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Skill? Nee yo Sonnamon! Chapter 149

Unnatural Magic Beasts


This chapter is from Alma's POV

After leaving the orphanage, we visited the adventurer guild to learn where the herbs grow and hurried on our way.
Good thing the guilds are open late at night. I'm thankful for that beautiful receptionist, Binafa, she was so cordial to us. I should say my thanks tomorrow.

"I hope Director is alright..."

Reina sounded anxious.
With Hikaru there, I'm sure everything is going to be alright no matter what happens, but it seems she can't dispel her worry.
...I suppose it's only natural to worry when it comes to people important to you.

"You gotta cool it Reina. If you make a blunder and end up spoiling the herbs, our effort's gonna come to a waste."

"I-I know that..."

"Besides, Kajikawa-san's with her, all is swell. Heck, not only can he fly, guy's also strong in battle and even knows healing magic, how versatile can someone be... Soarer must be an elite Job."

"T-that's fo' so..."

...We can't say that Hikaru has no Skill and does all those feats by directly manipulating mana, life force and such.
Hikaru himself seems to have no confidence and keeps saying, 'It's no big deal', 'Anyone can do it', but watching him up close shows how extraordinary it all is.
He doesn't want to stand out so he won't get in trouble but I think it's becoming too difficult to keep up the charade.

The magic beast territory came into view after traveling for a dozen of minutes or so.
Magic beast wetlands 'Bolfod', a low plane filled with small ponds and lakes, the magic beasts here range from level 10 to 30. A doable level for us.
Visibility is poor because it's dark at night, but I can pinpoint where the magic beasts are by periodically using Mana Search so we should be fine.
It's not completely pitch dark thanks to the two moons above, we should be able to look for the herbs like this, just have be careful with our footings.

"Radia, do you see the herbs we need around here?"

"Hmm... Nope, not a thing... I see traces of somebody uprooting them here and there however."

"You mean somebody took them before we did?"

"Yeah, look closer here, there are blue fallen leaves and such. It's done way too neat, can't be magic beasts eating them or something."

"...Either there were people who needed antidote potions, or perhaps..."

"Someone went around to prevent anyone making antidote potions."

"W-who would do such a thing...! Because of them, director is...!"

"Calm down, it's merely a possibility, who knows it might just be coincidences piling up."

Radia soothed the angry crying Reina.
...Is the goal of this 'someone' the director's death...
Speculations will get us nowhere, but suppose that's true, what would the reason be.
...Different from demons' malice, I feel like I could see a glimpse of the evil that is humans at work.

"Even if it was somebody's handiwork, they can't have taken all the herbs in this wetlands. Let's take a look deeper inside."


"Got it."

..I must lead our party with Hikaru absent.
Taking the commands while constantly concentrating to keep ourselves safe really takes a toll on my mental power.
Is this how Hikaru usually feels.
This role doesn't seem that hard seen from the sidelines, yet all the hardwork comes to light when you're put in the position yourself.
...I should make an effort to reduce Hikaru's burden from now on.

As we went deeper into the wetlands, I sensed multiple magic beasts blocking the path ahead.
I have been purposely choosing a course with the least magic beasts thus far, but avoiding this path would take us to a very long detour.
We have no choice, we have to eliminate these beasts.

"There's a herd of five magic beasts ahead. Going around them would take too long, we'll defeat them head-on."

"Eh, you can see from here?"

"No, but I can tell."

"...Kajikawa-san's awesome but yer' damn amazing yourself. How does one even train to sense magic beasts' presences..."
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I can't tell him about mana search so I pretend to focus in the magic beasts' direction.
I do feel bad about it but this topic in particular must be kept concealed.

I noticed something amiss as we got closer to the magic beasts.
They're big frog-type beasts, and they're behaving strangely. Not in a way that is crazy, something is just not right about them.
It's the opposite of crazy in fact. They're just standing still as if keeping watch on us moving forward.
Are they guarding something? But what?

...It's bugging me and yet it doesn't change what needs to be done.
Eliminate them so we can press forward and gather the herbs. Must not overthink beyond that.

"Reina, I will attack those beasts with magic, get behind them when it lands and draw their attention using Explosion Coral. I'll take care of the rest with more magic when they're distracted."


"Radia, take cover and get ready to launch an ambush when you see an opportunity."


According to Hikaru, when we're left with no option but to fight magic beasts, see if we can ambush them first.
Unlike leveling or training, trying to face magic beasts head-on is a bad idea, or so he says.
Come up with methods you don't usually employ in order to safely, easily and quickly dispose of your enemy.
...It's true, I think we often resort to surprise attacks when up against a group of enemy or strong opponents.
We've been fighting magic beasts frontally lately for the sake of training yet this is probably the proper way to fight magic beasts.

I shoot a Stone Bullet, the least conspicuous and quiet magic I know at the frog magic beasts.
Judging from their mana reactions, they're probably around level 20-30. The bullet has enough power to kill one in one hit, if it connects.

One frog's head got blown away.
I shot another at the torso of frog next to it.
However, it evaded the attack... Good reflex. They feel more like trained soldiers than wild magic beasts.
As they were looking for the source of that magic,

Bang! Bang! Bang! Three loud explosion sounds resounded.
Reina moved at high speed using Shadow Dive and popped Explosion Corals in a quick succession.
They took the bait and reacted to the sound, I shot more Stone Bullets at them.
One two, then once I killed the third frog, the remaining two frogs realized where I was and vigorously leaped toward me.



They shot out water ball-like objects out of their mouth midair.
I counter attacked with magic while dodging with Quick Step.
My Dark Whip bound the frogs, however they slipped off it thanks to their slimy bodies.
I slashed at them with 'Ocean Blade' but apparently they were resistant to water element, the blade of water got repelled.
I deployed Quick Step to get away from them. They were one step ahead with Roaring Rush, ramming at me.
I'd get hit at this rate.

Using their momentum, I activated Extended Mana Blade, mana control-arranged in the shape of a web, and diced the rushing frog into cubes.
I've modified this Skill ability to have the range of a greatshield and the offensive power of a sharp sword. Apparently this is quite a nasty move according to Hikaru during our mock battle.
I have now confirmed it's usability in real combat... Most foes will be dead if they get hit by this though, so I can't really use it on people.


! The other frog made use of its buddy's scattered remain as a blind and got behind me!?
This is not a tactic a wild magic beast at this level would deploy. There's no doubt about it, somebody is controlling them!
Oh no, at this position I can't--



"And now, the finisher!"


Just before the frog hit me, the lurking Radia rushed out and stabbed it with [Mana Blade], followed immediately by [Extended Mana Blade] to pierce the frog from inside out.
...I can't believe he's a Lv15. He can't use mana control or energy control, so he's adapted to all kinds of circumstances on how to best use his Skills.

"T-thank goodness, we beat them somehow..."

"...You saved me, thank you Radia."

"O-ou. Just glad I could help... I almost didn't get my turn there. Uh I mean, that's okay too so long as we're all unharmed."

"Oh I remember you using that move too during the hunting fest. I tried to activate Extended Mana Blade when the blade is inside the opponent, but it just wouldn't go well."

...There's no point to possessing many Skills if you don't master them, it'll only get you in danger like earlier.
You can get stronger even without mana control or energy control by adapting how to masterfully deploy them.
...It might be a good idea to look over myself again.

"Are you hurt anywhere, Alma-san? You're lost in thought."

"...Un, it's nothing. Now that the magic beasts blocking our path are gone, we should get going and pick the herbs."

"You're right, we gotta hurry."

...There were too many things amiss with those magic beasts earlier.
I believe someone must have tamed them.
If they were put here to stand guard and stop anyone trying to fetch the herbs, then the director's attack wasn't an accident...
...No, more importantly we should deliver the herbs back quick. We can always look for the culprit afterward.
Hikaru, please keep Director safe until then.





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