Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: ”Ryunakama”
While others pointed their weapons at him.
I took a step forward.
The guardian furrowed his brows, looking a bit perplexed.
Then, I frankly said what was on my mind.
「Guardian, I want to learn a way to save my little sister.」
For a moment he looked puzzled, but then donned a smile.
「What a sudden question. You aren’t alerted, seeing me?」
「I am. But it looked like there is a chance to talk.」
「I see, I see. There are a number of new faces…… What about those that came earlier? They died?」
「No…… Though heavily injured, everyone is alive.」
As I told this to the guardian, who looked very worried, he breathed a sigh, seemingly relieved.
「That’s good. I don’t like taking lives in vain.」
I guess I shouldn’t treat him the same as other guardians.
The guardian put a hand to his chin and hummed.
「Your little sister, you said? What do you mean by save? Is she in some kind of precarious situation? Or maybe, it is some kind of illness?…… Unfortunately, I’m not a doctor.」
The conversation goes a lot smoother than I expected.
「……My little sister has been sickly since her birth. Do you know a method… to cure that?」
I asked, clinging to a faint hope.
I kept raiding labyrinths only to find the magic tome.
However, I can’t keep gambling on that forever.
So if even a guardian doesn’t know……
Meanwhile, the guardian was tilting his head, furrowing his brows.
「Since her birth…… huh. Magic stone defect?」
「You heard of it……?」
「Since she was born with it, I thought that there might be not a small chance of that being the case. At least to my knowledge. Humans are born bearing magic stones, but rarely there are times where it is damaged. In such a case, the body cannot remain in a normal state. As symptoms, one would become weaker, and skills might show defects.」
……Indeed, it’s similar to Manicia’s symptoms.
I didn’t even think that it could be established so easily.
「Is there a way…… To fix that?」
「You just have to remake the magic stone. The procedure is the same as with homunculus creation.」
「You said, remake?」
The guardian smiled with corners of his lips.
「The magic stone contained in the human body bears all the information about that person. Take a strong magic stone, capable of accepting that information, and transfer it there. Then transplant it into a homunculus with the same body as your little sister, and that’s it.」
The guardian said casually.
……Doesn’t that mean that Manicia will have to die?!
「The result of that wouldn’t be Manicia.」
「Where is the difference? She would have her memories, and it is even possible to create the same body. Or even a better one. And since it would be a homunculus, the life span would no longer be a problem. She would be able to live as long as she has magic power. After all, that is what the homunculus technology is.」
……I didn’t know.
His gaze went to Luna. He might have noticed it.
「……Don’t homunculi exist to make human’s life easier?」
「Wrong. Originally, the technology to create homunculi was developed to allow human gain immortality.」
Going by the process described by the guardian, that indeed could be gained.
「For humans, everything is decided upon their birth. But homunculus technology allows them to redo it. Furthermore, pulling out information from the magic stone might even allow them to acquire new skills. Well, it would depend on the magic stone used for the homunculus.」
「Guardian…… Were you a human in the past?」
「The past…… As one might expect, I don’t remember it that well. But possessing such a technology, in the world that I knew, everyone lived using immortality, with the able bodies.」
「……Is there no other way to save Manicia?」
I’m not that knowledgeable about homunculus technology.
However, that approach would probably go against the law.
The state prohibits giving emotions to homunculi.
And what he suggested is close to that.
But…… If that would allow me to cure herーー
I might do that even if it would mean going against the country itself.
「No, there is another one.」
Donning a delighted smile the guarding put a hand into his bosom.
And pulled out a piece of paper.
Swaying under the wind, it had letters written on it.
「It’s a page from the magic tome that is said to be able to grant any wish.」
「……That tome from the fairytales?」
「I don’t know if it is what you are imagining, but it is indeed a relic that would appear in wild dreams. Guardians in other labyrinths also have them, if you keep collecting the pages, they will eventually turn into the complete magic tome. Using it, you should be able to save that Manicia. Of course, even one page will have some effect. It might make her situation better than it is currently.」
「I see. ……Can you yield it to me?」
「Nope, no way I’d do that.」
Hahaha, the guardian laughed loudly.
Well, that’s to be expected. No way he would just give away something so valuable.
Even so, there is probably nothing that I can pay with.
The guardian’s eyes turn narrow. At the same time, the surroundings are flooded with magic power.
「I will give it to you. If you defeat me.」
「……So that’s how it goes.」
A simple story.
Taking out the shield I take a stance.
The guardian slightly tilted his head and then stuck out his tongue.
That instant, his body began changing.
As if breaking a shell, a pair of hands appeared from his back.
The body itself grew about two times larger.
The lower half of his body turned to something akin to a snake tail.
「Let us have the best fight, humans.」
If we win, I will be a step closer to curing Manicia.
……I never had a more pleasant fight.
The guardian reached out to the katanas on his waist.
I also raise my shield and sword and confront him.
「This right after I recovered from my injuries, I have no luck.」
Nin shrugged and began working on her spell.
「Sorry. I dragged you into this with my selfishness.」
「I don’t mind it. And everyone else seems to be pretty motivated as well.」
I take a quick look at them.
「I won’t forgive you for injuring Lily the last time.」
「I absolutely won’t forgive you for crushing Nee-san’s outer shell.」
As expected Lilia and Lily are brimming with motivation.
Shugor, though he looks tired, also readied his weapon.
「I will do my best…… For Manicia-sama’s sake.」
And Luna is especially motivated.
……She seems to cherish Manicia a lot. This makes me happy.
What we have to do is no different than usual.
Breathing out a small sigh I focus my sight on the guardian.
I step forward.
The guardian moved at the same time.
As he crept closer, I used Taunt.
A sentient opponent.
I don’t know if Taunt will work or not, but his gaze went to me.
With a shout, the guardian swung the katanas downwards. His voice, that sounded like he lost all notions of sanity, was completely that of a monster.
I used my shield to block the swords coming at me from the sides.
I get pushed backward. But I manage to block it.
The attack is heavier than that of a fieldzaurus.
………Show some resilience.
If we win, then the magic tome that until now remained nothing but a dream will become a bit closer to reality……! I certainly will obtain it and see Manicia’s smile!
I want to make Manicia healthy enough to run outside.
I swing my sword with those thoughts. The guardian, using the tail to support himself, evaded by pulling back the upper half of the body.
There, Shugor made his attack.
A swing from the longsword. Though the guardian managed to avoid that, Shugor’s swords emitted magic.
A fire arrow burns the guardian slightly.
「Shugor! The katana is coming!」
Shugor promptly tried to evade by jumping to a side but was blown away by the wind pressure.
Such power. Taking a bit of damage I immediately use a potion to recover.
The guardian moves to make a follow-up attack on Shugor.
I use Taunt to interrupt him.
As his attention immediately returned to me I held up the shield and charged at him.
Repeatedly activating Taunt I keep the guardians focus on myself.
Lilia moved from the flank.
She swept down on the guardian from his blind spot.
「You will pay for hurting Lily!」
In an instant, a number of blades appeared.
That is one of her skills. Mincing the guardian’s stomach, she at the same time ran out of breath.
The price of using a powerful skill. Even so, it seems she still can move enough to dodge.
The guardian turned from me to Lilia.
I knew he would do that.
Jumping in between him and Lilia I raise the shield. I had my share of joint activity with her. I’m already used to this.
I block the guardian’s charge with my shield.
The impact is so heavy that it seems threatening to break my arm.
However, covering behind the shield I fend off the attack.
Leaving that word alone, Lilia disappeared.
She is looking for another chance.
The mages finished their preparations.
And it seems that the guardian noticed that as well. He set his sight on them.
A combined spell of Nin and Luna came flying.
A fire projectile hit the guardian.
The guardian blocked it by hand.
That moment the fire projectile erupted into a burst of flames.
A chain of explosions. From his wrist to his arm, the explosions travel across the body.
Emitting ice from his mouth the guardian froze his hand.
However, the next moment a lightning bolt hit the guardian.
Lily’s spell. Lilia immediately assists, making it a joint spell.
With the power of the lightning increased, the guardian staggers.
Shugor rushes in.
To prevent the guardian from shifting his attention there I repeatedly use Taunt while keeping myself in his sight.
Shugor’s sword hit the tail of the guardian.
It tore off sturdy scales.
The staggering guardian stabbed his katana into the ground.
Consecutive attacks seem to be pretty effective?
I can see that he is gathering magic power.
At the same time, Shugor shouted.
「An earth magic is coming! Last time we were done in by this and retreated!」
「I see. Nin, get the recovery magic ready.」
Nin replied in a shout.
It looks like she immediately realized what I wanted to do.
「Everyone, attack him with your strongest skills. Just make sure to avoid getting hit in vital areas! I can protect you from everything else!」
The three that didn’t know about my skills looked a bit hesitant.
However, they immediately began arrangements for their attacks.
As expected of first-rate adventurers.
Simultaneously with them going on the offensive, the ground shook.
Like an earthquake.
The ground split, sprouting a number of earth-made spears.
Lilia and Shugor closed in on the guardian while evading those. However, the earth spears would still graze them, accumulating the damage.
The endurance goes down.
Gulping down a potion I’m trying to counter it.
Someone is taking damage.
Slightly, but the pain is piling up.
I clench my teeth, trying to keep myself from passing out. Though it’s mitigated to a certain degree, the feeling of the whole body being pierced by spears is painful.
But I’m a tank. The shield protecting this party.
Another wave of pain comes.
The casters failed to evade earth spears.
Stabbing my sword into the ground I lean on it, trying to endure it.
Until now I never took such a huge amount of damage for such an extended period of time.
The enemy’s spell was still going. Just how long will it continue.
Every second feels extremely long.
If I lose my consciousness, the skills will be canceled and we will lose our chance for a counterattack.
Endure it. I have to.
Sweat runs down my cheek. A pain akin to having the insides of my body being shredded by a sword keeps assaulting my body.
I can’t even drink a potion.
The bottle that I pulled out from the item pouch on my waist fell from my hand.
I hear shouts.
Then, a soft light enveloped my body.
……Recovery spells that Nin and Luna cast together.
As usual, the recovery volume is just abnormal.
While grimacing from the pain, I glare at the guardian.
The guardian’s spell ended following which Shugor and Lilia were repelled by katanas.
A huge gap in his defense appeared after the attack.
The last push.
If I have that――!
I kick off the ground.
I close in on the guardian and put the skills into the sword.
Life Conversion. I put all of the damage I accumulated this far into this attack!
The sword emits a faint blue light.
Which caught the guardian’s attention. He swung at me with a katana, but I fended off the attack with the shield and swung down my sword.
The sword stuck. At the same time, the light got a lot brighter, and the guardian was knocked away.
Rolling on the ground he creates clouds of dust.
And eventually, he completely stopped moving.
But then, he unsteadily tried to get up.
No way…… He still can stand?
……But he should be pretty damaged. If only we attack him all at onceー!
Quickly exchanging looks I charge at him.
「Whoa, wait, wait, I give up. I will die if we keep going.」
The guardian said in a silly tone.
The body that turned into that of a monster gradually turned back to human.
Clad in tattered clothes he sat cross-legged.
With a smile, he raised both hands.
「I surrender. Sorry, but I still want to have fun in this labyrinth. I will give you what was promised, so can you spare me?」
I guess we can consider this as our victory.
And the moment I thought so, the strength left my body.