Chapter 30 – A predicament and a way out
I was able to safely take down one Tin Knight with [Rampart Reversal].
However, even if I were to manage to repeat this two more times and take out the rest of the Tin Knights, it won’t render the Embryo powerless.
The reason for that is because even if you manage to deplete the HP of the Tin Knights, they will still keep existing.
The only way to permanently incapacitate the Tin Knights is to take down the main body, or in other words the Embryo.
Until then you can’t even get xp for them.
The lump of flesh that makes up the Embryo wriggled, uncovering its single eye.
Centered around the Embryo a magic circle was deployed, which then shot a white light towards the Tin Knights.
It was a spell the Embryo possessed, [Repair].
It can rejuvenate a fallen Tin Knight to full health.
No matter how desperately you fight against the Tin Knights, you will be forced into a pointless battle of attrition.
However, the moment it casts a spell…. its weak point, the eye, becomes vulnerable.
I kicked the ground hard and lunged to the side, forcing some distance between me and the second Tin Knight.
At the same I threw a mana infused earth attribute magic stone at the Embryo’s eye.
That was a magic stone that came from a Patchwork Bear.
Attacking by using a magic stone doesn’t actually do much damage and it takes a lot of MP too.
And just throwing away valuable magic stones is also hard on the wallet.
It’s an undeniable lesser version of any magic Skill, but the fact that it can be used by everyone compensates for those shortcomings.
In front of the Embryo, countless needles made of earth stretched out from the magic stone.
Red liquid poured out from the monster’s eye.
The Embryo let out a shriek.
This is the only method I had for attacking it all the way up there.
I quickly got up and positioned myself in a way that a Tin Knight was between me and the Embryo.
If I were to mess this step up, the [Sylph Cutter] that has a fast activation time would come flying, killing me instantly.
I was once again flanked by the Tin Knights.
I tried to use [Shield Bash] on the closest one, but it evaded it by jumping back.
I quickly moved my shield to my right side to keep in check the enemy from there, while I body-checked the enemy coming at me from the left side, then swiftly hit it with [Vital Blow].
I managed to deal some damage to the enemy while I made use of the rebound force from the body-check and the incoming slashing attack to leap back and gain some distance from them.
That was the good news.
However, something I didn’t count on has happened.
It was the fact that my [Shield Bash] was dodged.
In Magic World, a simple monster wouldn’t have been able to so accurately deal with one of my Skills.
The Tin Knights have obviously remembered my [Shield Bash].
This world is not a game, so this should be expected.
It’s still within my expectations.
However, that means that taking down the Embryo will be much harder than it was in Magic World.
As I kept dodging the attacks of the Tin Knights, I checked its Status.
To defeat it, I need to hit it three more times with a magic stone.
Setting aside the amount I still have left, the max number of times I could do that with my sword-user sized MP is three at the most.
Also, the automatic recovery rate of a Dream Lord is much higher than ordinary monsters.
If I take too much time, then I won’t be able to take it down.
If it comes to that, then it would be checkmate for me.
As I was in a blade-lock with the Tin Knights, the Embryo kept moving around and finally opened its eye.
That’s the preparatory action for casting a spell.
“It shouldn’t be able to cast a spell with the Tin Knights in the crossfire…..!”
I knew it.
I knew that it won’t necessarily act the same way as it did in Magic World ever since my [Shield Bash] was dodged.
It was uncertain how much my strategy that depended on exploiting its AI would still work.
Don’t fall apart now. Look at the situation and do the best you can.
I knew that this was a dire situation but even then, due to my pride I didn’t want to leave those people to die.
At my current level, a [Sylph Cutter] cast from this distance is not something I can react to after it’s already been launched.
I can only protect myself by using my best guess borne from instinct and experience.
That is the best I can do in the current situation.
Keeping my shield up I went on the retreat.
In the next moment, the Tin Knight in front of me lost its head.
Next, a heavy blow impacted the shield, sending me flying.
Trying to deal with the pain that wrecked my entire body, I kept grasping my shield and my sword tightly, determined to not let them go at all costs.
The moment I let go of my weapons is the moment I lose.
I barely hold onto consciousness.
My pulse is racing.
I didn’t think that the shortest activation of a magic Skill from a higher level opponent would be this devastating.
I try to move my legs, but I can’t put any strength into it.
As I wonder why…. the reason comes to me right away.
An abnormal status effect: Stun.
It has a low probability of triggering when you receive a powerful full-body blow.
The Stun in this case only lasts for a few seconds, but in this situation it is of grave importance.
Closing in, the two Tin Knights mercilessly swing their short swords at me.
“…..it seems, my starting Luck value may have been low. Maybe I should’ve had Luce stay with me.”
I could only say something frivolous like that in the end.
The next moment, someone grabbed me from behind by the armor and pulled me back to the floor.
The blade of the Tin Knight nearly grazed my nose.
“Much obliged! Thank you very much for choosing my services!”
Luce said with a trembling voice, but even so she all but screamed the next words to try and find her courage as she stood in front of me.
Luce’s form broke apart into four distinct shapes.
After freezing up for a moment, the two Tin Knights swung their blades at the illusions.
In the meantime, Luce fell back and stood next to me.
“W-what are you doing! I thought you took those two with you and escaped….”
“The whole corridor is mostly just a straight path but you showed no sign of coming after us, so I told those two where to go and came back by myself to check out the situation! You said you would withdraw right away, so why are you fighting them seriously!?”
Luce questioned me in a voice that sounded like she was on the verge of crying.
“I stayed because of my inborn duty….and my own pride. Please turn back now, Luce.”
I took too much time and used up too much of my stamina.
In addition to that, this Embryo is a much more brutal and harder to beat opponent than I thought.
I don’t think it would just let me keep throwing magic stones at him after this.
It may buy some time, but I won’t be able to kill it with that due to its automatic recovery.
The chances of winning are basically nil.
I can’t let her get caught up in it.
“Th-then, I’ll just stay because of my pride too! You helped me out…. you told me you needed my strength…. you even tried to let me escape by risking your own life….! If I didn’t have the courage to help out instead of running away and letting you die, then I would’ve long quit being an adventurer already!”
Luce pointed her Iron Piercer towards the Tin Knights.
“Even discounting all my other abilities, I have my speed. Almost double of what Elma-san has! I can’t make excuses for myself anymore, saying that I’m a useless failure….. and I don’t want to either!”
I misjudged her.
In this desperate fight, as a Heavy Knight I have no ways of dealing consistent damage and I’m seriously short of movement speed.
I needed allies like water in a desert.
However, those two from before were obviously demoralized already, and since I did not consider Luce as someone strong-willed, I thought she would freeze up against the Embryo.
And yet Luce came back for me and even saved me from the Tin Knight at the last moment.
Luce is clearly much braver than I thought.
“….I’m happy for the sentiment, but my predictions were incorrect. The single useful attack method of throwing a magic stone at it will not work in the future. In addition to that, neither Luce or I have a ranged attack capable of hitting it while it’s floating up there.”
“Then we should just give up because of it!? There must be something we could…..!”
“I have a last resort plan that may allow us a single chance of bringing down that baby…. the Embryo, by taking advantage of its one weak point. If we fail this one, then it will certainly mean the end, but…. would you help me with that? If you can’t, then please run away while you can.”
How can I eliminate the Embryo with our current forces?
Since the Embryo is a gimmicky boss, if we can land a well placed hit right in its weak point, then it’s possible to defeat it without much fanfare.
There was a plan I first thought of but discarded right away due to how risky and unrealistic it was.
With no other methods available, we can only depend on that one.
“Let’s do it, Elma-san!”
Luce nodded without hesitation.
“Thank you, Luce. We will bring down the Embryo with the two of us.”
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