The flower field with a white pillar standing in the middle of it. With that field in the back, Mira faced against the Cockatrice and the Lesser Demon.
“Damn you and your shrewd tricks.”
The moment she thought the combat would start the enemy escaped, so she overtook them and faced them again, standing with her back turned towards the field. With that said, it was not like she managed to do it with ease, it was thanks to her equipment and the terrain.
Among equipment Mira was wearing there were many that held special powers, and of course her running speed was also improved by them. Also, the Cockatrice had problems running at full speed inside the forest, and was thankfully unable to leap.
Mira stood fairly far ahead of them and had recovered her confident position. She summoned three more black knights and positioned them as to surround the Cockatrice.
Including the two that stood by Mira’s side, there were a total of five black knights existing in that place. Seeing them clad in overwhelming aura, standing like revenants, the Lesser Demon glared at them with irritation. He was certain that Cockatrice was capable of shaking off black knights. And certainly, black knights were not capable of catching up to the Cockatrice. And yet, they were here with their numbers increased. The Lesser Demon regretted that he judged Mira by her appearance, but he did not give up yet.
He pointed with his finger at Mira and yelled. Immediately after, the Cockatrice’s eye was filled with madness and letting out a scream it started running towards Mira. The beast’s legs gouged soil, sending dense green grass into air. Naturally, the huge body had a huge mass which could blow away majority of things by just moving.
However, neither the Cockatrice’s talons nor its beak had reached Mira.
Although its legs were protected by tough scales, deep wounds have been engraved in them and the huge body tilted forward. Black knights in the surroundings aimed at its legs alone and slashed both of them.
(“There is nothing more annoying than a charge when you have something to protect behind you…")
Mira instantly made a decision and ordered the Dark Knights. Because she did not know how tough the Cockatrice’s legs were, she had all of them attack. As a result she succeeded and the Cockatrice was no longer capable of charging.
Currently, with its injured legs it was unable to support its large mass and had dragged them behind as it moved back.
However, that moment, inside the corner of Mira’s vision in a place where it was easy to miss him, the Lesser demon had leaped off the Cockatrice and started running towards the flower field.
(“Nhm, he used Cockatrice as bait.”)
Using the Cockatrice’s body for hiding, the Lesser Demon moved to a distant location intending to arrive at his destination forcibly, before Mira had noticed.
The Lesser Demon was a several meters away from reaching his goal, certain that he will reach it he let out that annoying, jarring laughter and turned his face towards Mira to show off his obscene, overjoyed expression.
However, Mira only turned her face towards him and did not move. No, there was no need to move. They already predicted that the Lesser Demon’s objective was that flower field. Although they did not know what did he intend to do there, it certainly was not anything good. But there was one thing they knew, they knew that they just had to stop him from entering the flower field.
A single gust of wind roared through the plain. It enveloped a pure black and menacing shape.
The laughing voice that sounded in the surroundings stopped at once. The next instant, a scream dyed with hatred filled the surroundings. However, that lasted only a moment as it soon was silenced.
Ahead of where wind has blown, rolled the Lesser Demon’s bisected corpse surrounded by a violent black wind. His face was distorted as if fear was pasted onto it and he stared with empty eyes at the sky. Right beside him, stood a black knight holding a wet sword in his hands.
This black knight was one of the two that stood next to Mira. The moment she arrived at the flower field she ordered him to remove all enemies that approach it, so he chased after the target to fulfill his role. That is why there was no reason for Mira to move.
As if nothing happened, the black knight calmly moved away from that place and started walking back to Mira. That moment, black fog had rose up behind him. It was the Lesser Demon’s grudge.
“Nmm? What’s that?”
Since there was nothing to curse, it should have dispersed on the wind right there. However, this floating fog. and as if driven by a will it started to fly. Mira who never saw or heard of the grudge flying around to move she left the three black knights to deal with the Cockatrice to three black knights, and stood on guard against the grudge.
The black fog had slowly but surely approached her. It passed by the black knight who was the one who killed the Lesser Demon, then further passed by Mira to move away.
(“What kind of phenomenon is this? Is it just wandering around, looking for something to curse?”)
Tracing her chin with a finger, Mira furrowed her eyebrows and chased the fog with her eyes.
In the plain devoid of wind, only black knight’s footsteps sounded. This sound too, had stopped once the black knight returned back to Mira’s side. That’s when a groan-like breathing sounded in her ears. It came from the direction the grudge flew towards.
"It can’t be...you’re going to curse that thing?”
Ahead of where the fog flew waited the Cocaktrice, who looked at the black fog with furiously hot look in its eye.
If it moved even a little it would have been slashed down by black knights. With its body covered in wounds the Cockatrice realized that and feeling fury that made it insane, and following the Lesser Demon’s last order it forcibly suppressed the impulse to murder.
Once the grudge reached the Cockatrice, it appeared to have expanded, sped up and clung to the magic beast’s full of wounds body, then invaded Cockatrice through open wounds, eye and mouth.
The change was dramatic. As the black fog in the air thinned out, the magic beast’s stature bloated, starting to assume a dangerous shape like it was on the verge of exploding. A painful moaning had roared out. The slash wounds have been sealed with meat that swelled and the single eye filled with intent to kill have become bloodshot and full of madness.
Then finally the black fog had completely cleared. The cursing was complete. The grudge that so far only cursed things with power, did something unthinkable up until now and of all things possible, cursed a high-class magic beast.
(“To think something like this would happen. It must be a phenomenon made possible by the game turning real.”)
Mira strengthened her vigilance and watched the Cockatrice who grew by a size or two.
Maybe because it could not focus, or maybe because it was not used to the body, Cockatrice looked at the sky around and casually flapped its wings several times.
(“In any case, the fact it’s troublesome does not change.”)
Smiling bitterly and mixing in a sigh, Mira watched the Cockatrice’s transformed figure. At the same time, three black knights turned into a gale as they assaulted the beast.
“Nnh, it turned tougher too, huh.”
The Cockatrice who had his muscles slashed by black knights and splashed blood had now turned into something completely different. Although black knights did wound its torso, they were only wounds reaching skin deep and did not hurt the muscles underneath. Moreover, those wounds closed within seconds, leaving only little scars.
Still, black knights did not stop. Far from that, their swords increased in speed to leave even sharper scars. When repeated multiple slashed finally started to gouge meat, Cockatrice finally woke up from his stupefy.
The bloodshot-red eye captured the three black knights in sight and opened wide. Momentarily it was dyed with hatred and when that reached the limit, Cockatrice had flapped its wings to sweep away the persistent knights.
Instantly, a gust of wind swept around mowing down everything in the surroundings. Trees creaked and leaves were blown away to disappeared in the sky, and the plain shook like on raging waves. The wind had already turned into literal windstorm as it picked up Mira’s small body and sent it flying.
Once the short windstorm calmed down, various little things it raised in the air fell on the ground.
“To think just flapping his wings would cause this, he sure has gotten powerful.”
Taking two, three steps in mid-air as if stepping on air itself, Mira decelerated and descended to stand on the ground like nothing happened. The black knights were blown away, but immediately fixed their postures and surrounded the Cockatrice.
The Cockatrice looked at black knights. Their appearance holding black swords like nothing happened, put fire to Cockatrice’s piled-up hatred.
Opening its mouth wide, the Cockatrice roared as if trying to bring down the heavens, bursting out like a volcano. Shaking air itself which reverberated like thunder.
The overwhelming volume shook Mira’s eardrums numbing them. Scowling, she took half a step back and covered them with her robe’s cuffs.
“Good grief, how noisy.”
She muttered with annoyance but the mutter was muffled by metallic sounds and did not even reach Mira’s own ears. In the middle of the plain, roaring, the Cockatrice engaged in combat with black knights.
Raising a raving voice, the Cockatrice turned its entire body into a weapon and attacked. Not perturbed in the least, the black knights handled it by swinging their swords. The Cockatrice’s onslaught was incredibly destructive, piercing the earth and scraping it away. Furthermore, ever since combat started, its skin grew even tougher and black knights’ swords did not pierce it easily.
However, that was all that it seemed to be to Mira. Certainly a single attack’s power was amazing, if she received it head-on she would not get off scot-free. However, that was all there was to it. There was no sight of the Cockactrice’s original abilities and the splendid chain attacks, it swung its body around leaving everything to pure force. It was like tying a huge lump of metal to a famous spear and destroying its distinct characteristics that made it good. If there was anything good about it, it was that it gained a body that was capable of withstanding black knight’s sword. However, its body was gradually wounded and it was a matter of time until the huge body fell on the ground.
Still, Mira made a difficult expression as she looked at the battle. Although it was a matter of time, at this rate it would take until sunset to end this. It could be resolved by simply adding more Dark Knights, but wanting to get a better grasp on how this world worked now that it turned real, Mira wanted to check Dark Knights cooperation and behavior. The more their numbers increase the harder it was to follow them and she could miss some details.
(“Still, I don’t have do it now, I have time. I can check it carefully later.”)
Her life in this world had just began, there was no need to hurry. Rather than experiment now, it was better to calm down and check things one by one.
“Nn, is that…?”
Just when she was about to summon Dark Knights to finish things quickly, in the corner of her vision she found a crystal letting out a creepy light. It fell in at the edge of the field and lying beside it was a bisected Lesser Demon’s corpse.
Stimulated by interest, Mira walked up to it and picked the crystal up. Black and muddy-looking, the Demon’s Crystal shined with a pulse.
Demon’s Crystal was a special item held by summoner-type Lesser Demons. However, when a Lesser Demon was defeated, it disappeared along with its body so to players, it was part of game’s graphics and they could not acquire it.
“Hooh...hoh hoh hooh. This is really interesting.”
Holding the Demon’s Crystal in her hands, Mira grinned madly. Now that it was reality, monsters bodies did not disappear and remained as corpses to eventually return to the nature. Such a natural cycle had brought Mira an unexpected blessing.
A special crystal Lesser Demons used for summoning, Demon’s Crystal. Mira who had an abnormal interest in Summoning, for a long time now she was curious about this item that Lesser Demons used for summoning.
As she observed the crystal, a sound as if something had charged fiercely reached her and some black object were flung by her side. It was a Dark Knight who was blown away by the Cockatrice. With all of that momentum he gouged the flower field, his upper body burrowing in earth before he stopped. However, the next instant he stood up moving in a way impossible for a human, then shot from the spot like a bullet.
(“It looks just like an Elemental Crystal...but has different color darkness element, hmm. I haven’t seen anything shine this noxiously.”)
However, Mira was focused on the crystal so much that she did not even pay attention to combat. Picking up the Demon’s Crystal for the first time, the first thing she recalled was an Elemental Crystal. They were material items that could be used in many fields and were also deeply connected to Summoning.
Summoners had an ability called Elemental Shift. It was capable of using a catalyst that dwelled pure elemental power to grant an Armament Spirit an elemental power. One of the characteristics was that Armament Spirits summoned with this Elemental Shift had their strength decided mostly by the used catalyst.
“It might be amusing to try.”
Although it had an unknown color, the crystal somewhat resembled Elemental Crystal. Thinking she might be capable of using summoning with it, she immediately moved to action.
In the plain filled with the Cockatrice’s roaring and sound of sword attacks, grass in the location where whirlpool of combat happened had completely gone bald and clouds of dust were constantly thrown into the air. Capturing a location right in front of that in her in sight, Mira held up the Demon’s Crystal.
【Summoning: Elemental Shift - Dark Knight】
Adding a slight change to the sensation of summoning a Dark Knight, Mira released the power dwelling inside the crystal.
The magic circle that appeared in the front sucked in power that gushed out of the Demon’s Crystal and expanded one or two sizes.
“This is somewhat...bizarre.”
Within moments the magic circle was dyed noxiously and started to squirm like internal organs. Also, feeling an out of ordinary presence, Mira hurriedly leaped away from the spot.
Immediately after, the magic circle expanded and burst like clogged veins. The magic power that gushed out of it splattered in all directions like splashing blood.
Seeing this overly fierce sight Mira thought the summoning had failed, but once the remnants of magic power stopped falling, something tall and wide like several trees together did exist there, filling empty space.
It was clad in a knightly armor and had a beastly stature as it stood imposingly. It was black as if born from the darkness, had glowing eyes as if they were covered in blood and instead of a sword, it had countless saw-like fangs lined up inside its opened mouth.
“Dark...Beast is what I should call it, I guess.”
At a glance it looked completely different from a Dark Knight, but it did feel there was a connection with it. In other words, the spell had succeeded and she could tell that the thing in front of her was her summon, so she nicknamed it based on its appearance.
The result of Elemental Shift Summoning, was a monster that appeared to have bestial body and features that looked like a mix of a lion and tiger, and was forcibly made wear a twisted black knight’s armor.
The magic that spilled during summoning had clung to the Dark Beast’s body like blood and was faintly flickering as if it was breathing. This appearance was overly abnormal and it seemed like it could go berserk any time, but it had currently its body beside Mira and glared ahead like a hungry beast aiming for a prey.
“For now, it does seem like he will listen to orders.”
Although at first look it did not seem to possess any intelligence, Mira looked up at it and saw it listened to simple orders.
The combat between the Cockatrice and black knights did far more damage to the surroundings than it caused damage to the either side. The Cockatrice had acquired regeneration and has become tougher. On the other hand, black knights also had a limited regeneration and high avoidance ability. However, they were not equal, as black knights had superior numbers and cooperated, so they had superiority. If they continued to fight, black knights would eventually win.
However at this rate the night would come before that happened.
“Now, let’s see what kind of strength you have.”
Mira spoke to the Dark Beast and thinking it was good timing, had the three black knights fall back.
The berserking Cockatrice did not seem to be bothered by black knights suddenly moving away and had continued to rush blindly at the enemy in front.
Focusing on pure destruction it moved its large legs that were akin to large trees, it shook the earth as it ran with its huge body towards black knights in its sight. It was then, that a metallic sound and a tremor have reverberated. Following it, the Cockatrice’s hateful scream had reverberated loudly.
A black monstrous Dark Beast had slipped onto the battlefield and stopped the blow of the Cockatrice’s entire body. When the furious Cockatrice shook its head to bite the beast, the Dark Beast roared and opened its mouth filled with teeth all the way to the ears and bit back as if to rip apart the Cockatrice.
Feeling pain, the Cockatrice smacked the ground with its tail like a dragon, every time he struck it, there was thunderous sound and trembling of the earth.
(“It won’t listen to detailed orders… There might be just two options, to stay and attack.”)
Just like with Dark Knights, Mira tried giving several orders. However, her orders were ignored entirely and the Dark Beast just continued to fight. To say, its current state made it seem like it was berserk.
“Up for further verification, it seems.”
Looking away from the current situation, Mira muttered as if making an excuse.
“This...what kind of situation is this?”
“Nn? Ohh, Reinard.”
Turning towards to a voice that called out to her from the side, she saw Reinard and Joachim. The two’s expression stiffened as they looked at the fight that happened in front of them, where both sides slaughtered each other with literally no intention of defending.
“One of them looks quite different but it’s the Cockatrice. However…"
Joachim looked in the front with a bitter expression and calmly analyzed the situation.
Neither the Dark Beast nor the Cockatrice had any intention of standing down, grappling against one another they simply wrecked each other’s body. Fangs against fangs, claws against talons, a roar against a roar. Despite both being covered in blood, neither had stopped, far from that, the two’s heads were cleared of anything but anger and their fight only grew more intense.
“I summoned it and that’s how it turned out.”
Not knowing what else to say, Mira only shrugged.
The three stared at the sight in amazement. If it there was something to compare this fight to, it would be a fight of monsters in a movie made with special effects. It was at the point of the movie where birds from nearby trees escaped and all small animals finished evacuating.
“By the way, I’m not seeing Galet anywhere.”
Mira asked, forcibly changing the topic.
“We asked him to deal with monster corpses. Normally I do the burning of corpses, but he said “I will take care of it, please go to Mira-sama’s support". Certainly, it was normal to worry when the opponent was as powerful as Cockatrice. Still, it appears like you are in no need of help.”
Joachim answered while watching the battle of two kaijūs with a distant look in his eyes. That moment, on the other side of the battlefield appeared a stream of red light.
(“That Galet, he’s not worried about me at all.”)
The flaring and wavering light was a flame pillar, Mira imagined Galet’s appearance standing behind the cannon with a smile even brighter than the flames.
After a while, the disposal of corpses must have ended as the pillar of flames weakened and disappeared.
At the same time, a different kind of red burst towards the sky. Following that, sounded a scream as if something was torn apart, different from the intimidating roars from up until now.
It was a voice that came out of the Cockatrice’s throat and the red thing dancing in the air was its blood. From the looks of it, the Cockatrice lost one of its wings at the root, it was from there that the blood splattered..
Reinard muttered unconsciously. Staring at the Dark Beast that fought against the Cockatrice, which had grown even more ferocious, he revised his view of both Summoning and its possibilities, as well as Mira’s.
The Dark Beast, released something from its mouth as if spitting. A large amount of blood was dripping from its mouth. The thing that fell on the ground, was Cockatrice’s bitten off wing. The wing was so beat up it looked miserable, being the proof of just how intense the fight was.
However, the Cockatrice did not stop because of that. The will to fight as well as madness did not disappear from its eye. It attacked the Dark Beast by swinging its remaining wing. That moment, its body swayed as if pulled by the wing it swung. Due to its immense size, the Cockatrice was unable to maintain balance without one of wings and was unable to control its own explosive power.
The Dark Beast did not miss that. The moment the Cockatrice’s large body tilted, the Dark Beast put four limbs on the ground and opened mouth as if to roar. That moment, a sharp light started to leak from its throat.
“This magic power is…"
Sensing the enormous magic power gathering inside the Dark Beast’s mouth, Joachim opened his eyes wide.
Immediately after, right before the aim was set, the Cockatrice turned its body around and swung its thick tail, smashing it into the side of the Dark Beast’s head.
A heavy impact sounded and the Dark Beast’s body swayed. However, it was not stopped by just that. At almost the same time it received the blow, the Dark Beast released the ray of light.
After a bright flash, the air trembled fiercely and a roaring sound could be heard. However, it did not hit the Cockatrice directly. The Cockatrice’s tail forcibly moved the Dark Beast’s head and caused for the ray’s aim to move. After missing greatly, the ray crept over the ground and gouging earth it split the forest. Furthermore, flames spilled from the place it gouged a hole in ground.
The sight spreading in front seemed like an act from the apocalypse, the dust thrown in the air along with a rumble was like a castle wall, making not only Reinard and Joachim, but also Mira stand stock still and look at it with a distant look in their eyes.
Ignoring the three, the combat continued. As if fighting over space, two roars bellowed at each other, filling the surroundings. But then, suddenly, one side had disappeared.
It was the Cockatrice’s voice that disappeared. The enormous magic beast fell on the ground along with a heavy sound. From the looks of it, its left leg was completely burned down below the knee. Although it looked like it had avoided the ray, the ray managed to lightly graze the Cockatrice’s leg.
“Looks like the fight is decided.”
Even despite lying on its side, the Cockatrice glared sharply with its eye, but after losing one wing and one leg there was no way it could fight against the opponent that was equal to it up until now. Seeing that, Reinard made a relieved expression.
All that was left was for the Dark Beast to swing down a claw or bite down the writhing Cockatrice to finish it.
However, the next moment the three’s spine froze. The Dark Beast braced itself on all four limbs and opened its mouth wide.
“This magic power, does it intend to fire the attack from earlier?!”
After witnessing the horrible spectacle earlier, Joachim asked in panic. But Mira immediately looked away and faltered. Although she tried multiple times, the Dark Beast did not listen to Mira’s detailed orders. In other words, its current actions were completely based on its own judgement.
“Hey...it looks worse than the one earlier.”
Heeding Reinard’s words, she looked back at the Dark Beast. Possibly because it had time to spare, the amount of magic power that gathered had already surpassed the one from earlier and was still gathering. Proportionally to that, the light leaking from its mouth started to shine like a blade. It was as if the Dark Beast was holding a sun inside its mouth and which risked exploding at any time.
The first ray was fired after two, three seconds since taking this pose. However, this time ten seconds already passed. It was unknown just how powerful it became after gathering this much magic power.
The image of their entire surroundings turning into scorched earth had passed through Mira’s mind for an instant. It was not an exaggeration, and Joachim pictured similar image in his mind based on the amount of converged magic power.
Next moment, a magic circle appeared beneath the Dark Beast’s feet. Same as when it was summoned, it released a noxious shine, but this time it pulled the black beast in. Mira instantly released the summon and dismissed the Dark Beast.
The pulsating magic circle swallowing the Dark Beast looked like a gate of hell, and the sight made the three lose their breath as they watched.
As it was dismissed, the Dark Beast still retained the will to fight in its eyes turned towards the Cockatrice. And when its entire body aside from its head submerged in the magic circle, suddenly the shine in its mouth grew more intense.
Right after she responded, Mira instructed one of the black knights that was on standby.
As ordered, the black knight rushed like a gale and hit the Dark Beast’s head to turn it upwards. At the same time, a flash clad in vivid light surged into the sky.
Once the condensed magic power pierced the sky, it eventually dispersed and started to fall as particles of light. By then, the culprit that was the Dark Beast had disappeared without a trace, dismissed completely.
When everyone was finally relieved, suddenly the Cockatrice entered the three’s sight. It groaned and forced itself to stand up with the leg that had the wound closed. Roaring like mad, the Cockatrice displayed overwhelming madness despite losing a wing and a leg.
“It might be wounded but we can’t let our guard down.”
Seeing the Cockatrice’s intensity, Reinard and Joachim focused again and poised themselves to stand against it.
“Stand back. I was the one who undertook this guy.”
Mira stopped the two with her hand and turned her sight towards the Cockatrice. Then suddenly, about twenty black knights suddenly appeared to surround it in an instant.
Seeing the group of black knights suddenly appear, both Reinard and Joachim made astonished expressions. Not only Summoners who were dispatched to military, but even the Elder substitute Cleos was unable to summon this many black knights in an instant and at the same time.
At loss of words, they understood what did the title of Sage’s disciple mean, and how little they knew about her. Meanwhile, everything had concluded.
Although even wounded the Cockatrice was superior in strength, it was unable to bear the violence of numbers it faced and fell over once again. Then, no longer having any way of resisting, its entire body was exposed to slashes that outpaced its regeneration speed. Blood flowed from multiple places on its body and dyed earth dark red.
The scene at a first glance looked like a squirming black hill, was something like a group execution.
The rain of light that the Dark Beast had left over must have had quite a large amount of magic power in it, as it continued to fall even now. Once they turned around, they saw the particles of light dance in the flower field, and when it was touched by wind, they sparkled like an angel’s smile.
Standing between the heaven and hell, Reinard and Joachim decided to turn in heaven's direction.