27 Reconstruction magician Vs. Tempest magician
Xadi was carefully studying Evlin. He was fully aware that she was a promising mage with a lot of potential but he was still sure even her wouldn't be able to execute magic without moving. Even a master-rank mage can, at best, perform magic without the use of a staff or wand, there has never been a mage in history able to release magic with it's mind.
Something wasn't right. Could it be possible that in the three days ever since she left the city she managed to develop an even higher ranking of magic than master-rank? If so, then Xadi had even more reason to capture Evlin and make her work for him.
"Looks like i underestimated you... My apologies..."
"From now on... I'll be going at you with all i have!"
Xadi started to cast two spells at the same time, a water spell on his left and a lighting spell on his right. Evlin looked at him and thought to herself 'Here it comes...', his signature move, the 'death prison', is what he called it. A combo that made use of all of Xadi's spells. Using wind to gather some distance, freezing the opponent with water magic and then finishing it off using a thunder strike.
Evlin started to shake in fear hoping that the plan would work. Cold sweat started to drip from her face. The fear of death was completely paralyzing her on the spot making it impossible to move an inch. Xadi released his attacks making sure the freezing magic was slightly faster than the electric magic.
Evlin closed her eyes in a reflex and started to pray for her life, but just like before, something came out of the ground and blocked Xadi's attacks keeping her safe. A wall of stone appeared surrounding Evlin and collided with the ice spell, followed by a giant pillar showing up and blocking the thunder spell. Evlin wanted to drop on the floor and thank the heavens but she couldn't get distracted. She needed to keep carrying her job, keeping Xadi focused on her.
"I- I can't do this all day you know? Could you hurry up and just get lost already?"
Xadi remained silent after hearing that taunt. He was starting to figure it out that something really was not right. He decided to take a gamble and turned off his wind magic dropping himself on the ground. He took another look at Evlin and then started to analyze his surroundings. Evlin was starting to get nervous with his silence. If Xadi was quiet, it's because he was thinking, and letting him think was dangerous. She tried to taunt him again.
"What's wrong bookworm? You ran out of tricks already? I'm still standing right here!"
Xadi remained quiet and started to slowly walk towards Evlin. At each step she would get more and more nervous, her body trembling uncontrollably. Xadi was making no expression, only focusing on putting one leg in front of the other.
Once he was ten steps away from Evlin he heard a small sound coming from his feet. His eyes quickly moved to the source of the noise and he realized a small marble on the ground. Not even a second later, the earth where the marble was located exploded and two stone hands appeared trying to grab him, but he managed to avoid it by jumping backwards using wind magic.
"... So that's is how it is..."
Evlin stiffened up even more, assuming that was even possible by this point.
"... You are not the little girl are you...?"
"No matter how good you are there is no way someone can use magic without moving... She's hiding somewhere isn't she? Using you as bait and shooting the ground with that cursed crossbow of hers..."
"... ... ..."
"... I see... She changed my eyes with her magic... So she probably developed some kind of modeling magic that affects living beings now... Am i right sister?"
Evlin, or rather, Ashley disguised as Evlin gritted her teeth. Xadi saw that reaction and formed a devilish smile as if saying 'Bingo!' to the girl in front of him.
"Nice, very nice... You two almost had me for a second... So each time i attack she shoots the ground and protects you... So all i gotta do is kill you faster than she can shoot!!"
Xadi used wind magic to create a storm of dust in order to block the view from anyone outside of that area. He followed by charging three spears of lightning and launched them towards Ashley, the same attack he used against Evlin in the red district.
For the first time Ashley tried to move in a attempt to run a way from the dust cloud. Before the spears managed to reach her she reached a designed spot and screamed 'Here!' towards the sky and the ground beneath her started to rise pushing her away from the spear's trajectory, however the lightning still clashed with the moving ground causing an explosion beneath her feet making her fall on her back.
Xadi rushed towards her carrying a staff charged with electric magic ready to turn Ashley into literal ashes. But before he reached her, two shadows appeared out of nowhere and kicked him sideways.
Xadi rolled on the ground but quickly stood up and made another surprised face.
"What's this now...?"
In front of him there were three Evlins. One was Ashley in disguise still on the ground but now two more had appeared standing in front of her.
"So now that we are done with hide-and-seek you want to play 'find the difference'? Did you drag some random traveler you found on the road to help you with this little game?"
The two Evlins remained silent while Ashley was trying to stood up from the floor. She them answered his question.
"Who said that hide-and-seek was over?"
Xadi immediately heard the sound of another marble beneath his feet and tried to jump again with wind magic, but this time he was a little too late and was bruised by a giant spike that emerged from below. His arm was bleeding from a huge wound caused by the attack but he hurried to fix it with healing magic.
"So this is how it's going to be huh...? How many people did you drag into this? Ten, twenty? one hundred? You do know you're just giving me more hostages to use against you right?"
One of the Evlins started to rush towards Xadi in a attempt to punch him but Xadi was faster and stabbed her in the stomach with his electric-charged staff. However he once again found himself surprised. There was no blood coming out of her. Her body started to lose color and begun to crumble into a pile of rocks.
"An earth golem! I was tricked!!"
Xadi heard the sound of three marbles colliding with the ground, positioned in such a way that completely surrounded him. The marbles exploded and several spikes of stone appeared in a circle around him.
He could not escape this attack. Before the spikes stabbed him he covered his entire body with a cloak of lightning and smashed the spikes with his fists. Ashley saw the scene and became frustrated.
"Tch! So close!"
Xadi looked at her.
"I'm getting tired of being hunted... Time for me to do the hunting!"
He rushed towards Ashley but the other Evlin tried to block him. Xadi easily knocked her down making her start to crumble into a pile of rocks as well revealing that she was indeed a golem too. Ashley tried to escape but Xadi was much faster. He launched a beam of magic towards the ground she was stepping on and froze her legs.
Ashley started to panic when she turned her head an saw Xadi right behind her, ready to strike. He was wielding a massive ball of electricity at the end of his staff and was about to release it on top of the frozen girl. But before he could, Ashley revealed a small knife behind her back and used it to break the ice. She jumped away at the last second barely being caught by an explosion of electricity.
Her legs were severely damaged and she could no longer run. Xadi approached her and stared at her knife, a silver blade that he had never seen before that she used to cut his ice so easily. An ice so powerful that Xadi could imprison creatures three times his size with was destroyed by one small knife.
"Where did you get that...?"
Before she could give an answer, Xadi could feel the wind changing on top of him. Something was dropping from the sky at an immense speed. Xadi moved out of the way from the object's landing spot assuming it would be another stone attack from Evlin. When the object landed it created a cloud of smoke and under it revealed that the object was in fact a winged golden creature of the size of a large adult person bearing some feline features.
"... Another surprise...?"
Xadi took another glance at the golden monster and realized that it was wearing the same clothes and shared some facial features with the disguise Ashley was using. He looked at those massive wings and realized what was going on.
"So you were hiding above us this whole time huh? You really are a diamond in the rough little girl!"
A few hours before Ashley reached Emerald Dawn's gates and confronted Xadi, she and Evlin were discussing their battle plans on a safe location.
"Xadi has a fighting style very similar to yours. He likes to keep his distance and strike the enemy with powerful attacks. If it's you, you probably can use earth magic to block most of them. The problem is that he strikes so fast you won't have many chances to fight back."
"So how do we create an opening?"
"We need to drag his attention somewhere else. Give him a new target to focus on!"
"A new target? Like what...?"
"Can you create golems with your earth magic?"
"Golems...? You mean those giant dolls made of stone? I tried once but they kept breaking so easily that i stooped using them... With my boosted body I'm usually much faster and stronger than them."
"Could you perhaps make them smaller and give them color with your modeling magic?"
"We can make a fake 'Evlin' to keep Xadi distracted!"
"Oh! An Evlin golem!! That could work! But... Won't he realize that she is a fake? I'm not sure how good of an actor a golem can be..."
"True... If only the golem could talk... Ah! What if..."
"What if you used your transformation magic to turn me into you?"
"Are you crazy?? I'm not gonna let you get close to that psycho!! He will kill you!"
"He won't! He knows how valuable you are to him, and he knows how powerful you are! He will keep a safe distance from me and avoid getting to close or using lethal attacks. If you protect me from afar and stop his attacks before they can reach me you might get a hit while he focuses on me!"
"But- But what if I'm not fast enough??"
"You will be if you boost your power with these knifes!"
"... I don't like this plan..."
"A surprise attack is our best chance against Xadi. Your new power is the only thing about you that he doesn't have any information on. If we can exploit ti well we might finish him in one strike!"
"So how would we do that...? Like i said, i hold his attention and you protect me while looking for openings to attack! Just find a safe spot where he can't see you."
"A safe spot... How am i going to find a place to hide my huge body after merging with Sphinx? These wings alone will be a dead giveaway!"
"Maybe you two can hide in the sky and shoot from above?"
"We can't fly... I told you Sphinx received my fear of heights... Plus, the sky is Xadi's comfort zone thanks to his thunder and wind spells... I work better close to the ground."
"... The ground... What if you create some kind of floating platform? You could rise the whole ground in the air and hide in the clouds while you shoot from above!"
"I don't know..."
"If you combine with Sphinx and use his strength you should be fine even if you happen to fall!"
"Please don't talk about me and falling in the same sentence..."
"Just to be clear... You are listening yourself right? Your plan is to make me, who is afraid of heights and fights better on the ground, stay in the sky... While we fight a guy who specializes in aerial combat... At the same time we use you as a distraction for him... That's your great plan?"
"I told you, we need the element of surprise! A plan this risky is the last thing he will expect!"
"There are... So many things that could go wrong with this idea..."
"It won't! I trust you!"
"Well, i don't!"
"You don't have to, you just have to trust me! I'm the big sister, I'll make sure everything works out!"
"Fine, but the second i feel you need me I'll jump in ok?"
Back to the present, the confrontation continues with both mages staring at each other waiting for the other to make a move.
"What's up with the new look?"
"I didn't want people to recognize me while talking to someone like you so i decided to change my hair. What's with the eye?"
"You are such a waste of potential that it hurts to look at, so i decided to block half of my vision to ease the pain."
Ashley was observing the situation like a concerned mother while her children were fighting over who gets the best toy.
"You two are getting way too into this..."
"Ash, it's time to leave... I'll handle him."
"Right! Please try to run away. Go ahead and make yourself an easy target for me to blow away!"
"The second you try to harm her I'll cut you into tiny pieces!"
"Maybe... But she would still die! You wanna take that gamble?"
"By the way... Have you ever even killed someone before?"
"And i don't mean monsters or creatures or anything... I mean a living person, an actual human being."
"You flatter yourself if you think you can be called a human being..."
Evlin was trying to look for openings. Xadi's body was completely surrounded by some kind of electric cloak. If she tried to strike him with her claws she would be the only one getting hurt. On top of that, she needed to protect Ashley. If she leaved her side, Xadi would end her for sure. Their previous plan to let Evlin play the role of a sniper seemed to be working for a bit but Ashley was starting to get into too much danger. She couldn't take that risk anymore. Xadi noticed she was lost in her thoughts and decided to make his move.
"So... How about we finally start the real fight?"
He released his usual electric spear attack trying to hit Evlin. She grabbed Ashley with her tail and started to carry her on her back, similar to their usual backpack formation from when they first left the city.
"Ash, hold as hard as you can! I'm going to be moving a lot!"
With her speed boosted by the silver knifes, Evlin managed to dodge the spear of electricity, however she noticed that the lighting was being slightly attracted by the metal of the knifes. Each time a part of the electricity exploded on the ground a little bit of residual energy would come out and start to follow her.
She was planning to use the moment where she dodged the attacks to try and land a hit on Xadi, but now she needed to watch over not to let the residual energy reach her from behind. Xadi seemed to have noticed her trouble and started to increase the number of spears.
"Dance little girl! Dance! Ha ha ha ha!"
She kept dodging the lighting as fast as she could but thanks to her fusion with Sphinx her body was double it's original size making her a massive target. She intended to rely on Sphinx's vast source of magic to boost her spells but she had no time to attack now because she had to protect Ashley and herself.
This was basically a game for Xadi. He started to raise ice from the ground to block Evlin's path and making it harder for her to dodge. Everywhere she tried to run towards, a huge spike of ice would appear and stopped her movements.
Everything had went wrong. She tried to rely on Ashley but now she was too focused on protecting her. She tried to rely on the silver knifes but now they were making it harder to dodge the lightning. Even her transformation magic that was used on Sphinx was useless now. Despite her being much stronger on that form she can't touch Xadi while he is covered in electricity.
At a moment, Ashley's face came close to Evlin's ear and tried to whisper something.
"Evlin! You gotta let me go!"
"Have you lost your mind!?"
"You need to hit him! Right now you have the power of Sphinx and the knifes on your side! If you can hit him just once it will be over! But you can't cast a spell while you keep focusing on protecting me!"
"I can't just drop you in here like this! He will kill you!"
"I told you! The only way to beat him is with the element of surprise! He would never expect you to abandon me! It's the only way!"
"Just stay quiet! I'll think of something!"
"Like what?? He's not giving you time to cast another earth spell!"
"... Maybe i don't need to... I already have a spell ready right above us!"
Ashley looked at the sky and noticed the platform that Evlin was using to shoot her marbles at Xadi. Evlin was keeping it afloat with her earth magic but probably forgot about it during the fight. Ashley was saying the only way to win was with a surprise attack, little things can surprise a person more than a giant rock falling from the sky. Ashley understood the plan.
"This... Might work..."
"This will work!"
Xadi kept releasing his thunder and ice magic but now he was also mixing in wind magic to obscure Evlin's vision and push her away. If the fight kept dragging on she would start to get in trouble. It was time to end this.
She stopped running and glared at Xadi. The tempest magician looked at her wondering what her next move would be.
"Ready to give up and admit you can't keep up with me?"
"Don't mind me, just taking one last look before i bury you into the ground..."
"Keeping the tough act to the very end... Have it your way then!"
Xadi released a massive attack. A spiraling tornado covered in electricity with spikes of ice following right behind it. His ultimate move combining all of his offensive spells.
He was sure that there would be no way for the two to dodge that giant display of magic but before the magic could reach them, a massive bolder appeared from the sky and crashed into the ground, creating a big explosion that blocked his attack.
A huge pile of smoke was formed from the explosion and Xadi heard Ashley screaming 'Now!' from inside of it! Before he noticed, a giant hand came out of the smoke and tried to grab him.
Xadi had seen that move before. It was a move Evlin loved using. But something was different this time. It wasn't just a giant hand. It was also an arm, a shoulder, a head, and once the smoke was gone, he realized that a giant Evlin made of stone was in front of him. That was a golem, one of the size of a house, and it was trying to catch Xadi and hold him down.
Xadi panicked at the sight of the rock giant and released all of his magic attack to strike it with a thunder-bolt reducing it to a pile of sand. But by doing so he unconsciously released his electric cloak giving Evlin the opening she was looking for.
Before feeling a little relieve for successfully destroying the giant golem, Xadi noticed a winged mass of golden hair moving quickly towards his direction. He tried to raise his cloak one more time and escape towards the sky with his wind, but it was hopeless. Evlin was being boosted by her usual healing magic, the power of Sphinx and the power of the silver knifes. Her speed right now wouldn't lose to anyone.
"Remember when i said punching people in the face was my thing?"
She converted her wooden armor into a gauntlet for her right arm while holding Ashley with her left arm. Before Xadi could react she stroke him down with all her power creating a big crater on the ground and even destroying his staff in the process.
The smoke from the impact cleared. Xadi was still alive but completely unconscious and full of bruises all over his body.
She looked at him and declared her victory.
"And this time... Stay down!"