10-22. New Hunting Ground (3) [Revised]
Satou's here. There are various abnormal statuses that appear in games like poison or paralyze. Even though abnormal status is hard to deal during the beginning of the game, since there are a lot of games where you get items that invalidate abnormal status during the endgame, I feel that it's become a mere trope.
"Don't look. It's the boss of the basilisks. You'd get turned to stone."
"Could it be, that's the Floor Master?"
"No, it seems that there's no Floor Master in the upper stratum."
There are few sign monuments around this area, so someone with normal eyesights can only see shades inside the hall.
The giant lizard fit to be likened to a hill is the master of Area 77, the [Mother Basilisk]. I imagined that it would vaguely look like a crocodile, but if I have to say, its appearance looks similar to a chameleon. It's about 7-8 meters tall, but the full body length is around 70-80 meters. If this hall didn't have nearly 300 meters long side, it probably wouldn't be able to move.
Beside this boss-like monster, there are around 10 10-meter class stone lizards (Basilisks) in this hall. The Basilisks' levels are in the first half of 30s, so they originally should have been just right to be opponents for everyone, but since their petrification is dangerous, I intend to pass through them.
"Master, are the basilisks the smoked meat that we were eating during the dwarves dinner party?"
"That was~" "Delicious nodesu!"
"It felt a bit sizzling on the tongue, but it went very well with sweet liquor didn't it."
I feel they're implying that we should hunt them.
"I'll hunt 2-3 of them later, so don't get close to them okay."
"Is it because the petrification is dangerous after all?"
I answered "That's right" while nodding to Arisa's question.
"Gufufufu~ Let me tell you~"
"Arisa is having an evil face nodesu! That's the sign of her trying to deceive Pochi nanodesu!"
"No~ way~ I'm really going to tell you."
Tama was pulling my clothes, so I looked back, and I saw a Lesser Basilisk crawling in hiding. I quickly fell its neck with [Flexible Sword] magic and put it into the storage with [Magic Hand] without moving it from its place. There's a possibility that the head still has the power to petrify like medusa in legend after all. It just so happened that there were several Lesser Basilisks and one Basilisk in our route ahead, so I killed them and put them into my Storage. I cut only one small-sized one into block sizes that will make it easy to smoke.
"What's wrong nodesu?"
Tama puts both her hands on her head and puzzle over something.
"If it stares, stone~? Bacilisik can't play staring-game~?"
"That's bad nanodesu! Poor basilisk person, they can't play staring game nanodesu!"
You were worrying about such thing huh.
"Perseus did use mirror's reflection to turn Medusa into stone. Why don't you make shields with mirror surface and let us fight with it."
Why do you want to fight so much.
"Don't complain to me if your clothes and equipment get petrified and you have to fight bare naked."
Leave the "get stronger every time you takes off your clothes" power to the oversea ninja alone. Moreover, I can see your era when you look at your own body, take a strange pose and then wink, so please stop it.
The area 74 that we've finally arrived at is composed of 10 big halls and 30 small rooms that are connected. We were able to substantially cut the time it takes to get here thanks to the shortcut that connected the roaches room to the Basilisk area.
The first hall is the frogs area that's half-submerged in water. There are many megaliths covered in moss on the surface, while algae and water plant are floating on the water surface on the shore. A large lotus-like leaves have grown on the water surface in the center of the room, a lot of small insects are flying near the water plant. They seem to be normal insects as they have no particularly strange effect.
Swarm of bats are crowding near the ceiling. These bats seem to be monsters, but since their levels are in single digit, let's leave them alone unless they come attacking.
It seems that there's a hidden room in the depth of this area, let's make it into our personal Teleport Point.
After I've finished the general check, I permit Liza and the others to fight.
"Then, Tama, lure some reasonable monster."
"Aye aye sir~"
Tama erases her presence, moves between the megaliths, drawing closer to a Rock Frog that's sleeping on the shore. She attacks the Rock Frog from behind a megalith with a magic gun. Just like monsters in games, it shouldn't have been able to notice the first attack, but it seems that the Rock Frog's view is wide as it seems to have discovered Tama.
It's jumping with its body like a frog would, and Tama avoids it by using some obstacle. Vibration shakes whenever the frog lands. While not letting the frog caught up to her, Tama brought it to the place where everyone had readied their battle formation. There's only one frog that has come. Since it doesn't seem to have a link, my turn is none.
"You frog! Drop that thick skin of yours and live in humility, so I declare!"
Pulled by Nana's usual incomprehensible provocation, the Rock Frog changes its target from Tama to Nana.
The Rock Frog is only four meters tall, but it seems to be quite heavy. Its outer skin is covered in blue rocks, looks like it'll be hurt to normally strike on it with swords. Its level is 34, and looks like it can spit out deadly poison in bullet forms.
Since I've already lectured those, everyone besides Liza has used [Shell] to protect their swords' blades.
Nana blocks the charge of a body that weight God-knows-how-many tonnes. Nana retreats back after yielding to its weight, but it's only for several meters. Nana seems to have nicely used nature magic to put spikes on the soles of her shoes.
"Flame charge nanodesu!"
With the combination of Arisa's fire magic and Pochi's physical reinforcement, she assaults the rock frog's flank like a cannon by combining Flickering Movement and Heavy Blow. The heavy body of the Rock Frog floats for an instant from the blow of small Pochi.
Arisa invokes the space magic [<<Dimension Piles>>] during that short moment, many penetrate the Rock Frog's belly. The dimensional stakes seem to pierce deeper due to the frog's own weight. She's cleverly used the opponent's weight against itself.
Lulu holds a magic artillery beside me and attacks, aiming at the Rock Frog's big eyes. The Rock Frog's eyes seemed to be protected by glass-like transparent shell as it had only dazzled for a bit even after receiving the huge bullet of the magic artillery.
From the opposite side, Liza who has activated magic edge is stabbing at the frog while aiming at its eyes and flank. Tama unleashes flurry of attack from magic edged twin magic swords on the wound under the frog's skin that Pochi has opened.
The Rock Frog is flinching, as maybe it has never received such one-sided attacks like this before. It was going to spit out venom bullets in desperation, but Nana who has promptly sensed it stopped it with [Remote Stun] of nature magic. The venom that it was going to spit out stopped in its mouth.
Mia invokes [<<Water Shredder>>] magic in its mouth, the Rock Frog suffers great damage from the poison that it has secreted itself. Is it suffering from the poison, or is the wounds hurt, it's attacking randomly with its tongue, and Nana splendidly handles it with her magic sword and great shield.
In the end, Liza settled it with Spiral Spear Attack, and the Rock Frog dropped down on the ground.
Pochi and Tama who usually do victory cries vigorously come beside me instead.
"Is it done nodesu?"
I'm making pickling sauce for the Basilisk meat from before. Since Arisa was complaining before, I've used (Air Control) to make the wind blows the other way and don't let the smell reach the battlefield.
"Not yet. After this sauce has cooled down, the meat has to be pickled in it and be left overnight."
"Looking forward, tomorrow~"
Right at that time, Liza came back while carrying a big red magic core, and lump of frog meat that should easily weight dozens kilograms.
"I have retrieved the hind legs that haven't been poisoned. I think it's better to not eat the torso meat."
"There are still a whole lot more frogs, so it's alright nanodesu."
Mia dejectedly apologizes for exploding the poison. The beastkin girls didn't seem to be angry, they cheered Mia up.
I take out the barbecue set that I've put into the storage beforehand, and begin grilling the frog meat. Although we've only just begun the hunt and it's still a long while until lunch, I've decided to start the lunch early since the hungry call is likely to occur.
The frog meat is too large to grill it just like that on the mesh, so I cut it into some palm-sized thick slices. The smell of the burning from the dipping meat juice spreads to the surrounding. I'm grilling two types of meat; one that's ordinarily seasoned with salt, and one that's smeared with the marinade for the smoked meat from just before.
I also grilled vegetables for Mia, and warmed the corn pancakes from before. It's quite chaotic with the smell of burning honey even mixing in. I regulate the air with Air Control to prevent the smell from getting mixed.
"Grilled stuff is the strongest nanodesu!"
"It's softer than I thought, but it's truly delicious with the abundant meat juice. The meat that's grilled with sauce tastes salty-sweet, but it's growing on you isn't it."
Pochi and Tama are holding frog meat on iron skewers on both their hands and fully enjoying the barbecue while alternately biting on it. Liza is talking heartily she seems really happy. Nana uniformly chew on the meat and the vegetables. Mia still has different menu than everyone even now, but she's moving her small mouth with all her might to eat.
Arisa and Lulu are eating normally as they seem to have gotten used to monster meat recently. Particularly Lulu, she's trying various sauces on small slices of meat. She's not only doing it for herself, she also asks Liza and the others to try it, looks like she's adjusting the difference between their palates.
After the meal short break, the hunt resumes.
We continue the hunt while I'm regulating so that no dangerous situation arise.
I was planning to have us rest in the Mansion of Ivy in the night because it had been a while since our last series of battles against high-level enemies, but since Arisa said some strange remark, "Labyrinth-feel will disappear", I decided to have us stay at the labyrinth villa in area 17 like yesterday.
There's no "Labyrinth-feel will disappear" even though we stay in the safe villa with bath.