Chapter 32 – Forest Mayhem
Starting with the breaking of the jar containing the『Blood Maple』, the situation changed suddenly.
It was a dangerous honey which ceaselessly lures in, each and every type of demon.
It wasn’t even needed to predict, what would happen if one jar containing this highly concentrated honey broke into pieces.
Currently we were running at full speed to get out the forest as soon as possible.
『Leaving from that place』would be a half-assed useless idea, according to Suura-san.
As for the reason, it was scent of『Blood Maple』.
The scent of this honey was so strong, that even if it was put in jar or pot, the scent would leak out of it, that so really easily.
According to Suura-san, normally they would have left the honey, as it would act as a diversion and our safety would increase, but this time these are all smuggling products, so they are needed to be taken back as evidence.
Therefore, the ones that weren’t broken have been packed into carriages of the guards.
The carriage in which the whole honey has been spilled, had strong scent ingrained into it, so let alone the forest, it would be dangerous everywhere, and so we left that carriage behind.
The final blow was that everyone present at that scene had somewhat scent of it stuck to their bodies.
The so-called『lingering scent』. That alone was enough to lure in monsters.
And so currently, we were attempting to run at full speed – at the maximum speed that the carriage could bear/cope with – while intercepting the demons which were attracted by the scent.
The members of squad led by Suura-san too were fighting all-together.
Surrounding the carriage, and with magicians on top of carriage, they were defending it from the demons and were helping the advance of the carriage.
Of course, Elk, Zari, those two delinquents and I, too, were in the frontlines.
If we didn’t then the corpses would only increase, so there was no other choice.
Incidentally, my existence was something like that of an striker, I just needed to eliminate the demons interfering.
It wasn’t like I couldn’t launch long distance attacks, but this way was more of my speciality.
I left the long distance attacks to guards and Suura, and Zari who could use magic,
While raising a shout resembling to characters in old kung fu movies, I shot out a roundhouse kick towards the front.
With that one attack, I attacked three…four demons who were about to attack the carriage.
With that momentum, I swung my kick towards the rear and got rid of every moving obstacle in my kick’s range.
「Ah Minato-kun! I will do some cleaning over there, step aside a little bit!」
The moment my feet landed on ground, Zari said that to me from the roof of carriage.
I glanced from the edge of my eyes, I could see an orange magical power coiling around his hand.
I was in a quite bad place to avoid it with a side step, so I fixed my centre of gravity and step away from there while doing continuous backflips.
In the next instant, including the place I was standing before and the front of Zari, got covered with a sandstorm like magic.
He sweeped out the small demons like insects and all, because it was difficult to go in close-combats with them due to their small size.
The demons with big bodies were the only ones left.
I was dealing with them by directly assaulting them. Suura-san too was dealing with them with her bow and arrow and powerful magic.
The demons who would slip through our line of defense, were left to people riding in carriage or people fighting near the carriages. which was the position Elk was given.
Incidentally, Alva was in carriage because the situation was dangerous.
I told it with a great deal of efforts, and now it was obediently waiting for us. It really is smart.
Even so, the demons were too much……
The numbers couldn’t be compared to before the time the『maple』was spilled in that carriage. In 5-10 mins new flock of demons would come, so we had been fighting all time.
There were no casualties so far, but there had been injured people. All of them were guards.
We had been fighting in rotations, but the fatigue was piling up. At this rate, it wouldn’t be good.
I was having lot of stamina and magical power left, but this situation wasn’t something, I alone would be able to deal with. The thing called as defensive battle had always been a bother.
Furthermore, I was fighting bare-handedly, so compared to Zari who could use magic, the number of demons I could deal at once were lot less. Well for covering it, I was dealing with the big and troublesome opponents.
From that reason, if from here, the numbers of demons didn’t go down then the situation would only get worse without getting chance to improve.
So, the plan to leave the forest as fast as possible could be considered as the ideal one here.
「Suura-san, Zari, Elk, can you three hold on? Don’t you need some rest?」
「I’m fine. Fortunately, I have more magical power compared to normal people. Though, only half of the arrows are left……well, we will have to do something, right」
「I’m also fine. It’s true that I have gotten somewhat tired, but this isn’t the situation to complain for that much of tiredness」
「Keeping it aside, are you alright? You have been fighting since the beginning without taking any rest」
Well, I still had stamina and even my magical power quantity was more, so no problem.
Well, I had still some stamina left, as for my magical power there is a lot left.
And, me getting out right now for rest would……only be bad.
That was because, the situation currently was only made by me fighting without any rest.
Suura-san too knew about it, though faintly.
She said she was fine. but the guards……especially, the ones who were fighting by swinging swords and spears were showing the signs of fatigue reaching its limit. They all needed immediate rest.
Thinking about the fact, that the fatigue would only increase, so I would not leave from here.
Suura-san sent a gaze saying『Please』with an apologetic expression as though she understood the reason I wasn’t taking rest.
I don’t mind that in particular, but, the people taking rest in carriage are in more trouble right now, right?
The squad was divided in various teams, while one team was taking rest and getting healed by people who can use healing magic, all other teams would be fighting outside, and this was rotated after a fixed time.
However, even with that they wouldn’t be able to recover completely and not be able to able to fight for a long time.
In fact, currently too, the fatigue hadn’t been cleared out completely.
At this rate, the next might be fine but the rotation after that might give us some casualties or severely injured people.
In that case, the fighting spirit and morale would decrease and it would turn into a disaster.
More than anything, the fighting potential which had already decreased would decrease even more. That would be complete shit.
……Only if it came to that.
「Err, for some time starting from now, I will take take charge of vanguards in the front half, so let them all rest in that time」
from now on ,I will take charge if the vanguards in the front half, so let them all rest for some time.
「Wha……Whaatt!? Just what in the hell are you saying!?」
A second later, not only Suura-san but Elk and Zari, too, were sending a gaze right at my face that meant『What the hell are you saying!?』.
「Ah, I’m sorry, but I can only take front half and that is also my limit, so I will leave the demons coming from behind to someone else. And, for the small demons, I leave to you」
「No, will you……really be fine!? I have seen your strength from before, but taking them all alone will be……」
「Yes, I will be fine. Just……」
「……Fighting bare-handedly was getting tough, so I will be changing my fighting style」
More precisely, I take out a pole from the『storage belt』by wishing『come out』.
Do you remember? This was the one I used to coil『Naga』when taking it out. The black pole which could expand and retract at will.[AK: always reminds me of Rúyì Jīngū Bàng… for those who do not know what it is, it is the name of the staff of Sūn Wùkōng]
[ET: For those people who are much knowledgeable about it. What AK said is commonly known as Monkey King and its (don’t know if it really was male though it is called as King) staff is an expandable one. Quite convenient when putting clothes]
At that point, new flock of demons came, so I moved some more metres forward the guards fighting in the front.
Then, the point when demons reached to the head of pole, I mowed them down while making a line.
[ET: The raw have one character (一), that can be said as line so there you go]
Using that momentum, I raised the pole from down to above diagonally. In those two rounds, one-third of big demons were taken care of.
Then, I step back, 2 steps, and,
The bow expanded several metres, as though it were agreeing to my will. I used the centrifugal force and while making a semicircle in front with the pole, I blew away the demons.
Then, after killing the left one, two demons with my kicks, I faced Suura-san.
「……Well something like this」
「I-I see…… Try not to overdo it」
Suura got convinced with my current actions, and leaving some guards outside the carriage, she let all others rest in the respective carriages.
「……I will be accepting your offer for now, but tell me the moment it gets tough for you. Most likely, Minato-dono is the strongest person here. If you get injured, that will be more troublesome」
「Roger. Then, I will leave the dealing of small ones to you. Zari you too」
「Yes go it~. Ah, Elk-chan you should rest now. And wake those two who are sleeping soundly in the carriage, it is time for your rotation」
Elk was killing the bird demon which came flying when she heard Zari’s words.
Her movements seemed light, but her shoulders we moving because of breathing, and she was sweating a lot.
「Yeah, understood. I have gotten tired……and resting will really help」
「Hm, Good work Elk……don’t move!」
A bird demon assaulted Elk when she was about to go inside the carriage.
Immediately, I took out a different weapon in my free hand……and threw it towards that demon.
It flew cutting through the air and struck the glabella of bird demon. It was killed and fell down.
Elk was showing an expression of relief and fear just when the danger coming at her was killed. The demon fell near the carriage, Elk took out the thing I threw while still having that expression and then threw the corpse towards the brushwoods on the side of road.
Seeing that shining thing in Elk’s hand, Zari and Knights send a gaze towards it as though they had seen something strange.
Are they not in this world,『shuriken』I mean.
It was something like throwing knife, but because its surface was like a blade, it could be considered dangerous.
Elk was familiar with it because she had been training with me, but when she first saw it, she too was scared.
Incidentally, this thing was made from the same material as Elk’s armor, which was supported by Noel-neesan.
It was a throwing item, so including the fact it had a peculiar shape too, it costs quite a bit. Who cares about that, it is cool and easy to use too.
「Elk, you alright?」
「Yeah, you saved me. Thank you」
「I see. Ah, but take this, for just in case. Here catch」
I stopped Elk before she entered the carriage, and threw the vials of medicine by taking them out of backpack.
It was the so-called『Potion』. It was a drinking medicine which reduces the fatigue and recovers the magical power.
Elk told me to buy them because they’re useful……but it didn’t had any chance of coming out, so it was one of the items who would’ve passed their expiration date.
「Use that. It will help you recovering faster, right?」
「Really? What about you?」
「I am fine, and I probably won’t need it」
「I see……thanks. Don’t overdo it」
Confirming Elk getting inside the carriage, I, once again faced the flock of demons.
Well~ then, I said something like that in such a grandiose manner, so now, I have to work hard at any cost.
I once again took stance with pole in my right hand, adjusted its length and kicked off the ground.
Several minutes later.
「Suura-san how much more will it take? I’ve been fighting, so I’ve got no idea of distance……」
「Positionally we would be able to leave from this forest in a hour! Everyone, give it your all!」
The order of Suura-san was the answer to my question and the knights replied in high spirits.
After some time, I took on more demons, which helped most of the knights to recover and we were somehow able to maintain the frontlines.
Yea, it was worth the hard work.
And, Elk too returned to the frontlines some minutes ago.
「Even so, you used a weapon」
Elk was fighting the flying demons and almost dead demons while standing on top of carriage when she said those words to me. She seemed to have a lot composure due to the daily training
Though……I had composure to look towards her when answering, but still I talked by just speaking.
「I did know about that『shuriken』, but……your stick techniques too are good」
「Ah, that you mean. Well, I had briefly been taught by mom about ‘how to use various weapons’ during training」
I learnt not only stick techniques, but also sword, spear, whip and even tonfa.
Naturally, I had practised them all in fights when I was in the woodlands.
「Then why? Why don’t you fight using weapons though you’re strong when using them?」
「Huh? Did I not tell you?」
「Like I said, it’s the first time I see you using weapon. Is there some reason behind it?」
「Ah, Yea. Well, there is」
Well, I had dealt with one more flock of demons right now……so, I decided to tell her as it would help me take a breather.
The reason I fought empty-handed were divided in two.
- I was more specialized in fighting empty-handed, and my power too comes out.
My magic close combat fighting style was to fill up magical power in my body and hit. Really Simple. If it wasn’t this simple then I wouldn’t had been able to do it.
See, like I have said many times. Magic that would requiere me to control magical power outside my body would be catastrophic for me.
So inevitably, I use magical power inside my body and it will even increase my attack power. If I used weapons, it would increase my range but the power would be lower compared to hitting directly with punch.
[ET: Yay~ Saitama comes here]
Unlike the close combat in which I used my power, in fights with weapon the flow of battle would be influenced upon the strength and other things of the weapon. So I always used fists when fighting.
It would be somewhat better if the weapon had a mechanism for pouring magical power into it, but still fighting with fists would still be stronger.
In addition, controlling the power…… to put it simply, It is difficult to hold back when using weapons.
Empty-handedly I would be able to control the power, but when using weapons, it would sometimes increase too much and sometimes it would decrease even more.
Taking all that into consideration, using bare-hands, which I could control freely, was the better choice.
- As for the other reason.
It was to feel the sensation of hitting something with my body, fists, skin.
The sensation of demon’s body being dented, muscles tearing, bones smashing……and the feeling of demon’s life vanishing, those were the things that I wanted to feel.
Let me tell you beforehand that I have no interest in killing demons or anything indiscriminately. On the contrary, without a reason I have never thought of killing.
But, in this world that was impossible. The fights with demons were the sort of thing where words ‘either you die or I die’ worked.
That was something mom ingrained into my bones during training. I had mind of an adult (different from『mental age』), so I was aware of that.
[AK: Yeah here comes the law of the jungle]
And if necessary, I even would have to fight against humans.
In the fights of ‘kill or be killed’, where my life would be at stake.
[ET: The words for either you die or I die and this are both different. That’s why I have not written them the same, though they mean the same]
So I have beared it in my mind so as to『not forget』that.
I never forgotten the sensation of stealing the life of a single demon each time I attack with my fists.
Every time I punch, kick, the sensation that comes from my fists and legs told me to not forget this feeling.
Otherwise, I would lose every feeling related to fights except ignorance.
I didn’t want to become the guy who saw the demons as existences who would just give XP and materials, as though it were a video-game.
Well, in the end it turns out to be self-satisfaction only.
「……Isn’t it childish?」
「Isn’t it fine? After all, you’re still a child. ……But」
Elk took a deep breath,
「I think it’s splendid. That thinking too and executing your thoughts too. Though, it’s my personal opinion」
She praised me and heard my story. Thanks to that, I felt like I had gotten a little bit, only a little bit stronger. I too am the calculating type of person.
Suddenly I faced back towards the carriage and various sorts of stares from Suura-san, Zari and knights came to me.
There were stares filled with admiration, some were with respect, some which I didn’t understand, and last were the stares saying they had seen something strange.
……Among all these, there were also lukewarm stares looking at me and Elk mutually.
I take back my words back from before. I should’ve chosen place and time before talking.
Okay, now renewing the feelings, and let’s get ready for the next attack of demons……Hm?
「Ah, hey, Alva! Don’t come out, it’s dangerous!」
I saw Alva perching on the canopy of carriage……I didn’t knew it came out.
I told it to stay within the carriage obediently. Did it got hungry?
Now that I think about it, ever since giving it food during noon, I had been neglecting it. It sure had lot of appetite even while being a newborn.
Alva was staring at the knights who were standing in the rear of carriage while attacking demons with magic.
It was staring intently. Intently.
Ah, Alva? umm……
「That’s bad Alva. They are not your food, okay? You can’t eat them」
「Hungry, eh? Okay fine. I will catch something later for you to eat, so wait for the time being」
Hearing our conversation, the magician knights were slightly startled. Ah It would be fine. I will tell it thoroughly that eating humans is wrong, even if they can use magic.
After some time of lecturing, Alva seemed to have understood my words. Well then, now I have to take down some red lizards and magic bunnies……Oh?
「Then, let’s finish the scary talk here. A new group seems to make an appearance」
「So you knew it was a scary talk……Hey, what is that!?」
Elk looked towards the way which I was looking at, and raised her voice startled.
Continuing onwards, Suura-san and Zari too opened their eyes wide.
In front stood the insect type demons, having its body covered by a dark brown (almost black) shell.
Its appearance was like a mixture of praying mantis, tiger beetle and G life-form which usually could be found in kitchens. In simple words, it looked truly fiendish with its size that was about two to three metres long.
There were 4 in total. They were intimidating while raising their forefoot.
「……『Devil Roach』, now something bad came out!」
「Is its name『Devil Roach』?」
「Yeah. It’s the race that can be considered as the strongest in this『Crimson Forest』. Normally, they wouldn’t come out in shallow areas of forest like here, but……」
「This too might be the effect of the landslide. This is really the worst scenario」
Zari added in help there.
From what I heard, they are rank C demons. So the same rank as strongest demons of Naga, the『little beast』s.
And there were 5 of them……as you can see.
Furthermore, it had the name『roach』, meant it was classified as bug.
Though, Suura-san took a great shock but she didn’t show any hesitation in taking actions.
She raised her voice so that it could even be heard by knights sleeping within the carriages.
「Everyone listen! Even the ones who are sleeping! From now (Snap!!) we will leave the minimum members here and rest all will (Snap!!) will go out and start (Snaaapp!!) the subjugation of devil roa-(Breeeeaaaakkk!!!!)-ch……or so I had thought, but there is no need for that, that’s why keep on resting」
I took care of all 4 while Suura-san was giving out her speech.
No, well, I couldn’t let knights fight against something dangerous. They all were politely intimidating that it seemed like I would be able to take care of them quickly.
With one-hit-one-kill, I mowed them all them.
After throwing the corpses of cockroach monster x4 so that it wouldn’t become hindrance for carriages, I suddenly looked behind only to find Suura san doing a facepalm and others looking in mute amazement.
Oi, everyone don’t daze out and fight? Do you want to die?
「No, well……you were this sort of guy after all」
「Eh, Elk you too? I thought you will understand me」
「About what? Your monstrous conditions?」
「……Well, I have no complaints because there was no injuries. Thank you Minato-dono」
「Minato-kun we can really rely on you, seriously~」
Suura-san with a stiff smile and Zari along with his dry laughter said those words.
Hmph, you can keep on that. I’m a monster for you all.
[ET: Minato says in a tone as though saying ‘like you all will understand my feelings’. Well something like that]
But these guys were living in this forest too. Nostalgic, huh.
「? Were they living in those『woodlands』too?」
「Yes. But they were the bottom in the food chain」
They lived in caves, and only had large numbers.
Well, I had seen them getting eaten by other strong demons as food.
「……Bottom……the strongest rank c monsters of『Crimson Forest』are……at bottom……」
Setting aside Elk who was making a distant look,
「Umm, Suura-san, can you take back the order from before?」
「hm? What do you mean?」
No, I meant that take out everyone and tell them to keep their guard up.
Because, It is soon going to turn into a situation where that will be needed.
「? What do you mean? The devil roaches all have been eliminated……do you mean reinforcements!?」
「Yes, and that too……seems freakishly more dangerous compared to big c**kroaches」
……I have been hearing it from before.
The sound of super-extra-large wings fluttering and it was giving me dangerous feeling.
The volume had already increased to the level that even Suura-san and others could hear.
it was getting louder and louder. No doubt about it, it was the sound of an insect’s wings.
And, on the faces of everyone near the carriage impatience and confusion appeared……the next second,
Along with the sound of over-sized wings『Buuuuuuunnnn!!』, a green colored shadow landed in front us.