Chapter 33 “Discrepancies”
”Do you have any idea what that creature is?”
Heidi asks me, holding a kukri in her hand.
I'm sorry, but all I know is that it's a UMA.
But there's something else that's been bugging me.
“I'm sorry, but no.
This is the first time I've seen such a creature.”
”I don't have any idea either.
If there is a precedent for such a creature, how can we not know about it?”
Heidi fell silent after saying that much.
I was thinking the same thing.
“I don't think it's a coincidence that they showed up at this time.”
”That monster came from the forest, didn't it?”
”Could it be the ruins?”
”Don't say it.
Let's finish it.”
More and more, we need to hear from those who have been to the ruins.
But I guess they are in the belly of the Mongolian in front of us…or should I say Death Worm, since it's long and we're not in Mongolia….
We'll have to go there and check it out.
The reason we were able to chat so long was because the Death Worm in front of us was putting out the fire by rubbing his body on the ground, which had been burned by my magic.
Is it weak against fire? I wondered if he was weak to fire, but from what I saw, it looked like his body was covered with some kind of oil and caught fire, rather than my magic.
Did it catch fire when it destroyed the house?
It doesn't matter either way.
Let's just see what works.
Take the explosion for starters.
After putting out the fire, the Death Worm turned its head toward me and seemed to be about to let out a roar of rage, but it was convenient that it turned its head this way.
I hit him in the nose with an .
I couldn't see what happened because of the smoke, but I guess it blew off at least the surface.
He didn't fall down, so I gave him one more shot….
Heidi warned me, but it was a moment too late.
I was hit by a Death Worm that came through the smoke and blew me away.
I – Heidi – shouted as quickly as I could, but I couldn't get to him in time and he was blown away by the monster's rushing attack.
I tried to run to him, but the monster in front of me would not allow me to do so.
This time, it lunged toward me.
I jumped to the side to avoid it and slashed at it with my kukri before it could get away.
There is a hard sound and the blade is bounced off.
I check the kukuri while keeping my distance.
The part I hit is slightly chipped.
…It is hard.
Its hardness is higher than iron.
It might be difficult to kill it with a blade or a blow.
Maybe I should aim at its mouth.
I touch the poison knife at my waist.
It is a poison that causes paralysis and sleep, but its effectiveness is questionable.
It is basically for use against humans, and since the equipment is designed to incapacitate them, it is honestly difficult to use against monsters.
The monster opens its mouth wide toward me.
I have a bad feeling about this, so I go into the shade of a relatively safe building nearby.
A yellow liquid spurts out from the monster's mouth.
A pungent smell hits my nose.
I cover my mouth and nose with the sleeve of my clothes and move away from the building.
The building covered with the liquid melts in the blink of an eye.
Cold sweat runs down my face as I look at the melted house.
Even a slight touch is fatal.
I look around and see villagers looking at me from a distance.
Some villagers were trying to pull the injured out of the collapsed building and evacuate them.
For their sake, I must somehow pull this guy away from the village….
Besides…there is a fire in the aftermath of the he used.
If he is safe, I will say something to him later, but first let's get his attention.
Aim at the head.
Release the magic that was about to be released.
I run and move.
The monster passes through the place where I was while gouging the ground.
As I run, I try to hit the ground with and make sand fly to take away its vision, but the monster runs into me without a care in the world.
It was fast.
In the blink of an eye, the distance closes in, and it catches up with me.
The monster opens its mouth right behind me.
I leap just before it bites me.
Jumping onto the monster's head, I run over its body.
I jump down and land before it twists around and shakes me off.
I make sure the monster turns its head toward me, and I run toward the outside of the village.
Okay, go after me.
I'll lead it to the forest.
If it's in a place where the trees are dense, it's going to be hard for that huge body to move.
I look back with a sense of discomfort.
The monster reversed and headed toward the center of the village.
Why? I invoke magic to get its attention.
This time, it's .
The fireball flies straight toward the monster.
Before it lands, the demon's head explodes.
A beat later, my magic hits the monster.
He was holding out his hand across the monster.
I lightly brushed dirt and grime off my body and looked at the results of the I had just released…
it didn't work.
Heidi was like ……
what the hell is that fellow doing in that place?
She was shooting magic from a little distance away.
As I'm wondering, Heidi is frantically pointing behind her?
What? What is she trying to say?
I don't know, but I'll ask her slowly after I kill the monster.
It's pretty hard, though.
I slammed two into it and it's not responding at all.
It looks like it's not just a monster, but a purely hard one.
Another nasty one has appeared.
How do I attack it?
For the time being, it seems difficult to break through with pure firepower, so let's change the strategy.
I run toward Death Worm.
Death Worm turns its head toward me and bends over a little.
This is it.
It's a motion to spit something out.
I wonder if it spits out flames or electric shocks.
Magic to prevent it.
＜Wind Shield III.>
The wind barrier that the High Elves used to use.
Yellow liquid came out of Death Worm's mouth.
What is that? Is it poison?
The poison was bounced off the wind shield and scattered around.
Most of it scattered around me, but some of it broke through my protection.
A few drops of it splashed onto my left shoulder.
What is this?
My shoulder is melting at a tremendous rate.
I hurriedly started repairing it.
It regenerated faster than the melting speed and became ineffective.
Oh no, this liquid.
It was only a few drops, but if it hadn't regenerated, it would have taken one of my arms.
When I get in close enough, I activate my magic.
I feed it a new technique.
The magic used by the devil…
The name is simply “Dry Death”, I guess.
The effect is to weather the object and turn it into sand.
However, the further away you are, the less effective it becomes.
That demon had a narrow range of effect at a long distance.
Maybe it was only that small because its head was empty, but in any case, the greater the distance, the less useful it becomes.
So, what should be done to maximize the effect?
You just have to touch it directly and feed it to it.
I entered its reach and struck it with magic on my fist.
My fist turned the armored outer skin it came into contact with into sand, and pierced into the soft flesh.
A yellow-green sticky liquid pours from the wound, and a high-pitched scream rises just above me.
This one got through.
At this rate, I should strip off its armor, weaken it, and eat it.
The outer skin of this thing is usable.
If I eat it and absorb it, I won't have to buy armor in the future.
Let's keep our distance for now.
I can't pull my arm out to get away from it.
The son of a bitch tightened his flesh around my arm.
Death Worm turns his head towards me.
This is bad.
I quickly cut off my arm and jump backwards.
Hiding my severed arm with my cloak, I keep my distance.
I look over to see the Death Worm spraying venom at the spot where I was.
It's spraying a lot on its own body, and its armor is melting away.
What are you doing? You're making yourself vulnerable.
It's time to attack, but I'm out of arms too.
I should keep my distance until he comes back.
”What are you doing!”
Heidi comes running at me.
What the hell are you yelling at me for?
“I've hurt him some.
If I keep pushing…”
”I'm not talking about that!”
Heidi grabs me by the chest.
Hey, hey, what are you mad about?
”Look around you!”
I looked around as I was told.
Fires were raging all over the village, and villagers were thrashing about in agony.
It's a catastrophe.
”The aftermath of the battle is causing more damage to the village.”
“We are the protectors of our people.
The safety of the people is more important than defeating the enemy…”
Ah, I see.
I see what she means.
I had never been aware of it before because I had never fought with such care for my surroundings.
Indeed, the fire was caused by the “flame storm” I used to remove the camouflage, and the villagers were affected by the toxic liquid where I had just attacked earlier.
”But if we don't take care of it here, what do you think the damage will be further spread?”
“Let's get it out of the village to keep it under control.
We'll lead it out of the village.”
Why do we have to go through all that trouble?
I'm not Fatima, but it doesn't matter how many people die here, does it?
It may be a problem in terms of lost tax revenue, but that's all.
They're the ones who threw rocks at you.
If you leave them alone, there will be more.
I don't actively want them to die, but I don't think I have the right to risk my life to help them.
Heidi looked down, as if she sensed something when I didn't say anything.
“As I thought….
You can't forgive everyone…”
Heidi looked up and her eyes were filled with tears.
What are you talking about?
“It's true that I was sad too when they didn't believe in me! But that doesn't mean we should just let them die! You're right, they may only be strangers, and they may only see the results! But…we are still the stewards of this land.
We have a duty to protect them.
I understand your feelings.
But can you hold it together and lend me your strength? I can't do it alone.”
Heidi's desperate pleas certainly reach my ears, but my emotions barely move.
I can tell that she is really trying to appeal for something.
However, I was a little saddened by the fact that I could only perceive it as a chat-level conversation.
Let me be clear.
I understand what she is saying.
I understand what she's saying…but I couldn't relate to it at all.
…Is this what I have lost?
What would I have done in my previous life? I ask myself.
At the very least, it might have tugged at some heartstrings.
Maybe I might have been so moved by it that I might have done something heroic.
It was not particularly regrettable when it was lost, but I guess I could try to shape it into something.
I doubt there's anything to be gained by doing this, but I did feel a little sad.
Let's trust it and move on this time.
We're going to drive him out of the village while limiting the damage to the village.”
Heidi looked surprised, then shed a few tears and said, “Thank you.”
You really are a fellow who cries easily, aren't you?
You used to cry alone in secret.
I'm going to do it.
So I'm going to give it my all.
Let's get rid of this caterpillar.
…I've been thinking about it a lot.
I'm a caterpillar too.
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