Nalear walked slowly towards them, cursing at her bad luck. Quylla had failed, constable Ernas was still alive. In the face of so many opponents, Blink was a liability. Nalear needed to save as much of her strength as she could to make sure they couldn't escape.
Orion completed his spell. He conjured five shields made of ice, each one almost as big as the corridor was wide, that converged on Nalear from above and all the four sides.
'Fighting fire with ice is beyond dumb.' Nalear thought. 'As long I have mana, I can fuel my flames, melting his toys way before they can harm me.'
Much to her surprise, the shields' aim wasn't to hit. A Mage Knight was mostly a defender, they would attack only at close quarters once the enemy left them no choice. The shields grew in size and thickness according to Orion will.
Their edges merged, keeping themselves away from the Final Sunset spell's core while creating an air tight space. It was Orion's personal spell, Sealing Cube. Nalear's flames roared trying to consume the ice restricting them, only to disappear into nothingness.
'The stronger the fire, the more air it consumes.' Orion thought. 'Take away the air and a fire mage becomes helpless.'
Final Sunset failing her shocked Nalear, but not as much as finding herself suddenly gasping for air. The oxygen inside the cube wasn't even enough to sustain a candle, let alone the deep breaths Invigoration required.
Her vision became blurry, but she managed to activate the powers of her iron glove again, shattering her prison with a series of powerful shockwaves. Her freedom came at a heavy price, making it a hollow victory.
All the mana she had poured in Final Sunset was lost, Invigoration was broken, and she was coming dangerously close to exhausting her magical equipment. No matter how powerful the mana crystals were, they still needed some time to recharge and Nalear had been forced using the non stop.
To make things worse, Orion had devised Sealing Cube to implode rather than explode when subjected to extreme vibrations. Air and fire were the natural counters to ice, so he had made them their own worst enemy.
Nalear screamed in pain. Her body was pierced by countless ice shards, bleeding profusely. There was only so much damage her Professor robe could block. She activated her sword again, releasing a flurry of lightning to buy some time and recover.
Jirni had seen countless cornered magicians and outlived them all. As soon as she recognized the crackling sound, she struck four of her needles in the four corners of the corridor, channeling her own air magic inside them.
The needles were indeed one of Orion's best works. They acted as lightning rods, turning Nalear's desperation move into a fool's errand. The electricity was safely grounded, allowing Orion to cast his next spell while Phloria took the offensive.
She charged forward, keeping the enemy's attention on herself to buy her father the time he needed. Nalear was still catching her breath, her spell wasn't ready yet.
She moved her blade pretending she was going to execute a horizontal slash, while she used the momentum from her spin to lunge forward with her sword, adding it to the boost air and fire fusion granted her.
Phloria's swordsmanship was better, allowing her to read the enemy feint and dodged the blade by a hair, turning her body so that her back was against Nalear's chest. Phloria's right arm wrapped around Nalear's locking it in place.
Phloria switched her blade to her left hand, cutting off Nalear's right hand in one fluid movement. The agony didn't stop the traitorous Professor from striking her with the iron glove in the back with the strength of a charging bull.
Phloria was sent flying for several meters. She managed to remain conscious only thanks to her willpower and the powerful potion she had ingested earlier. Orion and Jirni were flabbergasted when they saw Nalear's severed hand go back into place, reattaching itself like nothing had happened.
Lith knew that it was thanks to spirit magic and Invigoration, just like he knew that her hand was far from being really useful. He had almost regained enough strength for a final attack.
Jirni rushed towards Nalear, fast enough to allow her to run on the sidewall while her needles returned to her hand on their own. They assembled together to the rest of the set, shapeshifting into a spear.
Jirni wasn't a mage, she needed all the range advantage she could get to keep enough distance to predict and evade the enemy's spells. She lunged it at Nalear's eye, to take her out in one blow.
Nalear didn't have enough strength in her left arm, so she was forced to use spirit magic to support her blade and deflect the attack. Phloria used that moment of distraction to Blink behind her back, her blade easily pierced through the Professor robe and her hardened skin alike.
Nalear managed to dodge at the last second, turning a fatal blow to the heart to one at her shoulder. Her right hand was still useless, her left arm fell limp, but she was still alive.
She roared in fury, unleashing a tier five spell while Orion did the same.
Nalear's Thunderdome was capable of trapping the surrounding enemies into a thick cover of lightning imbued ice. Unlike a normal thunder, it couldn't be avoided and continued to inflict damage until all the ice wasn't disposed of.
The cold surface formed a closed circuit that would allow the electricity to strike over and over until the enemy wasn't turned into charcoal.
Orion's Nether Seal was an hexaelemental sphere that enveloped the opponent greatly reducing the area of effect of their spells. It required a precise timing and concentration.
It was a static spell, hence if cast too soon the enemy could simply move to avoid it. Too late and it would be useless.
That was the reason Orion didn't cast it even after completing the chant. He had only one chance and had to make it count. Nether Seal blocked Thunderdome, restricting it to barely one meter radius.
Jirni and Phloria needed a single backstep to get to safety.
"Why don't you just die?" Nalear felt she was going insane. As in, even more than she already was.