The surging mana of Old Grimm slowed down abruptly following the Mana Retroaction from Lin Li. The seven Arcane Missiles lost control and vanished in an instant. Old Grimm still remained unhurried; his thin arm rose slightly and a mental protection field rose. Under the safety of the mental protection field, Lin Li's Delirium Spell was like a stone thrown into a pond, merely creating ripples on the calm water.
Both had amazing casting speed—one was swift and the other fluent. Lin Li was constantly challenging the limits of magic counter-reaction by virtue of his superior mental strength; Old Grimm relied on years of experience to minimize the length of the spell. Gerian, who watched from the side, exclaimed countless times in his heart. These two fellows—young and old—behaved nothing like a normal human being.
It was a dazzling combat with a tremendous rate of casting. The transition between attack and defense was often made in the blink of an eye. Often, they cast a spell and would cast protection on themselves before the spell could even fall on the opponent.
Old Grimm was a legendary mage after all. Although he was using only the power of a Magic Shooter, the legendary level vision and experience were still there. The choices he made in between the counterattacks, seemingly casual, often hit Lin Li's vulnerable point. Not to mention that, in his long life, he had acc.u.mulated a huge amount of spell-casting skills. In the face of such skills, any genius could not help but appear feeble and futile.
After the failure of the Mana Retroaction, Lin Li, who had been grappling for long, gave out at last.
At the moment the Mana Retroaction failed, Lin Li knew it was a trap.
Old Grimm first used a lot of low-level spells to suppress Lin Li, and when Lin Li was so overwhelmed that he couldn't even lift his head, Old Grimm departed from his usual style and cast a Flaming Storm instead. Lin Li was all too familiar with this level-nine spell—it had power comparable to that of the Magic Shooter and a horribly long recitation.
Lin Li, who had completely lost the opportunity, had only two options in the face of this level-nine spell. One was to force out the Elemental s.h.i.+eld, and be in a state of no protection from the Elemental s.h.i.+eld for about 30 seconds; the second was to risk being tricked again and carry on with another Mana Retroaction.
Lin Li chose to take the risk, and then he was tricked…
This was a cla.s.sic example of deceit that was worth including in magic textbooks. As early as the moment the spell sounded, Old Grimm had already cut off the mana output. Breaking off a spell was a skill that every mage needed to learn, let alone Old Grimm, who was already a powerhouse in the legendary realm. For him, it was no more difficult to break off a Flaming Storm than to eat and drink.
At this time, although the spell was still being recited, there was no mana output at all.
Mana Retroaction, of course, could only react against mana. For a magic spell that did not produce any mana, the Mana Retroaction was like a punch in the air and had no effect at all…
Apart from a few low-level spells such as the wind blade, icicles, and the delaying and hastening spells, most other magic spells had their own cooldown time. After one use, one had to wait for the cooldown time to pa.s.s before one could use it again. This process was called the Spell Cycle.
Everything had its rise and decline, and magic was no exception. When a spell was used, it would surely go into depletion, and then await the next cycle. This was the law of things.
Of course, the time was not definitive. Many mages were able to compress the cooldown time with skills and mental strength, but such compression was almost negligible in most cases. Even a legendary mage as powerful as Andoine could only compress the cooldown time of Mana Retroaction by two seconds at most.
And Lin Li, who possessed a sick mental strength, was in fact close to the legendary level in this aspect. He could almost do as much as Andoine could.
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But as far as the current situation was concerned, let alone doing what Andoine could do, even if he surpa.s.sed Andoine, it would be equally useless. Old Grimm didn't even give him a chance to wait for the next cycle and proceeded to drown him in a large number of Arcane Missiles. In a zero-interference spell-casting state, it was similarly terrifying even with the strength of a Magic Shooter. The Arcane Missile shot down incessantly and the Elemental s.h.i.+eld on Lin Li's body was extremely fragile. In a twinkling, the Arcane Missiles broke through the protection of the Elemental s.h.i.+eld and landed directly on Lin Li's body…
"No…" Old Grimm shook his head. "You were composed enough. I could feel that you were struggling between Elemental s.h.i.+eld and Mana Retroaction, but it doesn't matter at all. Whether it was the Elemental s.h.i.+eld or the Mana Retroaction, anyone who enters the depletion cycle will undoubtedly lose.
"So… this has nothing to do with composure." There was a smile of admiration on Old Grimm's aged face. "Actually, you're doing quite well at your age. Whether in skills or rhythm, you've already reached the limit of your age. I know you still possess an enormous amount of mental strength. Even I almost suffered with that Delirium Spell. In this spar, you've lost due to the lack of experience…"
"That's right, experience." Old Grimm nodded and bagan a.n.a.lyzing the fight for him. "I was actually affected by that Delirium Spell. But you were engrossed in the mental protection field and failed to judge the situation right. Didn't you realize? After casting the mental protection field, my casting speed was slower than usual, and why was that? That is because I had to divide some of my mental strength to suppress the negative effects brought by the Delirium Spell…"
Lin Li pondered over it carefully and realized it was indeed as Old Grimm said. The latter's spell-casting speed had decreased significantly. If he had used a large number of low-level spells to suppress him then, the whole fight would have been a different story altogether…
"And that failed Mana Retroaction. If you have enough experience, it is entirely possible to judge quickly whether I was really releasing mana when I was reciting the spell…" At this point, Old Grimm paused for a while before delivering the conclusion, "President Gerian is right, you need actual combat!"
After pointing out Lin Li's shortcomings, Old Grimm identified the mistakes and highlights of the spar, then proceeded with a detailed a.n.a.lysis. It was almost evening by the time he finished. Old Grimm saw that it was late, so he fixed a time with Lin Li for the next day before he left the Emerald Tower and disappeared into the darkness.
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