NBAA Vol. 5 Chapter 1 Part 2
“If I remember right, Blood Bears can’t be handled alone by even B-Rank adventurers. You’re quite the beast, Reito,” Dain observed.
“What are you talking about… This is nothing compared with the Rotten Dragon.”
“Yeah, but to kill that monster that fast…”
“That’s enough from you. Help me out, we can make bear soup.”
He chatted with Dain as he and Gonzo worked to dissect the bear.
They had to clean things up quickly so other animals wouldn’t gather at the smell of blood. His “Dissection” skill was coming in handy.
The two of them kept checking their surroundings as they dissected the bear.
The fur of Blood Bears was great for keeping warm. The teeth could be used as blades. The meat was considered a delicacy as a hot pot ingredient. If they used storage magic, it wouldn’t rot, so they did not need to rush. They were carefully taking just what they needed.
“That being said, Blood Bears being this close to the entrance of the forest is rare. They usually reside deeper in,” Reito pointed out.
“That’s because that cow-looking monster is out here,” the dryad commented.
Reito looked at the dryad humorously. He muttered, “Cow-looking monster. The Minotaurus?”
“I don’t know its name, but it has the face of a cow and is very scary. The creatures in the forest are all shaken up.”
“Grrr…!!” Ullr started growling just at the word Minotaurus. Ullr’s parents were killed by the Minotaurus, who was the owner of the forest.
Reito was worried about the Minotaurus’s story and had the dryad tell him more.
According to her, there had been a large number of Blood Bears attacked by it and so they had changed habitats. As a result, the Minotaurus had been spotted in these parts too.
“DID YOU SAY MINOTAURUS? IN THIS FOREST!?” Dain was scared.
Gonzo was grinning… “The demon that’s famous for its labyrinth. Just hearing the name really gets you going, huh!”
Reito told Dain, “But, it should be weaker than the Rotten Dragon. It’ll be no problem with your shadow magic.”
“No, no, no!! How strong do you think my shadow magic is!? It might work on creatures besides the Rotten Dragon, but…”
“Don’t worry. If Reito’s here, I’m sure he’ll defeat it!” Kotomin added. Reito wasn’t so sure about that.
“I don’t know… But, I’ve got your guys back in a pinch. Ullr, are you up for a revenge match?”
The last time Reito and the Ullr ran into the Minotaurus, it completely ignored them, not considering them a foe. Since then, Reito had grown as an adventurer, and Ullr had also learned new skills. He was confident the Minotaurus would view them as an enemy this time, and Ullr was prepared to avenge his parents.
“Let’s get moving. We can leave the rest to the monsters in the forest.”
“You’re already leaving? Bye-bye!”
After finishing dissecting the Blood Bear to a certain extent, Reito said goodbye to the dryad and moved ahead. His goal this time was exclusively to head for the ruins deep in the forest, so he didn’t have time to dilly-dally.
That being said, it wasn’t the type of distance they would be able to reach by the end of today, so they would need to spend the night at Reito’s secret hideout.
As they headed for the hideout, Gonzo wiped the sweat off his forehead.
“Phew… I’m real tired. And I thought I was quite the walker.”
“Gon-chan, you’re big so it’s probably hard to navigate through the forest. My bad. Should we go slower?”
“Yeah, that would help.”
Dain was panting. “K-, Kotomin! Get off Ullr’s back and trade with me!”
“Let me relax just a little more… I need water.”
Kotomin was riding Ullr. She drank her whole water bottle and gave some to Suramin who was on her shoulder as well. Her clothing was actually Suramin camouflage. Suramin looked like she was just riding her shoulder, but in reality, she was covering her whole body.
Reito also took a water bottle from his storage magic to give to Suramin. He heard the familiar noise of rushing waters in his ear.
“We’re almost at the hideout. Let’s do our best.”
“Are you serious? I think I can make it…”
“It smells like water.”
In just a little bit, they would reach the cave behind a waterfall where Ullr and Reito used to live. Even if another monster had taken habitat there, they should be able to drive it out easily.
Reito and crew scurried toward the house.
“I can see it! It’s my home!”
“That? You mean the waterfall?”
It was the cave where Ullr’s former elf owners lived. It was also the place where his goblin’s friend was mauled by Blood Bears, but if they were just staying for one night, there shouldn’t be any problem.
Reito took his friends up to the entrance.
“Wow, it’s been a while. I hope it’s not in too bad of shape…”
“Hmm? What’s wrong boy?”
Ullr drew near to Reito as they entered the cave. Reito had to stop him from squeezing in any closer. Reito was suspicious about Ullr’s behavior and looked ahead at the cave, smelling a monstrous smell.
“What is that?”
“Reito, there’s something up ahead!”
“Suramin and Hitomin are trembling… I’m also scared,” Suramin and Hitomin were shaking violently because of their perceptive powers.
Reito silently drew his Extermination Blade, and Gonzo got his club ready.
The next moment, a human-like creature came leaping out of the waterfall splashing water everywhere.
What had emerged from the cave was a creature that had a man’s body and a cow’s head. In its right hand, it was clutching an ax big enough for a giant. Its wrists had the remnants of chains likely once used to hold it back.
It was the master of the Forest of the Abyss, the Minotaurus.
Reito and crew immediately took their battle stances.
“It can’t be…!?”
“Oh my god! I’m gonna piss myself!”
Gonzo moved to protect the other humans right away. Dain was getting ready to use his Shadow Magic to restrain the creature. Kotomin had both of her slimes at the ready.
Reito and Ullr were already running at the Minotaurus.
“Get outta my house!!”
Reito came down upon the Minotaurus with his Extermination Blade. He was using a combo attack that combined a skill he learned from Bal, Strike Blade, with another battle skill to create a “Stark Blade” attack.
The Minotaurus swung the ax it had in its right hand. Reito took on the blow with his sword.
Ullr growled angrily.
A metallic sound rang out as the ax struck the broadsword. A shockwave unfolded through the area. Reito’s attack that could take down a Blood Bear in one fell swoop was easily stopped by the Minotaurus. More than that, it managed to repel the attack.
Ullr caught the blown-away Reito on his back.
Gonzo rushed toward the Minotaurus.
“Golden Stark Blade!!”
The Minotaurus blasted air through its nostrils.
The Minotaurus clutched its ax in both hands and took the blow of the club, the strong vibrations shook both of them. If it were compared to Reito, Gonzo would be far superior in terms of physical strength. But, the Minotaurus was not only able to intercept the attack but to push it back as well.
“You little… ngh!?”
“You’ve gotta be kidding me!” Dain was surprised.
Dain was fazed that Gonzo the giant lost in a battle of strength to the Minotaurus.
He recomposed himself and hurried to use his shadow magic, but Kotomin beat him to the punch. She grasped Suramin and Hitomin and approached the Minotaurus.
“Water Gun… Water Bullets!!”
“Moo!!” the Minotaurus said in confusion.
Kotomin pulled the trigger on the two slimes releasing a basketball-sized spurt of water.
The water bullets collided with the face and left leg of the Minotaurus making it flinch. Gonzo took the opportunity to punch the Minotaurus.
The Minotaurus was bleeding out of its nose after being punched and retreated a little. Fist Strike was also a skill that Reito could use, but a boxer like Gonzo was significantly more apt at using it.
He aimed for the Minotaurus’s right leg.
His leg swept like a roundhouse kick, but the Minotaurus stopped him with his left arm. He switched the ax to his right hand and swung.
Gonzo, who had dropped his clubs, crossed his hands to block the attack, but before the blow landed, Dain had restrained the Minotaurus with Shadow Magic.
The Minotaurus’s movement was stopped by the shadow transmitted through the ground. Gonzo hurriedly grabbed his club.
Reito was on Ullr’s back and approached the Minotaurus fist out.
Reito combined the beginner magic Electric Shock with Wind Pressure to give a blow to its abdomen. The Minotaurus was blown away with a shriek.
It got back up, grabbing its stomach.
“Shit. That’s not going to be enough…”