Stampede (1) ~Burning Spiral T-Pose~
Morning of Stampede day.
A fine weather we have today. Excluding a tiny portion of the area.
An unnatural dark cloud hangs in the sky above Magic Beast Forest.
Apparently this dark cloud is the sign that a Stampede is about to begin.
According to Guildmast, when a lightning strikes from that cloud down to the magic beast territory below, a magic beast turns into the Stampede boss in that instant.
The raid won't happen until then, on the other hand, this means you can't defeat the boss before then either.
I've already finished checking on guild's provision, including Spark Wolf's horn and Roaring Mushrooms.
The only thing left is to wait until the lightning strikes and the magic beasts come raiding in.
I'm on the lookout above the town's rampart, ready to respond to the Stampede anytime.
I'm in charge of the first strike when those magic beasts draw near. Wonder if it's gonna go well... Can't help but worry.
Alma's parents have already gone into the magic beast forest along with around ten elites.
Presently, the forest is full of relatively powerful magic beasts prowling outside the deepest part, but those people can apparently take care of those beasts easily.
Around 90 adventurers have gathered at the east gate of the town.
Some are trembling nervously, some in excitement, while some are on high alert.
These adventurers are willing to face this kind of danger for mostly three reasons.
First, to defend the town.
Even if all adventurers and the populace abandon this town, the Stampede will eventually arrive at other towns.
They can't just keep running away forever, so dealing with it now is the best course of action.
Once the boss has been defeated the magic beasts will apparently retreat, but there's no telling how many people fall until that point.
The citizens have taken shelter, but they can't exactly come back to a pile of rubble. 'We have to protect our town no matter the cost', or so the guildmaster's speech went.
Second one is for reward.
Befitting of a high risk commission, simply participating nets you 50000 en.
There's also additional reward depending on how many magic beasts you've defeated.
The amount is higher than the usual, so even just surviving earns you a lot.
The third one is magic beast rare drops.
Magic beasts rarely possess powerful weapons or equipment on them.
And apparently magic beasts in a Stampede have a higher rate of such rare drops, so while taking them on carry a high risk, defeating them gets you rare equipment.
There's a lot of cases of people chewing more than they can swallow and dying in the battle against magic beasts with those powerful equipment though.
Umu, the reward is attractive and all but just 50000 en in a mission where you risk your life is a bit eh.
I mean that's only as much as five Efi fruit I have. Adventurers' lives sure come in cheap.
A lot of adventurers here are partying up instead of going solo.
Or rather, the vast majority of adventurers usually form up a party to compensate for individual shortcomings.
Alma had been invited many times before in this town as well, but most withdrew their offer once they found out she was an Apprentice Paladin.
And yet, there's one particular party that didn't mind it and welcomed her with open arms, however Alma herself believed she would only drag them down due to her Job and kept declining their invitations.
By the way, this particular party was surprisingly those three girls.
They were the only party who kept asking her to join them despite her persistent refusal.
Their apparent bullying of her back then, 'Join our party and you can say good bye to your poverty life style' might have been their roundabout way of inviting her.
That said, I think they went too far. I mean they said stuff about failed Job and all.
The three girls in question are standing by while chatting around below. Their levels are around 14-15, just about average among the adventurers here.
The dark cloud started rumbling.
It's time huh. Now that it's come to this, I just gotta grit my teeth.
The rumbling got louder, lightning strike was imminent.
A lightning struck the magic beast forest with that loud sound.
It has begun.
"Lightning strike confirmed! The Stampede is here!"
"All hands, stand by behind the gate! Wait for the signal from Soarer!"
"The gate will open with the signal, that's your cue to charge at the magic beasts!"
Guildmaster and guild staff members gave their orders behind the gate.
The adventurers began preparing for battle at once.
Aah, it's started huh~ man this is nerve wracking~.
Shadowy figures of magic beasts showed up right after.
Slowly making their way here.
They mostly consist of goblins, and leading them, hob goblins.
I also see some kobolds and unfamiliar magic beasts, but they're not that different stat-wise.
There's small bird type beasts as well as Bladewings leading the flocks in the sky.
Guess those small birds turn into Bladewings once they grow up?
Huh? Didn't the guild say they expected 300 magic beasts raiding in?
It looks far more than 300 though, am I just imagining things?
<<Total Number of Magic Beasts, around 600.>>
What the heck, double that?! What was the guild counting!
Who said there's only gonna be 300 of them huh! I wanna speak with the manager!
Oh wait, it's Guildmast. I'll lodge a complaint later.
So I'm gonna have to face that many beasts, am I even surviving this...
Now then, I can't launch the surprise attack too early or else it'll take too long for the adventurers to reach those beasts, that'll give them time to regroup.
Too late and our side might get bombarded by the horns and mushrooms. I've gotta gauge it well.
The magic beasts keep moving forward.
The bird type beasts are flying slowly to match the beasts on ground.
Not yet, just a bit more.
The magic beasts are now 200 meters away from the gate.
I wrap mana over my entire body and affix it.
Controlling the mana and launching myself toward the magic beasts!
I flew toward the magic beasts at high speed.
I was gonna use the horn at once, but looking closer, the majority of the beasts below don't seem to notice me.
I'll likely miss the ones in the back if I use the horn now.
First, I need to attract their attention, but how.
That was when.
Magic Beast: Air Sparrow
Magic Beast Lv1 - Offensive Magic Lv1
A small bird beast hurled itself at me.
I managed to avoid it somehow but then other small bird beasts started doing the same thing.
Get away you!
For now, I'll spread my arms to make myself look bigger.
Wild falcon pose! Or more like T-pose! How'd you like that!
Ah, no effect. Heck, they're all starting to flock here, 20 of them.
"Whoa! That was close!"
They're not that fast, but due to their sheer number plus them coming in all directions, it's getting ugly.
They're gonna shoot me down at this rate.
...No choice, guess I'll make an even more threatening pose to also lure the beasts below.
I emit wing-shaped combustible mana on my back and ignite it!
The small bird beasts stopped moving when they saw wings of flames suddenly sprouting on my back.
Some deemed that the flame was only for show and kept coming at me.
Dammit, this is not good enough?!
On top of that, the other small bird beasts have begun taking up positions all around me, they're going to hurl at me altogether.
No way to avoid that. Then!
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
I add more flame ahead of me!
Then I make another flame on my sides and starts spinning! Omnidirectional barrier complete! Fuhahahaha!
...Er, yeah. I do think this is must look moronic, okay?
But thanks to all these flames, the small bird beasts are hesitating hurling themselves at me now. Make sense I guess, their feathers gonna catch fire if they touch it.
Oh? Most of the magic beasts on ground are looking here. Well I mean it IS flashy.
Alrighty, I should get close to maximize the blinding effect.
I closed in on the ground magic beasts while spinning flames. I'm feeling a bit carsick, gotta end this quickly.
Once I got close enough to use the horn, I noticed the magic beasts acting strange.
...They're panicking while screaming and looking at me.
I don't speak magic beasts but I can kinda tell from the nuances, it's like, 'Some weirdo showed up!', 'What the heck is that thing, seriously bad news!', 'Shoo shoo, stay back shoo!'.
Well yeah, I'd have the same reaction too if I saw a T-posing man spinning flames flying in my direction.
Huh? Don't I look like a complete nutcase right now? Heck, a lunatic?
...Let's stop thinking. It's a time of emergency.
There's even some beasts who fled. What are you guys even doing here.
Welp, anyway, I've got their attention now so.
I took the pouch with powdered Spark Wolf horn.
I blindfolded my eyes and ignite it!
A blinding flash of light far more intense than three days earlier when we got attacked by a pack of goblins exploded.
There's so much light it seeped through my blindfold.
The magic beasts who saw the light directly lost their sight.
Losing their vision, the small bird beasts flew around haphazardly, some even crashed down the ground.
It even took out some Bladewings, nice.
And now just to be doubly sure, 'Roaring Mushroom' time. Man, this stuff is nasty.
I wrap and affix mana on three mushrooms guildmast gave me and moved it while imagining it hurling down the ground.
I block my ears. What happens next?
The moment the mushrooms landed.
A tremendous booming sound like a combination of lightning strikes and explosions resounded.
Uhyaa, it's so loud even with my hands on ears. Would be a bad time taking this on directly.
After eating both the blinding light and the deafening boom, the magic beasts were thrown into disarray, the beasts that got hit directly by the roaring sound even passed out with their eardrums ruptured.
There's no way they can continue the raid now.
Some of the beasts even started fighting each other in the confusion. That was more effective than I thought.
The gate was opened with that sound as a signal.
"All hands, charge! Leave none of those beasts alive!"
With guildmast's commanding voice, all the vanguard adventurers rushed forward while yelling out loud.
Alma seemed to be among them. Just don't be rash, okay.
"Rear guards, cover the vanguards with ranged attacks! Make sure you avoid friendly fire!"
Rear guards shoot at the magic beasts employing all kinds of attacks, from arrows, magic even thrown stones.
None of them hit allies, every hit landed on the magic beasts.
How'd that even work from so far away. Is it thanks to Skills?
Now then, since I've been spewing flames on top of flying, my MP is running out, time to skedaddle.
I still have MP on the ring, but I'm saving that for emergency. Just to be sure.
As I was about to retreat.
My MP suddenly refilled to max.
Eh, huh? What happened?
Let's check my Stat.
Job: ERROR (Appraisal not possible)
MP: 44/44 (+35/35)
ATK: 22 (+30)
DEF: 22 (+5) (+20) (+15)
AGI: 21 (+30)
※Acquisition Not Possible※
Mask of Bewitchment
Arrow Ward Overcoat
Ring of Mana Storage
...Huh? Why'd I level up?
Did I even defeat a magic beast? Maybe the crashed bird beasts died off? No, I just blinded those things and reduced a bit of their HP, none of them died.
Or rather, I'm gradually getting exp even now. What is this, scary.
What's going on?