347 Chapter 22: The Fenrir Guild takes front Stage Part 3
The moment the match started Adrian was already at a huge disadvantage. His senses had been greatly affected by the set up the mage had created. The dense fog made it impossible for Adrian to see her form as long as she wasn't moving around too much, the downpour of rain made it more difficult to hear her footsteps, and even his sense of smell was dampened do to all of the rain and the fact that his opponent had surrounded herself in a bubble. At the moment he was forced to fight in a reactionary way sense he couldn't really tell what was going on around him, but he had his ways to change things in his favor.
From Joshua's point of view he was able to see everything that the mage was doing. Before the battle even started Joshua could tell that she was used to fighting not only beast, but other people as well. She didn't make a lot of the same mistakes that everyone else that had joined the arena were making. Especially in the case of all of the other mages that he had seen join the fights so far. When Joshua went to pull up her information he noticed that she wasn't affiliated with any guild which was surprising to him. She was a rather powerful mage already at level sixty-two. That was quite an accomplishment for someone to accomplish on their own.
Joshua couldn't really get a good look at her appearance since she was covered up by her robes and her face was hidden well by her large hat that looked like something out of a fantasy story. He was pretty sure with the look she was going with she was a fan of old school role playing games with the whole wizard look. The only personal information he could get from observing her was her name. It was Brook Bird and although Joshua couldn't tell how old she was since most of her face was hidden he was certain of one thing. Brook was on the smaller side standing at just over five foot with boots on.
Her small figure actually worked well for her with the tactics she was using to start the match off with. Her small frame made her footsteps incredibly light allowing the rain to drown them out as long as she didn't run around and it also made it difficult to catch sight of her figure through the fog. Although her set up was well done for ambushing people she still had to be able to attack Adrian to win the match and that's where she would run into trouble. Adrian's high reaction speed and experience with battle would make it easy for him to lock onto her location the moment she attacked. Other swordsman might be put off by a powerful spell enough to give her time to reposition, but Joshua knew that wasn't going to be the case with Adrian.
Brook started the match off by creating a large water ball in her hand and sending it towards Adrian at a fast speed. Since it was a spell based off water it didn't seem out of place in the environment that Brook had set up before the fight started so Adrian wasn't able to sense it over all of the other things going on around him. At least that was the case until the attack got close to him. Adrian's reaction was clearly faster than the mage expected, since he not only side stepped the water ball, but also started charging in the direction that it had come from.
Even with her positioning being discovered the mage didn't panic as the water ball had given her time to create other spells which all looked like traps placed on the floor in front of her. The moment Adrian approached any of the traps they would explode into large geysers of water designed to knock her opponents into the air, but of course that wasn't enough to catch Adrian off guard. His ability to stop and start his movements was beyond anyone in Joshua's group and it showed as he stopped right before the traps would explode shifting out of the way and rushing around them.
The traps continued to explode as Joshua closed in on the mage. Although Adrian still wasn't able to see her he knew that she hadn't moved from her spot since he would have been able to see shifts in the fog that would have given her position away. So he kept charging avoiding all of the traps and sometimes cutting through the ones that were placed in a way that they were hard to side step around.
Joshua could see that Adrian was closing in on Brook, but the grin he previously had in all of his fights had disappeared as he seemed be taking this one more seriously. On multiple occasions Brook had placed the traps in a way that forced Adrian into dodging into another one thus slowing him down even more. The entire time Brook wasn't wasting away doing nothing. She was channeling a far more powerful spell that was absorbing a lot of moisture in the air around her. Joshua was certain this spell would have taken much longer to cast if it weren't for the environment she had created for herself beforehand.
When Adrian blasted pass the last trap he was forced into a head on position against Brook and that seemed to be what she was aiming for. The moment Adrian got within view of the mage he was immediately met with a large concentrated blast of water that came at him like a laser beam. If a highly pressurized amount of water struck him it would slice clean through his body without a doubt. Adrian lifted both his arms and placed his blades in a blocking position that allowed him to cut through the powerful blast of water, but the force of the attack still shoved him back and away from Brook giving her some more room. She clearly wanted that attack to do some damage, but she still wasn't done showing off yet.
The moment the spell ended Adrian started to dash forward once more to close the gap before Brook could disappear or cast another spell. This time he used flash step to get closer, but still wasn't forced into using his higher level skills yet. When he got in close Brook immediately used a spell that created a wide range blast of water directly in front of her that was supposed to knock him back, she also formed more traps behind him to give herself even more space after knocking him away.
Adrian didn't just let her plans go as expected though. The moment he got in close one of his swords started to glow with the tell-tell signs of an energy slash starting to form, but instead of using it in the normal way of a short range projectile he started to twirl the blade with one hand. The energy collided with the blast of water causing it to spiral outward instead of push him away. This shocked Brook who was now directly in front of a close ranged combatant without any spell prepared to knock him away.
Before she could try to jump back or move out of the way Adrian's second blade came swiping in at full force, but instead of seeing the short mage disappear in a blinding white light from his fatal strike he witnessed something unexpected. His blade was impeded by the bubble that the mage had formed around herself earlier. The bubble didn't pop right away like he was expecting it to, but instead the force of his blow seemed to knock both the bubble and Brook inside of it away. The force of the blow did eventually cause the bubble to break, but Brook was out of harm's way.
Brook immediately cast a short spell that made it so that she could glide along the water as she faded away back into the fog putting Adrian back at square one. The fog grew denser once more from another spell and Adrian already knew that the little mage had already set up another mine field for him to go through. He even expected her to have another bubble placed around her just in case he got in close like before. Adrian knew that he was at a disadvantage against a mage as long as he couldn't get in close and couldn't do enough damage to be fatal quickly. He was going to need another way to handle the situation if he wanted to end this fight quickly instead of waiting until the mage ran out of mana or he grew too tired. He didn't know how long the mage could go on for, but he didn���t want to find out.
As Adrian was trying to figure out the best way to continue the fight without showing off to many of his skills he noticed that several bubbles started to fill the arena around him. From that alone he could tell that this mage was an expert in laying traps and taking advantage of when her opponent made a mistake. That type of strategy was useful, but Adrian knew that throwing a wrench into her plans was the best way to deal with such a tactical fighter. After all he had seen Henry fight in similar ways several times before against smarter enemies in the past.
With the bubbles floating around the arena both low to the ground and high in the air it was impossible to just jump around them. He also knew that the mine traps would most likely knock him up into the air where it would be impossible to avoid the floating bubbles up there. Adrian chuckled a bit as excitement started to take over him once more. This time around he was going to have to show off a little bit, but he wouldn't take things too far.
As Adrian started to take slow and well placed steps forward his image started becoming vague and hard for others to see as it began to look as if several images of Adrian were overlapping. That's when his shadow step took form as he easily dashed around all the bubbles and avoided the mines. This was the first time Joshua was able to sense any form of shock and surprise by the actions of Brook. Seeing her traps being completely avoided like that caused her to rush into using another spell knowing full well that she didn't have much time.
The only problem was the fact that Adrian had grown used to identifying when Brook was channeling a spell. Although the fog helped hide her location it also gave it away if you payed attention enough whenever she started channeling a spell. You could see some of the fog slowly drifting in her direction since her spells were all water based and tended to gather moisture in the area when used to make the spell channel faster. Most people wouldn't be able to notice this fact, but someone like Adrian who had grown used to seeing similar techniques from Tank gathering moisture would be able to figure the flaw out.
Adrian dashed in the direction of Brook which caught her by surprise since she hadn't attacked him yet. With his new speed and evasiveness he easily dodged around all the traps without setting a single one off. Brook tried to fire a concentrated blast of water directly into Adrian's path, but he twirled around it without slowing down giving him a clear shot at his target. This time around he wasn't going to let the bubble get in his way. He struck out with his first blade cutting the bubble in a similar fashion to before, but when the bubble bounced away and popped creating some space Adrian flash stepped to close the gap.
Now with nothing in his way he quickly knocked away Brook's staff with one sword and ran her through with the other. Brook quickly faded away in a bright white light marking the end of the battle.