“We’re changing plans.”
The <devil> that possessed the giant snow lizard was obviously toying with Tatsumi and the others.
The first plan was a failure, progressing to a situation that required a different strategy.
Calcedonia had a worried expression flash over her face for an instant, but it was immediately was replaced with a face full of determination. Her voice called out to Tatsumi that was standing before her,
“The only one that would be able to deal with the giant snow lizard’s speed, in this bad footing, is a <Sky> mana user. But, this is a huge burden on Master…”
“Understood. Only I can do it, so I have to try.”
“While Master is directly confronting the giant snow lizard, we’ll fight against the other snow lizards, okay?”
In response to Calcedonia’s words, the others simultaneously nodded in consent.
“After defeating the other snow lizards, Jadokh and Miloulle, provide assistance to Master as much as possible. While the demon’s movements have been slowed, landlady and I will finish them off with our strongest fire magic—”
“No, that’s no good.”
While Calcedonia was in the middle of giving out instructions, Tastumi interrupted her,
“The person who will deal the last blow is… Miloulle. Leave it to her.”
The surprised Miloulle pointed at herself, and Tatsumi smiled.
“Yes. Get revenge for your old friends by killing it with your own hands. I’ll create that chance.”
“When you see that chance, at that time, use all your power on one attack and beat him up.”
Tatsumi’s line of sight captured the giant snow lizard. At the moment, the giant snow lizard and its subordinates, who were slightly separated from Tatsumi’s party, were steadily watching them.
Those eyes that are sparkling in a red color, it’s as if they’re looking down on us, waiting for us to enter their trap, Tatsumi thought.
Once more, the giant snow lizard let out a roar.
At the same time, the giant snow lizard and several of the snow lizards charged at Tatsumi’s party.
“You guys can take down the small fries!”
Without even checking if his comrades had nodded, or rather, convinced that they would, Tatsumi disappeared from where he was.
Tatsumi abruptly disappeared, and in the next instant, he appeared directly in front of the giant snow lizard.
Eru and Miloulle were shocked at the sight of that.
“N-No way… H-He was really a <Sky>… user?”
Jadokh, who was battle ready with a weapon in hand, ran past the two girls who were unintentionally left absentminded.
“Stop it, both of you. Is this the time to be spacing out? Look, our guests are coming.”
Jadokh’s tone was light, but his gaze was piercing. Before that piercing gaze, there were several snow lizards.
As if they were gliding on the snow, the magic beasts bared their fangs and came running while clanging their claws together.
“Seriously… this snow is really hard to stand on, and it’s even more impossible to fight in, yet our opponents can move on it like it’s flat ground… Unfair!”
Jadokh gave a smile.
However, it wasn’t his normal bright smile; it was a ferocious smile that would come from a wild beast staring at its prey.
The snow lizards’ leader opened its mouth wide and started attacking Jadokh.
“Fufun. Doing such a thing like running towards here, this is a great help!”
Though Jadokh’s mobility was limited by the snow, it would be a different story if they came to him.
With his battle staff, Jadokh lunged into the widely-opened mouth of the snow lizard.
Having the battle staff thrust into its mouth as a counter to its attack, the snow lizard was lifted into the air. With the battle staff using the head as a fulcrum, the lower body swung towards Jadokh like a pendulum.
With another of his long battle staves, Jadokh swung horizontally, smashing both of the snow lizard’s legs. Then, in that situation, he used his battle-axe to swing downwards from the sky, splitting the snow lizard’s head into two.
“Ufu. Our goal today isn’t their materials so we can fight freely this time.”
Shifting his gaze from the dead snow lizard, Jadokh looked for his next prey.
“…You’re quite enthusiastic, aren’t you?”
Miloulle, who was standing next to Jadokh, asked that while keeping her spear at the ready.
“Of course? Tatsumi had confidence in us; he entrusted us with the task of killing the small fries. Because of his confidence, we have to live up to it, don’t we? A favor begets a favor. A grudge begets a grudge. And, confidence should be returned with confidence. That’s what our creed is. Besides…”
Jadokh took a fleeting sideways glance behind him.
“It looks like I’m not the only enthusiastic one.”
From behind, they could hear a sonorous spell’s aria. Of course, that aria was from Calcedonia.
Passing by Jadokh, the snow lizard leaped towards the Calcedonia who was chanting the spell.
If it was a normal magician, it’d be fatal if the enemy attacked in the middle of the aria. But, without stopping the aria of her spell, Calcedonia countered the snow lizard’s attack.
Spinning the staff around in her hand, she firmly hit the body of the snow lizard using the staff filled with the power of centrifugal force.
A dry snapping sound echoed, and the snow lizard collapsed onto the snow. Faster than the collapsed snow lizard could rise, Calcedonia completed her aria.
With the end of the staff, she thrusted at the snow lizard, and a flamethrower-like blaze blew out at the snow lizard, scorching it.
Normally, in a forest like this, the〈Fire〉system’s magic wouldn’t be used. Flames burn the forest’s trees and undergrowth, and it could spread uncontrollably.
However, right now, the surroundings were full of snow. In this season, the〈Fire〉system’s magic could be used since the probability of the fire spreading is low.
The flames trapped the snow lizards, and their death throes only became louder.
In order to finish off those snow lizards, stalagmites rushed out of the ground, and, like spears, they stabbed through the bodies of the snow lizards.
“Thank you very much, landlady.”
“No, I think you did more.”
Setting down the staff, Calcedonia and Eru, who commanded the mole-like earth spirit, smiled at each other.
“…I also have to do my best”
Seeing those two going back and forth, Miloulle used the spear in her hands a few times, showing her own power.
Right before Miloulle’s eyes, a high speed battle developed.
Miloulle that had completely defeated the small fry snow lizards was wondering how Tatsumi’s battle with the giant snow lizard progressed, and scanned the surroundings with her eyes. Looking at the scene of it, she unintentionally murmured that.
The giant snow lizard was moving at high speeds on top of the snow, and Tatsumi was using all of the trees in the surroundings as footholds for three-dimensional movement. In this snow, a human chasing the giant snow lizard like that was basically impossible.
But, a human was doing that right here.
The giant snow lizard leaped around at high speed, kicking off the snow and trees. However, Tatsumi chased after even faster.
No, he wasn’t faster. He was leaping over space itself, going to where the giant snow lizard was heading to ahead of time and inflicted wounds on it with the sword in his hand.
Small wounds littered the lizard’s entire body. While the giant snow lizard released a roar full of rage and irritation, it brandished a claw overhead.
However, at the next instant, the human figure that was its enemy disappeared, and appeared at its rear.
With a silent exhale, Tatsumi swung his sword. The sword blade was glowing with a golden mana, and, as it came into contact with the giant snow lizard’s body, a violent explosion occurred.
Tatsumi could use several types of magic. <Instant Transition>, <Acceleration>, <Self-Recovery>, and <Mana Strike>.
<Mana Strike>, a magic that could be said to be more like a sword technique, imbued mana in a sword, and, when it hit the enemy, the mana would explode outwards. It’s not a technique that attacks with mana from afar.
However, Tatsumi could use <Instant Transition> and <Acceleration>, so the distance to the enemy didn’t matter.
Again, the sword’s dwelling mana exploded out in streaks of gold, and the giant snow lizard’s huge build faltered and swayed.
But, the giant snow lizard’s entire body was covered in tough scales; its vitality was inhuman.
Tatsumi’s sword slash could only inflict a scratch, and the mana explosion from <Mana Strike> couldn’t inflict a severe injury either.
Since it was <Mana Strike>, if Tatsumi poured mana into the sword constantly, then it would be possible to break through the giant snow lizard’s tenacious scales. However, without using <Instant Transition>, it would be more than impossible to catch up to the giant snow lizard. He had no choice other than to use a half-charged <Mana Strike>.
After making the giant snow lizard eat another <Mana Strike> to the back, Tatsumi used <Instant Transition> to move next to Calcedonia.
Tatsumi was breathing heavily. His shoulders were heaving intensely, but despite being in the snow, his entire body was sweating.
Tatsumi had an inexhaustible supply of mana, but not stamina.
Repeatedly using magic and performing those intense maneuvers in the battle naturally made him exhausted.
While breathing heavily, with Tatsumi’s shoulders going up and down, Calcedonia touched his shoulder and used her <Stamina Restoration> magic to temporarily restore his stamina.
“…Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. With this, I can still go for a while.”
With a deep breath, Tatsumi disappeared. And, when he appeared from the rear of the giant snow lizard, he swung his mana-clad sword.
However, Calcedonia understood.
Her magic was said to be stamina restoration, but it had limits. As it was, Tatsumi’s stamina would slowly whittle away until it completely ran out.
Something had to be done. Calcedonia took her eyes off of Tatsumi and frantically thought.
In short, it would be best if this entire area had less snow. However, even a child would understand the difficulty of achieving that.
It would be impossible for her <Blaze> magic to melt the entire surrounding area’s snow, and, even Tatsumi using <Instant Transition> to remove this vast range of snow, would be difficult.
Tatsumi’s movement skill can only move things that he clearly recognises. Because of that, things like “this whole area of snow” is too unclear and can’t be transported.
“…At least, if only there were some kind of landmark…”
The previous time, when Tatsumi went to gather medicinal plants, he drew a circle on top of the snow that could be said to be a landmark. It would be great if she could do the same thing, but the snow was hard to stand on and drawing a circle around the whole area would take too much time.
“…Something… A magic that would be good, something that could draw a mark on top of the snow… M-Magic…?”
At that time, Calcedonia had a light bulb flash in her mind.
Calcedonia turned her head to look at Eru, who was beside her. And then, she talked about what she just thought of with her.
His sword arm was heavy.
Nevertheless, he mustered strength with pure willpower and continued swing his sword.
However, his sword attacks were only being repelled by the giant lizard’s tenacious scales.
Constantly breathing heavily, Tatsumi used <Instant Transition> to distance himself from the giant snow lizard.
The voice of the girl he loved reached the ear of Tatsumi, who was constantly breathing roughly.
When Tatsumi took a sideways glance, while being careful about the giant snow lizard, he could see that Calcedonia was frantically pointing to something.
—What…? What’s Calsey pointing to…?
Tatsumi, still clueless, saw a red glitter in the corner of his eye.
Unintentionally, Tatsumi followed the red light with his eyes. That gave birth to a huge opportunity as it seemed that the snow lizard was confused about the red light, for the beast was often looking around its surroundings.
The shine of the red light that Tatsumi saw was almost encompassing the entire area. Almost as if red paint was drawn on top of the snow.
“Master!! Landlady has drawn the landmark! The snow… Please transfer the snow at once!!”
For a second time, he could hear Calcedonia’s voice.
Because of that, Tatsumi completely understood.
—That’s right! The light was Eru’s illusion magic.
When he looked at Eru, her eyes were closed in worry and anxiety. Probably, to maintain the red light on this scale, she needed to concentrate her mind completely.
After tossing aside his sword, Tatsumi slammed his palms on the piled up snow at his feet.
From Tatsumi’s mouth, came a glass-shattering scream of fighting spirit.
The final remnants of his physical strength was used, and the snow within the drawn “landmark” was transferred in almost an instant.
A little ways off from Tatsumi’s party, a large amount of snow fell, and a number of trees were knocked down.
And the snow from the area that Tatsumi, his party, and the giant snow lizard have been around up until now, mostly disappeared. In some parts of the ground, a blackened earth was exposed.
With no snow on the ground, the surface became muddy, nevertheless, compared to the time when it was accumulated with snow, movement became much less restricted.
“……Miloulle!! I’ll entrust… the rest… to you…!!”
Tatsumi collapsed onto the muddy ground. And, as it was, he lied face-up, and, right after, he appeared to breathe heavily in pain.
In haste, Calcedonia rushed towards Tatsumi. Jadokh too; he ran with Calcedonia to Tatsumi.
The Eru who used a wide-range illusion magic leaned her shoulder against a nearby tree. Next to her, a small figure was touching her cheek in worry.
While looking at her comrades, Miloulle, who was entrusted with the back by Tatsumi, cast aside the spear in her hand and slowly approached the giant snow lizard.
“…If it’s like this, it’s not just Jadokh that wants to live up to his confidence!”
Her eyes gleamed with determination and conviction, and she shouted,
“I’ll do it! I’ll get revenge for my comrades!”
From Miloulle’s body, a blue light of magic poured out.
The light of magic surrounded Miloulle’s body, and the radiance continued to grow.
The blue light conspicuously shined, and it wasn’t Miloulle’s figure, it was instead an unusual-looking shadow
She had a body type on the short and stout side with a large head, and she was covered in slippery scales.
Long and narrow limbs stretched out from that plump body, and there was webbing in between her fingers.
Large, prominent eyes. Mouth and gills that flap open and shut. A giant fin that adorned the back.
From her wrists to her elbows, there were two other huge fins, whose pointed ends were as sharp as a blade and shined dangerously.
“……Uh, umm… Ha-Half-fishwoman (1) …?”
Calcedonia was helping Tatsumi when she saw that figure and such a fact was revealed.
Like that, it was Miloulle’s magic that only she could use.