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Vol 5: Chapter 49

Even though the ecology of jellyfish is not completely known even back on Earth, I can rely on【World Ruler】about the ecology of animals in this world.

Cutting off the tentacles didn’t have a significant impact on the jellyfish, but I found that poison was effective, so I went with that strategy.

The dying jellyfish seemed like it was dissolving in seawater. The poison flowed out into the sea.

Although it was extremely poisonous, the amount was not as large as expected – rather, I was impressed that this amount was enough to kill Umibozu, and at the same time I was afraid of Mimino-san. After Umibozu died, the poison diffused into the vast ocean and became less potent. At that point, it will not be a threat to any of the marine life.

「—Bocchan!」

Zerry-san pulled my body which was drained of strength due to the lack of mana. I feel angry to say this myself, but as a skilled adventurer, Zerry-san has strong arms which made me feel relieved in her care – but feeling relieved makes me want to sleep, so I kept a firm grip on my consciousness.

Although it was late summer, the rays from the sun were glaring, burning my eyes.

「You’re always so rash and unreasonable… Make sure to grab onto me firmly.」

Zerry-san said while swimming back to the ship. Just as she self-claimed, she was quite skilled at breaststroke swimming, while I held onto her back.

「Hehe… I’m sorry, but the magic ship wouldn’t have survived if the battle had dragged on.」

The giant Umibozu silently swayed to the bottom of the sea. The tentacles floating on the surface of the sea sank when dragged by the sinking body.

「Please think about other people too… Ever since the Red Gate appeared, you have been throwing yourself into absurd situations, bocchan.」

I was surprised by Zerry-san’s serious tone. Even at this distance, I can see the tears in the corner of Mimino-san’s eyes, calling my name on the deck of the warship.

「…I’m sorry.」

That was all I could say, as happiness from having someone worrying about me and being sorry for worrying those people filled my heart.

「As long as you understand what I’m saying.」

Zerry-san said with a bright voice as if to blow away the mellow atmosphere

「By the way, what was Umibozu after all? I have never seen such a monster, but the poison worked.」she then asked.

I want to explain about jellyfishes, but where do I even start?

「It’s quite strange though, isn’t it? That there is a creature which intentionally attacks ships.」Zerry-san said.

「…That’s right. It must have been upset.」

「Does it have emotions like people?」

「I don’t know about that, but I think it was just one of those seasons.」

「…Season?」

I thought about bringing this up to the mayor and Dante-san in the cabin.

Why did Umibozu come to this continental shelf?

First of all, the reason why there are few witnesses is that people are told to stay away when Umibozu appears. But even then, why is its ecology so unknown and wrapped in a mysterious veil?

It was because all the ships that approached it were sunk. As Zerry-san said, Umibozu “intentionally attacks ships”.

「It’s just a guess, but… I think the reason why Umibozu approaches the coast is for “spawning”.」

Eggs are laid on the shallow seabed where there is a continental shelf. After giving birth, it returns to the open sea.

Spawning requires physical strength, so these creatures have a strong appetite during this period, and also easily get nervous and upset. So, if ships sail to this vicinity, they will be attacked.

「Hmm… I see. Bocchan, you’re quite smart for thinking of that idea.」

I just used to watch those kinds of shows on Japanese TV.

「…Bocchan? What’s wrong?」

There was another thing which concerned me even more.

The jellyfish spawning itself is not a problem. If I remember correctly, there are some that hold fertilized eggs and release them after they become larvae, while others have something akin to “immortality” where they are reborn as a young individual after dying. Well, if it died of poison, it won’t be reborn.

The real question is whether Umibozu sexually reproduce or asexually reproduce.

「Zerry-san, can you hurry up please?」

「Eh… I’m already going fast.」

「Go faster. I have a bad feeling.」

If it is asexual reproduction, it lays egg on its own. After hatching, some of the jellyfish will grow into Umibozu if they live long enough, while others will be eaten by fishes while they are small.

However, the problem is if Umibozu sexually reproduces.

「—Reiji-kun, behind you!!」

I heard Mimino-san screaming.

At that time, I knew that my “unpleasant premonition” was right.

「Hurry up, Zerry-san!」

I felt the sea level rising. Waves were forming.

Looking over my shoulder, I saw another Umibozu appear beyond the dead Umibozu.

Another Umibozu who came for sexual reproduction – the dead Umibozu’s partner.

「NYAAAAAAA?!!!」

「Faster, Zerry-san! We don’t have time for your cat “nyaaa” right now!」

「I can swim faster without you bocchan!」

「If you let me die, I will drag you down to the bottom of the ocean with me, Zerry-san!」

My mana had returned very slightly. I directed the water current with【Water Magic】to propel our bodies forward.

The faint lights in the cavity on the new Umibozu blinked as if it was looking around. To me it looked like the Grim Reaper’s submarine was pulsing radar to search for me.

Umibozu suddenly stopped moving. As I was wondering what it was doing, the surface of the sea swelled up and a blue-black Umibozu body, which I poisoned, was lifted up by the second Umibozu’s tentacles.

The green surface of the second Umibozu transformed into dark red.

Is it expressing… anger?

Didn’t they say that jellyfish have no emotions because they don’t have brains — maybe the jellyfish in this world do. After all, the jellyfish back on Earth don’t shoot lasers. (TL Note: How cool would that be!)

「Keh.」

We were about 30 meters away from the magic ship. But in the open sea, that distance seemed quite daunting.

Pale phosphorescence gathered around Umibozu.

「—It’s going to shoot again!」

「Gya! Bocchan! Become my shield!」

「O-Oi, Zerry-san!?」

Zerry-san turned around and held my body facing Umibozu. This woman is seriously trying to use me as a shield!?

However, I just don’t have enough mana anymore. Mimino-san’s Dupe Potion has run out as well.

Nothing at all can be done in this situation. As I wracked my brain to think of something, I noticed that the surroundings suddenly darkened.