|Author: Firehead||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Hands of Vecna||English Source: Hands of Vecna|
|Editor(s): TpstT, Keii|
Sagittarius ran through the forest and glanced towards the side. Libra flew between the trees a little further away. Her inorganic eyes were focused on Sagittarius. Although both of them were moving at a speed that would normally be impossible for humanoids and magical beasts, they still avoided the trees with their agile movements. No, a closer look revealed that Libra would occasionally brush against the surrounding trees, but she simply wasn’t bothered by it.
“Target, lock. Fire!”
Libra held her machine gun and took aim with the muzzle. A large amount of guided bullets rushed towards Sagittarius, twisting around obstacles in an unbelievable manner. However, Sagittarius generated a storm around himself to deflect the bullets and counterattacked with a magic arrow. But an arrow shot straight at Libra would not reach her.
Once more, she blocked the magic using Karkinos as a shield and then fired lasers from her eyes. When he thought that he had somehow avoided them, the centers of Libra’s palms opened and cannons emerged, spewing forth flames.
“Are you trying to burn down the forest?”
Sagittarius immediately changed his magic’s attribute to Water and fired it as an arrow. However, with that opening, Libra detached her arm which shot towards Sagittarius like a flying iron fist. This was commonly known as Rocket Punch.
However, Sagittarius was not only proficient in ranged combat. After all, he was one of the Twelve Heavenly Stars. His basic status alone made him strong enough to handle melee combat. He countered the flying iron fist with his own fist, returning the arm back to Libra.
After reattaching her arm, Libra murmured coldly.
“It seems that your bones have been fractured. Adjusting target’s accuracy downwards.”
“You are really hard to deal with.”
The two of them finally exited the forest and moved onto a rocky mountain. Now their situations were reversed. The present terrain was disadvantageous to Sagittarius. On the other hand, Libra had the advantage since she could fly freely in the sky. In addition, there were no obstacles.
But despite this, Sagittarius continued to climb the rocky mountain. His half-horse body sprinted at full speed straight up the rocky mountain. Libra continued to follow, but a barrage of magic arrows were fired to prevent this. She flew in an evasive manner and fired a scattershot in return.
However, Sagittarius did not lose out. He agilely avoided the bullets and counterattacked. Arrows and bullets met again and again, but neither of them were hit since their skills rivaled each other.
Under these circumstances, it was Sagittarius who showed his trump card first. He pulled his bow to a full draw and magic power began to gather at the tip of his arrow.
“Once it is fired, it will surely hit. Alnasl, is it?”
“Yes. This is unavoidable even for you.”
In the world of Midgard, there were some fearsome skills that were “absolutely accurate.” Some of them were released without any way to escape, such as Libra’s Brachium. Others ceaselessly sought out their targets until they hit. The Shine Blow skill of Ruphas was one of these absolutely accurate skills that were launched with unavoidable speed.
But Alnasl was not one of them. Once it was fired, it would hit in the next instant. In other words, there was no process between firing and hitting. It could neither be countered nor avoided. It was an attack that did not exist in such a dimension, since firing automatically equated to hitting the target.
There was no way for Libra to evade this, except to stop it before it was fired. Of course, the absolutely accurate arrow could not be blocked by Libra even if she used Karkinos as a shield. Even if she took cover behind him, it would be impossible for Karkinos to take the hit in her stead.
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However, Libra judged this to be a good opportunity.
“I see. The moment of attack is my greatest opportunity.”
In response to Sagittarius’ imminent attack, Libra dumped Karkinos and transformed her right arm. She intended to match her attack to his and fire at the same time. Even for a master like Sagittarius, he would be vulnerable when unleashing his ultimate skill. Since she could not avoid his attack anyway, she resolved herself to use her skill to attack as well. Both of them stared at each other without blinking and waited for the moment to attack.
“The Right Scale (Zubenelgenubi)!”
Sagittarius fired a flaming arrow from his bow, then—one-tenth of a second later, Libra’s right arm shot a flash of light. As soon as the light hit Sagittarius, Libra activated her jet. Alnasl’s damage would be inflicted right after this, but Libra did not care. She did not know where it would hit. Would it be the torso, the chest, the neck, or the head?
No matter where she was hit, she could endure a single blow. As a golem, she could continue fighting even if she was slightly damaged. In that case, she did not need to worry about the damage. She just needed to continue until she defeated him!
But Sagittarius’ next move exceeded Libra’s prediction. The fired arrow did not hit Libra. Instead, Sagittarius vanished.
He did not run away. He did not fly away either. Sagittarius simply “vanished” in a way that Libra could not detect. Libra was unusually confused in such a situation whereby she could only explain it thus. She suddenly stopped in place to look around and search the surroundings. But she could not detect his shadow, shape, sound, or heat. He was not merely invisible. He was actually not here anymore.
In order to determine what happened, she replayed the footage of what she saw in her field of vision earlier. For just a few seconds, she observed what Sagittarius did at the moment he fired the arrow in slow motion. Then she understood. Sagittarius grabbed his arrow after firing it.
“…I’ve been tricked.”
To begin with, Sagittarius was not aiming at Libra. He was probably aiming for somewhere very far away…such as a tree located a long distance from here. And he grabbed the absolutely accurate arrow that ignored causality and instantaneously moved to hit the target.
This was the first time Libra saw the arrow being used like this. Two hundred years ago, there were many occasions where Sagittarius used his absolutely accurate arrows, but never in this way.
Libra could make predictions based on past data. She was even more accurate and precise than modern computers. On the other hand, she could not predict something that was not in her data. This was her blindspot, a loophole in her thought process.
By using his trump card which was hidden for two hundred years, Sagittarius successfully escaped from Libra, who was known to be inescapable once she locked on to her target.
It was great to know Sagittarius’ trump card, but considering that he had allied with Leon, the failure to capture him here was a severe blow.
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Sei and his companions were walking in single file through the mountain pass of the Spiritual Peak Hnitbjorg. A mysterious aura emanated from the place they had just entered, making it worthy of being called the Spiritual Peak. Sei was expecting a tough climb up the mountain, but this mountain was different. There were caves here and there, so one could climb up the mountain gradually by passing through these caves.
It is like the dungeons in RPGs, Sei thought inappropriately in regards to their situation. There were crystals on the ceiling, floor, and walls, emitting a violet glow. Cruz, who was in charge of the rear support, looked at them in astonishment.
“A—Amazing…These are all mana crystals. There is so much materialized mana here…How much will it be worth if we just bring them back to sell?”
“Do they sell for a lot of money?”
“Yes. Materialized mana is one of the best materials for alchemy. It also serves as a catalyst for arcane magic. If one is placed on the tip of a staff, it will assist in the use of arcane magic. Honestly, if this was not the Spiritual Peak, I would want to bring them all home right away.”
Apparently, this seemed like a treasure trove to a magic-user like Cruz. He seemed to be really excited and kept glancing at the crystals. If he was so interested in them, he should just take some, but I thought that he wasn’t the kind of person to do that.
Aries as well. In the past, he went with Ruphas to collect an excessive amount of such crystals in mountains and caves where mana accumulated. Thus, he could understand Cruz’s excitement a little. However, he did not think it was worth that much since it was a type of crystal that formed naturally in any location that accumulated mana.
The required condition was for the location to accumulate mana, so it must be some place that did not leak mana and where no living creature was present. In other words, as he recalled Ruphas once said, to find these magic crystals, all one had to do was to simply target such pits and caves. Furthermore, there was a barrier that repulsed mana, so mana could not pass through it. As a result, the mana that accumulated in this mountain could not pass through the barrier, so it crystalized instead. Basically, it was a product of coincidence.
Anyway, if I bring some back for master, she would probably be happy, right?
He thought so and then grabbed some crystals at a speed which the others could not perceive, hiding them beneath his black cloak. Only Virgo barely noticed Aries’ movements, but even she was not sure what he did.
“Virgo-san, are you okay? Ti—Tired?”
“Yes, I’m fine.”
As they continued on the treacherous path, Sei was worried about Virgo even though he was out of breath himself. But despite Virgo’s appearance, she was still Level 300. In terms of constitution, she was the second highest among the people here.
She continued climbing with a calm expression. On the other hand, Sei and his companions were the ones lagging behind. He was slower than the energetic dog walking by his feet. It was truly difficult to be in a group with a large level gap.
“By the way, I think…No, I believe so, but is that gorilla beastkin okay…doing fine?”
Even though he was struggling with his awkward tone, he was worried about the female knight who went ahead. There was a barrier here that repulsed magical beasts. A high-level creature like Aries might be fine, but it would be poisonous to a low-level beastkin. In that case, it would be better for the gorilla beastkin to wait here. They were very considerate words, but the female knight stiffened.
“Hey, those are forbidden words! She’s a human, not a beastkin! Even though she certainly looks like a gorilla!”
Jean rushed to follow up on the explanation, but it became a finishing blow instead of a support. Gorilla—No, the female knight punched him in the face and knocked him down. She then walked ahead in anger. She was still a lady after all. Although she was aware that she looked like a gorilla, it still somewhat hurt.
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“By the way, that demon…Mercurius of the Seven Luminaries. Do you think that he will interfere?”
“Oh, he will definitely come. He can’t ignore the elixir.”
One of Sei’s comrades, the former adventurer Nick, muttered as he glanced around cautiously, while Gants answered him. Since this was near the center of the barrier, even if demons appeared, they would have a situational advantage. However, it was still rather disheartening without Friedrich.
The question was where would he interfere? Kaineko said that he would probably use brainwashed humanoids, but so far there were no such people. Instead, there was the sound of flowing water.
“…? Hey, do you hear any strange noises?”
While everyone was on alert, Virgo was the first to notice it. At first, she thought she was imagining things, but she quickly reconsidered it. It was not her imagination. There was indeed the sound of water and it was getting louder.
Sei and the others must have heard it too. As they wondered what unimaginable thing was causing the noise, Cruz turned pale as he realized the truth of the matter.
“Thi—This is bad! Everyone, gather around me!”
“No time to explain! Quickly!”
At Cruz’s urging, Sei and the others gathered. Without explanation, Cruz activated a barrier of light to cover everyone. This was like preparing for a battle, making Sei and the others even more tense.
Then, no further explanation was needed. The source of the noise became apparent. A torrent of water flooding the entire cave poured in.
Image from Light Novel Volume 4