They weren’t done yet. Although their numbers had been reduced to less than half, their threat remained the same as ever.
I held down my shaking legs.
The Blazing Dragons, having seen the threat of the Pochi Pad Breath, grouped together; I stared at them and made my calculations.
Considering Guile’s prowess, it would be difficult to pull off another elaborate move.
Should we go with the standard procedure, or perhaps – While pondering that over, Guile took a step ahead of me.
“So what now? Just say the word, and I’ll do it.”
His tone was… somewhat different from before.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but it seemed that he was more trusting of me?
No time to think about that now, though. Pochi was wounded all over, and with her out of commission, Guile now couldn’t do his baiting reliably.
So… I have no choice but to do this now, huh?
“Can you… look after Shiro for me?”
Being told that, Guile looked as if he wanted to say something, but he quickly closed his mouth and quietly nodded.
“What… are you… hah hah… saying…”
Instead, the one to object to it was my Familiar; she tried to stand up on her debilitated legs.
“What, you still haven’t gone to sleep yet?”
“Master… you know… you’re useless… without me…”
What a terrible thing to say.
Well, now wasn’t the time to listen to her.
“Rise, Slumber Sleight.”
As one would expect, Pochi couldn’t dodge my sleep-state spell in her current state.
As a last-second opposition, Pochi glared at me, and then lost consciousness… visiting dreamland with a smile on her face.
Well, she always smiled in her sleep, so that was nothing new.
Looking so happy, too… Bah…
Guile gently held Pochi in his arms and said to me over his shoulder,
“You still remember our promise, right?”
“You’ll be buying me a drink, was it?”
“Hah, sure, that’ll do! Just come back in one piece!”
He shouted one last thing, then ran off towards the forest east of Kugg village.
Looks like we can look forward to a good drink tonight.
And now that I’m alone… what in the blazes should I do?
That seemed quite riled up. Well, a natural response to half of their fellow… nesters… being wiped out, I suppose.
Despite that, they weren’t about to let this man, who had just killed a great number of their kind, get off scot-free. They looked ready to release their breath attacks my way – any second now.
For now, I’ll use the Teleportation spell and set up an escape route… wait, what?
Can’t I use this to gain an advantage in battle?
If I place down three or four Spell Circles in different locations, while also incorporating a formula that would allow me to hop around them… No, that would be difficult.
Maybe it’ll be easier to slot in the formula that would make them react to nearby Spell Circles instead.
There’s not much time left. An improvisation this may be, but it’s better than doing absolutely nothing!
So, a transmission spell… I think I might have thought of an instant transmission spell formula before, but ended up deeming it infeasible in practice.
So rather than instant, I suppose the one I’m trying now could be called a simple transmission spell instead.
Here come the Blazing Dragons. No time for second thoughts anymore!
“Rise, A-rise, A-rise, A-rise… ngh… Rise! Teleportation: Count 4 & Remote Control!”
Teleportation Spell Circles scattered in four directions. None of them were invoked yet, however.
The Circles were of the fixed-position type; they had to be drawn directly on the ground to be invoked.
So next, I’ll need this-
“Rise! Copy: Count 4 & Remote Control!”
My God, my fingers are cramping up! Can’t stop now, though!
“Rise! Magic Joint: Count 4 & Remote Control!”
If this spell was joined up with Copy, then it’d be turned into a new spell!
If not, well, it’ll still be the same old Copy!
“AAAHHH!! Rise!! Light: Count 4 & Remote Control!!”
The Teleportation spells were copied; since the Copy spell was applied with the transliteration spell, they could be drawn onto the ground remotely.
With this setup, I’ll be able to launch a set number of surprise attacks – at a greater speed than Pochi!
While the Blazing Dragons rushed at me, I stepped onto the nearest Teleportation Spell Circle, then waited to invoke it.
…All right! Opening shot!
“Rise, Icicle Hellfire!”
A parting gift before I jump, you flying lizards!
The spell had been designed specifically for dealing with the Dragon archetype; one of the Blazing Dragons ate it head-on and fell right down.
“-Good, it worked!”
After the first successful jump, I popped out of the Teleportation Circle to the right; the approaching Blazing Dragons were now to my side.
Then I started drawing again.
From this range-
“Rise! Sharp Wind Asteriskos!”
I momentarily stepped out of the Teleportation Spell Circle and cast the large-scale spell.
The aim was to kill several Dragons with one shot. Good thing they were grouped up – I could at least hit several of their wings!
Two Blazing Dragons lost their heads… and a few others got their wings cut, too! Good, I’m dealing damage!
One more shot – wait, no… It’d be more efficient to use this opening to change up my Swift magic again.
Confirming that Blazing Dragons were still approaching, I erased High Cure Adjust off my staff’s emblem while running back to the Spell Circle.
Then, immediately after teleporting to the right one more time-
“-Rise! Hell Stamp!”
I invoked that dark-elemental spell while popping out of the Circle.
Then, I wrote the large-scale spell Fullspark Rain into the freed Swift Magic slot.
I shot a silly grin at the Blazing Dragons, while also teleporting after seeing them rush my way yet again.
This strategy would be difficult to use against intelligent humans, but against monsters, it was an instant success.
Heh heh heh… Sometimes I impress myself with how genius I am.
This improvisation worked out beautifully, and now that I could use Swift Magic, this battle was essentially just an easy monster hunt now.
At one point, while the Blazing Dragons were moving away from one Spell Circle to the one I had teleported to, some of the Dragons started lagging behind the others. That did scare me quite a bit, since some of them would end up being closer to me when I had to hop to other Circles… but fortunately, they were easy enough to deal with.
…How long did that even take?
I must’ve been fighting them non-stop for about half an hour, hopping from one Teleportation Spell Circle to another… All four directions – no, more like six, counting diagonal movement – of my setup was now piling with Blazing Dragons’ corpses.
No sign of live ones around here anymore.
…Looks like it’s actually over this time.
My arcane energy stock had been reduced to about one-third; I had feared that it might get dangerously low, but thanks to my level-ups before coming out here, I ended up having quite a bit left to spare.
I’m still exhausted, though… maybe I should get some rest.
Leaning against the body of a Blazing Dragon, I started drawing the last round of Spell Circles.
“Rise, Parasitic Control: Count 4 & Remote Control.”
With that, I erased the four Teleportation Spell Circles, destroying the evidence.
Suddenly, I felt a source of powerful arcane energy approaching me.
I’m not feeling any hostile content… Who could that be?
I had seen that armor somewhere before… It was bulky, making its wearer’s head look small… well, more like the wearer was a bit too small for the suit in general.
Oh, I know who this is.
“Wh… what in the world…! Sir Poer!”
“Lady June? Since when were you here?”
June must have come here from Brunnera using the Teleportation Spell Circle in my room.
Pochi must have notified her after waking up… or perhaps it was young Bright’s idea.
“And why are you so relaxed?! Are there no more Blazing Dragons remaining?!”
Hol’ up a minute… shouldn’t I have asked for June’s help from the start?
Damn it, sometimes I impress myself with how stupid I am.
People can be caught off guard when they find themselves in a predicament… I should write that in the Principles of a philosopher.
While June looked over the mountain of the Blazing Dragons’ dead bodies, I pulled out the book from my chest pocket and wrote that quote down.
Shortly after, the members of the guards appeared one after another, with Guile in the lead.
My Familiar, too, still riding on Guile’s back.
“Is this for real…?”
“He did this by himself…?”
The guards showered me with praises, but I wasn’t so good at receiving those, so I half-ignored them.
Pochi got down from Guile’s back and approached me, her legs shaky; she seemed to have healed up enough to walk, at least.
But… whoa… her smile…
Now THAT is what I call a smile.
…Oh, man… I don’t think I can avoid this, so… ah, she just grabbed my collar.
That’s got to damage my hearing…
“You damned fool! You damned fool! You damned fool!!”
What an amazing thrashing…
Nails and paws, hell and heaven…
“Just look at you! You’re bleeding so badly!!”
“I wasn’t; I only started bleeding just now!”
“What?! Did those Dragons use a delayed curse on you?!”
“It’s YOUR NAILS that did this, damn it!”
“How are you not dead?!”
“I did my best, that’s how!”
“You should be a bit more dramatic than that!”
“If I tried to keep up with your standard of ‘dramatic’, I’d be dead by now!”
“You can’t just go off to die by yourself, you fool!”
“I AM alive, stupid dog!”
Our bickering echoed through the sky.
Now then, we’re in for a celebration tonight.
First things first, I’ve got to lecture the tomboy princess for her shenanigans.