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Vol 4: Chapter 63

Short, dark green fur and bulky muscles. Although the monster’s limbs were like a weightlifter’s, its lion face was unusually large and unbalanced.

(A Rock Masher!)

Punta-san came up with a few possible candidates regarding the identity of the beasts lurking nearby. Dark elves also hunt the beasts in the forest, so his knowledge was considerable.

“Small animals” that form a pack but are low on the danger scale.

“Solitude monsters” which are dangerous but don’t form a pack.

And then there are “dangerous species”, which are individually dangerous and also form a pack.

Green fur and a huge head. The jaws were its greatest weapon. It was called a Rock Masher because it “crushes and eats even rocks.”

Obviously, it was one of the “dangerous species”.

「Wall! Darkness ball!」

I invoked two types of magic at once.

The Rock Masher plunged into the earth wall that appeared in front of me, but as expected, the wall did not stop its momentum. I anticipated that and shot a darkness ball.

Its face was covered with darkness, depriving it of its eyesight for a brief period.

『Gyaw!』

「Oh, you have a nose!?」

Using【Dark Magic】was probably not a clever idea, as the Rock Masher charged at me with its sense of smell instead of sight, in the first place.

「Pierce!」

I shot a sharp rock in the shape of a cone from my right hand.

By making the rock thinner, the mass was reduced, and the amount of mana consumed and the time needed to activate were shortened.

I don’t need to utter the words to use magic, but it helps to focus when I need to invoke multiple different kinds of magic. And it feels good calling out the name of my attacks.

『Gyann!?』

I shot out the rock attack at its face like an automatic rifle, but the rocks bounced off its large face. Still, it faltered whenever the rocks hit its eyes, nose, and mouth. The Rock Masher’s muscles and bones started swelling.

(Let’s just get the skill orb now.)

When I tried to reach for the skill orb,

『Gyururururururu!』

Early summer birds rushed in from the side and kicked the Rock Masher, scattering flames and gusts around.

Now that it has come to this, the fog will also be blown away.

More than 10 Rock Mashers rushed into the “egg storage”, broke the eggs, and thrust their faces into them, swallowing the yolk.

(Ah… so that was the cause of the rotten smell.)

There were eggs in the direction in which the Rock Mashers came from that had been cracked for many days, and starting to rot. That was the cause of the rotten odor.

Early summer birds continue to suffer disasters such as being eaten by the Human Mimic and being targeted by Rock Mashers. …But that is none of my problem.

I reached for the egg shell that contained the skill orb.

「!?」

The skill orb was missing. Probably because of the gust of wind, it was rolling 5 meters away. Near another Rock Masher.

『?』

The Rock Masher kicked it with its forefoot, sending the orb flying into the forest.

(Ahhhhhhhhh! Give me a break!)

Fortunately, the skill orb was shining so it was easy to see where it was.

Unfortunately, however, the early summer birds have begun to descend one after another and began fighting with the Rock Mashers.

Hot air and flames danced in the surroundings. Rock Mashers tried to bite the early summer birds but were kicked away instead.

The early summer birds visibly got more angry every time an egg broke.

(This is my chance.)

I lowered myself and used【Sprinting】to head for the skill orb.

「AAHHHHHHHH!?」

An early summer bird appeared and grabbed the skill orb with its talons.

Crap! It will be much more difficult if it flies to the sky.

『Uiiiii!?』

A Rock Masher suddenly pounced on the early summer bird from the side and chomped on its windpipe. The early summer bird died instantly.

…That was dangerous.

『?』

When the Rock Masher noticed the skill orb, it tried to kick it with its forefoot.

「Give it a rest already!!」

I accelerated with the explosion from【Fire Magic】. I lunged forward like a rocket and kicked the Rock Masher’s face. My heel caved its nose in, and it collapsed backwards.

「Haa, haa… Do you have any idea how important this is–」

I finally picked up the skill orb.

『…………』

『…………』

『…………』

『…………』

『…………』

『…………』

I noticed that early summer birds and Rock Mashers had stopped fighting and were staring at me.

Crap! I overdid it.

「…Well, uhm, my work here is over, so please get back to fighting each other…」

『Gyaoooo!』

『Pillulululu!』

The Rock Mashers and the early summer birds charged at me all at once.

「Why!?」

I started running away. Running towards Asha and the others would be a problem, so I ran deeper and deeper into the forest.

For the Rock Mashers chasing me from behind while howling, I used【Flower Magic】to set traps in their path with ivy. As for the early summer birds flying in from the front, left, and right, I used【Wind Magic】to create an updraft.

「Why the hell do you guys make a good combination!?」

Although I ran away while dodging them, it didn’t last long.

I was approaching a huge cliff wall in front.

…What do I do?

What do these guys even want? Is it the skill orb?

…I wonder if there is a level ground above the cliff? The height is about 50 meters, so if I fly up with【Fire Magic】in rapid succession, I would break some bones and suffer severe burns, but I will be able to climb it somehow. I don’t want to do it, though. The early summer birds will surely attack me while flying up there. Still, the cliffs seem to stretch to the left and right without end.

Is there no choice but to run back around?

I turned around and stopped with the cliff to my back.

I sensed the Rock Masher’s trying to surround me from the forest and the early summer birds circling in the sky.

(Should I get Asha to come here by shooting a huge flare?)

I don’t really want to do it, but that seems to be my best choice.

I know this solution is a “mass slaughter”. It’s not very smart, but I have no other choice.

I should be able to do it alone, but things will get tough when my mana runs out.

「Alright, then, Let’s shoot the most conspicuous magic.」

As I was gathering mana while keeping an eye on the approaching Rock Mashers,

「Huh?」

The Rock Mashers froze all of a sudden at the same time. Anxiously, they turned around and ran away as fast as possible.

「…………?」

What is this? Did they sense my magic and decided to run away?

I looked up at the sky to check the early summer birds.

That’s when I noticed.

The reason why the Rock Masher escaped.

And the reason why the early summer birds were also gone.

There was a face on the cliff.

A face leaning forward and looking down at me.

The face was so big that it sounded like a joke when I thought that the Rock Masher’s face was big. It was jet black, and its eyes and mouth were gaping wide open.

It was one of the eight giants, Human Mimic.