Translated by Yoraikun
“It seems that that is the exit . ”
“Yeah, let’s get to a town quickly and pop into hot bath~”
“R-right . We did encounter quite a few monsters . ”
As the three try to approach the slope to the light, rocks start dropping from the ceiling . Shivers run down the three’s spines .
“… Hah, so like in games, we’ll have fight a boss battle before we can reach the exit…”
Muir’s body shakes . The three simultaneously look up . And there…
Is an anaconda that looks perfect for the silver screen . It is skillfully wrapping itself around the formations on the ceiling as it slithers around .
“I believe that was… Clay Viper . ”
“Oy oy, is this for real!?”
Hiiro had seen it before in the encyclopedia . It’s a Rank S monster . Its length could reach 30 meters, and its body is as thick as a tree . Its body is scaly and gives off a black luster . Its face is menacing as well . Its forked tongue darts in and out of its huge mouth . Its eyes are red and gives off a suspicious light as if to bind whoever gazes into them .
“Well, well . For now, you better keep your distance, shorty . ”
Muir has no choice but to follow Hiiro’s words . There is no way she can prove useful against this fearsome foe .
“Old man, can you do any long range attacks?”
“Well, to an extent . ”
“Then use those to distract it . I’ll put it to sleep like with the Red Boar . ”
But for that, time is necessary . Writing the necessary characters requires concentration, so he can’t have himself be a target .
“Got it, but you better make it quick . My level rose, but this is a bit much for me alone . Actually it may be impossible . ”
Normally, running would be the priority . However, in the Red Boar fight, the enemy was easily defeated with 《Word Magic》 . Arnold is assured that Hiiro will be able to do something .
“It’s coming . ”
While they were idling, the Clay Viper had started rushing at them with its mouth wide open . The two avoid it by jumping high . But, the viper knocks them out of the air with its tail .
The two fall to the ground simultaneously . Arnold complains about its strength as he rolls on the floor . He seems to be in quite a bit of pain .
(Damn… It’s quite skillful with its tail)
Hiiro grumbles as he takes some distance and begins writing a word . Arnold stands up and confronts the Clay Viper .
Suddenly, a fluid spews from the snake’s mouth .
Though he’s startled for a moment, Arnold is able to successfully avoid it by leaping backwards . The ground that comes in contact with the liquid begins to sizzle as it dissolves away .
“Oy, this thing even comes equipped with venom…”
‘This is no joke,’ Arnold thinks as he applies more pressure to the hand clenching his sword .
“《Wind Fang》! Take this!”
As he swings his blade, a magic-ish wind cutter is released . The sharp blade of wind slices the Clay Viper’s skin and blood scatters .
But in the next moment, the wound closes on its own . It seems that weak attacks won’t be able to overcome the beast’s natural regenerative powers .
Arnold seems taken aback, but the Clay Viper doesn’t rest . As if it were not slashed at all, it starts rushing towards him .
He somehow dodges to the side and prepares to attack again . But, the Viper suddenly dives into the ground .
“Wha!? It can even do that!?”
Watching this scene, Hiiro clicks his tongue . At this rate, he wonders whether his 《Word Magic》 will hit . The Clay Viper is currently focusing on Arnold, so Hiiro was able to finish writing his word without problem though .
But, with that speed and its ability to burrow, it will be more than difficult to hit .
“Dammit! Where are you! Come out already, you slithery bastard!”
Arnold shouts out, but there are no signs of it resurfacing .
Suddenly, the ground begins to shake . The two fighters concentrate on their surroundings to sense where it will emerge .
The place it emerges is in the shadows where Muir is hiding . It uses its long body to wrap around and bind her while heading back up to the ceiling .
Even Hiiro didn’t anticipate the non-combatant Muir being attacked . He wasn’t vigilant enough .
Hiiro immediately points his finger and aims his word . But perhaps because its feral instincts screamed danger, it glares back and gets into a position where it can move at any time . At this rate, the chance that it will dodge is high .
Hiiro isn’t going to waste the word he had wasted time writing .
“Old Man, do you think you can stop his movements!?”
“It’s not that I can’t, but Muir will get dragged in!”
Arnold grits his teeth as he stares at the Clay Viper .
Muir thinks that that her situation is pitiful . There is nothing she can do . Even though she can’t fight, even though she is useless, here she is being imprisoned and preventing Hiiro from attacking .
(Why… am I always being protected…? Even though I never wished for it…)
Her mind turns to the past . Her life was always one that would go out with the wind . There was nothing she could do about it . She would always watch other’s backs as they stood in front to protect her . That was what she found solace in .
(Even though… that’s no good… Even though I promised uncle that I would get strong…)
As she feels pain from the Viper tightening its body, Muir opens her eyes . Reflected on them is Arnold’s mortified face .
Because of her, he’s making such a face . From here on out, perhaps Arnold and Hiiro will be hurt because of her . Arnold’s words play back in her head like a revolving lantern .
“You’re the kid he entrusted to me . Even if I die, I’ll protect you . ”
“… No, even I can get strong . I’m a Beastman like Uncle!”
She had vowed at that moment that she would get strong . But, she was unable to believe in herself . She was never able to do anything . She spent her days doubting whether or not she would even be able to influence her own life .
Fighting is scary, and being protected makes her feel relieved . But still, there are people she believes in .
“You’re also a Beastmen . If we’re talking about latent abilities, I don’t think you’ll lose to any Beastmen out there . No matter what you say, you’ve got the blood of that clan flowing in ya . And also, you’re that guy’s daughter . ”
She remembers Arnold’s words and opens her eyes to look at him again . His face hasn’t changed . She was the one making him make such a face . Then what should she do? There is only one answer .
“I just… have to do something!”
Hiiro analyzes the situation . At this rate, Muir will be strangled to death, and after that, the Viper will move around freely again .
(There’s no choice . I’ll put 『Sleep』 on hold for now . First, I have to cut off his movements… Hmm?)
The Clay Viper’s body begins to shine . No, to be precise, only the part that was wrapped around Muir shines abnormally . And suddenly, that light collects .
(What is that?)
The moment he thinks that .
A violent, electrical discharge occurs . No, it isn’t anything as pathetic as that . As if lightening had struck, power condenses in the glowing area .
The sudden electrical current coursing through the Clay Viper’s body causes it to go numb . Neither Arnold nor Hiiro have a grasp of the situation .
Hiiro sees this as an opportunity and releases 『Sleep』 . It easily hits the immobile Clay Viper .
“Good! Old Man! Use all your strength to cut its head off!”
Hearing Hiiro’s words snaps Arnold back to reality . He begins concentrating his power .
He takes some time to concentrate the power of wind onto his blade . The power wraps around it, and the blade appears to increase in size . Eventually, the green blade grows to about the size of three adults .
And Arnold lifts that blade high up, aims it at the Clay Viper’s head, and swings down with all his might .
The flesh cleanly separates . Only the head falls on the ground . And with that, the Clay Viper’s life comes to an end . But it isn’t over yet .
The lightning is one thing, but Muir’s safety has yet to be confirmed . Even now, the Viper’s body is coiled around Muir and she’s staying immobile . But finally, the large body loses its strength and falls from the ceiling . And from that, Muir’s body emerges .
Muir appears to be unconscious, but her body glows faintly . When Arnold moves to catch her…
He suddenly feels the pain of electricity coursing through his body .
Nevertheless, he holds her close without letting go .
“Kuga… g… thank god… Mui…”
He sheds tears as he wraps his large body around hers . After a while, the light fades . At the same time, the electric current flowing through Arnold stopps .
“Just what was that?”
Hiiro furrows his brow as he looks over Muir .
“… It’s this child’s power . ”
“So the shorty was the one who stopped the Clay Viper’s movements?”
“Yeah . It seems she’s finally awakened to her 《Binding》 . ”
“Just what is binding, anyways?”
“… You know how Beastmen can’t use magic, right?”
“Yeah . ”
“To make up for that, a certain researcher came up with something amazing . ”
“This . ”
As he says this, Arnold presents the bracelet hanging from his right arm .
“This is the 《Nameless Bracelet》 . When a Beastman truly desires power, it will unlock their latent abilities . ”
“Something that convenient actually exists?”
If so, he wanted one . But being a human, he would probably be unable to use it .
“This bracelet establishes a link with the 『Spirits』 . If one was to awaken to a 『Spirit Soul』, the bracelet’s name changes, it takes on a new form, and it grants power to the user . By the way, mine is a 《Bracelet of the Wind》 . ”
“I see . So that’s the power the 『Gabranth』 obtained to compensate for their lack of magic . ”
“Yeah . To awaken is to establish a contract with a 『Spirit』 . I exchanged a contract with the 『Spirit of the Wind』 . And this child…”
“『Spirit of Thunder』… is it?”
Arnold nods in affirmation .
“But that surprised me . For her to be able to generate that much lightning . ”
“Rather than generate, it’s more like she became lightning itself . ”
“Is that how it is?”
“Well, I’ll explain the details after we arrive at 【Passion】 . I want to let Muir rest . ”
“Got it . You can head out first . ”
“I’ll come after I get some proof we took that thing out . ”
“Understood . ”
Arnold exits the cave with Muir on his back . Hiiro approaches the recently-deceased Clay Viper .
(I think it was over here…)
The place he checks is the area that was wrapped around Muir . It isn’t only burned . It is as if the cells had been obliterated into nothingness .
“That’s some crazy output . With this, they’ll fare just fine against magic . The reason I didn’t feel any magic when Arnold used his 《Wind Fang》 was because it wasn’t magic I guess . ”
He did a quick analysis, but suddenly, he feels a presence behind him . Thinking it was a monster, he moves his hand towards his sword, and he draws it while turning around . But, what stands before him is no monster .
“… Who are you?”