Translator: “Kell” Editor: ”Weasalopes”
Moving at night was dangerous so we spent the night at the mansion. We planned to leave once the sun was up, though we couldn’t really take the bandits with us. There were just too many of them. So instead, we tied them up to some posts so they don’t get away and left with only the hostages.
The trek down proved to be quite difficult due to poor footing and monsters attacking us, but we managed to get down safely. As soon as we spot the village, we finally relaxed.
「Great job hanging in there, everyone. We’re almost at the village.」
「Noir-sama, it looks like something’s wrong.」
The chief’s granddaughter was squinting towards the direction of the village’s entrance. Wrong how?
「There’s usually someone near the entrance.」
「Maybe that thing came back.」
The Magic Eater. The creature could be in the village so we asked the girls to stay outside.
「Please stay here. We’ll go and check the village first.」
Sure enough, as soon as we got in, we saw the Magic Eater, squaring off with Toramaru in the middle of the village. No one was around so the villagers must have evacuated. I noticed something odd, however.
「The Magic Eater looks pretty beat up.」
Its skin was torn off in places, and was completely covered in dirt like it had been sent tumbling to the ground a number of times. Toramaru, on the other hand, had no significant injuries. He must’ve completely thrashed the creature in a dominant fashion.
「Oh. You’ve arrived at the most opportune time, Noir.」
「Toramaru, sorry to make you wait.」
「It’s quite all right. How did it go on your end?」
「Don’t worry. We rescued everyone.」
「I expected nothing less from my friend. So, about this thing…」
Drool was dribbling down from the mouth on the Magic Eater’s belly. Not from hunger, but from pain.
「I have been tearing it apart since it arrived. Even if it’s resistant to physical attacks, it’s not like it couldn’t take any damage. I planned to beat it in a drawn-out battle.」
It probably received a few… no, hundreds of blows from Toramaru who had quite the tough body. I almost felt sorry for the poor thing.
「I thought about it thoroughly all night. It becomes stronger by swallowing magic. So all I had to do was use physical attacks, something he can’t swallow.」
「Looks like you were on the right track, then.」
This was only possible for Toramaru with his tough body and incredible stamina.
「Still, I couldn’t quite deal the finishing blow which put me at a loss.」
「In that case, I want you to go behind it. It seems it doesn’t like to get hit on that mouth of his. He’s a clever one, though. Every time I go for it he just moves it to his back.」
Mouths appeared on its limbs when it used【 Magic Devour】. I guess unlike those, the one on its mouth doesn’t just retract so he moves it around to his back as some sort of a last resort. It’s worth taking a shot.
Only Toramaru and I would be facing it this time. Luna-san’s shots would only get absorbed which would in turn just make it harder for us while Emma’s weapon required her to get close.
Getting behind the sluggish Man Eater was easy. The real challenge starts now. It was facing Toramaru while also checking to see me behind him.
Toramaru and I shared a look. He charged first, while I rushed in from behind. He aimed for its belly with his powerful claws, but then… It’s really true! Just like he said!
Right before Toramaru could claw at its stomach, it vanished, then reappeared at its back.
I guess he could only move it to its back since it’s too big.
With my sword, I cut the purple tongue inside its mouth.
It let out a brief, bizarre shriek before dropping to the ground, turning completely still. It was surprising how a creature that absorbed magic and withstood Toramaru’s ferocious offensive kicked the bucket in just one shot.
「It’s so fragile if you aim at its weak spot.」
Oh, I got some levels. All those feeding turned itself into something quite scrumptious in the end.
「My assumption was correct. Haha. It makes me want to shout for joy.」
Toramaru was extremely insightful, a product of his experience. One might appear to be invincible but so long as it was a living creature, it would have a fatal weakness. The only plan I came up with was to edit its【Magic Devour】skill. This fight has taught me a lesson.
The village became lively and festive as soon as we called for the village chief and brought the hostages inside.
「I cannot thank you all enough.」
They were bawling their eyes out. They must’ve missed each other so much. A feast was to be held, celebrating the defeat the bandits and we were invited. But unfortunately we had to refuse. We had to report back to the guild right away and request for soldiers to arrest the bandits we tied up.
「Once things settle down, please do visit us again. We’ll be waiting.」
「And I’m going to start over. Good luck on your endeavors, Noir-san!」
The village chief and Goodman saw us off as we headed back to our town.
Riding on Toramaru’s back, I hesitantly asked the others.
「Did I do my job as a leader properly?」
「You sure did! You did great!」Emma said.
「Your judgment and ability to take action was remarkable. This trip really brought out your strong points, I would think.」Luna-san added.
「Being a leader might actually fit you.」
Oh, sweet world! Thank you! It might not have been perfect, but I would give it a passing mark.
◇ ◆ ◇
The next morning, we went to the guild to submit our report. It was fascinating to see Laura-san beaming, jumping in joy about ten times.
「I expected nothing less! I knew you could do it.」
「We took down the Magic Eater too. It was tough and disgusting, though so we couldn’t take anything from it.」
「Wow, that’s astounding! You should be Odin’s ace by now. Now if you’d just be my husband, everything would be perfect. Anyway, serious jokes aside. First, the request for soldiers to arrest the bandits. And with the completion of this quest, you’ve pretty much secured a promotion to rank C.」
「Congratulations!」Laura-san said as she dragged everyone in the guild to congratulate me as well.
I was really glad. Now I could finally enter Treasure Mountain. Emma, however, put a stop to the celebration.
「Wait a sec! What about me?」
「You’re still a D rank.」
「What? You shouldn’t be a jerk just because you see me as a rival.」
「I’m not being a jerk. Noir-san registered before you and has completed more quests.」
Now that she mentions it… She had some idle times as well when she didn’t take quests. But she shouldn’t be that far behind. A quest or two would probably be enough for her to rank up.
「All right. I’ll go take down some monsters.」
She just got back and she was out again to exterminate monsters. She’s so full of vigor.
She said she’d be fine alone so we disbanded and went home. I planned to sleep soundly but I wasn’t able to. It was still a holiday so I went out with my family. We visited some recently-opened restaurants that served tasty food. There was this fried scorpion which I thought was weird and bizarre for a delicacy but turned out to be delicious, providing me with plenty of LP. It was a nice surprise.
Later that evening, Emma showed up to report her climbing up to rank C, so we invited her to dinner as well.
「I’m so full, I can’t move! Let me sleep at your room tonight, Alice!」 Emma said.
「If you promise not to sneak into Onii-sama’s bed, sure.」
「I won’t. What do you think I am?」
「A bloodthirsty… no, a brotherthirsty homewrecker, I suppose.」
「Hey, Noir. Does Alice-chan hate me?」
Emma was on the verge of tears. I had to comfort her, explaining to her that it was just one of Alice’s jokes. My sister had a habit of saying strange stuff sometimes.
So anyway, I was now on my bed, planning my future course of action before going to sleep. We still had time before our exam’s deadline and also for the contest between Laura and Sara.
I definitely didn’t want to fight the dragon without any proper planning whatsoever. It should be more powerful than our recent foe. It would be best to plan things out carefully to the point where there’d be a huge chance of success.
Just one of my wimpy strats. It was a bit depressing knowing I was more suited to this way of fighting. Charging courageously or playing with the odds was just not me.
The most important job of the leader, however, was to not let his members die. That was what I believed and I would continue to stick to it in our future quests.