Link cast his spells confidently.

Since when did the Kingdom have such a young, powerful Magician? Minx thought to himself. The spell earlier was a Flame Blast, wasn't it? Minx wasn't too sure as it had been far more powerful than the Flame Blasts he'd seen before.

Annie saw Link as well. Her eyes reddened, full of joy and surprise at the sight of the sight of the young Magician calmly casting his spells.

The human soldiers on the wall were reinvigorated! Such earth-shattering magic from such a powerful Magician-and one of their own kind! Link had blasted the Dark Elf Marshal away like it was nothing. Finally, they stood a chance at victory!

The Dark Elves panicked, appalled by the Flame Blast that had flung their Marshal to the ground.

Many of the Dark Elves jumped down from walls in fear, despite the risk of breaking a limb. Others just turned and ran.

The only Dark Elves still standing on the city walls, were the Level-4 Dark Elf generals, and even they were scared. In a fight against magic, all of them would have to fight on the defensive side.

As he watched the morale of his Dark Elf warriors plummet, Lorde's voice once again filled the battlefield. "My Warriors, get away from the Magician. Charge separately!"

Roaring thunderously, he went full throttle with his Battle Aura. The bloody glow he wore grew brighter than ever and his speed became unmeasurable. He shot out like a red arrow towards the archer tower where Link stood.

The Magician's spells were powerful, but the power was far less condensed than his own. As long as Lorde managed to get up close to the Magician and release his aura, he would be able to take the Magician's head in one shot!