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≪34≫ – Chase on Water

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Author: Kisasaki Suzume Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Deximus-Maximus

Lucella sharply pointed to the sky, and a fireball shot up, trailing a tail of light, causing an explosion as the flames intertwined in the air.

“Will she notice with that!?”
“Mom would definitely notice!”

It was a signal fire to call Kafal. But even if Kafal were to realize the situation immediately and fly over, it would take some time. During that time, the wounded giant water serpent wouldn’t just sit idly by.


The distorted serpent emitted a groaning sound along with bubbles from its twisted mouth.

Breathing seemed difficult for it. It must have received injuries severe enough to kill it ten times over from Kafal, yet it was kept alive by a power beyond human understanding. Its haphazardly regenerated tissues sustained it as a grotesque form of life.


But even in that distorted groan, Lucella deciphered its meaning. It was akin to the Dragonian language, a telepathic communication that resonated deep within her. It no longer sounded like the words of the serpent. The master of this mana realm, the one controlling the Variants… it could only be… Maltgartz’s Regalia.

“Hey, let’s get out of here!”

There was only a moment of hesitation, but the water serpent didn’t tolerate even that. Without waiting for an answer to its question, it lunged forward, baring its jagged fangs.

Giant monsters often used their massive bulk for charging attacks. Simple, yet challenging to deal with. Not just superhuman adventurers, even a true transcendent like Lucella found it unwise to confront them head-on.

As the water serpent charged, gliding over the water, Tim and the others swiftly scattered in different directions to evade. Simultaneously, Lucella’s evasion direction was… down.

Swiftly slipping into the water, Lucella avoided the charging water serpent by passing beneath its belly. The belly of the water serpent was covered with hardened tumors. Lucella quickly observed the distorted belly. Where was the opening, sealed as a result?

With Lucella’s power, she couldn’t roast it like Kafal. She aimed for one point. One moment. Drawing her arm like pulling a bowstring, Lucella hardened her hand into a blade. Her hand glowed red-hot, and water vapor turned into foam as she struck.

Concentrating her power to manipulate flames, she carbonized and tore through the water serpent’s tissue as she touched it, piercing it. It was the spot where Kafal had pierced with her claws once before.


The massive water serpent let out an incomprehensible scream, thrashing wildly as it surged forward with its momentum, breaking a giant tree and writhing in agony as if tying knots in the water.

But soon after, as if dragged up by something, the water serpent lifted its head. In its mouth and all around it, Lucella saw swirling currents.

“Breath attack incoming!”

Ten vertical blades swept from the water’s surface to the sky, five from each side of the water serpent’s head. Water jets cleaved through the surface, splitting the water.

In the moment of attack, Wein stepped forward as a decoy. Flipping his thief-style cape, he baited the attack. He had a small trick on the backside of the cape, which mesmerized enemies, drawing their attention and attacks towards him.

Dodging lightly over the first jet, sinking his body underwater for the second, slipping through for the third, and rotating in a spiral to leap rightward for the fourth, Wein barely avoided the water jets, grazing his cheek and drawing blood.

The remaining jets seemed to target the other three, but due to Wein’s distraction, their aim was off. For skilled adventurers, such attacks were easily evaded once seen. But then, from the water serpent’s mouth, the main breath attack was unleashed!

A water jet of immense mass, larger than the water serpent itself, pierced far into the distance. Trees along its path vanished, even those spared by the blast wave were drenched by the ensuing waves.

It was a breath attack that seemed to spit out blood, squeeze out life, and grind down the soul.

And as the storm passed, the water serpent breathed its last, its head drooping. There was nothing left in the path of the breath attack. Only the rippling water surface remained.

No. Bubbles rose to the water’s surface. A giant bubble containing Lucella and Wein emerged from the depths, bursting at the surface and ejecting them both.


The moment the breath targeted Wein, Lucella lunged at him, diving into the water together.

“As expected of Lucella! Normally, when dealing with aquatic monsters, they adjust their tactics based on whether the target is in or out of the water. Handling both at once is—”
“No time for talk, let’s run!”

The four began to sprint across the water. The water serpent, dragging its long body, started to chase after them. The water serpent let out a ragged, almost fading scream.

Blood dribbled from between its jagged teeth. It was undergoing self-destruction and abnormal regeneration. It had long surpassed the limits of what should be possible for its original vitality.

Despite its near-death state, its swimming was powerful and agile.

“Damn it! If we stop, we’re dead!”

The four raced across the water at full speed, with submerged trees rushing away like missiles. With every step, explosive splashes propelled them forward like arrows. It was thanks to Lucella’s power. Earlier, she had been helping the others to walk on the water too, but now she had increased the support further, allowing them to sprint.

However, a misstep could lead to a fall. Though they were being supported by her, their running depended entirely on their own abilities.

“Wah!” Viola stumbled and threw herself forward as if sliding into the water ahead.

She was immediately covered for. Lucella unleashed a powerful current from her heels, accelerating rapidly. Before Viola hit the water, Lucella slid underneath her, catching her.

“Leader, take this shot!”
“I got it!”

Tim swiftly changed direction, drawing his massive sword like an executioner’s axe to meet the charging water serpent head-on. The water serpent’s colossal head, covered in tumor-like masses reminiscent of a war hammer, aimed for a headbutt attack. Taking a hit like that could breach the gates of the royal capital.

But Tim squared the shoulders of his armor, stomped the water’s surface, and raised his sword.


And they collided. The impact created a massive wave, spreading out from the center where Tim and the water serpent met. Both were thrown back—not just Tim, but the water serpent as well. Reeling as if concussed, the water serpent collapsed onto the water’s surface.

Even for a superhuman adventurer, it would have been a fatal blow. Tim survived thanks to his powerful armor, which he claimed was worth “the budget of a city.” Additionally, it was likely due to Tim’s skill in pushing the limits of his armor’s capabilities.

As a seasoned fighter, Tim’s bio-magical circuitry had been optimized to enhance his physical abilities to their utmost. No matter how much he trained, he could never become a magician like Viola. Instead, he resonated with his armor as if it were an extension of his own body, imbuing it with the pulsation of life. This technique was called “Reinforcement.”

The combination of the best armor, the best adventurer, and the reinforcement skill “Diamond Armor.” With the power of a mere mortal, Tim endured the strike of a formidable Variant and lived to tell the tale.

This was the true strength of Setulev’s sole Guild-certified Rank 8, national savior-level adventurer!

“I’m saved…! Leader, are you alright!?”
“I’m fine, let’s keep going!”

The four resumed their escape. And the water serpent immediately resumed its pursuit, as if being pulled by something with all its might.

“We’ve taken care of most of the Variants along the way, right?”
“All but one!”

Lucella and her companions had been aiming for the outskirts of the mana realm for their long-distance communication, but they had also taken the opportunity to eliminate every Variant they encountered along the way. Except for one, which they decided was “too big and would handle on their way back.”

“…There it is.”

Emerging slowly from the shade ahead was a massive figure. A hippopotamus with six pairs of lightning horns on its head and back. It resembled a monster known as a Sparky Hippo, but it was clearly enhanced by abnormal mutations. The original species didn’t have horns like that, nor were they this large or muscular. It was likely a Variant that had devoured its fellow herd members and absorbed their power.

Its vacant gaze was filled with hunger for Lucella and murderous intent towards the other three nuisances. It was likely a manageable opponent… if they didn’t get caught in a pincer attack.

“What’s the plan!?”
“I have something in mind!”

Lucella reached into her storage pouch and pulled out something small and solid. A gleaming crimson scale – Kafal’s scale.

In Lucella’s grasp, the scale overflowed with flames. She was melting Kafal’s scale with her own flames. The heat was intense enough to scorch even Lucella’s palm, threatening to burn her.

Then, Lucella lunged at the hippo creature and hurled the molten substance from her hand. A paste-like substance glowing with searing heat!


The hippo monster roared as the scorching object struck its head, the smell of burning flesh filling the air.

Writhing in agony, it rolled in the water, but the flames relentlessly consumed its body.

“Now’s the time, dodge!”

At Lucella’s signal, the four scattered in opposite directions. The water serpent, which had been pursuing them, charged straight ahead! As the four evaded, the water serpent surged past them, its fangs bared, and collided with the hippo monster, attacking ferociously.

The water serpent and the giant hippo, entangled, knocked down trees as they fought. The panicked hippo’s electric shocks intermittently flashed blindingly.

“If it’s such a large Variant, it’s practically a concentration of dragon aura. If you add real dragon scales to the mix, Variants instinctively go for it.”
“I see…”

For example, if someone saw gold coins rolling, even in the midst of a life-or-death battle, fools would jump at it. Consuming dragon aura and gaining power was instinctual for Variants.

It seemed that the Variants in this mana realm were acting according to that instinct too. Thus, if you set up an opportunity they wouldn’t want to miss, you could change the priority of their prey, Lucella judged.

The two Variants grappled, tangled, and bit each other. But the difference in strength was clear. Despite being bathed in electric shocks at point-blank range, the water serpent crushed the hippo’s skull with its strong jaws and tore it apart.

At that moment, the water serpent’s mouth exploded, and its lower jaw was blown off.

“I didn’t say I was giving it to you.” Lucella unleashed and detonated the power hidden in the dissolved scale of Kafal.

The water serpent, having failed to devour its prey, reared its head like a specter.

The blown-off lower jaw, however, rapidly regenerated. Bones that served as a replacement for the jawbone grew while spurting blood, and flesh swelled up. The sight of a jaw resembling a skeletal specimen, with pulsating masses of flesh clinging to it, was like that of a zombie.

With no more growls escaping its silent mouth, the water serpent emitted wheezing breaths like a bellows as it fixed its gaze on Lucella. Having taken down the Variant hippo, it seemed to have decided that Lucella was its next target.

Then, a torrent of flames struck its head. It was a breath like a meteor descending from the sky. The freshly regenerated flesh was charred, and even the bones were burnt and shattered.

Thrown aside by the flash, the water serpent stumbled and fell, rolling around in the water.

A hot wind began to blow. A great flapping of wings churned the surface of the water. As the water turned into steam, a crimson giant shadow descended, interposing itself between the water serpent and Lucella.


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