Fran and I spent a bit of time figuring out which skill to point.
Flame Magic was our second highest level magic, and it seemed rather suited for the situation given that it was great at wiping out mobs of weaker enemies. The only problem was that we were in a wooded area. We couldn’t just go flinging flames around willy nilly else risk burning down the whole forest. Accidentally setting the whole thing ablaze and therefore killing the people that were evacuating from it was counterproductive.
“It’s not a bad choice, but we’ll have to be really careful with how we use it.”
“Then Storm Magic? Large area of effect.”
That suggestion’s not too bad. Storm spells do generally seem to have a pretty decent area to them, but I’m not really sure going with Storm Magic is the best idea. There was no doubt that I would pick either Flame Magic or Storm Magic if all we had to do was eliminate a large number of monsters, but our current situation was a little bit different. The whole point of us going into battle was to protect the people escaping the area’s villages. Our victory condition was just for everyone to safely reach Greengoat. The number of monsters we killed in the process was completely irrelevant.
We couldn’t just carelessly bombard the army with spells. It was possible that many of the monsters we failed to kill would escape and scatter into their surroundings. We had already defeated the more powerful monsters, so we were more prone to letting our guards down and allowing our prey to escape.
It wouldn’t be easy for us to chase each and every single specimen down, which meant that there was a good chance that a number of them would end up attacking the evacuees.
Fran crossed her arms as she contemplated her options, and I did the same.
Wait, that’s it!
“How do you feel about Greater Earth Magic?”
“Greater Earth Magic?”
“Yeah. Leveling it will let us build bigger walls and dig deeper holes.”
Marmanno had told us that only one of this country’s mages was capable of using Greater Earth magic to keep such a large number of monsters at bay. In other words, there was a Greater Earth Magic spell somewhere out there that made it possible to slow down a large number of foes at once.
“Nn! Good idea.”
“We’ve got enough points to max it, and if we’re going to mess with it at all, now’s probably the time.”
“Okay.” Fran nodded to vocalize her consent.
“Alright. Here goes.”
I spent four points on Earth Magic, which led Fran to gain the Earth Mage title, and me to gain both Greater Earth Magic and Sandstorm Magic. Oh, I get it. Earth and Wind makes Sandstorm because that’s what you get when you kick up a bunch of dust.
That said, I decided to ignore the latter of the two skills for the time being and instead began investing points in the former.
I started by leveling the skill four times. We didn’t end up getting the spell we wanted, but we did get a couple other powerful ones instead.
Only after leveling it up another two times did I finally find a spell that resembled the one we were looking for. I only had 25 points left, but it was worth it.
“I think I finally got it!” The level six Greater Earth spell was called Great Wall, and it allowed us to create both giant walls and giant moats, especially if we invested a large amount of our magical energies. “This’ll let us slow that army down for sure.”
The army had already started to spread out after entering the forest, likely so that they could assault the villages within it more efficiently.
“Oh no! This is looking bad!”
“What now? Attack?”
But that was all they did. For some odd reason, they suddenly stopped moving and didn’t so much as take another step. Only then did I finally remember something that had totally slipped my mind: we had set up a “fortress.” The army had moved a bit such that they were more spread out around it. It looked like they were standing by and awaiting the order to assault it. Well, that idea worked much better than expected.
The fortress had more than done its job; it bought us every last bit of time we needed to confine our foes.
We landed behind the building and gave birth to a wall beginning from our location.
“Let’s start with just one, for test’s sake.”
“Great Wall! Full power! Let’s go!”
“Woooooooof!” Both Fran and Urushi reacted with surprise. I likely would have done the same if I wasn’t so focused.
The spell had, in an instant, created a wall fifteen meters tall, five meters wide, and fifty meters long. And best of all, it’d used the dirt right in front of it to do so, which meant it was accompanied by a massive pit that shared its dimensions.
At full power, the spell ate over a hundred points of mana. But that was fine. With our powers combined, Fran and I could still manage to make it over a kilometer long, Even the average high level mage should be able to manage something around 300 meters long.
The only downside was that the wall the skill generated wasn’t infused with mana, which in turn meant it was incapable of repairing itself. It was literally just a wall, and anything that could destroy a wall its size would. Powerful mages and monsters were its bane.
Fran and I were both capable of blowing a hole right through its center. At best, it would could maybe hold a D ranked monster. Most of the D ranked monsters came at us when we dove into the army’s vanguard earlier in the day, so there probably shouldn’t be all that many left. The only things this army’s got should be monsters that are more on the quantity end of things than they are the quality end. They shouldn’t be able to break through. Sweet. It looks like lady luck’s finally on our side.
“The monsters are on guard after seeing us make this wall right here, so we’ll have to make a whole bunch of different walls all in one go if we want operation Build a Wall to work.”
“We’ll have to use Parallel Processing together with Chantless in order to get a whole bunch of walls to pop up all at once.”
Chant Condensation is a great skill, but it still requires us to speak the spell’s name in order to cast it. Chantless, however, might make it so we don’t have to do that. Which means combining it with Parallel Processing just might be exactly what we need to get our Great Wall up in time.
“I’m not one hundred percent sure it’ll work out though. You sure you want to try?”
“Nn. Not problem.”
“Then let’s do this!”
I used 10 skill points in Chant Condensation and obtained the Chantless skill, just as planned. Its effect was exactly as I had anticipated. I then invested the last fifteen points we had into Parallel Processing, which promptly evolved into Concurrent Consciousness. The evolved skill far surpassed my expectations. It was ridiculously overpowered. It could allow for ten different simultaneous streams of thought without breaking a sweat. It felt like I could probably even cast several simultaneous Kanna Kamuis with the potential it had unlocked. The only downside was that Fran had an extremely hard time using the skill. Just activating it caused her to immediately crouch while holding her head in pain. It seemed to push her brain way past its limits.
“Don’t push yourself, Fran.”
“Nn…” She reluctantly agreed.
“I’ll build the wall. You keep watch, okay?”
“Then here we go! Great Wall!”
I activated several instances of the spell at once and immediately created a massive wall and accompanying moat. The structure had no trouble living up to the spell’s name. It was great as great could be.
Concurrent Consciousness had proven overpowered as all hell, but using it even just once had given me a better idea of its downsides. It resulted in a significant drop in my overall efficiency. Each spell consumed more mana than I had anticipated. Their potency had been lowered as well. Moreover, it was impossible to stop any of the spells following their activation. Improper use of the skill would likely lead me to run my mana pool dry.
Great Wall had a few weaknesses to it as well. The spell could only lay out walls that were straight, and none of them could bear any sort of complex design. The whole point of the spell was just to make giant walls. Nothing more, nothing less.
The massive walls, which had appeared out of thin air in the middle of the night, had an overbearing presence to them. I moved around and repeated the casting in order to create a series of walls in the shape of a horn.
My structures extended for two hundred and fifty meters in both the east and west directions for a total length of five hundred meters. At the centre lay a gap only fifteen meters wide. In other words, I had created a narrow, artificial path. A bottleneck.
I was grateful that it was nighttime. The lack of light made it such that it was impossible for the monsters to tell just how far east and west the walls extended. It made much more sense for the monsters to attempt to break through the visible barrier than it did for them to attempt to wander around until they found an alternate path that might not even exist. They would, at the very least, avoid attempting to find a shortcut right off the bat.
Of course, some of the monsters would be able to see in the dark, and I had no way of knowing their skills’ efficacies. However, what I did know was that not even Fran’s Night Vision skill allowed her to see as far as where the walls ended. I was sure that I could rely on them to drive the monsters to act as intended. All we would have to do was prevent them from passing, the very same way Zhang Fei had held off his enemies during the battle of Changban. 
My backup plan, in the case that the monsters decided to go around the wall, was just to seal our hole off and give chase. There was nothing stopping us from fighting a bit and then just blocking off the hole and giving chase to the part of the army that had left.
The most troublesome scenario would be the one in which the army split into three parts, with one going west, one going east, and another heading straight through the corridor. If that were to happen, then we would have no choice but to go all out and totally destroy either the eastern or western subdivisions.
Oh well, no point thinking about all that now. In the end, it all depends on how the monsters choose to move.
“All the setup is done. You ready to attack that army?”