Klaus raised a cry while heading for the ancient black monster Zarathan.
The lump of innumerable spell cards spread around him formed a huge arm that couldn’t beat Zarathan’s.
I remembered children’s picture books. It was the same way that small fishes gathered together and formed a bigger body.
But could we compete with this?
Zarathan swung his forearm.
Klaus concentrated the spell cards in front of him like a shield and caught the thick forearm.
The moment when the claws of the monster touched it, a large magic circle was deployed from the spell cards which organized in order.
Something like a big spark was scattered between the two, and the magical residue fluttered in the air like scales.
Klaus was pushed back about two meters and he was on his knees.
He seemed to turn out unscathed somehow.
Oops, he looked over here with a triumphant look.
I understood that you were strong, but it was bad for my heart, so stop that.
“What are you doing, Erica! Use the wand!”
Oops, he stopped giving me a triumphant look and started to glare.
Come to think of it, that’s right.
Klaus had incorporated almost all of the spell cards into the expanded Protective Circle.
His means of attack now was only the Wand of Fire Bolt.
Besides, the leftover of that wand was about one shot left, right?
No matter how old he was, Klaus couldn’t fight against an obviously strong monster on a one-on-one basis.
I glanced at Ann.
She seemed to be hiding in the shadow of the wall separating the main road leading to the altar and the inner sanctum.
I also copied Ann by jumping into the shadow of a pillar.
The battle between the mage Klaus and the huge monster Zarathan continued.
Klaus was the one on the defensive.
Sometimes, he attacked with magical power by putting the spell cards together.
However, there was not a single scar on the hard scales of the monster.
I thought he was amazing at averting it, but his magical power was not inexhaustible.
Besides, there was also a limit on the number of magical recovery potions.
(I have to cover Klaus……!)
But, Grease didn’t cause damage.
I opened my bag for wands.
I didn’t assume there would be such situation like a boss fight, so only few wands could be used for battle.
I should change the wands in my belt’s wand holder.
Could the Klaus-directed Grease be used for battle for once?
While switching over, I noticed a wand that could be used as a trump card.
It was a Wand of Death.
The material was cypress. The stick head had twelve pyrope garnets.
The surface of the wand was brilliantly polished and engraved with words of the Aurelia-style condolences.
The core material was the final breath of a creature dying of natural cause wrapped in a linen cloth soaked into myrrh.
Only creatures that were smaller than the creature used as the core material of Wand of Death could be killed by it.
When it was used in a person-centered war, we used the last breath of a horse.
This wand was for exploring the labyrinth.
As we had to fight against beasts and monsters, it should use the last breath of big creatures.
Zarathan was about a little smaller than an elephant.
(The remaining charge is one. If the core material is an elephant or a whale this wand will win. If it is a bear or a tiger, let’s give up and run away.)
Klaus deflected the claws of Zarathan and took several steps back.
At that timing, I jumped out of the shadow of the pillar.
“Over here, Monster!”
In response to my words, the monster stopped moving.
He looked at my figure and smiled with delight.
『A, A, A, A, A, Aurelia!!!』
The cry of deep grudge shook the air of the cathedral.
It should be frightening, but why was it comfortable for some reason.
The monster cut off his eyes completely from Klaus, turned towards me and put strength on his hind legs.
Targeting that moment, I swung the wand.
A dark, unobtrusive magic circle composed of crimson and black floated at the tip of the wand.
From there, ill-boding shadows that looked like three distorted hands stretched towards the huge monster.
The long black hands of death caressed him gently.
『I remember……I remember this magic, you cowardly dwarf!
Bigger creature than this me, such being doesn’t exist anywhere in this world!
I am this land……I carried you vagabond dwarfs crossed the ocean, I am this city itself!』
……Formerly city sized!? Then even a whale was impossible!
The huge monster Zarathan kicked the ground and rushed at a speed that didn’t match his huge build.
I threw away the Wand of Death and pulled out the Wand of Hold.
(Not good! I will not make it!)
I instinctively curled myself and closed my eyes.
A crashing sound like a car colliding with thick walls of concrete shook my eardrums.
Klaus protected me and stood between me and the monster.
He added several hundreds of spell cards to the Protective Circle to take on the attack of Zarathan.
“Erica! You, why did you attack……aah, no, was my explanation insufficient?”
“Eeh? I apologize, was that not good?”
“If you attack that beast, then my attack to distract him would be wasted, right?”
Did you manage aggro in a net game, Klaus?
A person with high defense would attract attacks and other people would give a degree of aid enough not to pose a threat.
So that was why you tried to get me to aid you with Grease.
But, if someone didn’t make a decisive attack, then wouldn’t Klaus who was attracting the aggro be in danger?
Because the one who could easily handle the high-level healing magic was the people of Lucanrant.
“I still have Hold and Lightning Bolt. It would be impossible to defeat him, but let’s make a gap and run away.”
“I appreciate your thought but keep the offensive wands. The moment when simultaneous attack is required, when that time comes……”
Zarathan’s claws hit the Protective Circle.
The continuous attacks loosened the spell cards’ solidarity, nearly half of them were bounced off.
From the rip of the Protective Circle, the smile of Zarathan could be seen.
『Ku, ku, ku, ku, have you finished the cheap play1?』
Klaus was holding down the monster using half of the spell cards.
In that moment, I pulled out the Wand of Grease.
Was Grease effective for this situation?
I only had to trust Klaus.
Shaking the Wand of Grease, white magic sphere was expanding from the stick head.
Magical power was transformed into a substance and expanded the magic sphere to the size of a basketball, giving form to a big bubble of grease.
I waved the wand and threw the grease bubble toward Zarathan.
The Grease flew slowly while fluctuating up and down.
When the grease bubble came close to the tip of his nose, Zarathan put on a bored expression.
It was avoided easily.
If our opponent was a human that wore an armor, generally speaking it would be impossible to hit the monster which jumped around as he pleases.
Klaus’ Protective Circle of spell cards were blown off.
Klaus rolled to the other side of the room as he was.
And, with slow gait as if enjoying the situation himself, Zarathan came closer to me.
『It was a useless small workmanship, dwarf.
That’s right, you are always, always nothing but tricks.
Everything is nostalgic……Even when I killed you.
That night when we reached this continent, to me who was exhausted and sleeping, you guys…!
Shameless golden madness! Even though I beat and killed countless number of offenders, you still wanted the Philosopher’s Stone that much!?』
“Is it the Philosopher’s Stone?”
The alchemists’ of Aurelia family’s wishes.
Turn base metal into gold – that was, a miracle stone that transformed everything into the desired substance.
In the game setting, the reason why the alchemist Zarathan was killed was to take away the Philosopher’s Stone from him.
『Do you care about the Philosopher’s Stone?
Indeed, you are also a descendant of Aurelia the Greedy. No wonder.
However, it is useless.
Those shallow thoughts of yours, everything,is useless!
The Philosopher’s Stone, my soul itself—whether you rip open my belly, gouge my entrails, you won’t find it!』
It was an overly optimistic idea that I could break my death flag if I saved Ann.
Zarathan – he would never forgive me or my family.
His hatred and grudge towards the people of Aurelia.
His death was a sin that all people of Aurelia owed.
As long as we, the alchemist citizen of Aurelia, sought out golden sacrament, that sin would keep on going.
『Throw away the wand, daughter of Aurelia.
I know all of your magic. You cannot kill me even if you dropped stars2.
Well, what will you do?
You look like that girl who grew up with me.
If you are the only one, I am willing to give you mercy.
However……that is only if you betrayed the other two and kill them with your hands!
Like what your ancestors did to me!!』
The monster opened his big mouth widely that it seemed to be torn apart, baring off each of his sharp fangs in a grotesque smile.
“I will not do such a thing!!”
I raised a loud voice to the bad sensation.
What a pitch black fate trade.
『Isn’t that riiiiiiiiiiight!?
You are just a liar who talks big, you said you will not kill other humans, huuuuuuhhhh!?
So, this is my first choice.
The girl hiding theeeeere!
If you left the daughter of Aurelia and ran away, I will save you and the boy!
Anyway this girl, just like her ancestors, she’s just a cute low-life woman.
Either way, even if you abandon her, your heart won’t feel pain, right?』
Zarathan stretched out his hands with an exaggerated gesture like a stage actor and looked at Ann who was hiding.
That was such a low act, to give choices like that to a little girl.
I glared at the monster.
The monster accepted my enmity and looked like he was having fun from the bottom of his heart.
“Don’t seduce other people’s sister without permission.”
Along with Klaus’ voice, there was a sound of the wind blows.
Spell cards surrounded both knee joints of the monster, making threefold of rings.
It was a magic of Bind which fixed the target at one point of place.
Zarathan was bound by a threefold Bind, he fell forward as his feet was fixed in place.
“Anything you said, you have to defeat me first.”
『Brat, so you can still move. Don’t throw away the life that I generously overlooked.』
“Rather than throwing away my pride, I would rather throw away my life. I will not abandon those I had decided to protect.”
Klaus walked slowly, pouring magical power into the spell that formed Bind from his staff.
His clothes were torn in the middle, bruises and abrasion had formed.
He seemed to have wounds all over his body, but it was a relief that there was no haemorrhage or broken bones.
Klaus continued after spitting some saliva mixed with blood.
“…But this guy really has an intolerably gaudy face.”
That was an unnecessary comment.
I wondered if it was really a comment he had to say now.
Why did he even have to diss his face, this guy.
『It’s useless, brat. You cannot penetrate my armor with your magic. It is the same with that Aurelia’s Fire Bolt wand.』
“Don’t underestimate the magic of Harvan, Monster.”
『No matter how different the blood flowing in each human is, everyone is equally stupid.
Will you defend Aurelia three times and hinder my revenge?
Besides, you will probably fasten a constraint on me.
Please realize how charitable I was, after I turn you into a second lump of meat that couldn’t see!』
Zarathan clenched his fists and roared with a terrible voice.
When he put strength into his whole body, the body that looks like steel or rock cracked, his large biceps distorted as if swelling out.
It was almost as though his armor couldn’t bear the pressure from the inside.
Between the broken scales and shells, body fluids like black sea water oozed out and hardened again.
Repeating that, the monster expanded rapidly.
It seemed that he was trying to regain his original form.
Zarathan’s legs became twice thicker than the Bind around his knee joints.
Even on the points where the Bind was constraining him, the spell cards themselves were gradually pushed back by the force from the inside.
The magic circle that formed the spell became distorted.
From the magic of Bind which had been torn away, magical power was leaking as fine particles of light.
“Klaus-sama, the Bind technique!”
“Although this is still too early……damn it! It can’t be helped!”
Klaus manipulated the spell cards by swinging his staff to every direction.
Countless number of spell cards stuck to Zarathan’s exterior like a shroud as if concealing him.
“If just Fire Bolt doesn’t work, what about Fire Bolt with increased firepower using Grease!”
If I looked closely, something like oil was sticking on the spell cards that covered Zarathan.
Apparently Klaus seemed to have secretly used the spell cards to recover the Grease which was avoided before.
A magic of Fire Bolt was fired from the wand that Klaus held towards the grease-covered monster.
Flame spread in a fan shape at once and enveloped Zarathan.
The flammable grease burst into flames in a blink of an eye and a blazing column several times the height of Zarathan rose up.
The blistering flame illuminated the dark labyrinth just like daylight.
“……Did we do it?”
Deep laughter could be heard as if responding to Klaus’ muttering.
『What, brat. Saying something with that kind of boldness, but it was only to this degree?
With such pitiful fire, you cannot even kill bugs.』
With terrible momentum, Zarathan walked over here calmly while being covered in a blazing fire.
The Bind seemed already broken.
The monster spread his enlarged arms, and slowly brought his hands together in front of him.
Following the movements of his hands, the flames that were covering him were getting smaller as if being sucked in between his palms.
By the time Zarathan had completely brought his hands together, the flame had completely disappeared.
“Damn it! Bind him again……”
『I won’t receive the same technique twiceeee!』
Zarathan shortened the distance between us step by step, while the spell cards were taking form of a battle formation before dispersing.
Somehow, his power was increasing in proportion to the enlargement of his body, to say nothing of his motivation.
It was obvious that the next blow might be too much for Klaus.
In order to prevent Zarathan, I used the Wand of Lightning Bolt.
The moment the Lightning Bolt shot from the wand penetrated Zarathan, a torrent of flame similar to Fire Bolt shot from the mouth of the monster.
Flames and lightning cancelled each other.
After the two magical effects cleared away, the uninjured Zarathan stood.
“What……his ability, perhaps……”
『It is no use noticing that now!
Both of you, get crushed and dieeee!!!』
Klaus hurriedly tried to reinstate the Protective Circle, but it was unlikely to be in time.
I pulled out the Wand of Hold.
But, my hand that was wearing the alchemists’ leather glove was blocked by the Wand of Lightning Bolt.
Again, this wouldn’t make it in time.
On top of us, a huge arm that looked like a bunch of logs was raised overhead.
In front of me, the back of Klaus who was trying to spread his arms and protect me appeared suddenly.
—-A beam of light crossed my field of vision.
The thin intense light cast from behind us hit Zarathan’s left knee.
The thick monster scales break and penetrated to the other side.
After a moment, a pale flame exploded at the place where the hole was drilled by light, and the knee joint was exploding from the inside.
Zarathan who was trying to step into our space, lost one of his legs and broke his balance, fell on the spot and propped himself up with both hands.
“Onii-sama! Erica-sama! Please escape!”
“Ann, well done!”
Klaus pulled my hand and headed for the exit of the inner sanctum.
With her staff at ready, Ann who had sweats drenched her forehead was waiting there.
In exchange for us, a bottle was thrown by Ann and flew towards Zarathan.
That was, a bottle of Obscuring Mist.
The glass bottle hit the monster and broke down into pieces and spread a thick, milky white fog.
The fog thickened rapidly and covered the entire inner sanctum of the cathedral.
“Ann, you’re late. We were nearly dead.”
“I don’t even have the experience of combat training. Even if it was only that kind of attack, it was a good performance, wasn’t it?”
“I consumed too much magical power. A bit later and I would have died.”
“Mou! Onii-sama, please move your legs and not your mouth!”
I just didn’t understand the situation.
I listened to the Harvan’s siblings banter and ran with full power anyway.
Anyway, the siblings who seemed to get along well with each other to be able to banter were refreshing.
I was a single child in my past life and I had never fought with Edward-oniisama because we were past being chummy with each other.
“Onii-sama. At least give an explanation, was it not good?”
“Eeh!? You didn’t say anything to Ann-sama!?”
“Aah, my bad. But, I didn’t have time to do that…”
“Simply tell Erica-sama to escape would be enough! When Onii-sama faced that monster, I remembered that I felt conflicted.”
“Ann, so it was to that extent……”
“Rather, I was anxious because Klaus-sama was just like usual.”
“You guys, just what do you think about me.”
While running, Ann and I averted our eyes away from Klaus.
“Klaus-sama is……brimming with self-challenging spirit, an embodiment of self-confidence……”
“Onii-sama is courageous, courageous, and very courageous……”
A roar resounded in the background.
Looking back, the bulkhead separating the inner court and the nave had collapsed.
A huge shadow appeared in ocher-colored haze mixed with dust and Obscuring Mist.
A monster popped out of the haze.
Zarathan who lost one leg was running with three legs with both arms on the ground, and launched his assault.
“That guy, he can move already!? Both of you, hurry up!”
We went through the nave and jumped into a narrow passage.
In no time, the passage trembled along with the sound of a collision.
Dust filled the narrow passage.
Zarathan’s body couldn’t pass through the entrance of the passage and seemed to have crashed into the wall.
Something huge had stretched from the fallen entrance.
Claws that looked like an execution axe brushed against the tip of my nose.
“Erica, the back! Advance to the back!”
“Erica-sama, quickly go to the place where the monster’s arm wouldn’t reach!”
Klaus and Ann pulled me out of terror.
The claws of Zarathan were swinging in every direction before our eyes.
The monster was scratching the floor and the walls near the entrance of the passage many times over trying to seize us.
Zarathan who understood that we were out of reach were withdrawing his hand and looked into this passage by his eye alone.
With eyes like a hollow and dark cave.
『…Grudge…grudge, grudge, grudge, grudge, grudge, grudge, grudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudge——-
The cowardly Aurelia……Those damn kids who are standing by Aurelia……
Both are absolutely unforgivable.
I will slowly torture you to death, until you indeed begging for death……』
When Zarathan drew back after saying so, he began to destroyed the walls near the entrance of the passage with his claws.
The stones which were supposed to be hard, were gently scooped out as if they were made of styrofoam or something.
It was an amazing skill.
“L-let’s go! Talk later! Now let’s just escape somehow!”
I thought that I would die this time.
I was thinking of stopping because of a series of shocking situations, but I continued to advance my feet in a hurried manner.
1 三文芝居 (sanmon shibai): a low-level play not worth enough to pay quarrel money. It is used as an expression pointing to behaviors such as behind-the-scenes behaviors.
2 ‘Even if you dropped stars’ here referring to the Wand of Sailor’s Song, where it was said that it could drop stars in exchange for the user’s life.
About the alchemists’ leather gloves, if you don’t remember, Erica gave one to Klaus, so they both each wear one (not a pair, but one). It seems that the gloves are to alleviate the reaction from the wands. Up to this chapter, there is still no explanation about what kind of reaction the wands give to the user. But it seems that they couldn’t use wands with the hand that doesn’t wear the glove.
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