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Chapter 153 – Decoy Tactics

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Author: Kaburagi Haruka Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2579 characters
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1160 words
Editor(s): Deximus_Maximus

I returned back to the student rows and joined up with Michelle and Letina. The two leaned their bodies towards me, waiting impatiently for what information I had brought with me.

“What were the teachers talking about?”
“Was Ms. Cortina against it, after all?”

Their eagerness made me lean backwards a bit. I pushed the two away with both hands and conveyed what I learned from the earlier conversation.

“I think Cortina—our teacher realized that I was eavesdropping on them.”
“She realized… And didn’t say anything?”
“Well, she probably wants us to defeat it, right? She couldn’t just say “Okay, go take it down” to her students.”
“So you are saying that she secretly taught us the strategy to beat it?”
“The possibility of that is faint, but it’s still there.”

It was just my personal opinion, but the two started pondering seriously at my words. I already learned the Mountain Serpent’s location from the man before. We could head to it immediately as long as we made up our minds to subjugate it.

The rest was dependent on their opinions.

“Um, Nicole…”
“Hm?”
“If I said I wanted to slip out and defeat it… It would be a bad thing, right?”

Sure enough, Letina and Michelle started timidly beating around the bush. Of course, I already had my answer.

“Of course it would be. But it’s not impossible.”
“Then… What if I said I didn’t care if I was scolded for it…”

Letina followed up with an appeal of her own, looking as if she would cry any moment, and yet her expression was also resolute. Responding to their request, I suggested an escape plan.

“The forest up ahead has a restricted view. If we slip out of the ranks there, no one should notice.”
“Then, let’s do that!”
“Okay. Then, Michelle, how many of the exclusive arrows do you have on you.”
“They are heavy, so I just bought three. But I’ll make sure to hit.”

Her claim lacked the usual vigor. But I felt a stronger will than ever in her words. Unlike other times, she was insisting that she wouldn’t miss, come hell or high water.

“…The arrows aren’t that long, not to mention the Serpent’s hide and flesh are tough and thick. If we are going to take it down in one shot, your only choice is to aim for its eyes.”
“Got it! I’ll make sure to hit it.”
“In that case, I’ll take on the role of luring it towards the valley.”
“But that’s the most dangerous part…”

Letina looked at me in shock, but I was unquestionably the most agile among us. Michelle who was ranked second couldn’t play that part, because she needed to position herself accordingly beforehand from where she would be able to aim for its eyes. Letina also had a part to play that only she could.

“It’s okay. I’m small so even if I get eaten, I’d just end up being swallowed whole. If that happens, I’ll just use my dagger and cut my way out through its belly.”
“Your thoughts are quite gory contrary to your appearance, huh.”
“Still, be careful, okay?”

Michelle replied worriedly after the exasperated Letina. Thanks to that, I became a bit more motivated.

In the first place, if I got swallowed, I’d probably get crushed to death by its overwhelming mass before I could reach its stomach. So my earlier words were nothing more than a joke to calm Michelle down.


After parting with the two, I headed towards the north. It was the course where the Mountain Serpent was heading to. Gradually, a rumbling sound came through the gaps in the trees. They suggested that the Serpent was already nearby.

I wasn’t familiar with the region so I used the map I prepared in advance to plan out my actions. To be honest, I was quite a bit anxious, not knowing what to expect the terrain to look like.

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Despite that, I believed that I’d manage somehow and advanced ahead. That was just how big Michelle’s eagerness had influenced me.

“It should show up anytim—woaah!?”

I couldn’t blame myself for leaking a weird voice. The Mountain Serpent had suddenly, in a completely unexpected moment, raised its head from beyond the trees.

There should’ve been over a hundred meters between us, but it was so gigantic it distorted my sense of distance and I was overcome with a sense of oppression. It ignored me as I stood petrified and calmly inspected the surroundings.

The animals in the surroundings seemed to have already fled as there was only the sound of grass reaching my ears.

“No, that’s not quite right.”

There was also a hissing sound like that of steam being emitted. Needless to say, it came from the Serpent.

This was a threatening sound, which meant that it sensed a new prey somewhere. But as there were no other animals around… That prey was most likely I. This means that it knew exactly where I was.

Realizing that, I started to take distance bit by bit. I was a bit too close. Even if I wanted to lure it, I needed to put a bit more distance between us.

It seemed to have sensed my movement, it looked my way and charged with all its might.

Snakes were silent and deaf. But they still had their thermal sensing, so it was no use hiding. My Stealth Gift was turned completely powerless.

“Waaghhhhh!?”

It chased after me with serpentine movements while its head remained in the air. Every time it twisted its body, the trees were mowed down with loud cracks.

I strengthened my legs with threads while also launching some from my hands and slingshotted myself forward. Our speeds were roughly the same.

This was pretty good for me as a guide since it wouldn’t fall behind me no matter what. But saying it another way, it would catch me the moment I lose focus even for an instant.

I dashed through the trees, ran down the slope and before long arrived at a large river. This river was simply flowing through the forest now, but the end of it was flowing into the valley ahead. I grabbed a branch with my threads and leapt to the riverside like a pendulum.

Swinging myself forward like that allowed me to descend at speeds unimaginable from humans, and then rushed into the valley. But even that kind of speed would not be enough to shake off the Serpent. The downward slope was boosting its speed just like mine.

Thus I ran with the Mountain Serpent at my back, and finally, I arrived at the planned checkpoint. As if to match with my timing, a thunderous roar was heard followed by the collapse of the cliffs at either side, bringing with it an avalanche of rocks.

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I dodged the crumbling rocks with a hair’s breadth… And dove into the river.



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