Chapter 163 Strongest Sage, Intercepts
"...I haven't been able to control the Dragon Vein since awhile ago... Is that your doing?"
The demon suddenly turned around when I was approaching him while concealing my presence.
Well, I already knew that surprise attacks wouldn't work against this level of demon, so it's not a problem.
Might be different if the opponent were defenseless, but they were in high alert after that cave in.
"And what if it is?"
I replied with a vague answer that neither deny or confirm it.
Letting your enemy keep holding their own misunderstanding is a basic of battle.
The mana around the demon shook unnaturally before he showed a reaction.
This is... It's most likely a communication magic.
With that in mind, I see what the content is about by reading the surrounding mana.
『Don't be fooled. Mathias Hildesheimr might be capable of obstructing our attempt to control the Dragon Vein, but not when he's moving. Assume that someone is lurking near the Dragon Vein and doing the sabotage. Judging from the magic used, the one hindering us is most likely a Glory Crest. Each of the magic is likely not of high level, but it's skilfully used.』
『Understood. Then I will fight him while pretending to have been fooled.』
There's probably another demon who's giving instructions to this demon here.
Judging from the content, like the things with magic and Dragon Vein, that demon knows his stuff.
I can destroy their comm here, but... the fight might be easier if I intercept their communication while pretending to have no idea about it.
And I can find out the enemy's skill level with this too.
"...I see. That means, I can manipulate the Dragon Vein as much as I like once I've killed you."
The demon deployed a barrier as he said that.
However, unlike an ordinary barrier, the spell art is concentrated at the center.
A countermeasure against Disqualified Crest huh.
Since the spell art is located at the center, it's hard to destroy this type of barrier with Disqualified Crest.
....Well, at least that's how it is for those who don't know how to make us of Disqualified Crest.
I tampered only a part of the deployed barrier magic's spell art.
Breaking down the entire barrier is difficult if you don't destroy its spell art, however... It's not that hard to slip in by simply breaking a part of it.
I quickly augment my sword while the demon was shocked.
Then I attempted to stab the demon, however...
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"...Sturdy as expected huh."
A demon with proper strength is sturdy.
Well other demons so far were all scouts after all.
But... That's not all.
Judging from the mana reaction, this demon has probably used a magic to defend against melee attacks on himself.
『Looks like the countermeasures against Mathias work well.』
『Yes. His strength is stronger than anticipated, however it doesn't seem like he can break through it.』
『Finish it before he could break it. Long term combat is disadvantageous against a stronger opponent.』
Just as I thought.
This demon is considerably more powerful than all other demons I've fought so far... And more than that, he's seemingly drawn up a plan to cope with Disqualified Crests.
However... This demon only know Disqualified Crest that fights with magically enhanced swords.
And in fact, that was mostly how I fought against all demons I encountered so far.
However--the Disqualified Crest wouldn't have been praised as the strongest crest if that was all there is to it.
It's true that augmenting a sword with a huge quantity of attack magic makes for a powerful weapon, however that's not the only trick a Disqualified Crest has.
『Ruli, prepare the 14th magic circle.』
I prepare to attack while giving instructions to Ruli.
At a glance, it might look like a defensive magic from the way it blocked my attack earlier... But it's actually not.
It's impossible to have the magic permanently active to protect against an attack magic that powerful.
There is gap you can breach here.
The question is where to create that opportunity... since they've prepared a nice material for it and all, allow me to use it.