It was about two hours after they had finished breakfast and left when Rei muttered involuntarily.
He was sure as Set was watching the surroundings and had been giving cries every now and then.
「Rei-dono, what’s come?」
Asked that single line, Rei responded after looking at the trees around them.
「It could be the troop of Water Monkeys we fought yesterday. As far as Set can see, they’ve surrounded the area around us.……」
「Bus isn’t that what they did yesterday? I didn’t think that a group of monsters led by a rare species would use the same method after failing before.」
「Elena-sama, I think you’re overestimating monster rare species too much.」
Kuust responded at Elena’s doubtful question.
While watching the situation, Rei thought about it in his head while holding the handle of the Death Scythe to be ready if they were attacked by the troop of Water Monkeys.
(Certainly, what Kuust said isn’t wrong. However, that’s in the case where a rare species isn’t leading. Although I only saw it for a few seconds yesterday, that rare species was highly intelligent without a doubt. That means……)
「It could possibly be a trap, or something like that.」
「A trap? Monsters setting one up?」
Kuust turned to Rei, who was walking behind him, with a cranky look. However, Rei had already worked with him for several days and had gotten used to handling Kuust. Rei didn’t mind him and continued explaining to Elena.
「By taking the same action as they did yesterday, we can handle them……what if the purpose was to make us think that?」
「I see, it is to make us lower our guards. In that way they can make an unexpected move.」
「Yes. So if you consider that, it’s better to remain cautious. ……If they’re not hiding among the trees, we have plenty of ways to attack and restrain them. Because here is the monster’s turf, we can’t afford to let them take advantage of the terrain.」
「Hm? Are there any means of long range attacks other than magic?」
To Elena, who turned and looked at him interestingly, Rei took out a single spear from the Misty Ring.
It was just a spear, it wasn’t a magic item like the magic spear Kuust used. Nor was it a high quality weapon. It was really ordinary, the same as the spears the city guards used.
In fact, it was Rei’s share of the spoils from the defeated bandits during the rank up test.
「What are you going to do with that spear? Are you praising me sarcastically?」
「I didn’t intend to do that. Simply speaking……」
Answering Kuust, Rei propped the Death Scythe against a tree and turning to direction where he thought a Water Monkey was……hurled the spear at it!
Though the spear was thrown with just Rei’s physical strength, as expected of his inhuman strength, it wasn’t an ordinary spear throw. It disappeared from their sight, then after a few seconds, dogon~! A dull sound echoed into the surroundings.
「Uwa~, what was that speed. I mean, if you can do that, why bother using magic?」
Vel murmured in shock, but Rei shook his head in silence.
「For a start, this is basically throwing it away. Even though I have a decent number of spears left, I still don’t have a lot at hand. As it is a one off attack, I don’t know if I can even retrieve it. Using magic, which only consumes magic power, has a overwhelmingly better cost performance ratio. Any how, magic power will naturally recover.」
「Huh, I see. It’s like that.」
Vel gave a sigh of amazement at Rei’s words.
「And unlike magic, I can’t strengthen it with magic power. As a result, the attack ended up as you saw.」
Rei judged that the dull sound earlier was probably from hitting a tree trunk. Even if it had hit a Water Monkey, it probably wouldn’t have left a deep wound.
「Ah, I see. I roughly understand. It’s usability is certainly bad if you think about it.」
「Treat it as something that can be used occasionally. ……Now then, sorry for talking for so long. Let’s go back to looking for the stairs」
Vel nodded and they kept moving forward as they searched for the stairs to the fifth floor.
「However, it’s strange.」
Vel muttered as he tore the ivy that blocked their path with his dagger.
Ara asked while cutting tree branches that protruded out with her sword in the same manner.
「Look, isn’t it strange that it’s been two hours since we left last night’s camp, yet not a single monster has appeared? It would be different if it was an ordinary forest, but we’re in a dungeon.」
「Mm, was the Ogre that Rei defeated the boss of this area?」
「Idiot. Have you forgotten the events on the upper floors? For some reason, different types of monsters will cooperate in the dungeon.」
「……But then, what did that Ogre eat to live? It couldn’t have just eaten nuts in the forest.」
Ara’s point was unexpected. Surprise appeared on Vel’s face as his hand that was cutting the ivy stopped.
No one could answer Ara’s question. If you considered the monsters to be in a cooperative relationship, it couldn’t eat other monsters. Omnivorous monsters could eat plants, but what would a carnivorous monster like the Ogre eat?
「Well, thinking about it normally, there could be ordinary animals which aren’t monsters in the dungeon.」
「That is certainly a possibility.」
As Elena nodded in understanding, she took out her sword whip from her sheath. At the same time, Kuust readied his magic spear and Rei his Death Scythe in silence.
Set also gave a cry, wary of the surroundings. And……
All the Water Monkeys that had been hanging around the trees simultaneously attacked from all sides while giving a resounding cry into the surroundings.
「This, as I thought, this was caused by the attack from before!」
A Water Monkey that bared its fangs as it leaped through the air was cut down by the Death Scythe in a single strike. Cutting it in two, Rei hit another one on the head with handle at the same time, blowing it away. Rei’s eyes followed the Water Monkey for a moment as it hit the ground, scattering the contents in its head everywhere, before quickly turning around. The next moment, a Water Ball flew from the trees, passing the place his body had been a moment ago.
「Damn, they’re targeting me intensely!」
「It seems to be so. I guess its because of the spear Rei threw earlier……-!」
When Elena swung her sword whip, it extended into its whip form and drew a complext trajectory as it went towards the Water Monkeys, ripping several throats.
Nearby, Set jumped against the trees, blowing away Water Monkeys with his beak, forefeet and hind legs.
「You lowly monsters, know your place as my enemy!」
Kuust continuously thrust out his magic spear, piercing straight through the defensive layer of water covering the Water Monkeys fur without the water being able to display its defensive properties.
「Persistent from yesterday, aren’t you! Ara, go!」
「I understand. I won’t let you interfere with Elena-sama!」
Although the arrows that Vel shot lost most of their power due to the water covering the Water Monkeys and didn’t pierce them, the impact was enough to bring them to the ground. Ara then smashed their heads with a single strike, splitting the body apart as if the water wasn’t there……no, more like cutting through with brute force.
The battle was overwhelming placed in an advantageous position by Rei. The Water Monkeys that leaped forward were slain, spraying their blood into the surroundings. However, 20 minutes, then 30 minutes later, this war of attrition turned it into a different story. Aside from Rei, who has an inhuman physical ability, though they were skilled knights, the other 4 were only ordinary people. As they continued to fight with all their strength for 30 minutes, not missing a moment, as expected, they reached their physical limits. No matter how skilled they were, they were still individuals. There weren’t enough people to the extent that they could fight off a force so numerous.
「Haah! ……Eh? Kyaa~!」
Ara was the first to have her movements dull. Kuust and Elena used a magic spear and sword whip which had a longer reach. Compared to Vel, who was using the ranged bow, Ara had to directly approach the enemy and swing down with her sword, which consumed her physical strength much faster than the others. At the same time, in order to break through the Water Monkeys’ defenses, she had to constantly use her great strength.
The sword that was swung down was blocked by the water and the Water Monkey hit back in revenge only to have Kuust stab his magic spear into it. Kicking against the ground with great force, Kuust had thrust out his spear from the side. The magic spear pierced through the water covering the fur effortlessly, killing the Water Monkey.
「Haa, haa, thank you, Kuust.」
「No worries, just hold on a little longer! Even with monsters, their number isn’t infinite. They should be stopping soon!」
「I, I understand……ha!」
The attack that was filled with fighting spirit forcefully cleaved the water covering the fur of the Water Monkey left and right.
However, the attack was too forceful. Hitting the bones of the Water Monkey, Ara’s sword splendidly broke mid blade.
Not overlooking this chance, the Water Monkeys attacked again. Though they had intensively attack Rei at the beginning, they attacked Ara as if they had forgotten about him……
The Flying Slash, Rei’s Death Scythe’s skill, cut down several Water Monkeys.
Glaring at Rei hatefully, there was still a Water Monkey that tried to attack the still weaponless Ara. However, there was a figure who moved faster.
「I won’t let you get to my teammates!」
Elena’s sword whip in its whip form drew a complex path as if dancing, after the blades passed through, several Water Monkeys fell to the ground with their throats torn, bleeding out.
Glancing aside, Rei took out the long sword that he had taken from the rank D party, Claws of the Hawk, out of the Misty Ring and threw it.
The sword thrown with Rei’s strength pierced the face of the Water Monkey that was trying to attack Ara, stopping it.
「Ara, it’s a cheap sword but it’s better than a broken one. Use it!」
「Sorry about this, Rei-dono!」
She quickly pulled out the sword from head of the dead Water Monkey that had collapsed on the ground.
Although some Water Monkeys tried to attack in that gap, they were interrupted by Vel’s arrows and Ara was able to safely regain her posture.
3 Water Monkeys attacked along with 2 Water Balls. Twisting his body to avoid the first Water Ball, Rei cut the the Water Ball along with the head of a Water Monkey with the blade of the Death Scythe. The Water Monkey fell with the Water Ball, splashing blood onto the ground. Moving as if not feeling the weight, actually Rei didn’t feel most of the Death Scythe’s weight, he swung the blade back. The body of the Water Monkey that attacked him from behind was split into top and bottom.
As the Death Scythe could conduct magic power, not just the blade, even the handle became an extremely vicious weapon.
The Water Monkey that had it’s throat stabbed through by the handle instantly lost its life as it raised a scream. It was literally skewered……
With a single swing of the Death Scythe, the corpse hit another Water Monkey which had seen a gap and tried to strike Elena. Both were blown away.
「Sorry, Rei! Fuu~……」
Elena was finally able to breathe after Rei’s attack and fixed her breath.
(Is Elena already out of breath? Well, we’ve been continuously fighting without a break for almost an hour, so that is to be expected. If you think about it, Elena should be praised considering her breathing is only slightly rough)
The Water Monkeys attacked him once again. Rei glanced around for a moment as he tore through its water covered torso.
Ara was close to the limits of her physical strength, she was in a state where out of breath, she used her mental strength to keep her sword swinging. Kuust, who was swinging his spear next to her, was also beginning to run out of breath. Even Vel, who was shooting arrows from behind the 2, was showing obvious signs of consuming up his physical strength.
There was still room to spare in terms of physical fitness for Rei and Set. However, Elena and the others were only barely holding on in the war of attrition against the Water Monkeys.