TWEM Vol. 2 Chapter 4
Chapter 4 – S Rank Adventurers
After a few more minutes of running, I reached the location where, among other soldiers and adventurers, Dyne and Norverne — characteristically naked from the waist up — were fighting.
There was another man naked from the waist up, defeating monsters one after the other like them: surely the other S rank adventurer.
I looked at him more closely and had the feeling I had seen him somewhere before.
I was trying to recall where, when Dyne and Norverne spotted me and came my way, leaving the fighting to other soldiers.
“Ooh, boss!! We heard you went to take the S rank exam!”
“Yeah, did you come here first?”
Dyne and Norverne both showed clear signs of fatigue.
“No, I finished the exam already. I already reported it to Garguin too…but more importantly, did you really just let that large pack of monsters slip past you? If I wasn’t there to take care of them, things could have been really bad, guys.”
“Sorry boss, we let down our guard a bit, thinking there were other lines of defense behind us…thanks for taking them down, boss.”
“A hundred monsters on the loose is letting down your guard ‘a bit’, huh?”
While we engaged in our casual banter, the other S rank adventurer approached us.
Just like Dyne and Norverne, he stopped fighting the monsters to talk with me…honestly, these people…
I sighed internally, as the adventurer stretched a hand in my direction.
“Nice to meet you, Haruto! I’ve heard about you from these two. You defeated them in a match, right?”
…now I remember, he was the buck naked guy I had seen around town.
I shook his hand and asked him a question.
“And you are?”
The man apologized for not introducing himself first, then continued.
“My name’s Ranze, I’m an S rank adventurer.”
“Well, as they told you, I’m Haruto. Nice to meet you.”
As we released our handshake, the soldiers’ shouts reached our ears.
“H-hey!! Come back here already!!”
“Aren’t those guys in a pinch?”
I glared at the three S rank adventurers, who hurried off immediately.
“And wear something already!!”
I finally managed to act my straight man role. They were so naturally half-naked that I failed to do it with the proper timing…
I took out my weapon and started fighting the monsters too, but a few minutes later…
“Whoa! Boss, help! SOS! Please come help me! I’m not wearing anything, so it’s all over if I get hit!”
“Help me out too!! I mean, please help me, sir!!”
“This is bad!! I need help too! It’s an emergency!”
Dyne, Norverne, and Ranze were fighting a bit ahead of the line of the defense but ended up surrounded by monsters.
Weren’t they taking down monsters pretty easily before I arrived? How did this happen?
The adventurers and soldiers around me looked at the three S rankers as if they were village idiots.
“It’s all because Dyne and Norverne started taking off their clothes too, so they wouldn’t lose to Ranze…”
“They must be tired from fighting so long today too, but…”
“Why did Ranze start taking off his clothes, anyway?”
“Well, that’s normal for him.”
The troops’ exchange was more or less like this. What hopeless people…
It was starting to become a pain to deal with, so I decided to get things done quickly.
“Don’t move a muscle, guys.”
I erected a Space Rupture Barrier – Aegis around the three S rankers, then stopped the monsters’ movements with Intimidation. I then gathered my magic power in my palm and formed a fireball.
As expected of S rank adventurers: the three half-naked men showed signs of alarm after looking at my palm. They were apparently so tense they didn’t even notice the barrier.
“B-boss!? What’s that?”
“Don’t worry, it’s just, Explosion.”
I replied casually, despite the uneasy tone of Dyne’s question, causing Norverne and Ranze’s expressions to turn to dread.
“Boss, this isn’t time for jokes!!”
“Stop while you can!!”
“Here goes, Explosion!”
I lobbed the fireball in a spot at equal distance from their positions, and a large explosion occurred. It was a bit weaker than the one I used before.
A while later, when the smoke and dust cleared, no monsters could be seen anymore. The three S rank adventurers were lying on the ground, unconscious.
The barrier was still intact, so they were probably done in by the noise.
I walked closer to them and used Lightning magic to give them a weak electric shock, as a wake-up call: all three of them were jolted awake, with perfect synchrony.
“Boss, are the monsters— ”
Dyne, Norverne, and Ranze looked at the surroundings, speechless.
Their reaction was quite natural: not one single monster remained around us, in a range of 50 Metol.
The remaining monsters were observing us from far away, not showing any signs of coming closer.
“Can you move, guys? I’m going to go a little wild here, so go back to the line of defense.”
The three S rankers nodded in response, so I looked over at the remaining monsters.
I heard there were dozens of disaster grade monsters: some of the monsters seemed to fit the description indeed.
They might have useful skills, though, so I decided to use Copy on everything I could, and check the resulting skills later.
If I defeated this many monsters, my Black Katana and Black Coat might evolve too.
Time to hunt!!
…that’s the line I would have liked to say, anyway, but I had to get rid of the flying monsters before I could go all out.
I could use barriers to create footholds in midair, but that surely wasn’t enough to match them in mobility.
If only I could smack them down to the ground…
<<Skill “Gravity Magic” acquired. Skill level reached 10. Skill added to Magic Unification.>>
I hadn’t heard that robotic voice in a good while.
It was as easy as ever to gain new skills.
I looked over at the monsters, raised a hand, and activated Gravity magic.
“ — Pressure.”
As soon as I said the words, the flying monsters dropped to the ground.
The monsters already on the ground were also affected, turning into blotches on the earth.
I could only defeat about 500 monsters with this spell, however; a drop in the ocean, compared to their total numbers.
Next, I tried an Ancient Age Grade Ice magic spell.
“ — Nibelheim!”
As I chanted the words, a large, intricate magic circle formed under the monsters.
Chilling air rose from the magic circle, locking the monsters on the spot.
— more precisely, they were frozen by my magic.
The battlefield fell completely silent for a moment. I could hear Dyne’s voice from behind me.
“Yeah, that’s an Ancient Age grade Ice magic spell, Nibelheim. Usually, it takes several mages together to cast it, but I guess the boss can cast it on his own…?”
The soldiers and adventurers who heard his explanation started buzzing and chattering, but their voices were soon canceled but the enraged monsters’ roars.
“Tch, there are still stragglers, huh. Well then…”
I clicked my tongue and cast another spell.
I tried crafting an original spell this time, by using Magic Power Manipulation to combine multiple elements together.
First, I tried combining Gravity, Fire, and Darkness magic.
“Yamata no Orochi!!”
A whirlwind of black flames rose behind me, which gradually changed shape.
Ultimately, it rose to more than 10 Metols in size, forming the giant snake with eight heads from Japanese mythology. The only difference was that mine was made of black flames.
“Burn them into nothingness.”
Following my command, Yamata no Orochi opened its eight mouths and breathed black flames on a wide range.
The monsters touched by the black flames turned instantly into ashes, scattered away by the wind.
The attack took out more than 1000 monsters, leaving about 6000 still alive.
It would take a lot of work for Yamata no Orochi to eliminate them all.
As soon as I reached such a conclusion, I had Yamata no Orochi disappear and activated my next spell.
This time, I tried combining Lightning and Gravity magic.
“ — Thor’s Hammer!”
Black thunderclouds gathered above me, emitting ominous rumbling sounds.
I waved my arm forward and thunderbolts started raining from the clouds.
After the rain, I could see monster parts scattered everywhere before me. The surviving monsters were now more or less 4000.
They were still a lot, but I wanted to defeat them with my Black Katana, to let it absorb experience.
I thus drew my katana and charged into the horde.
Thanks to my blade and magic spells, I could trample the monsters with ease.
I copied skills, let my Black Katana absorb experience, collected parts and materials in my dimensional storage, until I had taken down about 1000 monsters, then returned to the line of defense.
The soldiers and adventurers behind me were murmuring and whispering among each other.
“W-what was that…?”
“He makes those dangerous beasts look like trash…”
“He’s even more incredible than the other S rank adventurers…!”
As I was listening to such words, the three S rankers ran up to me.
“Boss, that was so damn cool!!!”
…why is Ranze calling me boss too…?
I sighed, then focused again on the situation at hand.
“Time for the final act…I wonder if any of you will endure this…?”
I pointed my right index finger to the sky.
Norverne, following the trajectory I was pointing to, managed to see what was peeking between the clouds.
“H-hey, guys!! Look up!!”
“…what the hell’s that…?”
“Can’t be real…”
Dyne and Ranze sounded like they couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
Listening to their voices, I couldn’t help but smirk.
What I activated was a magic spell I had just learned: “Meteor Impact”.
This skill allowed me, quite literally, to make a meteor fall from space.
It only caused the meteor to fall, however, so I also used Gravity magic to control its trajectory.
During its descent, the meteor created powerful gusts of wind and rumbling noise as it shot through the clouds.
The clouds were blown away in a ripple-like fashion, dissipating into nothingness.
“This is going to blow you away — Meteor Impact!!”
Just as I finished saying those words, the meteor made contact with the ground.
At the same time, I created a cylindrical Space Rupture Barrier – Aegis, surrounding the monsters—
And the next instant the earth shook violently, with terrifying rumbling sounds.
My barrier blocked the shockwaves, wind, and flying debris, but the tremors and sounds struck undeterred.
On the other hand, violent winds and shocks ravaged the monsters and anything else inside the barrier.
The monsters were either torched by the heat or blown apart by the boulders: their numbers decreased by the second. Eventually, the dust and smoke made it impossible to see them anymore.
I had shaped the barrier like a cylinder to reduce the impact of the meteor on the surroundings, but above the barrier, a massive mushroom cloud had formed.
After a while, when the rumbling and tremors finally calmed down, I deactivated the Space Rupture Barrier — Aegis and used Wind magic to clear the cloud of smoke and dust.
Where the meteor fell now remained only a large crater and several boulders. There were about 3000 monsters left in the horde when I launched the attack, but no trace of them could be seen anywhere.
“Ha…haha…maybe that was a bit too much…?”
I imagined having to prostrate myself to Finne and Dillan, as cold sweats ran down my back.