Chapter 203: The Sacrificial Maiden
Too many black wires wrapped around that huge crimson body to count. But to the monster, restraints of that level might as well not exist. There was no way that mere humans could stop it.
As the monster broke the wires, Kurono called out his partner’s name. There was no answer; instead, countless bullets of white light came.
As Lily’s attack hit the WrathPun, there was an intense explosion large enough that Kurono was caught in it. Where those bullets hit, the impact on that red flesh was considerable.
The defensive strength of the WrathPun’s steel body was too great, and the damage was almost zero, but the WrathPun stopped for a moment from the shock. Kurono and Lily working together had only now managed to interfere with its actions.
But right now, just stopping the WrathPun for a moment was fine.
(Fiona, do it!)
As if she count hear what Kurono was thinking…
「تجميد المجمد رمي الرمح الجليد عصا حادة――」
Fiona’s chant finished at the perfect time.
Fiona was serious here, and while that was intermediate-level ice attack magic, it definitely had the power of a high-level spell.
As she waved her beloved staff “Ainz Bloom” a lance of ice that could freeze everything it touched came forth. Its aim was, of course, the WrathPun that Kurono’s “Shadow Wire Anchor Hand” and Lily’s bombardment had stopped momentarily.
Fiona would not have missed a human-sized enemy, and there was no way she would miss a 10-meter tall monster. The lance of ice headed towards the crimson-eared giant with perfect aim, and at the moment it arrived, the jewel in the WrathPun’s right hand flashed brilliantly.
An explosion from the collision of the lance’s cold and the WrathPun’s heat assaulted Kurono, who was only a few meters away.
The area was filled with fog for a moment, and as it cleared, the large red figure of the WrathPun was still standing there.
“Shit, that doesn’t work either…?”
Distracted by the storm, Kurono finally failed to dodge that hammer-like fist. It was a serious hit, and he was sent flying backwards. He felt wind behind him, and flew through branches and leaves, until…
Somehow he stayed conscious. He’d hit a large tree with incredible force. A normal human’s spine would have been shattered. Because of his toughened body, Kurono was able to get up again, but he’d taken significant damage.
His vision was fuzzy and his feet were unsteady, but he felt like he could still manage somehow. More than his stamina, the problem was the current state of the battle.
“Is there nothing we can do…?”
The WrathPun is as tough as metal, so we switched to Plan B.
If my blade couldn’t do any damage, then the only choice was to use a different type of attack.
Fiona, who could use every type of magic except for “light” and “dark” magic, was the closest to being an “Element Master”. If the WrathPun was resistant to heat, physical attacks, and light magic, then we just had to use a different type of attack.
To stop the enemy’s movement, it took me in the vanguard and Lily as support: two people working together just to create a chance to attack. But the ice lance, using the element that the WrathPun was most likely to be vulnerable to, was completely ineffective. The original plan had failed. This Rank 5 monster was just too strong!
“Shit, what else can we do here?”
Quickly drinking a recovery potion, I felt strength returning to my legs. Without me at the front, Lily and Fiona would be in danger. I had to go.
From what I saw of the WrathPun, it wouldn’t let us run away, either. It would probably continue to chase us even if we made it to a village. We had to stop it here, but we didn’t have a method to actually defeat it.
We would just have to figure out a way to defeat it while fighting. My strength hadn’t given out yet. We still had mana. There must be some way to bring it down.
Desperately trying to think of a plan, I returned to the battle.
The WrathPun was chasing after Lily like a child chasing a butterfly. Even if the bullets didn’t hit, it would have to at least focus on dodging….or not?! It was completely ignoring me!
No, it wasn’t even really looking at Lily.
“What bad luck!”
Apparently it was sensing its enemies by instinct somehow.
It wasn’t facing me, it wasn’t catching Lily, Fiona was some distance away but not moving…no mistake, it just chose her as its new target. Without me being close enough to use “Shadow Wire Anchor Hand” and Lily’s supporting fire, we couldn’t stop the WrathPun’s movement.
But there was no way I could make it from this distance!
The WrathPun and Fiona moved at the same time.
Despite seeming to fit the stereotype of a magician that couldn’t do anything without a warrior to protect them, she had actually operated by herself until she joined Element Master. To escape, she activated the speed-boosting ability 『Gallop: Air Walker』 like a skilled swordsman would.
But in this case, her opponent was too fast to escape from with that.
Lily and I desperately attacked the WrathPun with bullets and lasers, but it moved towards Fiona so fast that its huge frame was a blur.
Against the WrathPun’s fist that could crater the earth, Fiona’s slender arm raised her staff, and her defensive magic activated just before it hit her. It was the the strong rock barrier that had easily restrained the Minotaur zombie, but even that couldn’t withstand the WrathPun’s attack.
Fiona’s body flew backwards together with fragments of the rock barrier.
She had been launched in my direction. Could I catch her?
I sprinted with all my strength. “Come on!”
I intercepted her in midair to offset some of her momentum, and ended up hugging her when we collided. She would have crashed into a tree like I did if I hadn’t caught her.
“Are you OK?”
“Mm, I’m OK.”
“Here we go! Lily will be in danger if we’re too slow.”
I can see the WrathPun once again targeting Lily, who was hitting it in the back with lasers.
Lily can fly, so it won’t be able to catch her easily, but she must be reaching the limit of how long she can maintain her adult form.
Child-form Lily can’t fly, and would be quickly caught if she was alone.
As I started to charge back into the battle, Fiona grabbed my worn-out robe to stop me.
“I thought of a way to defeat it.” She had the same indifferent tone in which she usually used to say things like, “I’m hungry.”
There was no way Fiona would be lying.
“What should we do?”
“Please cut me.”
I didn’t understand at all.
I seriously didn’t understand.
I’d enjoyed her occasional airheaded declarations, but this wasn’t funny.
“What do you mean?”
She didn’t immediately reply; instead,
「صخرة على نطاق واسع لمنع الجدار――『Rock Defense: Terra Wold Fan』」
A large rock wall appeared that hid us.
“Just as it sounds, please cut me with your hatchet.”
Right there, in front of me, she threw off her trademark black witch’s robe. She was too fast for me to even be able to stop her.
In the middle of a life-and-death fight, I suddenly saw a girl’s soft white skin. Fiona was scarily beautiful in her underwear. The situation didn’t feal real.
All I could think was, “Do all witches have black underwear to go with their black robes?”
“Then evolution should happen.”
I finally understood what she meant.
“You think my 『HaraRetsu』 will evolve from your blood…is that it?”
As it is now, my cursed “HaraRestu” can’t cut through that WrathPun’s fur and skin. But if it evolves once more and its strength increases, I might be able to able to break through that defense.
“Take it easy on me so I just barely survive.”
That’s not the problem.
“No, in the first place, will it really evolve?”
It did seem close in that fight at Alsace. But it’s tasted the blood of a fair number of monsters, and it hasn’t evolved from that. So is it really going to evolve from the blood of one person?
“Didn’t you know? Maidens are the most valuable sacrifices.”
“And I have a lot of magic power too.”
Fiona was seriously saying this.
My right hand holding the hatchet was getting so sweaty that I felt like I’d drop it.
“Are you serious, Fiona?”
“Yes, I offer my body to Kurono.”
I would really rather have heard those words in a different situation.
“It’s the only way to defeat that, hurry…”
Fiona turned her defenseless white back towards me.
Her perfect, soft, fair skin, me, damage it with my own hands? I was seriously against this.
After so many battles, my mental resistance to cutting a human enemy was long-gone, but this…? My heart was beating hard, and I felt like I was about to do something taboo.
And yet, in this situation, hesitation would not be forgiven. On the other side of that wall, Lily was fighting by herself. Fiona had the resolve to sacrifice her own body for this.
So I had to do it. After all, I was supposed to be the leader of Element Master.
“Sorry, Fiona. And thank you.”
And so, I swung my hatchet.