Translator: Cyrus, Editor: Krizzeir
Chapter 5: Let’s Overturn the Fate of Death, Part 3
Firing the cannon again was easier said than done.
The same process of getting the Serpent drunk on the wine and trapping it in melted rock had gone as planned in the other passageways, but it was still moving. The other heads had dissolved the melted rock with their venom, allowing them to force their way through the labyrinth.
Yunis shouted while chopping off one of the Serpent’s fangs with her sword.
The Serpent relented for a moment, giving Lilu the opportunity to fire the cannon from above Yunis while not getting her caught in the blast.
Again, the cannonball pierced through the Serpent’s throat, causing it to explode.
「Phew…… it’s getting tougher.」
Yunis, who had teleported just inches away from the blast, was sitting next to Lilu and chewing on the wijnruit. It was horribly bitter, but necessary to counteract the venom that was spreading in her body.
「Is it just me, or is it getting stronger?」
「It’s not just you.」
Aur responded while treating her wounds with magic.
「It’s a snake with eight heads and eight tails, and it’s a river. In other words, power is flowing from its tails to its heads. The more heads we crush, the more concentrated the power flows to its remaining heads. Of course, it also means that its overall strength is weakening.」
「Then that means the next one will be even stronger. Was this the fifth one?」
Yunis grimaced, in reaction to the pain coursing through her entire body. Since the third one, Sofia had been unable to contain it well with the melted rock, prompting Yunis to take their place in stopping it in its tracks. Wolfe was still recovering from his injuries from the previous battle. Without a doubt, he was still exhausted.
「It was the seventh.」
Sakuya corrected her with a tired voice as she appeared from the back of the passageway.
「I have finished off two of them. My dear, will you be so kind as to treat the wounds of these brave ones?」
Behind her was Hodeli who had lost an arm, and Hosseli who was limping.
「Yeah. Was your arm shredded?」
「No…… it was eaten whole.」
Hosseli shook her head.
「I see. Calm down for now. It will take some time, but I can regenerate it.」
One of Hosseli’s legs was dissolved by the venom from the ankle, making it mostly useless.
A magician like Aur could treat it, but it would take a few days before she could fight again.
「Don’t worry about it. You’ve worked hard enough.」
Aur gently stroked Hosseli’s head as she hung it in shame.
「I am sorry, my dear. I am afraid that I will become a burden to you in the next battle. I have exhausted my spiritual energy.」
「……That can’t be helped. You’ve done well.」
Aur recognized Sakuya’s efforts while feeling sorry for her, even as she bowed her head in apology.
As the incarnation of fire, she was weak against the Serpent, which was the incarnation of water. Yet she managed to finish off two of them. But her retreat was detrimental to the situation as she had so much power that she could stand against Aur’s entire team alone.
Aur turned towards Lilu who was calling to him. Sofia was crying while clutching her left arm.
「Let me take a look.」
Aur quickly rolled up her sleeve. He was speechless when he saw the wounds on her white skin.
The injuries on her left finger had reached beyond her shoulder, and were heading towards her heart. In other words, the Serpent’s head was approaching the Dungeon Seed.
「It’s the last one. Let’s go!」
Lilu and Yunis stood up. Aur nodded.
「The rest of you, stay here. We’ll take care of it from here.」
Aur ordered Sakuya and the others while drawing a teleportation circle on the ground.
「Aur. The future hasn’t changed, you know.」
「Yeah. I know.」
Aur nodded in response to Thena’s warning.
In the room containing the Dungeon Seed, Aur and Mary would confront the Serpent, and Mary would die. That was the future that Thena saw. Aur did everything he could to avoid it, but nothing seemed to help the situation.
He could only place his faith on the trap he had set up.
Aur activated the teleportation magic after bringing Yunis, Lilu, and Sofia into the magic circle.
They were covered in light from the teleportation circle, and instantly warped to the Dungeon Seed.
Aur was surprised by the sight that greeted him.
「Master…… My… apologies.」
Spina’s entire body had been mutilated.
There was a gaping hole in her stomach, and she had lost her left arm and right leg.
「……What’s that thing?」
It was a dark green humanoid that had severely injured Spina.
But for a humanoid, its features were sloppy. It lacked a face and fingers, as if it was a puppet made of clay.
Dark green tentacles stretched out from its back.
「Lord Aur, that thing isn’t normal at all! Our attacks did nothing to it!」
Mary shouted while holding four swords.
Saying that, she sliced the tentacles in half.
But the tentacles instantly regenerated.
「It’s true. It’s like trying to slice water.」
Yunis said as she tried to slice the tentacles, then kicked off against the ground toward her opponent.
「Is that the last head?」
「……I’d think so. That means that these aren’t tentacles, but it’s tails.」
Aur nodded in response to Lilu’s question.
He didn’t know if it had shrunk after having seven of its heads lopped off, or if it was simply assuming a convenient form in the small dungeon room. In any case, he understood how much of a trouble it was, compared to the other heads they had dealt with.
「I could probably finish it off with my cannon…… if it wasn’t for its speed.」
It was shaking its tails at an unimaginable speed while fighting Yunis. It was clearly much faster than when it was assuming its form as giant snakes.
「I don’t have to worry about hitting Yunis as long as she can teleport away freely, but we have to stop its movements. Yunis, can you do that?」
「That sounds a little difficult!」
Yunis raised her voice while dodging the tails and slicing them.
Her attacks were enough to kill ten normal creatures, but seemed to have no effect against the Serpent.
Yunis wasn’t planning on getting hit either, but it was clear who would be the winner in a prolonged battle.
「It feels just like when I was fighting Spina!」
Yunis blurted, and Aur turned his gaze to Spina.
As a half slime, she had no vital organs, so her injuries weren’t fatal. But it was strange that her wounds remained.
「Spina. Why aren’t you healing?」
「I do…… not know.」
She shook her head lifelessly as her wounds changed into translucent liquid while she was still in her slime form. Despite that, she still wasn’t healing.
At that moment, Aur recalled a piece of information in his head.
It was a future that they should already have avoided, so he had forgotten about it.
「Oh no, Yunis!」
When Aur turned to face her, she was already testing a certain method of her own.
She tried to deal an instantaneous blow that the Serpent couldn’t recover from.
She believed that it could happen because of its size, but wondered if she was physically able to deal that amount of damage. It was the skill that she had used to defeat Hodeli by repeatedly teleporting her own attacks.
But in order to unleash that, she needed a running start and some time.
She aimed for the moment when all eight tails were attaching her, and avoided it by teleporting away, buying herself time and space.
She made sure that the tails barely missed her, and finally chose the perfect chance.
「It absorbs your skills!」
Aur’s warning came too late.
Her teleportation failed, and the eight tails pierced her body.
Aur ran towards her without hesitation.
Images from ten years ago flashed through his mind.
He had lost her over a moment of hesitation.
Yunis tried to shout, but blood clots choked her throat.
It wasn’t that Aur had no chance of winning. The Serpent’s tails were strong, but not as strong as the fangs in its other heads. The Cube provided a sufficient amount of defence, and she was at a safe enough distance.
But his decision was flawed in terms of the end results.
The Serpent’s target wasn’t Yunis who had launched a desperate attack, nor was it Aur who ran to her aid.
It was the core of the dungeon, which was Sofia’s heart. The Dungeon Seed.
「I won’t let you!」
And only one person stood in between them.
Mary was standing guard, protecting Sofia at all costs.
The eight tails fanned out like petals of a flower. Mary used her four swords to defend against half of them.
「Leave it to me!」
The red demon appeared from her shadows, stopping the remaining half of the tails with his fists.
Their resistance lasted only for a moment.
The clay-like head of the Serpent suddenly split in two, creating makeshift fangs and jaws. It stretched forward, threatening to swallow Mary.
The voice echoed across the room like a bell.
It wasn’t Mary’s voice, nor was it Logan’s, Lilu’s, Spina’s, Yunis’s, Sofia’s, or Aur’s.
It belonged to someone who wasn’t in the room.
「–what I’ve been… waiting for!」
Mary’s hair decoration came off and expanded, changing into the shape of a human with a popping sound.
It was Yutsu in the form of the hair decoration. She pulled her own tail and transformed it into a giant comb.
She took a heavy swing at the Serpent.
The teeth of the semicircular comb pierced through the Serpent and reached the ground, imprisoning it on the spot like a jail cell.
Originally it wasn’t sufficient to serve as a trap or an attack against the Serpent, which possessed the powers of water, but as a surprise counterattack, it was a different matter.
It would require a few moments before it was able to liquify and break free of the comb.
But it was enough time for Lilu to light the cannon.
「Did we…… get it?」
Everyone was looking at where the Serpent had been, and Lilu asked in uncertainty. The tails that Mary and Logan had stopped were dissolving into liquid, dripping onto the floor.
「……It seems like it.」
Aur used magic to detect its presence within the dungeon, and confirmed that it was no longer there.
「Hold on, I’ll heal you right now.」
Yunis had dodged at the very last second. Fortunately, her injuries weren’t fatal.
「Aur, you should heal Sofia first.」
「Don’t be stupid. Your injuries are on a completely different level.」
There were eight holes in her body. Sofia’s left arm was nothing compared to that, so Aur decided to prioritize healing Yunis first.
Sofia slowly walked towards him.
Mary suddenly jumped at her.
As she pushed Sofia away, the upper half of her body was chomped on by gigantic snake fangs. The lower half of her body was sent flying as Sofia tumbled on the ground.
「Aw, I missed.」
Everyone was speechless as they looked at the girl who said that in a carefree voice.
She had blue hair, with horns of a deer and the flesh of a fish.
The bottom half of her body was transforming from a fish to a snake with huge jaws.
「Oh well. Hey, gimme more food, Aur!」
Tatsuki said innocently.