TNG Vol. 17 Chapter 3 Part 5

“Hm?”

Shibaid was running towards the insect monster pack, but a cold chill running down his spine turned his attention to the area behind him. In the direction, Shin and the others were fighting.

“Hey, Shibaid, do you feel it too? A weird presence…”

“You felt it too?”

Sety, perched on Shibaid’s armored shoulder, apparently felt the same aura. Her expression looked troubled.

It wasn’t an unpleasant-feeling aura, however. Shibaid felt something akin to excitement coming from it.

“I wonder if it’s related to the monsters’ sudden change of course?”

“Hmm, I doubt it. We could not hear Heltoros Garze’s howl that Filma talked about, but it was a signal for its monster allies to concentrate their aggro on a specific target. That was what prompted them to change their course, but I think that this sensation we just had is unrelated.”

The chill that ran down their spines came considerably later than the monsters’ change of course. Shibaid pointed out that the timing was too different.

“Something tells me that this sensation is not ominous for us.”

The battlefield’s atmosphere changed. What did make him feel like this? Was it the chill, or something else?

Shibaid himself felt that his senses were sharper than normal.

It wasn’t a forced stimulus of battle spirit, like skills such as 【Berserk】 caused. He felt a sort of excitement gradually welling up from inside.

“Ah, I see. This feeling…”

Something surfaced in Shibaid’s memory. He actually knew that feeling well.

He had experienced it many times, so he didn’t find it unpleasant.

It was the first time he felt in a long while, so he didn’t recognize it immediately.

“Hey, don’t solve it all on your own! Hey, Shibaid…are you smiling?”

“Haha, I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it…yes, I just couldn’t.”

Sety pointed out that he was smiling, unlike his normal self, but Shibaid thought it was not important.

Now that he remembered it, he realized it wasn’t anything to worry about. He wondered instead why he had forgotten about it until now.

Shibaid assumed that Sety was going to remember too, soon enough.

It was a sensation that all the support characters who fought alongside Shin knew. Filma, who was fighting close to Shin, surely recalled it already. Shibaid was positive, even if he couldn’t see her.

“You know this sensation too. Try to remember.”

“I do? Hmm…”

The sensation might have been different between close-range and long-range fighters. Sety fell deep in thought.

They were almost in range for her magic spells to reach the monster pack, so Shibaid decided he was going to tell her, but he was interrupted.

A red flash of light shot directly towards the monster pack. Shibaid and Sety were still a considerable distance away, but they could clearly feel its incommensurable heat.

“Aah…yes, now I remember. It’s the feeling when Shin goes all out…”

Part of the monster pack they were approaching was blown away.

After the blast came the sound and wind caused by the explosion. After seeing, hearing, and feeling it, Sety made her realization and expressed it with a sigh.

“Wait a second…was that Full Prominence? At this range!? The offensive power was insane too…!”

Thanks to her specialization in offensive magic, Sety quickly recognized the spell that just caused complete destruction before their eyes.

Flame Magic Single Element Combination Spell 【Full Prominence】.

There were several skills that allowed the user to shoot heat beams, but 【Full Prominence】 had particularly high offense.

The so-called “Skill Combination” system allowed players to combine two or more types of skills to form a different skill.

It was a rather complicated system: at first, players thought they just had to combine any two skills of two different elements. It was also possible, however, to combine skills of the same element.

【Full Prominence】 was a skill born from the combination of two skills of the same element. It was used mainly to open a path in a pack of monsters or to cause confusion in the enemy as a pre-emptive attack.

Magic was usually used from medium to long range, however, this skill did not have particularly long range. Shooting it without protection also meant one would be hit by its aftershocks, so it was considered a sort of suicide bombing skill.

If a short-range skill that caused a wide explosion like 【Full Prominence】 lost its only weakness, its range, what would be the result?

The scorched earth Sety and Shibaid were witnessing was the result.

“We’re not getting hit with one of these…right?”

“Don’t worry. Shin would never attack us without reason.”

“I mean, this kind of “going all out” is a lot more than what I remember…”

Sety looked at the monsters vanishing among the flashes and explosions. Many insect monsters were weak to fire, so 【Full Prominence】 not only had great range and power but also a perfect affinity against them.

The monsters, despite the sturdy carapace protecting them, disappeared without a trace. Literally, nothing remained in the blast’s wake: the monsters truly “vanished”.

Overwhelming firepower that burned every last fragment of the monsters to cinders. Some of the insects had to be resistant to fire, but they were swept away the same.

“I guess we’d better target the monsters outside Shin’s range. What should we do about Selcikeus?”

Selcikeus, the monster which had shot a long-range beam attack towards Shin, was still inside the monster barrier it created. Shibaid and Sety were the closest, but still couldn’t actually see it.

【Full Prominence】 was shot sporadically in a wide range, so the monsters protecting Selcikeus hadn’t decreased yet.

“If all the monsters are targeting Shin, we should not stay focused here. Let us go on the offensive.”

Shibaid contacted Shin via Mind Chat, just in case. He could probably tell what they were up to from their movements, but it was faster to send a message.

“Let us go, then. Hold on tight!”

Shibaid started running, Sety on his shoulder. He held his shield, the 『Great Shell Shield of Collision』, in front.

Because of their difference in agility, Shibaid was considered slow compared to Shin or Schnee. That, however, did not only depend on his stats.

The greatest difference between Shibaid and the others was the weight of his equipment.

The 『Great Shell Shield of Collision』, the giant halberd 『Placid Moon』, and the full body armor.

There was no great difference in terms of stats with Shin and the others’ equipment, but Shibaid’s gear was much heavier.

Shin’s equipment used metal only in certain parts. Schnee and Sety’s equipment contained little to no metal.

Filma’s equipment was mostly metallic too, but it was reduced wherever possible, so its weight was more or less the same as Shin and the others’. The deceased Girard’s gear belonged to this category too.

On the other hand, the strategy of using skills to increase one’s own weight and charge into enemy groups was exclusive to Shibaid.

Skills that increased weight were more effective the greater the user’s base weight.

Shibaid could also use such skills in tandem with skills to increase his own speed and blow away enemies with devastating results.

“NNNUUUOOOHHHHH!!!”

Shibaid roared as he rushed forward.

The monsters would bounce and leap in the air: not because they wanted to, but because the 『Great Shell Shield of Collision』 launched them.

Shibaid charged straight and true towards the core of the monster pack.

At first, he only bumped against the few monsters running ahead of the pack, but once he hit the dense group protecting Selcikeus, the resulting effects were almost comical.

The monsters that were knocked in the air, due to their defense and the angle of collision, could consider themselves lucky.

The ones who faced Shibaid’s shield head-on, instead, popped like water balloons thrown against a concrete wall.

“As terrifying as usual…”

Sety whispered while looking at the monsters blowing up in patches of blood.

They couldn’t see in front at all, but Shibaid had activated detection skills and visual skills such as 【Clairvoyance】 to see the path ahead.

There was no risk of going wrong way or picking a dangerous path.

“Are you so different, though?”

Shibaid’s barrier was only in front, so their sides and rear were wide open.

The sigh accompanying Shibaid’s reply was prompted by the fact that Sety’s magic fully covered those “wide open” spaces.

The monsters prioritized Shin rather than fighting against Shibaid or Sety, so they didn’t even attack them. There was no need to be particularly careful during their offensive.

That didn’t mean that she could sit there doing nothing, however.

The monsters that dodged Shibaid’s charge and those outside his path became targets of Sety’s spells.

She repeatedly cast spells that scattered upon hit, without chanting.

Just like her upgraded movement skills, Sety honed her magic via the unique method she boasted about: her spells had become much more lethal than Shibaid remembered.

The number of elemental bullets she could shoot at once had increased, as well as their piercing capabilities.

One bullet was enough to finish off the lower level monsters and the subsequent explosion carved holes in the surrounding terrain. Higher-level monsters would see their bodies perforated.

The bullets would also retain their original power even after piercing one or two monsters.

Each elemental bullet could knock any monster in its range out of commission, and Sety was shooting a barrage of them, as it was the easiest thing in the world.

Shibaid charged in the monster pack and Sety widened the path he opened. Their destination was Selcikeus.

“Mph! Sety, I’m going to jump a bit!”

Shibaid detected a surge in magic power from Selcikeus’ direction and jumped between the monster’s position and Shin.

The next instant, a beam of white light blasted through the monster barrier. Just like the first time, the white beam burned through the monsters, but this time Shibaid blocked it with his shield and a barrier skill.

The beam was shot upwards, so Shibaid and Sety had to block it in midair, but creating a foothold with 【Flying Shadow】 allowed him to stand firm while repelling it.

Shin had upgraded Shibaid’s 『Great Shell Shield of Collision』 too: its barrier completely blocked the white blast, deflecting it towards the surroundings.

Part of the beam shot upwards through the clouds while the rest scorched the ground and the monsters on it.

“It’s shorter than the first one.”

The white-hot beam lasted for approximately three seconds and was at maximum output for only two.

“It’ll be a pain if it starts shooting more often though. Look, it’s finally in sight.”

The monster barrier was partly cleared, revealing Selcikeus’ silhouette.

— Selcikeus Heim – Level 870

It was an advanced monster, as expected. Shibaid and Sety, even without giving each other a signal, activated the next skill at the same time.

Triple Combination Skill 【Diamond Blast Thurst】.

Flame/Ground Combination Magic Skill 【Flare Comet】.

Shibaid’s platinum white 『Placid Moon』 was thrust in Selcikeus’ mouth, the cannon that fired its long-range beams, and shook the monster’s whole body.

The blade, stabbed deep inside the monster’s mouth, produced a vibration that ruptured its internal organs. That was the effect of 【Diamond Blast Thurst】. As a secondary effect, it limited the target’s movements as well.

Once the target stopped moving, red hot meteors started raining.

Several skills, of different range and power, allowed the user to rain burning boulders or masses of earth on the opponent, but 【Flare Comet】 was famous for having the highest offensive power among them.

The meteors caused a great shock upon impact, so they were especially effective when the target was very large or moved in a pack.

The only weak point was that the meteors created shockwaves that caused damage to anyone, friend or foe, located within range.

Using it at the wrong time would blow away the user too: in a way, it belonged to the same category as 【Full Prominence】.

Shibaid and Sety, however, were unaffected by such a weakness. The shockwaves and heat waves caused by the meteors were neutralized by Shibaid’s shield and barrier, so they did not suffer any damage.

“Hehehe, how about it?”

“You definitely overdid it.”

After stopping Selcikeus in its tracks, 『Placid Moon』 automatically returned in Shibaid’s hands. With his weapon retrieved, the Dragnil shrugged and shook his head.

Sety had taken advantage of the situation to cast a *barrage* of 【Flare Comet】 spells.

After the meteor storm subsided and the debris cleared, Selcikeus Heim was nowhere to be seen.

There was no trace of the parts that made up its body. It was an “overkill” through and through.

Insect-type monsters were known to be tough to kill, that was true, but this was definitely too much.

“Shin upgraded my 『Flower Moon』, so it’s more powerful than before. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have been able to take it down so fast.”

Sety knew her abilities full well, so she protested that the destruction caused by the meteors was not solely her fault.

“But even after doing all this, there are still monsters left.”

So Sety continued while looking at the mayhem she caused.

【Flare Comet】 and its aftershocks had opened a gaping hole in the monster pack.

Even that hole, however, did not take long to get filled. The monsters’ numbers were that large.

“I tried using a skill to draw their attention, but it doesn’t seem to be working. I guess we’ll have to penetrate the pack and go wild from there.”

“My specialty, right?”

“Indeed it is.”

Any monsters they failed to take down would head towards Shin, so Shibaid and Sety focused on eradicating every last one.

Shibaid readied his 『Great Shield of Collision』 and 『Placid Moon』 again to charge into the monster horde, while Sety swung her 『Flower Moon』 from his shoulder to cast wide range spells.

~

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