Sheila brandished her daggers in a cross-like movement and cut up the Angrymush as she pleased. She then jumped backwards and let out a yell. Ashley activated her spell after making sure Sheila had retreated
The Angrymush, which tried to chase after Sheila, was hit by a blade of water. Although the water blade did not quite cut through it or send it flying, it left a deep wound on its body.
Irmhild immediately pursued the Angrymush. It was likely that she had been shooting arrows at various Monsters to keep them in check, but she had actually switched positions with Sheila without the monsters noticing.
Her tail powerfully swept in from the side and cut off its feet.
As soon as the Angrymush fell over, Caduceus extended from Ashley’s shadow and impaled it relentlessly.
“I can’t lose here either.”
Grace was engaged in a fight with a giant tree, the Evil Willow. They were willow tree Monsters with human-like faces, formed from the bumps and holes on its trunk. When someone approached it, it would swing its branches like a whip to attack. Maintaining one’s distance was not an advantage either, as the Evil Willow had sharp, blade-like leaves that could be thrown like shurikens. If one was preoccupied with the leaves, it could use its roots to entangle one’s feet and seal their movements before sweeping out their feet, making it quite a dangerous fellow.
The tree attacked with its branches, but they were torn to pieces before they reached Grace. I thought that Grace’s axe handling had become even more skillful. She swung the massive axe with both hands, like it was a toy, and crushed the branches upon impact.
Although the Willow tried to resist by swinging its branches and leaves around, it was unable to stop the girl, who leisurely advanced towards it. After she closed the distance, she held the axe, cloaked in Aura, above her head and split the Willow apart with a single blow.
Grace let out a sigh. It seemed that she still had some room to spare, given her expression.
I lured a pack of 20 Grey Wolves together by myself. They were highly intelligent. Although the level of danger depended on the nature and ability of the Alpha Wolf, the pack’s boss, the wolves in the Labyrinth didn’t really care about losses, so one needed to be careful, as they wouldn’t retreat even if they were injured.
I situated myself on a water ball via Water-Walk. This water ball would allow me to move around. With it acting as my foothold, it was possible to freely control the distance between the Wolves and me as long as I maintained my posture, even if they ambushed me. The wolves jumped me from all directions, with staggered timing. I spun my Dragon Staff at the wolves, sweeping them up, launching them into the air, and blowing them away.
After I had routed most of the wolves, only the Alpha wolf remained. It was much larger than the rest. It glared at me and let out an angry howl. The Alpha Wolf jumped in a zigzag pattern in an attempt to distract me while it chased me.
Just as it entered my range, I aimed the water ball at the boss and shot it with my Dragon Staff, using a scooping movement. After I separated myself from the wolf, I attacked the wolf from all sides with Aqua Whip, a rank five Water spell.
It was impossible for the boss wolf to flee, since I could wield the water whip with precise control. Even though it tried to pursue me, it was suppressed by the whip I held. The whip froze the part of the wolf’s body it made contact with, and the wolf’s body was gradually frozen in this manner. The whip mercilessly cut into the wolf’s body, similar to a glacier carving out the ground, and tore a hole into it.
“This has a nice feeling to it. It also leaves no openings against a coordinated assault either.”
My understanding of the Staff’s movement had probably deepened, compared to before. I had become able to deal with various situations in a flexible manner.
However, I still had a ways to go. I needed to steadily accumulate more battle experience against Monsters and build up my strength.
“You guys, why are you all whining!?”
After we had finished stripping the materials off the monsters and gathered herbs as per usual, I found Chester scolding his subordinates at the Labyrinth Entrance plaza.
“Well, um, Sir Chester. Why are we taking the sewer route? The other guys are heading towards other areas. Besides…isn’t THAT beyond the sewers?”
His subordinates looked at him with upturned eyes and asked nervously.
THAT which lay beyond the sewers was, in other words, the Large Corrupted Lake.
I could understand the subordinates wanting to avoid the Large Corrupted Lake. It was somwhere even I didn’t want to go to.
I couldn’t believe it but…did Chester intend to go there…?
“So what if it’s the Large Corrupted Lake. We are retainers who serve our glorious Kingdom. Just because others won’t enter that place, doesn’t mean we won’t!”
So that was how it was. He was saying that he would continue to complete tasks that people hated.
Knighthood was fine and all, but wouldn’t it be better to come up with a countermeasure before invading the Large Corrupted Lake? It was difficult to reach the end of the area with just chivalry and spirit alone. On top of that, they had to investigate the area.
I believed that if one wished to enter the Large Corrupted Lake, they should at least gather information beforehand
“What’s wrong, Sir Chester? You’re still losing your temper.”
Another Knight called out to Chester’s group after approaching them.
“Fernand…. It’s you, huh? It’s just something those guys aren’t thinking about.”
He seemed to be Chester’s acquaintance. The youth named Fernand put on a smile.
“I’ve heard that there are a lot of groups who were having difficulty with the Labyrinth Search, since they’re not used to it. You would do well to stay calm as you proceed.”
“… That’s right”
Chester slightly knitted his eyebrows.
“Besides that, Sir Chester. Sir Greg and Her Highness Rosemary are worried about you, you know? How about returning to the Palace now?”
“I am thankful that they are worried about this retainer. I understand that my strength is imperfect and I still have a ways to go. I have no interest in returning to the Flying Dragons unit.”
After Chester declared that, Fernand shrugged his shoulders.
“Either way…. Your resolution appears to be firm.”
“Knights never go back on their words. Didn’t you volunteer for the Labyrinth Search as well?”
“Even if I go into the Labyrinth, I’ll still show up at the Palace from time to time. Look, even if you won’t return to the Flying Dragon unit, won’t you at least show yourself to Her Highness Rosemary?”
“…It’s impossible. My determination will weaken.”
“Is that so?”
Fernand gave up on persuading Chester to return..
“Well then, we will head off on another Labyrinth Search.”
“Yeah, may the fortunes of battle be with you.”
“Same to you.”
Chester disappeared into the Labyrinth via the stele with his doubtful, dispirited subordinates.
Fernand, who remained behind, wore a slight smile…and headed outside of the Shrine and vanished.
…Fernand, huh? He mentioned Greg and Rosemary, so he might be Greg’s apprentice.
Now that you mention it, from the atmosphere, it seems that Greg selected Fernand to be Chester’s replacement.
“…That person from earlier appeared to be quite happy about something.”
With that, Ashley tilted her head and knitted her brows questioningly. Hmm, I should look into this properly.
Chester himself probably wasn’t aware of Greg’s decline. Considering Fernand, I felt that a chance might unexpectedly appear if Chester degraded in status and became his rival.
“Oh, found Theodore-kun.”
The Forest Birds appeared and called out to us.
Lucian and Irmhild exchanged bows with a smile. Speaking of which, rather than getting along, those two appeared to have good compatibility with each other?
The atmosphere between them had not changed since their first meeting. Since it was a warm and pleasant feeling, even I felt at ease.
“Did your search go smoothly?”
“Yeah. Although Rock Turtles took up some of our time, it’s already like this. I was astonished by how pleasant it felt when I was beating them up with this.”
Fitz easily lifted a sturdy Warhammer onto his shoulder.
Rock Turtles were turtle Monsters with stone shells that appeared in the Old Mine Path. Although their movements weren’t quick, one had to be careful of a surprise attack, since they could camouflage themselves.
Although Fitz had previously used a sword, just like Robin, it appeared that they had bought new weapons that were more appropriate against the Monsters in the Mine. Upon closer observation, their armor and other weapons appeared to be new as well. It seemed that their earnings had been satisfactory.
“We’re about to have lunch now though. How about we eat it together?”
“Ohh? What about the Labyrinth Search?”
Forest Bird always seemed to do their Labyrinth Search in the afternoon.
“The time limit for the request to collect minerals was really terrible you know. We’ve been working very hard these past few days.”
That was a request that was put up at the Adventurer’s Guild.
“Then, since we couldn’t play with you guys before, shall we go and eat somewhere to make up for that?”
“Now you’re talking! I know of a good store.”
With that said, we went up the spiral passageway that led to the top of the Shrine, and I passed by more people I knew along the way.
Umm, they were the guys who had a dispute with the Knights. It wasn’t just them either, I even recognised faces from the Labyrinth Entrance and the lobby of the Adventurer’s Guild.
Perhaps I had gotten used to living in Termuilles. Although that was fine and all, Jasper was not among them.