This chapter had contributions from most of RtD. I don’t really know who exactly worked on what. None the less I hope you enjoy it.
Chapter 8 up soon.
7. The Tyranny Begins Once Again
Outline of the previous chapter:
Magic has become usable
–I’m already afraid of everything
The escaping balloon fox seemed somewhat faster than the Fire Fang that we chased yesterday.
Or perhaps I should say that this one is nimble
Along with it’s tiny physique, it is also flexible.We may win against a Fire Fang if we go for a direct approach. But if we are in the forest with lots of obstacles, we need tactics against this Balloon Fox.
That said, it makes little difference. It is not enough to escape from Gerbera.
“…it doth not join up with its allies”
After chasing it for a few minutes, Gerbera muttered to herself.
“maybe it’s a stray?”
While I’m being careful not to bite my tongue, I whispered to the beautiful face of Gerbera which was literally right in front of my eyes.
“Might very well be possible”
Closing the distance to my face to 3 centimeters, Gerbera replied in a whisper.
“If we were to chase it any further than this, it will be meaningless.”
“Yeah, it might be good soon. If there is another chance, will you trap it for me?”
“Understood…However, because I’m advancing through the bushes, it will be difficult to catch it with my spider thread and also because I’m carrying my lord, I can’t increase my speed….huh?”
Gerbera nodded to my request when suddenly she raised one of her eyebrows.
Her red eyes narrowed.
“That whelp! It’s a blunder. He has exited into a wide open area.”
Just as Gerbera said, I could see a clearing in the forest a few dozen meters ahead.
When I was exploring through the forest, occasionally I ran into places like these.
The wideness is roughly about 10 meters wide huh. Like an elliptical shape opened up gaping wide in the forest.
While, there’s a little undergrowth, with just a glimpse we can see that the ground is reddish-brown.
Perhaps,a forest fire happened recently.
During the one second spent thinking that, Gerbera and I reached the area.
At the same moment Gerbera exited the forest,the Balloon Fox entered the bushes
“I won’t let you escape!”
Despite having the handicap of carrying me along, Gerbera nimbly jumped into the clearing without having so much as a single splinter touch me.
And that was what triggered the danger.
….Let’s talk about one of the assumptions here.
In order to improve the efficiency of the monster encounters, we moved along the line of “Attack groups”. This was our method.
If I was talking about this to someone else, what would happen?
If I were to tell Lily, she would definitely come here worried.
If I were to tell Rose, I would definitely be completely opposed and will not come here in the first place.
And if I were to consult with Kato, she will definitely have noticed the trap that I’m unable to detect.
That way, at the very least we could’ve avoided the disaster that now follows.
For me falling down dangerously into a trap, I have personally recognized it.
I previously had considered this scenario…
――If it’s normal monsters, they are not worthy opponents for Gerbera. If they were rare monsters and above, they are within my ability. In any case, if there is a threat, it will only be the high monsters and they are not likely to be encountered…..
This is not wrong.
However, I had forgotten to consider one factor into my calculations.
I’m getting carried. I believe that’s a fatal element.
This itself is the greatest weakness of my cheat ability. I intended to be fully aware of this.
However, I was still being naive.
It does not mean that I had forgotten but my consideration was insufficient. My thinking is insufficient.
… No. I do not have the time to just think.
I need to resolve the ill feelings between Gerbera and Rose.
My unfulfilled promise with Kato.
In addition to the various other things I understood and didn’t understand
There are countless things I can’t afford to not think about which cannot be resolved in the span of a single day.
Because of this it was inevitable for some things to be overlooked.
The fact that last night I didn’t notice the dismembered corpse at all until Kato pointed it out to me may be one example of this.
I’ve concluded that for me right now it’s unthinkable to exceed Gerbera in combat ability.
Although I wasn’t mistaken in this, having stopped thinking at that point was a mistake.
Certainly the white Arachne boasts an overwhelming power.
No matter what monster from this forest, attacking and winning with a frontal attack would be difficult.
But, one mustn’t think ‘whatever happens it’ll be alright’.
After all, she’s only one person.
Although it’s obvious, us humans can only hold onto what we can carry with our 2 arms, and can only support what our 2 legs can hold upright.
In Gerbera’s case it may be 8 legs, but the fact remains that there’s a limit to what one can do.
It’s common to say ‘there’s a limit to what a single person can do’.
I opened my eyes wide.
The Balloon Fox that we were chasing ran into the underbrush. Suddenly, a different one which was already greatly inflated appeared from there.
The number of them which had surrounded as after we arrived in the middle of the clearing easily numbered over 30.
And then I realized it.
What I really should be mindful of is not encountering powerful monsters, but instead encountering an amount of monsters that Gerbera can’t all hold back on her own.
At this moment, the relationship between the hunter and the hunted was reversed.
By the time I regretted my own thoughtlessness, the trigger was already pulled.
Over a hundred fireballs came flooding towards us.
It was like a surging wall of flames heading towards us.
It came from 360 degrees around us with no place left to run.
In contrast to the red flames, I felt surrounded by the darkness of despair.
There’s no way to phrase it other than to say we were careless.
Although the monsters don’t have the emotions or the will of a human, they possess a keen intellect on the level of an animal.
Back on earth, hunting in a pack was a common tactic of wolves, lions, hyenas etcetera.
It’s not strange then that the monsters would use a similar method.
The clearing in this forest then was nothing but an execution ground for we who were lured here.
….it’s already hopeless.
I really believed that so strongly I already started to see my life flash before my eyes.
But, at that moment.
Gerbera who was still carrying me let out a yell full of fighting spirit.
“As if I shall let thee!”
Gerbera waved her hand and brandished a bunch of spider threads like a whip.
Almost unconsciously my line of sight followed where Gerbera’s hand swung.
I looked over and there was an approaching fireball.
The spider webs which cracked like a whip, danced and crashed into some of the fireballs which had come flying.
I remembered the destruction of the trees from the explosion of the fireball used by the Balloon Fox just a little ago.
When the Balloon Fox’s fireball strikes something solid it explodes.
Not to mention when it hits a spider thread swung down with the full might of a High Monster.
–You should blow it up first if you can’t evade it.
This must have been Gerbera’s thoughts.
The fireballs hit by the spider thread explode in the air one after another.
It is an extremely violent decision and at the same time it was the only way to avoid them.
The explosion occurred only several meters away at most. It is better than than being caught up in the explosion directly and naturally the hot wind surges by.
Gerbera held me tightly to her chest using her body as a shield to protect me, but none the less the heat wave baked my skin without mercy.
The only thing I could do was close my eyes and endure.
My scream in the midst of the roar doesn’t even reach my own ears.
The moment of the wind blowing past felt like several minutes.
And like that the blast past through my skin.
Half passed out I barely heard Gerbera’s voice.
“It’s not over master!”
Faster than I could think–What?–the situation changed.
Before I could understand what was going on, I was surrounded by heat that flared up.
Some fireballs were burst with the spider string and Gerbera moved into the lower density area whilst carrying me.
The ground where a compressed fireball exploded was heated up and the air was still quite hot.
It is fortunate that Gerbera’s jumping power is so great that the rush and withdrawal were almost instant.
At almost the same time, a large explosion occurred from behind.
Opening my closed eyes I witness a rising red flame.
A great number of fireballs spat by the Balloon Foxes struck the ground where we just an instant ago and they exploded all at once.
If Gerbera’s decision had been even a moment slower we would have been in the middle of that explosion.
Perhaps I was only able to survive because of Gerbera.
But I who was with her could not get away with that.
It’s doubtful whether or not a corpse was needed to stop the pattern.
Even during the current withdrawal, I was suffering considerable burns to my face, hands and feet.
If I didn’t have the clothes made by Gerbera before we departed, maybe I would have died of shock from burns across my whole body.
Gerbera shouts out desperately as she jumps repeatedly.
She jumps and tries to escape from the pack of Balloon Foxes.
Gerbera had her body bent low for the third jump…However the claw on her spider leg stabbed into the ground causing her to rapidly break.
She could not help doing so.
“Impossible…It cannot be”
The groan as she spat blood wasn’t suitable for her.
When I caught sight of what left her at a loss for word I also became doubtful.
Innumerable huge lilies (TN: The actual flower) hung down from the trees and bloomed.
It was a monster I knew which looked like a vine.
Because the monster I hunted as a gift for Lily yesterday was this monster…it was a Gun Vine.
The Gun Vine is a parasitic monster that take nourishment from trees and aggressively attacks animals.
Gerbera was fleeing while carrying me with her and stumbled into a place filled with Gun Vines.
The reaction was fierce.
The weapon of the Gun Vine–the origin of it’s name, innumerable seed like bullets fired from the lily like flower.
I was only able to feel the first bullet that shot into the back of my left hand.
It’s already the aftershock.
“GAa, Ah! aA!”
I got hit on the shoulder, in the stomach and blood gushed out of my thigh.
Maybe it was fortunate that my body was half paralyzed a short while ago and I couldn’t properly feel the pain.
Aside from that it’s a terrible misfortune however.
No, maybe it’s more appropriate to say that this kind of『Luck is Bad』.
Because the reason why I think『I’m unlucky to come into a colony of Gun Vines during an escape』is that I misunderstand the problem.
No matter how bad my luck is this can’t be coincidence.
This is naturally included as part of the Balloon Foxes certain kill trap.
It was the result of Gerbera’s choice that the escape route lead to a colony of Gun Vines. It’s probably the direction which she had the highest probability of escaping–in other words she should have broken through where the Balloon Foxes enclosure was thinnest.
That trap was placed there.
It seems that the Balloon Foxes have teamed up with the Gun Vines.
Unlike the Monster A.I. in a RPG game, this worlds Monster don’t rush straightforwardly into combat.
Although, in this 『cooperation』I don’t know which party is the one being used.
Such is the nature.
In this deadly situation, I’m moments away from death, of that I am certain.
It is very likely, that for weak monsters like Balloon Foxes to survive in the forest they had formed groups.
I don’t know how many hits Gerbera received nor do I know how many she had taken for me.
She desperately tried to protect me from taking any fatal attack, such as to the head.
But it was futile.
The surroundings are filled with Gun Vines again.
A flock of Balloon Foxes are approaching from the rear.
I manage to endure the attack, and Gerbera is barely able to protect me in time.
It is praiseworthy that I am able to survive up until now, this fight is more than I could handle.
My consciousness begins to fade, I ready myself for death.
Once again Gerbera had regressed.
Possibly, to giving in to her rage…… this way of living is how she must have survived for all those years. And perhaps, that is how she came to be a High Monster.
Similar to the time Kato demolished her immature logic, she has lost all reason.
She had become that sort of Monster, with the same low level emotional intelligence of a wild animal. The Balloon Fox was unprepared for her devastating attack.
“Doeth not jest!”
Gerbera cries out as to repel the inevitable future, as if to hold my soul in place…… as it tries to leave my body.
As soon as she had the chance, she sheltered the fallen me with the spider form of her lower body.
I lied down on my back and looked towards the sky.
The reflected figure of the white arachne, High Monster, can be seen in my eyes.
For far too long she had been alone, and lonely.
She has always fought alone.
She is not used to protecting someone else while fighting.
Her true battle prowess is shown.
Now her fetter had been secured and she is free to do as she pleases.
Without missing a cue, Gerbera began her offensive assault. In a split second she has caught up to a Balloon Fox and the Gun Vine who were charging up for their next attack.
“Never again! Tis my fault! I’m about to allow my lord to perish!」
Now that both her hands are free, she is able to use the full potential of her spider thread. The thread is scattered all over the place.
Trees, Monster, even unrelated objects.
Because she didn’t aim, her accuracy is off, but she didn’t care.
It wasn’t necessary.
Her spider web indiscriminately clung to everything, except me, who was hidden beneath her.
The girl’s blood curdling scream causes the forest to shiver.
Gerbera’s eight legs fumbled at the ground.
Her claws pierced deeply into the ground, fixing Gerbera’s body into place.
And the terror of the white monster had arrived.
What Gerbera did is a simple feat, 『she merely used her spider thread』.
However, these simple acts of raw power are purely monstrous and only a true monster could perform them, is that not the case?
――it was as if she had become the center of the world, the scene was just that dramatic.
The eyes of all who are present focus on the white spider who is releasing a tremendous killing intent. A tree is yanked out of the ground and then many other trees are sent flying, a thunderous roaring collision of smashing trees can be heard. The Gun Vine that happen to be caught up in the crossfire was torn apart and flattened, while the Balloon Fox had dodged by rolling away.
Everything was gathered up by the spider-girl’s threads and rolled into a ball.
All that had been caught is bound together and crushed.
Each and every thing was hurled into the the air and collided together.
A shower of fragmented wreckage rained down from the sky like snowflakes.
Nothing remained. Its original form had dispersed.
Despite the circumstances, I couldn’t help but want to laugh.
……to have failed even though our forces are more capable. I messed-up, this is completely my blunder.
Haven’t I failed them as a Master?
I’m so ashamed I want to die.
In the situation where it appears I could die if left alone it’s a foolish thing to think about.
Nevertheless, I can’t die now.
This life is no longer my own, I have to protect Lily and Rose. And Gerbera is still desperately trying to save me.
I have a reason to live.
「I’ll bring thee to Lily-dono immediately! Don’t lose heart!」
Blood gushes from every area of my body.
My skin is burnt away, leaving scorched darkened red blisters.
Every inch of his ruined body is covered in wounds.
Will I….. die?
Compared to the time when I was alone, what death means to me now is completely different from before. Is what I thought.
As Gerbera makes her way through the forest, she carries me in her arms. I could only helplessly struggle to stay alive.