10-21. New Hunting Ground (2)
Satou's here. If it's too good to be true, then there must be something attached to it. There are some intricate frauds with not-really-good-to-be-true talk subtly mixed in nowadays, maybe it's for the sake of deceiving cautious people. And, even in another world, there are people who entice other people.
"Mia, use your spirit magic to for illumination when I give you the signal. Arisa shoots the firebolt chantlessly toward the cockroach once Mia unleashes her magic. I will separate the cockroaches from the explorers while matching the timing of the firebolt's impact, so Liza, Pochi and Tama are to assault every cockroaches okay."
"Master, shouldn't we call out to them before we illuminate the hall?"
Liza raised her hand lightly, and gave an advice. That's true.
"We wouldn't want them to mistake us as lost thieves and attack us instead after we've gone the trouble of saving them after all."
"You're right. I entrust calling them to Liza. Mia should use her magic once Liza signals to her after she's made sure that the other party have acknowledged."
Arisa, I'm sorry, but after the first magic, don't use your magic chantlessly again, also, abstain from using space magic. Lulu too, since magic guns are conspicuous, please use only nature magic this time. Nana, you're with me house-sitting here."
"I'm dissatisfied in anger, so I complain."
Unfortunately, Nana has to persevere from her shield duty. After all, Nana and me shouldn't have been in the labyrinth.
I wait until everyone conveys their consent, and the strategy begins.
Cockroaches are encircling the explorers in the hall where they are located. We are just right on the flank of the cockroaches to begin the attack.
"We're 『Pendragon』. We will help!"
"Oh, yer a big help! If we survive this, I'll treat everyone of you in the bar!"
I thought that they would argue back, but the leader seemed to have promptly acknowledged our help. They must have been really quite cornered.
First, the light ball from Mia's spirit magic illuminates the battlefield from the ceiling. In no time flat, an explosion from Arisa's firebolt occurred in the center of the cockroaches. The cockroach that has been directly hit is blazing up, and the cockroaches around it are also burning.
I slip my [Magic Hands] in the explosion and hurl the cockroaches from the explorers to a place slightly away from them.
I understand Arisa's and Mia's feels. I also agree. I didn't think that they would straighten up midair and began flying. As expected of cockroaches.
The three beastkin girls assault on the battlefield while leaving red traces of light from the magic edge.
It was a one-sided trampling.
The entire health of a cockroach disappeared with a single blow from Pochi's short magic sword. Tama's twin magic swords one-sidedly shaves away the cockroach's health with slashing attacks. Even though their health have been reduced by Arisa's firebolt, it's still quite something.
As for Liza, she cuts down the cockroaches on the ground with magic edge, and shoots down the flying cockroaches with magic edge cannon. She's the very embodiment of one-hit kill.
『Awesome, they're cutting down those hard shell like it's nothing.』
『Cih, I can do that much too if I only have magic weapons.』
『Imposs~ible. My mantis sword is also a magic sword, but as you can see what's happened.』
I pick up voices from the other party with Attentive Ears skill.
I had limited the cockroaches course so only as many as they could manage got close to them, so they now have room to converse.
Guessing from their conversations, looks like the monster-part weapon that the leader-shi is using is a magic sword. I didn't notice since it didn't have red trails of light. Since it seems that it's made from mantis-type monster, I'll try to create the same thing when I'm free.
The vanguards aren't the only ones doing great of course, the rear guard, Arisa and the others are too.
"Fuhahaha! The cockroaches are like trash~ no~ the oily bugs they are, burning nicely~ now, once more. I'll go with Fire Circle this time~"
Arisa's tension is dangerous.
Nevertheless, it seems that she still has some sense left to chant the magic properly, and not get the beastkin girls and the other party members rolled up in her magic.
Arisa's showy firebolt and fireball are standing out, but Lulu's [Force Spear (Javelin)] is also steadily killing the cockroaches.
Since Lulu's magic power isn't as much as Arisa and Mia, every time her MP has diminished, I make her stop beside me, and I use [Magic Power Transfer] to replenish her MP.
Mia walked on the space that the beastkin girls and Arisa had opened, and began healing the explorers there. Unlike me and Arisa, Mia can't see the explorers' stats, so I use [Telephone] to instruct her to people that need to be casted with [Clear Poison] or [Water Heal].
『My pain is disappearing.』
『Oh, my wounds are healed, I can continue fighting now.』
『What's this, I can feel my numbed arms and legs again.』
『Thank you! Magician girl!』
<TLN: the 'girl' part here can also mean 'kid/child'>
Mia was wearing her hood so the explorers didn't seem to notice that she was an elf, but since they could immediately discern her build, they seemed to interpret her as a girl, or maybe a kid. I couldn't see it from here, but I clearly understood that Mia was nodding while being embarrassed.
The charming-san from Beautiful Wing party seems to have gotten a direct attack from the cockroach, her upper body suffers from a big injury. Mia was going to heal her with magic, but they seemed to have used their clothes as bandages, the upper half of their bodies were exposed, it had become a sight for sore eyes. Mia seemed to have properly given them the mantles and shirts that I had asked Mia beforehand. They're just cheap things I've bought from Seryuu city long ago, but it's probably better than wearing nothing.
With Mia's magic, the explorers who have become unable to fight return to the battlefield little by little. Thanks to that, the battle over there is stabilizing.
Now then, the cockroaches extermination seems to be entering the end game.
The explorers with insufficient levels are also working in group and have successfully defeated a cockroach. Some of them begin to pointlessly chatter while fighting.
『That damn Besso, what kind of nice hunting ground is this.』
『Saying that stray maze cockroach comes out alone here so we can safely hunt it, damn him.』
I see, I thought that Besso had attracted the swarm to them, but they were taken by his cajolery huh.
『I thought I was going to die when so many of them were coming.』
『We're indebted to Pendragon huh.』
『As expected of the Red Iron Plate that guildmaster personally selected.』
I'm relieved that they're not holding some strange grudge like having their prey taken or something.
Arisa and Mia have returned.
"Hey hey, the leader over there said that these many cockroaches don't usually come out around this area."
"Looks like it."
While checking the surrounding areas and corridors with the map, I replenish the two's magic power. Arisa repeatedly said [Flag]. And, in accordance to Arisa's request, a big game is coming.
"Arisa, according to my guess, a Gushing Hole will appear in the innermost wall from my standpoint in 4-5 minutes."
Okay okay with the "Flag, it's here!", just listen to me.
"It's a 『Hunter Mantis』. It's a strong level 35 mantis-type monster, so be careful."
"Okay, I'll tell it to Liza."
While leaving the few cockroaches left to the explorers, Arisa and the others are preparing to intercept the expected point of the Gushing Hole. Everyone seemed to have drank stamina and healing potions as their various gauges have all restored to the maximum. Nana and me are moving to get close to Arisa and the others under the cover of the darkness.
The Hunter Mantis-kun that has appeared from the gushing hole is quite big. Its overall height is 5 meters, around as high as a two-story building. It's twice as tall as a Soldier Mantis. It's a bit of a Kaijuu isn't it. Unlike normal mantis, this one has a pair of sickle arms on each side, and 10 legs.
While thinking so, I use [Magic Hand] to prevent the Gushing Hole from closing. As expected, it won't close as long as there is some kind of obstacle.
After seeing that huge body, the explorers are rushing toward the hall exit--the place where we have just entered from--in a hurry. Looks like it barely hasn't become a panic since the leader-shi over there instructs them with loud voice.
The explorers have evacuated to the border of the main corridor, but several high-leveled ones are looking here. It seems that they intend to help if things get dangerous, but it looks like they understand that they will only drag us down, they don't seem like they're going to participate at the moment.
"Pochi, Tama, this time Nana isn't participating. Pay attention to keep it from going toward the rear guard."
"Don't worry be happy~"
Tama got it wrong like usual, but she jumped back to avoid the sweeping attack of the Hunter Mantis' big sickle. With Flickering Movement skill, Pochi avoids the Hunter Mantis' leg that comes trampling down from above.
Liza was trying to intercept the trampling Hunter Mantis' leg with her magic spear--but as expected, looks like it was impossible. The leg seemed to have taken some damage, but Liza's plan to deprive it of its leg didn't materialize.
"It won't get find out from this distance, so it's alright for me to mix some space magic in right?"
"Master, your permission to let me participate."
I agree to Arisa's wish. I also let Nana who looks bored to attack from behind Lulu's back. They use the same nature magic so it probably won't be exposed.
On top of having a hard body, the Hunter Mantis' height meant that only magic and Liza's spear could reach it, so they're having a hard fight.
Tama and Pochi were going to climb the Hunter Mantis' legs, but it kicked them, dropping them to the ground. It's rare for Tama to receive a direct hit.
"The mantis person is childish despite being huge nodesu!"
Yup, they're unhurt.
Their defenses have been strengthened. They would be severely wounded if they get directly hit by the big sickle as expected, but they seems alright if it's just a kick. Pochi has put her face guard on during the battle so I can't see her expression, but her big gestures is transmitting her indignation quite enough.
This time Liza pierced the magic spear from below the Hunter Mantis' abdomen, but since its abdomen was as hard as its shell unlike normal mantis, it didn't suffer much injury. Since it made it attack in rage like with the monster in a game instead, I feel that it's better for her to aim at another place.
The flame born from Mia's spirit magic burns the Hunter Mantis. Looks like it has resistance to it, it isn't damaged much.
Still, it seems to be feeling hot, the Hunter Mantis opens its back shell and spreads its wings, threatening us.
The two who have sheathed their swords are going to do something behind the Hunter Mantis. Tama rushes to Pochi who has crouched while joining her hands--Jump! Combining the throwing power of Pochi, and Tama's own running jump power, Tama had splendidly landed on the Hunter Mantis' back.
Tama pulls her twin swords, and stab the defenseless back of the Hunter Mantis with them.
The Hunter Mantis closed its back shell in panic, but it was a bad move as it only made Tama's twin sword sink further. Making use of the spilled blood, Mia uses her [Balloon] magic to wrench open the back shell. Tama got thrown into the air from the force, but it was fine since she skilfully caught the back shell midair.
The defenseless back immediately fell prey to Arisa's [Space Destruction(Smasher)] magic and Liza's Magic Edge Cannon, decreasing the Hunter Mantis' health greatly. At this time, one of the back shell couldn't close anymore, maybe the tendon for opening and closing it was cut.
The physically reinforced Nana stealthily tosses Pochi towards that back.
After the flurry of Pochi and Tama magic edges dances, the Hunter Mantis finally used up all its strength, and collapsed to the ground.
"Big victory!" "Nanodesu!"
Pochi and Tama raise their victory cries on the back of the Hunter Mantis. I can hear shouts of joy from the distant explorers.
Since I won't be able to collect the remain of the Hunter Mantis like this, I use [Magic Hands] to move it like a marionette and go away to beyond the Gushing Hole that I've left open. I collect the Hunter Mantis remain into my storage at the unseen place.
I tell Liza the plan for their exit with [Telephone], she will have to tell the explorers in my place. I also explain the plan to everyone.
"We will chase after the Hunter Mantis that has escaped! We will not come back here, so please go back to Selbira without waiting for us!"
After we all had entered the Gushing Hole, I closed the Gushing Hole behind.
There is no Sign Monument here, so we advance through the narrow corridor with the help of the light Mia's produced.
I've confirmed on the map that this has become the shortcut to the new hunting ground.
There are a lot of enemies, but they are all small fry, so we will probably arrive faster than planned.