Chapter 34 – A Hydra vs the Old Man Wizard Party
It seems that the magic wolf pack had found the hydra.
It’s no wonder there were no magic wolves near the storehouse when we got back.
I couldn’t hear them, but I was sure that they were howling to each other far away in the distance.
Even the little wolves were opening their little, cute mouths and cutely howling in return.
I turned to Cruz and the others and said,
「The wolves have found that hydra. I’ll be right back. Help me, Femm.」
『Protecting the forest is my duty.』
Femm said with a flick of the tail, and grew huge again.
「Now I can see why you said there was a wolf king here. Femm was so cute, I forgot.」
Femm turned its head at Luka’s words.
I know why…because Femm was embarrassed.
「It got away from me the other day. This time I’m going to kill it!」
Cruz was suddenly ready to go. I wish she’d relax as this was just making me nervous.
「I’ll leave you behind, Vi-Vi, in case the village gets attacked.」
「Got it. Moofy and I will stay here just in case.」
After leaving Vi-Vi here to protect the village, the rest of us ran off to defeat the hydra.
I rode on Femm’s back. Cruz and Luka ran beside me.
Femm was quite a fast runner, but Cruz and Luka had no problem keeping up.
This was the normal pace for an adventurer party.
I was this fast back when my knee was okay.
「It really is hard being an adventurer.」
I said to myself, finally.
I knew that my knee was now hurt, but I wasn’t paying attention to that.
Femm paused now and again and howled. Femm was listening to reports from his pack.
『It’s over here.』
And Femm finally ran into the place and we found it.
It was a like a snake with nine heads. Its body was so big that five men joining arms couldn’t reach around it.
「I see. This thing has grown quite large.」
Luka suddenly glared at us seriously.
「Don’t slack off.」
「I know that!!」
「You know what a hydra has…」
You had to be careful as it was famous for its virulent poison.
…and before I could say that to the others, Cruz jumped at the hydra.
Even if you’re a hero…there’s a limit to your bravery. You can’t be brash.
It seems that’s why I always had to cover for her.
Luka said nothing – she just ran after Cruz to follow her.
I used my magic to fire two flashes of light, so the eyes of the hydra were blinded.
The hydra flinched momentarily.
That was enough for Cruz. She quickly slashed off three heads.
Before she could get to the fourth one, she was bathed in a poison mist from another head.
She was totally poisoned.
「I told you NOT TO SLACK OFF!!」
The warrior Luka screamed as she grabbed Cruz’ collar and quickly dragged her away.
She jumped forward to slash off the fourth head, and jumped back to Cruz.
Luka dodged and bounded around in perfect timing, completely distracting the hydra.
Cruz said, half crying.
The hydra’s poison was deadly.
Lore stated that just walking past a sleeping hydra was enough to kill you.
That there was no cure. That you would ALWAYS die. That death was horrifically painful. And so on.
Most of this was exaggeration. However, it was a very strong poison.
「Are you okay?」
「Yeah…it stinks…but I’m okay.」
Cruz seemed fine.
Cruz had one thing going for her as a hero. She had very high resistance to status abnormalities.
And she also had very high willpower against other effects.
「Listen. The hydra’s famous for its poison. So BE CAREFUL!」
「Okay… I will!」
Cruz faced the hydra again.
「You were TOO SLOW!」
Luka took a step back and let Cruz take another shot at the hydra. With a clean slice, she dropped another hydra head.
I threw out some magic to protect Cruz’ back.
「Now that I know the poison’s coming, it’s not scary!」
Cruz easily dodged the poison.
I wish she would have done that in the first place.
「Al! The necks are growing back!」
I heard Luka shout.
Even though Cruz and Luka had cut off seven heads, five new ones had grown back.
The hydra had a very strong life force. Even so, I thought that it took three days for a head to grow back.
But for them to grow back in the middle of battle…wow, that is some strong life force.
「This thing doesn’t STOP!」
「I wonder how many you have to cut off until they don’t grow back. A fun experiment.」
Luka looked troubled, but Cruz was ready to go.
Normal for a hero…too much boldness.
「Just keep fighting it…I’ll think of something.」
「We’ll leave it to you then.」
Luka got the hydra’s attention while Cruz went about chopping heads off again.
Then I used fire to burn the ends of the cut necks.
Even when the girls were chopping heads off, the hydra never made a sound, but now it was screeching as I scorched it.
I continued to turn the ends of the cut necks into ash.
「If this thing grows them back LIKE THAT, then it really is something!」
「Let’s see what happens!」
Cruz said while prancing and dodging the hydra’s attacks.
「Let’s see? You’re going to get hurt being as loose as that!」
Luka warned Cruz, while Cruz just nodded and answered.
While Luka said it, she took a step back from the hydra and watched.
After a while, it was clear that the burned ends didn’t sprout new necks.
「Yeah, burning the ends seems to work!」
If I could keep it from regenerating by burning it, then killing the beast would be easy. The only hard thing was avoiding burning down the forest.
I noticed that the hydra had focused on killing me…as I was the one killing it.
It screeched again and came straight at me.
It blew a poison cloud at me while rearing its fangs.
But Femm jumped in and clawed away at the fanged face of the head coming at me.
I used wing magic to simply blow the cloud into the sky.
As long at it was focused on me, then it wasn’t going after Cruz or Luka.
They continued to knock off the heads nearest to them.
And then I burned what was left of them. And not just a little bit either.
I would have to cauterize the ends completely.
With the girls and my actions coordinated, all of the heads were quickly cut and prevented from regrowing.
Cruz then quickly set to cutting up the trunk of the beast. The battle is ended with us victorious.
「This thing is strong! Isn’t it too dangerous for you Cruz?」
「What? You think?」
Cruz looked at me confused.
This hydra was a type of beast that Cruz did have trouble with. She couldn’t deal with it easily.
But even in a difficult battle like this, Cruz was good enough to cut it down.
I could have killed the thing quicker than Cruz, but that would mean damage to everything around it.
Only Luka would have lost to a beast like this.
I saw Cruz gulp and say,
「I want to eat some of this meat, barbequed.」
「How can you imagine eating this stuff with those stinky burned necks in front of you?」
「What do you mean?」
Luka looked exasperated, but Cruz was blushing in a way.
She thought she was being complimented.
Luka looked lost, and didn’t say any more to Cruz.
Luka began looking around for the battle treasure. It was an adventurer’s role to do so.
Cruz just looked at the beast with glimmering eyes.
「Al, what did you think of how I did?」
「An excellent display of swashbuckling, as usual.」
「But you need to stop jumping in so fast.」
She just gave her usual response.
Femm approached and stood by me.
「Thanks Femm. You helped.」
Femm seemed happy.
I looked around and the wolf pack was now surrounding us.
They always gathered when I was done fighting. They didn’t want to interfere and cause problems for me.
「Thanks, wolf pack. And thank you for finding this thing.」
They all stood there, wagging their tails.
「Could you help me find some treasure, HUH?」
Luka said, a bit agitated.
「Oh, yeah, just a second.」
I hurried and started to slice the beast up.