Is it happening?! A chapter is finally out?!
Yes, yes it did. And it was thanks to all you guys. I didn’t think people would still be waiting after so long. It really moved me!
“Where did all those come from?!”
“I didn’t hear anything about this!”
“Uaah~, those things are so big”
The three who are bound by the sticky web are all shouting, confused by the current situation. Well, except one who doesn’t seem tense at all.
Seeing the 15 or so Shell Spiderlings coming at them, they all began moving around restlessly in order to get off the web that’s wrapping around their bodies and gluing their feet.
“Elinalise, what should we do…?”
On the other hand, there’s the backline Julee and Elinalise that are a few ways behind. Both of them are trembling and unable to cope with the situation at present. Their eyes are only looking at those “small” Shell Spiders that are half the size of an adult.
It looks like the first one with a broken will has appeared.
“Hey, let’s leave them”
A low whisper came out from Julee, low enough so that the frontline wouldn’t be able to hear. I was able to hear it properly from where I am sitting though.
Elinalise looks like she can’t believe what she was hearing. Her mouth was left open and her eyes didn’t blink. But the reality soon sunk into her, a shade of blue appeared on her face.
Julee didn’t care about Elinalise’s confusion and continued to talk fast, frantic, as if every second counted.
“The frontline is right now covering for us you see. If we both retreat now, they can surely hold them off until we reach the outside the forest”
The offspring Shell Spiders are coming from the north, their path straight onto the three who are bound. In this case where the party seems to be in danger of being wiped, the archer Julee’s will crumbled and decided on surviving even if she has to abandon her teammates. That she is taking the trouble of inviting Elinalise is probably because she can prove useful for holding them off just like she said, or to use her as bait.
Well, I do think it is logical to think about running in a situation where it is fight back and all die or run away and have some survive. Being wiped out does sound bad, in a numbers perspective.
But is it really all as hopeless as she thinks it is? The Shell Spiderlings may look terrifying at sight, but their shell has not formed properly and they are practically normal spiders in terms of defense. That’s most likely the reason why the adult Shell Spider tried to trap them in the web first and didn’t have the spiderlings come from the very beginning. Well, from the looks of it, they probably don’t know about this.
Elinalise gulped and moved her trembling mouth, barely making an audible voice.
“A-Are you saying we should a-abandon them?”
“I am saying that we shouldn’t let everyone die. In moments, one has to know when to retreat”
Julee tried to act as calm as possible. Her face was twitching, her patience was slowly running out. Cold sweat was overflowing.
“I won’t do it” A small voice.
“I won’t abandon them”
This time Elinalise raised her head and looked at Julee with a serious face.
She has experienced her party members dying already. A kind of experience one would never want to taste again.
“Hah?! Are you retarded?! What can you do when you can’t even throw a single spell properly without hesitating a millennia?! Can you do it?! Can you shoot a spell on that place where all those Shell Spiders are rushing? Where all your precious companions are in the way?! By the time you do something, those spiders will be all over them! Will you be able to shoot?!”
Elinalise was slapped with reality right in front of her. That Julee says some pretty nice stuff even when she is in a pressing situation. All that stress she had pent up when having Elinalise beside her without shooting any spell must have gotten to her nerves.
Julee’s eyes were bloodshot as she shouted her lungs out.
The party of three were already freed from the sticky web and were preparing to engage the oncoming horde of offspring Shell Spiders, but they were in battle stance because they are confused and just placed themselves in that position instinctively. It wasn’t because they were actually prepared to fight them. Their mind and body were not working properly.
From what I see, after taking off the sticky web that was their primary objective, they became confused. They went “Eh? And now what?” The unexpected situation coupled with their inexperience and the sheer pressure of having a group of Shell Spiders coming at you. Their minds were completely wiped blank.
But that was blown off with the shouting of Julee.
Their faces were now filled with question marks.
“What is she…?”
“Is Freyhart planning on blowing us off as well?”
Not knowing the details, they voice their fears and confusion.
Julee didn’t notice that her shouting was clearly heard by the frontline, her mind was already completely shut down and leaving it all to her emotions.
“This is all your fault you know! All your damn fault! I heard the stories, but I thought they were pretty stupid. “How can a person have so much bad luck?” And laughed it off. But I was proved damn wrong! Do you think I really need you to run away with me?! If you stay here, that’s the same thing as buying me time you idiot! You better stay here, you would only bring that bad luck with me anyways!”
Alfred shouted. He finally understood what she was talking about.
Hearing that, Julee snapped out of her trance and noticed that she raised her voice.
The spiders already reached their position. They couldn’t do anything about Julee anymore. Alfred was the only one who managed to somehow turn his face her way. That face was filled, not with hate, but sadness. Her betrayal must have shocked him a great deal. Tears began to flow down his face.
“Alfred… Tch, don’t you dare follow me!”
Julee’s face showed hesitation for a bit, but she soon clicked her tongue and turned. She ran while pointing a finger at Elinalise and shouting a warning.
She passed by me, but she only glared at me with all the hate she could muster before disappearing into the trees.
She didn’t stop her steps and continued running until she was out of range from my [Instincts of the Predator].
“Alfred, what should we do?!”
“I… I don’t know!”
“If I survive this, I will never eat spider again”
“Ryan stop, you are not helping!”
The three of them were barely holding back the Shell Spiders who had arrived while falling back to create distance.
Well, instead of holding back, it is more like fending off.
Instead of trying to cut the spiders, they were trying to push them away while retreating. Slowly getting closer to where Elinalise is. It’s most likely unintentional, as right now they don’t have much room to think. They were trying their best to not be surrounded. Once that happens, they are done for.
Elinalise saw all this events happen, but just like Julee said, she couldn’t chant a single spell.
The situation was honestly turning to the worst, but I still stayed my feet. It’s still salvageable. If it’s Elinalise, she can still do something.
And yet, her head turned multiple times in my direction. She looks like a kid trying to cheat in a test, constantly glancing at my paper to see if she can get the answer.
So that’s why, I decide to turn my head away. She has to break her fears. She needs to liberate from her own insecurity.
I will watch over her.
Just when I thought that, another reaction came from my [Instincts of the Predator].
“This is pushing it a bit too far”
A big red shape was coming from behind. It was still at the edge of my area, so it wasn’t that close yet, but it would soon be here, and judging from the size…
“Another Shell Spider…”
This was around the same size as the adult one here. If that new one comes here, it will definitely become utterly hopeless. There’s no way they can handle another adult.
I look at Elinalise. It hasn’t been long since the offspring Shell Spiders caught up to the frontline, but in battle, every second holds greater importance.
I really feel reluctant to leave right now when she has to make such an important decision. But I can’t let that new Shell Spider get here. It would render all the scenario up to now into an even deeper despair. It might even crush their spirits to continue fighting and just surrender.
Luckily, the injured Shell Spider is already too weak to do anything, so as long as she can handle the small ones she should be fine.
I let out one big sigh… and stand up.
Well then, better finish that business quickly so I can continue watching. Can’t miss the climax.
Turning my back, I head to the big red shape.
It is happening again.
I watched as those massive clumps of black with 8 legs were coming at us. Their size is big and as they approach the ground trembled, or maybe it was just my legs shaking. I couldn’t count them, there are way too many.
For a moment, I couldn’t distinguish what it was, but I soon found a match. Those green eyes that shone in the darkness, the eight legs that moved erratically, and that hard shell at the top of their bodies.
They are certainly a mass of Shell Spiders.
Once I understood that truth, I felt my body temperature reducing drastically. The hands that are holding my staff grew heavy.
Seeing that mass of black lumps creepily crawling at us, my breathing began to get rougher. The pressure they gave as I looked at them felt like it could crush my lungs. My mouth was gaping open as it tried to bring air to my shriveling lungs.
No good, I can’t continue looking at them.
I turned my head. My eyes instinctively searched for one person.
Youma is sitting there. His legs crossed and watching calmly. He showed no signs of moving even when all of this was happening.
He told me that he wouldn’t interfere in my training.
But just looking at him, I felt my breathing calm a bit. The pressure I was feeling softened a bit.
I inhale and recharge my lungs and spirit. Then, turn my head to face the spiders again. I need to do something. I need to help them!
But when I thought this…
Julee came and asked me to escape with her.
What is she talking about? Aren’t they her companions?
Didn’t she tell me that they have known each other for a long time and they are now making a party to have adventures together?
How can she say such words?
“I won’t abandon them”
I don’t want to repeat those bitter memories.
When I rejected her proposal, her face quickly turned red with anger and she shouted at me.
All of her rage, her dissatisfaction. I could feel them clearly.
Yes, it was my fault. The bad luck really did come once again to haunt me. I could feel my eyes watering just from hearing, but I held it in.
All she said was the truth, the very truth. I couldn’t deny a single one of her words.
She soon left running.
I was stunned temporarily by all that, but the shouting at my front woke me up.
“Damn it Ryan, you are not helping!”
They were now freed from the web and fighting off the Shell Spiders.
Right, I have to help!
I ready my staff and chant the spell.
But then what?
The three fighting are in front of me while the Shell Spiders are at their front. I can’t shoot. If I shot my magic now, it would definitely hit them.
When my mind blanked, I once again turn instinctively at Youma. My eyes were shifting to and fro.
What should I do?
Those words came to mind, but I couldn’t bring them out. It would make this training pointless. I would be asking for his help when I myself haven’t done anything yet.
I bite my lips and try to turn my gaze, but I couldn’t help turning them back to Youma.
He closed his eyes and gave a deep sigh. He then stood up and went away into the forest.
I couldn’t help letting out a stupefied voice.
He just left. Youma… left.
Did he get tired of my uselessness? Did he abandon me like everyone else?
My vision began to grow hazy, I couldn’t hold my tears.
But there’s no helping it. He has now seen the true form of Elinalise Freyhart after all. The walking jinx, the standing statue.
A shout snaps me back to reality.
Alfred is looking at me as he pushes back the Shell Spiders. He was now a lot closer to my position than before.
It is just a matter of time before they get pushed all the way to where I am.
“Hear me Freyhart, at this rate we will be wiped out!”
Alfred’s shout continues. His voice was strained and he barely found a chance to properly speak. That demonstrated the importance of the words he is trying to convey.
“Julee’s actions weren’t wrong… You should escape as well!”
As if biting the words, his voice was filled with anguish.
“I know this is a pointless fight but please, give some meaning to our struggle!”
His last shout was the strongest one. It turned the attention of the spiders to him.
This shout conveyed the emotions carved in it. Those words weren’t directed at me, but at the escaping Julee.
I bite my lips and rub my eyes.
“I won’t run away!”
I am already tired of this. I can feel it, this group is different from the ones I’ve had before. His words may not be aimed for me, but he still considered my safety instead of blaming me.
I don’t want to abandon this kind of people. I don’t intent to abandon them. If we fall, this will be my last fight.
I will show Youma that I can do it, or fall trying.
“Huh? You are still able to say that?!”
The three in front spoke as they fight back.
I also lift my staff.
Yet, the situation hasn’t changed.
How can I hit the spiders that are being blocked?
The current magic I posses has to be shot forward or needs to be in a dangerously close range.
This is the disadvantage of low tier magic. Not only its range is short, their uses and application are limited.
Only by increasing your mana control skills can one increase their effectivity. At that stage, one is already considered a mage capable of using tier 5 magic though.
As I think about what to do…
Use your damn legs!
A forceful voice resounds in my head. Youma’s voice.
Those were one of the first words Youma told me when we were running from the Blood Bear.
I felt the corners of my mouth rising.
“Youma is helping me even now…”
I really have grown reliant on him. I know that’s not good, but please let me do so for now.
The simplest of solutions was brought to me.
My idea of a mage was that of a damage dealer that stands at the back of a frontline.
I kept that thinking in mind as I fought and blanked the whole time on what to do. I even felt like my whole body was lead.
But now, for some reason, I could finally feel my limbs, and they felt strangely light.
I dash from my position, for the first time, I leave my initial spot.
“What are you doing Freyhart?! Have you gone insane?!”
Alfred shouts in surprise.
Yes, right now I was getting closer to the front, to where the Shell Spiders are.
My legs were beginning to lose strength as I got closer, but I couldn’t stop anymore or I would really be unable to move anymore.
“Heh~ the kitten is finally moving. Then it is my time to shine! Uuooooo!! Over here you bastards! I eat insects like you for dinner! Come and try getting a piece of this!”
Ryan stomps hard on the ground and shouts at the top of his lungs.
All the spiders got riled up by those loud sounds and concentrated on the source, Ryan. Taking his spear, Ryan stiffened his shaking body and took a ready stance.
All the attention was gathered in one place. The desperate run and the pressure I felt was dispersed, and had now become a lot easier to position myself.
I whispered my gratitude to him as I arrive at an ideal spot. Directly to the left of that mass of spiders.
I quickly prepare my staff and chant my spell.
I felt the mana from my body rushing out as a massive amount of wind gathers at the tip of my staff, signaling the activation of the spell.
The spiders must have noticed the abnormality. They freeze temporarily and soon turn to where the wind gathers. But it’s already too late.
The final words serve as a key. All that gathered wind erupts violently, straight onto the spiders.
“W-What’s going on?!”
The massive amount of wind exploded into the spiders, blowing them several meters away. Many of them smashing into a tree and breaking it apart. My party members were also hit by it, but [Gale Surge] is a spell that even if it is tier 3, its firepower is not that high –unless you get blown into an obstacle – but the knockback power is higher than anything below tier 4. Of course, I also made sure to target [Gale Surge] at the spiders so the most it did was create distance between the party and the spiders. Well, it is not like I could blow them all away from them. And of course, that’s not all I will be doing.
I keep my stance and chant again.
This time, a different color emanates from my staff, a red light envelops my body.
A magic formation is formed at the ground where most of the spiders were send off to. Atop that magic formation, fire begins spewing out. Like a furnace, the spiders inside it are being cooked. A terrifying shriek came from all of them. I wanted to cover my ears, but I still had more to do.
“[Blazing ground]!” “[Blazing ground]!”
I continue casting. 2 more magic formations appear and ear-piercing shrieks come from several places now.
Some that were weakened after impacting against an obstacle, were unable to escape that circle of flame, however, the ones that were only pushed away were desperately trying to escape.
“I won’t let you do that. [Bind]!”
Several mana chains appear and wrap around the escaping spiders and restrain them in position. I targeted every spider that could move and bound them in place.
Ugh… I’m feeling dizzy.
I used way too much mana. I don’t think I will be able to cast a single spell more, or even open my mouth to chant.
“Good job Freyhart! We will be taking the lead now!”
I hear the voice of Alfred, metal clashing, and the shrieks of dying spiders.
“This small ones are actually a lot squishier. Their shell hasn’t formed properly yet!”
“Hmph, once they lose their advantage in numbers, they ain’t much!”
“Uryah! Take this, special technique: Ryan Maelstrom!”
All of them were shouting out. Their voices were different from before, they had life in it.
I decide to sit my back on the trunk of a tree. I remember this sensation and yet, it is so different now. When I was chased by the Blood Bear, this dry sensation felt like a wall calling for the end of the line, but now, it felt strangely comfortable and refreshing.
I didn’t close my eyes and continue watching as my teammates fight. Everyone was showing strength they previously didn’t.
A little later after all the spiders were finished off, Youma returned.
All the group was lying on the ground tired. We actually want to leave this place as soon as possible, but the energy to do so is missing. All of them had injuries, but luckily, it wasn’t life-threatening.
When I saw Youma, I felt some of my strength return.
He really came back.
“Good job, Elinalise. You did great”
Youma knelt and smiled as he praised me. For some reason, those words resonated in me and felt as if something heavy was lifted off.
Those words leaked out of me. My voice was trembling.
“I feel slightly bad if you thank me, you know”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you…”
I couldn’t stop.
Those words kept spilling out. Without Youma, I know that I wouldn’t have been able to make a single step forward. I would just stay in place, watching as all my teammates suffer the same fate one after the other, until I can’t take it anymore.
I don’t remember much about what happened later, but it seems I was back at my own bed.
Later, I received a notification from the party that they would like to team up with me again.