Hey guys! This chapter is also quite long, so pace yourself. I’m not really sure about the first half of the chapter. It doesn’t flow quite right. I will read it through later and edit it if I need to. Enjoy the chapter!
ED: clover, eristol, xtostos
Klaus raised a cry while heading for the ancient black monster Zaratan.
The lump of innumerable spellcards spread around him formed a huge arm that were comparable to those of Zaratan’s.
I remembered children’s picture books. It is the same way as how small fishes gather together and form a bigger body.
But can we compete with this?
Zaratan swung his forearm.
Klaus concentrated the spellcards in front of him like a shield and caught the thick forearm.
The moment the claws of the monster touched it, a large magic circle was deployed from the spellcards that had formed an array.
Something like a big spark was scattered between the two and the magical residue fluttered in the air like scales.
Klaus was pushed back about two meters and he was on his knees.
He seems to have turned out unscathed somehow.
Oops, he is looking over here with a smug expression.
I understand that you are strong, but it is bad for my heart, so stop that.
“What are you doing, Erica! Use the wand!”
Oops, so that wasn’t a smug expression but a scowl instead, huh.
Come to think of it, that’s right.
Klaus has incorporated almost all of the spellcards into the expanded Protective Circle.
His means of attack now is only the wand of Fire Bolt.
Besides, the leftover of that wand is about one shot, right?
This kind of situation, even if it’s Klaus, he can’t fight against an obviously stronger monster on a one-on-one basis.
I glanced at Ann.
She seems to be hiding in the shadow of the wall separating the main path leading to the altar and the inner sanctum.
I also copied Ann by jumping into the shadow of a pillar.
The battle between the mage Klaus and the huge monster Zaratan continued.
Klaus was the one on the defensive.
Sometimes, he attacked with spellcards that had been clad in magical power.
However, there was not a single scratch on the hard scales of the monster.
I thought that Klaus was amazing at dodging, but his magical power was not inexhaustible.
Besides, there was also a limit on the number of magic recovery potions.
(I have to cover Klaus……!)
But, Grease doesn’t cause damage.
I opened my bag for wands.
I didn’t assume that there would be such situation like a boss fight, so only few wands can be used for battle.
I should change the wands in my belt’s wand-holder.
Can the Klaus-directed Grease be used for battle for once?
While switching over, I noticed a wand that can be used as a trump card.
It is a wand of Death.
The material is cypress. The stick head has twelve pyrope garnets.
The surface of the wand was brilliantly polished and engraved with words of the Aurelia-style condolences.
The core material is the final breath of a creature dying of natural cause wrapped in a linen cloth and soaked in myrrh.
Only creatures that are smaller than the creature used as the core material for the wand can be killed by it.
When it is used in a person-centered war, we use the last breath of a horse.
This wand is for exploring the labyrinth.
As we have to fight against beasts and monsters, it should use the last breath of big creatures.
Zaratan is about a little smaller than an elephant.
(The remaining charge is one. If the core material is an elephant or a whale this wand will win. If it is a bear or a tiger then let’s give up and run away.)
Klaus deflected the claws of Zaratan and took several steps back.
At that timing, I jumped out of the shadow of the pillar.
“Over here, Monster!”
In response to my words, the monster stopped moving.
He looked at my figure and smiled with delight.
『A, A, A, A, A, Aurelia——!!!』
The cry of deep grudge shook the air of the cathedral.
I should be frightened, but I feel fine for some reason.
The monster cut off his eyes completely from Klaus, turned towards me and put strength on his hind legs.
Targeting that moment, I waved the wand.
A dark, unobtrusive magic circle composed of crimson and black floated at the tip of the wand.
From there, ill-boding shadows that looked like three distorted hands stretched towards the huge monster.
The long black hands of death caressed him gently.
『I remember……I remember this magic, you cowardly dwarf!
Bigger creature than this me, such being doesn’t exist anywhere in this world!
I am this land……I carried you vagabond dwarves across the ocean, I am this city itself!』
……Formerly city sized!? Then even a whale is impossible!
The huge monster Zaratan kicked the ground and rushed at a speed that didn’t match his huge build.
I threw away the wand of Death and pulled out the wand of Hold.
(Not good! I will not make it!)
I instinctively curled myself and closed my eyes.
A crashing sound like a car colliding with thick walls of concrete shook my eardrums.
Klaus protected me and stood between me and the monster.
He added several hundreds of spellcards to the Protective Circle to take on the attack of Zaratan.
“Erica! You, why did you attack……aah, no, was my explanation insufficient?”
“Eeh? I apologize, was that not good?”
“If you attack that beast, then my attack to distract him would be wasted, right?”
So Klaus was managing the aggro like in the net game, huh.
A person with high defense would attract attacks and other people would give a degree of aid enough not to pose a threat.
So that was why you tried to get me to aid you with Grease.
But, if someone didn’t make a decisive attack, then wouldn’t Klaus who was attracting the aggro have been in danger?
Because the ones who can easily handle high-level healing magic are the people of Lucanrant.
“I still have Hold and Lightning Bolt. It would be impossible to defeat him, but let’s make a gap and run away.”
“I appreciate your thought but keep the offensive wands. The moment when simultaneous attack is required, when that time comes……”
Zaratan’s claws hit the Protective Circle.
The continuous attacks loosened the spellcards’ solidarity, nearly half of them were shredded off.
From the rip of the Protective Circle, the smile of Zaratan could be seen.
『Ku, ku, ku, ku, have you finished the cheap play1?』
Klaus was holding down the monster using half of the spellcards.
At that moment, I pulled out the wand of Grease.
Is Grease effective for this situation?
I only have to trust Klaus.
As I waved the wand of Grease, white magic sphere expanded from the stick head.
Magical power transformed into a substance and the magic sphere expanded to the size of a basketball, giving form to a big bubble of grease.
I waved the wand and threw the grease bubble towards Zaratan.
The grease flew slowly while fluctuating up and down.
When the grease bubble came close to the tip of his nose, Zaratan put on a bored expression.
It was avoided easily.
If our opponent was a human wearing an armor it might’ve been possible, but it is impossible to hit a monster which jumps around as he pleases.
Klaus’ Protective Circle of spellcards was blown off.
Klaus rolled to the other side of the room as he was.
And, with a slow gait as if enjoying the situation himself, Zaratan came closer to me.
『It was a useless cheap trick, dwarf.
That’s right, you are always, always nothing but tricks.
Everything is nostalgic……even that time when you killed me.
That night when we reached this continent, to me who was exhausted and sleeping, you guys……!
Shameless golden madness! Even though I beat and killed countless number of offenders, you still wanted the Philosopher’s Stone that much!?』
“Philosopher’s Stone, you say?”
The wishes of the alchemists of the Aurelia family.
Turn base metal into gold – that is, a miracle stone that transforms everything into the desired substance.
In the game setting, the reason why the alchemist Zaratan was killed was to take away the Philosopher’s Stone from him.
『Do you care about the Philosopher’s Stone?
Indeed, you are also a descendant of Aurelia the Greedy. No wonder.
However, it is useless.
Those shallow thoughts of yours, everything, is useless!
The Philosopher’s Stone, my soul itself—whether you rip open my belly, gouge my entrails, you will never find it!』
It was an overly optimistic idea that I could break my death flag if I saved Ann.
Zaratan – he will never forgive me or my family.
His hatred and grudge towards the people of Aurelia.
His death is a sin that all people of Aurelia owe.
As long as we, the alchemist citizens of Aurelia, seek out the golden sacrament, that sin will keep on going.
『Throw away the wand, daughter of Aurelia.
I know all of your magic. You cannot kill me even if you drop stars2.
Well, what will you do?
You look like that child who grew up with me.
If you are the only one, I am willing to show you mercy.
However……that is only if you betray the other two and kill them with your own hands!
Like what your ancestors did to me!!』
The monster opened his big mouth so widely that it seemed to be torn apart, baring off each of his sharp fangs in a grotesque smile.
“I will do no such thing!!”
I raised a loud voice to the bad sensation.
What a pitch black fate trade!
『Isn’t that riiiiiiiiiiight!?
You are just a liar who talks big, you said you will not kill other humans, huuuuuuhhhh!?
So, this is my first choice.
The girl hiding theeeeere!
If you leave the daughter of Aurelia and run away, I will spare you and the boy!
Anyway this girl, just like her ancestors, she’s just a cute low-life woman.
Either way, even if you abandon her, your heart won’t feel pain, right?』
Zaratan stretched out his hands with an exaggerated gesture like a stage actor and looked at Ann who was hiding.
That was such a low act, to give choices like that to a little girl.
I glared at the monster.
The monster accepted my enmity and looked like he was having fun from the bottom of his heart.
“Don’t tempt other people’s sister without permission.”
Along with Klaus’ voice, there was a sound of the wind blowing.
Spellcards surrounded both knee joints of the monster, making threefold of rings.
It was a magic of Bind which fixes the target at one place.
Zaratan was bound by the threefold Binds, he fell forward as his feet were fixed in place.
“Whatever you say, you have to defeat me first.”
『Brat, so you can still move? Don’t throw away the life that I generously overlooked.』
“Rather than throwing away my pride, I would rather throw away my life. I will not abandon those I have decided to protect.”
Klaus walked slowly, pouring magical power into the spell forming Bind from his staff.
His clothes were torn in the middle, bruises and abrasion had formed.
He seems to have wounds all over his body, but it is a relief that there are no hemorrhage or broken bones.
Klaus continued after spitting out some saliva mixed with blood.
“……But this guy really has an intolerably gaudy face.”
That was an unnecessary comment.
I wonder if it was really a remark he had to make now.
Why did he even have to diss his face, this guy?
『It’s useless, brat. You cannot penetrate my armor with your magic. It is the same with that Aurelia’s Fire Bolt wand.』
“Don’t underestimate the magic of Hafan, Monster.”
『No matter how different the blood flowing in each human is, everyone is equally stupid.
Will you defend Aurelia three times and hinder my revenge?
Besides, you will probably attach a constraint on me.
Please realize how charitable I was, after I turn you into a second lump of meat that can’t see!』
Zaratan clenched his fists and roared with a terrible voice.
When he put strength into his whole body, the body that looks like steel or rock cracked, his large biceps distorted as if swelling out.
It was almost as though his armor couldn’t bear the pressure from the inside.
Between the broken scales and shells, body fluids like black sea water oozed out and hardened again.
Repeating that, the monster expanded rapidly.
It seems that he is trying to regain his original form.
Zaratan’s legs became twice thicker than the Bind around his knee joints.
Even on the points where the Bind was constraining him, the spellcards themselves were gradually being pushed back by the force from the inside.
The magic circle that formed the spell became distorted.
From the magic of Bind which had been torn away, magical power was leaking as fine particles of light.
“Klaus-sama, the Bind technique!”
“Although this is still too early……damn it! It can’t be helped!”
Klaus manipulated the spellcards by swinging his staff in every direction.
Countless spellcards stuck to Zaratan’s exterior like a shroud as if concealing him.
“If just Fire Bolt doesn’t work, what about Fire Bolt with increased firepower using Grease!”
If I look closely, something like oil is sticking on the spellcards covering Zaratan.
Apparently, Klaus seems to have secretly used the spellcards to recover the Grease which was avoided before.
A Fire Bolt spell was fired from the wand held by Klaus towards the grease-covered monster.
Flame spread in a fan shape at once and enveloped Zaratan.
The flammable grease burst into flames in a blink of an eye and a blazing column several times the height of Zaratan rose up.
The blistering flame illuminated the dark labyrinth just like daylight.
“……Did we do it?”
Deep laughter could be heard as if responding to Klaus’ muttering.
『What, brat. Saying something with that kind of boldness, but it was only to this degree?
With such a pitiful fire, you cannot even kill bugs.』
With terrible momentum, Zaratan walked over here calmly while being covered in a blazing fire.
The Bind appeared to have already broken.
The monster spread his enlarged arms and slowly brought his hands together in front of him.
Following the movements of his hands, the flames covering him were getting smaller as if being sucked in between his palms.
By the time Zaratan had completely brought his hands together, the flame had completely disappeared.
“Damn it! Bind him again……”
『I won’t suffer the same technique twiceeee!』
Zaratan shortened the distance between us step by step, while the spellcards were taking the form of a battle formation before dispersing.
Somehow, his power is increasing in proportion to the enlargement of his body, to say nothing of his motivation.
It is obvious that the next blow might be too much for Klaus.
In order to deter Zaratan, I used the wand of Lightning Bolt.
The moment the Lightning Bolt shot from the wand was about to penetrate Zaratan, a torrent of flame similar to Fire Bolt was shot out from the mouth of the monster.
The flame and lightning cancelled each other.
After the two magical effects cleared away, the uninjured Zaratan stood.
“Magic? But how……”
“What the heck……his ability, perhaps……”
『There is no use noticing that now!
Both of you, get crushed and dieeee!!!』
Klaus hurriedly tried to reinstate the Protective Circle, but he wouldn’t make it in time.
I pulled out the wand of Hold.
But, my hand that is wearing the alchemists’ leather glove is holding the wand of Lightning Bolt.
Again, this won’t make it in time.
On top of us, a huge arm that looked like a bunch of logs was raised overhead.
In front of me, the back of Klaus who was trying to spread his arms and protect me appeared suddenly.
—-A beam of light crossed my field of vision.
The thin intense light cast from behind us hit Zaratan’s left knee.
The thick monster scales broke and was pierced to the other side.
After a moment, a pale flame exploded at the place where the hole was drilled by the light and the knee joint exploded from the inside.
Zaratan who was trying to step into our space, lost one of his legs and broke his balance, fell on the spot and propped himself up with both hands.
“Onii-sama! Erica-sama! Please escape!”
“Ann, well done!”
Klaus pulled my hand and headed for the exit of the inner sanctum.
With her staff at the ready, Ann who had sweat drenching her forehead was waiting there.
In exchange for us, a bottle was thrown by Ann which flew towards Zaratan.
That was, a bottle of Obscuring Mist.
The glass bottle hit the monster, broke into pieces and spread a thick, milky white fog.
The fog thickened rapidly and covered the entire inner sanctum of the cathedral.
“Ann, you’re late. We were nearly dead.”
“I don’t even have any experience in combat training. It was a good performance that I even managed to shoot him at all, wasn’t it?”
“You focused too much magical power. A bit less should still have penetrated him.”
“Geez! Onii-sama, please move your legs and not your mouth!”
I just didn’t understand the situation.
I listened to the Hafan siblings’ banter and ran with full power anyway.
Anyway, for the siblings who seem to get along well with each other to be able to banter is refreshing.
I was a single child in my past life and I have never fought with Eduart-oniisama because we are past being chummy with each other.
“Onii-sama. At the very least, couldn’t you have explained your plan beforehand?”
“Eeh!? You didn’t say anything to Ann-sama either!?”
“Aa, my bad. But, I didn’t have time to do that……”
“Simply saying ‘save Erica-sama and escape’ would have been plenty! When you up and went to face that monster I thought you had lost your mind, you know?”
“Ann, do you have to go that far……”
“Rather, I was anxious because Klaus-sama was no different from usual, doing everything on his own.”
“You guys, just what do you think about me?”
While running, Ann and I averted our eyes away from Klaus.
“Klaus-sama is……brimming with self-challenging spirit, an embodiment of self-confidence……”
“Onii-sama is courageous, courageous and very courageous……”
A roar resounded in the background.
Looking back, the bulkhead separating the inner court and the nave had collapsed.
A huge shadow appeared in ocher-colored haze mixed with dust and Obscuring Mist.
A monster popped out of the haze.
Zaratan who had lost one leg was running on three legs with both arms on the ground and launched his assault.
“That guy, he can move already!? Both of you, hurry up!”
We went through the nave and jumped into a narrow passage.
In no time, the passage trembled along with the sound of a collision.
Dust filled the narrow passage.
Zaratan’s body couldn’t pass through the entrance of the passage and seems to have crashed into the wall.
Something huge stretched from the fallen entrance.
Claws that look like an executioner’s axe brushed against the tip of my nose.
“Erica, the back! Retreat to the back!”
“Erica-sama, quickly retreat to a position where the monster’s arm wouldn’t reach you!”
Klaus and Ann pulled me out of terror.
The claws of Zaratan were swinging in every direction before our eyes.
The monster was scratching the floor and the walls near the entrance of the passage many times over in an attempt to seize us.
Zaratan who understood that we were out of reach withdrew his hand and looked into the passage with his eye alone.
With eyes like a hollow and dark cave.
『…Grudge…grudge, grudge, grudge, grudge, grudge, grudge, grudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudge——-
The cowardly Aurelia……those damn kids who are standing by Aurelia……
All of them are absolutely unforgivable.
I will slowly torture all of you to death, until you indeed beg for death……』
When Zaratan drew back after saying so, he began to destroy the walls near the entrance of the passage with his claws.
The stones, which were supposed to be hard, were gently scooped out as if they were made of Styrofoam or something.
It was an amazing skill.
“L-let’s go! Talk later! For now, let’s just escape somehow!”
I thought that I would die this time.
I was thinking of stopping because of a series of shocking situations, but I continued to advance my feet in a hurried manner.
1 三文芝居 (sanmon shibai): a low-level play not worth enough to pay quarrel money. It is used as an expression pointing to behaviors such as behind-the-scenes behaviors.
2 ‘Even if you dropped stars’ here referring to the Wand of Sailor’s Song, where it was said that it could drop stars in exchange for the user’s life.
About the alchemists’ leather gloves, if you don’t remember, Erica gave one to Klaus, so they both each wear one (not a pair, but one). It seems that the gloves are to alleviate the reaction from the wands. Up to this chapter, there is still no explanation about what kind of reaction the wands give to the user. But it seems that they couldn’t use wands with the hand that doesn’t wear the glove.
Edit: I changed Zarathan to Zaratan. Look at the comment below for explanation, or at the bottom note of the previous chapter. Thanks to Ultimatecalibur for telling me!