Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Troublesome Things」Part 2
The following day, we left the inn in Cellist early morning and entered the forest via the south gate.
We originally took the highway along the forest before taking the southwest detour that leads to Mt. Parnassus. Normally you’d need a compass to safely navigate the forest; however, that was only if you weren’t accompanied one of the forest people as Ariane did not waver as she advanced.
A thin layer of magic obstructing fog covered the Canada forest, making 【Dimensional Step】unusable.
Even without the fog, there would be no opportunity to show the value of transfer magic as the vegetation thickened the farther we penetrated into the forest’s depths.
Like I thought, the forest on this side of Riburuto river is vastly different from the great Canada forest. After all, the great Canada forest is an ancient forest that spreads out from the large old trees in the center.
I passed the time searching the forest for a potential location to use【Dimensional Step】
Around noon, we found a suitable place to rest and enjoyed the preserved food we bought in Cellist yesterday.
The meal consisted of jerky, smoked potatoes, dried apples and walnuts. All of it went for around three silver coins, but the dried apples alone had cost one silver coin. However, since the leather pouches in my luggage bag contained more than one thousand gold coins each, it wasn’t that big of a deal.. Instead I’m more troubled by the fact that we’ve only had to cover the inn charges and food so far.
Ever since we bought the apples, Ponta had been shaking her tail back and forth and was staring quite intensely at them.
When I started dangling the fruit in front of Ponta, Ariana properly scolded me saying “This is pathetic”
While Ponta was ecstatically eating her dried apple, I petted her and ate my own meal.
I tried to used 【Flame】to warm up my smoked potato, but it seems the heat was too high because the potato was reduced to a lump of coal in my hand. Ariane must have skillfully used her spirit magic to warm up her potato because she was triumphantly eating hers next to me.
The thought of practicing to control my magic output crossed my mind as I gnawed on my burnt potato.
Once lunch came to an end, we resumed our trek through the forest under Ariane’s guidance.
Only Ponta was not in her usual spot since she was currently taking a nap while being held between Ariane’s ample bosom. In many ways, it was an enviable situation.
When I started to wonder how long we had already trekked through the forest, it dawned on me that the birds’ chirping and the howls of other animals had ceased, leaving only the rustle of the leaves to break the silence.
When they noticed the situation, Ariane lowered her baggage while Ponta coiled herself around her neck. Even though she was still half asleep, Ponta still managed to ensure that she would not fall off.
However, now is not the time to leisurely comment on such things.
Dropping my luggage bag, I move the Saint Thunder sword to my waist and draw it while simultaneously grabbing the Shield of Titus with my other hand. The sound of rapidly approaching footsteps began to mix in with the sound of the rustling leaves.
They were approaching at a rapid speed from every direction.
In order to cover our blind spots Ariane and I stood back-to-back with each other
For an instant, the undergrowth shook before a pack of large white wolves leaped out.
The wolves were two meters long from head to tail and they were baring their fangs in our direction.
When one of the wolves leaped at me I use my sword to cut it in two, but I didn’t feel any resistance at all. Instead, the body of the wolf I cut down completely dissipated, and a new white wolf appeared in its place.
While I was caught off guard, the white wolf managed to get past the range of my sword, thrusting its head forward for a bite. As I took a step back to regain my balances the wolf suddenly started to howl.
While I tried to regain my balance, I felt a large shock from the hand that I held my shield in as two white wolves threw themselves at it.
I bash the wolves with the shield, but just like before they dissipated, so the only thing achieved was a wide swing. While I was preoccupied, a wolf used the opportunity to bite at my sword hand, frantically trying to rip my arm off.
However, my arm was protected by Saint Armor of Belen so I felt no pain at all, and the wolf quickly tired of this futile endeavor.
I throw out the arm with the wolf on it, sending the wolf flying into the air before slashing the falling wolf with my sword.
However, it seems I put a little too much power into it because my light slash removed one of the wolf’s fore-paws with a large spray of blood.
The surrounding illusions and wolves simultaneously took a step back, so I took this chance to begin my counterattack by casting【Flame】from the tip of my sword.
A stream of flames similar to a flamethrower appeared, rapidly increasing in temperature and the surrounding area was charred black.
I had already used【Dimensional step】to transfer next to the beast and plunge my sword into its heart. Because the real wolves responded faster than the illusions, it was easy to distinguish the real ones from the rest of them. Seems like an unexpected weakness had been revealed.
When I looked back, I saw Ariane was surrounded by a group of illusions and wolves, but she seemed to be able to handle herself just fine. She used her spirit magic to create an elevated foothold and surrounded herself with a ring of flames, which guaranteed that they would be injured with every charge.
One of the wolves had a gouged-out eye and a missing leg, which rendered it unable to move. The other wolves had also suffered injuries because I could see red streaks in their fur
As you’d expect from someone trained as a soldier, she was able to fight well even for extended periods of time. On the other hand, I simply took advantage of my high physical prowess; however, it’s rather tricky to apply my prowess in this battle.
Though the problem could have been settled with ranged attacks, ever since I’ve come to this world I hardly tried using my magic skills. If I used them recklessly then there’s no telling how much damage I could cause.
However, this was a perfect opportunity──
Believing it to be a clever idea, I looked beyond the group of wolves before me.
There was a rather large wolf behind them that had yet to join the battle. Each time I attack it would retreat, seeming content with observing the situation from the back.
While calmly observing the battle, the boss wolf uttered a cry.
Some of the boss’s subordinates moved into a visibly different formation.
The game is afoot.
Setting my glaze besides the boss wolf, I cast the 【Flame】spell and followed it up with【Dimensional step】.
In an instant my form disappeared, causing the boss wolf and his group to tense up.
The moment I was beside the boss wolf, I took a swing with my sword.
However, the boss’s instincts were rather sharp as it was able to instantly dodge my attack. But I was not going to let it escape, so I used 【Dimensional step】to travel in the direction the boss dodged.
Since the boss was in the middle of dodging it was carried by the law of inertia rather than its own legs. I raise my sword and bring it down on the wolf in question.
When the boss saw that I had transferred, it tried to twist its body in mid-air, but it was to late as the sword had already pierced its neck, and blood began to flow from its throat.
The spray of blood splattered across the ground. I glanced at the bloody soil before transferring back to Ariane’s back.
While I had my sword up ready to continue the fight, all of a sudden the wolves stopped moving.
The next moment all of the wolves turned tail and ran.
The scene of their abrupt retreat left me dumbfounded, but Ariane’s call helped me regain my senses.
“Arc! I need at least one more of them!!”
With a brief reply, I return my shield to my back and fire 【Rock Bullet】in the direction of the fleeing wolves.
The rock hit the ground and kicked up some dust in front of one of the wolves, causing it to stop in its tracks.
Casting the spell, I transferred behind the stopped wolf and cut off its hind-legs.
The wolf let out a pained cry as it fell to the ground, and I followed up by stabbing my sword into its neck. As I cut into the wolf’s neck, a「Gari」sound spread through the area as the wolf breathed it’s last.
It seems that I was able to capture the third wolf that Ariane had hoped for.
Still this fight had given me many things to reflect upon.
I needed to practice my fighting techniques a little more. While my mind has an abundant amount of game skills and strategies, I tend to fight in a rather linear manner.
Unlike a certain blue cat robot, I couldn’t simply pull secret tools out of nowhere and laugh off emergency situations.
I let out a sigh in my heart while thinking things over, as Ariane sheathed her sword and walked over.
One of the white wolves laid at her feet.
“Thank you, Arc! I don’t think I’d have been able to secure three Haunting Wolves alone! With this, I will be able to give my onee-san a good present.”
I was momentarily blinded by Ariane’s dazzling smile as she thanked me.
My reaction must’ve puzzled her, because she tilted her head.
Clearing my throat a little, I tried changing the topic by asking her a question.
“So are these really Haunting Wolves? Their tails don’t seem to emit much light……”
While I was speaking, I looked at the tail of one of the haunting wolves and noticed that it was emitting a slight shine.
“That’s because this forest doesn’t contain much mana. The tails will emit a pure blue light once they are taken into the Canada forest.”
She knelt down and inspected the tails while she spoke. Once she was certain that the battle had ended, Ponta uncoiled herself from Ariane ‘s neck and shook out her fur.
“Arc, I’m sorry but could you use 【Transfer Gate】to send these back to Raratoia?”
“Hmm, I don’t really mind, but……”
I looked around as before I continued to speak
“If I use 【Transfer Gate】here, we’ll have to go back to Cellist before we can travel to Hoban again. That’s the closest place with easily memorizable features.”
While 【Transfer Gate】was a long-distance transfer magic, it was a spell that could only connect to places that the user can clearly visualize. Since the scenery of the surrounding forest was rather ordinary, I couldn’t set a clear transfer destination.
“Then, while I bleed out the Haunting wolves and collect the tails, could you go search for a more suitable place to transfer to, Arc?”
“Well, I suppose it will eliminate future troubles…… I’ll search around the edge of the forest for a while.”
I pick up the cloak I had threw on the ground and dusted it off before putting it back over my shoulders.
Sensing the changed atmosphere, Ponta hopped from Ariane’s shoulder to the top of my helmet. Seems like we’ll be doing this together.
For now, let’s search the terrain for a structure or marker that can be set as a return point for 【Transfer Gate】.
If I simply wandered around the forest, I wouldn’t be able to find my way back to Ariane, so I picked a direction and traveled straight ahead.
Occasionally using 【Dimensional Step】, I looked around for a suitable location.
However, there was no suitable place since the only things I found were just more trees, rocks, and dirt.
Ever once in awhile I would spot a bloodstain in the undergrowth. That, and the paw prints on the ground, probably meant that the Haunting Wolves had gone in this direction.
Since I was traveling at a considerable speed, it might not be long before I catch up or even surpass them.
When I look at the sky through the tree branches, I saw that gray clouds were filling the sky, causing darkness to permeate the forest.
When I looked back, I could no longer recognize the forest’s scenery or locate Ariane’s figure at all.
While I had been looking for an appropriate location, I would occasionally break off a branch and stick it into the ground. If I made the amateur mistake of not marking my path while searching for a transfer location, I would have lost my way the instant I started.
Ponta would cry out from atop my helmet whenever she found some forest nuts. If I tried to follow Ponta’s directions, I’d have immediately lost my way.
While soothing Ponta, I suddenly heard a someone’s voice.
I stopped and listened to my surroundings.
The sounds of rustling leaves, animals barking at something and humans were carried on the wind.
The origin of the human sounds were only a short distance away from the path I was on. I’d have to mark my current location here if I decided to take the detour.
I broke a few branches and create a flashy circular marker out of them.
I can’t afford to waver here.
Putting Ponta back on my head, I turned in the direction of the life signs.
There’s a chance that this path could lead to an inhabited building, so with that thought in my mind, I double-time it.
Eventually, the sounds carried by the wind began to grow louder.
However, rather than the sound of people working, it was the sound of fighting.
The screams of people have emanated from the forest ahead as the unpleasant smells of blood and burnt objects began to fill the air.
Ponta sensed the unpleasant atmosphere and wrapped herself around my neck while I took a deep breath and took a hesitant step in the direction of the fight.