「I’ll do something about the enemies pursuit. In addition, I have an idea that might be able to do something to the rare species.」
The moment Rei said that, everyone, including Elena, turned to look at Rei.
「……Hou~, what is it?」
「Before that. This is the same as revealing my secret skills. If I don’t use it here, we would be in danger, so I have no choice but to use it. But I have one condition.」
「You can say it.」
「I have a magic called 『Seed of Contract』. When I use it, I can set conditions. For example, in this case, if you break it and tell other people about it, the magic will activate and your body will burn up. I will use my secret skills if you accept this.」
The moment Rei said that, the top of Kuust’s magic spear appeared right next to his face.
「……You, do you not know when to stop pushing your luck? Are you, a commoner, trying to bind nobles like me and Elena with your magic? Know your place!」
As that angry voice echoed into the surroundings, Kuust’s blood thirst began to spread. However, Rei spoke as if it had never happened.
One word. With one word from Rei, Set swung down his forefoot and slammed Kuust’s magic spear into the ground.
Even though Kuust was confident in his strength, as expected, he couldn’t match the strength of a Griffon. Not to mention Set had equipped an item called Bracelet of Herculean Strength, amplifying his strength.
Because the magic spear he was holding in his hands was unceremoniously slammed into the ground, he gave a groan as his hands went numb.
Rei continued speaking while looking at Kuust coldly.
「If you absolutely don’t want to accept this condition, that’s fine. You can challenge the dungeon by yourself. I ride on Set and go back up.」
「Don’t joke around! In the first place, you’re an adventurer dispatched by Margrave Rowlocks to guard us! Do you think it’s fine to abandon the people you’re supposed to guard and flee!」
「Hmm, to despise someone so much until now, what now that the time has come. I guess it’s just your typical noble with an inflated ego and not the ability to match it.」
Just as Kuust was trying to reach out for his magic spear with his numb hands, the moment he touched the magic spear, he noticed that the blade of the Death Scythe was against his neck.
「What’s wrong? Aren’t you going to pick up your spear? Aren’t you proud of your spear?」
It was an explosive situation. Even though Elena was watching, if Kuust tried to do something, it was obvious that the blade at his neck would kill him. Because of that, Vel spoke up without making any careless movements.
「Rei, could you move that away from Kuust? Even though it’s Kuust, this is still going too far, I hope you won’t kill him.」
While smiling bitterly at Vel’s words, Rei moved the Death Scythe away from Kuust’s neck.
Seeing that, Elena turned to speak to Rei as Vel gave a sigh of relief.
「Seed of Contract, the one you mentioned. Is it absolutely necessary?」
「That’s right, because there will be many inconveniences for Set and me if my secret skills is leaked to other people. There are three choices I can give. The first is using the Seed of Contract, I will then use my secret skills to get us out of here. The second is if you refuse to use the Seed of Contract. I’m sorry, but in this case I will have to part with Elena-sama and the rest. The third option is a compromise, I won’t use my secret skills but we should be able to manage getting out of here. In this case, we will work together as much as possible but I will escape with Set if it becomes an emergency.」
「……Give me a little time. By the way, how long before the fire barrier disappears?」
「It will last another 10 minutes or so.」
「……Give me 5 minutes.」
Saying only that, Elena started to think as she closed her eyes.
While Rei was watching the situation, Vel called out from beside him.
「If you part with us as you said, do you know what will happen after Elena-sama dies in the remote territory of Margrave Rowlocks?」
「Ah. I guess I’ll get various members of the Nobles Faction trying to kill me.」
「Did you give those three choices knowing that?」
「In the first place, the expectations on me are too great for a D rank adventurer. If you are really looking for escorts, don’t demand that it be limited to D rank. You should have properly asked for A or B ranks. 」
「……There were various circumstances regarding that. Kuust……setting that aside, what do you think of our current situation Ara?」
Ara, who was holding the Power Axe in her hand, bluntly answered Vel’s question.
「As for me, I will just follow Elena-sama’s instructions. If Elena-sama decides to accept the 『Seed of Contract』 I will respect that. If she does not accept it, I will respect that. And……」
She turned to look at Rei while swinging the large Power Axe.
「If Elena-sama orders me to kill Rei-dono, I will only accept it.」
「……Tentatively, the axe is mine. Even if I told Ara she can use it, I’ve only lent it to her, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given ownership to her.」
「That’s right. This Power Axe is certainly Rei-dono’s property. But since I’ve borrowed it now, aren’t I free to use it as I wish?」
「Hmm, I see. So it’s like that. Certainly if you consider the logic……」
As Rei was about to speak further, Elena’s eyes opened.
「Rei, I want to ask. If you use your secret skills, are you certain that you can get us out of this predicament?」
「I cannot say for sure. But I guarantee it will become much easier than before.」
「……A compromise. I can’t have you use Seed of Contract here. If there is such a magic on me when I reach the Altar of Inheritance, I don’t know what kind of adverse effect it could have. Instead, if you can safely fulfill my purpose at the Altar of Inheritance, you can use the Seed of Contract before we leave the dungeon.」
Hearing Elena’s words, Rei thought in his mind.
(As for adverse effects occurring at the Altar of Inheritance, perhaps it will cause some reaction in Elena. In that case, it certainly is also a bad time to plant the Seed of Contract now. In that case……）
He glanced at Elena and the other three.
Guessing the meaning of that look, Elena spoke up again.
「I’m sorry but I can’t let you use that magic on the other three. This is because all three of them also have something they have to do at the Altar of Inheritance.」
「……So I just believe your words and use my secret skills, is it?」
「That is the case. However, if we can get out of here safely as you said, after completing what we need to do at the Altar of Inheritance, I swear by the name of family of Duke Kerebel that we will accept the Seed of Contract.」
「……Duke, you say.」
Muttering, he glanced at Kuust, who was scowling at Rei with threatening eyes. From that attitude, Rei honestly didn’t feel safe, even if the promise was made in a noble’s name.
Elena followed Rei’s line of sight and understood what he probably wanted to say. She spoke up again with a bitter smile.
「Okay then, I’ll promise under the name of the General Princess. Will you accept that?」
「……I understand. If it’s a promise under Elena-sama’s renowned title of the General Princess, I will believe it.」
「Umu~. Kuust, Vel, Ara. Do the three of you mind?」
To that question, Ara nodded without hesitation while Kuust and Vel nodded reluctantly.
「Well then, can you explain to us your secret skills? Also won’t the effect of the flame barrier end soon?」
「That is so. Set!」
Set gave a cry and came closer to Rei.
「The secret skills are in relation to Set. As you can see, Set looks like an ordinary Griffon. In fact, he is a kind of rare species and can do various things that other Griffon’s can’t do. For example……Set, use Fire Breath at the flame barrier.」
At Rei’s instruction, Set gave a loud cry, opened his beak and took a big breath……the next moment, he spat out an unmistakable fire breath that hit a few Water Monkeys that were watching Rei and the others from the other side of the wall of fire. Although it couldn’t kill them in a single hit because of the water covering their fur, it still seemed to hurt them quite a bit as they ran away from the flame barrier screaming.
Rei turned to Elena and the others, who were watching with stunned looks, and spoke again.
「As you can see, this is something an ordinary Griffon can’t do. There are several others, but what he will use this time is a cry that will slow the speed of all enemies who hear it.」
「……What? All the enemies, is it?」
「Yes. It can decrease it by about 10%. There are also some enemies who would be stunned due to the cry, but you shouldn’t expect it to happen here.」
Set took that as a compliment from Rei and came over to rub his head against him.
Rei scratched Set’s head while smiling like looking at a small child.
「For certain, a characteristic of the Water Monkeys is their nimbleness. If their speed can be slowed by 10% as Rei-dono said, it might not be difficult to get through this place?」
「Yes, I agree with Vel. Kuust?」
「……Hmph, do as you like.」
Kuust to Ara’s words with a snort. However, for an instant, he cursed at Rei with his eyes.
「Well then, we will try to break through here with Set’s ability. It is simple. Set will give a cry the moment the flame barrier disappears. We will break through the point where the enemies’ speed has slowed.」
(A cry it is. Well, because they probably wouldn’t believe it if I said it was King’s Awe, I should just tell them it’s a cry.)
「It is good to break through one point, will we head towards the same direction we were going to earlier?」
Elena nodded at Vel’s words.
「Any how, we are in the middle of searching for the stairs to the fifth floor. There won’t be any problems.」
While saying that, they turned their eyes to the flame barrier, which was gradually weakening.
「Well then, it won’t be long. Everyone, check your equipment. It might be physically straining but we will break through at once.」
At that instruction, everyone checked their weapons. There were no problems with Rei, Elena and Kuust’s weapons for now as they were all magic weapons. Because he used a bow, Vel was resupplied arrows for from the Misty and had no problems either. Lastly was Ara, who instead of holding a long sword like earlier, held the Power Axe with one hand.
After a few tense minutes……the flame barrier abruptly disappeared. The Water Monkeys didn’t miss the opportunity and attacked at the same time. And……
At Rei’s cue, Set used King’s Awe and gave a loud cry.
The moment they heard his cry, the movements of the Water Monkeys clearly dulled. Rei and Elena weren’t incompetent to miss this moment of opportunity.
「Let’s go, break through one point! Only intercept attacking enemies!」
Ara and Kuust ran at the front. Ara countered the slowed attackers with the Power Axe. True to it’s name, whether it hit their head or body, or even their arms or legs, the Power Axe would send them flying. The path that Ara had passed through was littered with the limbs, heads and internal organs which had been torn from the Water Monkeys. Beside her, Kuust swung his magic spear, accurately stabbing the bodies of the Water Monkeys. The magic spear had the ability to manipulate water and was able to deal with the water that covered their fur. To the Water Monkeys who used attacks like Water Ball, it was their natural enemy.
Many water balls were shot at them from behind. Even if King’s Awe was used, though it could slow the release of the water balls, the speed of the water balls were the same as before. As the middle guard, Vel and Elena intercepted them. Her sword extended and her sword turned into a whip, intercepting the water balls one by one, destroying them and scattering water onto the ground. The Water Monkeys who had shot the water balls had their movements dulled from Set’s King’s Awe and were shot by Vel’s arrows.
Rei and Set, who were in the rearguard, probably had the easiest time. Because the Water Monkeys had become scared and frightened by Set’s King’s Awe, none of them attacked carelessly due to their fear. Still, some of them moved their slowed bodies to attack Rei, who was running next to Set, there weren’t many though, just a few. The slowed enemies were cut down by Rei’s Death Scythe and died.
「Elena-sama, we seem to be leaving the forest!」
Ara shouted from the front. When the party turned to look in that direction, they could certainly see a break in the forest at the very end.
「Right, we will cut through at once! We will have the advantage once we leave the forest.」
At Elena’s instructions, they all quickly went through the forest……and found a Water Monkey about 2m tall, as if waiting for them.