Chapter 9 – Evolution
The number of wights decreased a lot.
By now I was solely responsible for destroying more than a third of the group of wights.
With this even Goutan should approve my promotion to an E rank adventurer.
Even if he didn’t see it himself, the other adventurers present should be able to vouch for my efforts.
“Elma-san… will you go and back up Goutan-san now?” One of the adventurers approached me to ask.
“The Ghoul Head is a lot higher level than us. We should let Goutan handle it himself.”
If an F rank adventurer were to get hit by that Ghoul Head, it would mean instant death.
We might even get in the way if we try to needlessly help out right now.
I turned my gaze over to where Goutan and the others were.
“Tch! Why won’t you just die already, this tenacious bastard!”
Goutan was skipping around while swinging his axe, but the Ghoul Head just wasn’t going down.
He got grabbed by three wights, but shouting ‘Kah!’ he sent them all flying.
“Keep those wights off me properly, Teil, Paul! What’s with that indecisive attitude! I can’t promote you if you keep acting like cowards!”
“I-I-I know that, but if we get closer than this, then we might get hit by the Ghoul Head…..!” Teil answered, looking off balance.
It seems the two he brought with himself to keep away the wights aren’t working out properly, so he lost his attack momentum for the Ghoul Head.
However, Goutan was also able to seamlessly predict the Ghoul Head’s movements.
He deliberately let the monster overreach with its giant hands, only for him to narrowly dodge its hit, just so he could get inside its guard, deliver an attack with his axe, and retreat immediately.
If he keeps that up, then it will be over soon.
An axe strike with Goutan’s entire weight behind it cut deeply into the Ghoul Head.
The giant body of the Ghoul Head bent backwards.
With its crimson red blood gushing out, the Ghoul Head kept raging in pain.
To avoid getting caught up in it, Goutan kept far away.
I checked the Ghoul Head’s HP with [Status].
Monster: Ghoul Head
He can do it…. With that HP, Goutan could defeat it if he could land a full hit again.
Yet another wight grabbed onto Goutan, who was still unbalanced.
Goutan brushed it off with an annoyed grunt.
….the wights are in the way.
After sending a signal to the other adventurers, I set out to help Goutan out.
Teil and Paul were unable to properly keep the interfering wights off him.
After the Ghoul Head let out a loud cry, it used its giant hands to grab hold of the wights around it and threw them inside its huge mouth.
Without any remorse it then chewed up the wights, which were writhing in agony.
The wounds on the Ghoul Head started healing.
“So it has [Corpse Eater]….”
It’s a Special Skill that allows it to devour corpses, or undeads, to regain HP.
Not all Ghoul Heads had that one, only around half or so.
Well, if it didn’t have a recovery skill like that, then a powerful person like Goutan would have been able to defeat it already, even if the people running interference were ineffective.
The wights’ constant obstruction must’ve allowed it to recover using [Corpse Eater].
However, the number of wights that was pretty low to begin with decreased drastically.
Only five wights remained near the Ghoul Head at this point.
At that moment, the Ghoul Head started to forcefully shove the remaining five wights around it in its enormous mouth.
The wights were writhing in pain, but the Ghoul Head kept mercilessly biting apart their bodies.
The Ghoul Head crammed the dismembered pieces of wight meat into its mouth with determination.
I got a bad feeling about it just then.
He wouldn’t be eating that many undead in one go if it was just a single recovery using [Corpse Eater].
When a monster does something peculiar, it’s usually a bad omen.
“Although it managed to recover, the wights that were in the way are also gone! I’ll be putting an end to this now!”
Goutan charged at the Ghoul Head.
“Goutan, stop! All of you stay away from the Ghoul Head!”
As soon as I shouted that…..the Ghoul Head raised both its hands and started loudly screaming.
The Ghoul Head’s body started changing its color to crimson red.
Its body expanded, growing from around two meters tall to nearly three meters.
It crushed the bludgeon it was wielding thus far and extended its enormous now clawed hands.
【〈Ghoul Head〉evolved into〈Mad Head〉.】
【〈Mad Head〉’s level increased from 33 to 40.】
Messages flowed into my head.
“This… is very bad….”
Evolution was a rare event that happened under certain conditions.
It described a situation when a cornered monster brings out its latent potential to escape danger, by evolving into a different species.
The types and exact requirements for a monster’s evolution were clearly defined, but it was influenced by a lot of factors, including the specific monster’s behaviour and the current state of battle, that not all possibilities were publicly known even in [Magic World].
For this one, such factors should be the fact that the Ghoul Head was continuously on the back foot in an extended engagement, and that it must’ve been using [Corpse Eater] to build up the needed energy for its Evolution even before we engaged it.
However, in the end all we can say about this is that this happened because ‘we were simply unlucky’.
“Wh-wha…. what happened…..?”
It seems, standing in front of the suddenly changed Mad Head, Goutan was unable to process what just happened.