Chapter 44:

Learning Something New Ends Up Making Me Somewhat Less of an Idiot

Fighting For My Freedom In Another World

I couldn’t get closer. Not fast enough. Bookmark here

She was slowly wearing me down, far faster than I ever had any hope of remedying the situation. Bookmark here

What was the answer, then? To go wild and use as much magic as I could, after all?Bookmark here

I wanted to. I wanted to so badly. Felt this… craving. Bookmark here

Something urging me onwards, pushing me to test my limits. To do what I needed to in order to win this fight, even if it would bring down the hammer of god on people that had done nothing to deserve it. No matter how many would die if I let loose. Bookmark here

I kept being grazed by all of these smaller blasts of magic. Smaller shocks that did little more than hurt a bit on their own, but together were wearing down my futile attempts at resistance as the damage from them piled up. Bookmark here

I kept trying to block. To put up my burning shields where I thought I’d be hit. Bookmark here

But I couldn’t use enough of them. Couldn’t use enough magic. Not without risking… That. Bookmark here

My mind kept circling back to the same point. I needed more magic. Bookmark here

I kept getting hit, over and over and over. Bookmark here

It was making it harder to think. The pain made it much harder to reason things through. To figure out what other choices I had. Bookmark here

Still, there needed to be something. There had to be. Bookmark here

I needed… Needed what? Bigger shields? Stronger attacks? More magic? Bookmark here

What if I did something else instead?Bookmark here

If I could be faster instead of stronger?Bookmark here

There was another option. Bookmark here

I couldn’t use more magic. Not before I figured out a way to keep things under control. I knew that. Bookmark here

Until then, I needed to make do with what I had. Bookmark here

What I could do was be smarter. Use magic differently. Not just try to brute-force my way out of things. Not win fights because of my superior power alone, but also because I had thought things through better. Bookmark here

And I had remembered something rather important. Bookmark here

I was immune to my magic. In particular, to the damage caused by it. To the heat, to the pressure, to all of it… Or? Was that really the case?Bookmark here

What about the things that didn’t hurt me? Bookmark here

I had never needed to try. Why would I try to use my own magic to attack myself, especially if I didn’t think it would work in the first place?Bookmark here

But I had never tried. Never attempted to use it on myself.Bookmark here

And I had learned to do something new with magic only two days beforehand. To make the flames I could conjure up not just appear at set sizes, but also grow larger once they did. Expand at an explosive rate. Bookmark here

Could I use that? If the fire expanded, it should affect anything in the surrounding area too… Bookmark here

It was worth a shot. I blocked lightning that came from in front of me, let the fire I had used to do that disappear, and then summoned up some smaller flames behind me. Did what I had back when I was watching Alena sleep. Bookmark here

The fire expanded behind me, pushing me onwards. Bookmark here

I was fast enough. Faster, even. Bookmark here

I could outpace her. Could avoid her attacks. Could get closer without getting hit. Approach without being forced to use more magic than I wanted to —Bookmark here

I hit the ground hard about forty meters away from where I had started. It hurt, but… At least it kind of worked? Bookmark here

It clearly wasn’t anything that ever would be worth using long term. Not more than a very makeshift solution, thought up in the middle of battle. In the middle of a fight I was losing, where I was desperate for anything that could help me. Bookmark here

At least I was a little closer than I was before I tried that little trick. Bookmark here

I had crossed almost half the remaining distance in one enormous leap. The only problem was that I couldn’t do it again. I wasn’t skilled or confident enough to think I could pull off something like that twice in a row. Bookmark here

The stunt hadn’t been enough to get me where I wanted to be, but it still accomplished something. Bookmark here

It snapped me out of the train of thought I had been barrelling along at top speed during the rest of the fight until that point. Helped me think about all kinds of things that weren’t just “more magic!”. Inspired me to see what else I could do. Bookmark here

For instance, there were a few trees scattered nearby. The trick I tried to use to get myself closer? Bookmark here

It resulted in too much force for moving a single person. But what about a whole tree?Bookmark here

If my stupid trick had achieved anything worth mentioning other than getting me closer, that would be how my opponent froze up for a moment, unable to react immediately or even fully comprehend what I was trying to accomplish. Bookmark here

I had a few seconds where I didn’t need to use my magic to protect myself. Where it was enough to think about attacking or moving closer. I took a few steps closer, and at the same time, I tried to use magic on one of the closest trees. If I could launch it the way I had myself…Bookmark here

The tree shook. Rather violently. Bookmark here

The bottom half didn’t budge an inch, still firmly rooted in place. So much for that idea.Bookmark here

My opponent was quickly recovering from her shock. Bookmark here

Could I find anything else? The trees were too heavy, but my attempt at doing the same thing on myself showed a human body was light enough to be launched a significant distance.Bookmark here

The bodies. The dead guards lying scattered around the gate. Bookmark here

All the walking had brought me close enough to reach the one that my enemy had blown the farthest away.Bookmark here

If a tree was too heavy, then what if I used something lighter? Bookmark here

It might not have been the best choice from a moral perspective, but it could end up saving someone’s life… Bookmark here

I lit up a small flame to the side of one of them and forced it to grow. To expand and push the body lying beside it airborne in an arching trajectory. Bookmark here

It didn’t hit my opponent. My aim wasn’t that good. Bookmark here

What it did was serve as a distraction. Enable me to take even more steps closer. To move several meters towards that Nina person. Bookmark here

I did it. Bookmark here

Judging by my prior attempt… I had gotten close enough to reach her with my magic. Close enough to reach her even without extending myself further than I dared go. Bookmark here

Exhausted, in pain, and having needed to use up a significant amount of the nearby vegetation as fuel.Bookmark here

But at least I was somewhat less of an idiot than I had been at the start of the fight.Bookmark here

That had to count for something. Bookmark here

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