Magi Craft Meister 441 13 Stronghold Enhancement Arc 13-29 Struggle “J-Jin... What are we going to do?” Her face turned pale, Saki asked with a trembling voice. “We...
109 Part 2
Haruki encouraged his numb limbs and got back on his feet.
Even though he had just managed to get up, the knight was already preparing his next attack.
Haruki shouted silently.
However, he wouldn’t make it in time.
And Haruki knew that.
Still, he shouted.
— Move, you useless body!!
Haruki did not give up and managed to move.
The next moment…
A dazzling light came crashing down from the heavens and fell on the black knight’s head.
A roaring sound echoed.
It shook Haruki’s mask.
Tiny pieces of crushed rock splattered about and made noises as they hit Haruki’s mask.
Upon hearing those noises, Haruki quickly started moving again.
That dazzling light had been one of Karen’s lightning bolts.
She must have been charging it up for quite some time. It had been greater than anything Haruki had seen before.
It had been so powerful that if it had struck down on a Werewolf instead, it would have left nothing more than its charred remains.
Karen’s attack had been a direct hit.
However, Haruki didn’t let his guard down.
The monster before him didn’t even bend the knee after being struck by lightning.
Worst case scenario, it could have failed to even stun it.
Fearing that, Haruki went around the knight.
His fears had come true.
The knight’s greatsword crashed onto the exact spot where Haruki had been.
If he had stood there for another second trying to guess it’s next move, he surely would have been split in half.
“Let’s run away, Karen!”
They weren’t a match for this opponent.
It was pointless to throw away their lives in a battle they couldn’t win.
That’s why Haruki chose to escape.
Far ahead from Haruki, Karen had been sent flying.
— What on earth!?
Haruki immediately put himself on guard.
The knight hadn’t moved from where he had attacked Haruki earlier.
However, his hands weren’t holding a weapon.
The thing that had sent Karen flying was the knight’s greatsword.
Perhaps the knight had thrown his weapon at Karen as she started to run away.
The thrown greatsword fell on the ground, making a loud noise.
Even though he was in the middle of a fight where he couldn’t allow himself to be distracted for even a second, Haruki was still surprised.
Haruki never imagined that their opponent would attack by throwing his weapon.
He was furious with himself for not realizing that before.
How could he fail to predict the knight could do such a thing?
Even Haruki himself could attack by throwing his short swords.
He should have always considered that the enemy too could attack by throwing their weapons.
His next thought gave him the shivers.
— What if there are other monsters out there that can fight like that…?
Haruki quickly went to check on Karen, who lay on the ground.
Had she managed to block the attack or had it been a direct hit?
Thankfully, she hadn’t sustained any serious injuries like having a severed limb or anything like that.
Still, Karen had been on the receiving end of the knight’s attack.
After being hit by the thrown greatsword, Karen was sent flying and then she rolled on the ground for quite a distance.
Having rolled on the ground with such a terrifying momentum caused her Werewolf Robe to become tattered.
The once nearly-white robe was now stained with blood everywhere.
Even so, Karen was still alive.
After confirming that Karen was alive, Haruki put weight on his reasoning in order to suppress his intense rage.
Haruki didn’t have much of a grip on the knight’s movements yet.
But they, on the other hand, had been driven to a corner.
The knight seemed to be impervious to Haruki’s attacks, and could easily block Rhea’s Potato Stones with its greatsword.
Even the tankiest member of the team, Esta, had a slight crack on its carapace after its previous collision with the greatsword.
It also seemed to be undamaged by Karen’s lightning bolts.
The team’s main source of damage, Karen, had been sent flying by the thrown greatsword and fainted.
They had literally run out of options.
They had been completely defeated.
— This is the worst possible scenario…
Their situation was terrible.
Haruki thought they wouldn’t be able to make it back to the stairs.
He had been lenient.
Because of that, Karen had been injured.
— I should have realized earlier that we had to run away…
All of this had happened because of his error in judgment.
Haruki bit hard into his own lips.
As Haruki stared at it, the jet black knight began to calmly approach him.
The roaring sound of the muddy stream flowing through Kamuikotan echoed into his ears.
It was flowing even more violently than before.
At the end of Haruki’s line of sight, a dazed Chep appeared.
Her mouth seemed as if she was having a hard time breathing, and her tears overflew from her eyes.
— That shape she’s making with her mouth is…
The roaring sound of the muddy stream echoing in his ears.
Unfading, unceasing, and unabated.
His concentration made a single second last an eternity.
His thinking accelerated, and countless factors ran through his brain.
Kamuikotan. A muddy stream, a fissure, and the best salmon.
A special quest from the messenger of the lower gods.
“Ah, I see…”
Haruki finally noticed the true nature of his discomfort.
Having returned from the depths of his consciousness, Haruki stood upright.
His thought process continued at the deepest part of his consciousness.
The battle atop Kamui Rock wasn’t over yet.
This was, so to speak, a sidequest.
This was a continuation of the “event” of defeating the Black Fishman.
An evil god had arrived at Kamuikotan.
The evil god had sank the Ainu, who went up and downstream, down the river.
Samaikuru took a stand against this evil god.
The Kamuy, Samaikuru and the other spirits that resided in Kamuikotan, joined forces to defeat the evil god that had threatened that place.
To thank the gods, the Ainu started to offer them the best salmon they could fish out of the river.
That’s the legend of Kamuikotan.
Due to being passed down by oral tradition, the details vary depending on the Ainu village it’s being told, but that’s the general gist of the story.
If this quest was based on that legend, the best salmon would have been offered to call a god for help.
It wouldn’t have been a means to summon an evil god.
In other words, Chep hadn’t been the one who called this black knight.
The one who had called this black knight, who had been selected to play the part of the evil god, had been the dungeon itself.
The dungeon’s event placed Haruki and the others as the helpful gods that would come to save Kamuikotan, using Chep to lead them into this battle.
It was all meant to take them atop of Kamui Rock, the site where the fierce battle between Samaikuru and the evil god once took place.
According to the Skill Board, Chep had the special skill “Spirit”.
If this meant that she had been created in the dungeon…
If this “Spirit” skill was meant to control the progress of this quest…
And the right to be alive was given to her only while the quest is in progress…
— Then maybe she’s already…
Haruki felt a bit of desolation that passed like a cold draft.
But more than that, he got angry with himself.
The motionless Chep’s mouth started to move.
That movement led to words.
— I want to live.
— I want to live.
— I don’t want to go yet.
Her strong desire for survival shook Haruki’s heart.