Chapter 180 Strongest Sage, Entrust Role
"Can I ask you one thing?"
"...What is it?"
"What are the requirements to be qualified as a Rank A? Is there a test?"
The examiner looked taken aback to hear my question.
Looks like he recalled something.
"...Test is the ordinary route. A rigorous test that would take one month to finish at least. The danger level can't be compared to Rank B test either. ...However, there is a case where someone became rank A without tests."
"Yeah. There was an adventurer who ranked up to Rank A after successfully subjugating an upper rank A monster.... There's only ever been one person who managed to do so with this method though."
...Glad I asked.
They'll allow it without a test so long we beat strong monsters huh.
We've got no time to dilly dallying for one month, I'd prefer to make use of this shortcut.
It'd be nice if the monster we're going to fight now is an upper rank A one.
"By the way, if the boss here is at that level of powers, can it be used to rank up?"
"If it fulfills the conditions, I could make a recommendation for you. But... I'd advise against it. Sure, it was an exception that had been applied once before, but things got quite hectic at that time."
"Was there any problem?"
"Yeah. When it gets to the point that such a strong monster needs to be killed, all ordinary people would have all long gone fleeing. There'd be only a few witnesses even after you beat it. Take this situation, I'm the only observer here, and the enemy is an unknown monster, first you'd have to make the guild recognize the monster's rank to be of upper rank A."
The aftermath sounds more troublesome than defeating the monster itself.
"Got it. We'll go with monster killing route."
"...You sure about that? I can't guarantee you're getting the rank up even if you succeeded with the subjugation, ya know?"
"No problem. We're gonna have to subjugate it either way."
Even if it didn't pan out, the monster had to be killed anyway.
I'd just chalk it out as good luck If it went well.
And there might be a way to take a short quest like this one even if it didn't go well.
"Once the barrier is dispelled, monsters will come out of it attacking. Their number can't be compared to anything before. Use this chance to prepare as many arrows usable in battle as you can."
Up until now, Alma and Ruli created arrows on the spot during battles.
When you can't use Storage magic, carrying the raw material means less luggage, and you can rapidly replenish only the arrows you need.
Especially magically enhanced arrows, it's pretty complicated to carry them due to magic stones related matters, thus you'd have no choice but to completely discard your mobility and fight near a practically arrow storehouse.
Since evading uses less mana than defending, you normally want to prioritize that, therefore this means she won't be able to use that strategy.
But we will bear those disadvantages.
"We're making arrows in advance? But then won't we be able to move..."
"Exactly. This time we'll stay 50 meter in front of the barrier and fight while defending against enemy attacks. You three will cover for me while I charge into the barrier alone."
"Cover for Mathi-kun... Since the arrows will be pre-made then, you want me to do something with magic tools?"
"Yeah. Ruli, make this magic tool. As magic stones that can be put in an arrow are limited in size, Iris will be throwing them at the battlefield instead."
I hand over a paper drawn with a magic circle to Ruli.
Come to think of it, been awhile since I did this.
Recently, Ruli has become capable enough to construct her own magic circle after all.
"...This magic circle looks incomplete to me though... Like the lines here, they're not connected."
Ruli muttered so within a glance.
"You're going to decide on that when the battle starts."
"...Think up magic circles in the heat of battle?"
I answer Alma's question.
"Yeah. We won't know the boss's magic composition until the battle has been commenced. We will insert a magic circle imitating the main body's magic composition to the hollow part."
Magic circles carved in monsters might look the same, but they differ in details.
This magic circle is pointless if it doesn't imitate the parasite boss monster.
"Imitating magic composition... and, what would that accomplish?"
"Other monsters will mistake the magic tool for the boss, creating chaos. The effect will depend on the magic tool output, but if all goes well, it's possible to neutralize all monsters but the boss in one go."
"I-is that even possible..."
Monsters infected by the parasite monster will obey the parasite monster.
That binding force is far stronger than that of ordinary boss monster's.
And the boss uses its own mana to give orders.
We're making use of that fact.
Using the fake boss mana, we'll issue an order 『Don't do anything』, neutralizing the subordinate monsters.
...The barrier came into view while we were talking.
The barrier has a green colored protective camouflage, but since it only takes color cue from its surroundings and nothing else, it's pretty obvious at a glance.
I can't probe the inside, but judging from the mana this barrier is made of, the boss is inside it no doubt.
We approach the barrier while thinking that.
"By the way, what should I do?"
The examiner asked me that after walking a bit more.
Come to think of it, I forgot to give this examiner an instruction.
This guy has his own important role.
"Please come up with a way to make the higher ups approve our rank up at some place away from the battle. And also, make sure whether the monster we're fighting is an upper Rank A or not."
"...Is that good enough?"
Hearing me telling him that extremely important role, the examiner had a let-down mixed with a relived expressions on his face.
Looks like the examiner was seriously thinking of fighting.
Despite looking eager to go home ever since the quest started, he drastically changed the moment the city was in danger huh.
However, his role really is important.
"Well, not like there's any other choice. This is the most important job there is for you."
"But, any little bit of help would... no. I'm just gonna drag you lot huh. I got it. I'll fulfill my own duty as an examiner... How far should I be to not get in your way?"
"Stay at 500 meter away at first. Afterward, move on in accordance to your assessments while observing the situations."
The examiner nodded with a serious look.
This should ensure the examiner helping our rank up to rank A.
Considering the precedent, there's a very low chance of us getting it, but I hope it'd at least hasten our rank up.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"This place is about 500 meter away from the barrier. I can confirm that there's no monster burrowing in the ground in the area, so you can collect proof for upper rank A stuff without worry here."
"I got it."
When we got 500 meter away from the barrier, then we left the examiner at the place after exchanging those words.
After parting with us, the examiner took a telescope-like item and began to observe us from a distance.
Do your best, the speed of our rank up rests on your shoulders.
Ruli asked me worryingly while we were walking.
"Umm... We still haven't make any preparation, would it be alright?"
"I don't think there's any problem, but what do you mean by alright?"
"Wouldn't the monster cancel the barrier and come out attacking us if we get too close..."
Ruli looked at the barrier as she said that.
We're about 200 meter away from it.
"Ah, that huh."
Come to think of it, I haven't explained.
This knowledge isn't really critical since you rarely ever get the chance to fight this kind of monsters, but I guess I'd better teach them anyway.
"These types of monsters don't fundamentally go out of their way to undo their own barrier. As that'd result in the mana they took much effort collecting to disperse away... It would be a different story were a huge amount of people attempted to shoot large-scale magic at the barrier, but not with our number here. No need to get that cautious."
"Umm, won't it attack me when it sees my mana...."
"It would if you were in your dragon form, but there should be no problem in your current form. It'd be different if there were three more Iris though."
"O-Oh good to hear!"
True, it's easier to attract monster's attention the larger pool of mana you have.
But, since Iris's mana is quite condensed when she's in her human form, it should be fine.
We got close to the monster barrier.
The barrier is completely still even though we're only 50 meter away from it.
"Uwaa, so big... But there's no movement at all..."
The barrier's radius is about 80 meters.
It is unusually big compared to barrier humans make.
The reason this barrier looks stable is due to its strength, it's not flickering just from monsters moving inside.
"It has the opposite effect and makes it look creepy when it's this stable..."
"Are there really monsters inside this?"
"Yeah. There should be around 2000 monsters at the lateral sides of the barrier alone. All in all there's probably around 5000 including the ones at the center, I think?"
I replied so while we were getting ready to battle.
Regardless of how impermeable the barrier is to mana, that doesn't mean it's perfect.
Thus, once you've gotten close to the barrier surface, it's possible to probe inside.
...This seems quite troublesome.
The monsters inside posses both the number and strength.
I still can't see mana reaction of the main body, but it's probably in the dead center where my detection doesn't reach.
The fact that it's able to surround itself with this many monsters means that it has the strength to back.
Looks like I can expect much from this.
I don't know the standard of an upper rank A monster, but I hope this one exceeds it.
"Arrows and magic tools are all ready!"
"We can go anytime!"
"Yes! Let's fight!"
Looks like they're done with their preparations while I was thinking.
I looked the magic tools and arrows around the three girls to confirm that all the necessary stuff were present and then turned toward the barrier.
"...Shall we then."