|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
『Before we switch, would you mind if I sing for a while?』
『Not at all, but why?』
『I want to have as many monsters possible to come to us. There shouldn’t be any people within hearing range, so I thought that if we could lead the flow of monsters towards us, the others behind should follow.』
『Understood. I’ll leave the timing of the switch to Ain.』
From the edge of the forest, we’re now slightly near the town. The swarm of monsters should arrive in a few minutes, but Ciel and I continue talking like we always do. Since we absolutely can’t let anyone know that I’m a Song Princess, I thoroughly checked with detection before singing, making even the monsters straying from the swarm turn their feet towards us.
After that, the drug’s effect should handle everything else. I switched with Ciel and left the rest to her.
「Ain. Doesn’t it feel a bit hot today?」
『Does it? … No, that’s right. Then, should I sing something with a cool and refreshing feel?』
「We might be staying here for a long time, but… There’s no need to worry about that, is there?」
Ciel let out a giggle. Even if it takes us a few hours as she expects, my repertoire should last. If I don’t limit the songs, I can go for a whole day, and more importantly, there’s nothing stopping me from looping songs. Among them, I decide to sing a song related to water first. Though I have no idea what a refreshing tone is, I begin singing while imagining something with a cool feel.
At that moment, the leading pack of monsters came within sight. The first to arrive are the fast-footed wolves and the goblins and kobolds from the shallow parts. Even though we’re already at a visible distance, they’re not looking at Ciel at all, likely since they were attracted by the scent.
Seemingly crazed, the monsters stared at the empty air as they headed towards our direction. But then, they were suddenly engulfed in water. The only action that Ciel took was elegantly raising and lowering her arms, but matching her movements, a pillar of water twice her size rose from the ground and collapsed into a tidal wave, swooping down on the monsters.
While seeing several monsters being washed away was quite the sight, the true purpose for doing this was to flood the ground. Though the water on the ground only reaches Ciel’s ankles, it was enough to trip the feet of the monsters. The wolves lost their mobility and the goblins were slowed to a snail’s pace.
Setting up this stage, Ciel stands on top of the water like a water sprite. We already have music and dance, so thinking that we should be able to set our own stage, Ciel created —or rather discovered— this one ability of Dance Princess. I call it Deagua Elicinary, the Stage of Water, I guess.
Well, it’s just a temporary name used to refer to it during discussions. In the first place, it’s not clear whether this is made using Dance Princess or sorcery, and because it doesn’t have as much power as Glacio Lentso, it isn’t particularly a spell name. It’s simply something used to set the stage.
All of this water is used as Ciel dances. As proof of that, the water on the ground is absolutely clear. It would get muddy if Ciel wants it to, but I guess this time, she wants to make use of this clarity. As Ciel twirls, the crystal-clear water coils around her, rising like a serpent. As she waves her arms, trails of water trace its path. And as she takes a step, waves ripple out.
Matching my song, Ciel dances. Matching her dance, the water flutters. And to tell the truth, she can glide around the surface of the water as well, but it seems like she won’t be doing that today.
In front of us, the monsters charge straight towards Ciel. To dance is to fascinate and impress. Because of that, anything that sees Ciel dancing won’t be able to take their eyes off of her. In game-like terms, when Ciel uses her full power as a Dance Princess, she attracts the enemy’s aggro. Therefore, as long as the course of the stampede is set our way, the monsters will run towards Ciel on their own volition.
And so they were then knocked away by the whip-like water extending around Ciel. Engulfed by the waves. Flattened by the weight of water. The monsters were drowned, hurled, and crushed, bringing their lives to a close. Her refined dance created this disproportionally disastrous scene.
As we roughly got rid of all the E-class monsters, the D-class monsters began increasing in number. The orc and boar-type monsters are highly durable, so perhaps because it took a bit more time to defeat them, Ciel’s combat pattern slightly changed. I then sung a song about the cold of winter, adding ice to her attacks.
As Ciel hops, steps, and raises her foot, the splashes of water in the air turn into arrows of ice, raining down a barrage that the monsters of this class have no chance of dodging. While each one may seem small, being filled with abundant magic power, the arrows are sharp and rigid enough to pierce through. The rain of ice was promptly dyed into a rain of blood.
While the monsters’ shrieks resounded, those arrived.
They have eight red eyes and sickle-like jaws, and their bristled body has eight legs, four on each side. They are practically natural enemies, but upon entering Ciel’s field of vision, they are instantly burnt to nothing. With the full use of all 100% of the Dance Princess’ power and the Song Princess’ support, there is not a trace of them left behind. Despite the abrupt change in flow, they are immediately disposed of.
It was frankly overkill but seeing the tinge of discomfort on Ciel’s face, it was inevitable. Rather, even I wanted those to perish immediately. After all, with there being dozens of spiders, it’s a spot-on trigger for our trauma. Holding back wasn’t possible from the start. There’s risk of burning the trees if Ciel uses too much firepower but it should be fine with the surrounding area being flooded out.
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We’ve probably gone through about five songs by now, which must be around 20 minutes. I love singing, but sometimes I get so into it that I lose count of how many songs I’ve already sung. Ciel seems to be enjoying herself too, since she’s been dancing non-stop except for when the spiders showed up. However, even though she’s having fun, her dance moves and expression look really sharp.
C-class monsters finally appear, and thinking about it now, it’s our first time seeing any of them. One is an ogre with two horns, tough red skin, and more than twice Ciel’s height. The other one is a troll with grey skin, a swollen stomach, a bald head, and a large club in its hand. Based on what I can see, it appears that these are the only types of C-class monsters here, and judging from their presence, I’m probably right.
These monsters are significantly larger than the previous ones, and despite entering Ciel’s stage, they charge forward with little apparent impact. The water whips, spheres, rippling waves, and soaring arrows all seem to have no effect on them, making it seem like all the effort was for nothing.
『You don’t sound that troubled considering that, Ciel.』
『Fufu, I was joking. Shall we freeze them then?』
『Understood. By the way, are you still good on magic power?』
『I… might have played around a little too much, but this much is alright.』
We stopped performing for just a short while and had a conversation. After using this power on such a large scale, even Ciel should be cutting it close on magic power, or so I thought, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. At the very least, she should be able to last until the end of the stampede. In contrast, since I’m only singing, my magic power consumption is nearly zero.
The battle has restarted, and there are less than a hundred ogres and trolls altogether. They have all entered Ciel’s stage, and those at the front are wielding their clubs, only a few steps away from her. While this sight might have left a considerable impact on others, it doesn’t scare me at all since we’ve already seen the higher-class cyclops attack us before our eyes.
Moreover, before they can even reach Ciel, she has already finished tapping her toes twice on the surface of the water.
This time, ice began to spread across the water like a flowing ripple. The monsters’ feet were naturally frozen as well, causing several of them to crash to the ground as they ran. As a result, a literal stampede of monsters ensued, with those behind falling as well. Despite this, none of them died, likely due to their vitality as monsters.
It appears that Ciel was anticipating this or perhaps simply wanted to dance in this unique environment, as she began gliding around the surface of the ice.
Ciel is essentially skating on ice, but unlike figure skating which involves jumps and spins, she is using the ice to her advantage. As she glides through the gaps between the monsters, she creates needles of ice under her feet and uses them to exterminate the monsters. Although some monsters manage to avoid tripping, they are still unable to move. Ciel swiftly swings her arm down and crushes their heads with a polished motion, causing the spout of blood to freeze before it even reaches her.
Going forward, it’s just routine work, or more accurately, just for our entertainment. All I have to do is sing until Ciel is satisfied. Because simply doing that is enough to make the monsters perish.
As I finished one last song, with there being no signs of living monsters left, Ciel stopped dancing as well. She struck a pose like those at the end of a figure skating performance, but since it’s not like she’s giving a show to anyone, Ciel immediately went back her usual form. While she’s breathing heavily with her shoulders bobbing up and down, the look on her face is saying that she still hasn’t danced enough and it’s adorable.
Now then, we’ve somehow handled the stampede, but there’s still a problem. After all, there were two presences that came from the town and one of them went back. In other words, there’s one left. I would’ve preferred if both of them just went back together though. We were being watched ever since the ice part, but given that no Dance Princess can exhibit power at this scale on their own, it’ll probably be perceived as a large-scale sorcery or something similar… Usually, that is.
「That’s awful of you to be peeping, Carol.」
「After having so much fun dancing, why the bad mood all of a sudden?」
「Somebody barged in while I was enjoying myself, so I can’t help it.」
Casually turning around, I see Carol just taken aback as she stares at me. We’ve settled a whole stampede on our own, you know? There’s definitely a reason to show gratitude, but there’s no need to overreact like that! Just kidding.
「For now, you aren’t rude enough to ask for an explanation, right?」
「Well of course. After everything that just happened. Besides, I’m not so terrible of a hunter to demand an explanation here.」
「But you’re curious, aren’t you? About my Job.」
「That’s… your fault for telling me about the connection of sorcery and Jobs, isn’t it?」
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It was entertaining to see Carol pout and look away, and I almost laughed out loud. Even though it made her even more irritable, I couldn’t help but feel chatty due to the lingering enjoyment. However, I had no intention of sharing everything with her while we were still in this country.
「Let’s see. The Job I told you then wasn’t a lie. That’s all I can say for now.」
「Right. I’ll think about that later.」
「By the way, about these monsters, should I dismantle every single one of them? Retrieving the evidence parts, magic stones, and so is going to be bothersome, though.」
「That’ll depend on you. If there are materials and magic stones you want, then take them. If you don’t want anything, then request the guild to deal with this disaster. After that, you’ll be handed the rewards for resolving the stampede and 70% of the materials’ buyout sum.」
I was wondering why it was only 70%, but I suppose the remaining 30% will go to the guild’s intermediation fee and the reward for the hunter accepting the request. It’s definitely much better than doing it ourselves. With that said, it should be fine to just take the magic stones of C-class monsters that had particularly strong reactions from detection.
『Ciel, do you have any materials you want?』
『Materials? Even if you ask me that Ain, I have no idea how to use it. Would horns and such turn into weapons? Fur into armor? Even so, I wouldn’t need those, correct?』
『Right, you wouldn’t. It’s not like we can make the pills anyway, but the magic stones might be useful for something, so I think it should be fine to take only those.』
『I see. Ain, could you choose which ones would be good?』
「In that case, I’ll retrieve just a few magic stones.」
「Sure, take your time.」
I switched with Ciel and selected ten of the monsters that were frozen in place, then instructed Ciel to retrieve their magic stones. Come to think of it, Carol called it a “disaster” but isn’t that awful of her? Well, people not used to the sight of crushed monster heads and exposed organs would probably vomit though.
Ciel swiftly retrieves the magic stones with sorcery, and after cleaning them with water, she crams them into our purse-use magic bag. It’s really convenient. If we had a much bigger magic bag, would we be able to bring all these monsters along?
「I’ve had a quick look but, were there giant spiders-…」
「There were absolutely none of those sort.」
「Could you answer me seriously? It’ll affect how we should cope for the future.」
「Anyhow, every single one that headed this way was turned to ash. Their magic stones should be rolling around the ground somewhere, I think.」
Disregarding how I feel about them, having only one specific kind of monster surviving would probably be an issue in and of itself. It might become a higher-order species. Or rather, do monsters of this world evolve or transform and stuff?
「I have a question, I know that there are monsters that have higher-order species, subspecies and so on, but do existing species suddenly change too?」
「Come to think of it, we haven’t talked about evolution, haven’t we? It’s been confirmed that long living monsters turn into higher-order species. Though with that said, there aren’t any differences between monsters born as high-order species and one that evolved into one.」
「So that’s why you asked about the spiders, right?」
「It’ll be annoying if one becomes a higher-order after all. Besides, a lot of monsters become more intelligent after evolving, and there are cases where that triggers a stampede.」
It seems like there was a time when a higher-order species was born, gathered monsters of the same lineage, increased their numbers, and descended to a village. It can be said that hunters are decreasing the numbers so that this doesn’t occur. While we’re at it, I asked about how monsters multiply as well, and it appears that they can either spontaneously appear or be born from eggs or live births. In regards to the spontaneously appearing ones, there isn’t much known about them.
On the way back, while chatting with Carol, I suddenly realized something important.
「Now that I think about it, this incident will be added to my achievements, right? 」
「It will. Another person and I verified it, so this’ll definitely be your achievement.」
「I can be C-rank, right? 」
「Since you resolved a stampede with several dozens of C-class monsters in it, it wouldn’t be strange even if you were to achieve a high rank in the C-rank from the get go. And while we’re at it, since you’ve already passed the test, it still wouldn’t be strange for you to reach B-rank now, but it’ll be tough considering your age.」
「It can’t be helped then.」
For now, getting to be C-rank should be good enough.
「So then what caused today’s stampede?」
「I only came here to see if there really is a stampede, so who knows? Rather, what about you? Do you know something?」
「I found an oddly colored, sweet scented liquid.」
「It was sickeningly sweet, wasn’t it?」
「That’s how it felt to me, but a party that I was with by chance didn’t seem to feel the same. Rather, one of them didn’t even smell anything at all.」
「… Well that practically settles it then.」
「As I thought, the scent would feel different depending on the amount of magic power one has, right? 」
「Exactly. And since monsters naturally possess magic stones, you can say that they also have innate magic power. The strength of the scent varies depending on the amount of magic power one has. But the frustrating part is that the higher the class of the monster, the stronger they are drawn to it.」
Letting out a deep sigh, Carol then asked me.
「And the drug?」
「After recovering it, I asked the party together with me to bring it to town.」
「In that case, things should be all settled by the time we return. Although at worst, we might arrive in the middle of an uproar.」
「That sounds immeasurably bothersome.」
I have a hunch that the blame would be put on me after all. Keeping that in my thoughts, I decided to end our discussion about this incident.
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Dancing Queen~ Young and sweet~ actually, really too young~
The most awaited dance scene is finally here, and I love how it’s an aesthetics based power. I mean, you can, like, summon needles in the sky to shoot to your enemies *or* you can embrace style and have them growing from under your soles as you skate around your enemy. Style baby~
One nice part is the part where Ain seamlessly went from one song to another with a different theme to accommodate Ciel’s slight change in combat. Literally two as one. Speaking of Ain, Ain being a bit more talkative, or rather, more open for a bit was cute. Definitely the fun affecting her. Also, pouty Carol, lol.
It is nice that we got another aspect of the Dance Princess, the aggro gathering. Even in the explanation before about how Dance Princesses can summon rain by just dancing, it’s interesting how the “fascinate and impress” aspect is a big part of it. And highly ironic, because they don’t want to stand out, but their abilities naturally gets all eyes, lol.
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!