Chapter 43:

I Learn That A Bunch of Tiny Cuts Can Hurt a Lot

Fighting For My Freedom In Another World


It didn’t even take an hour before I was on my way. Bookmark here

During that hour, I had learned something. Bookmark here

Having a rich guy be your enemy could be rather annoying, in particular if said rich guy had a nasty habit of hiring a bunch of soldiers and assassins and all kinds of mean types to try to get you or someone you care about killed. I had already experienced that several times over.Bookmark here

But it turned out having the rich guy on your side instead, however temporary it may be, could be quite advantageous. Bookmark here

Once he had realised his mistake, that Elias guy had paid for a carriage to take me back to the capital. It wasn’t enough to make me forgive him… But it was enough to convince me he actually was the naive rich idiot he seemed to be. Bookmark here

And for any flaws the guy had, apparently he had been telling the truth about having money.Bookmark here

Which was how I found myself on the way back just a few hours after I left Alena. I wasn’t really sure what I’d actually be able to accomplish. Trying was stil much better than just doing nothing. Bookmark here


Still, the whole thing would have been pretty pointless if I didn’t make it back before Alena did. Bookmark here

Would I be able to? Bookmark here

Short version? Absolutely. Bookmark here

In fact I was already there before even half a day had passed. And, more importantly… Before Alena got back. Bookmark here

There were two reasons for why that was possible:Bookmark here

For one thing, I ended up not needing to spare any expenses and was able to get going surprisingly quickly. Bookmark here

And then there were also all those soldiers me and Alena had injured. I’d assume something had to be done about those. Considering Elodia, ostensibly their commander, was there… Dealing with those sorts of things could very well have ended up delaying them. Bookmark here

What I could say for sure was that there wasn’t anyone in sight when I got off a distance away from the gates inside the capital. Just close enough that I could see them, but also far enough away that any potential guards wouldn’t bother me just yet. There was just an open field outside the city, at most with the occasional tree, so there was hardly anything to block my field of sight.Bookmark here

I wanted to take a closer look before approaching. Make sure it would be safe to enter. Bookmark here

What I thought when I made that decision was… Probably something about seeing if the gate was guarded. Whether I’d be safe if I actually decided to go inside and anyone important realised I was there felt rather doubtful at the time. Bookmark here

And hey, once I got close enough I could tell there were guards at the gate. The city certainly had that much going for it. Bookmark here

Problem?

All of them were dead. Three bodies on the ground a surprising distance away from the actual gate. Bookmark here

Something told me I was needed. Even if I wasn’t, it’d only be advantageous to deal with things before Alena reached the city. Bookmark here

I ran towards the gate. A woman was standing in front of it, probably only just having killed the guards. A woman I recognised. In fact the very same one I had encountered a few days earlier. Her name… Nina. Right, that Nina lady that tried to kill me.Bookmark here

As for what she was doing there? I doubt answering that question would take much imagination. Bookmark here

She turned around and saw me long before I had gotten anywhere close. The bolt of lightning that I almost was hit by made that rather evident. Bookmark here

I managed to throw myself to the ground just in time. The shock from the impact made me roll a bit to the side, but I wasn’t hit. Bookmark here

Hadn’t that Elias guy said I wouldn’t be in danger as long as I didn’t have Alena with me? The people he had hired were clearly not as reasonable as he thought. Not that the guy himself had come across as a particularly respectable human being, really… Bookmark here

Well, if this lady insisted on fighting me anyway, why not just make sure I won the fight before Alena could get there?Bookmark here

If I could, she wouldn’t need to be put in any danger. Bookmark here

So, how did you win a fight while lying on the ground over a hundred meters away from your target? Bookmark here

With difficulty. Bookmark here

A lot of it. Bookmark here

I didn’t have time to think up a plan of attack before I almost got hit again. Bookmark here

It turned out being on the ground did confer me with one advantage. Bookmark here

If I curled up, I became a much smaller target. Being a smaller target also meant I didn’t have to use as much magic to protect myself. I had more reason than ever to believe my magic was unreliable. If I wanted to make sure Alena would be safe, I had no choice but to use it, but that didn’t mean I fancied the idea of just going wild and throwing fire all over the place. Bookmark here

For now taking it carefully was for the best. Bookmark here

And that was why it was actually surprisingly convenient to just need to create a small circular shield around myself and be totally protected. If I just had wanted to survive I could probably just have stayed there. Fueled my magic with the local vegetation until my opponent got tired of her attacks not having any effect and gave up. Bookmark here

But what I wanted wasn’t just survival. Bookmark here

I wanted to win. Bookmark here

To do that, I needed to attack. Bookmark here

I hadn’t really thought about it, but what was the range of my magic? Did how much I was willing to use affect it?Bookmark here

I tried to send some sort of magical fire trailing off towards my opponent. Bookmark here

It died out far before it could reach its target. Bookmark here

I could probably have made it work, if I wanted to. Bookmark here

I had already done far more than that. I knew I could accomplish more if I was willing to. But… No. This city probably wasn’t even evacuated. A failure here would be even more catastrophic than last time. Bookmark here

I needed to do things differently. Bookmark here

What was there, then? What could I even do? Bookmark here

I couldn’t say. But I had to try. Bookmark here

I stood up as quickly as I could. Had to remove the first barrier I had created and conjure up another one as I did. I needed to get closer. Get closer without being hit… Too many times. Bookmark here

How much magic could I endure? Bookmark here

If it just was about surviving, three or four or even five or more could probably have been fine. If that was all there was to it. But what was the point in surviving if I, say, ended up getting knocked unconscious in the process? It was possible I wouldn’t be finished off, but I certainly wouldn’t be able to make sure Alena wouldn’t end up in danger. Bookmark here

I got up. Bookmark here

Ran.Bookmark here

Ran towards the woman throwing somewhat deadly lightning magic at me. Bookmark here

Closer. I needed to get closer. Bookmark here

I blocked one bolt from above.Bookmark here

Another from the side. Bookmark here

And got hit by a third almost right after. Bookmark here

My legs twitched. A shock ran through me. I almost fell over. Bookmark here

What was it Alena had told me last time?

Bookmark here

Move. I needed to move. Bookmark here

Do anything other than literally just go in a straight line and make myself an easy target. Bookmark here

But I was hardly the best of athletes. Maybe in my past life, but this body was not. No matter how much I tried, I wouldn’t be able to at a speed that actually would make me a difficult target. And even if I ran straight ahead it’d take me at least a minute to get in range if I didn’t want to use the full extent of my magic. Bookmark here

I could just do that. Use the magic. All of it. There was enough fuel available, a bunch of plants and some bodies that all looked rather flammable… Bookmark here

It would make things a lot easier too. I’d win the fight easily if I used all the tools I had at my disposal. It would be so, so easy. Give in, and be sure Alena wouldn’t end up in danger. End it all in a few seconds. Bookmark here

It was so hard to not have all kinds of weird thoughts get in the way if I tried to use magic. Thoughts like these.

Bookmark here

I couldn’t rely on my instincts to tell me the right thing to do. Bookmark here

I needed… Logic. Needed to be logical. Think things through properly. Make sure I didn’t use magic in vain. Bookmark here

Time. Bookmark here

I needed time to think. Bookmark here

I was barely getting closer. My initial attempt at dashing the whole distance at once had turned into a slow walk that barely even had brought me a tenth of the way. I kept having to use magic to make sure I didn’t get hit by anything, and even then I still felt myself get grazed multiple times, slowing me down further. Bookmark here

I was hit again, and again, and again. Not by the main attack, maybe, but if I got close enough too many times… Bookmark here

Let’s put it this way. Did it matter if I died from being stabbed twice or from hundreds of small cuts? The way I saw it, I’d be dead all the same either way, and this situation was very analogous. Bookmark here

What I was doing? Bookmark here

It wasn’t working.Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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