DAR Vol. 2 Chapter 7 Part 7
While the boy and the three magic beasts were busy talking, the slime continued attacking. The surroundings were filled with gas, which formed a thick fog. Many of its tentacles were stretched, some of them made of metal and looking just like sharp spears.
Once the slime realized that gas was effective, it also started spewing other poisonous liquids and reassembled the materials it absorbed to use them as throwing ammunition.
Grandpa Gry’s defense, however, was peerless. It repelled each and every attack and did not let gas slip through anywhere. When it used the Wind Wall in the Norfar valley, a large sound disrupted its attention and canceled it, but nothing of the sort happened this time.
The Wind Wall continued blocking all escape routes, while the earth magic continued reinforcing the ground, no matter how many times the slime tried to melt it.
Grandpa Gry’s prison of magic was impregnable. The reason was that Grandpa Gry had properly concentrated when forming the formulae for these spells: the Wind Wall created in Norfar valley was done on a whim, so not much thought was put into it. This time, Roa was involved, making the situation much different.
If Roa’s safety or wishes were involved, Grandpa Gry became serious to the point of being overprotective, after all.
<Brat! Plug your ears. Twins, you do it too.>
Roa heard Grandpa Gry’s desperate plea and, after a small sigh, plug his ears. The twins too leaned forward and used their front paws to do the same.
<You must absolutely not listen, all right!? No matter what!!>
Grandpa Gry was so desperate that Roa started thinking that he wanted to hear instead. He wouldn’t actually do it, of course. Seeing Grandpa Gry act like that, however, made Roa wonder if the gryphon was unexpectedly weak to shame. Roa made a mental point to make any and all future punishments for Grandpa Gry embarrassing things.
Grandpa Gry emitted a high-pitched cry.
<O whirlwind piercing the heavens, let my voice penetrate deep into the fabrics of nature, the flower-bearing maiden’s hairpin be as twisted as thorns…>
Grandpa Gry’s voice echoed in a duet. It was pleasant, almost as if it wasn’t the gryphon’s voice…
<Kaah!! Why is one such as I forced to chant spells…! Because of a mere slug!! Unforgivable!!>
Actually, it was a trio. Grandpa Gry deftly managed to complain while chanting. Roa continued plugging his ears and holding his head, sad that the chanted magic’s atmosphere was ruined.
It was to be expected since it could cast multiple magic spells at the same time, but Grandpa Gry possessed “parallel thinking”. It was using it to complain while chanting the spells, so the chanting and complaining could be heard at the same time.
<My heart unto the thorns, my heart to protect the maiden, my blade is the knight’s sword, the blade is ever honed sharp…>
<I shall cut you down! Taste the punishment for your impudence!!>
Grandpa Gry’s chant was unique, it was a formula Roa never heard before. He couldn’t imagine what kind of magic formula it would create. Normal chanting was something like “O spirit of flames in my hand, gather and form a spear of flames, Flame Lance!”, clearly stating what kind of phenomenon one wished to create.
Grandpa Gry’s chant, however, didn’t specify what it wanted to create.
<Impetuous heart pounds in my chest as a furious bell, restrain my heart, paint the knight’s blade deep red!>
<I shouldn’t have let you go just because it seemed fun!! Be exterminated!!>
It would be such a nice chant without all the complaining…so thought Roa, then he realized.
He could hear Grandpa Gry normally. Roa turned towards the twins and they nodded at him, signaling that they could too. Roa quickly nodded in response, instructing them to pretend they couldn’t hear.
<The swirling maiden hair, pristine blushing cheeks, scarlet unto the knight’s blade, painted the color of dawn…>
<A mere slug like you opposing me is the apex of folly, anyway!! You should have quietly crawled on the ground and accepted your death!!>
Grandpa Gry’s words were not spoken in its real voice. They were plugging their ears, so there was no way they could hear. Normally, Grandpa Gry would realize it immediately, but the pressure probably prevented him from noticing. It was so busy chanting and complaining that it didn’t realize anything yet.
The gryphon’s shrill cries and its actual cries were also charged with magic power and supported the chanting. They reached Roa and the twins’ ears as well.
<The soft breeze after the storm brings forth blessings from the heavens, washes and purifies over all, one single pure stream left behind…>
<Struggle as you will! Suffer as long as you can! Taste the entirety of my heart’s pain!!>
Grandpa Gry talked as if it had suffered actual damage, but it was all unjustified resentment.
<Now perish!! Whirlwind of Thorns!!>
As soon as those words were pronounced, a powerful wind started spinning. The Wind Wall around the slime accelerated and turned into a massive whirlwind.
Powerful gusts of wind started blowing inside the Wind Wall, where the air had been completely still until then, slicing the slime tentacles one after the other. The slime, swept by the wind, decreased in size just like a wet rag being squeezed.
<Brat!! Pour the holy water!!>
Roa was looking, dazed, at the scene of carnage under his feet, when Grandpa Gry called to him. He was still plugging his ears and shouldn’t be able to hear, but he replied unconsciously.
<Throw them all, no need to take them out of the bags, they will rip open anyway.>
Roa took out a few leather bags from the Magic Bag and threw them below, one after the other. Inside them was the holy water, of course. Roa had experimented on the drinking water he carried, which all turned into holy water.
The leather bags were ripped open by the whirlwinds, pouring their contents inside the vortex. The slime’s noxious gases were then purified and quickly disappeared.
The slime’s body was healed by the holy water.
<Mwahahaha…this is not just a whirlwind!>
Its beak twisted into a grin, Grandpa Gry laughed loudly. As soon as it did, the recovering slime’s body was ripped apart.
Inside the whirlwind, countless Wind Cutters had been created, just like sharp thorns. They rode inside the whirlwind and spun together with it. They sliced the slime’s body much faster than the holy water could heal it.
<I’m going to squeeze it now.>
Sliced by the blades, the slime tried to reduce its size to protect itself, but the whirlwind closed in at the same time, leaving it no way to escape the mayhem.
<This is almost sickening…>
From the bottom of his heart, Roa was glad that slimes did not have blood. Its semi-transparent body was simply ripped apart, so he could still stand to watch, but if it was a magic beast with blood running through its veins…Roa shuddered.
He was also glad the slime did not talk or emit any cries. If it shed blood and cried in pain, even Roa -used to dissecting magic beasts- would suffer from mental damage.
<Hehehehe….mwahahahaha!!! Pay for what you did!!>
Grandpa Gry’s loud laugh echoed.
“….yep, Grandpa Gry is the bad guy here…”
The twins wholeheartedly agreed to Roa’s whisper.
The whirlwind squeezed the slime to the maximum: it was now so small that it was invisible in the eye of the hurricane.
<Brat! My magic power is at its limits, after all. Once the whirlwind clears go down with the twins and destroy the core! Make that thing pay the proper price for the humiliation we suffered!!>
Grandpa Gry seemed to prioritize its personal grudges more than anything else, but it was not the time to worry about that. Grandpa Gry reaching its limits meant that the magic cage would disappear too. Without the cage, even if only the core remained, the slime would probably absorb materials from the ground and reform itself. They had to move quickly.
The whirlwind thinned down even more and calmed down. Under it, something gleamed.
<I’ll let you go down now.>
Roa and the twins lightly nodded, then started falling. When they were close to ground level, a gust of wind blew and let them land without problems: Grandpa Gry used its magic to let them land safely.
Roa and the twins ran towards the gleaming object, the slime’s core. It was large enough to exceed Roa in height; on its surface, covered in mithril, the slime’s transparent body was already squirming. Its regenerative powers were truly astounding.
The red magic wolf howled and flames danced on the core.
The blue wolf howled and the scorched surface, turned to very high temperature in an instant, had now turned cold enough to be touched safely.
Roa exhaled sharply, concentrated, then struck the core with his palm.
Can my power…my magic really work?
He, who had always been called useless, who couldn’t even proper offensive magic, could he really do it? He had to, though. He had to trust the contract formed with Grandpa Gry and unleash all the magic power they had in common.
Roa’s palm smarted. The slime’s sticky liquid was starting to melt his skin and flesh. Its body was starting to recover, again. There was little time left.
While gritting his teeth through the pain, Roa took a deep breath.
Roa whispered faintly, then used as much magic as he could onto the core. Nothing happened.
The inside of the core was supposed to heat up and for the core to rupture from inside. From outside, nothing seemed to be happening. However…
After a moment that seemed to last for an eternity, a crack-like sound was heard from inside the core.
“…is it over?”
Roa couldn’t tell if the slime died or not. Its body did not seem to be recovering, but was it really over?
The twins rubbed their bodies against Roa’s. They looked happy, and Roa replied with a smile.
“It’s over, right?”
The twins barked together and nodded vigorously. Instinctively, they knew that the slime was dead.
Roa sat on the ground, as if collapsing. The twins immediately jumped on him and licked his face furiously. They were still full of energy. It didn’t seem possible, after they had fought so much. Roa hugged them as they continued licking his face. It was a scene right out of their usual life.
Then, a loud voice echoed.
<You fool!! I am still in midair!! What fool uses up all shared magic power!?!>
The voice seemed in a pinch. Roa had used magic power to the limits, so they had run out of it. Because of that, Grandpa Gry couldn’t use wind magic to stay afloat anymore. It could still fly by using its wings, but since it usually relied on magic to fly, it was fairly bad at it.
“Grandpa Gry, do your best!”
Looking at Grandpa Gry, awkwardly gliding down, Roa and the twins laughed loudly.
The disturbance started from Norfar valley was finally completely over…apparently.
Roa and the servant beasts were sitting on the slab of hard rock that used to be called Floural Hill. Once a grassfield brimming with flowers, it was now a desolate crater. They were sitting more or less in its center.
<Absolutely not. I am never going to eat something like that…>
“Okay, sure, but I have nothing else you can eat, you know?”
Grandpa Gry and the wolf twins were lying on the ground, leering at the feed placed before them. Their expressions were so disgusted that it was hard to think that they were looking at something to eat.
What stood before them was the Adventurers’ Guild famed specialty, dried feed made exclusively for magic beasts…commonly called “Crispies”.
Roa found some samples in his Magic Bag, for some reason, and placed them on bowls. After defeating the slime the servant beasts said they were hungry, so Roa looked for anything he could serve them. When he took them out, however, all servant beasts looked positively horrified.
“This is feed for devils! It doesn’t even deserve to be called food!”
The wolf twins followed Grandpa Gry’s declaration with clearly dissatisfied howling.
“You’ve eaten this before?”
After Roa was banished from Crack of Dawn, the servant beasts were served nothing else to eat, but they did not even want to recall such hellish memories.
“Hmm, but this is a problem, I really don’t have anything else…should we join with the others, then?”
<We’ll have to come here again, right? What a pain…>
Grandpa Gry made no effort to hide its foul mood. Roa’s group had stayed in the crater in order to return Floural Hill to its original form. They couldn’t reform the plants or flowers, but Grandpa Gry’s earth magic could restore the concave fissure to its former shape.
Until Grandpa Gry recovered enough magic power, they would rest in the center of the crater, the most suitable location to gather magic power.
<Besides, the sleepyhead and the others are coming this way, you know? They will have something to eat, won’t they?>
“Eh? They’re all coming?”
Grandpa Gry’s magic power had already recovered a little, at least enough to use detection magic. Its range extended much farther than the grassfield, reaching all locations visible from the grassfield. It couldn’t tell how many witnesses there were, but unexpectedly, there were very few people around. Possibly because it was still early morning.
News that something happened in that location will probably spread, but no one would probably know about what actually happened or who caused it. It will likely remain as one of the mystery events that happened in the country. Some might suspect that whatever happened was tied with the Aldon forest events, but no one would ever find out the truth.
After a while, human silhouettes appeared at the edge of the crater. It was Nostalgia’s members.
“Heey, are you all right?”
They were deftly sliding down the smooth slopes of the crater, so they approached much faster than running would allow. A few minutes after their silhouettes appeared, they already reached the center of the crater.
<Food!! Get the food out!!>
“…that’s the first thing you say…?”
Greeted by Grandpa Gry’s sudden order, Dietrich was relieved to see that it was as difficult as usual and laughed bitterly.
“Looks like it’s over…it sure was incredible, or should I say, stupidly huge magic…”
As they were looking from far away, they could tell better than Roa how massive the scale of Grandpa Gry’s magic was.
<Stupid!? Did you say stupid!? Only stupids call other stupid! You stupid sleepyhead!>
“Allow me to deal with this stupid man later! Please let us know all details about that wonderful magic spell!!”
“Bernhart…every time you talk things get messy…”
Bernhart interrupted Grandpa Gry and Dietrich’s conversation, pleading with stars in his eyes. Cornelia and Kristoff looked at their bickering, dejected. The arrival of the group fixed the twins’ mood: now they were running around Dietrich, jumping and kicking him.
Roa looked at them, smiling.
“It’s all so peaceful…”
Everyone who heard Roa turned towards him and reacted. The grassfield had been annihilated, replaced by a massive crater, where until moments before an unrealistic battle took place. Roa, who defined it as “peaceful”, was looked at with utter disbelief.
“T-the biggest shot here is Roa, after all…”
Nostalgia’s members and the servant beasts all nodded to Cornelia’s words.
Roa cocked his head to the side.
“…I don’t get it, but anyway…could you make some food for Grandpa Gry and the twins? There is something else I have to do…”
Roa stood up.
“Hey, where are you going?”
“The slime’s materials! There will never be another chance to obtain so many useful things!!”
Roa ran off. Slimes could be found anywhere, but after they were defeated their materials were absorbed into the ground, so they were surprisingly rare. Because of this, research about the ways they could be used did not advance at all.
In the crater now there was an abundance of slime materials: the ground was also still solid rock, making it difficult for them to be absorbed and easy to recover.
It was one in a million chance for Roa.
“…he doesn’t change a bit, huh…”
Even after becoming the master of a high-rank magic beast, he still acted like the lowest class All-Rounder.
<What are you saying? The brat is the brat. What need is there to change?>
Dietrich thought briefly about Grandpa Gry’s words, then smiled.
“You’re absolutely right!”
Not only Dietrich, but everyone else agreed too. In a way, Roa was a weak and low-ranked All-Rounder. However, he was also the strongest and greatest All-Rounder. That was the best way to describe Roa.