|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1435 words|
Their breathing was wild and their steps uneven. They were clearly not in their right mind. That presence was moving towards the entrance from the back.
“Someone is coming. Their footsteps are disoriented.”
With my shout, Michelle headed inside and got ready for combat. I pulled out my dagger and did the same.
The girls moved behind me due to my warning about their footsteps. There was a window, so we could just escape from there if push came to shove. At present, I was the only one among us who could serve as a vanguard, so we settled on this formation.
I decided to go with the dagger since it was too narrow to swing my katana.
The next moment, a man rushed inside while panting madly. It was a plump and healthy-looking middle-aged man. He looked about what Cortina described him as. So most likely, he was the owner of this hut.
“W-Who are you!?”
“Are you the owner of this hut?”
Seeing us armed like that, he yelled out in confusion, but after he noticed that we were all kids, he started to calm down bit by bit. In the first place, we were wearing the school tracksuits, so looking at the situation calmly would make it obvious that we weren’t robbers.
“Given your uniform, could you be the students of the Magic Academy?”
“Yes. The guide wasn’t coming so we came to search for them.”
“Sorry about that. But that’s the least of our worries now. We have to find shelter, now!”
He said something unsettling. It was something even I hadn’t hypothesized.
“Yeah, Philip from the next field told me earlier, but looks like a Mountain Serpent is heading our way!”
“A Mountain Serpent!?”
We couldn’t believe what we heard. A Mountain Serpent, as its name suggested, was a giant serpent the size of a mountain. Well, that was a bit exaggerated.
It may seem like you could deal with it if it was simply a big monster, but its size was no joke. It easily exceeded five meters in thickness and a hundred meters in length. Given its snake nature, it could swallow things larger than itself. In other words, it could easily gulp down giant monsters like nothing.
Moreover, its body of over a hundred meters in length could mow down any obstacle and strangle any opponent, so in the worst cases, it could even prey upon lower-ranked Dragons.
Of course, even its weight alone was a weapon of its own. It had even left anecdotes where just one swing of its tail was enough to demolish castle walls.
Since it tended to crawl everywhere, it mowed down trees, crushed buildings, even swallowed the horses along with their riders in one swoop as if they were snacks. Due to the high damage that it could cause, it was designated as a calamity class magic beast—or Calamity Beast for short.
“Wait, that has to be a joke… Are you certain!?”
Letina asked for confirmation in half-scream. The hut’s owner replied in a panic.
“Yeah, there’s no way a major incident like this would spread if it was unconfirmed. Philip said he witnessed it with his own eyes.”
“He did well approaching the beast so close, that Philip.”
“Well, given what kind of monster it is, its giant body was visible from far away. I was just hurrying back to the lord to pass on the information.”
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True, Mountain Serpent would be easily visible from afar as long as it raised its head. Since something of that scale approached the human habitats, the feudal lord had to be warned.
“Right, there’s Lady Cortina! Lady Cortina should be the one accompanying you kids, right? Then maybe—”
“Cortina is about as strong as a single adventurer. Taking a Monster Serpent alone is out of the question.”
His face lip up when he remembered about Cortina, but now he was back to being dejected. But I was against putting Cortina in such danger myself. Subjugating a Monster Serpent was impossible unless all of us were assembled.
“But well, Maxwell may be able to do something about it?”
“But he’s in the capital, so we’d have to return there.”
“It’d be too late by then. It’ll be here any time now!”
“Why didn’t anyone notice it until so late?”
“Contrary to how open this side is, the forest is thick. The trees there are growing taller than everywhere else, so it limits the vision. Not to mention, there’s a precipitous valley nearby, so that makes it a perfect place for it to hide. It probably used that valley to come all the way here.”
He explained in half-sobs, but we had no way of helping him. It was an opponent that I wouldn’t be able to beat even if I went all-out. If we had Maxwell’s firepower, we could manage it somehow, but he was home-sitting back at the capital.
“In any case, we have to go back and evacuate the students…”
“R-Right. I wanted to let them know too…”
“We’ll handle that part. You go notify the lord and tell him to form evacuation squads.”
“O-Okay, got it!”
The man rushed out along with his reply and took a farm horse out of the stable. He planned to use it to reach the lord’s mansion.
We also rushed out of the hut towards the students. The opponent was a serpent spanning over a hundred meters. Even if the army was dispatched, it was uncertain whether they’d be able to subjugate it or not.
The Mountain Serpent’s hide was flexible and tough. Small bows and crossbows they carried with them wouldn’t be able to land a single wound. And if they charged with spears and swords and turned it into close combat, they’d get swallowed in one bite.
In the first place, the entire rider battalion would be mowed down with a single swipe of its tail. It was hard for the military units to do anything about it.
“Um, is it really impossible even with Lady Cortina’s help?”
“If you wanted to defeat it, it doesn’t have to be on Maxwell’s level, but you’d still need a large-scale spell. Dad or Gadius wouldn’t even be able to hold it back.”
Letina asked me as we ran. She deified each of the Six Heroes, so it was hard for her to accept that there existed an opponent that they couldn’t handle alone.
However, I cleared up her delusions. You couldn’t beat what you couldn’t beat. Cortina would be able to turn it into an advantageous situation, but she had an overwhelming lack of firepower needed to deal the finishing blow. That was just how much vitality the Serpent had.
“Um… I think we can defeat it.”
Michelle’s sudden interjection made me scream and fall over. I was convinced she wouldn’t be able to do something even Cortina couldn’t. But when I saw what she was pointing at, I changed my thinking.
“This bow… The Third Eye might be able to pierce the Mountain Serpent.”
I immediately started mental calculations. Indeed, that bow could put it down in one shot as long as it landed on a good spot. In the library, I once read that the God of Destruction had once fell a Dragon with one arrow. If this was the bow she used back then, then something like a Mountain Serpent should be an easy victory.
However, there was no proof of that. And no way to prove it now.
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But I was fully aware of how much power the Third Eye had. Even if its arrow missed, the force behind it was enough to blow away its surroundings. Moreover, at this stage, Michelle could now draw the bow halfway with my support magic.
“But the Serpent is very nimble. It’s questionable whether you can even hit its head, and may need to hit its eye so it can pierce its brains and kill it for good.”
Michelle hesitated on her words, her gaze directed at the flower fields. I understood what she was thinking. Even I wanted to avoid the destruction of these fields.
The people living in the vicinity would also receive devastating damage. To the point that just making it out alive would require tremendous luck.
“…Got it. I’ll discuss it with Cortina. If she says no, then we’ll run, okay?”
She replied in high spirits. I felt like she would have gone to subjugate it all by herself if I refused her here.
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