Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 21

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Chapter 021

The day of the final test, the “Duel of Honor,” had finally arrived.

As I entered the “Mana Barrier Hall” where the test was taking place, I gazed intently at someone blocking my path.

“Did you come to say hello before the fight?”

He was my opponent for today, Mikel Geri Hill.

Mikel, with his usual smugness and pompous expression plastered across his face, appeared before me looking particularly confident.

“Been enjoying your time at the academy lately?”

“What?”

“Well, you’ve been quite popular, haven’t you? Everyone’s all worked up trying to get in your good graces.”

Oh, what now?

It seems like he thinks I’ve stolen the attention that should have been his.

Popularity.

I couldn’t care less about those things, but…

I decided to engage with his provocation.

“How about you?”

“What?”

“Don’t you wish to look good in front of me, even now?”

With a naively sweet smile, I watched as Mikel’s brow began to crease with irritation.

“…You little…”

And the boy’s anger…

“Do you have any idea who I am? No matter how good your grades are, in the end, my father holds the power over the magic sphere in the Ledyan Kingdom! The one who needs to make a good impression isn’t me, but you! Understand?”

He erupted.

Bam!

“…I’m not deaf, you know. Could you tone it down a bit?”

Yes.

Certainly, the ‘Geri Hill’ household holds considerable influence in the Ledyan Kingdom.

Even looking at this academy, which ought to be the epitome of virtue, the Geri Hill’s reach extends here.

The influence only grows more severe in the royal palace and the Mage Tower.

But, what can I do?

My goal isn’t the ‘magic sphere of the Ledyan Kingdom.’

It’s the ‘entire continent.’

I asked with a twirling smile.

“Sure, that might be influence. But it’s all just rotten power, isn’t it? But tell me, Mikel… does this influence of ‘yours’ include you?”

“…What?”

“Aren’t you only considered a ‘real member of the Geri Hills’ after being recognized as a sorcerer? So, how about you?”

The Geri Hill family’s reputation wasn’t good.

They’d coldly cast aside any kin without talent and if someone showed a hint of magical prowess, they’d steal them away to raise as their own.

Moreover, to prove one’s worth, one had to graduate at the top of their class.

In this sense, Mikel Geri Hill had yet to gain his family’s recognition.

“…My father’s recognition?”

Struck a nerve with my words, Mikel’s face contorted and he hissed between gritted teeth,

“That recognition, I’ll earn it by defeating you today.”

“Will you? I’m looking forward to it.”

As I turned smoothly around, Mikel spoke up from behind me.

“Ruin.”

“What?”

“The way you were strutting around before me today, I’ll make sure you regret it.”

How prepared must he be to appear so confident?

I shrugged my shoulder towards Mikel.

“Sure. Do as you please.”

♦ ♦ ♦

The most crucial point in a duel between sorcerers is.

Casting speed.

That and the ability to make correct decisions when the opponent begins casting defensive spells.

However, this duel must be viewed from a slightly different angle.

After all, my area of expertise lies in wielding magic in close combat.

It should be considered from the perspective of a knight VS sorcerer.

“Drakado often struggled the most against high-ranking sorcerers. Especially those proficient with binding spells that prevent approach.”

Binding spells that impede movement.

Freezing magic that turns one’s body into ice.

Magic that creates fierce whirlwinds to hinder a knight’s approach, and so on.

“The opponent knows you’re going to fight in close combat. If they’re prepared for that, it’s not going to be an easy fight.”

As Strang said, if Mikel was well-prepared, he would surely be a challenging adversary.

But conversely…

“If you can just get close, then you can win, right?”

“After all, one punch from you would be enough to knock them out.”

If I could just get close, I had a chance to win.

I stretched my arms upward and looked around the arena while doing some warm-ups.

The distance between Mikel and me was about 100 meters.

To effectively close this gap, I would have to use the terrain wisely.

The “Mana Barrier” hall is one of the academy’s prides.

Here, all flow of mana is restrained, and 99% of lethal potential is lost, allowing for safe dueling. In addition, it offers various terrains that sorcerers can use to simulate real battles.

‘Pillars, rocks, platforms…’

Besides various terrains, they even reconstructed miniature sand dunes, creating a space suitable for a real fight.

I prepared for the duel, taking note of these terrains with my eyes.

Understanding the surroundings beforehand and using them to one’s advantage.

This is the basis of combat.

Then, a professor who was serving as the examiner spoke.

“Is everyone ready?”

“Yes.”

I answered, and Mikel, who had been closing his eyes, also nodded.

Our eyes met at the same time.

“…Huh?”

Mikel Geri Hill.

His eyes, filled with a fierce desire to kill, glared at me with animosity.

But…

‘Something’s odd…’

Why did the atmosphere around him feel different than usual?

In his eyes, I detected hints of anxiety about the environment, along with a thick layer of mania; his fingers were trembling slightly.

I knew it.

Mikel had always been arrogant and pompous, but…

He’s actually a coward, pretending to be confident to cover up his timid nature.

No matter how much he disliked me, he wouldn’t emit such intense hostility that bordered on madness.

A moment ago.

He didn’t look like this when we crossed paths outside the exam hall.

I activated ‘Player’s Eye’ to check Mikel’s status.

And then.

I realized why Mikel appeared this way.

《Mikel Geri Hill》

《Class 3 Sorcerer》

《Potential: High》

《Trait: Double Casting》

《Condition: Berserk State. (Hidden)》

‘Berserk State.’

When such a state appears in the status, it’s only due to one reason.

When an abnormal potion is consumed during the alchemy class.

Moreover, seeing the word ‘Hidden’ beside it, I could quickly infer that he must have taken some forbidden drug and drank another potion to conceal it.

Before the examination, Professor Elik Geri Hill, who conducted the drug test, was none other than Mikel Geri Hill’s uncle.

‘Damn…’

The reason Mikel had been so confident from the start was becoming clear.

Now, what to do?

At that moment, the examiner continued.

“Alright. The only banned magic in this duel is depravity magic. All magic based on the four fundamental elements can be used, and scores will be measured based on the level of the spells landed. However, any use of fatal magic will be considered an instant defeat. Any questions?”

I raised my hand.

“I have a question.”

“What is it?”

“If it is discovered that the participant consumed unauthorized potions in this arena, what happens?”

“They will be disqualified immediately and lose their examination rights. Depending on the severity, they may face expulsion discussions. But why do you ask?”

“Never mind.”

Mikel’s eyes narrowed at my question.

It was as if he was saying,

‘Why do you…?’

Heh, think I’d just give you an answer so easily?

Right now, all I have is ‘suspicion,’ nothing more.

Demanding belief in a ‘status window’ only I can see has its limits.

So first, I need to find evidence.

Definitive evidence.

“Alright, to your positions.”

Following the examiner’s instruction, Mikel and I stepped onto the circular starting point.

Then, with a resonating hum of mana…

“Begin the duel!”

“Ruin! Die!”

The first to attack was Mikel Geri Hill.

♦ ♦ ♦

The spell Mikel unleashed towards me.

Frozen Tree.

Branches sprouting from the ground entangled my ankles and continued to extend, wrapping around my entire body.

It was one of the most basic binding spells of the nature category, but its effect was substantial.

Just as I was momentarily stunned…

Whoosh!

Branches burst from the ground in the blink of an eye and ensnared me.

It was an astonishingly fast spell.

Mikel’s opening spell had hit its mark.

“Next, it’s over!”

Believing he had me completely trapped, Mikel began casting a fire spell.

But I…

Swoosh.

Kicked up the bound leg with force.

And then…

Snap! Crackle!

“What the…?”

My ankles were no longer bound as the roots snapping, and the spell was undone.

Not only Mikel was surprised.

“How did he break free so easily?”

“Did Mikel’s magic not work on him?”

No.

The spell had taken effect.

But Mikel missed one critical point.

The strength that I possess.

《Strength: 1,200》+++

《Agility: 100》

《Wisdom: 1,550》

My strength had long since surpassed 1,200.

Although I’m not exactly sure what the figure of 1,200 signifies, when I used the ‘Ogre’s Rage’ which boosts strength by 300, I could match an ogre in a test of strength.

The “Mana Barrier” hall may suppress magic, but it doesn’t restrain pure physical strength.

That’s why tearing these branches apart was nothing to me.

“That damn boy… Die!”

Seeing his spell so easily dismissed, the dumbfounded Mikel unleashed the fire magic he had been casting.

“Fire Breast!”

Roar!

Fire Breast.

A gigantic skull formed above Mikel’s head, and it began spewing hot flames at me.

“It’s fast!”

“Was Mikel always this powerful?”

It was a wide-area attack spell not easily dodged, and its casting speed was remarkable.

I evaded it with haste magic and took cover behind a terrain feature I had noticed earlier.

Taking refuge behind a pillar, Mikel provoked me with a manic voice.

“Ruin! Are you going to keep hiding there? Can’t you do anything but dodge?”

I didn’t retort, instead pondering within the range of Mikel’s magic’s blind spot.

‘His casting speed has increased…’

That means he drank some potion that boosts mana excavation capacity and accelerates mana flow.

Plus, the scope of Mikel’s fire magic has significantly increased.

‘Increased casting speed and magical power amplification.’

For the past five years, I aced every written exam. There wasn’t a potion I didn’t know about.

After a brief contemplation, several drugs came to mind.

“Come out right now, Ruin! Come out and fight me!”

Seeing Mikel overly excited compared to usual, I was assured it was one particular drug.

‘Awakening Herb, Burning Flower.’

That explains everything.

The side effects of this drug.

Shivering hands, excessive adrenaline causing excitement, suppression of pain, and impaired friend-or-foe recognition.

Everything fits perfectly.

Now, just one thing to confirm.

‘Suppression of pain.’

After finishing my calculations, I stepped out from behind the pillar and said to Mikel,

“Mikel, you seemed very confident… So that was it?”

“What?”

“Burning Flower.”

At the same time, Mikel’s face crumpled like crumpled paper.

Smirking at him, I declared,

“Here I come, Mikel.”

I lunged forward.

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