They were at the five stadium Pentarium where the Pupil Tournament had taken place. Veronica entered the central stadium where the final match had been held. The person who seemed like the caretaker opened the door as soon as they saw Veronica's face.
Maybe she had come here more than once or twice.
"Isn't there much more space here than at the Magic Society? It is usually used as a training ground or a place to demonstrate magic when a tournament isn't occurring," Veronica explained as she stretched her flexible limbs.
She wasn't wearing much under her red robes. As every movement she made revealed a part of her body, Theo didn't know where to look.
It was like she had no idea how provocative she was being as she continued her explanation. "The best solution to the disharmony you are experiencing is to completely reproduce the situation at the time your circles increased, but that isn't possible. So, we will use the second way."
"…What is it?" Theo asked while trying look unconcerned. It was hard for his gaze to not rest on specific areas of her body.
"It is simple. In the end, the disharmony is a discrepancy between the body and the mind, so we just need to make it into one."
Once the warm up was completed, Veronica stopped stretching her limbs and stood in place. Her stance seemed to reveal gaps all over her body. However, Alfred's sensory perception was crying out the reverse: those gaps were dangerous. Theodore accepted the contradictory analysis.
Veronica smiled when she saw Theo instinctively lower his posture.
"I will help you reach the limit." Shortly after she said this, the heat around Veronica's body began to boil
The ground turned red, and the hot wind blew into the air. Due to the wind pressure, her red robes were fluttering. Awe filled Theodore's eyes as his skin tingled despite the distance.
'She isn't intentionally doing this. She is just releasing her magic power…!'
It wasn't a special phenomenon. A magician who reached a certain level would naturally affect the environment. For example, water never dried up around the Blue Tower, and the White Tower always had a breeze around it. Additionally, snow would never accumulate around the Red Tower.
However, this was on a different scale. Even if dozens of senior magicians gathered together, they would only cause the temperature to rise or drop a little bit. However, Veronica was burning like a living flame!
Her voice resonated in the haze, "Then kid, do you want to play with me?"
She only looked at him, yet there was a blast of hot wind. Theo got rid of the hot wind with simple wind magic and responded to Veronica, whose form was unclear. He said, "Spar? With you?"
"I'll give you some concessions. I won't use magic of the 5th Circle and above, and I won't attack in any direction other than the front. I will adjust my strength too, so don't worry."
One of the two greatest magicians in the Meltor Kingdom was right before him, so Theo's concentration level reached its peak. Even if she attached 100 types of penalties, she wasn't a person he could face easily.
In general, 7th Circle magicians were on the same level as a sword master, and Veronica's power was one step beyond that. So, Theodore couldn't fathom it. However, despite his sober judgement, he could feel his spirit boiling. "I understand."
Her titles, as being one quarter dragon as well as an 8th Circle magician, were brilliant, but Theodore was the owner of a grimoire. He wouldn't shrink back just because of his opponent's name. Regardless of victory or defeat, this was a chance to test things out. It would be nice to make Veronica's relaxed face look shocked.
'I will try it once.'
It was possible to spar with Veronica if Theo combined Gluttony's third function with Battle Song. He would see if it was effective or not.
Theo looked down at his left hand and was reminded of the ability which had awakened.
[Grimoire "Gluttony" / D Rank]
[One of the seals containing Gluttony's power has been removed. From now on, Gluttony will tell you the origin of the artifact or chant a spell in a voice which can't be heard by anyone else. The former owners called this feature as 'Another,' but you can change the name if you want.
* 'Another' activates magic with the user's magic power. However, magic which hasn't been mastered by the user isn't available.]
It was a ridiculous ability. The ability, 'Another,' which had been unlocked from the third seal, was literally a cheat.
For magicians, there was always the risk that they would be attacked while chanting a spell. It was highly likely for the magician to fail in the chant if they were moving. However, a magician who stood still would be exposed to attacks.
So, if Theo' had 'Another,' he would be able to use magic without any risk.
'It is also possible to apply it this way!'
Five circles revolved within Theo's body. He used his shaky 5th Circle as an aid while building up the magic formula of 'Blaze Shell' within his other four circles. Simultaneously, the mouth on his left hand chanted the spell for 'Catapult' in a voice which only Theo could hear. It was Theodore's strongest Fusion Magic, 'Volcanic Shell,' which he'd used in the final match of the tournament.
'It is magic similar to Memorize, but-'
It was possible to complete the two magics in an instant, as if there were two people.
"Volcanic Shell!" As soon as a giant rock emerged, red flames appeared around it.
The combination of mass and firepower was more intense than before thanks to the aid of the 5th Circle. It could destroy any 5th Circle defense magic with one blow, and Theo shot it without any hesitation.
Veronica extended her hand with a nonchalant expression. "Oho, is that Fusion Magic?"
There was no chance to be impatient as the Volcanic Shell flew towards her. Magic power surged around her palms, and a red flaming spear popped out. The spear shot forward like a flash of light and pierced the shell.
The pieces of shattered stone scattered in every direction. Fire Spear was just a 4th Circle magic, but Veronica had made it stronger. Otherwise, she wouldn't have been able to destroy Volcanic Shell in a frontal move like that.
Veronica truly was going to use only 4th Circle magic. She deemed it would be enough to overwhelm Theo. At that moment, dark smoke filled the stadium, and there was a temporary lull.
Suddenly, a human shape shot out from the smoke. It was faster than it seemed, and Veronica involuntarily let out a sound, "Eh?"
She'd expected Theo to use magic to cover her field of vision and drag her into close combat, but his speed was too fast. Even if he used Battle Song, those weren't the movements of a magician. It was an acceleration speed allowed only for Theodore, who had mastered the full version.
'Sonata of Speed.
Theo ran like he was just grazing against the ground. He wouldn't have achieved this speed if he hadn't received some of Lee Yoonsung's abilities. With a perfect center of gravity, Theo's body neared Veronica and leapt forward like a thunderbolt. Then he used the momentum to knee her in the abdomen!
There was a heavy sound, and Veronica took a few steps back. She couldn't believe that a man's knee had hit her as the impact was so powerful. The attack had forced Veronica to leave her spot. However, instead of taking joy from his successful hit, Theo turned pale after the collision. '…What, this feeling?'
At the moment of conflict, a devastating image passed through the mind of the attacker, Theodore. It felt like a child's fist hitting a wall several meters thick or like a young child going against a heavily armed infantry unit.
Unsurprisingly, a strange smile flashed on Veronica's face. "Good, isn't this pretty exciting?"
Theo felt a sense of impending crisis from Veronica's beautiful voice.
He moved as soon as he felt a chill go down his spine. Theo wasn't late because he had jumped back desperately.
Peeng! The air burst due to her fist.
Theo had seen this scene during his synchro with Lee Yoonsung. It was a fist which could shatter a rock in one hit, crossing the barrier of sound. His bones would break from that strike, even if he activated Battle Song.
As one quarter dragon, the blood flowing through Veronica's body gave her an ability equivalent to an aura user.
"Good movements. Haven't you become a completely different person in 10 days? Why is it that I get so curious every time I see you? You are the best!"
"That— tha—nk— you," Theodore replied through clenched teeth.
Veronica's hand-to-hand combat skills were terrible. She did nothing aside from punch or kick. Even so, the absurd strength and speed of her attack made it beyond the level of a human.
In the first place, techniques were just for efficiency. It was what the weak studied to figure out how to defeat the strong. However, Veronica had been born with sufficient strength, so techniques were unnecessary for her.
'I can't fight her in close combat! Widen the distance!' Lee Yoonsung's experience and Alfred's intuition told him this.
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Veronica's combat skills were bad, but there was no way for him to win in close combat. The analysis was contradictory, but it was reality. While escaping, Theo prepared magic with 'Another' and aimed his right hand at the approaching fist.
'All Slots Open.
'Double Blaze Shell.'
Two fireballs shot out hastily.
"You can use magic while moving?" Veronica's eyes widened with surprise. Interest and surprise filled her golden eyes as the two fireballs headed towards her. "But it won't work!"
Wind Cutter was invoked with a single gesture. Countless gusts of wind overlapped and broke the two shells.
Despite the 4th Circle magic being destroyed by 2nd Circle magic, Theo was able to achieve his purpose of widening the distance between them. Veronica approached Theodore but suddenly stopped moving.
She smiled brightly and clapped several times. "Wow, amazing! Learning the Battle Song in 10 days… Your movements are great as well. Moreover, you can use Fusion Magic and even cast while moving. This is enough to take down a few 6th Circle magicians that I know."
She was praising him. However, Theo just listened instead of rejoicing. The result was that he'd failed to land a single strike on Veronica, and he hadn't reached his limits. Talking in the middle of this situation meant there was something else.
She brushed away the dust on her robe as she spoke, "But that isn't enough. Kid, do you still have any other means left? You will only feel the limit after using everything possible."
"I also heard it from the Blue Tower Master. Didn't you reproduce Alfred's Magic Missile? Even if Alfred returned alive, he won't be able to beat me. He isn't a match for me."
As she spoke, Veronica threw off her robe. "From now on, prepare to die. I'll make you regret going in front of me."
Red magic power rose from her body like lava.
Ku ku ku kung…
The violent presence swelled even more. Veronica had intentionally activated her dragon blood. This meant the scale of her power before couldn't even be compared to what Theodore had previously experienced.
Even people a few kilometers away would flee from this presence. Any sickly person in the Pentarium might have their heart stop beating.
Standing before her, Theo raised his finger. "I will surprise you once more."