Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Setting Off For Their New Home」Part 2
The third morning of our expedition.
The advance party was gradually making its way through the morning mist that blanketed the entire area before the crack of dawn.
Ponta was sitting on my head and scratching her neck with her hind leg as she yawned.
Eventually, we found ourselves on top of a hill that overlooked a grassy field that sat beside a large, crystal clear lake.
However, simply calling it a lake just didn’t seem to do the enormous body of water justice. The edges of the lake stretched in the direction of the Wind Dragon Mountain range and even without the fog I doubted that the whole thing could be captured by a panoramic camera.
Everybody stopped unconsciously and took in the magnificent scenery that we had stumbled upon.
Chiome seemed to have been overwhelmed by the scenery, since her cat ears twitched as she smiled.
Goemon, the mountain of muscle beside her, nodded in agreement.
“The area that looks like it’s jutting into the lake seems like a good place to set up the village.”
Pitta, who must have been checking out the area, pointed out the location he had found.
Just as he had said, there was a patch of land protruding into the lake, forming what looked like a peninsula.
The oval-looking peninsula was connected to the plains by a small patch of land.
If one’s base of operations was set up there, one could take advantage of the topography and build a defensive wall on the connecting patch of land to keep out invaders.
“The topography would certainly make it difficult to be attacked if the village was built there.”
A brutal smile appeared on Pitta’s face when I voiced my thoughts.
“Correct, it’s ideal that we build the first base with as few resources as possible.”
The other party members agreed with Pittta’s statement before we set out for the peninsula.
It became apparent that the entire plain was covered with rocks and boulders of varying sizes as Pitta led us towards the lake.
But as we advanced towards the peninsula in an arrowhead formation a sudden tremor rocked the area.
The sound of smashing rocks growing louder only raised our tension. When everything went silent, a giant red tentacle shot out of the ground, and as if it had a will of its own, attacked Rose with lighting speed.
However, the more than two meters tall Rose was quick to react, taking her axe from over her shoulder and using it as a shield to protect herself against the oncoming tentacle.
The collision sounded like a large scale car crash, and the shock wave knocked the wind out of her.
An agonized cry escaped Rose’s throat.
Her huge figure carved a groove into the ground as she was forced back, and when the tentacle tried to retreat underground it started to drag her huge battle axe with it.
The tip of the tentacle was stuck to Rose’s battle axe and the two of them started having a tug of war as the axe was gradually drawn underground.
While keeping an eye on the tentacle of unknown origin, I called out to Rose to see how she was doing.
Rose turned towards me in acknowledgment of my shout before digging in her feet in an attempt to hold onto her axe.
In the next moment, I transferred a short distance in front of her, drew the 『Sword of Holy Thunder』 and sliced into the tentacle.
The tentacle was covered in an extremely viscous slime that would have been difficult for normal weapons to cut into, but blood and mucus splattered everywhere as the mythical grade weapon cut it off.
All of a sudden a mysterious roar echoed through the area.
An explosion of sound that accompanied the roar sent a large cloud of dust into the air, as if a bomb had gone off. As the dust settled the shadow of a hulking figure became visible.
“It’s a Ground Dragon!!”
Ariane’s shout reached my ears as she ran up to me.
I took a look at the creature while keeping my sword at the ready.
The creature was fifteen meters long and five meters tall, with a bedrock-like crust covering its entire body.
It had a short, spiked tail, its eyes protruded from the top of its head and its thick hindlegs suggested it possessed some impressive leaping abilities, but it’s short front legs seemed unreliable.
“So that’s a Ground Dragon……”
The murmur of one of the warriors reached my ear.
Ariane had said that her leather armor had been crafted from the hide of a Ground Dragon, so I doubted she would mistake it with any other monster.
However, the Ground Dragon from the game and the big-eyed creature in front of me that she had called a Ground Dragon were far too different in appearance.
After the Ground Dragon’s throat inflated it released that strange roar that had echoed through the area before.
Shocked by the loud roar, Ponta hurriedly rolled off the top of my helmet and wrapped herself around my neck.
The way the creature let out that roar was similar to certain kind of animal.
“…… It’s a giant rock frog.”
Just as the thought left my mouth, the alleged Ground Dragon turned towards my direction. The large fangs that lined the creature’s mouth showed that it wasn’t a normal giant monster.
Contrary to its atrocious mouth, the dragon’s large eyes seemed cute, in a strange sort of way, as I saw myself reflected in them.
All of a sudden, the Ground Dragon’s large body disappeared from my sight with a leap.
The Dragon’s powerful hindlegs managed to lift it’s fifteen-meter long body high into the sky and the overwhelming mass was quickly approaching our location.
Just a simple physical attack, really.
However, alarm bells were going off in my head as I saw the threat drawing closer. Even if I had a strong body and protective gear, I’d rather avoid being flattened.
No, I probably wouldn’t be getting up after that.
“Ariane-dono hang on! 【Dimensional Step】!”
I forcefully grabbed Ariane’s arm and invoked my transfer magic.
I moved us to the spot the Ground Dragon had been before it had leaped into the air. I looked back just in time to see the Dragon crash down where we had been moments before, sending a quake throughout the area.
A circular cloud of dust was thrown into the air and blocked my line of sight.
If this went on, 【Dimensional Step】 would be rendered unusable.
Because I had transferred behind the Ground Dragon, it became irritated when it saw that we hadn’t been crushed beneath its feet.
I could use magic to clear away the dust cloud or perhaps launch a surprise attack on it with my sword…… those thoughts crossed my mind as I checked to see how the others had fared.
Three silhouettes emerged from the dust cloud with mace-like weapons that they proceeded to attack the Ground Dragon with.
The first challengers were the warriors from the hidden village. Among them was the young man called Gin.
Unfortunately, the Ground Dragon’s bedrock-covered hide was as strong as it looked, and all their attacks achieved was making cracks on the surface.
Growing irritated by their attacks, the Ground Dragon seemed to click its tongue as it put power into its legs and prepared to crush them.
It was at that moment that Rose lept at the Ground Dragon from its side and brought down her battle axe on one of the dragon’s legs.
“Eat this, you bastard!!”
With a courageous shout, Rose threw her whole body into the axe swing that managed to draw a large spray of blood from the dragon.
Instead of trying to break through the thick hide, she had attacked the less armored joint.
The dragon’s pain filled roar echoed throughout the area as Rose quickly retreated after confirming her handiwork.
As its large body fell to the side, Pitta was rushing towards the Ground Dragon with his weapons raised.
Pitta lept over the Ground Dragon’s rocky back, with his two short swords reflecting the sunlight of the oncoming day.
With a wicked smile that was unbefitting for any type of rabbit, Pitta pierced one of the fallen Dragon’s eyes with his swords.
An earsplitting roar left the throat of the sideways lying, fifteen-meter long creature as Pitta pulled his swords out and fell back.
The wounded eye caused the Ground Dragon to flail about on the ground in pure agony.
It was then that two more silhouettes approached the flailing monster.
Goemon, the large member of the six great shinobi, was moving at a speed you wouldn’t expect of someone his size, as he and Chiome circled around the Ground Dragon.
While Goemon wasn’t holding any weapons, light began to flow from his body into the metal arm guards on his hands.
『Earth Style: Explosive Tekken!!』
At his gravelly shout, Goemon’s arms took on a metallic luster from the shoulder down. Small explosions began going off as Goemon mercilessly hammered his fists into the Ground Dragon’s abdomen.
As the dull impacts rang out with every hit, the Ground Dragon’s moments began to slow. Not one to waste the opportunity, Chiome leaped above the dragon’s head with a jump that was in no way inferior to Pitta’s.
『Water Style: Water Spear!!』
A snake-like gush of water suddenly appeared from Chiome’s right hand before it took the form of a long spear.
While still in mid-air, Chiome managed to position herself so that her spear was aimed at the Dragon’s undamaged eye.
Chiome’s water spear left her hand with the momentum of a bolt that had been fired out of a giant crossbow.
A dull sound of flesh being cut accompanied a final muscle spasm of the Ground Dragon.
Like a puppet with its strings cut the large rocky dragon fell to the ground without any sign of getting up.
Chiome’s water spear seemed to have penetrated the brain. A dark red discharge began to leak from the dragon’s eyes and its breathing quickly came to an end.
“Doing nothing seems to have been the right choice…… Not like there was any room to get involved anyway.”
I sighed as returned my sword to its sheath and looked back to Ariane as she did the same.
“A Ground Dragon’s offensive capability is heavily dependent on its tongue after all……”
Ariane’s praise was directed at Rose, who was once again carrying her battle axe over her shoulder while looking down at the slain dragon.
Rose seems to have overheard our conversation as she started flexing her well-developed biceps in our direction.
While Ariane’s physical strength was greater than a normal woman’s, she couldn’t hold a candle to a bear tribe member like Rose.
I even thought Rose would make a good arm wrestling opponent for me.
“Nevertheless, we should be wary of ambush predators from now on. I don’t think that all the rock formations are like this guy, but will this area be safe to traverse in the future?”
I voiced my thoughts as I glanced at the other rock formation in the distance, but Ariane’s sharp ears twitched and she scanned the area before answering me.
“Since Ground Dragons are solitary monsters with large territories, the possibility of others being in the area is rather low. They sometimes group up with each other but I imagine that this recent commotion will keep most monsters away from here.”
Just as I was about to express my agreement, Pitta came forward and continued the conversation.
“If that fellow was the boss of this area, then we should be fine for a while. While it was a special type of quarry, let’s focus on establishing our base for now. Arc-dono, since you drew first blood, is there anything you want to take?”
Pitta looked back at the Ground Dragon as he asked me that question.
I couldn’t say I wasn’t tempted by the offer as my gaze traveled between Ariane’s armor and the dead Ground Dragon.
Since I had the mythical grade 『Holy Armor of Belenus』, I had no need for Ground Dragon leather armor. I suppose I could just sell it if I got a hold of it.
When Ariane saw me looking at her, she covered her chest with her hands and glared at me.
“No, I don’t need anything in particular. Is the meat edible?”
When I turned back to Pitta and answered him he rolled his eyes and gave me a fearless smile.
It was probably just a regular smile but with his features it seemed like he was plotting something.
“I suppose Arc-dono wouldn’t have any need for the armor. As for the meat…… it’s edible but not very delicious. You see that mass of rocks on its back?”
I was a little puzzled by Pitta’s question.
There were indeed rocks that seemed to be growing from the dragon’s back. They seem to serve some kind of purpose, maybe as stones in a rock garden.
…… Could I make a Japanese garden next to the hot spring?
“Ariane-dono, do they have any use?”
It was best to learn the proper function these stones serve, so I asked Ariane about them.
“Elves use them as building materials……”
There was a bit of bite in her short reply. While I thought they would have a more fantasy-like use, they were only a step above making a rock garden.
Though I suppose the reconstruction of my new home came first.
While I didn’t feel it was necessary for me to take them, Chiome, having overheard our conversation, came forward and voiced her opinion.
“The stones will also sell for a good price in human cities. Apparently, it is considered one of the highest grades of materials, and nobles have sculptures crafted from them to display in their mansions. You can raise funds for a number of projects if you sell them.”
“Oh〜, I didn’t know that.”
Ariane was a bit surprised when she heard that piece of information.
It must have been shocking for her to hear that something elves used as building materials was actually a luxury item for humans.
Maybe the stones on the Ground Dragon’s back were like ivory to humans.
“I guess I could sell it in town and buy the resources necessary to repair my home…… I assume you’re going to set aside my share of the stones?”
When I said so, Pitta gave me a full-faced smile and extended his right hand.
“It’s a deal. For now, we’ll leave Dekabutsu here while we go set up a base of operations.Without Arc-dono, we won’t be able to move that fellow.”
“I see. Well let’s grab our baggage and get a move on.”
I took Pitta’s hand and shook it.