Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
Hikaru climbed from the second floor to the dusty lofts, a place no one would’ve entered if there wasn’t any threat of monsters. Mice might as well have owned the place.
Sounds of magic spells going off reverberated outside. It was most likely Selica. A Mage going up against monsters without any guard was absurd, but she didn’t hesitate. She wanted to save her friends.
Hikaru pondered things over as he scurried across the lofts. Right now, Sarah, Selica, and Lavia are working separately. He grasped their location with Mana Detection. He already switched out Common Chaos God: Eye of the Storm with Throwing God: Deadshot.
Eye of the Storm, huh…
The men who brought them here in horses were good riders, but they were only low-ranked adventurers, around E and F. They usually took luggage transport and shopping requests, just earning enough to get by daily. These men refrained from taking monster kill quests, especially not when the targets were powerful creatures. Of course, they also never intended to volunteer for the job this time. But they did.
「It just felt like I had to, you know.」one of the men said.「Usually, I’d shudder when I hear about monsters, but today for some reason, I thought I had to go.」
Soon after Hikaru switched his job class to Eye of the Storm, the messenger came barging in with the bad news. The adventurers who normally avoided danger, volunteered themselves.
Of course, Selyse would’ve already retreated way before Hikaru changed his class. It was simply coincidence that word of trouble arrived right after. A mere job class couldn’t change the past…
Reality doesn’t exist until observed…
Schrodinger’s cat came into Hikaru’s mind, not because they were in a town called Catford.
There’s a future where if I didn’t use Eye of the Storm, Selyse and the others would’ve killed the monsters without a problem… Yeah, right.
Either way, there was no doubt that Eye of the Storm provided some rather troublesome abilities. It might be all right to use in my spare time when nothing in particular is happening, but it’s definitely difficult to master since it brings both bad news and good news.
To put it another way, the job class created both opportunities and troubles. In either case, something always occurred, so it could also be a protagonist maker, in a sense.
「Aight, time to kill some monsters.」
Hikaru climbed on the roof and surveyed the surroundings. He already checked the situation with Mana Detection, though.
On the northern side stood trees with leaves that had just started falling. There, a huge snake covered in lustrous crystal, its body the size of a log and about five meters long, wrapped its body around a tree. Giant Rock Vipers were extremely tough and agile.
Sarah leaped from tree to tree. Using smokescreens to rob the monsters of their vision, she fought two of the vipers by employing hit-and-run tactics.
The southern side was open, though clouds of dust were rising in the air.
「I call upon the Air Spirits. O fickle wind, join together and form a circle. Stop the rushing breeze and soar towards the sky.」
Selice chanted within the cloud of dust. Hikaru could hear a rumble, as a basic air magic, Whirlwind, materialized, producing a wide-area smoke screen.
The Giant Rock Vipers coiled themselves up and watched cautiously. The creatures already knew it was no ordinary smoke screen – one was already dead, skewered by a huge stone spear that jutted out of the ground.
A wall made of rock formed around Selica. Rising like folding screens, it made a circle around her. She was using both air and earth spirit magic at the same time, something only very few Mages could do. Hikaru guessed it had something to do with the “Spirit Affection” on her Soul Board, but he hadn’t confirmed it yet.
With a sharp hiss, two figures charged straight despite the wind. Giant Rock Lizards, monsters with two legs. Its face was the same as the viper, its body also covered with identical scales. But it only stretched three meters long. It didn’t possess a weapon, but with its bulky arms, it destroyed the rock wall that Selica created with one punch. The two creatures lunged at her.
But Selica was already gone. She’d already predicted the monsters’ actions. That’s a level 104 monster slaughterer for you, Hikaru thought.
「I’m counting on you, Spirits! Icicle Strike!」
Selica cast a hybrid spell, a powerful technique that only those who could use two types of Spirit Magic simultaneously could pull off. First she finished a chant and kept the Spirit on standby. Then she used an ice type spell, a superior version of water magic, together with a rock hammer created with earth magic.
The Giant Rock Lizard’s armor blocked flames and wind. Sloppy swordsmanship probably wouldn’t work either. That’s where freezing and a powerful blow came in. The former would cause the water in the scales to expand, destroying the armor from the inside, and then a blow would completely break it.
The monsters shrieked. Its body surface smashed, blood spurted out of its flesh, but completely froze over quick.
One suffered grave injuries, while the other, only minor ones. Perhaps the blow wasn’t strong enough. But the spell was much more terrifying. Like lizards and snakes, the Giant Rock Lizard was a poikilotherm. With its body temperature down, it moved a lot slower.
A powerful fire spell engulfed the monsters.
Hikaru spotted Lavia who was hiding herself using her Stealth. Two huge magic circles formed above the monsters and giant balls of fire dropped on them. Their movements slowed, there was no escape for the creatures. Flame Gospel completely devoured their bodies down to their bones, not allowing for even a shriek to come out of them.
It doesn’t matter if you have solid armor. If it’s peeled off, fire can get through. With Lavia’s spell though, I don’t think it even matters if they had armor or not. But whatever…
「Them freezing over should’ve been enough! You’re a monster, as always!」Selica said bluntly.
She was drenched in sweat. Apparently using hybrid spells required much concentration. It probably wasn’t just that. She’d been firing spells left and right as soon as she arrived, which contributed to her exhaustion.
Selica and Lavia used spells out in the open away from the smokescreen, rendering them vulnerable. But there was no need for worry.
「…And that’s three down.」
Hikaru already used his Stealth to get close and cut off the heads of the three remaining Giant Rock Vipers that were staying on the sidelines cautiously as they let the Giant Rock Lizards attack.
「Man, this thing is sharp.」
He used his wakizashi. With five points on Power Burst, one leap was all it took for Hikaru’s arm to reach the monster’s necks. The buff from Assassination and the wakizashi’s sharpness made it possible to slice their heads off in one motion.
After seeing its other friends dead, the one last remaining viper tried to escape, but Hikaru had other plans. He hurled his Dagger of Strength, piercing the back of the monster’s head. As it collapsed, he cut its head off too just to be safe.
「…What are you?!」
Selica had been calling Lavia a monster metaphorically, but when she looked at Hikaru, it was as though she was staring at a real monster.
「That’s not what I’m asking!」
「What about Sarah? She’s still fighting two of them.」
Selica started running towards the northern side.
「Good work out there, Hikaru.」
「There’s one missing.」
They couldn’t find the Double-Necked Viper. Hikaru expanded his Mana Detecion’s range. In order not to put too much stress on his brain, he set the search radius to one-kilometer and only horizontally.
「There! Wait, what the…」
He caught it right at the edge of his search radius. The monster had long since escaped. It seemed to be heading to the mountains beyond the coniferous forest, weaving through uncharted paths. It didn’t take long for it to get out of range.
It’s gone that far already? That means it escaped as soon as we arrived. Before there was an actual battle. Maybe monsters have something like Instinct as well.
「The Double-Necked Viper already escaped.」he said.
「It did? Are you sure we shouldn’t go after it?」
The monster escaped to a place uninhabited by humans. Apparently the deeper they went the stronger the monsters. There was no need to go after it.
Lavia seemed to understand. In the meantime, Hikaru felt one of the Giant Rock Viper’s life force fade out, while the other was headed their way. The bloody monster slithered towards them, faster than a human running.
「Come on. How could you miss one?」
After checking that Sarah and Selica couldn’t see him, Hikaru took out his revolver and pulled the trigger. With a loud bang, a huge fireball emerged and engulfed the Giant Rock Viper. The monster shook its gigantic head, but soon stopped moving.
「Hmm. It’s weaker than when you cast your spell directly.」Hikaru said as he watched the dead creature.
「About thirty percent weaker, I think.」
「Sounds about right.」
Sarah arrived, wearing an expression of disbelief.「You killed it?! How?! Ah, with magic.」
「Something like that.」Hikaru answered. He didn’t intend to tell them about the revolver.「All right, then. Cleaning up will be a drag.」