「……Phew. It’s a good thing it didn’t turn around.」
Brazos gave a sigh of relief as he watched the fight end in a moment.
He had been worries about Freon’s surprise attack from the air, as the aim had been to cut off its head. Still, she had slashed the Harpy from neck to chest, killing it instantly.
A single attack by Set’s claws had destroyed the Harpy’s head as easily as cracking raw eggs. The Harpy Rei had aimed for also had its head destroyed from the impact of the spear as it penetrated it.
Brazos gave a sigh of relief, as he aimed the spear in his hands towards the cave entrance. He looked carefully at the cave entrance.
After killing the Harpies, Freon immediately moved to a position not visible from the entrance. Set had flown back into the air after crushing the Harpies head with his claws.
「It seems we haven’t been noticed.」
They watched the cave entrance for about half a minute with bated breaths. After confirming that no other Harpies had come out, Rei gave a sigh of relief.
Freon signaled them with her hands to come over to the cave entrance.
「We should go.」
Rei and Brazos looked at each other before heading over to Freon’s location.
「Even so, the Harpy that you killed managed to get a short cry out……」
「Ah. My timing was a bit off. Do you think it would be heard inside?」
As it was a wasteland, they ran across the bare ground where not much grass grew. Rei asked in a low voice and Brazos shook his head.
「Because it heard some sounds from its companions, I think its cry was something like ‘What happened?’. That’s what it sounded like. If that was the case, because it was asking its companions, I don’t think it was heard inside the cave. ……But that’s if there were no Harpies inside the cave right after the entrance.」
「I hope so.」
As they talked, they arrived at the shadow of the cave. Freon greeted the two of them with a smile.
「How about that. I told you you could leave it to me. Was it a quick strike?」
「……Were you aiming for the head?」
「Ah!? It’s hard to strike the head, I was aiming for its neck from the beginning.」
As Freon yelled in a quiet voice, Rei stored the Harpies that Set and Freon had crushed and slashed into the Misty Ring to stop the smell of blood from spreading.
While the two of them continued their argument, he went to store the corpse of the Harpy that he had killed with a spear throw.
「The spear……I guess it’s no use.」
He looked around for the spear that that destroyed the Harpy’s head. However, it hadn’t fallen nearby and there was no sign of it piercing a tree or hitting the cave. Rei guessed that because of its speed after hitting the Harpy, it had kept on going somewhere, so he gave up the idea of retrieving it.
Anyhow, as he had said to Brazos, they were cheap spears that he had just taken from bandits. As for their quality, it was barely a usable item. A weapon shop or blacksmith with sharp eyes could easily tell that they were poor quality items.
Seeing Rei come back with a sigh, Freon asked since her argument with Brazos had finished. Seeing Brazos with a depressed expression nearby, it was obvious who had won the argument.
「No, nothing at all. I thought I might be able to recover the spear I threw at the Harpy, but it looks like that is impossible.」
Saying that, he shook his head as he saw Set come back down from the night sky.
「I see. Well, leaving that aside. ……We’ve cleared out the guards.」
Freon turned to look at the entrance to the cave.
Following that look, Rei gave a small nod. Next to Freon, Brazos seemed to have already recovered from his loss in the argument and carried his favourite Earthshaker Hammer with him. Beside Rei, Set landed, flapping his wings with barely a sound. He also looked towards the cave entrance with sharp eyes, ready to move into action at any time.
「……Okay, now it’s up to Rei. Blast your magic into the cave. As for the power level, I’ll leave it to you. But considering the collection of materials, try to avoid collapsing the cave as much as possible. Even if the rewards for the request are cheap, I still want to get something from the materials and magic stones.」
「Depending on the reward, the alcohol I can drink changes as well.」
At Brazos’ words, Freon gave a quiet retort before turning to Rei.
「Setting that aside the power of your magic, there’s the cave. Since we don’t know how big the inside of the cave is, we have to pray that we burn out all the Harpies.」
「……Hmm. Is it impossible to explore the inside of the cave?」
「Rei, you don’t have to listen to the words of this old drunk. Any how, I hope you can take out as many Harpies as you can.」
「Ahh, no problem. I will begin to prepare right away.」
Set gave a small cry and the two of them nodded at Rei’s words. Rei started to cast his magic.
『Fire, thy power is my strength. Burn my magic power according to my will and burn the enemy. Your power is to spread fire, hellfire. Rouse your heat with my magic power.』
At the same time as he cast the magic, 10 fireballs made from magic power appeared in front of the Death Scythe.
They were literally the same as Rei’s『Fireball』magic except 10 of them. Even though it was night, the cave surroundings lit up rapidly. At the same time, with the heat from the flames, the surrounding temperature grew along with the brightness.
「Hey-! Hey Rei-! Is this really okay!」
10 fireballs floated around Rei’s Death Scythe. Each one was the size of a human head and the floated as if swimming through the air.
TLN: The author clearly didn’t bother to think of a better name.
At the same time the magic was completed, the 10 fireballs flew through the sky towards the cave entrance. It looked as if the fireballs had their own will and wanted to enter into the cave……eventually, the brightness disappeared from the cave entrance and the rising heat was scattered by the night autumn wind.
「I don’t know how big the inside of the cave is, so some flames might come out from the entrance. We should move a bit further away.」
Freon and Brazos ran for the bushes……and the next moment.
An explosive sound shook their ears. It wasn’t just one or two, there were several. The fireballs that had flown into the cave had probably caused a chain of explosions.
He heard some confused screams from the Harpies that had been sleeping, but fortunately, there were no Harpies that left the cave entrance, where Rei was waiting with the Death Scythe.
……Well, that was at the entrance that Rei was waiting at.
At Freon’s warning from the bushes behind, Rei looked into the night sky. Beside him, Set looked into the sky as well.
In the night sky that was illuminated by the flames bursting out from the cave, the figure of Harpies with their birdlike wings could be seen. And what illuminated them was not just flames coming out from the cave entrance Rei was at. From Rei’s location, he could see light coming out from the other side of the cave.
「I see. This entrance may not be the only one into the cave.」
As he said that, the Harpies, who judged Rei to be the one who had killed their friends, dived towards him.
They were a lot more delicate and couldn’t compare to Set, but the tip of a Harpy’s claws were still sharp enough to pierce into enemies.……
Such an attack was useless as the Death Scythe was swung.
The blade, swung with magic power, cut through the body of the diving Harpy, slicing through in an instant. The Harpy’s body split into two parts, upper and lower as it hit the ground, sliding along and scattering blood and offal everywhere.
Behind Rei, Freon raised a shout as she ran through the body of a Harpy until the tip of her sword came out the other side.
Rei swung the Death Scythe to flick away the Harpy blood that was on the blade before looking up into the sky. There were still nearly 20 Harpies flying in the sky, watching for an opportunity to attack Rei and the others.
「……It looks like most of the Harpies were sleeping but there were some near the other entries.」
While carrying the Earthshaker Hammer on his shoulder, Brazos came up to Rei and quietly told him with a bitter look.
The blood and feather of Harpies seemed to be stuck to his hammer, quite obvious after the fight.
Set flapped his wings as he pounced towards the Harpies flying in the sky.
「There seems to be quite a lot.」
Brazos murmured as he watched Set. Set swung his claws and used his beak to attack, not giving the Harpies a chance to evade, killing a Harpy with a single strike from his claws.
「Even if you say that, we’re not outnumbered by a lot. No, if they stay in the sky, that makes it even easier.」
「I’m going to use a slightly bigger magic. I’ll be relying on you for defense for a while.」
At Rei’s words, they looked up into the sky that was illuminated by the fire burning inside the cave.
「……I see. Well, leave it to us.」
As veteran adventurers, they understood what Rei was planning with just those words.
With a smile, Rei increased his magic power output and spoke.
『Dancing flames, dance. Light up the surroundings with your magnificent dance, burn as you dance and captivate the people.』
Set heard the incantation and remembered what magic Rei was using. It was the magic Rei had used when they had left the Forest of Monsters.
There were differences between the forest and mountains, but it was quite coincidental that the situation resembled when they were escaping the Forest of Monsters.
Set saw that and gave a cry, momentarily frightening the Harpies before diving towards the ground in that gap. Rei set out the range of the magic and spoke the last keywords.
『Dance Fire Snake!』
At the same time he invoked his magic, nearly 100 human sized flames appeared. It was a lot less compared to when he had used it in the Forest of Monsters, but there were still five times more flames than there were Harpies. The flames produced by Rei swayed around as they danced and circled around the area he had set. And……
When the numerous flames appeared, it was impossible for the Harpies to avoid all of them. When a Harpy touched the flames……the fire spread to the whole body the next moment, burning them up in seconds.
「No wonder……I’ve been an adventurer for a long time, but I’ve only seen such intense fire magic a few times.」
「……Ah. To be honest, I underestimated Rei’s skills.」
Brazos and Freon murmured in surprise.
There were several dead Harpies around Freon, which they had just killed. Freon wasn’t too tired and kept her guard up as she watched the flock of Harpies burn up in the sky.
「But, it’s impossible to strip the materials, magic stones and proofs of subjugation when they are burned to this state.」
Brazos said that unintentionally as he saw the Harpies crumble when they hit the ground.
「There’s no helping it. If we had to have a straight up fight against the Harpies, it probably have become really troublesome. For instance, if the Harpies were frightened by Set and ran away or they built a nest somewhere else. Given that, it wasn’t a bad choice for Rei to gather them all up and use his magic to prevent them from escaping.」
「……Well, we shouldn’t get our priorities backwards, we did come here to clear out the Harpies.」
Holding the Death Scythe, Rei said that as he looked around for any abnormalities.
Despite just casting a magic that was big enough to wipe out nearly 20 Harpies and burn them to charcoal, Rei didn’t look tired at all.
「Even though he used such a powerful magic, it looks like he can still keep going.」
While looking at Rei, Freon muttered in amazement.