|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3140 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1510 words|
“Well, better get ready to fight then. Though actually, you should recover from your wounds first. Drink that liquid please.”
Selene pointed to the cups with a weird smell. It had a color and scent that did not look appetizing or even something a human should eat, so I frowned. I glanced to the sides and saw everyone else looked the same.
“Umm, what is this..?”
“It’s a special medicine. It’s really useful, it can heal wounds, restores magic power, and dispels drowsiness. It’s been three hundred years since I last made it, but it seems it came out nicely.”
Selene looked slightly proud of herself as she said that. I was puzzled seeing that, wondering why anyone would be proud of making such a bizarre product, but I had to keep in mind she was a dragon in human form. Common sense was a bit different for her.
I exchanged glances with the others, hesitating on drinking it. It was very unlikely Selene was trying to poison us, and the liquid was likely what she described. Then there was little to debate, I had to drink this and rush to my Master’s side, I could not allow a simple drink to get in my way. Steeling my mind, I picked up one of the cups, stopped breathing in, and emptied it into my mouth.
My mouth was assaulted by a taste I had never felt before, while my stomach and body began to warm up. I closed my eyes and covered my mouth with my hands, trying my best not to throw up while feeling the smell of sewage in my nose. I felt the same taste creeping back up my throat, combined with a strong acidity, which I forced back down into my stomach.
“Bleghh! Ew…talk about a bad taste…”
“That’s the worst thing I’ve ever drank in my life… But I guess it worked? At least my wounds are closing up.”
“You’re right, I don’t feel pain anymore.”
“…We can fight like this.”
Diaria’s eyes were filled with determination as she said that. She was right, having to drink that liquid was a small thing, meeting with my Master is more important. This was no time to be getting distracted by smaller things. Without waiting any longer, we all went to the corner of the room and picked up our weapons.
“I’m glad to see you’re in a better mood now. To make things faster I’ll head out first. After you go out, just go through the next door you see to the front. We’ll fight there, that place feels a bit small for a dragon, but I’m sure it’ll be big enough for you to run wild. Go there once you’re ready.”
Saying that, Selene left the room, without even turning to look at us again. Ideally we would have preferred to follow her as soon as we had picked up our weapons, but after looking at each other we nodded and got closer. Selene was strong, maybe not as strong as my Master, but we had already learned that we would lose if we charged ahead without a strategy. If we let our emotions take over, it would end soon and we would wake up in this room again. If we kept doing that, no one would be able to tell when we would see my Master again. So it was best to plan beforehand, assigning roles to each of us so we had the best chances at beating Selene. I was the first one to talk.
“First, we should keep in mind that we can’t keep up with Selene’s speed. I don’t know how fast she can get when she isn’t holding back, but we know it’s definitely an incredible speed.”
“And her attacks are really powerful too. We haven’t succeeded at landing a single blow yet, but I’d assume her defensive skills are just as strong.”
Everyone nodded hearing Ciel too. We knew Green Dragons, the weakest ones, have scales so though they can block attacks from seasoned soldiers. Selene was a dragon capable of taking human form, and knew many more skills than we could imagine, so she had to be way stronger too.
“But she said she’ll let us win if we manage to hurt her, right? Then I guess we don’t have to worry about her defensive skills too much?”
“That’s true, but there’s always a chance that a blow lands but doesn’t have any effect.”
Diaria objected to Karin’s suggestion. She was right, we still did not know how much Selene could resist our weapons and spells. If an attack with all our power behind was not enough, then we would be completely helpless.
“We don’t know enough to say for sure. We’ll just have to use all our weapons and magic, trying to land at least one blow. How we do that is the issue…”
Everyone remained silent in thought after Ciel said that. While it was true that we were not calm during our last encounter, she had still managed to knock each one of us effortlessly with a single strike, and I had been unable to follow her with my eyes. However, we had already gone through many battles that seemed hopeless before, so we could not allow ourselves to lose our spirit yet. Even though we had no confidence whatsoever, Karin forced herself to smile to cheer up the party, something she usually did.
“Somehow this reminds me of that time we fought a demon for the first time. He was way faster and stronger than us, and we didn’t think we could ever win against him, but in the end we were pretty much equal, right?”
“Yeah, we just followed Lapis’ advice that time and managed to turn the fight in our favor. Maybe we can do the same again if we’re careful.”
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Diaria was right, I still remember that encounter with a demon. What was it that Lapis had said about fighting enemies with higher speeds than us? If we tried to use our eyes to follow their movements, we would react too late, we had to observe instead of look. Our eyes had to only vaguely be grasping the enemy’s body, and instead we had to focus on where they were looking and how they were breathing, deducing where they would move with that. We just had to do the same here, but keeping our senses far much sharper.
“We’ll have to avoid any needless movements, only using our energy when necessary. Something tells me she isn’t the type of opponent that falls for flashy attacks, so we’ll have to focus on short and quick attacks.”
Ciel nodded, she also thought the same.
“I agree with Luvias. Preparing powerful spells would stop me from moving too, so I’ll focus on supporting you instead.”
“I’ll also avoid using any flashy spirit spells too then. Luckily there’s a lot of spirits living in this temple, so I’ll use them for support and help with my arrows. My sword skills aren’t good enough and would only get in the way anyway.”
If Diaria could summon Behemoth, things might go really well for us, but we could not wish for the impossible. Either way, she was top class with her bow, and her spirit magic would come in handy. It was reassuring having her and Ciel supporting us from behind.
“So…I guess it’ll be me and Luvias in the front then.”
Even though we were in a bad position, Karin still smiled as she said that. I felt like I had to reply in the same way, so I smiled too.
“Right, we’re warriors so that should have been our role all along, standing in the frontline and covering for the rest of the party.”
“Good, we’ve decided our roles then. Karin and Luvias will fight Selene directly, Diaria and I will stand back and offer support from range. You might get knocked out if you’re too close, so try to stay as far back as possible. Is there anything else we forgot?”
Everyone tilted their heads thinking. But there was nothing more we could think of, so we just shrugged in silence.
“We’ll win, no matter what. We have to do this! We won’t lose unless we give up, and even if we’re defeated many times we’ll rise up again!”
“We have to apologize to Lapis soon, so we can’t delay it any longer!”
“I’m sure we can do this if we give it our all!”
“Exactly, we have to be more like Lapis and not stress about it.”
I smiled as I pictured my Master’s usual easy going attitude. Then everyone picked up their weapons and we left the room without saying anything more. With every step we took, I felt more nervous. I knew there was a powerful foe awaiting us past the door, but I was not scared. It was time to show Selene what the Hero’s Party can do.