Chapter 33: The steel intruder

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Author: Shizuku Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3696 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1732 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

While the resurrected monkeys are distracted by Jane, I run past them. The full moon and the floating souls illuminate the battlefield, so I don’t lose sight of my goal. But that goes both ways, as the monkeys notice us and start attacking.

“Yahhhhh!”

Mir swings her Ghavial Sword, sending the monster away, dead and alive alike.

“Kikii!”

Two monkeys close in on me from the sides. Danny swings his sword to stop one of them, and kicks the other one away. But the dead bodies didn’t flinch. They all rushed towards us.

I prepare my magic blade to defend myself, but a powerful impact blows the bodies away. I glance back and see Jane with her battle axe swung down, she’s so reliable. I’m really close to the main group of monsters now.

“Kikiikii!”

Trying to protect the evolved one, the other living apes charge at me. I can’t afford to kill every one of them, so I kick off the ground and leap high into the air.

“Gigiiiiii!”

I hear the evolved one screaming, but I don’t care. I pass above the Shaman Apes, and fire in mid-air. The magic bullet leaves the barrel, and the moment it lands it bursts into an explosion of magic.

A bright blue flash illuminates the dark night sky, before turning into smoke. As soon as I land, I swing my magic blade horizontally. But something catches it and I can’t complete my attack.

When the smoke clears, I see a bundle of countless bones in front of me. I guess the pile of bones is in my way, so my magic blade didn’t get anywhere.

“Giigii”

I hear the evolved one’s screeches from inside the bones. Then the bones begin to rattle and move. They start reorganizing into a large white skeleton, moving like they did when alive. The only difference it has with a regular skeleton, is that it moves under the evolved one’s control.

As for where the evolved one is now, he’s sitting protected by the skeleton’s ribcage.

“That works even on bones?”

So far, I’ve only seen Shaman Apes using their necromancy on slightly wounded bodies, so I assumed bones were safe from it. I guess being evolved changes that though.

“Gii!”

The evolved one screeches, and the skeleton raises its front leg. As I jump back, the skeleton shatters away. I probably looked like a complete idiot for a while there. A giant appeared out of nowhere, and kicked the skeleton away.

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“What’s…that…”

Danny is struggling to understand it too. The giant looks like it’s made from steel, and is even bigger than the skeleton. Maybe it’s a type of golem that Ophelia taught me about before?

The skeleton’s bones get scattered everywhere, while the evolved one inside gets blown onto a tree and creates a dark red splatter on it. It clearly died from the impact. The other regular Shaman Apes are all lying still too. All the monsters that were following me had gotten caught up in the incendiary round, before being kicked by the golem.

“Why is there a golem here?”

Jane mutters, and the golem turns to face us in response.

“Maybe it came to rescue Natalia?”
“That’s hard to say.”

Mir stands next to me and looks at the golem. There’s a thing on the golem’s head that looks like an eye, which starts to glow brightly and it raises its arm.

“Watch out!”

I instantly push Mir away. The steel fist hits the ground, creating a large cloud of dust. I felt the skeleton was going to do that earlier, but then the golem destroyed the skeleton, before doing the same thing.

“Mir! Are you okay?!”
“Yeah, thanks!”

The golem lifts its arm again. We hurry on our feet and run. The ground shakes behind us.

“We’re retreating!”

No one argues with Jane’s order. It feels a bit shameful, but we have no option. Ophelia had just told us we needed to learn when to retreat after our fight with Aria.

I, Mir, Jane, and Danny, we all ran away. We can hear loud footsteps behind us. No one dares look back. I don’t know where that golem came from, but it should be harder for it to follow us through the trees. But it would not let us escape so easily.

The loud footsteps stop for a moment.

We hear a whooshing sound, and a heavy metallic mass lands in front of us. The golem had jumped higher and farther than its body suggested, moving ahead of us.

“I guess it won’t let us get away.”

There’s no ‘safe location’ where it won’t chase us anymore like in a game, and I’ll probably have to prepare for the worst. There’s little point trying to hide in shadows anymore, so I cast Float Light again and improve our vision.

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We jump in different directions to evade the incoming massive arm. The skeleton stopped my magic blade earlier, and the golem had destroyed that skeleton in one hit. If I got hit, pain wouldn’t be enough to describe it.

“Take this!”

Danny jumps towards its torso, swinging his sword against the golem. But the solid steel body easily deflects the attack, rendering it useless and merely creating a high pitched clang.

He loses his balance from it, and the golem kicks him.

“Ghuah!”
“That was so stupid.”

It was clear the golem is made out of metal, so trying to attack it like that is too reckless. Danny stands back up shortly after falling, and I throw him a test tube I took out from my magic storage.

“Use this.”
“A healing potion? Thanks.”

It was one of the potions I made after Ophelia taught me how to do it. My yield is still pretty low, so I have to be careful to not use up too many of them.

“Also, I don’t have that many of them prepared, so use it sparingly.”
“Tell me that before I drink it!”

Danny had already drunk the entire tube.

BAM BAM!

The ground continued shaking, and Mir dodged every hit. Having a small body was working to her advantage, making it easier to dodge the golem’s bulky movements. At the same time, Jane is swinging her axe onto the golem’s knees. Her plan is to weaken the joints, which are hard to protect, so the golem will fall without having to get through its armor. So far I don’t see any visible damage though, so it’s probably going to be a long fight.

“I need to help too.”

I run forward as I overload Black Hawk with mana. The golem switches targets to Jane and lifts its fist.

“Both of you, stand back!”

Seeing me rush forward with my gun ready, Mir instantly understands my plan and jumps back. Jane sees her do that, and leaps back too. The golem’s fist hits the ground. My feet feel the tremors. I can tell how powerful it is, and that I shouldn’t underestimate its attacks. But that also gives me an opening.

I run perpendicular to the golem, and aim to the same spot in its knee where Jane hit it.

Swoosh!

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I lose my footing all of a sudden, but I finish pulling the trigger, and the bullet explodes on contact with the golem’s knee. I throw my arm to a nearby tree, holding onto a branch and winding my nerves to pull myself away.

Once I’m back on solid ground, I check my right ankle and see it’s twisted in a weird angle. Back when I pushed Mir out of the way, the golem’s fist had hit me there. I thought it would resist until the fight was over, but it broke earlier than expected.

“Hyeeee!”

Mir swings her longsword into the smoke around the knee I just shot.

“Mir, stop!”

I shout in desperation, but it’s too late.

Since I had lost my footing while shooting the incendiary round, I had shot off-target and hit the shin instead of the knee. The joint hadn’t suffered nearly as much damage as I wanted.

As expected, Mir’s sword gets deflected by the strong armor. The recoil left Mir exposed, and the steel fist headed her way. This time it isn’t swinging from above, but coming up from the ground.

Her small body gets flung into the air, and hits a nearby tree.

“Mir!”

It’s pretty much a repeat from the evolved one earlier.

“Hey, give her a potion too, quick!”

Danny shouts, but I’m already working on it. I fling my arm to a tree, and pull myself next to Mir. I don’t see any bleeding, but the scales of her Ghavial Armor are all bent out of shape, showing how strong the impact was.

“Dammit!”

I turn her unconscious body to face up, and pour a potion into her mouth. Then I undress her armor and clothes, splashing her body directly with potions. This is all I can do for her now.

“Dammit!”

If I had properly dodged the golem’s attack, my leg would still work.

“Dammit!”

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If my leg worked, my incendiary round would’ve hit the golem’s knee.

“Dammit!”

If the incendiary round hit, Mir’s sword might have managed to destroy the knee.

“Dammit!”

It’s all my fault! I’m a useless automaton that can’t learn!

“I’ll kill you!”

I shoot my arm to a tree near the golem, and sling my body in that direction. I fly past Jane and Danny that were distracting the golem.

“Ah, hey!”

Shut up.

I pull the trigger a few times as I get closer to the golem, but regular rounds can’t do anything against its armor. I follow-up with incendiary rounds, pale blue flames engulfing the golem.

Without missing a beat, I increase the density of mana inside the gun. Another incendiary round is ready. Time to fire again. Before I get to pull the trigger, the steel fist emerges from the fumes and hits my head, making my body lose all sense of weight.

“Gah-”

The impact makes me loosen my grip on the tree, the nerves that were pulling my body going loose and arching down. But I don’t care, I’ll kill it no matter what.

“I’m not-”

SLAM!

The massive fist strikes me from above, and my body gets buried into the ground.
I feel my view blacking out, and I lose consciousness.



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