Veena held her sword towards the two automatons.
If you asked anyone skilled in swordsmanship, they’d say she held the blade like someone badly mimicking a knight, but even with her poor imitation of a swordsman she still cut an imposing figure.
As the automatons judged Veena’s stance, however, they assessed that it was full of gaps.
An automaton is a shining jewel of human ingenuity. A magic tool that is packed with all kinds of information.
It knows all the textbooks on swordsmanship.
Of course, without practice, true understanding can never be achieved.
But, it knows enough to measure the skill of an opponent.
That’s the conclusion that the automatons came to based on that information.
The girl’s stance is completely amateur. But, sometimes there’s more than meets the eye.
The child-like automaton aimed its weapons as it ignored the increasingly high pitched error noises.
Apart from the firearms, its body is entirely hollow, and all those barrels pointed at Veena.
A canon in the mouth, muskets for arms, wings turned into blades, and many other varieties of weapons besides.
With this much, a kill is ensured. That would usually be a correct assessment.
With her sword skills that don’t even seem to be on the level of a squire’s, it’s impossible for her to deflect these many bullets. It would be even more impossible for her to avoid them,
The battle was decided before it began.
But of course, that only assumes she intends to fight with only a sword.
The assessment of Veena as a complete amateur is correct, as far as the sword goes. But, she only chose the sword because she was somewhat drawn to it.
Before that, Veena is primarily a mage.
Against her magical power, the attack about to be unleashed on her was like casting a stone into the ocean. It would be utterly futile.
(I want to try something different than usual.)
A method she had seen recently.
Looking at the figure of the child automaton that pointed innumerable gun barrels at her, Veena thought to herself as she leveled the sword.
She thought she had gotten the stance correct, but it felt a little awkward.
She’s not sure but can’t help shake the feeling she’s looking foolish.
(I wonder what I’m doing wrong? Well, for now, I should just concentrate on these two.)
Concentrating, Veena clasped the handle of her sword.
Then, as if taken by the wind, she disappeared.
She was fast. Absurdly fast.
It wasn’t a speed that could be followed by the eye. It was as if her movement was a mere illusion like she had never been in her original spot at all.
Like a gale force wind, Veena sped towards the small automaton and swung upward with full force.
With a scraping sound, the sword bisected its target. It wasn’t until the sword had already passed from the crotch to the tip of its head that the automaton was able to react.
It had only been a split second. Although it may seem natural given the difference in ability, the conclusion was still stunningly fast.
Veena defeated the first automaton instantly, then cast her eyes to the second.
But, that one moment of pause.
It was a gap that could have proven fatal.
Because right after she thought that, she noticed.
She doesn’t know whether it was an auditory hallucination or a very real voice. Regardless, the moment she heard that sound,
Veena moved reflexively. But, it was too late.
Numerous blades that flew out of the child automaton’s cross-section brushed Veena’s arm.
She knew that magic. And Veena wasn’t the only one. At the moments the blades had released, Leena, Yua, Aria, and Sylph had raised their eyes to look at the same time.
Veena couldn’t help but think that.
Blood began to flow down her arm. It hurt quite a bit, but the surprise she was feeling helped distract from the pain.
“‘Eight Curses’… Why is the magic of ‘Hakurei’ being used in a place like this?”
Eight Curses. Any magician who has picked up a book has heard of it, and its reputation for being the most heinous of magecraft.
(What does this mean? Is she in league with the rebels?)
Veena backed off a little bit as she held her wound.
This is the worst. She had been hit by an attack of the ‘Eight Curses’.
She knew what that meant.
“Pipipipipi… Confirmation of application of The Curse of Binding.”
The mechanical voice still plays from the torn up automaton.
“…I get it now. They really got me.”
Purple smoke began to seep from her wound.
It’s a curse.
(M-my body is getting heavy…)
A binding curse that restricted one’s abilities.
(But, I was only scratched. Do you think a curse of that level is going to work on me with just that?)
She touches her wound and begins to cast healing magic. However, the sigil crumbled immediately.
(As expected of such a notorious curse. It might take a little time to do something about this.)
A truly nefarious curse, more so than any other.
Even Veena, who is incredibly skilled in deciphering and manipulating magic, cannot instantly deal with this.
(But, this still isn’t enough to stop me. And yet they used it anyways, is there purpose to simply delay me as much as possible?)
She developed anti-curse magic, and as soon as it failed she moved onto a different type of spell.
So, as she attempted to remove the curse from her arm, she steps over the bisected child automaton and heads towards the remaining one.
And, hiatus. This chapter was released back in June (2018), and there hasn’t been a peep from the author since then. I get the feeling it will be picked up again at some point, but for now, I’m moving this into my new hiatus series list.
I won’t leave any detailed thoughts on this series since I don’t want to colour anyone else’s impressions, but you can probably guess what I think. I’ll just say I wasn’t double releasing out of any great passion.
I am currently open to suggestions. I have a few series in mind, including the teaser I posted the other day, or maybe you guys would like me to focus on the series I’m already doing. Either way, drop a comment. (´･ω･`)
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