Chapter 55 : Ranked Adventurers (2)
After a brief moment of surprise Agni regained her composure and swung her halberd as hard as possible, the sound of the blade cleaving the air was fearsome. Her goal was to sink the blade into the pale man’s hip but he easily avoided the blow by hopping backwards with a few nimble movements.
Agni gritted her teeth as a wave of anger and disbelief began to overcome her.
*He almost took me out with one blow!* She thought to herself as a sense of realization set in. This was the power of a Rank 1 adventurer? In one short exchange she’d nearly been knocked out effortlessly and one of her foes hadn’t even begun to show his skills yet.
“Interesting.” The dark skinned man named Glint said as he pulled a second dagger from his waist strap and walked towards Agni confidently. It was clear that he planned to engage her directly without regard for anything he’d seen her capable of. This much was apparent from the swagger he exuded as he gripped his blades and headed towards her.
Agni tried her best to focus on the man behind her, but with Glint pressuring her it was a lost cause. With this in mind she decided to be proactive and take the initiative. She got to her feet and dashed forward, timing the swing of her halberd to where Glint would be, almost impeccably. This didn’t work however as Glint simply stepped forward by several strides and rolled his body, positioning both blades to cushion the impact of Agni’s halberd shaft. With the momentum and power of her blow effectively nullified, Glint proceeded to attack.
His blows were blinding and difficult to predict, and because Agni was now in an awkward position she could do little to react. Glint smashed the round pommel of his daggers into Agni at will, striking her first in the solar plexus. The blow was enough to make her feel like doubling over and indeed her body reacted as such but Glint’s next strike smashed her in the side of the neck causing her vision to flicker. He followed this up with several other blows, each lifting her feet from the ground slightly until she was being savaged like a hovering punching bag. Though the blows didn’t deal a huge amount of damage on their own, due to the positioning and force behind the strikes Agni found it difficult to recover. As the blows lit into her she did the only thing she could think of, surge her mana wildly. She timed the attack with Glint’s incoming blow, infusing it with the power of wind, the easiest to conjure and manipulate. The burst of energy traveled outwards from all directions, slicing at anything nearby — including Agni’s exposed arms and legs.
Though the blast was a last ditch effort to keep from being pummeled until unconscious, it seemed to be enough to force Glint to take a few steps backwards. He lifted his arms in a cross shaped guard as the winds tore into his leather bracers, ripping through them and spurting blood everywhere in the process.
“Tsk. This one’s tougher than I gave her credit for.” Glint said through clenched teeth as he glared at Agni.
He’d purposely held back on the lethal blows, otherwise she’d be filled with gouging knife wounds at this point but it seemed he wouldn’t be able to hold back *that* much. Without alerting Agni, Glint gave the signal to his partner, Ashe, the signal to attack. Their plan was to apply pressure from all angles, slowly sapping the strength of their target before knocking her out. It was a method they employed to great effect ever since their arrival some two years ago in Adventia.
That is, until they ran afoul of that man a few months ago. Glint dismissed the unpleasant thought from his mind and decided to focus on the battle instead. *Damn Specialists.* Glint thought to himself as he prepared for the next strike — just in case the Succubus managed to evade Ashe’s stealth attack once again.
Katrin noticed the fact that Agni was being handled from her vantage point in the battle but there was little she could do at this point. Fargo was proving way too troublesome of an opponent to deal with simply. Her only saving grace was that Fargo didn’t seem to be taking things seriously at this point. Rather than attack her directly he seemed to be waiting for his partners to overwhelm Agni. Katrin felt a sense of desperation creep across her mind as she focused, attempting to analyze the battle unfolding before her.
Much like her initial onslaught, Katrin fired off several bullets, each designed to test her opponent’s reactions. No matter where or how Katrin targeted her shots were absorbed by Fargo’s blade or avoided altogether. What’s more, Fargo’s Guardian Blade was now glowing with a fierce aura of blue mana energy. It resembled flames as he waved it to and fro effortlessly to catch each bullet she fired his way.
*Tsk. This is only fueling his skillset!* She thought to herself as her mind raced. She couldn’t help but think back to some of Bracha’s words during this time of challenge.
“A Scribe isn’t a traditional combat class, but that doesn’t mean you’re without ways of fighting. As a Scribe everything you read and learn can be used as a tool — even a weapon. Take this for instance.” Bracha held up a small, purple and gold trimmed book before handing it to Katrin.
“If you memorize these and apply some creative thinking, you will always have a way to defend yourself.” Bracha said as Katrin took note of the book’s title on the cover page, “A Magician’s Blade.”
Katrin decided to take a gamble, playing it safe obviously would not work. She lifted the scroll in her left hand and activated it, forcing a stream of flames to shoot forth from the parchment of the scroll. Fargo simply lifted his blade, extending it towards the fire with a smile on his face as the weapon began to absorb the fire element and ingratiate it into the mana he’d already collected.
As the parchment disintegrated in her palm, Katrin used her free hand to cut several mana symbols in the air before finally pressing her hand to a nearby wall. A rippling wave of mana expanded from the contact point and traveled down along the wall before reaching the ground. At that point several jutting spikes of earth element began to pierce upwards from the ground as the attack traveled towards her foe.
“Oh?” Fargo remarked, surprised to see a rudimentary ‘free magic’ spell come from a Scribe.
“So this is how a Scribe fights hmm? By using your enchant symbols to program complex spells into the environment around you?” Fargo swiped his flaming blade, the aura surrounding it was now that of actual fire as he commanded a portion of the energy to detach and clash with Katrin’s earth spikes. The result was an explosion which sent rock and dirt flying in many directions.
“I never imagined this would be fun. You’ve got my attention.” Fargo said as he sank down into a serious battle stance for the first time.