Just with the boss showing its appearance, overwhelming intimidation covered the whole hall.
Even though it was only showing up and hadn’t confronted us yet, cold sweat came out from my whole body.
…Dangerous. Dangerous. Dangerous!
This was not the situation to talk about our bet.
The boss stood upright in front of the door, holding a two-handed ax. It had a huge body, roughly around five meters.
When took a step on the stone ground, it produced earth tremor even to my position.
With its massive body that I never saw before, and its overwhelming mass of steel-like muscles in its whole body, the Minotaur gave us terrible intimidation just by standing there.
It was completely beyond my expectations.
This Minotaur easily betrayed my prediction that I had revised up to the maximum after listening to the information how a decent rookie would fail here at least once and the average clearance was six months.
An ordinary person would feel discouraged just by confronting that kind of creature.
「Ha, …haha, I win the bet… right?」
「Sorry. …This is not the situation to make a frivolous talk.」
Yes, I knew that Yuki was trying to shake off his coiling fears by talking to me.
But I couldn’t afford to reply to him, and my head was full of how to confront that hopelessness.
We had to fight that super creature from now on. …How?
The Minotaur slowly walked towards the center of the hall. His giant build was equivalent to a movie mountain.
How should we fight that giant opponent?
There was no doubt that it had massive power. We would take a great deal of damage if we received a swing from that axe. Then how about its speed? Could I expect that heavy body to have dull movements? No, don’t be stupid. What would I do with such an unfounded hope? Seeing that the game-like status corrected our movement, it sound be possible for that Minotaur to move as fast at that lizardman uncle in that huge body. Then should we do it like in the fourth layer, having Yuki observing the opponent at a long distance while watching for weaknesses and countermeasures… No way, then I would go forward? I wouldn’t be able to do it. If I received that axe with my sword, it would end up with just me and a piece of smashed wood in one hit. So I should avoid it? While withstanding this pressure? You’re kidding me…
It was when the Minotaur reached the center for the hall.
It stopped on that spot, stared at us, and took a big breath…
「No good!! Yuki!!」
This was bad, really bad. Even if I knew that it would come, I couldn’t deal with it. “That thing” was incomparable with what we faced in the second layer.
No good, it came!!
――――Action Skill《 The Roar of a Beast 》――
The Minotaur roared from its wide opened mouth.
The whole hall vibrated with the echo, and the fire illuminating place shook greatly.
This should be the same skill hag the orc used in the second layer, but the roar attacked me, as if it was a monster with its own mass itself.
――Failed to resist the intimidation effect――
――Abnormal condition and fear occurred――
At that moment, the world lost its color.
The giant despair was approaching us.
My legs wouldn’t move due to extreme fear. I couldn’t breathe, as if I forgot how to even take a breath.
I had to escape. If I didn’t run away, I would die. …But to where? Wasn’t there no more place to escape?
Even if I ran around in this hall, the Minotaur would quickly catch up to me, cut me into half with that axe, crushed me with its giant body, and turned me into minced meat.
「Ha, haha… Haha…」
It was over now. The boss would kill us without us doing anything, and we would fail the trial challenge.
…That’s right, this was a trial. Even if we couldn’t clear it this time, we could try again next time, and everyone was also doing it like that. In the first place, it was reckless to clear it at the first try.
We would die just like this, return to the ground, and since I lost the bet, I had to watch Yuki eat his meal with overwhelming sorrow and said, “It’s unfortunate, but let’s do our best next time.”
『The capture itself was not difficult. I received baptism for beginners, though.』
This was no difficult? He must be joking. This boss was not in the level to get baptism and win.
『After watching both of you, I’m wondering whether both of you can surprisingly defeat it, nya.』
Shut up, don’t mess with me. How could this monster be that easy?
『You are from ‘Japan’, right? You came from the same place as the Dungeon Master, so I have a lot of expectations for both of you. I don’t know what kind of amazing country it is, but I feel like just with that alone, you guys will become something.』
What were you expecting, old man? There was nothing I could do now, okay? What kind of monster did he think the Japanese were? Strength had nothing to do with nationality.
If this was the gateway to success, then what kind of hell was the match?
『Yeah. I only managed to pick one, so we’ll have halfsies.』
…Ahh, but we decided to do our best together. What would we do if we gave up here and do nothing?
This sweet thinking that we could give up because there was next time would only make it natural that most people took six months to clear this dungeon. That was why that cat ears had been spending a year in this place.
Even if I died here, I had to grab “something” to make sure that I could win next time, and I couldn’t afford to just take a step forward here.
If I was going to die, I would slide forward. Until I exposed this monster with my own hands to the limit.
That was the minimum thing I had to do to move forward, with this ‘system where I could afford to die.’
I looked up, only to see the Minotaur standing just nearby and swinging its ax. Its movement was slow, it probably realized that we couldn’t move.
Within my still fear-bound eyes, the Minotaur’s muscles swelled several times from the real thing.
Originally, the gap between us was not the physical differences between children and adults. It increased even further with the hallucination, and what I saw was a mountain was leaning forward, approaching me.
My leg still didn’t move in front of the giant that should be around ten meters tall before my eyes.
If I didn’t even avoid the first attack, how could I win next time?
My heart screamed, but my body wouldn’t hear my command. I couldn’t go against the status anomalies set by the system.
…No, that’s wrong. I should be able to go against it!
I knew. I knew this fear. This was the danger that I had already overcome before.
It was when I was alone with those pigs in the mountain of my hometown. This situation was the same as when I confronted the showy guy who seemed to be their leader.
What happened at that time? My body didn’t move, I could only make a voice―
―I screamed as loud as I could.
Along with my roar, the curse of fear flew off.
That’s right, this was the second time I faced this. Of course I could do this.
But the Minotaur’s axe had already begun to swing down.
It’s alright. My body moved. I could avoid that.
I came to grips with my legs to avoid the approaching massive mass with all of my power. Even a graze of that swing was bad for me.
However, in the slow world where only my consciousness was stretched away, Yuki who entered my sight for only a short time was still bound by fear.
Even if I dodged this, Yuki would definitely die if this kept up.
「Nghh, damn it!!!!!」
I forcibly twisted my leg that had started to step in the opposite direction and rushed yo Yuki’s body who couldn’t move.
I held Yuki and jumped away, barely avoiding the axe blow.
However, the ax destroyed the floor, and countless huge pieces of stones flew around. They violently shot our bodies and blew us away.
We evaded the stones by spinning many times in the air, still rolling around even after falling to the ground.
「Stand up, Yuki!! Don’t sleep here!!」
We were already tattered after having a large number of stone pieces hitting us, but we could still stand. This was alright. It wouldn’t hinder the battle.
「You can still reply, so you should be alright.」
It was a terrible crisis of hopelessness, but I forced myself to avoid it.
「We won’t do something embarrassing like losing without doing anything. It’s abilities, behavior patterns, and skill; go collect as much information as you can!」
「Ah haha… Yeah, I understand.」
It seemed like he was really alright.
I didn’t know if the Minotaur’s charge or my yell worked on him, but I didn’t see any fear in those eyes anymore.
「I see, that thing is definitely a wall. …We almost get destroyed in the first move, but we’ll overtake it!」
The bosses so far… The tests of each layer were nothing but a trial. They were just preparatory movement.
The symbol of hopelessness was standing right before our eyes, but this was surely our first test to become an adventurer.