Translator: pinkyoneesama Editor: anirhapsodist
Accompanied by Theresa, we gradually descended the long grassy staircase. I was expecting that it was an exploration underground, but what has come into our view was a bright luminous field.
This is the “Plains of Dawn”. The scene brought about by the labyrinth defied reasonable common sense.
The area is not composed of plains entirely, but trees grew sporadically. I switched the screen on my license and the map of the terrain was displayed.
It was vast. I reckon traveling on foot the entire day would not be enough. I even thought that we were transported to another place from descending the stairs. To my surprise however, such an expanse existed below the city.
“Watadama… If that’s a small fry, then…”
Even without instructing her, Theresa traverses the direction that I wanted to go. While scouting the area, she halted, then equipped her buckler and short sword.
Watadama | Level 1 | Caution | Drop: ???
What appeared from a patch of grass looked like a lovely, fluffy stuffed animal.
Taking a glance at my license display, the demon assumed a state of ‘Caution’. The display shows it slightly reddish. ―― Is it angry?
I was right.
The bouncing Watadama ragingly vaulted towards Theresa.
She held her buckler and received the Watadamas’ tackle. The impact made noises so violent that I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was so explosive that it could pierce my eardrums and destroy the buckler with single hit.
(This isn’t funny at all… for a small fry to have such overwhelming attack…!?)
Her buckler can only but protect her so much. After inspecting my license display, the red bar under her name already got reduced by around twenty percent.
The health bar, or rather, her life…. the very thing itself has been shaved of. It’s not the best time to be amused.
Staggering, Theresa bravely strikes back at the Watadama she failed to slay in a single slash. Again , after the bouncing thing landed, it vaulted in terrifying speed.
(“This time… we’ll gain the upper hand with “Rearguard” skills!”)
With Theresa in the front line, I’ll be responsible in protecting her by activating the skills I acquired.
◆ Activity Log◆
Rearguard – 『Support Defense 1』 :[Activate]: target → Theresa
I was expecting the same bone shattering noise as the watadama hit its target. This time however, it was different.
Just before reaching Theresa, the watadama crashed straight into something and it was thrown-off.
A transparent barrier materialized in front of her. I could not make good sense of it since I was positioned at her back. Similarly, she was unable to comprehend what unfolded and for a quick moment, she was left aghast.
“Theresa, prepare yourself after I launch an attack!”
I cut from Theresa’s back after placing a bullet on the slingshot then launched the bullet from the sling aiming it on the watadama. It was a clean shot. The bullet hit its target.
Theresa remained silent even after the attack stopped. And in a brief moment, making sure that the bullet stunned the watadama, she brandishes her short sword.
◆ Activity Log ◆
Arihito attack hits “Watadama”
Theresa attack hits “Watadama”
1 “Watadama” defeated
“Hey… Did we do it?”
Theresa looks back at me then nodded slightly. The watadama, which was no longer moving was actually some type of rodent covered entirely with long fur.
After inspecting it closer, the rodent looked atrocious. Even if it was wild, I felt guilty at first for defeating it because it somehow looked like a pet. However, I felt better knowing that it was a demon.
“I’m sorry Theresa. If only I used my skill from the beginning…”
Theresa did not answer– she just shook her head slightly. Was that a Yes? Or a no? Until a while ago, she may just have been obedient to me as her employer.
If I only have the skill, I can take the watadama’s materials. Sadly, I can’t do that. What I can do though is put it in the leather bag as it is. If I bring it back to the “Monsters Demolition Shop”, will the cost of the sling’s bullet come back? ―― Nevemind. The bullets might only be dented. I can just take them out and reuse them. We need all the spare bullets we can get if we want to have a fighting chance.
“Theresa, is your wound okay? Let’s get out of here and have that treated.”
She shakes her head. It seems that she is still all right.
――Which reminds me…
Since the skill I used on Theresa suppresses damage, the second attack on her should have lesser damage, but her health remained the same.
I assume the damage inflicted on Theresa might have been less than 10. Nullifying a damage range of 1 to 10 can be a blessing. Support Defense 1 could be an invaluable skill.
I need to test the limits of the skill. And to do that, I’ll have to ask Theresa to hunt more watadama. Foes stronger than watadama will be out of our hunting list for now.
I reckon the attack damage from watadama is within my skill’s capacity. So no matter how strong a watadama gets, we can do battles without worry of getting mortally injured. Also, the more encounters, the more materials we get to collect. Their market value will also command our duty to hunt them.
“Alright, let’s try hunting some more.”
Theresa nodded. As we strolled closer to a big tree…
“Whoa… it’s a 『NAMED』!”
I heard a woman screaming with the familiar voice of the section chief. I also heard from among them, the voice of a senior seeker from the guild whom I recall that offered to be a guide.
“This is bad… Theresa, let’s go!”
We rushed to where the commotion was. As we approached the tree, there was a confine on the other side where I could see the seekers who seem to have been driven away by something. The section manager was quick on her feet, while another novice was falling behind while they try escape.
It resembled watadama. It was deep-red. It was agile and it caught up with the fleeing seekers at a tremendous speed. They could be attacked at any given moment.
Watadama – ワタダマ – cotton lumps, cotton balls.
NAMED – 『名前つき』- instead of a regular demon name, they have proper names. Ex. A dog can be called Potchi.