Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 264

Defense Specialization and Beyond the Mist

Just as she felt that she had passed through the darkness, she felt that she was floating for a second, before being thrown onto hard ground.

“…I-I’m fine? That really surprised me…”

She tried to move now that she knew she was okay, but the space was apparently very small. And she couldn’t move well while still in her huge monster form.

Maple was likely the only one who would have this problem in a place like this.

“I guess I have to deactivate it… Uhh, it’s such a waste.”

Maple deactivated her monster form and cut her way out of the stomach. She fell stickily to the ground and peeled herself off of the floor.

The cold stone surface suggested that she was in a cave. Maple could see that the black mist that had dragged her down was covering some of the floor and walls.

“Alright. I better explore this area then!”

She passed through the gaps in the walls and advanced, but quickly met a dead end.

“Huh? Already…Eee?!?”

It was just as she was about to turn around. A tentacle stretched out of the mist and grabbed Maple, dragging her back into the mist. And then she was thrown out into an area between rock walls that were a little different in shape.

“Uhh… What happened?”

She hadn’t taken any damage, but was just thrown out. Maple decided that she would calm down and try to think. It was not often that she was suddenly grabbed by a tentacle. So it was no wonder that she panicked, but it was important to organize her thoughts and figure out what she could do.

“Don’t panic! Good!”

And so Maple inspected the patches of mist. By doing this, she discovered that tentacles came out of all of them. In that case, it was pretty obvious what she needed to do.

There were several routes she could take. She was able to guess that some would be easy and others would be difficult. Or perhaps only the correct route would allow her to keep going.

“Hmmm… Kanade is a lot better at figuring these things out. As for something you can tame…”

But Maple didn’t feel like suggesting that Kanade tame these mysterious tentacles. Right now, she had to keep going further and see if there were any better tamable monsters up ahead. And so she braced herself and allowed the tentacles to grab her. However, this turned out to be a miss, and she was just surrounded by a great number of tentacles that thrashed at her. This would have likely meant taking a lot of damage if it were anyone else.

“Such soft tentacles won’t do anything! ‘Deploy all Weapons’!”

Great numbers should be met with great numbers. The weapons grew out of Maple and showered the tentacles with bullets. They bounced off the walls of the narrow space, dealing damage to the tentacles.

“Huh. It’s not as effective as I expected… Maybe it’s because they are so slimy?”

Perhaps the bullets were sliding off of them, because while they did deal some damage, it was a lot less than usual. And so she tried Hydra and Bizarre Eater next. It was a full course of attacks from Maple. Unsurprisingly, the tentacles could not withstand them, and they tore up as they were blown into the air.

“The tentacles aren’t sharp, so they shouldn’t be able to use piercing attacks. I can still keep going!”

And like that, Maple continued to advance through the cave. And while she still went down paths that seemed like they were the wrong ones, it didn’t matter at all to Maple. Attacks that were difficult to dodge, powerful attacks, and binding; as long they could not damage Maple, she was able to break through all of them.

“Phew. I made quite a lot of progress. The area is starting to change…”

What she meant by that, was that she was starting to see traces of death, such as old bones and dried blood.

“I was also caught and brought down here. So does that mean that I’m going to be eaten?”

Maybe everything she had encountered on the way was meant to weaken her before the actual feasting began.

In fact, she used a lot of bullets up until now in order to get rid of the persistent tentacles.

“But it would be a waste to go back now…I’d rather continue while saving my energy.”

Whatever it was that brought her down here and attacked her, it was clearly not a friend. This meant she should expect a battle at the end. And so while Maple rested, she tried to think of a plan.

“Hmm… Nevermind, I’ll think of something if I get caught again! I don’t take any damage anyway!”

She needed the tentacles to come out first if she wanted to test anything. And so she decided to deal with that later and continue her journey deeper in.

However, perhaps she had managed to take the right path this time, because from that point on, she only encountered tentacles that were very easy to get rid of.

And then, she was finally dragged into the mist by an especially large tentacle. Maple came out on the other end with a wet splash as she landed in a large puddle of water.

“Woah…is this the end of it?”

Her feet were submerged in black, murky water, and stone walls surrounded her. As the water was so dark, she couldn’t tell where it would suddenly become deeper.

As she hesitated, not knowing where to move, a tentacle shot out of the water’s surface with an incredibly loud splash.

It was huge and thick, which suggested the rest of the monster’s body must be inside of the water. Maple was so surprised that she took a step back.

“Ah, now that I think of it…!”

Maple started to run away from the tentacle as she opened her inventory.

Of course, the thing that she took out was an item that Izu had made. This time, it was something that would allow her to hold her breath for a longer time while underwater.

“All set! Ready when you are!”

Maple turned around in order to attack it. But then her vision was filled with the giant tentacle. It was not going to sit and wait to be attacked.

And just like that, it wrapped around Maple with tremendous strength and raised her into the air.

The black water seemed to be getting deeper, and it looked like it was going to drag her into it.

“!”

At the same time, she activated ‘Bizarre Eater,’ which caused its HP bar to appear in the water. However, it had barely gone down. Regardless, it created an opening, and Maple was able to slip out of the tentacle’s grasp.

“Ah, that was close…woah! So many!”

There was a splash and numerous other tentacles shot out in front of Maple’s eyes. They tried to grab her again, but this time she was able to block them with her great shield. But instead of taking damage, the tentacles turned into black mist and then disappeared.

“Are they fake!? I see. Of course, they are!”

Maple was sure that there was no living creature with that many tentacles. However, her relief did not last long. A different tentacle whipped across the ground and slammed into her back. Maple was sent flying into the air.

“Wah!? Oh, oomph. Good, no damage!”

She looked confident as she flew in the air and then fell back towards the ground in order to launch a counter-attack. However, the black mist suddenly spread up into the air, and Maple fell right into it.

She closed her eyes and braced herself, but there was no pain. She faceplanted on the ground.

“Okay. Counterattack! Hydra!”

Maple said as she quickly got back up and thrust her hand out. However, the shortsword that should have been in her hand was not there.

“Huh?”

She said dumbly. Then she looked down at her body and saw that the black armor and great shield were also gone.

She was back in a very nostalgic beginner state.

As Maple stood there in confusion, her equipment started falling out of the black mist.

“Ah! That’s mine!”

She had a lot of skills that couldn’t be used without her equipment. As Maple ran around and gathered them, a tentacle grabbed her and pulled her into the water.

“Ahhhh! There are so many! It’s not fair!”

And like that, she sank below the surface. She would have been able to free herself if she had a decent amount of STR, but it was not possible for Maple.

Frantically, she looked up and saw that there were many other tentacles coming out of the mist and waiting, as if to block her from escaping.

“…Mmmm! Mmm…mm!”

As Maple got closer and closer to the bottom, the main body entered her vision.

Currently, there was no tamable mark next to its HP bar. The monster was a giant octopus that was dozens of meters in size. It had yellow eyes that glowed brightly.

If this continued, she wouldn’t be able to hold her breath any longer, and she would take damage and die. That being said, it would be difficult for her to return to the surface.

And so Maple decided on a gamble.

“‘Deploy all Weapons,’ ‘Commence Attack’!”

She unleashed her weapons underwater and detonated them. The explosion burned away the tentacles and freed her.

And then, the force of the explosion propelled her forward and she shot down towards the floor.

There were no tentacles on the bottom, and she could move freely. As Maple continued to shoot toward the main body, the octopus moved to eat her.

As if she had been waiting for this, she developed her weapons once again and detonated them. And like that, she shot into the octopus’s mouth.

Like a human bullet, she tore open the not yet fully gaping mouth, and then flew into its stomach.

As there was no water inside, she was able to escape the effects of being underwater.

“Phew… I’m so glad that I know what it’s like to be eaten… This is why Sally always says that it’s important to be prepared.”

Now, she could finally launch a counterattack. Maple unleashed her weapons again. She was something that no monster should ever let inside of their body.

As her voice rang, countless bullets began to fly within the octopus’s stomach. At the same time, an overwhelming amount of red damage effects appeared everywhere.

“Good. The bullets still slide inside here…but they’re still hitting something, so it’s fine… Bah?!”

As Maple continued to shoot as if she had predicted this outcome all along, black mist suddenly appeared inside of the stomach and a giant tentacle slammed into her.

It was the exact opposite of how she got in. Maple was forced out at a tremendous speed, and she was vomited back into the water.

Like this, the real battle began. It was Maple, who had previously been prey that was supposed to enter the monster’s stomach, versus the octopus, who now knew better than to let her in.

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