Chapter 79 – The Adventurers Started Escaping

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Author: Firehead Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Hands of Vecna English Source: Hands of Vecna
Editor(s): TpstT, Keii

Water magic, Apsaras.

This skill converted mana into water, transforming it into a massive swan made of water to attack the enemies. The biggest feature of this magic was the ability to track targets. The swan could home onto a target up to a certain extent and kill it. Its power, scale, and accuracy were all excellent, but it was a difficult magic to use because of the huge amount of mana required.

If a human magic user were to use this skill, he would definitely need several minutes of preparation. Yet this male demon released it so easily. This alone showed how great the difference in power between them were.

“Force Barrier!”

However, before the swan struck, a wall of light appeared to protect everyone. It was a defensive wall created by Virgo with divine magic. However, it was not easy to defend using a barrier which had been erected in a hurry. Normally, it would have been broken through after sustaining for a while.

However, iridescent flames suddenly appeared between the wall and the swan, evaporating all of the water which the wall could not defend against. Then, the iridescent flames immediately changed direction and engulfed the demon’s right arm. As all of this happened in an instant, only Virgo and the demon saw what had happened.

“Tsk! I don’t know who, but it seems that a troublesome fellow has sneaked in…I’m not a fool who does not know his limits. I will retreat for now.”

Looking at his arm that had disappeared with one hit, the demon jumped away and vanished. Aries was clearly able to track the demon’s movement, but he chose to not pursue further. It would be easy to chase and defeat him, but the current task assigned by his master was to support Virgo. If he chose to leave the place for a while and something were to happen to her, he would be quite troubled. At any rate, an opponent like that could be erased easily at any time, so there was no need to finish him off in a hurry.

“Eh, he retreated?”

“Looks like it.”

As Sei was wondering why the enemy mysteriously disappeared, the bikini armor pervert confirmed the situation. The fight was over quickly, but he still understood the difference in power between them and the enemy. Without a doubt, that was no ordinary demon.

Realizing this, Kaineko fell to the ground and groaned.

“The refinement and power of that water magic…Could he be Mercurius, one of the Seven Luminaries?”

Virgo ran over to Kaineko and cast healing divine magic on him. As he felt the pain lessen significantly, his expression softened.

“Mercurius?”

Virgo repeated the name and Kaineko nodded in response.

“Although I’ve only heard rumors, it’s been said that among the demon race, there exists a man with a fluid body who can negate all forms of physical attacks directed at him. The guy we fought just now matches that description perfectly. In addition, his refinement of Water magic…”

“Se—Seven Luminaries!? You can’t be serious, there’s no way I’m staying! With that kind of opponent, no matter how many lives you have, it won’t be enough!”

“M—Me too! This ain’t a task for adventurers! You should be asking the formally trained soldiers instead!”

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As soon as Kaineko confirmed the name of the enemy, a commotion erupted on the spot. Several men refused to participate and walked out of the tent. However, that was inevitable. The Seven Luminaries were fearsome invaders from the demon race and were the current nemeses of the humanoids. With only seven of them, they were able to drive the humanoids into a corner.

The very idea of fighting them was weird to begin with. Even though those demons could be defeated by Ruphas in one hit, completely powerless against Libra, called weaklings by Aigokeros, and considered unworthy of pursue by Aries, they were still considered a fearsome existence.

The abnormal ones were Ruphas and company. This point must not be forgotten. And so, nearly all participants of the hunting festival fled, leaving behind only three people. They were Virgo, Sei, and Aries who was disguised using the black costume.

“Th—This is bad…What should we do now?”

“They have a point. I too think that we should send trained soldiers instead of adventurers to the mountain.”

Kaineko was crestfallen over the fact that most of the adventurers fled, but it was not unreasonable for them to flee. After all, they had received neither formal training nor support with the provision of weapons. They were simply outstanding individuals among the common people who hunted magical beasts for a living.

Compared to soldiers, their weapons were cheap products that they made do with to get by. Occasionally, there might be some who acquired powerful weapons from ancient ruins, but such individuals were rare. There were no real adventurers who would swing legendary weapons around in the way Sei would see in games.

“If it was possible, we would have done that. But we can’t and that’s why we had to gather adventurers.”

“You can’t? What happened?”

“That mountain is a holy place, so there is a holy barrier that keeps magical beasts away. We beastkin are affected by it too.”

When he heard Kaineko’s words, Sei recalled what Cruz taught him about the humanoids of this world. Cruz mentioned that the beastkin, which counted among the humanoids, were fundamentally no different from magical beasts. For example, the orcs were basically pig beastkin, to put it bluntly.

Both were descended from humans. Both were mutated by mana. Both had animal features. There was practically no difference. Then what was the difference between beastkin and orcs? It was the ability to coexist with other humanoids.

Beastkin could coexist, therefore they were considered humanoids. Orcs could not coexist, therefore they were categorized as magical beasts. This was the only difference. In other words, whatever was effective against magical beasts would generally be effective against beastkin as well.

“But we are fortunate this time. The barrier does not actually repulse magical beasts per se. Instead, it repulses mana. Therefore, it should not be possible for the demons to invade so easily. The elixir will not be taken immediately.”

“Repulses mana huh?”

Sei decided to consult with his companions after the meeting regarding this somewhat troublesome barrier. After all, the most powerful person in his party was the Sword Saint, Friedrich. Since he was a tiger beastkin, it would not be possible to bring their greatest fighting strength along.

Meanwhile, Virgo looked at Aries with a worried expression, but Aries gestured that it was okay. In the present world, there were only a few known types of barriers and the kind of barrier which could stop real monsters like the Twelve Heavenly Stars did not exist. Or rather, there was nobody who could do it. To really stop the Twelve Heavenly Stars, one would need a barrier like the one raised by Alioth in Lævateinn.

And in all likelihood, although the Seven Luminaries would be somewhat affected, they could probably break through the barrier forcefully. In other words, Kaineko’s deduction was fundamentally wrong. However, Aries chose not to point it out.

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“But we cannot tarry too long either. Since the Seven Luminaries now know of the elixir’s existence, they would surely find some other way to get to it. Perhaps by brainwashing humans and so on.”

“So you’re saying that we don’t have much time left?”

The situation could not be delayed any further. Without the elixir, the guardian dragon would be lost and this country would be doomed. If the elixir was left alone, the demons might acquire it. Sei made up his mind and started walking towards the tent’s exit.

“Wh—Where are you going?”

“Please wait for a while. I need to call my comrades.”

This was an important battle that would determine the fate of a nation. With that conviction, he chose to gather his comrades immediately. But before he could leave the tent, he saw that his comrades were already gathered outside the tent. On the side, the covert ranger squad gave a thumbs-up. It turned out that they had ran to tell his comrades.

“Looks like it’s time for us to act, Sei.”

Jean smiled broadly and entered the tent. He was followed by Gants, Cruz, Ricardo, Female Knight (Gorilla), and Tiger. The hero’s party had gathered. Even if one saw this a second time, it would still look very cool.

“Wh—Who are you people?”

“I’m the mercenary Gants, but currently I’m the hero’s comrade even though I’m unsuitable for such a task. Well, this is a national issue after all. Although we are not participants of the hunting festival, we could not just stand by and watch.”

Hearing Gants’ name, Kaineko widened his eyes. Anyone who had fought in real battles would know of him. If the strongest mercenary appeared, it would be natural to be surprised. But what surprised him even more was the huge bipedal tiger behind Gants.

“Oh, you are Fried! You have come back!”

“Grrr…”

“Oh, it really has been a long time. We have heard tales of your brave exploits!”

“Gah!”

“Ah, she’s fine. You can meet her later.”

Grrah!”

“If you are that worried, just confess already. You can’t keep her waiting forever.”

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“Ah, sorry. Please speak in a language we can understand!”

Friedrich and Kaineko were conversing, but Sei had no idea what they were talking about. Nobody could blame him for his involuntarily loud interruption. Then, the Female Knight came forth and translated Friedrich’s words.

“Apparently, that cat beastkin is the squad leader’s elder brother. Since it is a long-awaited reunion, they just started chatting.”

“Brothers!?”

Sei exclaimed involuntarily and then compared the two. Kaineko was a cat beastkin about one hundred thirty (centimeters) tall. Friedrich, on the other hand, was a tiger beastkin over two and a half meters tall. The size difference was like that of a cat and a tiger. It was difficult to believe that they came from the same womb. Noticing Sei’s gaze, Kaineko rubbed his face with his paw in embarrassment.

“Oh, we don’t look like brothers, right? People often say that. I take after my father, while Friedrich takes after our mother.”

“I don’t think that’s the problem right now.”

One could not help but wonder what kind of couple would produce brothers like that. The ecology of beastkin was really mysterious. It was too early to accept them as siblings, but there was no time for such persuasion right now. After discussing for a while, they finally held hands tightly.

“It seems that the discussion has concluded. We are allowed to accompany them.”

The discussion between Friedrich and Kaineko ended with the permission for the Hero’s companions to come along. At such times, the names of the Sword Saint and the Hero proved useful. This was a party consisting of the Hero and the Sword Saint who was the pride of the country. If they rejected this, they would not find a stronger team. The party decided to aim for Hnitbjorg with everyone present.

“Then let me guide you. Come with me, brave ones.”

The vast grassland of Draupnir.

Here, Libra and Karkinos walked on in their task to find the Archer. Having said that, only Libra was searching for the most part. Karkinos was hardly useful at all. Libra searched the surroundings and eventually found and picked up an object.

It was an arrow.

Back then, this was the weapon that killed the dinosaur before Libra could snipe it. It was probably shot by the Archer. This was not useful in itself. However, by examining the angle of the fallen arrow, the position where it was fired could be estimated.

Libra’s eyes moved rapidly as numbers indicating the angle, wind direction, and air resistance danced across her vision. Eventually, one spot in her vision was chosen as the candidate and marked with a circle. Of course, all of these things were only visible to her. There was no actual marker attached to that spot.

“…Is it over there?”

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It was closer than expected. That was Libra’s first impression. If it was the Archer, he could have been further away…It was not impossible for him to shoot from a distance that was much further than from here. Yet the most likely location was very close. It was just a bit further from the commentary box for the hunting festival. Thus, that was the next spot to examine.

The Archer must have erased his tracks, but it would not be possible for complete erasure. Slight footprints on the ground. Trampled grass. Fallen body hair. As long as such things existed, Libra could use these clues to find the next clue.

“Let’s go, Karkinos.”

“Yes.”

With the totally useless Karkinos, Libra headed for the next clue. After this, she would just repeat the process until she found the Archer himself. There was almost nothing more difficult than getting away from her once she started tracking someone. Even if it was one of the Twelve Heavenly Stars, there would be no exception.



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