After arriving at the objective, Mira looked around the flower field with surprise.
“What is this?”
She muttered while looking beneath her feet. The flowers there bloomed with strength.
“I wonder as well.”
Galet was also surprised at the same sight of the flower field. It was just yesterday that monsters have roughened the place. The outer part of the flower field should have been stomped all over and stained with splattered blood. However, no matter how one looked there, were no absolutely no signs of that, and all that spread in there was a scenery of vivid colors.
“What is it? Is there a problem?”
Reinard who wasn’t there yesterday, stared at the beautifully and proudly blooming flowers examining them, and asked.
“Yes, although rather than it being a problem, it is something mysterious. The herd that appeared yesterday had been fighting each other on this field yesterday. And back then, this flower field looked like a battlefield, roughened horribly and covered with monsters’ blood. And what was enigmatic, was that this applied only to the outer ring, but——"
In the middle of explaining, Galet paused for a moment, returning his gaze towards the flower field.
“As you can see, there is no sight it has been roughened or even leftover blood.”
As far as they could see, the flowers swayed on the wind like a pure maiden, rustling quietly. It was hard to imagine that in a place like this, just yesterday, there were several hundred monsters killing one another.
“Certainly, that is mysterious.”
Reinard and Joachim took a look around at the flower field and muttered. Mira too, following their lead took a look around.
And after confirming that there were no defects on the field, Mira felt something was off and her sight stopped. On the large white pillar shooting into the sky, in comparison to its upper part, the bottom was dyed in black like a piece of paper dyed in black ink. Mira put her attention to that part, but considering she did not confirm how it looked before, her memory of it was ambiguous. The discomfort she had when seeing it was so slight, that if someone told her it was like that right from the start, she would believe it.
“Mira-sama, did something happen?”
Noticing that Mira furrowed her eyebrows as she stared at one point, Galet called out to her. Hearing his voice, she ceased her focus and looked away from the white pillar.
“It might be my imagination, but I feel like that pillar turned blacker.”
When Mira muttered almost to herself, Galet heard those words and squinted as if to look far away, confirming the middle of the flower field.
“Now that you say it, I feel like that is the case...but the noxiously-looking field left too strong an impression so I can’t remember it well.”
“Right? I don’t remember well how it looked yesterday. Mm, I can’t tell whether it changed or not.”
Losing the intent to recall how it was, Mira just looked up at the highly towering pillar as she said.
“It appears this place is safe, but I wonder where the monsters are.”
Reinard who had no interest in the flower field itself, vigilantly stared at the forest around them to look for the herd of monsters. However, there was no signs of them, there was only wind shaking the quietly-rustling branches and leaves.
“According to the report we received earlier, they should be nearby.”
In the report they received a few minutes ago, they heard that monsters progressed about five kilometers away from here in North by North-northwest direction, so Galet turned his gaze in that direction.
“Then let’s try searching. It’s in that direction, yes?”
It appeared that Joachim had some kind of method he could use to check it, so he asked as he looked in the same direction as Galet.
“Yes, if they are progressing as reported, they should appear from the back of the forest there.”
Beyond the flower field there was grass, and even further beyond that, it was surrounded by a forest. Galet answered while pointing at one part of it. Confirming the direction, Joachim put his left hand against his ear and pointed straight towards the forest with his right hand.
(“Hm, is this abstract magic?”)
Seeing Joachim’s hands surrounded by faint light, Mira watched him with interest.
While the spell remained active no one let out any voice, and after about a minute, Joachim changed his pose back to take a long breath.
“How was it?”
After a moment Reinard asked, Mira and Galet also waited for Joachim to speak.
"There is some distance remaining still, but I confirmed footsteps of a group coming this way. It’s no doubt that herd of monsters.”
“In which case, the best plan would be to meet them on the plain right outside the forest. There is no need to wait on them at the location of their objective.”
Once Joachim, who was staring deep into the forest had answered, Reinard made a proposal while looking at the same place. Eventually the monsters will appear for sure. Thanks to Joachim’s spell they confirmed the location of the herd. Now that the possibility of the herd passing by them and reaching the flower field was gone, just as Reinard said there was no need to remain on the flower field.
“Agreed, let’s hurry and head there!”
As soon as he said this, Galet ran off towards Armored Jeep. Seeing that, the three made bitter expressions and chased after him with a heavy gait.
“By the way, that spell you used earlier to confirm monster herd earlier. What kind of spell was it?”
After entering the forest, Armored Jeep started to drive safely out of necessity, so Mira and the two others regained composure. Then, Mira immediately asked something she was curious about.
“The one from earlier, that would be Sharp-Hearing spell.”
Although Galet had calmed himself down in comparison to earlier, the vehicle still shook as Joachim answered the question.
“Hooh. It’s called Sharp-Hearing spell. So, is it categorized in Abstract Magic?”
“Indeed, it is Abstract Magic, but it is categorized as Secret Abstract Magic.”
“Secret Abstract Magic...?”
Mira’s eyes sparkled and she leaned towards Joachim to question him with fervor. It was caused by the term unknown to her.
“Speaking of which, I heard that you have been living away from human settlements to train together with Danbulf-sama, and that you were out of the loop on the newest spellcrafting information.”
“Mm-hm, indeed that’s how it was. So?”
The information regarding Mira was made like Joachim just mentioned. It was an excuse that Solomon had arranged to explain her lack of knowledge of these long thirty years.
“Abstract Magic has various different conditions, but the spells that have very special conditions for acquiring are called Secret Abstract Magic.”
“Special conditions? What kind of conditions are they?”
Mira fell on down on the sofa as the car shook, but immediately got up and with a joyful expression and prompted Joachim to continue. As a fellow spellcaster, her reaction was something he could understand very well.
“Actually the Secret Abstract Magic spells’ conditions are yet to be discovered, but it is thought that spirit blessings and the amount of defeated monsters and their types might have something to do with them. As for Sharp-Hearing spell, all we have discovered is that a wind spirit’s blessing has something to do with it.”
Joachim explained while bracing himself against the shaking with both hands. Lastly, making a proud look, he said that acquiring Secret Abstract Magic of Sharp-Hearing was incredibly difficult, with only several people in the entire continent being able to use it.
“So I can’t learn it…"
In the end, learning that there was no way to acquire a Secret Abstract Magic spell, Mira started to sulk a little just to get tumbled by the shaking. “We’re sending this guy to a driving school" she muttered with resentment.
After several minutes, the armored jeep slipped through the forest on the North side of the flower field, reaching a flat plain. There, about a kilometer of distance away, they saw a black squirming herd of monsters.
“All right, just as expected. Let’s meet the enemy here. Stop slowly here.”
“The view is good and there is no obstacles to stop my spells. These are good conditions. Please stop slowly.”
“Agreed, with a view this good they won’t be able to escape. Stop here, slowly.”
The three leaned forward looking ahead of windshield and put hands on his left shoulder, head and right shoulders then spoke, especially emphasizing the last part.
Reminded by all three, Galet gently slowed down and stopped the armored jeep. After confirming this, the three caught breath with relief and got off towards the plain.
“Well then, I wish you luck in battle. As planned I will move to the location I can back you up from, send me a sign if I’m needed.”
After confirming the doors were closed, Galet said so and drove the armored jeep towards a hill on the right side of the monsters.
“Yeah, got it. Well, with just this many there should be no problem.”
“We can’t let our guard down, Reinard.”
“Hmph, I’m well aware of that.”
Reinard captured the approaching enemy in sight and speaking with absolute confidence, but was warned by cautious Joachim. However, Joachim’s words did not appear to show any worry and felt like he spoke to persuade himself.
Armored Jeep slowly moved towards its planned position as not to stand out. Mira watched the vehicle with a cold gaze and muttered “he IS capable of safe driving", Reinard and Joachim nodded in silence.
“Now, do you remember the plan?”
Focusing himself, Reinard called out to Mira.
Mira faced towards the monsters again and posed with fingers on the tip of her chin. However, while that pose did work well with Danbulf’s appearance, with Mira’s current appearance it looked unreliable.
“That’s fine then, but I hear that this Lesser Demon, unlike normal ones, is capable of summoning. Is there no problems with that?”
“Like I said earlier, even the worst draw is within my expectations. No problems.”
“Speaking of which, you said something like this. Well, if something happens I will come in to support.”
Said Reinard and poised the shield he held with pride. Although Reinard kept flaring up at people, he was a straightforward knight who did not bring his feelings into work.
“Nothing like that will happen, you have no need to worry. Just keep the herd away.”
As they spoke, Mira caught a glimpse of what kind of person Reinard was, mainly, of the primary reason Solomon had chosen him as an aide, which was the way he acted as a knight.
“Well then, I leave tanking to you.”
Hearing that, Reinard snorted “hmph" and started to calmly walk towards monsters. Joachim followed moving a little behind him. Mira moved away from the two and started to walk in the left direction to approach the herd from the side.
The plan they ultimately decided on, was to have Reinard and Joachim take on majority of the herd. For that sake the two faced the herd from the front.
On the plain in the distance, the herd of monsters squirming like a wave started to show their entirety. The four-legged Dirty Hound monsters were running in the front and a division of Goblin subtype called Arch-Goblin followed them.
In a position at the center of that Goblin division, Mira saw the Lesser Demon’s appearance.
(“As we thought, he’s heavily protected.”)
According to the plan, Mira was supposed to take care of the Lesser Demon, but she also had one more role. For that sake Mira moved away from the two and while hiding, she moved downwind.
Before long, Reinard and Joachim faced the monster herd.
On the plain, the distance between them was about twenty meters. Every time wind blowed, multiple ripples on grass appeared as far as they could see. Disturbing those waves were about two hundreds of monsters and Reinard, who overwhelmed the monsters with just his presence.
When he pulled out his sword, the movement of the herd packed in front had stopped. There were just two humans standing in front of the two hundred, but monsters stopped, following their instinct.
Dirty Hounds growled in low voice at the two to intimidate them. However, ignoring that, Reinard took one step forward after another.
That moment, the Lesser Demon in the middle of the herd let out irritating voice. And then, responding to that, several dozen of Dirty Hounds howled with madness and assaulted Reinard all at once.
At the same time Reinard took a large step forward which caused the atmosphere to tremble, and the trembling spread all around him. Even to Mira, this overwhelming fighting spirit looked to have a fair amount of experience behind it.
However, Dirty Hounds did not stop. Like puppets that had their instincts dulled, they leaped at the enemy from the front. Immediately after, the trembling atmosphere swallowed those monsters. That moment, Reinard took one more step and shouting to rouse himself, he flashed his sword.
The tip of the sword did not touch anything as it passed by, stopping in mid-air. At the same time, all sound disappeared and the silence felt like even the wind quietened down. Then suddenly, grass was cut into thousand pieces and danced in the air. Dirty Hounds who assaulted Reinard have been cut in half and rolled on the ground to spill the blood on the plain.
(“That was quite splendid.”)
Watching them from the distance, impressed, Mira looked towards the center of the herd.
The Lesser Demon raised both his hands and started to rave as he glared with resentment at Reinard. That instant, all monsters focused on one point, recognizing him as an obstacle and decided to remove him at full strength.
At Lesser Demon’s orders, the herd changed its formation. Reinard and Joachim waited without doing anything until that was over. Pulling all of monsters’ attention towards themselves.
The herd surrounded Reinard and Joachim, forming a circle so that they did not escape anyhow.
“The situation is as we expected it. Looks like we can continue as planned.”
After taking a look around, Joachim whispered to Reinard.
“All right, then let’s do as planned.”
When Reinard raised his sword as if to display it, monsters did not let it pass and started screaming to intimidate him.
The entire plain turned noisy, killing the sound of footsteps that approached the herd. The Lesser Demon noticed that sound only when the smell of a young girl reached him right from behind.
The monster herd which surrounded Joachim and Reinard changed its shape and the two were now in the middle of it. And the Lesser Demon had been standing furthest of the two, in a position from where he could watch over the battle. When he turned around, he saw Mira behind himself. Mira was waiting for the moment he split up from them and was alone.
(“That black crystal… I guess it’s Demon’s Crystal. As we predicted, it’s a summoning-type.")
Upon seeing two black knights standing behind Mira, the Lesser Demon hurriedly raised Demon’s Crystal up to the sky.
“Now, god only knows what will come out.”
The Lesser Demon’s action was a summoning ceremony. Though, it was a different type of summoning from the one Mira used. Demon’s Crystal was something that summoned a random magic beast. If she was lucky, another Dirty Hound would be added to the herd, if not, it was capable of summoning a large, dangerous beast.
However, Mira did not attempt to interrupt the summoning and only watched the magic circle spread in the sky. Speaking of summoner-type monsters, it was easier to defeat them before they summoned something. However, this theory did not apply to those sly Lesser Demons. Right before the Lesser Demon died, a black fog that was crystallization of their hatred would be released. Then seconds before dispersing, it would attempt struggle in vain. However, if there was an object with magic in it, it would be cursed by the black fog.
Regardless if it was in the middle of summoning or not, the cursed Demon’s Crystal would summon a high-class magic beast. Of course, even if it was not cursed there was still possibility of a high-class one appearing. Thinking of this possibility, Solomon had sent Mira to this place.
According to the plan, Mira was supposed to deal not only with the Lesser Demon, but also with the summoned magic beast. Not showing any nervousness at the summoning, she just waited for it to finish.
In the middle of it, the Demon’s Crystal started to shine creepily before finally, the moment had come. The magic circle floating in the sky had suddenly expanded and two legs that appeared like distorted old tree trunks descended on the ground.
“Mm-hm, it’s a miss.”
Staring at it, Mira heaved a sigh. No matter how one looked at it, it was a high-class magic beast and Mira recalled what those legs are.
Continuing after that appeared the tail which extended and slammed onto the ground. The tail that let out a heavy sound was thicker than those legs, and was covered with scales like a dragon’s tail.
Finally, the magic beast’s entirety had appeared. It had a body large enough to easily look down on trees when standing in the forest, and turned its head around to confirm the surroundings.
Once the magic circle completed summoning and dispersed, the Lesser Demon laughed in an irritating voice, certain of his victory. However, instantly after that, a howl splitting the air had sounded which muffled the laughing voice.
This overly loud voice caused Reinard and Joachim to scowl and turn in the direction of the voice. Among the squirming herd of monsters, they saw a figure of a monstrous beast with upper half similar to that of a cock and lower body of a lizard.
Those who looked in the eyes of it would see no morning light, just an eternal dream of stone. That magic beast’s name was Cockatrice, one of the high-class beasts which held multiple annoying abilities.
“That’s too much of a big-shot! Let’s go assist her, Joachim!”
Reinard, who was familiar with Cockatrice, judged that Mira was at disadvantage and attempted to go to her help. However, the monsters surrounding the two would not allow them to escape, or even move.
“Damn, you’re in the way!”
Irritated, Reinard clicked his tongue, but his shoulder was grasped by Joachim.
“Please calm down and look at her well. Standing in front of that beast, Mira-sama isn’t agitated in the least. And recall what she said earlier, even the worst draw is within expectations, her expression back then.”
Hearing Joachim’s words, Reinard recalled Mira’s cute but irritating smile of confidence. Then next moment, a scream of pain, a completely different from the proud one from earlier had resounded. Seeing that, hearing it, Reinard could tell his head cooled off rapidly.
“Yeah, I guess. There’s no problem.”
He muttered with a calm voice and cut down a Dirty Hound that assaulted him, then returned his gaze toward monsters in front of them.
The scream that Reinard heard, belonged to no one else but Cockatrice itself.
Summoned and landed on the ground, Cockatrice let out an ostentatious voice and spread its wings, trembled as if stretching. Then, slowly fixed its gaze at the girl in front. A Cockatrice’s had a pair of eyes that were intimidating enough to be able to freeze the spine of even the fiercest warriors. But, the next moment it suddenly lost half of that pair.
It raised a scream of pain as blood splattered from half of its face. Seeing that instant, Reinard realized there was no need to worry.
Out of the two black knights standing behind Mira, one was holding a sword dyed with fresh blood which dripped from the blade. Within few seconds of the summoning, Cockatrice’s eye was slashed. Although Cockatrice’s magic-dwelling eyes had a special petrification ability, it could only activate when using both eyes. After battling against these monsters multiple times, Mira knew that well and immediately took course of action to seal that ability.
However, even though it had lost its strongest ability, Cockatrice was filled with fighting spirit and howled furiously. However, it was different for the Lesser Demon. He clearly was disturbed by how the Cockatrice was wounded and glared at black knights lined up in front with fear.
The actual fight between two sides had yet to start. Once Mira had the two black knights move in front, the Cockatrice lowered its posture to respond to that. And when the two forces were about to clash, suddenly the Lesser Demon screamed. That moment, for some reason, the fury in Cockatrice’s eye faded, and the Lesser Demon had started running only to jump on top of the Cockatrice’s back.
Leaping up high over both enemies and allies, the Cockatrice started to run towards the flower field. Mira, who was ready to fight it any time stared at the Cockatrice dumbfounded.
As the monster flapped its wings in the sky, it slowly descended to land on the ground. Cockatrice’s ability to move in the air felt less like a flight and more like leap with a glide.
Caught by surprise by that silly appearance of the Cockatrice, Mira finally returned to herself and started to chase it into the forest at full speed. Reinard and Joachim smiled bitterly seeing her off as she ran.