Marlon took the role of vanguard while Herbert casted magic from behind. By leveraging the fact that this was a two-on-one, they were able to hold their own against the demon Ignoa.
Ignoa himself had claimed that his skill set wasn’t purely for head-on combat, but even if that was true, he was still an adult demon. Compared to the still young Marlon, the demon was superior in terms of height, strength, and locomotion.
Furthermore, Ignoa had the ability to make their body transparent by moving slowly. In order to prevent Ignoa from doing so, Marlon had to keep charging in.
Marlon’s steel sword and Ignoa’s green sword clashed, causing sparks to fly.
Ignoa employed many defensive styles. Thanks to that, they were able to counter each of Marlon’s attacks. Ignoa was also able to employ techniques that shifted the timings of Marlon’s attacks. It was a way of fighting that likely made good use of Ignoa’s strong points.
And against Marlon who had to attack continuously, it was really effective. Marlon would likely lose…if this was a one-on-one fight.
The moment Ignoa tried to launch an attack aimed at Marlon’s stomach, a spear made of flames came flying. Ignoa clicked their tongue and evaded that attack. With their exchange of attacks discontinued for the meantime, Marlon fell back a little.
To make up for Marlon’s shortcomings as the vanguard, Herbert has been supporting him with appropriately timed spells. Thanks to those spells, Ignoa was unable to land a fatal blow against Marlon.
However, unlike what one might think, charging straight for Herbert wasn’t a great move either. Herbert and Marlon maintained some distance between them but the two of them were still close enough where they could quickly reach each other and fight together in close-quarters whenever necessary.
Moreover, they were positioning themselves so that they could each escape Ignoa’s line of sight. If Ignoa focused on Marlon, Herbert would fire a spell. If Ignoa charged at Herbert, Marlon would be free to attack the demon from behind as much as he wanted.
“How incredibly frustrating!”
The demon’s manner of speech was still polite, but their irritation at their attacks being interrupted again and again was clear.
Despite the demon’s irritation, Herbert and Marlon were actually the ones who felt more anxious. The demon was clearly superior to them. What they have managed thus far was simply to maintain a deadlock. They were still at a disadvantage.
While Ignoa was busy grinding their teeth in frustration, Marlon invoked a light-attribute healing spell. As could be guessed, healing spells healed injuries and wounds.
Each of the four elements had their own healing spells, but there were only a few people who could use them. Furthermore, healing spells had an inseparable relationship with attack spells in that people who could use healing spells couldn’t learn to use attack spells. The converse was also true; someone who could use attack spells couldn’t learn healing spells.
Herbert was unable to use any healing spells despite his talent in all four elements.
Marlon was an exception though. Or rather, Light magic—the unorthodox magic that Marlon showed a talent for—was an exception. It allowed the use of both healing spells and attack spells. As great as that was though, light magic spells consumed much of Marlon’s mana.
Marlon had to use light magic attack spells when his close-combat skills weren’t enough, and also had to use light magic healing spells when he was wounded. Given that and the fact that his mana reserves still wasn’t that great, Marlon wouldn’t last in a prolonged fight.
But while Herbert still had a surplus of mana, his combat-effectiveness was going to be determined by something else. Ultimately, it was by how well he could use spacetime magic. Unfortunately, after spacetime magic was seen, it considerably becomes more possible to be dealt with. Because of that, he needed to be absolutely certain about the timing of a spell’s first use.
Well, not exactly. It should be fine to show Accelerate being used on myself. That way, Marlon and I can fight in close-range…
The problem with that, however, was Herbert might get exhausted before they could defeat the demon. Spacetime magic’s mana consumption was not particularly bad, so it was more of Herbert running out of breath rather than mana. It was entirely possible for Herbert to get killed as he tries to catch his breath. If that were to happen, Marlon, by himself, couldn’t win against Ignoa.
Fortunately for Herbert and Marlon, Ignoa didn’t seem to have any regenerative ability similar to a slime’s. Ignoa’s ability to turn transparent was troublesome, true, but at least the wounds the two of them managed to inflict would stick.
Among the wounds they managed to inflict, the most serious ones were caused by Marlon’s light magic.
Ignoa’s body was covered by some carapace, making their defense high. Even if Herbert was to use Accelerate and attack with all his might, whether it be through his sword or magic, it probably wouldn’t be enough to take down Ignoa.
If so, the deciding factor would probably be Marlon’s most damaging light spell. It was the advance-level light spell Divine Judgment, which was basically a thick beam of light.
However, that spell’s got its weak points too. First is that it takes time to get ready. And even though it’s fast, it only travels it a straight line. Like with all spells where you can’t change its trajectory after casting, if we lose our shot…but no, we can do it.
Herbert thought so and made his mind think of a strategy right away.
The plan he came up with had 3 main points. So long as those 3 points were met, they should be able to kill the demon.
Alright, this will work…probably. No, with the way we were getting gradually pushed back, we would have lost regardless. In that sense, this is still a better bet.
Rodeo was still locked in battle with the other demon. The sounds of their swords clashing could be heard from a little distance away.
Herbert didn’t think Rodeo would lose, but he also didn’t think Rodeo would be in a position to help them anytime soon. As expected, they should take care of Ignoa by themselves.
Herbert’s shout caused Marlon to hold back from trying to step forward again. When Marlon’s eyes fell on him, Herbert made a gesture that involved rotating his left wrist. He then stepped forward.
Having understood Herbert’s intention, Marlon stepped back and immediately drank a mana potion. The amount of mana restored by such potions was minuscule from an overall perspective. In other words, Marlon was currently desperate enough for whatever scant amount of mana that the potion provided him.
With the new role he was assigned, he now began dedicating his focus on invoking his spell.
Upon seeing that, Herbert snorted and spoke.
“Hmp, bring it, monster. I’ll be your next opponent and I am none other than Herbert von Unruh.”
“Ohh…you’ve finally introduced yourself—hey!”
Herbert has decided to use all the mana he was saving here and now. After all, their chance of survival hinged at this moment.