Chapter 47:

Back to the Action

Fighting For My Freedom In Another World

I was close enough. Bookmark here

That Nina woman was no longer just able to attack me one-sidedly, leaving me no choice but to defend. I was actually able to do something.Bookmark here

That “something” mostly consisted of hurling whatever shape of fire I happened to think of at the time towards my opponent at the same time as I tried to keep my guard up and use magic to block any attempts at targeting me. Bookmark here

I could once again feel the same thing I had when I fought the same woman back in... some city I didn’t know the name of yet. Bookmark here

I was stronger. Bookmark here

The only thing holding me back was my unwillingness to inflict more damage than necessary. The desire to avoid risking any unfortunate complications of the sort I had back then. Bookmark here

If I hadn’t had those things to restrain me? Bookmark here

Everything would have been over in an instant, my opponent overwhelmed by a sea of flames. Bookmark here

In reality, things were progressing a bit more slowly. Bookmark here

I was actually stronger. I had already suspected as much before. This time I could say for sure. Bookmark here

If I had anything to thank the person that inhabited this body before me for, it was how powerful her magic was. Bookmark here

That I had to hold back in order to not be overwhelmed, and that I couldn’t fully handle the mental strain of doing several things at once with magic yet were the only two reasons I wasn’t winning. Bookmark here

I almost hit her more than a few times. One time my opponent even flinched slightly and quickly pulled her hand back if she had touched a hot stove, the magic I had launched at her just about having managed to scrape her side. Bookmark here

I suffered my fair share of close calls of my own too. Bookmark here

At this point I was exhausted, and keeping up with defending myself was getting harder and harder. There were times when I got a bit sloppy and was hit by some small shock, either because I didn’t create a large enough shield or because my adversary sent something smaller designed to slip around my defenses at me. Bookmark here

In short, we were about evenly matched, in the sense that we were both at the end of our rope and just waiting for the moment the other would inevitably slip up. Bookmark here

Eyeing each other and waiting for the right opportunity to strike. Bookmark here

There were two fundamental differences between what I was doing this time and I was doing back then that let me hold my own: Bookmark here

I had slightly more experience using magic, and I was less afraid of hurting someone that I could tell for sure would absolutely hurt me if given the chance. What little experience I had been able to acquire probably wouldn’t have mattered much to most, but when you were a total beginner? Then just a little bit of practice could change a lot. Bookmark here

And regarding the damage I could cause to the woman I was fighting? Bookmark here

I didn’t feel any need to hold back anymore. Not as long as I didn’t kill her. I had already done worse. Any damage I did to her was fair game. It was only what was behind her I cared about enough to hold back. Bookmark here

At some point during the fight, I had taken the opportunity to ask about what happened after the last time we faced each other. There had been some vague hope inside me that if she was alive, then the soldiers that were with her could have been too. Bookmark here

I thought something like.. This was the same woman. She would know. Know if they survivedBookmark here

So I asked, not sure why I was expecting an honest answer from someone who was in the middle of trying to kill me. Bookmark here

The answer I got? Bookmark here

“Those fools? Of course they’re all dead. What do you think would happen after that kind of explosion?” Bookmark here

In other words, I killed them. No matter how unintentionally or indirectly it may have been, it was still my fault. Bookmark here

I had already done much worse than anything I could do to this woman as long as I made sure I didn’t go too overboard with how much magic I was using. Bookmark here

And that was why I was looking for an opportunity to take my opponent out. If I already had caused the death of that many, knocking one more person out could hardly matter much in the grand scheme of things. Bookmark here

Before that chance came, a carriage came barreling along on the road our fight had been taking place next to. Bookmark here

I personally wouldn’t have minded letting it pass through. That… Nina person, though? Bookmark here

She blasted it with her electricity, making the whole thing burst into pieces. Bookmark here

I didn’t have time to react and protect it with my own magic. Bookmark here

Someone jumped out the back of it.Bookmark here

This was my chance. Bookmark here

While my opponent was distracted, I’d be able to take her out and finish the fight. I readied my magic, fire surrounding me…Bookmark here

...Alena.Bookmark here

I hesitated for a moment when I saw who had jumped out of the carriage. If she was there, there was a risk I’d end up hurting her with my magic. The signals my own mind was sending me weren’t reliable enough. Bookmark here

If I …Bookmark here

...No. Bookmark here

I hadn’t caught it at first, but a man had fallen out of the carriage just before Alena. He was holding a knife and heading towards her, and it looked a lot like they had been fighting, with a little bit of blood on the knife and Alena having a few shallow cuts on her. Bookmark here

It was possible I’d hurt Alena if I used my magic, but it was just as possible that hesitating would only end with her being hurt even more badly. Bookmark here

This wasn’t the time for indecision, or for waiting for someone to tell me what to do. Bookmark here

It was the time for actionBookmark here

For making my own choices, right away.Bookmark here

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