The term used to count Icebirds, from what he had heard was a pack.
However, because it was a bird monster, it made more sense to him to call them a flock.
Rei and Set left directly from the guild’s training ground. Kenny saw them off before looking at Baslero, who was next to her.
「Well then, instead of staying here, why don’t we head back into the guild? If you don’t wipe away your sweat, you’ll catch a cold.」
Baslero heard Kenny’s words, but continued to look at the direction Rei had flown towards with heated eyes.
「Hey, if you just stay here, you’re going to catch a cold. Kid, just stay quiet and listen to this onee-san!」
Kenny pulled Baslero away scoldingly.
Even if she did have a preference for younger guys, she didn’t have any such feelings towards the 10 year old Baslero as she dragged him back into the guild. Perhaps at this time, if she had looked into his eyes, she would have seen some sort of determination.
A few minutes away from Gilm. Rei, who was looking at the surroundings, identified a blue mass on the road leading to Gilm.
Icebirds were swarming around two of the three carriages there.
From a distance, the merchant escorts could be seen desperately resisting the Icebirds, but there were well over 50 of them. The average length of the Icebirds was about 1m and there weren’t enough escorts with the skills to defend against that many attacks. One of the carriages had already been completely destroyed and the adventurers defending it, horses pulling the carriage and any merchants inside devoured alive by the flock of Icebirds.
「Tch, if they’re stuck inside those carriages, I can’t use magic to just blast through them.」
Rei clicked his tongue as he held the Death Scythe in one hand.
He knew the Icebirds were vulnerable to fire magic, but he couldn’t just kill all the Icebirds while destroying the carriage he was supposed to help.
Even as he thought, the distance between Set and the Icebirds shrunk as he watched on.
「There’s no time to think about it. Set, I’m going to support the carriage on the right. I’ll leave the left one to you.」
Hearing Rei’s instructions, Set nodded and gave a cry as he dived towards a flock of Icebirds swarming a carriage on the ground.
Set gave a loud, high pitched cry to make known his presence.
Noticing Set, Some of the Icebirds attacking the carriage gave a high pitched cry, that sounded more like the cry of a monkey than a bird monster, in order to let them know of the threat.
「Ki, Kiki, Kii-!」
However, their friends were too late in noticing Set. ……No, rather, it would be correct to say that Set’s speed was too fast. By the time most of the flock noticed the existence of a high ranking monster, a Griffon, Set was already about to pass over the carriage as Rei jumped off at the same time.
While falling to the ground, one strike with the magic empowered Death Scythe struck a Icebird to the ground, slicing it in two without the least resistance.
「Shoes of Sleipnir, activate!」
Activating his magic item that would allow him to walk several steps in the air, he landed on a horse at the front of the carriage. And……
「Get out of my way! Flying Slash!」
With a cry, a slash flew out from the Death Scythe, slicing two Icebirds in half just like like the one before.
「Wha-!? W-Who is it!?」
One of the adventurers who was fighting to protect the carriage shouted unintentionally at Rei, who had suddenly appeared.
Four adventurers had been hired to escort this carriage. One held a spear and two held a sword. The only female among them held a bow. They all looked to be in their late teens to early twenties.
The man who had shouted at Rei was the spearman, who hadn’t been forced to fight at close quarters. The two men who were defending with swords were desperately struggling to keep the Icebirds from getting near the carriage. However, the Icebirds ability to manipulate ice, their sharp beak and claws covered in ice and ice arrows couldn’t be completely defended against.
「I’m Rei, an adventurer dispatched from the guild in Gilm!」
With those words, he made a big swing with the Death Scythe. The handle was more than 2m in length and the blade was over 1m in length. When it was swung out, it had a wide range of attack and with Rei’s strength and the Death Scythe’s weight, this weapon could be easily described as the weapon of the god of death.
Because of the magic power in it, anything that touched the blade would be cut apart without any exceptions. If hit by the handle, bones would be broken and their head snapped off their body.
That was the highlight. The four adventurers who were defending the carriage and the merchants hiding inside were stunned for a moment as if wondering if the scene before them was actually real. However, Rei shouted at them as if he couldn’t care less.
「Don’t get distracted! There are still enemies around! And tell your friends in the carriage over there that the Griffon is on their side!」
Normally, they would have never obediently followed an order from Rei, who in terms of age, would be best described as a child much younger than them. The merchants were people who had made thousands of negotiations and the adventurers escorting them had ample experience and skill. But by Rei’s attack, they were all overwhelmed at that moment and didn’t feel like arguing back at all.
That said, the adventurers who heard the word Griffon all had their cheeks twitch. A Griffon was an A rank monster. If it really was an ally, it would be a great source of strength, but if something happened and the Griffon attacked them……as an adventurer, they couldn’t help but think of that.
But still. The reality was that they couldn’t choose the way to be saved right now. Because of that, among the adventurers escorting this carriage, the spearman who Rei had just spoken to shouted out towards the carriage a short distance away in a loud voice.
「The Griffon is on our side! It seems to be a monster following the adventurer reinforcing us from Gilm. Don’t attack it!」
Either way, the loud shout to alert his friends carried all the way to the adventurers who were defending the other carriage
「Did you hear that? Reinforcements from Gilm!」
「But, for a Griffon to follow someone……ah, gaah, so persistent!」
While answering in a somewhat leisurely voice, she made a large swing with her halberd, cutting off the head of an Icebird that was about to attack with the tip of its beak.
「More than that, arrows, arrows! Cover me! My shield is already nearing its limits.」
A woman with a shield gave a scream like shout as she swung a sword in her right hand in order to restrain the Icebirds.
Unlike the carriage Rei had gone to rescue, the three adventurers in this carriage were all female. As an adventurer focusing more on defense than mobility, which was rare for an adventurer, the one who had just shouted for arrow cover was equipped with half-plate armour and wielded a sword and shield. The woman swinging the halberd wore a set of leather armour with metal fittings while the female archer desperately shot arrows to keep the Icebirds away. All of them were in their twenties and appeared to be in good shape.
Of the three, the woman with the halberd, who appeared to be the leader, tried to attack an Icebird that was approaching.
Along with the cry from the sky, something huge rapidly passed by the three of them, flinging aside several Icebirds that were about to attack with its giant wings.
「……Eh? That cry I heard just now……that, that was the cry of a Griffon!?」
Smacking the Icebird that had rushed towards her with her shield, she broke its neck with her metal reinforced boots the moment it fell to the ground. She shouted out unintentionally as she did that.
Crushing the neck of an Icebird, Set glanced towards the woman wielding the halberd for a moment before directing a sharp gaze towards the Icebirds to prevent them from getting close to the carriage.
「Ki, Kiki, Kikiki~!」
The low ranked monsters were unable to resist the pressure from a Griffon and circled around the carriage while making monkey like cries as they had done earlier.
「Eh? What? Does this mean……we’re saved……?」
The woman with the halberd muttered to herself.
Looking around, she saw about 20 Icebirds flying around the carriage they were in.
Even so, they were lucky to have the time to catch their breath even while surrounding by monsters.
「Fabel, Louise, can you still fight?」
「I-I can still go on. ……But, my shield is nearing its limit, so it won’t hold for long.」
The female adventurer called Fabel replied while looking at her favoured shield, which had blocked the attacks from the Icebirds time and time again.
Her body was almost completely covered in metal armour, so she barely had any injuries. However, she still had several lacerations on her cheeks and on her hand holding her sword.
「M-Me as well, I’m worried about the number of arrows I have left.」
The archer called Louise replied back in a somewhat carefree manner.
Unlike Fabel, who was in the vanguard, she didn’t have any injuries as she used her bow from the rear. However, her arms were already close to their limits due to the after effects of shooting several arrows in a row rapidly and were twitching slightly.
「E-Either way, don’t be careless. Use potions to treat your injuries.」
「But, Taenia-chan. Isn’t it safe as long as that kid is around?」
The female adventurer with the halberd called Taenia shook her head as she sprinkled some of the potion on cuts caused by ice arrows.
「I’m sure we’re safe for now, but I don’t know if they’ll come back. It would be best to take the minimum precautions against them. ……Do we have any potions left?」
Taenia replied to Louise as she spoke to several merchants who had hidden themselves inside the carriage so as to not to interfere with the battle.
The merchants nodded and hurriedly offered several potions…before freezing when they saw Set. However, they only stopped for a few seconds out of fear. They immediately saw that the Griffon was an ally because they saw the Necklace of Subservient Monster still on its neck. As merchants, they had had the opportunity to see various adventurers and at the same time they had heard about mages who could use summoning magic or tame monsters to follow them.
「……This is, a Griffon.」
「It’s the first time I’ve seen one.」
「Same for me.」
Taenia gave a wry smile as she saw the merchants fascinated by Set. Anyhow, a Griffon was an A rank monster. As an enemy, it was a great threat. But if it was protecting them, there was no ally that would be more reassuring.
「Now then, I wonder what happened to the carriage over there. As far as I saw, some jumped down from the Griffon……」
As she said that.
A huge flame tornado appeared from the carriage Taenia was looking at and nearly 10 Icebirds were burnt up in an instant.
Taenia murmured in shock as the flame tornado appeared. Even her two companions, the merchants hiding in the carriage and the Icebirds surrounding them were stunned.
However, the feelings they felt seeing the flames differed greatly. Taenia and her companions saw hope when the Icebirds were burned by the flames while the Icebirds were angry and terrified by the flames they hated that had just killed their allies.
If the magic had been used a little later, overwhelmed by the presence of Set, the Icebirds might have left. However, seeing their own killed by fire, which they hated, the Icebirds were driven into a state of rage and the option of running away disappeared completely from their minds.
However, they still understood instinctively that it was suicide to attack a Griffon. While making monkey like cries peculiar to Icebirds, they tried to attack the other carriage rather than the one Set was near.
The Icebird at the front was shot through its body by an arrow from a direction it wasn’t expecting.
From the distant Gilm ahead of them, a wagon was driving towards them from beyond the Icebirds surrounding them. And, when she saw a female adventurer drawing and shooting arrows one after another, Taenia gave a cry of joy.