Volume 7 Chapter 1 Part 3
I cast an ice spell on the monster that appeared in front of me. Although it’s slightly less powerful than other fire spells of the same class, it does not spread fire, which makes it convenient to use while moving. Fire magic usually requires making sure that no wildfires and the like occur, hindering progress.
The monster, a boar bigger than a human, let out a shriek as it died. It couldn’t even comprehend what happened before it drew its last breath. Apparently, ice magic was more than enough. There’s really no need to kill them, though. Just neutralizing them is fine.
“Only pushovers so far.”
“Yeah. There’s quite a lot of them, but they’re not that different from the monsters back at our place. It’s not like this area is an infamous danger zone or anything. With no Boss around, I suppose this is within expectations.”
So far, Miriel Forest had not made us use a single arrow. Arrows are valuable, so we’re only using magic, therefore consuming only our mana. And mana replenishes while we move, so it’s not much different than traveling along the high road.
“I just hope we can keep going like this.”
“Yeah. Area Bosses are great targets, but I don’t want to waste time.”
I’d love it if we kept going at this rate, and in fact, it’s very likely we will. It’s not uncommon for adventurers to go missing because they got lost or they underestimated some weak monsters.
The path in the woods is very difficult to find, especially because people don’t enter it. If we didn’t use some of our Skills to check our direction and current position, we could have gotten lost too.
There are no towns or main roads near Miriel Forest, so it’s not like we’ll reach some kind of a settlement if we just keep moving forward.
As I cast Magic Search again, I picked up strange mana from the distance. Not strange in terms of the type of mana, but the size. It was huge.
“Sir Eld,” Sachylis said as I was puzzling out the identity of the mana’s owner. “Huge monster spotted a few kilometers up ahead.”
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who noticed. If it can be spotted even at this distance, it must be a very powerful monster among the Area Bosses. Probably the same rank as the Emperor Ogre I defeated, or even higher.
“Sounds like those adventurers didn’t just get lost,” I said.
“I agree. What do we do? We can go all the way around to avoid it.”
“If we could do that without any trouble, sure, but looks like this one’s noticed us.”
Humans can search for creatures in their surroundings with skills such as “Magic Search”, but these abilities are not exclusive to humans. In fact, when it comes to sensory organs, monsters that live in the wild have much more superior ones.
Area Bosses have very vast territories, and our current location was probably within it. Some monsters, in particular, will immediately sense something off as soon as a foreign body enters its territory. In a remote forest like this, a human would stand out like a sore thumb.
“It’s not showing any signs of heading towards us,” Sachylis said. “Did it really notice us?”
“The fact that you sensed it is proof. You’re using Search Enemy, right?”
“Now that you mention it.”
Search Enemy is one of the better spying skills that Sachylis has. It’s a Skill that finds the target it specifies, mainly those who are hostile towards you or your party members. It makes it easy to find spies whose apperance you know nothing about, but it can’t detect those who don’t have any targets in particular, like a serial killer who wants to kill anyone he finds. Sometimes it can be handy, other times useless.
When it comes to monsters, the Skill activates once they are aware of your presence. In other words, when Sachylis detected the Area Boss, it means that it’s noticed us for sure.
“Well, there’s a chance it’ll let us off if we just pass through. It’s not like Area Bosses kill everyone who enters their territory.”
I altered course diagonally. We’re avoiding it while maintaining the same distance from the monster. If we started running, it might chase us. This method is the least provoking to the monster.
“It’s coming after us,” Sachylis said.
“I kind of expected it when I learned that a lot went missing. Apparently, it doesn’t want to let humans leave.”
The existence of an Area Boss doesn’t necessarily increase the number of missing people that much. The probability of humans and an Area Boss meeting ‘by chance’ is simply not that high.
If the number of missing was so high that it warranted a special mention, it’s highly likely that it’s the Area Boss’s nature to specifically target humans. When twenty people are moving in a group, there’s no reason why they won’t become targets.
“It’s coming at us diagonally from the left! Anti-monster battle formation!”
As soon as I voiced my order, all members took their positions. It’s a formation where we spread out with me in the lead and launch a concentrated attack.
This party has no vanguard, because the members were gathered mainly with the assumption of fighting against people. I could’ve asked Mylia to be our vanguard, but she doesn’t really belong to the Count’s army. Although we’re still keeping in touch, she’s not joining us this time.
There are many vanguard classes in the Count’s army, but unfortunately, there’s none as powerful as Mylia yet. In terms of technique, there are several who are better than her, but Mylia was much stronger and faster, making for a huge difference when fighting monsters.
Against a monster as strong as an Emperor Ogre, at best the first squad can only buy time. Unfortunately, there’s no one here who can take the front line so we can take the enemy down.
So I take the role of the vanguard, since I’m equipped for it, except I don’t do it in the normal sense. I go guns-blazing, casting powerful spells to take down the enemy. You know what they say, offense is the best defense.
I just hope it works this time.