Chapter 21 – Entering the monster region!
“When talking about a monster region, I imagined a much harsher place than this.”
Elysia said while surveying the area.
A few hours after leaving Lobrion we finally reached Tialus.
The stone paved road we were traveling on was mostly overgrown with vegetation, with some parts missing or sunken after so long. It was obvious that it wasn’t maintained at all for a long time now.
That being said, the surroundings of the highway were alternating between forests and plains, but were always scenes of nature. Not the eerie scenery one would expect when talking about an area overrun by monsters.
While Elysia and I were riding on a horse, Yuuri was walking ahead of us.
Yuuri was wearing light leather armor, a type that covers her entire torso and protects her waist area with a skirt.
She chose a mace as her weapon. Apparently she chose that because it was the one that resembles the hammer she was used to wielding the most.
Yuuri turned back towards us, causing her short bluish black hair to gently flutter in the wind.
“But I heard that not just monsters, but demons live in places like this. My parents were also caught by the Imperial army in a remote northern region…..”
So Yuuri’s parents were free demons.
There are demons in some remote areas of the empire that managed to get away from humans and oppose the rule of the empire.
They mostly live deep in the forest away from human eyes.
However, in this monster region we haven’t seen any demons like that so far.
That’s because the monsters here are simply too strong for that.
Yuuri seemed to have suddenly remembered something, then bowed her towards me.
“I-I’m sorry for speaking out of turn like that.”
Elysia must’ve taught her the basics of how servants should act.
It’s basic manners for servants to not open their mouths unless spoken to when in service to a noble. Unless they are particularly close, no servant would just share their circumstances without prompting like that.
I shook my head.
“No need to worry about that. There are no other nobles here, so I would prefer if you would share your thoughts from now on as well.”
Yuuri replied in a cheerful manner.
While proceeding down the highway, I asked Yuuri a question.
“Oh, come to think of it, Yuuri. What kind of Crest do you have?”
“Me? I couldn’t decipher it. Though the others know what theirs do.”
Yuuri said this, then pulled off her glove.
A dark, writhing symbol could be seen on the back of her hand.
Elysia raised her voice.
“That’s….a Dark Crest….”
“Yeah, it’s a Dark Crest like mine.”
I nodded, then carefully inspected Yuuri’s hand.
“【Dark Craft】…. It gives a blessing to Dark Magic and Lightning Magic. It also boosts smithing skills, which work the best under the cover of darkness. Ooh, out of all the Dark Crests I’ve seen until now, that’s a fairly powerful one!”
“T-this has such an effect? Aah….I’ve never used magic before, but I’ve noticed that I could make better things at night. I would’ve never guessed that it was due to my Crest.”
“It’s just a boost in the end; your mood might have a large impact on your work as well. Anyhow, it might be for the best if you could train your Lightning Magic sometimes. If it’s only the basics, then I could show you if you want.”
“B-by all means!”
Yuuri accepted with a happy expression.
Then a voice could be heard from behind me.
“Aah. I want to…..learn Lightning Magic as well.”
“O-of course, I could teach you as well if you’d like, Elysia.”
“Eh? I was just talking to myself, but….Alec-sama, you are very kind! Thank you very much!”
What a barefaced lie…. and please don’t squeeze me that much.
Well, the way she’s acting right now is very Elysia, and I don’t plan on criticizing people for their word choices or general conduct anyway.
If we can keep getting along like this, then it’s fine.
However, our peaceful times did not continue for much longer.
I noticed mana moving somewhere nearby.
Yuuri tilted her head in confusion.
However, I could tell.
Monsters are lurking in the forest nearby, targeting us.
Judging from the snake-like shape of the mana…..it must be Death Snakes.
The same type of monster that we first fought after leaving the capital.
A powerful snake that was rumored to have eradicated an entire village by itself.
More than ten of those appeared around us.
This many Death Snakes at once…..let’s use 《Teleport》 and regroup for now.
I teleported us further along the highway.
However, there were already a number of Death Snakes there as well.
They must’ve caught our scent and approached us from every direction. This highway must be the hunting ground of Death Snakes.
The Death Snakes all froze for a moment with our sudden arrival, but then they pointed their fangs at us.
Yuuri was so startled by those Death Snakes that she fell on her butt.
I used my Dark Magic to cleave apart the Death Snake that appeared in front of Yuuri.
“Are you alright, Yuuri!?”
“Y-y-yes! T-t-thank you, Alec-sama!”
Perhaps her legs gave out from fear, but apparently Yuuri couldn’t manage to stand up. Her shoulders kept shaking as well.
“I will get her!”
Elysia jumped down from Hell White and cut apart an approaching Death Snake.
I also kept taking down Death Snakes while watching out for Elysia as she helped Yuuri stand up.
“Are you alright, Yuuri-san?”
We were able to defeat all nearby Death Snakes.
However, a lot of new enemies were coming at us on the highway.
“Wow, that’s a lot of monsters…..anyway, let’s lose them with 《Teleport》.”
There is no time to dismantle the Death Snakes.
Although it’s a waste, we’ll have to leave…..ah, couldn’t I store them in my 《Pandora’s Box》?
I tried to will the remains of the Death Snakes we defeated into storage as a test. Thankfully, I was able to collect them without needing to touch them.
“Good, then everyone keep close and…..《Teleport》.”
I kept using 《Teleport》 to advance further down the highway again.
Looking behind us, we were able to see that we managed to leave the Death Snakes behind.
However, from the sky and the forest, a bunch of other monsters started gathering.
They must’ve caught the smell of blood coming from the Death Snakes we took down.
Seeing the number of monsters swarming in the ground and in the air, our faces went pale.
“T-that many monsters…..”
Yuuri seemed to be in shock.
“So this is a monster region…..let’s just proceed forward as much as we can. Are you alright with that, Yuuri?”
“Y-yes! Though the clothes I’ve received got dirty…..I-I’m still fine!”
I thought of sending back the bright red Yuuri for now, but she adamantly refused, so we kept on going until it got dark.
But, we couldn’t really spend the night in a scary place like this.
So we returned to our headquarters in Lobrion via 《Teleport》.
There is also a commentated version of this chapter here for a more social reading experience.