Chapter 27 – An unforeseen formidable enemy
As we were leaving the narrow confines of the alley, we ended up encountering a group of six Sea Onis.
“Leave me and go ahead by yourselves!”
“B-but, that many…..”
Luce stopped in place and turned back towards me.
“Hurry up, Luce! Elma said he’ll be fine!”
Celt shouted back to Luce while he kept running.
Luce hesitantly nodded back to him, then turned to me.
“Please survive and catch back up to us, Elma-san…..”
The six Sea Onis tried to make use of their numerical advantage to surround me.
I used [Parry] and [Magic Guard] to fend off their tentacles and prevent them from completely surrounding me.
I then saw a Sea Oni in the back deploying a magic circle.
From the center of the magic circle, a blade of water shot towards me.
That was the [Water Slash] Skill.
“Okay, [Shield Bash]!”
I used my shield to send a Sea Oni from the front flying, using it as a shield against the [Water Slash].
The Sea Oni that received an unexpected attack to its back started looking around in confusion.
“Good, now is the time!”
I started running after Luce and the others who ran ahead.
The Sea Onis started chasing after me in a hurry.
Sea Onis are quite slow, but Heavy Knights aren’t too fast either.
In addition to that, wearing heavy armor comes with a penalty to movement speed as well.
So the Sea Onis were gradually gaining on me, but….
Celt’s arrow impacted the face of the frontrunner Sea Oni.
After getting hit in the head by an arrow, the Sea Oni froze in place.
Then, a different Sea Oni also got hit in the head by another arrow as well.
As they kept freezing up one after the other, the distance gradually started to grow between us.
We need to avoid unneeded fights at all costs.
That’s the policy I’ve set for the Raid this time.
So I had the other three run ahead while I held their attention, then had Celt support me while I ran away from them.
If we manage to open up a certain distance between us, then the slow moving Sea Onis will give up chasing us pretty quickly.
It wouldn’t be that bad to take our time and hunt down those Sea Oni any other time, but we need to hurry right now and get to our destination as soon as possible.
If we started fighting a group of Sea Onis with their high Defense and high regeneration, then it would really take a lot of time.
And even if we put effort into taking down the Sea Onis, Mabel’s level, which is the most important right now, won’t be going up.
The Sea Oni that was coming closer to me suddenly swung its head to the side, successfully dodging Celt’s arrow by a hair’s breadth.
“Sorry, Elma! Only that one is moving a bit too fast for me! It must be a higher leveled monster!”
“I should go and take care of it…..!”
Luce readied her knife.
I turned around and used my shield to push the Sea Oni back.
The Sea Oni went flying, landing with a roll on the ground.
With this quite a bit of distance opened up.
I’m confident in being able to deal with a slow moving and even lower leveled Sea Oni if it’s one-on-one.
I kept running after that, managing to catch up to Luce and the others ahead of me.
The group of Sea Oni kept their gaze on us even after they stopped chasing, then they started to retreat, looking dejected.
“…..it really went just according to your plan, since we indeed managed to shake them off by this red building.”
Mabel reached out and touched the building with a hand while letting out a sigh of exasperation.
“Can you see the future or something, huh? Do you have some weird hidden Skill in reserve?”
Celt asked me with a raised eyebrow.
“It’s because I know the possible breadth of a standard Status of a Sea Oni. If you know how to convert their Status into movement speed, the approximate safe distance where they give up their pursuit, and the time they freeze up when sneak attacked by an arrow, then anyone could do it, really.”
“…..I still really want to know where you learned all that by the way? Huh, Elma?”
“According to the map we covered quite a bit of ground. We are almost at the Dream Lord….”
Mabel spoke up with the map in hand.
It’s thanks to our tactic of me drawing the monsters’ attention and Celt hindering their movements working perfectly.
“Wasn’t that a bit too fast? At this rate we’ll have to wait for a long time until other adventurers show up. I don’t think any others would try to get here anywhere near this fast.”
“It’s best to get there as fast as possible. It would be for the best if nothing happens in the end anyway…..”
That being said, if really nothing ends up happening, then although we would’ve successfully prevented the Monster Calamity from getting worse, this would end up with us not knowing anything about the ones that caused the recent incidents.
At that moment, Celt suddenly turned back to glare at an alley different from where we came from.
“Oh hoh, there is something close by it seems. Want to go take a look?”
It seems the [Sixth Sense] Skill that lets the user detect rare items or strong enemies have activated just now.
“I don’t want to take too many detours, but let’s check it this time to be sure.”
It’s true that we are still good on time.
Also, if we keep going like this, we would end up reaching the Dream Lord’s location right away.
I would still like to raise Mabel’s level by two before that if possible.
So we followed after Celt.
After a few minutes of moving, Celt stopped next to me and plunged his hand into the water at our feet.
In his hand a black gem with many irregular sides could be seen.
“Tsk, if it ain’t the Mourning Trapezohedron that they told us were all around the Dungeon. What a letdown.”
Celt’s shoulders dropped in disappointment.
“Well, it was one of the goals of the Raid to destroy those when found anyway.”
Just as Celt was about to throw the Mourning Trapezohedron into the wall, it happened.
Suddenly a shriveled up monkey looking monster jumped up to attack Celt from next to his feet out of nowhere.
It had long black claws which it swung right away.
Celt jumped back in a hurry and raised his arm to block, but he was still hit in the shoulder by those sharp claws.
The monster’s lower body resembled that of a fish’s.
After sneak attacking Celt, it quickly jumped back into the water at our feet.
The water shouldn’t be nearly deep enough to hide a monster of that size, but even so, we lost sight of the monster immediately.
“E-Elma-san, that was……!”
It was a monster I’ve never seen before.
However, its appearance, which was a mix between a humanoid and a fish, and its Skill that allows it to swim in the ground as if it was water rings a bell.
“It’s most likely a Rare Monster, the Merman’s Evolved form!”
Normally a Merman only tries to escape, a monster similar to the Golden Rana.
Although it doesn’t give a lot of experience points like the Golden Rana, it drops valuable items.
It seems with the Mourning Trapezohedrons destabilizing the Dungeon, it managed to fulfill some special requirements and Evolve, gaining a high level of ferocity in the process.
A lot of strange things can happen in a Dungeon undergoing a Monster Calamity.
However, I still did not expect that we would get ambushed in this manner.
This monster was most likely lying in wait near the rare item, thinking that adventurers would come.
I knew that some monsters are a lot smarter now, compared to back when it was just a game.
However, with two special circumstances in one here, I wasn’t able to foresee a situation like this.
“I have no idea what it can do. I will keep its attention, so Mabel and Celt, try to keep your distance and support me from mid range. Then I will judge whether it would be best to attack or run away……”
Celt fell to one knee just then.
“…..sorry, Elma. Its claws…..they had paralysis poison on them.”
I bit into my lips.
The fact that a reconnaissance type like Celt was paralyzed like that when there is no way to know how the enemy will be attacking is very much less than ideal.
The first step here should be for Mabel with the Priestess Class to heal Celt’s paralysis, but it’s very likely that the Merman monster will show up and attack before that can be done.
Now that the three of them can’t get away, the next best move is for everyone to stay close together.
“Change of plans! We are taking down this monster as fast as possible!”