TNG Vol. 17 Chapter 2 Part 2

“Looks like they’re all ready to go.”

The church forces were performing a final check of their provisions: once it was done, they could depart at any time.

Shin’s party headed to their assigned position, ahead of the group.

There they found Reiner, leader of the church forces, talking to someone. Judging from his attire, Shin guessed he was a scout.

“Did something happen?”

“The information about the high-level monsters has been updated. The 2nd royal guard’s division has defeated the Stoluz, but the presence of previously undetected monsters has been confirmed.”

Reiner used a fairly polite tone of speech with Shin, probably because of his affiliation with Schnee and Shibaid.

Shin had told him there was no need to speak so formally: as Schnee had previously taught him, he might be mistaken for a noble if he spoke or was spoken to very politely, so Shin used a casual kind of speech as well.

“At present two units have been confirmed by name, Azathoth and Pharshax. It appears there are also wolf-type and a scorpion-like insect monster. The scouting team’s 【Analyze】 users could not glean their names.”

“Can you tell me any characteristics of those monsters?”

Shin added that he might be able to identify them if he knew some more details.

The wolf-type monster’s body spanned over 10 mel and had a brimming yellow mane.

It had large, sharp fangs on both its upper and lower jaw, deep red fur, and two long tails. It was said that the ground burned in its wake.

The scorpion-type monster had clawson its front limbs and three other pairs of legs. On the tip of its tail, it had an alligator-like mouth in place of the typical hook-shaped appendage.

“Wolfreet and Dylebion, maybe?”

“Sounds pretty likely.”

Shin nodded in agreement with Milt’s guess. They were pretty well-known monsters with easily distinguishable traits.

“I think it’s safe to assume that the wolf monster is Wolfreet and the scorpion monster Dylebion. If the group who defeated Stoluz had even the slightest trouble against it, they should steer clear of them. Those two monsters both prey on Stoluz: Wolfreet is especially dangerous.”

So Milt explained to Reiner.

Dylebion’s level ranged between 700 and 750.

It had a sturdy carapace that resisted not only physical attacks but also magic to an extent. Its claws were capable of tearing through Legend-grade gear like paper.

Its most lethal weapon, however, was the mouth that grew where a scorpion usually had a poisonous tail. That was the monster’s primary mouth it used to feed: it looked like crocodile jaws protected by an outer shell.

It could rip even Mythology-grade gear to shreds, depending on their stats, and could even shoot corrosive acid. The only blessing was that it didn’t use magic.

Stoluz was a bird-type monster wrapped in lightning, which had great mobility and used fearsome thunder attacks, but its level was usually between 500 and 600, so there was a clear gap between them.

The difference in combat abilities was also great. Even if the 2nd division had won against Stoluz without any trouble, they wouldn’t be able to handle the other monsters so easily.

What Shin feared the most, however, was Wolfreet.

Its level ranged from 750 to 800, even higher than Dylebion. It was a wolf-type monster with very thick and powerful legs, but it was also very agile.

The most important characteristic, however, was that Wolfreet was classified as a divine beast.

“A divine beast…? You can’t be serious. It’s rare for even high-level monsters to spawn during a flood, and you say this is a divine beast? There aren’t any records of divine beasts ever spawning during a flood.”

Reiner shook his head in disbelief.

Shin understood his sentiments very well: floods tended to spawn low-level monsters in large quantities.

This was based on the data collected by the countries and cities that fought against the floods over the years, however, so there weren’t any rules set in stone.

Floods had happened in the same manner for hundreds of years after the Dusk of Majesty, so it wasn’t strange for them to think like that.

The crucial point was that the flood’s “rules” were apparently changing.

“We can’t be sure that those monsters were spawned by the flood. They might have come from somewhere else.”

“That is true too…”

No one had witnessed the instant of their spawning, so Shin stressed the fact that he merely proposed a possibility.

Even if the Wolfreet had spawned in the flood, it should be easier to fight against if its intellect was lower.

“…you have heard everything, right? Contact the 2nd division at once!!”

Reiner gave orders to the man standing next to him. His tone clearly stated the gravity of the situation.

The man also had a stern expression on his face and left immediately.

Reiner ordered him to rush as soon as possible probably because he understood the 2nd division’s ability. They couldn’t deal with monsters on Dylebion’s level, apparently.

“We will head to the 9th fort as reinforcements. Sir Shin and Lady Tiera planned to engage directly with any high-level monsters that were spotted, but can you go right away? It appears that other than the two monsters we talked about, there also are Azathoth and Pharshax units.”

Reiner did not seem to doubt Shin’s information.

He probably accepted it as true because Milt supported it too.

Azathoth and Pharshax were both monsters around level 600. They were clearly less of a threat than Dylebion and Wolfreet.

“No problem, they’re all monsters I have defeated before.”

Shin would face them for the first time in this world, but, with proper countermeasures, there was nothing to fear.

Even without countermeasures, Shin could win easily thanks to his overwhelmingly superior stats. Any countermeasures were more for Tiera and Kagerou.

“If we’re going to face a divine beast, I guess I should stay away.”

“I need to prepare too.”

In some cases several monsters appeared together, so Tiera and Milt were thinking about how to act in such a case.

Shin hoped that they wouldn’t have to face multiple divine beasts at once, but if they had to face several Dylebions, Tiera might end up struggling.

“(Hey Milt, want me to upgrade your equipment?)”

“(Really? That’d be great for me, but they might found out about your true abilities.)”

“(There’s still plenty of time till we arrive, so I’ll think of something. If we say you borrowed something from Schnee I’m sure they won’t confiscate it.)”

There was nothing to worry about if they faced low-level monsters.

Milt was a very powerful warrior by this world’s standards, but she did not possess overwhelming power on par with Shin’s party. Her stats were very unbalanced, so she might end up in lethal danger if she had bad affinity with an opponent.

Milt was one of Shin’s few player acquaintances and also Marino’s friend. He didn’t want her to die just because her equipment was lacking.

“Troops, onward!” 

Preparations were finally complete, so the church reinforcements — officially named Church Warband — started their advance towards the 9th fort. Most of them were foot soldiers, but there were also knights like Reiner, riding on mounting beasts.

Some of the knights appeared to be tense, probably because Reiner told them about the monsters they might encounter at their destination, or so Shin thought.

“It’s really convenient that they can change size.”

“I thought the same thing. If they were always in their original size, we’d cause a mess every time we entered a town”

Shin and the others were riding on Yuzuha and Kagerou, both very eager for some reason. Those who saw them for the first time were surprised, but not to the point of creating a commotion.

Milt was riding behind Shin: she never expected to see the day she could ride an Element Tail, so she was very excited too.

Since they had to match the foot soldiers’ pace, they expected to go fairly slowly, but, thanks to the magic users casting physical boost skills and arts over the whole group, they advanced at a decent speed, quicker than a normal person could run.

“I can’t detect any monsters. Being in a ‘flood’, I expected to pick up some more presences, but is it always like this?”

“Based on my experience, we should be encountering more monsters. In the summit, they did say they hadn’t taken them all down.”

Three days had passed since their departure.

Shin used the map and his skills to scan the surroundings in a wide range, but curiously could not pick up any monster presences, so he turned around to ask Milt about it and she replied pensively.

Even if most monsters had already been defeated, the numbers spawned during a flood were massive.

The area extending from the Sacred Place to Kilmont was very large too, but it was bizarre to not detect even one monster around them.

Even excluding the monsters spawned by the flood, there should be monsters and animals naturally inhabiting the area.

“This isn’t a coincidence is it.”

They couldn’t rule out not encountering any monster as simply “happening”.

There was nothing they could investigate to come up with an answer, however, and thus one week passed without encountering a single monster.

The group was half a day away from their destination, the 9th fort when finally Shin could pick up something.

“As they had said, they’re really not moving much.”

Shin had heard a report about the monsters one week before.

They were heading towards Kilmont, the direction Shin and the others came from, so based on their physical energy and mobility, they should have encountered them earlier.

“The monsters’ senses were deceived, in order to keep them from moving. Impressive.”

Milt spoke while looking at a Dylebion, which was raising its tail to intimidate the party.

The current forts and troops were not enough to protect the vast expanse of land.

It wasn’t possible to station troops or adventurers there permanently anyway. As an alternative countermeasure, the idea of luring monsters was implemented.

Items buried deep underground constantly projected illusions towards the monsters.

The monsters thus gathered and roamed near one place, sometimes even fighting each other.

The knights and soldiers would wait for the numbers to dwindle and the remaining monsters to be weakened, then intervene to eliminate the rest.

Monsters spawned during the flood had a lower intellect and less resistance to illusion spells, so this method was very effective against them.

“But I guess it wasn’t enough to hold them all.”

Shin and the others observed the monster, concealing their presence just in case. Shin looked via his skills, Milt and Tiera with binoculars.

As commander of the church forces, Reiner and Lourie, his aide, joined them in observing the Dylebion, while the rest of the reinforcements were standing by farther back.

They could only see the Dylebion: there was no sign of the Wolfreet anywhere.

Shin heard that the monsters gathered in one place sometimes fought each other, but this time only moderate results were achieved.

The reason why the results were “moderate” was that there were no monsters other than the Dylebion present: or more precisely, no living monsters.

The area where the Dylebion likely roamed was covered with all sorts of monster corpses: small ones less than 1 mel, large ones with height spanning several mel.

The biggest one was a monster with a long torso, chopped into several parts.

It was the Azathoth mentioned in the report. Its body was melted and sliced here and there, signs of battle or that other monsters had fed on it.

The item creating illusions was set not to stop until the last monster died of hunger, so without monsters acting as feed the Dylebion might have moved elsewhere.

“Dylebion below and Pharshax above, huh.”

Shin looked up and found a four-winged monster flying leisurely in the sky.

Jet black wings, a golden crown, and colorful tail feathers: it was the flying monster Pharshax.

It tended to swoop on its enemies and deliver fierce blows with its sharp claws, capable of dealing considerable damage even to monsters above its rank.

It did not seem to have attacked the Dylebion, however. It probably instinctively realized that their difference in level and bad affinity with the scorpion monster meant that Pharshax was likely to be killed if it attempted to attack.

“Let’s drop Pharshax first, then deal with Dylebion. The church forces should take a detour or wait for us to take them down.”

“If you can take them down without trouble we will wait, but will you really be okay?”

Reiner looked more apprehensive after seeing Dylebion with his own eyes.

As he was assigned the role of leading the counter-flood forces, Reiner had confidence in his battle prowess.

Because of that, he could tell how powerful the Dylebion and Pharshax were.

“It doesn’t look like they underwent any sort of mutation, so we’ll be okay.”

According to 【Analyze】, Dylebion was level 722 and Pharshax 602.

Those were pretty average levels for them, so it didn’t look like they were mutated variants or unique units.

Since they kept circling the same area over and over, their intellect couldn’t be too advanced either. Monsters with higher intellect weren’t affected by luring items after all.

“We will stand back so we don’t interfere with your battle, then. We’ll be in your hands.”

Shin nodded vigorously, also to dispel any concerns Reiner might have. The knight was probably relieved to see it and announced he and Lourie would join the reinforcements waiting a bit farther away.

“I don’t feel nervous, I wonder why.”

After Reiner and Lourie left, Tiera whispered her thoughts to Shin.

Their current plan was for Tiera and Milt to fight first: Shin would join only if there was any trouble. That was probably one additional reason why Reiner was worried.

The plan was proposed by Tiera and Milt themselves.

“If we stand out you’ll attract less attention, right? Besides, I have to become more used to fighting too.”

Apparently, the battle against Reforgerer had changed Tiera’s mindset. There was the issue of preventing Shin from attracting too much attention, but she also thought that she couldn’t just stay behind while he fought forever.

She was now wearing the Heat Haze gear set but would change to an upgraded Bow Princess set for the battle.

“Hehehe…we have the best opponent to test my new gear too!”

The reason why Milt was eager to fight was very simple: Shin had upgraded her equipment during the journey.

『Breogand』’s massive blade had been slightly reduced in size and a blade the size of a short sword had been placed on the hilt, upgrading it to the even more lethal 『Ordgand』.

Its appearance changed, but its sturdiness and sharpness also improved by a large margin.

Milt’s 『Oriental Battle Garb』, which had a traditional Japanese-like design on the upper body, changed too.

It was still sleeveless but had now a white base decorated with blue lotus flowers and petals and a form-fitting silhouette. It also included navy blue armbands extending from the hands to the elbows.

The lower half, formerly traditional Japanese clothing cut short like a skirt, changed to a knee-long design, colored black with golden petals. Leggins with the same color as the armbands also protected Milt’s legs from the knee below.

The name was 『Flowing Grace Garb』.

“Shin, out of curiosity, you didn’t pick this on purpose, right?”

“It’s my first time making one, but it’s the best armor in the 『Oriental Battle Garb』 line. You could make it look more modest, but I kept the same design as before because Milt requested it, okay?”

Tiera’s rather chilly stare caused Shin to turn his eyes from the Dylebion to Milt.

In the game era, the 『Flowing Grace Garb』 was also called “amped-up Chinese dress with lots of exposure”.

The design made it a bit awkward and embarrassing to look at, qualities enhanced by the fact that Milt was wearing it now.

The cloth covering the upper body had a large diamond-shaped hole over the chest, which exposed her deep cleavage.

The lower part too, upon closer inspection revealed that the front and rear flaps were attached from the outside, so they barely did anything to hide the legs from sight. Without the armbands, leggings, and flaps, it looked just like a sexy swimsuit.

“Pretty cool, isn’t it!!”

Tiera was blushing because of Milt’s exposed thighs, but the latter was smiling joyfully.

Excluding the legs and chest area, the『Flowing Grace Garb』had a distinctively Chinese style: a lighter design on the upper body, white with blue decorations, and heavier gold on black in the lower body, which blended well and contributed to its popularity.

Naturally, its stats were far superior to the 『Oriental Battle Garb』.

It gave great boosts to STR and AGI, so it fit well Milt’s fighting style of moving quickly to deliver powerful single blows.

Her new weapon and armor were both inferior Ancient-grade gear.

As far as Shin remembered, however, Milt’s stats were a bit lacking for her to be able to equip Ancient-grade gear, so he was worried about this point when he started upgrading her gear. If he upgraded it too much for her to use it, everything would be meaningless.

According to Milt, however, her stats increased as she fought monsters as part of her activities for the church.

Her status window proved it: her stats showed increases from at least 100 to over 200 points.

At this point, it was a necessity to either upgrade 『Breogand』 and the 『Oriental Battle Garb』, or even to switch them for different gear altogether.

And with perfect timing, Shin had appeared. Milt was extremely excited when they discussed how to upgrade her equipment,

“Isn’t that embarrassing to wear?”

“I’m used to people staring, so it’s okay. If I can get Shin to upgrade my gear, I want the best there is!”

It would be a waste to show restraint, added Milt while pushing up her chest.

“So? What do you think? I can give Schnee a run for her money, right?”

“Stop playing around.”

Milt grinned but was countered by Shin’s chop. That was the whole reason why she requested this design for the chest part.

“Honestly, we have monsters right in front of us and you still act like that. You’ll never change.”

“It’s my own way to keep from being nervous. I did it every time before fighting a boss.”

Shin recalled the game era from Milt’s words.

She always teased nervous players, that was true. Sometimes she was told that she never acted seriously enough, but Milt too felt nervous in her own way, even if she didn’t show it.

“Hehehe…see? You don’t feel as nervous as before, right Tiera?”

“Hehe, that’s right, I do feel more relaxed. I guess I could try teasing Shin too next time.”

“Anything but that…”

Tiera laughed wryly and Shin frowned. If Tiera started acting like Milt, he didn’t know what Schnee was going to say…or do.

“Shall we get started?”

“Yeah. Reiner joined the troops, so we can go. I think we’ll do fine, but if anything unexpected happens, give us a hand.”

Shin asked the question seriously and Milt answered in the same way while materializing 『Ordgand』. The playful mood was completely gone, and she turned towards the Dylebion with a sharp glare in her eyes.

Including their equipment, Milt and Tiera together were clearly stronger.

What worried both Shin and Milt was that the Wolfreet might join the fray.

Among the high-level monsters spotted by the scouts, Wolfreet was on a whole other level. Milt alone would have trouble defeating it, even with her upgraded gear and higher stats.

Yuzuha and Kagerou stayed behind with the church reinforcements, to protect them in case of any sudden attacks on their end.

“I’ll go first, then.”

Tiera stood up and materialized her equipment. Her attire changed to a glowing armor and bow.

All the equipment had been already upgraded by Shin: a silver circlet on her head, chest armor, and gauntlets both studded with green gems, to provide higher defense.

The armor provided higher defense despite exposing shoulders and stomach thanks to being originally created in a fantasy world, perhaps.

The armor extending to Tiera’s lower body, acting as a skirt, and the knee-high boots too were decorated in the same way. The skirt was rather short, thus Tiera’s thighs were exposed between the skirt and the boots, creating an effect similar to the fabled “absolute territory”.

Tiera’s 『Emerald Dazzle Bow』 was modified by adding Scarletite to Chimeradite, thus creating the 『Emerald Brilliance Bow』.

It was an exquisitely crafted item, with decorations reminiscent of wings and wind, even brighter and easier to use than before.

The shield on Tiera’s back, formed by four half-transparent rhombus-shaped plates glowing blue, had been upgraded as well.

The range of the magic barrier it produced had grown wider and it could also produce wind-based support attacks, so long as Tiera willed it.

In the game era, it attacked automatically, but in this world, it could be controlled.

It was still too tricky to fully control for Tiera, so for now she only used it as a shield, but once she mastered it she could attack multiple targets at once.

“Tiera, once you shoot I’ll go. The timing’s up to you.”

“Okay.”

Tiera nodded and pulled her bow’s string.

The arrow set on the bow was glowing green. Her posture was not excessively tense, a sign that she was focused.

Milt looked at Tiera and took a lower stance, ready to rush with her 『Ordgand』 at any moment. Shin prepared support spells, ready to cast them as soon as the need arose.

Tiera’s hand-stretched without a sound: the arrow had been shot. It flew towards its target at high speed, leaving a single streak of light in its wake.

The target, Pharshax, twisted its body the instant before the arrow struck.

There was no trace of any elegance in its flight anymore: the base of its right wing was pierced and fell, but the monster did not have two pairs of wings for show: it lost altitude but was not going to fall to the ground.

The sharp glare in its eyes was already directed at Tiera: it had twisted its body to stop its head from being struck.

Before Pharshax could even attempt its famed swooping attack, however, Tiera shot again.

Three streaks of light flew through the sky.

The first arrow had been shot with the bow upright, as commonly seen in archery, but for the second shot, Tiera held her bow horizontally and launched three arrows at once.

Pharshax danced in the air to avoid the three arrows.

Despite its large body, it was extremely mobile in the air.

For Pharshax, arrow attacks were nothing but dots no matter how fast they were. In the air it could dodge in all directions, so it would be not difficult to emerge unscathed.

The first arrow reached its target only because the monster was too slow to notice.

“I’ll show that I’ve grown too!!”

Tiera shouted and shot her third barrage. There was only one arrow, which might seem easier to dodge than the second arrow, but, when it was still a bit far from Pharshax, the arrow burst and scattered.

It looked like it simply exploded, but it actually burst into many smaller arrows.

Bow-type Martial skill 【Split Arrow】.

The skill allowed one to split one arrow in many smaller ones. Each smaller arrow had lower offensive power, but, since they spread in front of the target, they were much more difficult to dodge.

In the game era, it was often used to disrupt flying enemies.

Tiera used it in the same way: because of the sudden explosion of arrows, its flight was thrown out of control.

Pharshax tried to dodge as many arrows as possible, but then three arrows rained from above.

The monster screeched in surprise, then fell.

The three arrows precisely struck its three remaining wings out of commission. They weren’t ripped off, but could not be used for flight any longer.

The three arrows were the ones Tiera shot in her second attack: after Pharshax dodged them, they changed direction and continued pursuing their target.

Tiera had used the Bow-type martial skill 【Hound Arrow】 for this second barrage.

Arrows shot with this skill homed in on their target for 10 seconds.

The 『Emerald Brilliance Bow』 also granted great bonuses to range and accuracy.

The 『Bow Princess』 gear sets were generally used for long-distance shooting, so its weapons were reinforced accordingly.

Thanks to the bow’s boosts, 【Hound Arrow】 had double the power and homing effect time.

“Here I go!!”

Milt started running towards the falling Pharshax. Her 『Ordgand』 glowed blue, tracing a streak of the same color on her path.

Pharshax was only able to lower the speed of its fall: it couldn’t attack the approaching Milt in any way.

The monster would suffer heavy damage simply from falling, but Milt went to finish it off.

The reason was that Pharshax could use a wider range of attacks on the ground.

It kept itself afloat with the help of magic, so it only used its powerful swooping attack and low-level wind magic in the air: the way it acted had not changed from the game era.

Once on the ground, it didn’t need to use magic to support itself, so it unleashed wide-range magic without restraint.

“Sorry!”

Milt took advantage of her momentum and jumped.

She leaped as if she soared in the sky, boosted by her rush. Her lethal, glowing halberd in her hands. The moment she swung 『Ordgand』, the Pharshax’ neck was cut off its body.

Axe/Flame combination skill 【Sparnisch】.

The blue glow was caused by flames burning at a high temperature. It was so high that the Phrashax’ severed neck and torso caught on fire.

Before Milt could even land, the Pharshax’ whole body burned to ashes, which were carried away by the wind.

“Ahaha…even stronger than expected.”

A massive body over six mel, wingspan included, burning to ashes in mere seconds. The firepower and the sensation Milt felt when she struck down the monster’s neck made her tremble in excitement.

Shin had explained what changed in her weapon and she had practiced with it too.

Even then, its power exceeded her expectations.

“Let’s deal with the next one!”

“Right on!”

After Tiera’s signal, Milt turned towards the Dylebion.

The monster probably did not notice that the Pharshax had been defeated: it was pretty much in the same position as before.

Milt ran towards the monster, 『Ordgand』 ready to strike again. Tiera’s 【Split Arrow】 flew over her head.

Just as the arrows were about to strike the monster’s head, something white struck against them. When the white object disappeared, nothing was left.

Even before 【Split Arrow】 could perform its characteristic burst, the arrow shot with it was much more powerful than any regular one.

The whole arrow disappeared because of the acid sprayed from Dylebion’s tail mouth.

“I’ve heard rumors about it, but it’s even more powerful than magic!!”

Based on the fact that the acid had melted an arrow flying at high speed, it had to have very high power and precision.

“Milt, you don’t have a shield with you, will you be okay?”

So Tiera asked Milt, while continuing to shoot arrows to prevent the latter from being targeted.

The arrows Tiera shot were Legend grade, but the monster could spray acid strong enough to dissolve them instantly, as fast as a flash of light. It was natural for her to worry.

“I’ll be fine. My 『Flowing Grace Garb』 won’t melt immediately even if Dylebion’s acid hits: as long as the equipment wasn’t fatally damaged, even the wearer’s exposed areas would be protected.”

It was one of the characteristics of gear at the Mythology grade and above.

Defensive power and scope varied wildly from armor to armor. Some players chose not to add this ability, so not all gear was equipped with it.

Regardless, most gear at that level had this characteristic.

Incidentally, all of the equipment crafted by Shin had it by default. Filma’s 『Armor of Hollow Lacquer』 was like this too. It exposed more than half of her body, so it wouldn’t make sense if only the covered parts had high defense.

“If things get really bad I’ll join in, anyway.”

Milt and Tiera would take down Pharshax and Dylebion.

This was the plan they proposed, but Shin’s participation would make their victory safer and more secure.

The reason why he didn’t was that Milt asked him to stay alert for Wolfreet’s potential appearance.

Wolfreet was a divine beast, a creature different from normal monsters in a variety of ways. If it attacked the Church Warband, it could annihilate them in seconds.

Yuzuha and Kagerou were with them, so it wasn’t likely to happen, but Shin was standing back to intervene in case of necessity.

“I prefer if you believed in—aah!”

Before Tiera could finish her sentence, the shields on her back moved. The next instant, the sound of a spray of acid splashing against them was heard.

“If I didn’t have the shield…it gives me the chills just thinking about it.”

“Yeah, it moves automatically, but don’t rely on it too much.”

Tiera spoke while shooting more arrows, to hide the fact that she couldn’t react in time.

She had been targeted the instant she looked at Shin. The monster’s acid had been targeting only Milt until then, so Tiera reacted late.

Looking at the tail mouth would let one know where it was going to shoot, but the acid was sprayed so fast that many players melted down before they could react.

“You’re not getting me with the same move twice!”

Tiera dodged the acid that came flying at her after she shot her arrows. She carefully observed the tail mouth this time, so she avoided it easily.

“Don’t go forgetting about me now.”

Milt managed to bypass the acid barrage and ran up close to the Dylebion.

The monster used its large scissor claws to counterattack: because of its large body, the claws by themselves were wider than Milt was tall. They could crush several men in one blow with just their flat side.

Milt swung her 『Ordgand』 towards the monster’s right scissor claw.

Judging from their size difference, it might have seemed like a reckless move, but Milt didn’t hesitate.

Instead of her old partner,, 『Breogand』, she was wielding version reborn at Shin’s hands, 『Ordgand』.

“I can’t afford to mess up in front of him!”

Milt poured all of her strength in the swing.

Her boosted stats and the gear bonuses blended together in the strike delivered to the monster’s claws.

Dylebion’s jagged blades, painful just to look at, versus 『Ordgand』’s lethal yet artistically beautiful smooth blade.

Ultimately victory went to the latter.

『Ordgand』 cracked the monster’s claws and tore through.

It couldn’t cut them in two, but if Milt put more strength in her grip, she could continue cutting through the claws.

Before its right claw could be severed, Dylebion tried to slash Milt with its left one.

“I got you figured out!”

The ground under Milt’s feet cracked. Using 『Ordgand』, still locked against the monster’s claws, as a base, she spun in the air.

Milt had jumped up while holding 『Ordgand』’s handle and did not let it go.

Her halberd’s blade had already ripped into about 70% of the monster’s right claw: with one more push, she should be able to cut it off completely.

Milt avoided Dylebion’s attacks from the right and left, but the monster’s offensive wasn’t over yet. Its tail mouth had shot acid in her direction.

“Oops!”

Milt used 【Flying Shadow】, a skill that allowed the user to jump in midair, and escaped the range of the acid.

For close combat players, a skill like 【Flying Shadow】, that allowed one to move freely in midair, was nothing short of a necessity. Milt had also mastered its usage.

She landed with nonchalance right behind Dylebion, where the monster’s claws couldn’t easily reach. It wasn’t an actual blindspot, but it would be easy to dodge any attacks. 

“Eh, seriously!?”

Milt wanted to cut off the monster’s tail at the base with 『Ordgand』, but jumped away instead. A shot of acid rained on the monster’s carapace, despite there not being anyone there.

Milt was shaken because the game era Dylebion never hit itself with acid. The monster produced the acid within its own body, but its outer body wouldn’t be unaffected by it.

The acid could dissolve Dylebion’s carapace or its body: the only exceptions were its tail mouth and the organ that created the acid.

“I see, so this happens when its intellect goes down…”

After spraying the acid on its own back, Dylebion was writhing in pain as it tried to face Milt.

Because of the acid’s corrosive power and firing speed, the monster’s torso was riddled with holes, and other places started melting too. Insect monsters were infamous for being tough to kill, but at this point, it would have a hard time continuing to fight.

Milt activated 『Sparnisch』again , the skill she used to cleave Pharshax in two, and put Dylebion out of its misery.

The monster’s torso was already dissolving, so she managed to split it in two almost completely. It shouldn’t be able to move anymore.

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