Fighting For My Freedom In Another World
A normal fire needed something to keep burning.
Sustenance, fuel. Whatever you’d like to call it, that fact didn’t change.
The fire I had seen when we exited our inn had spread to the point where it was covering half the city. A disaster in the making if no one did anything about it. Perhaps it was already quite deserving of being called one.
Anyway, Someone had to do something.
And how many people were there in the city that both could and wanted to do something about it?
My personal guess would be exactly one.
At the same time as the cage of fire around me and the princess dissolved, I sent my fire out to the sides. Let it burn down as much stuff as possible to enable me to use more magic. Didn’t stop until my flames covered a straight line across the whole city, about two hundred meters away from where the natural fire still was spreading.
If I burned everything just ahead of it in its way down before it could get there… That fire wouldn’t have anything left to let it spread.
And I would be able to use all the magic I wanted. Just from a simple mental estimate, I would need to burn down at least a hundred buildings to stop the fire from spreading entirely.
I was able to fight for one to two minutes when fueled by one building. If I burned a hundred down, I would literally be able to keep going for hours.
That Nina lady better have prepared herself.
She kept trying to launch various kinds of lightning magic at me while I gathered fuel for my own magic. With all the resources I had now, blocking all of it wasn’t a problem.
I created a huge shield right between us.
She tried to attack from above again, but I just extended the one shield I had created to cover the area above me and Alena too. It stopped all of Nina’s magic cold. I couldn’t effectively maintain two shields, but what I could do was make a larger one instead.
That was blocking. Next up was attacking.
I launched several pillars of magical fire at her.
She managed to block or dodge all of them, but it was taking visible effort, sweat clearly visible on her face.
I conjured up more fire.
I just threw as much as I could of it towards my opponent.
She was still able to block most of it, but her attempts at defending were growing weaker and weaker.
Creativity wasn’t my strongest suit, but it didn’t matter if you could vastly overpower your opponent no matter what you did. I just kept throwing more and more magic at her. It didn’t matter how long it took. I’d overwhelm her eventually. I had time. Time, and magic.
There was one slight hitch in the whole thing.
A large group of soldiers came marching out from behind every corner in sight. All of them simultaneously launched their own variety of magic at me.
That was admittedly not part of my plans.
But it didn’t matter.
In my current state I was powerful. Unbeatable. At least that was the way it felt. I could do anything I wanted to, and no one would be able to stop me. I could almost understand why the previous witch had done what she did.
But I was different. Wanted to think I was. I didn’t immediately retaliate against all the people that were attacking me. Just created a cubical barrier made of fire around me and the princess. Completely shut down any attempt at attacking me, every attempt at hurting Alena.
And when the time to counterattack came, I was merciful. Didn’t just kill everyone.
I could have. At that moment, I had the power too. If I wanted to. Everyone’s life balanced upon my slightest whim.
It was intoxicating.
I hated it.
There was something that was just… Not right. Felt like it was trying to control me. Like the more I used my magic, the less I felt like myself. The less the objections I once had seemed to matter.
I could keep doing this for hours.
But I didn’t want to.
I wanted to end it all now.
A wave of fire emanated from me, flowing across the ground at an almost imperceptible speed.
It could have killed someone who wasn’t adequately protected. But the soldiers were all wearing armour, and it reduced what could have been a killing blow to something that just swept them all to their feet.
The Nina woman used her own magic to reduce the impact of mine, keeping her standing. She did at least flinch slightly.
It still wasn’t enough.
I needed more.
More power. More fire. Needed to…
...No. That wasn’t what I was trying to do. That wasn’t what this was about. I needed to find me and Alena a way to escape, and execute my plan to stop the larger fire.
What if I just unleashed everything at once? Burned all the buildings I was going to use as fuel at the same time, and created an absurdly huge barrier that none of the people that wanted to kill us would be able to get through for at least an hour or two.
It was a better idea than anything else I could come up with.
I took Alena’s hand and pulled her along with me. We ran while I conjured up the gigantic wall of magical fire behind us.
It looked like it would work. Like it would keep us safe for long enough to get to safety.
We ran, as fast as we could. Past Alena’s illusion that still stood where she had placed it closer to the city gate, then through the gate itself.
I thought it worked.
It was already too late when I realised it didn’t.
Something was… Wrong. But what? It didn’t hurt the way it had when I used too much magic. I wasn’t in pain. I wasn’t having any trouble keeping the magic up.
As far as I could tell everything was fine.
Yet, something was off.
There was just this kind of foggy feeling in my mind. Something that I couldn’t grasp as accurately as I should have been able to. Something was wrong. It was… What was it?
I didn’t feel anything obviously off about my magic.
I didn’t feel anything.
That was the problem.
Until now I had been able to know what my magic was doing even without directly looking at it. Had some sort of mental connection to it. Had been able to know what it was doing.
This time I couldn’t.
I needed to turn around and take an actual look behind me to realise what was happening. My own mind wasn’t able to tell me what my magic was doing.
I froze when I saw what was happening.
I couldn’t control it. I couldn’t make sure it wouldn’t cause more damage than I wanted it to.
The flaming wall I had unleashed started bending and twisting. Turned a brighter red, then orange, then white, then blue. Started sputtering and spitting out fire in every direction. Finally the fire turned… Black?
Then it exploded.
I couldn’t see anything. Couldn’t see anything for several seconds. I thought I heard a scream beside me.
When I could see again, I wished I hadn’t been able to.
The explosion had stretched much further than what I ever had intended to destroy. Almost half the city was nothing more than… Nothing. Just, nothing. It was gone. Without a trace. I would have called it a smoking crater, but my magic didn’t even leave behind smoke the way a normal well-behaved disaster would.
It wasn’t just buildings that had been hit.
I heard muffled noises from the ground beside me. A girl’s voice. In pain, but trying not to scream out. Crying, unable to hold back tears.
Alena’s illusion had been in the way of the explosion I caused. She couldn’t remove her illusions until several hours had passed, and she felt all the pain from anything that hit her illusions.
In other words, she would have felt it.
All of it.
Like she got hit by something that could have taken out half an army. Like she got hit by something that could take out half a city.
I wanted to protect the city.
Instead I destroyed half of it.
I wanted to protect Alena.
Yet she was lying on the ground, clutching her chest in pain, tears flowing down her face. She moved her mouth, but was unable to form any words. That she didn’t fall unconscious was a minor miracle in itself, but probably one she would have been better off without.
It was hard to know what to call this outcome.
Had we won?
Had I done the right thing?
Had there been a better choice?
Or were we doomed to fail from the start?