399 – A Certain Girl and the Royal Banquet 3 (side Miria)
“Wh-why, what has…”
The upper body of the soldier cut by Volk-san slams against the floor. The colour of the blood that scatters is green. The soldier’s body visible through the cut section is also a clear green, and as the body collapses, it leaks out through gaps in the armour. The soldier’s body convulses, and then as though out of strength, spreads out and becomes entirely liquid. Within the span of a few short seconds, I am astonished for the second time.
He wasn’t human.
The lined up soldiers all draw their weapons, seething with bloodlust.
“Cheh! We took it too far after all!”
“Idiot, princess-sama had already predicted that this might happen, that the ones with good intuition would be about to move. As predicted, the Saint took the bait. Everything is within the limits of princess-sama’s plan.”
“The Dragon Hunter is as much of a beastlike man as the rumours said. It was a surprise for him to unhesitatingly take the initiative. But we won’t fall behind the likes of an adventurer any more!”
One by one, the soldier’s faces turn green and their mouths and eyes disappear, leaving slight cavities in an otherwise smooth head. Green droplets seep from their surfaces, pooling at their feet. They’ve transformed into strange gooey soldiers clad in armour.
The strange-faced soldiers glance at the other adventurers, then three of them approach Volk-san, surrounding him from three sides.
“He’s the only one who will definitely move. [Aqua Sphere]!”
A sphere of water appears from the soldier’s outstretched hand and flies towards Volk-san. As he holds his greatsword to block, a second soldier extends a hand from a different angle.
The soldier’s arm extends and whips towards Volk-san. But he quickly adjusts his defensive stance and stabs the hilt of his greatsword towards the arm.
The soldier’s arm swerves to the side, then loops a full circuit around his body and constricts to restrain him.
“I’ve stopped him, do it.”
“Take this! [Intangible Sword Flash]!”
The third soldier swings his sword from a slight distance away. The sword’s shape distorts as it changes into the same green colour of the soldier. The blade extends, rapidly closing the distance as it stabs directly towards Volk-san’s heart.
There’s no time to intervene, it all happens in an instant. They’ve used a strange combination to forcefully create an opening for an attack that then can’t be avoided. If anyone could do that, it would be used against any and all opponents. But not even top-notch adventurer parties could easily pull off that level of synchrony.
The next instant, the arm binding Volk-san is forcefully expanded under his strength, releasing him. He then holds his sword with one hand, while swinging the arm of the soldier that was binding him with the other. Pulled by his arm, the soldier’s body flies through the air.
With his one hand, Volk-san swings his greatsword at the soldier. His armour is crushed and his body bursts open.
He doesn’t stop there. The swing of his greatsword continues, cutting the floor to release another huge slash towards the third soldier.
It’s the fundamental skill of a swordsman, [Shockwave]. According to Meltia-san, the existence of a skill that allows for medium range attacks vastly increases the effectiveness for swordsmen whose focus is on close-range combat.
But normally, there should be a small amount of preparation time necessary, but I didn’t sense that at all. His [Shockwave] is also clearly too big. It’s already stronger than the most powerful black magic that mages can produce. It’s a perfected swordsman’s strike that completely negates the existence of black mages.
As the [Shockwave] collides with the extended sword, it bursts open. Along with the extended sword, the soldier is consumed by the slash. He disappears, leaving only broken armour and spray of green.
“Small fry are no match for me. You should bring out your princess already.”
In an instant, two of the strange-faced soldiers have been defeated by Volk-san. The soldiers stop moving, unrest spreading among them.
“Th-the likes of a human…!”
“H-hurry up and call the Three Knights!”
There was a rumour that I heard occasionally. Adventurers that attend the princess’s banquets disappear. The princess had been supplanted by a monster.
But I thought nobody truly believed it, and that it was only spread out of contempt for the eccentric princess and her constant strange actions. But seeing this, anyone would understand.
“We’re running, Miria!”
Meltia-san holds her weapon ready and runs. I nod and follow behind her.
“You’re not getting away.”
One of the strange-faced swordsmen appears in front of Meltia-san.
Meltia-san holds her sword aloft. A ball of light forms from the tip of her sword and hits the helmet of the soldier blocking our way.
“You’re wide open!”
Meltia-san jumps up, puts her pushes her body weight on the soldier’s shoulder through her foot, then, holding her sword with both hands, stabs it into the joint in the soldier’s breastplate.
“What an idiot. The armour is real so it reduces damage, but… Unlike weak humans or other monsters, we don’t have any weak points. Besides, piercing attacks clearly won’t do much against us?”
The strange-faced soldier grips the blade of Meltia-san’s sword with his bare hands and pulls it out of himself and out of Meltia-san’s hands, flinging it far away.
While suspended in the air, Meltia-san is struck by the rapidly extended arm of the soldier, contorting her body into a く shape.
“Meltia-san! Cl-[Clay Shield]!”
A shield of earth appears in front of her.
Among all the clay-type magics, it’s the best at creating shields. It has excellent impact resistance, and has the effect of dispersing the force of blows. It’s been praised by people in the adventurers guild for its high rarity and usefulness when challenging a group of more powerful monsters.
But the tentacle-like arm that is swung a second time easily breaks through the [Clay Shield], throwing Meltia-san’s body up again and crushing her armour.
“It’s useless! Don’t get full of yourself just because the Dragon Hunter put up a bit of a good fight.”