Chapter 25:

Magical Lightning

Fighting For My Freedom In Another World

How many more times could I use magic? Bookmark here

One?Bookmark here

Two?Bookmark here

Three? Bookmark here

Definitely not more than that. I was already making it through only by sheer force of will. I wouldn’t be able to use more magic without anything more concrete to help sustain it. Bookmark here

But until I got that, all I had was my own stubbornness. How I refused to give up just yet, confident I wasn’t completely done for.Bookmark here

My opponent was not suffering from the same dilemma. Bookmark here

A huge bolt of lightning suddenly came crashing down from above me. Bookmark here

For normal lightning, that would be expected. If you went out during a thunderstorm and were struck by lightning… Let’s just say I’d be fairly surprised if it hit you from the side or some other weird angle. Bookmark here

For magical lightning created by someone who you were fighting, someone who was standing in front of you and up until now only had aimed her attacks straight ahead… It was significantly less expected for an attack to come from right above you. Bookmark here

The woman I was fighting had a clear tell for when she was about to attack: electricity crackling between her hands. Most of the electricity and lightning she was throwing at me originated from her hands in some fashion, giving me a sign for when another attack was coming. I needed that. There was no way I would have been able to keep up with her without any advance warning. Bookmark here

And that was precisely what made a sudden strike from above so dangerous. Bookmark here

It happened almost without warning. If I hadn’t noticed how she looked up towards something and followed her gaze, I would have been dead. I didn’t even know that kind of magical attack was possible. Bookmark here

As it was I barely managed to see what was coming and hastily tried to throw up another one of my flaming shields. A big rectangular barrier floating in midair, impossible by normal means. The magic of this world clearly wasn’t following the laws of physics, at least not the way I knew them. Bookmark here

Electricity crashed down upon my barrier right after I conjured it up. Bookmark here

I was almost too slow, but made it just in time.Bookmark here

The shield took the blow with stride, only flickering slightly. Remained in place long enough to take on another strike of lightning too, still remaining remarkably solid. Bookmark here

It was the third blow that destroyed my makeshift shield. Bookmark here

A bigger bolt of electricity, at least three times the size of the previous ones. Several smaller ones surrounding it, all raining down upon my magical barrier at the same time. Almost like hail, only that all of it was deadly electricity instead of something that would just be a minor inconvenience.Bookmark here

The previous bolts of lightning had all been fast, instant. Struck my shield once only to then vanish. Bookmark here

These were different. They persisted, continuing their assault, joined by more and more smaller streams of electricity flowing down from the heavens. Bookmark here

Something came towards me from the side. I felt a small jolt run through my body before I managed to get up another shield. That was two… How many could I even make? What if I suddenly found myself at my limit and unable to block an attack because I couldn’t maintain any more shields? Or because I couldn’t make another one?Bookmark here

I was getting ahead of myself. There were more urgent problems. Bookmark here

Trying to do more than twice as much magic as I ever had before took a tremendous mental effort. It felt like my head was about to split into two, my attention flipping constantly back and forth between the two magical shields I had created and the fire still burning inside the building the princess was investigating.. Bookmark here

I couldn’t handle it. Bookmark here

The unnatural fire above me started flickering more and more violently, before pieces of it started dissolving entirely. The barrier itself could probably have withstood a fair share more. The pressure maintaining it was putting on me, however, was not to be trifled with. Bookmark here

It was kind of like a headache. A headache that only grew more violent with every passing moment and made you feel like you constantly were being pushed down by a massive invisible force. Gradually took control until it was the only thing you could think about and it started to feel like you couldn’t breathe and like keeping the fire burning was all that mattered and like anything that happened to you was okay if it was for the sake of burning down just a few more things and —Bookmark here

— My magical fire shield broke entirely. Shattered into pieces. I didn’t know fire could do that, but this one did. Bookmark here

Leaving me defenseless. Bookmark here

I jumped to the side in a desperate attempt to evade. It wasn’t like you had to use magic to dodge just because the attack itself was magical.Bookmark here

You didn’t have to, but it quickly became apparent while fighting magic with magic was a preferable choice. The electricity surging down from above was too fast for me to get out of the way completely, and I felt a shock running through my body as a small part of it hit my legs. Bookmark here

My legs twitched involuntarily and I fell to the ground. Bookmark here

Electricity came creeping towards me on the ground, and the shield I had created to the side of me also broke once I lost focus on it. Bookmark here

I threw up another small shield but it wasn’t enough to completely guard me from everything. Bookmark here

I got another shock, somewhat smaller than the first but still painful. How many more of these attacks could I take? One? Two? Perhaps more, but I doubted I would be in any condition to fight back after the first few. Not that I was putting up enough resistance to call the whole affair a proper fight as it was. Bookmark here

I had to endure another surge of lightning, another attack I couldn’t block properly, before I heard a voice calling out to me from far above. Bookmark here

“Maria! There’s no one in here!” Bookmark here

It was the princess, shouting from the top floor of the closest building. She had opened a window and was now halfway leaning out from it. Bookmark here

The woman I was fighting tried to target Alena with a beam of her magic, but I managed to use my own to divert it. Threw a bolt of fire similar to the electric attacks my opponent had been firing at me non-stop a moment ago, before she showed the true width of her repertoire. Bookmark here

My fire hit the lightning magic my opponent had thrown and somehow made it change course skywards, harmlessly drifting off into the clear blue sky. Didn’t know I could do that. Bookmark here

As for how I had gotten back enough energy for it? Bookmark here

Now that I knew Alena was on the top floor and that there wasn’t anyone else in the building, I didn’t have to be nearly as careful.Bookmark here

As long as I made sure there was a path of escape for the princess and that the building didn’t collapse, I could burn whatever I wanted inside it. Anything on the first two floors. Turn it all into cinders if I felt like it. Bookmark here

And that gave me plenty of fuel for my magic. Moreover, my magic was clearly not following energy conservation. Perhaps it went without saying considering it was magic… But it could do a lot more than I would have thought. I could set fire to something, and it would give me more power back than what was required to burn it. Bookmark here

I didn’t know how it worked, but it was what would give me a chance. Bookmark here

A shot at victory. Bookmark here

The entire fight up to this point hadn’t lasted more than half a minute. Maybe forty seconds at most. My flames had lasted me most of that time. I had needed to turn a good part of what was on the first floor of the building next to me into ashes. With an additional two floors to burn, and potentially the outside walls and the roof once the princess was outside, I would be able to continue fighting for… Bookmark here

...About two minutes. Bookmark here

That was my time limit. I needed to find a way to win this fight, against someone who had hundreds of times the experience I did, in less than two minutes. Bookmark here

Two minutes, and this would all be over.Bookmark here

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