༺ Ant Cave (3) ༻
I heard Kaya’s voice of admiration from next to me.
The trait [Hunter] was active, making my current level 136. With each skill’s proficiency at S-class, Kaya couldn’t be compared to me.
I released the [Ice Barrier] that was protecting Kaya.
“You’re amazing, Sir Isaac…!”
I started walking forward, unbothered. At the same time, the unique trait [Hunter] was deactivated, and my body became heavy. My body had reverted to its original form.
When viewed up close, the frozen Disaster Ants appeared even more menacing. Seriously, it looked disgusting.
Kaya followed behind me. Even on the icy floor, she walked smoothly.
If I unfroze the Disaster Ants I just met, they would die, but the ones further away would remain frozen. In other words, I couldn’t recklessly unfreeze the frozen cave.
I turned to face Kaya as soon as I heard her breathing.
She pretended to be fine with her arms crossed, but she seemed to be feeling cold.
The cold that pervaded the underground labyrinth came from my magic. Spellcasters aren’t affected much by their own magic, so I hardly felt cold.
‘I should have paid attention.’
I was only thinking about myself.
I took out one of the magic pouches from my bag and reached in for outerwear.
Then I stopped walking, took it out, and handed it to Kaya. It was a school uniform cardigan.
“No, I’m fine…”
You look cold at a glance, so why are you refusing?
I draped the cardigan loosely over Kaya’s shoulders and moved my feet again. She clutched the cardigan and followed behind me, her head bowed.
As I made my way through the underground labyrinth, I came across Disaster Ants that had turned into ice statues. It was a terrible fate for the demons who were unprepared for the sudden icy disaster.
There were no traps to be found while traversing the labyrinth. Even if there were, they would have frozen and ceased to function.
I was moving without a hitch.
It was small, but clearly audible; the sound of a heart beating.
Thump, thump, thump-
We would soon arrive at the end of the underground labyrinth. From the other side of the labyrinth, the sound of a heartbeat could be heard.
Kaya’s eyes narrowed, showing her wariness. Her reaction alone told me what she was going to say.
“I can feel it, this nasty mana… Is there a demon in front of us?”
I didn’t feel any unpleasant mana because my mana perception was so low, but I nodded.
There was no point in being tired trying to feel the mana.
However, just hearing this heartbeat gave me the feeling that something terrifying was up ahead.
Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump…
Finally, as I walked out of the underground labyrinth, a high ceiling and a wide space spread out before my eyes.
Because of my magic, this place had transformed into an ice cave and the ant legion, which was standing in order, was frozen solid.
At the end of the path where they were arranged in rows like trees, there was a very large heart, a golden heart, which beat at regular intervals.
The black gum-like exterior moved with the heartbeat, and the blood vessels leading from the heart to various places in the cave radiated a harmonious color of gold and black.
Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump—
“W-what is that…?”
Kaya appeared to be stunned by the magnificent sight.
“A demon,” I answered simply.
Inside the huge golden heart, the silhouette of a hideous creature glowed.
It was easy to infer what it looked like just by looking at its silhouette.
Attributes: Darkness, Rock
Psychology: [Wants to kill you, the intruder.]
In Act 2, Chapter 4 of ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, Garzia was level 140. He had been raising his level in this manner.
Even though the entire cave was frozen with [Frost Wave], he looked fine, it seemed to have high elemental resistance.
It must be because I used magic from afar.
‘Is that Zephrim?’
Garzia’s mana remnants were transformed into the magic stone called Zephrim, and it was nestled in every corner of the cave. My magic had frozen it, but the pale yellow light that was unique to Zephrim was clearly visible.
Now, the only thing left to do was kill Garzia in one swift motion.
As expected, he wouldn’t stand still.
Around the golden heart where he was hiding, a massive wall of rock erupted from the ground and enclosed it. The rock wall was a pearly black color.
「Rock Wall (Rock Attribute, ★4)」 + 「Black Rock (Rock Attribute, ★5)」
= 「Indestructible Iron Body (Rock Attribute)」
A black, iron-like rock surrounded the heart and blood vessels. It was as solid and impenetrable as a castle wall.
A showdown between an unstoppable spear and an impenetrable shield. The only option was to accept the challenge.
I headed towards Garzia’s heart.
In order to increase the magic output, I began sending a hazy cold air through my entire body. The cold air seeped out like a haze.
Like opening a window in a stuffy room to let in fresh air, I felt like I could increase my ice mana output even more smoothly
Crushing the ice that froze the surrounding area from the ground, pillars of rock flew in from both sides.
Towering rock pillars oppressively covered the air, trying to crush me.
I heard Kaya’s worried cry. It was alright, I could withstand this much.
As soon as I heard the sound of the [Rock Burial] being activated, I lightly waved my index finger wrapped in mana.
With a flick of my finger, thick walls of ice rose from the ground to the ceiling on both sides.
…And the rock and ice collided.
The boulder created with [Rock Burial] couldn’t pierce the [Ice Wall] that I made.
I strode along the narrow path made by [Ice Wall] until I arrived in front of the heart.
Thump—, thump—, thump—, thump—, thump—, thump—, thump—!
The huge heart was floating high up in the air. It was truly a magnificent sight. As I looked up at it, my neck began to hurt.
Garzia’s heart began to beat more fiercely, perhaps from anger.
My ears started to hurt.
I stretched out my right hand toward the heart wrapped in a sturdy-looking [Indestructible Iron Body].
In this situation, I needed to use my most powerful short-range magic.
I condensed the mana in my right hand. I engraved the spells [Frost Explosion] and [Black Ice] in my mind.
A light blue magic circle appeared in front of my right hand, and a black magic circle appeared behind it, overlapping it. A dark blue [Frost Explosion] magic circle was formed in this manner.
Then, the extremely condensed mana exploded into my hand.
「Frost Explosion (Ice Attribute, ★5)」+ 「Black Ice (Ice Attribute, ★5)」
= 「Black Frost Explosion (Ice Attribute)」
The black ice exploded and attacked the giant heart. The blackish-blue cold air raged as the dark ice crystals and my white hair fluttered in the wind.
A direct hit. In an instant, the heart was engulfed by the ice that suddenly erupted and appeared ready to devour everything.
Thump—, thump—, thump—, thump—, thump—, thump—, thump—.
Inside the black ice mass…
…The heart was still beating. The [Indestructible Iron Body] could not be pierced.
Following that, the sound of rocks moving within the ice was heard. It was clear that mana was flowing to repair the [Indestructible Iron Body].
When the ice exploded, the [Frost Explosion] unleashed tremendous power. In addition, [Black Ice], which increased the power of magic, was applied, so the magic I cast now was my maximum power.
In other words, my spear failed to penetrate the shield.
The level difference is in my favor, but that means…
Garzia, who was gathering strength in the form of a heart, seemed to have defense magic proficiency and elemental resistance far beyond his level.
It was as if killing Garzia beforehand wasn’t allowed.
I felt the will of something like Providence.
‘What should I do…’
Should I use the [Black Frost Explosion] again? No, it would be foolish to do so without a plan. Even if [Hunter] is activated, using [Black Ice] and [Frost Explosion] consumes a lot of mana.
Not to mention, it didn’t take much time for Garzia to repair the [Indestructible Iron Body] after being hit by my magic. The sound alone was sufficient for me to grasp.
In other words, if he continued to repair [Indestructible Iron Body] while I fired [Black Frost Explosion], I would be at a disadvantage.
But, if I increased the power a little more, my magic would be able to reach him directly.
And the way to deliver the strongest possible blow…
I turned to face Kaya.
In ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, there was definitely a joint attack system. A joint attack could effectively demonstrate [Elemental Synergy].
When [Elemental Synergy] was activated, the effect of my elemental magic overlapping with another element would become stronger. As a result, more powerful magic could be poured onto Garzia.
“How about you? Don’t you also want to have some fun?”
I recall Kaya’s psychology from before. She seemed to aspire to be something akin to an Apostle of Justice, fighting the evils that threatened the academy.
I pretended to be considerate by asking Kaya that casually.
And soon, Kaya’s face brightened up.
Kaya flew towards me quickly, with light-green wind wrapped around her body, and landed lightly next to me.
I stretched out my right arm toward the heart encased in a block of black ice. Meanwhile, Kaya also stretched out her left arm and pointed her wand toward the heart.
Kaya’s wind began to swirl around her. The rough and disorderly wind blew fiercely and shook my hair, Kaya’s hair, and our clothes indiscriminately, carrying with it a chill that emanated from me.
The wind elemental attribute was characterized by the continuous generation of wind to increase the power of subsequent wind spells.
She was creating wind to increase the power of the attack she was about to unleash.
“Thank you for the opportunity, Sir Isaac! I also wanted to hit that demon with my magic!”
Kaya seemed to think that I could easily defeat Garzia.
She must have thought that the magic from earlier was only at a level to gauge his defense capabilities.
“Among the attack magic you can use right now, tell me which is the most powerful.”
“It’s [Gale Fang].”
[Gale Fang] was a 5-star wind attribute spell and if I could combine ice magic with it…
I engraved the spells of [Frostfire] and [Black Ice] in my mind. Then, in front of my right hand, a dark blue magic circle appeared, stretching toward the heart.
Meanwhile, right next to me, a green magic circle formed and began to slowly rotate in front of Kaya’s wand, which stretched toward the heart, and behind her.
I released the ice block that was covering the heart. The block of ice disintegrated into glowing dark blue powder and scattered, displaying the heart wrapped in a sturdy [Indestructible Iron Body] intact.
“When I give you the order, you’ll shoot.”
In the [Hunter] state, my [Elemental Synergy] was S-class. The joint attack I unleash with Kaya should at least be twice as powerful as my previous combination of [Frost Explosion] and [Black Ice].
Cold air and frost, pale blue ice mana, and black-dark mana were all swirling together.
A cold, dark blue flame formed in front of my right hand, and it began to burn.
「Frostfire (Ice Attribute, ★4)」+ 「Black Ice (Ice attribute, ★5)」
= 「Winter Hellfire (Ice Attribute)」
As it was, I fired the cold flames.
At my cry, Kaya and I shot out the magic at the same time. The cold, dark blue icy flames were surrounded by a sharp light green wind. The wind drew a clear trajectory from both sides and rose obliquely toward the heart.
A firestorm of cold air quickly erupted. As if it didn’t want to miss its prey, the heart was engulfed in a vicious whirlwind
As if a pack of wolves rushed in and bit it, the strong wind that swirled around the [Frostfire] hit the heart with a series of blows.
「Winter Hellfire (Ice Attribute)」 + 「Gale Fang (Wind Attribute,★5)」
= 「Glacial Tempest of the Endless Night (Ice+Wind Attribute)」
Rock debris flew everywhere.
Amidst the billowing cold and raging gusts of wind, the [Indestructible Iron Body] shattered and fell apart. A viscous pale yellow liquid gushed out like a waterfall.
The heart’s blood vessels, which were guarded by the [Indestructible Iron Body], were severed by the [Glacial Tempest of the Endless Night].
The golden heart was consumed in cold flames and collapsed powerlessly in front of Kaya.
A strange whimpering sound was heard right in front of us. Kaya and I lowered our heads and gazed at the source of the whimpering – a human ant with huge horns on both sides of his head and razor-sharp claws in front of his mouth.
Its body was full of sharp claws, a pale white skin, and a female-like form was armored in black. Just like an ant, there was a large pocket behind the buttocks, like an ant’s belly.
Garzia the Hermit.
His golden eyes gleamed as he laid on the floor, glaring at us.
He was slightly smaller than was I had seen in game, but he was still well over 4 meters tall. Our magic seemed to have pierced the [Indestructible Iron Body] and ruthlessly rammed him, judging by the green blood flowing all over his body.
It was a terrible sight.
“This is the demon…” Kaya furrowed her brows.
Fully formed, Garzia stood well over 4 meters tall and leads his minions, the Disaster Ants, in an attack during the Academy’s practical training. He was like a killing machine who aimed to kill many students, which included Ian.
I approached Garzia and extended my right hand to him.
“It’s a pity that you couldn’t fulfill your ambition.”
I condensed mana into my right hand.
A light blue magic circle formed in front of my right hand.
And the condensed cold mana exploded in an instant.
The ice rushed toward Garzia.
A torrent of cold.
It was the finishing blow.
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