Chapter 4 – Part 2
At the same time as Rionne muttered, the Gryphon’s cry echoed.
Shin was ‘waiting and watching’ in the shadow of a building when the Gryphon released its breath in every direction, trying to cover its surroundings with ice.
“Oi oi, it’s recovering.”
Other than the buildings covered with ice, Shin also saw the left half of the Gryphon’s body.
The left half of its body, which was previously burnt by the 【Flare Burst】that Shin had thrown, was already considerably recovered. Though it was not fully healed yet, its wing had almost restored to about 70% of its former shape.
The HP that Shin had greatly reduced was mostly restored, too. The current Gryphon’s HP was about 90% of complete recovery.
“It’s too fast, even for self-recovery!”
Hearing Rionne’s words, Shin looked closely at the wing.
“That’s regeneration rather than recovery. The melted wing is sucking in the blue steam and is restoring to how it was previously!”
The steam, without leaking out of the Gryphon’s wounds, had gathered on the tip of the wing that hadn’t finish regenerating.
Was it regenerating by gathering the steam? Though it wasn’t conclusive whether it hastened the regeneration speed, it was certain that the Gryphon would restore completely over time.
“It seems that the steam will disappear soon. Rather than dealing a large amount of damage all at once, it seems better to shave it down little by little.”
Shin had no conclusive evidence, but as far as he could tell, the steam that didn’t vanish was used for the regeneration of its wing and had gushed out in large amounts from its gaping wound.
Since the wound on the front leg and the body had already recovered, there was no way to tell how those places had regenerated.
“I’ll go to the front. Rionne, you observe the Gryphon’s state; if there’s any change, tell me. Because there’s a possibility that it’s still hiding something, don’t let your guard down. Just be careful.”
“Yeah, there still may be something like the abnormal state from a little while ago. But, Shin, will you be alright alone?”
“You can count on me. It’s not my first time fighting like this.”
They confirmed their course of action and Shin jumped out from the building first.
The effect of the black smoke still remained, as the Gryphon didn’t turn towards Shin.
“Going near it seems bad. I’ll do it from a long distance.”
Shin went around to face its right side where the damage was still being restored, and shot the wind system magic skill 【Air Cutter】.
A blade of wind flew and cut through the black smoke, and slashed the body of the Gryphon. It wasn’t a deep wound. He had deliberately dropped the power, and intended to make a lot of cuts on the surface of its body.
As for the length of the wound, it was about 20 cemels long. The steam, which spouted out, vanished when it rose by approximately 30 cemels. This state wasn’t really different from the one he saw in the early stages of battle.
“The damage dealt is small. Though the wound itself appears to have steam coming out, its state doesn’t seem to have additional decreases to its HP. I need to pay attention to the changes in its body movements and its attacks, huh?”
Shin thought about the countermeasure while observing the state of the Gryphon.
For caution’s sake, he didn’t forget to prepare the cure, so that it was usable anytime.
“Next, I’ll go head on.”
The Gryphon spread its wings and released the ice spears.
Even though the wing had not fully recovered, it was not inferior even when compared with the time it was in a perfect state. Among the widely scattered ice spears, Shin accurately struck down only on those whose trajectory pointed toward himself while advancing.
Then, a breath of ice approached.
However, as the ice breath had a small range and slower speed than the ice spears, it couldn’t catch up to Shin’s speed. The ice spears that were shot in order to not interfere with the ice breath, were no longer functioned as the primary artillery barrage, and for Shin, it wasn’t difficult to break through the barrage of ice which had become weak.
“Yo, how’s the condition of your body?”
The Gryphon, which concluded that there was no effect from the breath, answered Shin’s remark with a blow of ice talons.
If one looked closely, the ice talons which extended from the Gryphon’s foreleg became one size bigger than before.
“It is reinforced each time it regenerate, huh?”
The ice talons which crashed onto 『Kakura』, shattered like the last time.
However Shin felt that even the size of the shattered ice seemed to have increased. It was likely that its strength went up, too. Though it was natural, the ice spears which transformed from the shattered pieces were just as big as the huge pieces.
By going around to the back, Shin made the Gryphon’s huge figure a shield, causing the ice spears to fly over him.
However, the Gryphon also kicked the ground with its hind legs and tried to maintain the line of fire by hovering with its wings.
“That’s a poor move.”
Though the Gryphon displayed a nimbleness which didn’t match its gigantic figure, it was in the line of fire of its own ice spears. Guaranteed to hit the Gryphon, it received a huge damage.
In addition, when considering their physical differences, it was like showing its belly to Shin as the Gryphon flew and floated in the air. It could be said to be a heaven-sent opportunity to drive in a single blow, although there was no guarantee that the belly was soft like an ordinary creature’s.
Without overlooking the little opening, Shin, who wielded 『Kakura』, jumped at the bosom without holding back.
From 『Kakura』 that cut up the air, a purple flame burst out.
The feathers of the Gryphon were blown away and scattered at the flank of the swung down 『Kakura』, and sank into the skin and inside the meat.
Just like that, the Gryphon’s belly caved in and it slammed against the ground with its whole body.
With a giant body more than 5 mels long falling to the ground, an earthquake traveled through the ground.
The sound of buildings, which were about to crumble, collapsed, and arrived at Shin’s ears along with the Gryphon’s groan.
“Was that about 10% just now?”
Shin confirmed the Gryphon’s remaining HP while landing.
Although his stats were restrained and although his weapon was not 《Ancient》 grade, a single blow directly from Shin had only dealt damage equal to about 10% of its total health. It was an exceptional defensive power for a monster he came across in this world.
The Gryphon didn’t continue to expose the gap while lying on the ground. A gaze of precaution was directed at Shin as it immediately kicked the ground and stood up.
However, there was no power in that gaze. It was because the purple flames were still spreading in the part where Shin struck the single blow.
At this moment, the Gryphon’s HP gauge was decreasing little by little. What Shin used was the mallet technique and flame technique combination skill 【Wicked Flame Fall】; it generated a flame which dealt additional damage for a certain period of time when an attack hit.
Was it because the Gryphon was clad in ice that it was weak to the fire? The Gryphon made a groan like sound. It was going to let the flame induced wound freeze, but the power of the flame was strong and continued to burn its body.
“That one blow is effective, huh?”
It didn’t seem to be able to recover the internal damage, as there was no steam gushing out that it could suck into its belly. It didn’t recover the HP which continued to decrease.
As for Shin, who judged that dealing damage by blows was more appealing, he once again thrust from the front.
Though the Gryphon came to intercept him immediately, the accuracy of its attack had declined, probably because of the flames burning in its stomach.
Shin slipped through the weakly aimed barrage, eluded the talons, and hammered 『Kakura』 on the places where it wasn’t covered in ice, such as the Gryphon’s body or its neck, etc. Along with its decreased HP, the movements of the Gryphon became duller.
Then, that moment came around. The accumulated damage had reached its feet. The Gryphon had raised its ice talons toward Shin, but its hind leg that was on the ground suddenly lost power.
The Gryphon which swung up its foreleg, couldn’t recover from its collapsing posture. Shin didn’t miss that fatal opening.
“Sorry but I can’t afford to miss here.”
The one who got attacked was the Gryphon. The one who tried to hunt was being hunted, it was the way of the world.
Shin kicked the ground and jumped up, a bluish-white sphere appearing on his right palm. This was the flame technique system magic skill which had burnt half of the Gryphon’s body;【Flare Burst】’s sphere, before the heat ray was discharged.
Shin then pushed the sphere onto the falling Gryphon’s head.
“Can you withstand this at zero distance?”
As soon as Shin finished speaking, a heat ray was discharged from the sphere.
Against the mighty amount of heat emitted from point blank, the Gryphon had no way to defend. The heat ray which charged straight, melted the Gryphon’s head as it went through the body in the line of fire, and melted the ground.
The body of the Gryphon, whose head had vanished, fell down to the ground as it lost power. The HP which was displayed was 0 without a doubt.
From its body where the heat ray penetrated its head, and other wounds as well, a mix of blue and green liquid flowed out.
“Is it over?”
As Shin landed on the ground, he was wary of the surroundings next to the Gryphon’s corpse.
He felt only Rionne’s presence.
“Shin! You did it!”
Rionne, who had been hiding, came running up. She called out to Shin, after confirming the Gryphon had ceased to breathe.
“It’s possible to go outside now with this, huh?”
“Worst case, even if we can’t go out from the side entrance, we can use the means to open the gate.”
“Will that be alright? It’s possible for the outside monsters to come in.”
“The side entrance here is somehow connected to the room with the gate opening and shutting device. Besides, it has a width to the extent where a carriage can pass through when the gate is open, and it also closes after several minutes. Even if there are monsters outside, if it’s you and I, it’s possible to escape as soon as we defeat them.”
After verifying the detailed operation and time taken, etc, when it seemed to be no problem, Shin also agreed with Rionne’s opinion.
However, at that time when the two people began to walk, a change happened.
It was Shin who noticed it first. When he turned around, on the periphery of the body, fluid was flowing out of the Gryphon, blue steam was generated.
“The monster’s body fluid?”
“I think it’s the steam coming out from the wounds simultaneously with the body fluids…although I have a bad feeling.”
Almost at the same time when Shin said that, the steam converged mid-air and a familiar silhouette was formed.
In just a few seconds, there was a figure of Gryphon which was exactly the same as several minutes before in front of Shin and Rionne.
A roar together accompanied by ice spears assaulted the two people.
Shin and Rionne resisted it, and escaped to shelter for a moment.
“…Now then, what will you do? It has resurrected!”
“Yeah. What I think is, it has a separate main body, and the rest was created by magic.”
“Hmm, what do you mean?”
“There is another main body, it means that the Gryphon is a puppet or something, and another monster or conjurer manipulates it. As the monster is created by magic, it’s the technique to engrave on something, but it feel like the revival and the reconstruction of the monster was done automatically. It’s good if the main body is defeated. Also, in case it was engraved with magic, it’s settled when the magic formation or the catalyst is destroyed. Given the circumstances that emerged, I think it’s the latter, but…”
As far as Shin knew, there were several skills to summon a monster.
However, in this case, it was different from the monster partner of tamer and monster summon of summoner. It was also not the doll summons of exorcist’s magic and puppeteering.
The monster was created by magic ―― it appeared to be the closest method he could think of. Normally it was often used as a trap in dungeons.
“Then, there is a method that became the key somewhere in this Sacred Place?”
“Maybe. Because it is usually close to the emerging monster, finding it should not be so difficult. It’s suspicious…it’s over there as I thought.”
While Shin slightly peeked out from under cover, he pointed toward the wall.
“The side entrance? Near the place where the opening and shutting device for the gate is, could there be something that would make such a monster appear, Shin?”
“That Gryphon, I think it prevents us from going outside Sacred Place. Because it holds a position in front of the gate, we cannot get close to the side entrance either. But it doesn’t mean there is no other choice, it’s the most suspicious at the moment.”
Given that the Gryphon had attacked regardless of the place, there shouldn’t be such a thing in a building where it would mistakenly bombard the surrounding area.
“I’ll become a decoy again. Rionne, you enter the side entrance in the meantime and use this item to inspect things. It reacts when there is a magic formation nearby. Here, this is for defensive use when you’re in a pinch.”
Shin said while materializing 2 items in his pocket, and handed them over to Rionne.
Both items were necklace-shaped items, so it would never get in the way of action.
“I have a feeling that these are superb items again…I’ll not ask about it now. I don’t worry because it’s you, Shin. Just don’t act too recklessly.”
Shin nodded at Rionne’s words, and jumped out ahead into the Gryphon’s line of sight.
He raised his voice on purpose to notify his presence.
The ice spears came flying instantaneously, but they were brushed off by 『Kakura』 as he approached the Gryphon.
After confirming that the Gryphon’s attention was directed at Shin, Rionne also started to run.
“It could stand a blow of Limit II. Unless I go further, it’s unlikely for me to beat it down.”
After seeing that Rionne went into the side entrance, Shin released his limit.
He couldn’t predict the impact on the surroundings due to having the biggest offensive power. However, in front of the Gryphon, he couldn’t do an instant kill, at least not with his former stats.
Then at this chance, he decided to use it as a subject for an experiment.
Shin jumped off the ground and shortened the distance to the Gryphon.
To Shin, who was coming at a speed that couldn’t be compared to up until now, the Gryphon was not able to react.
Since he was faster than the ice spears that were shot, the『Kakura』 wielded by Shin reached the Gryphon’s neck. Previously, the strike was obstructed by the Gryphon’s feathers and skin, and even if 『Kakura』 only dealt the damage due to a blow, it was different this time.
The blade part of 『Kakura』 broke through the defensive power of the Gryphon and gouged out the meat while the blade creaked under the power exerted.
Right after Shin passed by next to the Gryphon, the neck of the Gryphon rolled onto the ground after a gap of several seconds.
It was so quick that less than a second had passed from the moment he closed the distance while wielding 『Kakura』 until the Gryphon’s neck was sliced. If there was an expression on the Gryphon, it would have said “I don’t understand what happened”.
However, the body which fell down and the neck which rolled onto the ground turned into blue and green steam before long, furthermore, it was revived in a perfect state in several seconds.
“Until Rionne finds something, shall we have test of who can hold out the longest?”
The distance between Shin and the Gryphon was almost 0.
He knew that it had restored. There was no way he didn’t anticipate such a presage.
Shin mercilessly beat the resurrected Gryphon with 『Kakura』. Once again, its neck dropped, its body was cut in two, and burnt down with magic.
The Gryphon was simply a target to the current Shin. Like a carp on top of a cutting board, it was merely plain food preparation.
The Gryphon’s struggle was futile, as its ice spears were dodged, smashed, and 『Kakura』 was swung down in return. The kill count exceeded 10, 20, and piled up to 30, but the Gryphon hadn’t weakened.
“What’s the deal with it?”
The result was the same either magic or physical.
Shin couldn’t think of anything but to confine it afterward.
The Gryphon cried, it was conspicuously high.
Soon after that, the dragged sense Shin felt at the central part of the Sacred Place enveloped his whole body.
Come to think of it, it was likely that this Gryphon was connected to the haze at the central part. It didn’t seem to be his imagination after all.
Shin unleashed a magic skill while going against the drawing force, but all too soon, he was drawn in by a white sphere which appeared on the joint part of the Gryphon’s neck. Though it was possible to shatter it with 『Kakura』, the force becomes irresistible when approached and disappears in the same way of approaching magic. (T/N: He basically can’t destroy the sphere, as it won’t let him. It disappear when one get close and there is force of attraction towards it.)
The suction force gradually became stronger, and Shin’s shoes began to scrape the ground.
Shin made up his mind to attack the sphere, whether he had choice or not. For better or for worse, that happened.
“What the heck is this…”
A golden shine began to escape from Shin’s body.
That light reminded him of the last boss in the death game, Origin’s 【Golden Wave】.
In response to the golden lights appearance, the Gryphon groaned. As if it was cautious of the light.
“The drawn feeling faded away, huh?”
Before he knew it, the sense that pulled him toward the center was gone.
While Shin carefully observed the Gryphon, he also devoted some of his attention to the light leaking from his own body. When he attempted to move it using same way he handled magic power, the light surprisingly obeyed Shin’s intention without a hitch.
The golden light gathered at 『Kakura』, and it turned into a golden blade.
“…Shall I try it?”
Shin muttered while he ran.
He was at point-blank range to begin with, so the distance with the Gryphon was closed in an instant, and the swung 『Kakura』 left a golden trace.
The Gryphon also tried to avoid with its very best effort, but its left foreleg flew without it being able to evade.
“This is, it went well, huh?”
From the joint of the foot which Shin blew away, the blue steam didn’t come out.
As for the left foreleg which was blown off, it had disappeared as it dissolved in mid-air.
The Gryphon fired ice spears aiming at Shin, and tried to keep distance. It was not possible to read its facial expression, but that was indeed the flustered expression of the Gryphon.
If the advantage of overwhelming regenerative ability was lost, it was a natural reaction to have, because the difference between their combat strength was obvious.
“I don’t understand it well, but I’m grateful!”
Shin corrected his posture with 『Kakura』, and took aim at the Gryphon.
In an instant when the Gryphon was aware of Shin who had the shining 『Kakura』, it donned an armor of ice on its whole body.
As for the lost left foreleg, it was compensated with an artificial limb made of ice. Its talons were enlarged further, each one seemed to be a sharp sword. Its body also became one size bigger by having ice enveloped to its whole body, and a feeling of coercion increased too. A thin blue aura emitted from the armor of ice.
“Is that your full power? Bring it on!!”
Shin also screamed back at the roar filled with thirst for blood.
It was the Gryphon that took the first move. Its flying speed, formation speed, and ice spears which was shot by its wings became remarkably fast.
In the barrage of ice which tried to bury the surroundings, Shin answered by waving 『Kakura』.
With enhanced dynamic vision, Shin firmly perceived the ice spears coming toward him. His arm which wielded 『Kakura』, responded to Shin’s consciousness without any delay.
A golden blur intercepted the blue and green barrage. More than 10 of the ice spears were shattered by one swing of 『Kakura』.
A storm of raining ice spears and hail was not allowed to advance before the impregnable defence formed by the golden blur.
However, the ice spears were only for stalling. The enemy’s favorite was the breath which came later.
The breath unleashed from the Gryphon’s mouth went directly toward Shin. Its thickness was twice the previous; it became approximately 80 cemels thick. The breath sped straight through the air like a blue laser, and Shin caught it head-on.
『Kakura』which swung downward straight from the upper position, thrust into the center of the breath. The breath then split into 2 directions with the contact portion of『Kakura』 as the base point. And then the breath ran along Shin’s left and right, and the swallowed up nearby ice spears were frozen over. In the twinkling of an eye, anything that wasn’t behind Shin was covered in ice.
“I was preoccupied by the front that I’ve become negligent of other things.”
That Gryphon screamed almost at the same time as Shin’s remark.
Several explosions were heard; the force of the breath weakened, and the number of ice spears decreased too. Emerging from the opening 『Kakura』 made by scattering the breath, the figure of the Gryphon with the back part of its ice armor split open.
Shin, who had activated flying magic skill while facing the breath, had attacked from the Gryphon’s overhead. The explosive sounds were the result of using a skill of the flame technique system. It seemed that the damage reached not only the armor but also the inside, as the breath ceased after a few second as well.
With less ice spears, there would no longer be any obstacle for Shin. Against Shin who closed the distance instantaneously, the Gryphon answered with talons of its foreleg.
The fact that it couldn’t even react some time ago was hard to believe, as its eyes managed to track Shin’s movements. Earlier at the beginning, its left talons were swung out a beat late.
The shining talons which basked under the sun, appeared to flaunt their sharpness.
To match the right talons, Shin raised 『Kakura』.
The moment they struck each other, the repelled right foreleg of the Gryphon flew into the air. With the momentum of the raised『Kakura』just now, Shin rotated sideways on the spot. The raised 『Kakura』struck against the left ice foreleg which approached too late.
In front of the Gryphon, 『Kakura』 drew a golden arc. Its left ice foot, which couldn’t withstand the power of 『Kakura』, flew into the air like its right foreleg.
“I got y――huh!?”
Just as Shin went directly to take its neck, a strike entered from the upper left sky.
He immediately repelled it with 『Kakura』, and glanced at the things that attacked him.
“That a Gryphon’s tail huh? But I suppose it should be quieter…”
What was swaying from side to side in the air was the Gryphon’s tail which didn’t have a presence until now.
It was covered in ice and had its length extended, it had become like a whip.
With an armor worn on its whole body, the number of weapons seemed to have increased too.
“But it’s futile!”
If the secret was broken, coping was possible.
It was said that the tip of a common whip could surpass the speed of sound, but the Gryphon’s tail was even faster. However, it was not a speed that Shin couldn’t react to.
He was only surprised to see an attack from an unexpected direction upon receiving it. The trajectory of the tail flying on a wall, along with the huge figure of the Gryphon, had been supplemented by his 【Mind’s Eyes】.
Shin matched its timing, and flung 『Kakura』 against the flying ice tail. As the strength of the tail was low, it was easily cut.
“…It has quick recovery, huh?”
Shin expressed his discouraged grumble.
Because in front of Shin, the tail was restored in but a moment. It was probably because the part he sliced off was not a living body.
And then both of its forelegs were reconstructed with ice too.
“As expected, I have no choice but to slice its neck.”
As soon as Shin said so, he invoked a magic skill.
The golden light which covered 『Kakura』, fused with a crimson red light. At the same time, above the sky, a flame technique system magic skill【Red Tomahawk】 was fired onto the Gryphon’s rear. An arc was drawn in the sky, as Shin began to aim the flame bullets to rain at the Gryphon.
While attacking Shin with its tail, the Gryphon back stepped with an agility that belied its gigantic figure. It spread its wings and fired ice spears at the sky, while sending forth a breath.
“What a clever guy!”
The Gryphon which dealt with simultaneous attacks from the sky and the land, was praised by Shin. That was simply because it was the composure of the strong.
In reality, the Gryphon was not able to completely prevent his attack. The flame bullets plowed through while erasing the storm of ice spears. Though several blew up on the way, the remainder were rained down on the Gryphon.
A scream leak from the Gryphon’s mouth. Its tail strike and breath were interrupted.
“This time I won’t miss!!”
The ground was crushed as Shin stepped on it.
『Kakura』 which went into motion, cast more light.
A mallet technique and flame technique combination skill 【Flame Net Charge】.
『Kakura』was struck against the base of the Gryphon’s neck.
The armor of ice evaporated after touching 『Kakura』, and the Gryphon’s body along its trajectory was burnt off.
Along the slashing mark, a red line was carved on the Gryphon’s body.
After leaving a parting word, Shin distanced himself immediately.
In the next moment, intense light emitted from the red line carved on the Gryphon, and exploded.
【Flame Net Charge】 was originally used for blunt weapons such as hammers and so on to crush the opponent, it was a skill to blow up the opponent as well as the ground.
Since 『Kakura』was thin this time, it resulted in an explosion along the line.
“Was it done?”
Shin confirmed that the golden light was also mixed in the explosion.
When that was considered, the effect of the golden light should have been carried on with the effect of the skill. When the explosive flame cleared up, the figure of the Gryphon was nowhere to be seen.
The remains of the Gryphon which turned into pieces, were scattered everywhere.
When he looked at the state for a while, the remains collapsed and vanished like sand. There was nothing left behind. Even the light emitted from Shin’s body disappeared after the Gryphon exploded.