Grimoire Master Ch. 74

https://ncode.syosetu.com/n7178ek/77/

 

Chapter 9
Section 2: Strong Shield

“Grooooooooo…….”

“Graa, Gra, Gra, Graa…….”

Moonlight danced over the trace remains of snow, illuminating over a dozen wolves and even several bears.

“Undead? They’re moonstruck. The ideal enemy for a deserted place like this.”

Animals around Solretta Litta are bigger with thicker fur coats, most likely as a way to combat the colder climate. As such, their levels are higher than ordinary wolves and bears.

“Snow wolves are level 3, and snow bears were…….level 5 I think?”

Talking about level 5, that’s the same level as those ents we tore through earlier. Not exactly what I would call a formidable enemy all things considered…….

“But that’s no ordinary wolf. That thing is giving off something evil.”

As a fairy, Lapris knew better. Although the fact that these animals all came out together from the ruins should be sign enough. I’ve been feeling the chills for a while now. And it is not because it’s especially cold out tonight. I don’t feel any sign of life coming from these wolves and bears in front of me.

“Master was certainly weak with undead correct? What do you want to do? You can step back until we get rid of them.”

Saluena looked worried since she remembered how I freaked out about zombies with Aronda-san back at the church.

“N-No. I’m okay. Even if they are undead, they look normal right now…….as far as I can tell.”

Lapris, Saluena, and I have already figured out that these animals are undead, monsters who are no longer members of the living.

But they aren’t as rotten as I imagined they would be. The illustrations in adventure novels usually have zombies with missing limbs or their eyes popping out of their sockets in a lovely image of something incredibly grotesque……..and whether or not the word ‘lovely’ is appropriate in that context or not, these things aren’t like those zombies at all.

Maybe it’s because of the fur that I can’t see any kind of decayed, rotting meat, but even with the nighttime conditions adding a spooky backdrop, I have to say that it’s not too scary.

“Quite right. Zombies are shambling corpses possessed by a spirit. They attack anything whether it be friend or foe which is why their bodies are so battered and damaged…..was the popular theory from my time.”

“Now’s not really the time for a carefree lesson Anego!!”

“Groooooo……….Graaaaaaaaaaah!”

One of the snow bears rushed us with little regard for the snow. The bear’s huge body exposed to the bright moon hanging in a clear night sky cast a long, deep shadow which on its own could cause someone to freeze in place.

But that’s really only true if you’re a timid person like me.

“It matters not. My sword will not be stayed by the aura of some beast.”

Saluena was someone who could brush off the attack of a dragon as if it were nothing and then send its head flying with a single stroke of her sword. There’s no way she’s going to back down from something like a bear.

On Saluena’s command, Unicorn charged forward to meet the enemy head on. Saluena caught the monster’s heavy swipe with her shield, and as we passed the hulking monster by, its head spun off its neck after a single swing of Saluena’s sword.

“HyaaaaaAAAAAA!! That’s Anego for you!! Unicorn did good too!! Keep it up!!”

Unicorn pressed on over the snow as Lapris’s cheers filled the air.

“Groaaaaaaaaah……..”

Seeing the bear fall, a dozen snow wolves circled around us. But Unicorn’s powerful legs weren’t going to allow any funny business. A snow wolf approaching us from behind was kicked away, painting a bloody black flower across the white snow. I could see it over Saluena’s shoulder and groaned.

But, that’s all I did. I’ve already seen scenes like this who knows how many times since the adventures I went on together with Toslin and the others at Rifront and Relton. Back then there was even more blood, and it was better lit as well.

“Master, you can close your eyes if you feel scared.”

“I-I’m okay!! But thanks for your concern!!”

Now that I’m an adventurer, I’m going to see these kinds of things over and over again. If I’m going to avert my eyes each and every single time, it won’t matter how many lives I have.

“I see. In that case, I’ll leave these ones to you.”

Saluena jumped off Unicorn’s back, flying through the air the same way she did back in Solretta.

This time the victim of her downward swing was one of the snow bears in the distance. Her sword dug into its thick hide right at the shoulder and continued on through, killing the beast by cutting it cleanly in two. Ah, or would you say that she re-killed it?

“Woah, Anego jumped right into a crowd of enemies!! I’m sure she’ll be all right, but are we going to be okay?”

Clinging to Unicorn’s mane, Lapris turned her head back towards me.

“Keep our composure……..I can’t say we’ll be perfect, but since we’ve been given a duty, we have to give it our best. Right Unicorn?”

Five snow wolves came at us all at once from every direction.

I’ve read in books before that wolves are generally aloof, but they form up into a pack in order to hunt any large prey. So does that mean they still have those instincts despite already being dead?

“Unicorn, from behind!!”

Unicorn kicked out its hind legs, instantly killing the two snow wolves that were attacking us from our blind spot.

“Aaaaaaaaah! What about the ones in front of us!?”

Right now, Unicorn’s front feet are being used as a fulcrum, so they can’t be used as a weapon. Even if they could, she has two hooves for three enemies. One of them would be able to get through.

“Hurry up and use your shields!!”

Then just like how Lapris says, I should use the magic circles swirling around us to prevent the attacks…….but I had an idea I wanted to try out, so let’s go with that instead.

I moved three magic circles around me to block the oncoming attacks from the rushing wolves. Then after I knew we were safe, I took the leftover magic circles and then threw them.

“Gafuo!?”

“Gahin!?”

That’s not to say I had to reach out, grab my magic circles, and then chuck them as hard as I could. All I had to do was picture the approaching enemies in my mind, and they went soaring through the air.

“Uooh……..you instantly cut them in two!?”

After lunging at us, each of the wolves were stopped by my larger magic circles and momentarily held in place. From there my thrown magic circles made contact with the snow wolves’ outstretched paws before continuing on through and bisecting them.

“I figured it would be effective if I threw them because of how hard they are, but these magic circles are even better for attacking than I thought they would be.”

“Forget that, aren’t these things way sharper than they should be? Even an ax couldn’t cut through bone that cleanly.”

Right now I have a combination of 10 large and small magic circles deployed simultaneously. Could I use even more?

“{Powerful shield that cannot be broken}”

When I tried repeating my incantation to the ring as a test, Unicorn’s mane began glowing intensely once again, and an additional group of magic circles were deployed.

“O-Oi……the number has doubled. Are sure this is okay? I’m not worried because it looks like your magic power has gone up, but can you control that many? Won’t you hit Anego if you make a mistake?”

“Yeah, I’ll be careful. But it’ll be a lot easier to attack with twice as many to work with.”

A snow bear was now coming our way alongside a couple more snow wolves.

“What is the range for these?”

I can’t use this magic unless I’m near Unicorn. So how far away can one of these magic circles travel after they’ve already been activated? To answer this question, I started throwing a couple of magic circles while the undead were still a little ways away.

*FWOOSH*……I could hear my magic circles tearing through the air, and a second later, the snow wolves which were all about ten meters away from me were cut in half.

“Gryaaaaa! Grooo, oh……….”

And then finally, after being hit by two magic circles, the snow bear sank into the snow.

The snow bear was about twenty meters away from me, twice the distance as the wolves were. Apparently the magic circle’s effective range ends there. The first magic circle managed to cut through the snow bear’s thick fur, but it disappeared about halfway through. Apparently magic circles that have gone further than twenty meters will simply disappear.

“…..with this kind of magic, could you have defeated that dragon by yourself?”

Already these undead snow wolves don’t feel like a threat. But despite seeing their comrades (whether or not they really recognize each other as such is suspect) fall one after another, these undead continue to attack in an attempt to overwhelm us.

“Do you think these magic circles could’ve prevented that dragon’s breath attack?”

And what about a blow from that tree-trunk of a tail? Could these shields block something that was able to send Rose-san and Goldmund flying into the air?

“You’d probably be able to manage if you stacked a couple of them on top of each other and eliminated any gaps.”

Lapris gave me her opinion just as one of my magic circles cut down the last wolf which had made a desperate leap to try and turn the tables.

*Plop* The snow wolf crumpled into the snow. After making sure it wasn’t getting back up, I took a deep breath.

“Saluena, they’re all……”

dead. Just as I was about to say it, the word got stuck in my throat.

“Ah………eh?”

To be more accurate, I suddenly realized I couldn’t breathe.

“Ah, gah!? Ah, Ah…….”

This, what? My body, won’t move. I can’t breathe; I can’t even blink.

Obviously I can’t talk like this, and every time I try I only succeed in leaking out bits of air that refuse to form any kind of comprehensive thought.

(Air……hurts…..eh, why…….. Why, I…….)

“Eh, o…….oi!? You’re going to fall!! What’s going on!?”

What is going on……..desperately, trying to breathe…….. Oh, so that’s why…….I’m falling off Unicorn.

“Gu, guoooooooh…….A-Anego!! Saluena-anego!! Iris is!!”

Lapris grabbed onto my robe and desperately tried keeping me right-side up. But there’s no way her tiny little wings could support my weight, so I knew I was going to fall head-first towards the ground.

For an instant the thought crossed my mind that the snow would break my fall, so it wouldn’t hurt that much. But I quickly brushed that thought away as pointless because I’m going to die anyway if I can’t breathe. I’m going to die without understanding why. Without being able to do anything to save myself.

“Iris!?”

For the first time ever, I think I might have just heard Saluena scream. But her voice sounds so far. Maybe it was just my imagination since I can feel my mind slipping away.

“……….”

My body, which can no longer be propped up by Lapris’s small hands, falls. The pain of suffocation has spread through every inch of my being, and death is becoming a reality.¹

“Oi bastard. What are you doing to my important friend?”

Somebody’s voice just barely made its way to my ear………

“Ah, y-…….you!!”

And in the next moment, somebody caught me.


1. Since it’s April 1st, I thought about ending the chapter here, telling you all that was it and this was the last chapter, then going on vacation for about a week to make you stew. I quickly threw that idea away mostly because that would mean I’d have nothing to do at work. Be that as it may, happy April Fools Day.

Chapter 73Chapter 75

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