Night in the Nadun Mountain Ranges #3
The strength of a magician was their ability to easily overpower a person with their firepower from a safe distance away. Even war magicians trained in martial arts would become headless bodies the moment they got into close range with knights.
The same thing applied to the hobgoblin chief who possessed greater physical abilities than humans.
However, Theodore ran forward first.
'If I retreat, I will die!'
A naive magician would've stepped back and died. Instead of ignoring the advice of his senses, Theo gritted his teeth and charged. Backing away was absolutely not a wise choice.
Theo only took five steps before he was within the range of the chief's spear. No, the chief wouldn't be able to kill him now by throwing the spear. However, Theo wouldn't be able to defeat the spear head on with 3rd Circle magic. Even if he avoided the spear, the axe would slice off his head.
"Haste!" The acceleration magic wrapped around Theo's body. Theo's movements were faster, and the ugly face of the hobgoblin chief was soon right in front of him.
The chief was holding the axe over his head like he would bring it down at any moment. Theo had only exercised for two months and his speed was only slightly faster, so it was a blow which couldn't be avoided.
He called out to Mitra while sliding, "Now!"
At the same time, the right leg of the hobgoblin chief moved, and the balance of his body collapsed. Mitra had penetrated the ground and created a pit at the chief's feet. It was only 30cm deep, but thanks to that, the axe hit empty air.
As Theo listened to the sound of air blowing above his head, he aimed at the side of the hobgoblin chief.
The fireball got a direct hit to the chief's side.
The shock waves caused by the explosion made Theo take a few steps back. Usually it would've ended here for the hobgoblins, but it wouldn't be a fatal wound for the chief. Theo stared at the grey smoke emerging from the center.
'Damn, if his head was exposed, then I would've used the Magic Bullet.'
Alfred-style Magic Missile, also known as Magic Bullet, would've penetrated the hobgoblin chief's skin without any difficulty.
However, the lethal force was exerted only when it hit the vital points.
The skin of a monster was much tougher than a human's, and their body structure was also different. So, Theo needed to hit the right place for a fatal wound. Unfortunately, he had never read a book about the hobgoblin's body.
So, he had used Fireball instead of Magic Bullet.
The chief roared with a mixture of pain and anger from within the smoke. Fireball had hit the chief's skin, and the sizzling was painful to watch. Nevertheless, the hobgoblin's combat power was still going strong.
"Fireball is insufficient," Theo muttered as he saw the chief's state.
In the 3rd circle and below, Fireball was the magic with the strongest firepower. If it wasn't effective, then he only had two choices left... two means of attack to overcome that defense.
'Blaze Shell or Magic Bullet.'
The first was dismissed. Theo was able to use Blaze Shell as a one-time ability after eating 'Roaring Flames,' but the preparation took too long. He would've died 10 times by the time he managed to gather the magic power and chant the spell.
It would be a different story if the other mercenaries tied up the hobgoblin chief during that time, but...
'Hoo, I was wrong to expect a lot.'
The mercenaries had retreated after seeing the difference in skill and were taking care of the hobgoblins instead. No matter how good the money was, it would be no use if they died. The mercenaries had no desire to confront the hobgoblin chief when it was likely that they would die. Rather, it was fortunate they hadn't escaped and were instead blocking the other hobgoblins.
"...Okay, I will try it once."
Theo stared at the hobgoblin chief's red eyes and gathered magic power in his arms. He only had two chances.
If Theo shot with all his power to penetrate the hobgoblin chief's defense, he would only be able to use the magic twice. It would be different if he was Alfred, but this was the limit for Theo who hadn't completely mastered the magic yet.
The hobgoblin chief was panting, while Theodore Miller gathered magic power in his arms. The confrontation between the two beings was suddenly broken.
The hobgoblin chief ran out of patience and attacked.
He charged with his spear and tried to pierce Theo's body with it. If Theo hadn't moved back hurriedly, then he would've been skewered like a chicken. This was followed up with a slash from the axe. It was obvious that the axe had enough power to break down a huge log.
Mitra responded to Theo's call and made a pit under the chief's feet like before.
Instead of wielding the axe, the hobgoblin chief jumped over the pit. Then he scoffed at Theo. The anger filling the chief's eyes disappeared. Despite the pain, he was cunning and knew how to use sly tricks. He hadn't forgotten about the trap he'd once fallen into.
As he thought that, Theo sneered.
Another pit suddenly appeared. This time, it was at Theo's feet instead of under the hobgoblin.
As the axe missed Theo, who had suddenly fallen down, confusion filled the face of the hobgoblin chief. While lying on the ground, which had become soft thanks to Mitra, Theo pointed his index finger at the chief's face. At this distance, the chief wouldn't be able to avoid the Magic Bullet.
A blue flash launched from Theo's fingertip.
The extremely compressed magic power broke through the wall of sound and tore apart the wind. The power was enough to penetrate armour and turn thick leather into a piece of cloth. The flash reached the head of the hobgoblin chief.
It wasn't unreasonable to feel confident. The blow was precisely timed. However, perhaps due to the wild nature or a warrior's instincts, the chief's axe moved desperately and blocked the flash.
Pieces of the axe scattered, and the hobgoblin chief was pushed back with a hole in his forehead. Despite the blood splattering on Theo's face, Theo got up hurriedly and looked at where the hobgoblin chief was.
The chief had already gotten up and grabbed his wounded forehead.
"Dammit, too shallow!"
The wound was too shallow. The flash had faded away before piercing the skull. It was because quite a bit of power had been consumed to break the axe. With this, Theo only had one shot of Magic Bullet remaining. It would end with the next attack.
Theodore's Magic Bullet was too threatening, so the chief didn't dare to approach. Rather, he grasped the spear and kept swinging it. He moved swiftly to the left and right, not leaving any gaps. Theo wasn't confident about hitting a target moving at such high speed.
In the end, the narrow gap widened to a greater distance than it had been at the beginning.
The chief's arm was flexed like a bow, and the spear was pulled back like an arrow. It was the typical posture of someone preparing to throw the spear. A fearsome blow which would threaten Theodore's life was about to be used again.
Theo raised his right arm, which still had one Magic Bullet remaining.
A chilly wind blew past as the two beings aimed for each other's lives.
The tension was intense, and even the mercenaries and hobgoblins became breathless as they watched the confrontation. The winning side would gain the advantage... Everybody instinctively understood this fact.
So, it was no wonder that the hobgoblin chief moved first.
The speed at which he rushed was like the wind. At that speed, the distance would be narrowed down in five seconds or less. Theo's spine grew damp with tension. However, the chief understood the horror of the Magic Bullet and jumped into the air.
Theo had planned this, but he couldn't help feeling nervous. Even if he had Alfred's memories, this was still his first battle. The vivid smell of blood and widespread killing intent tickled his nerves. However, a magician fought with their heads, not their bodies. Theo pulled out the card he had prepared.
All Slots Open.'
The three magic spells, which had previously been stored, were now used at the same time.
"Rise! Walls of Earth!"
The spear couldn't be blocked by one layer, and two layers were still insufficient. If that was the case, he would block it with three layers. Earth Wall, the 3rd Circle defense magic, was used three times. It was further enhanced by his contract with Mitra, turning the Earth Wall completely solid.
The iron spear struck down on the triple barrier.
The outermost barrier broke. After that, the second barrier started crumbling down. Finally, the last and thickest barrier blocked the fierce momentum of the spear.
The spear seemed like it was going to pierce through to Theo behind the barrier, but then it stopped.
Theodore inserted his finger through a crack in the barrier and said, "I got you."
His sharp eyes didn't miss the target which was still in the air. It was different from the ground where the chief could move easily. No animal could move freely through the air without wings. At least, that was the case for the hobgoblins. The same was true for the chief.
A second flash penetrated through the darkness of the sky.
The hobgoblin chief crossed his arms in front of his face to block it somehow, but the Magic Bullet wouldn't be stopped by such a clumsy thing. The blue flash lit up the two arms and the head behind it.
Then the body which lost its life fell to the ground.
There was a loud noise, and a pit formed around the body. It was close to 2 meters deep, showing the weight of the corpse.
Theo placed his foot on the body of the hobgoblin chief and threw his head back. Then he raised his clenched fist.
"Ohhhhhhh!" The mercenaries who witnessed his victory cheered.
The remaining hobgoblins soon realized they've been defeated and fled to the forest, leaving only the corpses of the hobgoblins behind.
Theo's first battle in the Nadun Mountain Ranges ended spectacularly.