142 Part 2
Unlike potato and edamame monsters, they didn’t seem to be the type of monster that would fire bullets that were stored within their bodies.
Haruki had no idea about how they would fight.
“Let’s try attacking them.”
After whispering that to Karen, Haruki carefully jumped closer to the monsters.
The plant-monsters reacted immediately by swinging their club down at Haruki.
He avoided some of the clubs, and blocked others with his Short Sword.
He rotated towards one side, then to the other.
Using his rotation’s momentum, Haruki attacked the plant-monsters with his Short Sword.
He had aimed his Short Sword at the torso of one of the plant-monsters, but they blocked it off at the last moment.
At the same time, Haruki moved away.
Then, at the exact same spot that Haruki had been standing…
…Two clubs were swung down.
Their reaction was fast.
Their skill level with a weapon was also different from that of the Beroberos that he fought with on Chikaho’s 10th floor.
Werewolves were still better than these plant-monsters in terms of battle prowess.
But Werewolves always fought one-on-one.
These are three of them at the same time.
So this battle was more dangerous than fighting a Werewolf.
Haruki focuses his consciousness.
He delved deeper and deeper into it.
Haruki approached them carefully.
Slashing, stabbing, and dodging according to his opponents’ movements.
Taking a deep breath, and delivering a counterattack.
Rhea filled the gaps between Haruki’s attacks with her bullets.
Esta warded off dangerous attacks against Haruki.
Haruki felt a slight change as he kept on fighting these three monsters.
What the hell is that?
Before Haruki could recall what “it” was…
Karen’s lightning strike hit one of the monsters.
The hit caused a thick white smoke to start to rise from its body.
Haruki and Karen groaned at the same time.
A searing pain ran across Haruki’s nose, throat, and eyes.
(This pain… No way!!)
“*cough* K-Karen! Fall back!!”
“*cough* B-But… *cough*!”
“Do as I say!!”
With teary eyes, Karen stepped back at Haruki’s command.
That pain was a result of the direct hit of Karen’s lightning attack on the plant-monsters.
Haruki’s eyes were filled with tears due to the pungent, spicy smell, but he still laughed.
Because these monsters…
“Kuhuhuhhh… I know what I’m having for dinner tonight!”
…Were actually wasabina!
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“Wasabina” was a plant that grew naturally in Hokkaido.
It was also known as horseradish or wasabi radish.
Like regular wasabi, it’s a perennial plant with a strong spiciness.
It has strong vitality and can be propagated just by planting its roots.
As its name implies, wasabina is characterized by its spiciness, which is similar to that of wasabi.
What if that spiciness were to evaporate with heat?
If one were to step into a space where its spiciness had mixed with the air, it could cause difficulties when breathing, similar to being sprayed with pepper spray.
The reason why Haruki and Karen experienced trouble with breathing and irritation on their eyes was because the monsters had been struck by lightning, which caused their spiciness to scatter into the air around them.
In other words, when dealing with these monsters, Karen’s lightning magic would be an extremely poor choice.
Of course, scattering the monster’s spiciness wasn’t only limited to Karen’s lightning strikes.
Even a regular attack could result in a certain amount of it to be scattered as well.
After cutting through the three monsters, Haruki’s eyes and nose were so disturbed that he couldn’t fight properly for a while.
“*cough cough*! Let’s… Take a short break…”
“Y-Yes! Here, Karaboshi. Here’s a towel and some water.”
“Thank yo–*cough cough!!*”
Haruki, who was only seeing the monsters in front of him as food, had lost control of himself and devoted himself to the hunt.
Wasabina was also the best food-monster to serve with rice.
However, Haruki’s mucous membrane wasn’t strong enough to fight these wasabina monsters for too long.
“It’s just like when we were fighting Onions, huh?”
“These wasabina monsters make it look like Onion’s tear gas isn’t much of a big deal.”
The spicy compound found in wasabi, Allyl isothiocyanate, is similar in nature to the onions’ tear gas, but at a different level.
It is beyond the level that humans can tolerate.
“Isn’t there a gas mask or something like that we could find in a gear shop?”
Haruki hesitated to say anything beyond that.
Since these wasabina monsters had appeared, it would be no wonder that there would be wasabi monsters too.
There may also be monsters other than wasabi that emit tear gas, such as onions.
So it wouldn’t be strange that there would be gas masks for fighting wasabi monsters on sale.
Taking off their usual mask and putting on a gas mask wasn’t something someone with a strong presence would do, right?
Even now, it was difficult for Haruki to have a noticeable presence without relying on his mask.
Perhaps because of the manifestation of his Divine Protection, his condition had become worse than ever, and life without his mask was becoming (mentally) difficult.
If he were to keep neglecting this and going around with his bare face, his soul could end up reduced to ashes.
Haruki wanted to keep his mask on for as much as he could.
Even if that meant suffering the spicy scent of wasabi…
(I became an adventurer in order to get a presence so I could be noticed by others, so why is my presence getting even more insignificant…? I can’t understand…)
After they were finally rid of the effects of the tear gas, Haruki and the others delved deeper into the forest in search of more wasabina.
During their last battle, the tear-gas spicy compound had been scattered all around them due to the lightning attack.
So Haruki thought that perhaps if they didn’t use any lightning-based magic attacks at all, then they should be able to minimize the scattering.
“So we can’t use lightning attacks, huh…”
“Don’t make that face. We still have non-attribute attacks on our arsenal, right?”
“Ah, you’re right!”
Karen was taken aback.
She seemed to have forgotten about non-attribute magic attacks.
Haruki understood the feeling of relying on a strong attack. Haruki himself had been relying on “Weakness Exploit” for quite some time.
However, he knew that if he got too used to relying on a single skill, he could easily get himself stuck whenever his trump card didn’t work.
That didn’t mean that one should level everything evenly, but one should have something to fall back to.
“We should better use non-attribute magic to avoid any problems.”
After walking in the woods for a while, two Wasabis entered Haruki’s Detection range.
Haruki gently raised his hand and pointed forward.
Then, Karen braced herself as her intuition told her what had to be done.
With a swoosh, the grass started to shake wildly.
The two Wasabis quickly jumped out before them.
Haruki aims at one of them and immediately starts attacking.
The Wasabi quickly guarded against Haruki’s Short Sword with its club.
An intense murderous intent swirled up between Haruki and the Wasabi.
At that moment…
The other Wasabi, who was trying to attack from Haruki’s flank, was blown away by Karen’s non-attribute magic.
Haruki cheered on Karen’s attack, and its caster seemed to be completely motivated.
With this, they could focus on the remaining monster.
Haruki turned on the switch on his brain.
The flash of his blade in the blink of an eye.
The Wasabi’s club, cut in half.
A continuous onslaught of attacks.
Slash, cleave, stab, and kick.
Guard, dodge, and counterattack.
During the less than three seconds that elapsed since Haruki’s attack started, the Wasabi’s leaves and roots had been completely cut off from its body, and then, it died.
When that Wasabi fell to the ground, the other Wasabi that had been blown away finally returned to the battlefield.
Look at that Wasabi…
…A cruel smile appeared behind Haruki’s mask.