“Eh…!? Miloulle is also a mana user…?”
Tatsumi asked in shock. Calcedonia nodded towards Tatsumi’s words in silence.
Right after Eru asked the spirits about the whereabouts of the demon beast, the party headed there with Miloulle walking beside Jadokh.
And with a slight distance between them, Tatsumi and Calcedonia guarded the rear.
“Yes. Before, she said her magic was self-taught. However, all magic incantations are already completed, in other words, there is no such thing as self-taught magic incantations.”
“That means, self-taught here means no incantation…and so the same mana user like me. But, is there no possibility her magic is a spirit magic like Eru’s?”
“There is no way the landlady wouldn’t notice it if her magic is spirit magic.”
Eru is the founder of spirit magic. Just like Calcedonia said, there was no way she didn’t notice if Miloulle’s magic was spirit magic.
“Additionally, Miloulle said the duration of her magic is short. I think it is another proof that she is a mana user.”
“I see. After all mana user constantly emits mana normally.”
Hearing Calcedonia’s explanation, Tatsumi was also convinced that her conjecture was correct.
Controlling mana without incantations, in other words, an ancient form of magic. To keep the magic active, the users need to continuously expend mana. And thus their mana will be depleted in an instant. Tatsumi is an exception because he can control mana from an external source, but it seemed Miloulle is normal.
“Then…the reason Miloulle didn’t say anything about her magic is because…she is a mana user?”
“I don’t understand that much…and also…”
Calcedonia tilted her head. And as usual her ahoge swayed.
Concentrating her consciousness towards her eyes, she saw the mana’s light from Miloulle’s body.
“…Her mana’s light colour is blue, I thought her magic is a derivation from the <water> magic system, however…”
Perhaps Miloulle’s mana comes from extremely rare mana system, thought Tatsumi.
A rare mana system meant that, just like Tatsumi’s <Sky>, there was no one who researched the spells. That’s why magicians who have rare mana system usually are mana user.
“…Well, though we don’t know the specific magic Miloulle has, the plan doesn’t change.”
Coinciding with Tatsumi’s answer, Calcedonia smiled.
No matter what kind of formidable enemy awaited them, as long Tatsumi…the natural enemy of <devil> was there, there’s no way they will lose. At that time, Calcedonia was confident in it.
At that time, they haven’t—
GAAAAAAAAANNNNNNN. A thunderous roar resounded.
At the same time, light gushed out.
That roaring sound and light’s true form was Calcedonia’s magic <<Thunder Storm>>. Thunder rained upon the designated area.
And when the thunderous roars and light stopped, next blew violent tempest of ice and snow.
The one who created the ice and snow tempest was Eru, who used the power of the contracted ice spirit.
However, Calcedonia’s and Eru’s magic was unable to seize the target.
Their target—the giant snow lizard possessed by <devil>—freely moved on top of the snow and easily evaded the magic’s aim.
“Damn, it’s too nimble!!”
No matter how many times Eru and Calcedonia casted their magic, the giant snow lizard kept evading them all. Their plan was to weaken it with Eru and Calcedonia’s combination, as they were both excellent magicians, and then for Jadokh and Miloulle to finish it off. And lastly, Tatsumi will terminate the <devil> that separated from the giant snow lizard.
However, their plan was destroyed in the first phase.
The target giant snow lizard was more agile than Calcedonia and Eru predicted.
Calcedonia and Eru have experienced facing against giant snow lizards many times.
Using that experience as the base and added the variable of <devil>’s strengthening, they predicted the strength of the giant snow lizard.
However, when they met it for real, the ability of the target giant snow lizard was far stronger from their prediction.
And because of that, they were unable to seize the target from distance, alas only exhausted their own mana instead.
On the other hand, Jadokh and Miloulle who were tasked with close combat were unbale to get close because of the giant snow lizard’s bizarre speed.
Even now, whenever Jadokh rushed ahead and swung his two-handed battle axe or brandished his battle mallet, the giant snow lizard will casually hop out of his range as if ridiculing him.
And for Miloulle, since they unable to seize it the first time, she lost the timing to use her magic.
Let’s turn back the time a bit.
Eru led the vanguard of Tatsumi’s party. And suddenly, she stopped and looked around with a sharp gaze.
“…Something is here…! Please be careful…!”
There’s no need to ask ‘what is it?’. Tatsumi, Calcedonia, Jadokh, and also Eru, directed their gaze to the surrounding.
Among them, Miloulle put down the knapsack on her back and threw it to the snow.
“O, oi, Miloulle…?”
While still probing the surrounding, Tatsumi asked.
“Don’t mind me. If I don’t do that…it’s because when I activate my magic everything I wear will break…to not let it be lost in the snow I use the knapsack as a landmark.”
Miloulle said it with a red face.
Now that she said it, there was a red cloth wrapped in the knapsack she’d thrown. That’s the landmark she talked about.
Currently, she only wore clothes and defensive cloak, but no armour. If what she said is true—well, there’s no need to doubt her though—she didn’t wear armour because she was convinced she needed to use her magic.
In her hand was a spear longer than her height. It seemed her main weapon is a spear.
By the way, because Miloulle lost all her belongings when she met with the giant snow lizard, for this mission, she borrowed money from Calcedonia.
Tatsumi and Jadokh wore the usual hardened leather armour and their usual weapons, while Eru wore a white-soft looking leather armour and a cloak over it. She also has a short sword on her waist, but that’s nothing more than for self-protection.
As for Calcedonia, she didn’t wear anything like armour. However, underneath her cloak, although it looked like any common grey robe without any ornaments, it actually was a magic-sealed armament that boasted higher defensive capabilities than a common metal armour.
In her hand, she has a single crooked, old-looking staff. However, that old-looking staff was also another magic sealed armament that was capable of heightening Calcedonia’s mana.
“Tatsumi-san, Miloulle-san, please stop your discussion—”
While Eru rebuked them like that, suddenly her words were cut in the middle and she looked up.
From above the trees around them, a number of snow lizards fell down.
“They are not the giant snow lizard….but normal snow lizards!”
“Did it gather the survivors from the herd…?”
With weapon in hand, Jadokh and Miloulle quickly intercepted the falling snow lizards.
Although the aforementioned giant snow lizard only saw the herd as another food source, it seemed that because the wound in its hand inflicted by Miloulle, it used them as bodyguards to protect itself.
Miloulle’s long spear successfully pierced the snow lizard’s throat, while Jadokh battle axe pulverized one of the snow lizard’s head.
However, of course, they unable to intercept all of them, some which safely landed in the snow, looking around and setting their targets to Calcedonia and Eru.
To protect the two of them who were not suited for close combat, Tatsumi stood between the snow lizards and them.
However, when he drew his sword and almost rushed towards the snow lizards, from his right and left, lightning and ice arrows flew and ended the snow lizards with one strike.
Tatsumi blanked, and when he looked behind, the two magicians showed him a sweet smile.
Normal snow lizards were not a problem for Tatsumi and co.
A little while after the start of their battle against the snow lizards, suddenly a roar of a beast resounded. It was a roar they had heard before—the roar of giant snow lizard.
Hearing that roar, the snow lizards stopped fighting and started to run.
“…Did the giant snow lizard just ordered its underlings to retreat…?”
Jadokh stopped swinging his battle axe and then rested it on his shoulder as he followed the snow lizards with his gaze.
“What should we do, Calce? Let them go? Or pursue?”
“Let’s not chase them too far. However, from that roar, I can grasp the general direction of the giant snow lizard. Let’s head there while keeping vigilant.”
Hearing Calcedonia’s decision, the others nodded.
And then after rearranging their formation, their party started to move again.
This time Jadokh and Miloulle walked in the front as the vanguard. Right behind them were Calcedonia and Eru as rear guard and Tatsumi in the last line.
Using the direction from the roar and the footsteps of the snow lizard, they advanced in the snow-piled forest.
And then ten minutes later, something happened.
Suddenly from the snow, the giant snow lizard appeared and attacked them. It seemed the giant snow lizard hid in the snow, waiting for them to arrive there.
The one the demon targeted was Miloulle. Perhaps it remembered the fact that Miloulle injured it. Or perhaps it judged that Miloulle was the easiest target.
Because it was too sudden, Miloulle was unable to react in time against the attacking giant snow lizard.
With drool smeared sharp fang, it attacked Miloulle. The fang dug into her body and scarlet blood splattered around—was what the giant snow lizard expected, however, in reality, it closed its mouth without being able to bite onto anything.
When Calcedonia looked toward the giant snow lizard’s back, she can see Tatsumi, who successfully brought Miloulle away from harm’s way.
In the split second Tatsumi noticed the giant snow lizard attack, he quickly teleported to Miloulle’s side and then teleported again toward the giant snow lizard’s back.
“We are fine! Just do it as planned!”
After Tatsumi answered Calcedonia’s worried voice, they started as they planned.
Calcedonia started to chant a spell, while Eru called her contracted spirits.
As for Jadokh and Miloulle, they quickly guarded the defenseless magicians.
The first one to attack was Eru with her spirit magic.
In front of Eru’s fingertip, a ball of light with the size of small child’s head appeared. This was Eru’s contracted light spirit, Rurra-kun.
Rurra-kun shook its body and then from its surrounding smaller balls of light appeared. And then after shaking once more, the balls of light rushed towards the giant snow lizard.
The small balls of light—the light bullets rushed toward the giant snow lizard following their respective arcs.
When they thought the light bullets would land on the giant snow lizard’s body, suddenly the giant snow lizard performed an overhead jump and barely evaded the rain of light.
The light bullets which lost its target collided with each other and then disappeared just like that.
The giant snow lizard soared in the air. However, it won’t be able to move in the air. Aiming for that, purple lightning was released from Calcedonia’s palm.
The purple lightning tore through the air and attacked the giant snow lizard which currently was still in the air. However, the giant snow lizard used its long tail to change its posture in the air, and then kicked the tree nearby and avoided the purple lightning.
“In the air…it can move like that in the air–!”
The two magicians became dumbfounded. Because the magic they believed would hit was evaded.
Normal snow lizards, no, even the usual giant snow lizards won’t be able to evade their magic.
To think the giant snow lizard in front of them could evade it easily made Calcedonia and Eru freeze on the spot.
The sly demon didn’t miss it and once again kicked a tree and attacked the two of them from above.
The claws of its hind legs glittered. If this goes on Calcedonia and Eru will be shredded by the sharp claws.
However, right before the giant snow lizard’s claw reached them, the two of them disappeared. Of course, it was Tatsumi who brought them away through teleportation, again.
Taking some distance from the giant snow lizard, Tatsumi carried Calcedonia and Eru with both hands.
“…Calce, it seems we are the one trapped by the giant snow lizard…”
Tatsumi said it without letting the giant snow lizard out of his sight.
And then when Calcedonia’s legs returned to the snow, she understood what Tatsumi trying to say.
“……The snow here…it is softer than the other places…”
It seemed this place was where the snow blew and accumulated, and thus the snow still retained its soft property. Additionally, the snow was pretty new and has yet to congeal, in other words: powder snow.
The snow easily caught Tatsumi’s party’s legs and thus restricted their movement. Especially for close combat specialists like Jadokh and Miloulle, their mobility was shaved by a great amount.
On the other hand, for the giant snow lizard which adapted in a snowy region, its leg won’t be caught by the soft snow and was able to move freely. And more than that, just like what it displayed before, this giant snow lizard was evidently nimbler than common giant snow lizard, and thus their difference in movement speed will become even more pronounced.
Anticipating Tatsumi’s party, the giant snow lizard hid and waited in this place while using the other snow lizards to lure them here.
When they noticed, the other snow lizards standing beside the giant snow lizard and bare their fangs, intimidating Tatsumi’s party.
Calcedonia and Eru, magicians who excelled in magic, Jadokh and Miloulle, warriors who excel in close combat. And then Tatsumi, the <Sky> magic user the natural enemy of <devil>.
Despite they felt it would become an easy fight earlier, they were forced to understand that currently, they were falling into an unforeseen predicament.