“[Zodiac Spell: Aquarius]!”
They acted fast.
It is only the second shot; it is already the second shot.
That difference in perspective is also proof that they are professionals.
Right after Hazal and Ranina activated their Skills, a flash of light pierced them.
It can’t even be called fast.
The moment the spell was shot from her staff after a short aria, it hit everyone of Alpine as if laughing at their defenses and evasions.
“So easy. For all that barking, this is quite the cute display, Toa -Alpine.”
“! A barrage is coming! Hazal, leave the support and interruptions for later, just don’t let up on the healing!” (Toa)
Toa gives out short orders.
They are by the side of the Golden Highway.
Alpine left the city where they made contact with the Goddess’s Apostle, Alte Barrette, and entered the Golden Highway.
Toa thought that Alte would be attacking them in around 5 minutes, so she was relieved at that moment.
That must have been similar for the other members.
But the attack happened.
Someone had attacked Toa’s group while they were advancing through the Golden Highway.
The moment they passed by a caravan that sold regular daily goods, an ear-piercing sound of a flute resonated.
Toa’s group instantly took battle stances and fought back the assassins that were disguised as a caravan, but a follow up group rammed right through the outer wall of the Golden Highway immediately after, driving them away from the Golden Highway.
After finishing off two more attackers, only Alte remained, but the ones getting cornered were actually Alpine.
“No good! I can’t interrupt her aria! She is protecting herself with something!” (Louisa)
“The power of adventurers; all sturdy, and truly ugly. [Lightning Tree].” (Alte)
The light shot from Alte’s staff once again branches and accurately pierces all of Toa’s party.
Three area of effect spells that hit everyone directly; the damage was high.
Coupled with the fact that they have fought several battles before this one, the party of Toa was breathing heavily, their movements dulled, and it couldn’t be helped that the backliner Louisa would fall on her knees from the accumulated damage.
“Geez, you’ve got quite the nice personality there. Even though you can use such outrageous spells, you didn’t show up until after the wave attack.” (Louisa)
“I don’t know much about this stuff, so I want to confirm here. What…was that? The barrier of Hazal was so useless it was like paper.” (Ranina)
“The reason why she is attacking us in such a dirty manner…isn’t it because you provoked her a whole lot, Toa? Also, Ranina, you ‘don’t know about this stuff’? That’s probably lightning, you know.” (Hazal)
“You also provoked her quite a lot, Hazal… Also, what’s this about lightning? The thing that shines at times in the sky?” (Toa)
“Don’t make fun of me, Hazal. I have never heard of a lightning element.” (Ranina)
Toa and Ranina tried to maintain their pace with light talk, and Hazal responded to it.
“…There’s no records or books regarding the lightning element even in Rotsgard and the Academy. If she really is an Apostle of the Goddess, well, it is not that impossible of a story.” (Hazal)
“I have lived for a decent amount of time, and I do have to say that I haven’t heard about it before. An elemental magic that surpasses any of our spells thoroughly like this…” (Louisa)
Louisa stands up and once again glares at Alte.
Healing Skills and magic; she can use both of those at a high level of skill within the Alpine party.
Therefore, unless you kill them in one hit, it is difficult to defeat Alpine in the field.
It may sound plain, but in terms of readjusting and successive battles, Toa’s party is the top of the top.
However…you couldn’t really say that it is an accurate evaluation in their current state.
Alpine has already reached the state of maturity, but everyone has completely changed their Job.
New powers, new characteristics; there were a lot of new paths now available for them.
“There is a joke-like element like that. Isn’t that right, Alte? Do all Apostles of the Goddess use lightning? Is it the type of supreme element that can only be heard of in legends…and it is a cheat ability that wins against all elements?” (Hazal)
“It is supreme. It is not cheating. There’s no trick or mechanism. My lightning, Kandachi, pierces through everything and makes them kneel.” (Alte)
“Even though it is magic, it has a special characteristic against magic power, huh. It destroys all other spells; an unavoidable blade that reaches the enemy with no obstruction. And here I was wondering how much of that was true… This is troubling. I didn’t know about the Kandachi name at all though.” (Hazal)
“I shall answer you as an offering to the soon-to-be-deceased, Hazal. All Apostles can use lightning. Though there’s only two existing Apostles in the current era. This is unpleasant, but there’s no one aside from us who would be able to wipe out your so-called Alpine party. I have to acknowledge that. You have been hit three times by my spell, yet you can still speak.” (Alte)
“We are adventurers after all. Even if magic doesn’t work, we have Skills.” (Hazal)
Hazal was being wary of a second shot as he quickly utilized a Star Skill that is connected with his new Job.
One of the many Skills that are in the system called Zodiac.
The unfamiliar term of Constellations had a number of extraordinary Skills.
He doesn’t know that they originate from a different world and a different sky, denoting stories he is not aware of.
Aquarius’s effect is regeneration.
The Quaker Skill that Ranina used at that same time was Hundred Injustices.
Mitigates the pain of the party, and maintains the willpower and vitality high.
Both of them are not spells, so even when it was hit by the lightning element spell that rules and overpowers other spells, they still maintained their effectiveness.
Healing injuries with healing magic, and maintaining high willpower and vitality while fighting so as to not lose the will to live; those are the basics of Toa’s party for survival.
“Skills… that imitation power. The gift of the Goddess to people was magic. Even though the technique of forming something from the magic power within you is what hyumans should be truly polishing.” (Alte)
It is as if Alte isn’t doubting her victory at all, and her words held conviction.
And in reality, magic attacks aren’t reaching her.
It feels as if she already has her next round ready, and if they were to attack, it would just be intercepted with that lightning element.
Her ability to properly utilize both of its strengths by shooting down the attacks of the opponents makes her an annoying opponent.
Toa was thinking about aiming for the time when Alte runs out of magic power, she looked at Louisa, but she shook her head to the sides.
It seems the magic power of Alte is abundant, or maybe the lightning element is also supreme in its cost.
However, Toa still found a path for victory -a path for survival in the words of Alte.
(She is indeed strong. But…that’s not it. Alte is arrogant. If this were not Alte but that person…we would all be dead by now. It is because of how excelling she is that if we were to manage to make that crumble, we might have a chance, but…the gamble is way too risky to take. If we can’t take her down for certain, we shouldn’t take that chance away from others. That’s why we won’t make her trip. We are just going to set it up here, and escape.) (Toa)
There’s a number of uncertainties in escape as well.
She attacked them at the Golden Highway without a care in the world, so there’s absolutely no place for respite until they return to Tsige.
But they are Alpine.
Powerhouses that have managed to return alive after exploring the wasteland for 2 and even 3 weeks.
The mouth of Toa warped into a smile.
“I see. That’s why you don’t like adventurers? You are an unexpectedly easy to understand person.” (Toa)
Having seen that smile, Hazal felt relief flow from his whole body.
Their leader who is still thinking about what to do and seems to have come up with something.
It hasn’t been long since she got the unknown Job of Tobikato, so her ability within the party is still weak like that of a cocoon that has yet to be shed.
With the enemy bringing out legendary stuff like the lightning element, even Hazal would feel danger.
Or rather, he is panicking a whole lot internally.
Even so, in order to survive, in order to have everyone return, he tries to buy time for this plan of hers.
“The Adventurer Guild is simply a caprice of a dragon after all.” (Alte)
“That’s not true! You are simply scared of your advantage not working against adventurers. It seems like you can’t erase Skills after all. No matter how strong you are against magic, if your surroundings were to all use only Skills, it would be pointless. If hyumans were completely magic dependent, I believe it would be quite the comfortable world for you.” (Hazal)
Toa was using thought transmission to tell Hazal, Louisa, and Ranina her plan.
“You really…are one irritating man, Hazal. Aah…right. Not only did you grow impudent through the elixir that you made by luck, you had terrible experiences with women, and ended up landing in Tsige. That elixir, craquante, fetches a decent price, but it is in a position that’s not really that rare. However, when it comes to women, you were scorned, and you ended up not trusting them… How pitiful.” (Alte)
The past that not many people should know had come out from the mouth of Alte, and it made Hazal falter.
The result of trying to invite the anger of Alte and disturb her mind ended up rebounding on him.
“Everyone has their dark past.”
“That he managed to make one even if by luck is still amazing.”
“He can be decently considerate.”
Follow-ups from his comrades came out as his mind was wavering and groaning from the mental damage.
Well, if he were a man that can’t handle the presence of women, he wouldn’t be in a party with three women.
Just like Makoto had pointed out before, Hazal is unexpectedly a guy that has the traits of a main character.
At any rate, thanks to his sacrifice, Toa managed to relay the details of the plan to everyone in the party.
It was the time to act.
“Damn it!! Clawing at the old wounds of others! Take this! [Blizzard Whiteout]!” (Hazal)
Hazal showed a desperate demeanor and shouted the name of his spell as if dealing a preemptive attack.
Suddenly a white tornado began to rampage around Alte.
“This is stupid. A spell of this level is just…?!” (Alte)
She swung her arm once, and tried to erase the annoying blizzard.
But the blizzard doesn’t disappear.
“[True Axe Split]!” (Ranina)
“[Chronos Feeling]!” (Louisa)
Ranina and Louisa’s Skills also activate.
The ground Alte was standing on suddenly split and shakes powerfully.
“There’s no power in it! An illusion?! The shaking is a Skill… Useless struggle! [Lightning Tree]!!” (Alte)
Right, the spell activation of Hazal was a fake.
In reality, he simply gathered magic power and activated a magic tool that has a healing effect.
There was also one other Skill activation.
But Alte doesn’t know the effect of that one well.
However, the spell she used definitely dealt damage to everyone in Alpine.
Their movements should have stopped and the illusion should dissipate soon.
The raging snow covering her whole vision disappeared, and the shaking was just in a designated area.
She jumped out of it with deftness unbelievable of a mage, and she got out from the shaking and the cracks.
“Wa?! They are gone?!” (Alte)
Alpine is not in front of her.
There’s no one.
Even when looking around, there’s no signs of anyone.
But Alte has the certain-hit lightning.
No matter where they hide, as long as they have already been hit, it won’t miss if they are nearby.
She immediately suppressed her surprise, and began to chant her aria for a certain strike.
“[Swallow in Flight] Overlap!”
The sudden presence made Alte take a defensive stance.
Toa hits twice consecutively at close range.
A high power attack that comes from the swings of two daggers that are from a Wise and a Superior Dragon.
The staff that’s most likely quite the fine product was unable to endure it…and broke.
The disposition of Alte immediately changed.
She looks at Toa with clear bloodlust.
Her reaction was fast, and it was clearly different from the patterns until now.
“You damn hyuman!” (Alte)
“Don’t go floundering now!” (Toa)
“[Lightning Clad]!” (Alte)
Toa released an attack that solely relied on physical prowess instead of a Skill.
At close range, at a distance that’s clearly that of a warrior.
Rather than using a Skill at this moment where it would be creating an opening from the activation, she decided to deal damage for certain.
But that lightning fast attack was unbelievably stopped by Alte grabbing her arm.
“You are one jack-in-the-box.” (Toa)
“Blow up.” (Alte)
“Just kidding!” (Toa)
Toa makes a follow up attack with the hand that isn’t being grabbed and has the Doma dagger.
“Lightning Cannon.” (Alte)
“Guh!! This is nothing…!!” (Toa)
And this time around, Alte shot a powerful and thick lightning that didn’t branch like the ones before. Toa forcefully twisted her body to avoid the attack, and had her whole arm blown away by that attack, Alte laughed, and Toa obtained freedom with her arm as the price.
She grabbed the Lapis dagger that was about to fall to the ground with her mouth, dashed at Alte, and attacked her side with the dagger that’s still in her safe hand, dealing a consecutive attack on her again.
Blood spurts out from the side of Alte, and Toa goes into flight mode just like that.
Blood entered her eyes, moreover, the fact that Toa immediately took the action of reinitiating the close combat, and then going right into escaping after, created an opening in the decision making of Alte.
That decided the battle here.
“[Lightning Tree]! [Lightning Tree]! …Guh…Toa, adventurers…those pieces of trash!!” (Alte)
Alte, who forgot for an instant about the absence of Toa’s party members, returned to her senses and shot an all-out attack with her lightning.
But the branched lightning didn’t pierce anybody.
Even when she repeated it, it was the same result.
That reality dyed Alte in rage.
In her mind, the fight against the peak of the Superior Dragon and the Adventurer of Origin surfaced in her mind.
(That was certainly a fight brought upon by my overconfidence. Opponents I shouldn’t have fought against without gathering information. But this time was different! My wounds of that time may not be healed yet, but they were clearly the weaker ones, mere hyuman adventurers! Me, a Goddess’s Apostle, is lacking in knowledge? The staff may not have been suitable for battle, but even that staff I was given for commemoration was broken… I will definitely not forget this…Tsige….!) (Alte)
Even if she were to try and chase them, there’s several possible candidates.
One of the homelands of the party members, or Tsige.
Checking all those possibilities when a big battle is approaching wouldn’t be a good plan.
If they at least returned to Tsige, she could burn them together with the city.
Alte pledged in her heart.
That Alte received a report at that very same night about a massive defense wall that suddenly appeared in the plains, and she screamed in anger.