Sixty-Fourth Episode~ Jellium Bones
The fourth and fifth day pass.
As we advance deeper into the labyrinth, we reach the point where we encounter Orcs.
This is my first time seeing and Orc.
It has a pig face. It has the characteristic nose and large lower lip.
The fangs stick out from its mouth.
They seem to be a variant Goblin, slightly larger than normal ones.
They wear armor and fight with weapons.
They seem to be more intelligent than goblins, hiding before attacking in groups.
However, I have presence detection.
Presence detection discovers the Orcs’ magic essence first, and I alert everyone.
So, we advance without receiving the surprise attack by the Orcs.
“This is nice, I can take it easy thanks to Shuya.”
Alberto says while scratching his beast nose.
He flicks snot of Igu and laughs. (TL: Ugh, gross.)
There is now a magic essence behind a pillar in front of us
I think it’s an Orc.
With the silver shining halberd in one hand, I advance carefully.
I make eye contact with Rollodinu.
Rollo takes on her panther form and goes around the back of the pillar.
She chases out the hidden Orc.
Surprised by Rollodinu’s sudden appearance, the Orc shouts and runs out from behind the pillar.
I run and release a <Thrust> with the silver halberd at the escaping Orc.
The Orc has a chest plate made of steel, but the spear head of the halberd pierces through, deep into its chest.
Blood flows down the shaft of the silvery halberd.
“-As expected. You can collect the ear.”
Igu says so and approaches the Orc I killed, cutting off its ear as evidence.
“Hyu~, fast. I didn’t have the chance to act again. Isn’t Shuya’s perception abnormal? His detection ability surpasses my race’s ‘odor perception.'”
Albert leans his head the side and whistles, praising my presence detection while approaching with his dagger drawn.
“Ah, I have an ability similar to that, but, Albert… I think more orcs are hiding. There are a lot of stone pillars…”
Once I get his attention, Albert looks to the front.
“You’re right…be careful.”
The stone pillars scarcely dot the corridor. The wind blowing through creates an atmosphere of ancient underground ruins.
Oh, there’s another reaction.
Albert seems to have noticed the orc too, readying his weapon.
His tiger face is focused and his nose twitches.
The sharpness of his eyes carries the savagery of a beast.
He is staring in the direction where presence detection discovered a magic essence.
Heh, this is the odor detection skill.
Albert uses the packed physique of a tiger beastman, quietly approaching the pillar’s shadow.
His footsteps are silent. Incredibly nimble… Oh, Albert bends his head to avoid something, then jumps like a ballerina. (TL: That mental image.)
An arrow. The arrow strikes the ground where Albert was standing.
The orc has a bow.
However, Albert is a beastman. The superior light warrior. His movement to avoid the arrow was smooth and natural. It was fast too.
-Then, Albert suddenly raises a strange cry.
He makes the sound intentionally, running behind the pillar.
Then, the orc scream is heard.
It seems that Igu cut it off and they killed it.
Albert appears to have intentionally attracted the archer’s attention.
Igu collects the orc ear and returns.
“There we go, take it.”
Albert laughs and says to Igu.
“Fuun, of course. Albert. You’re a regular ‘pig killer.'”
“Pretty much. I tried to adjust the timing for Igu o-san.”
This tiger beastman and dwarf seem to have worked together before.
They have a mutual understanding.
“Not half bad.”
“Oh, Shuya, since that’s the case is there any reason to come?”
“That’s right. We’re the only vanguards, everyone behind us are magic users.”
We continue advancing along the aisle of stone pillars.
From the sixth day forward, it becomes nothing but Orcs.
At first, there were encounters of two or three, but it evolved into full battles over time.
Orc ears pile up.
They seem to be roaming patrols of orcs, this is probably their territory.
There are still interspaced sources of light in the stone corridor, so it’s still possible to see, but there are times when there is no light.
I have night vision, so I don’t have to worry about it, but Sokura has the magic users create spheres of light.
So now, because we’re advancing in the dark, the rear guard is sending the spheres of light to illuminate the way ahead.
Thereupon, the guiding light spheres show a scene different from before.
-A large hole, no, it’s more like a cliff.
The ground has collapsed, and the passage in front of us is enveloped in a shroud of darkness.
Albert runs ahead and investigates around the large hole.
“…As you can see, the right of the hole is a cliff, if you fall you will surely die.”
“I see, we’ll have to detour then?”
Igu looks to Sokura, seeking instructions.
Sokura thinks for a moment then speaks.
“Nn!, that’s right. Albert-san, is there a different way?”
“Wait a minute.”
Albert goes to the left ledge, walking lightly.
Stretching his head over the edge, he looks down the hole.
“…Oh, it’s the same. Here. The stone wall has been carved out and reinforced with wooden boards.”
“Oh, you found something.”
Igu runs towards Albert.
“Then, everyone, the path is narrow, but we’ll go this way.”
Igu also checked, there seems to be a way.
I move to the left edge with everyone and look below.
The left wall is carved out, creating a path.
There’s also a ladder built in, so Albert climbs down it.
The board and stone path is reinforced with rope.
The deep hole is pitch black, the bottom is hidden from sight, so the right side is dangerous.
I wouldn’t like to walk on the right side.
“It’s alright.” (TL: This feels like a trap.)
Albert went down first to ensure it was safe.
The ground of carved out stone seems to be sturdy.
“Then, we’ll advance.”
Sokura speaks up.
Everyone nods and climbs down the ladder.
Albert leads the group along the small path.
From the carved out path on the left, the right side of the abysmal hole spreads out in darkness.
The dark right side of the hole is dotted with lights far away.
The wooden boards creak with each step taken.
They’re reinforced…But I still feel uneasy.
“…There are torches…”
Albert also sees the distant lights.
Those distant lights could be expected considering there was a path carved here.
I can understand how enormous the labyrinth is.
I look away and continue down the path.
Then, there is a reaction from presence detection.
A fight on this narrow path.
“There are multiple orcs ahead. They’ve noticed us!”
Albert shouts a warning and fires his bow.
An Orc finds an arrow in its eye and screams, clutching its face, before knocking into a companion and tumbling into the darkness with them.
“The Vanguard will hold here.”
Igu says with a daring smile.
With the hatchet in his right hand and the round shield in his left, he dives into the crowd of orcs.
Rollo follows with me.
“Rollo, be careful of the cliff. Don’t fall, okay?”
Rollo responds with a purr.
Igu is fighting on the left side.
Then, I go to that side〜
It can’t be helped, I’ll take over the dangerous right side.
It’s narrow, so I can’t swing the halberd here.
-I concentrate on piercing.
I move carefully with the gaping void on my right. I go the help.
Rollo uses her small body to distract the orcs.
Also, she thrust her bone swords at the orcs, creating openings.
An Orc distracted by his pained foot finds a spear head in his throat.
“Igu, leave the right side.”
“Fine, but don’t fall.”
As Igu advises, I am wary of the drop on my right.
The fall over the cliff edge is shrouded in darkness.
After all, I’ve already experienced that once-
Being careful as not to fall, I knock the Orcs into the pit.
Rollo stabs and entangles orcs’ feet, disrupting their movements.
I can hear Sokura chanting in the background, probably some kind of support magic.
I don’t worry about it use the halberd’s range.
With the large ax blade, I’m cutting off the orc’s feet and pulling them down, stabbing them in the neck, striking overhead, easily slaughtering the orcs.
Oh? Suddenly light wraps my body like silk.
I can also hear a whizzing sound.
It’s a support magic, but I don’t think much has changed.
However, it seems to affect the other body guards.
The speed Albert and Igu are slaughtering the orcs has increased.
They advance while scattering orcs. The number of orcs continues to decrease.
Before long, we reach the end of the narrow stone passage.
We were able to handle all the orcs while staying on the path.
We immediately climb the ladder in front of us.
The frozen corpses of the pig people litter the path we crossed, their weapons and armor scattered.
“It kinda stinks…”
“Year, however, they’re subjugation evidence, Shuya, let’s cut their ears.”
Albert and Igu remove the orc ears while looking dissatisfied.
I help too.
It’s wasteful, but we don’t collect the weapons and armor of the orcs.
Both their size and quality make them worth very little.
It’s worth some money because they’re made of iron, but the reward for the quest is gold, and the baggage is limited.
Igu explained it; “It’s normal for the largest luggage to be food.”
I could probably collect them all with the item box, but it has a capacity, so I refrain.
After collecting the ears for subjugation evidence, the corpses are rolled into the pit. We walk towards the ladder on the stone wall.
“It seems to end here. Let’s climb.”
The corridor continues at the top of the ladder.
“Nn, I thought it would be a similar corridor…”
Albert says while looking at the passage.
I’m looking further ahead as well.
It’s true. It’s the same stone as the corridor, but it’s become wider.
It shouldn’t be a perspective trick.
“…I understand. Let’s advance carefully.”
Everyone nods at Sokura’s reassuring words.
Thus, everyone advances into the open space cautiously, their heads on a swivel.
Oh, there’s a magic essence reaction.
And the sound of lots of swords.
When I look in the direction of the sound, I can see orcs fight with white glass humanoids.
“Oi, Jellium bones and orcs are fighting, I hate big orcs.”
While speaking, Albert prepares his bow.
An arrow is removed in preparation to attack.
That’s a Jellium bone? It’s different than what I expected.
I thought they would be similar to the boiling knights.
Instead, they look like a science fiction doll made of glass and crystal.
“We’ll let them weaken the Jellium bones. Kill the orcs first.”
Sokura gives commands.
Three of the nearby Aria’s Wanderer clan members raise their staff weapons.
The vanguards respond shortly.
Albert fires his bow and Igu shouts while kicking off the ground with his short legs.
Rollo and I follow Igu and aim for the Orc on the right.
As she runs, Rollo’s form expands.
However, this is the form of a small wild cat, giving preference to mobility.
She extends a feeler, entangling the foot of the orc fighting the Jellium bone, Rollo must have noticed where I was looking because she goes for the orc I am going for.
There is no escape for the Orc.
“Rollo, nice.” (TL: Nice is in katakana.)
The orc hits the feeler Rollo has wrapped around its foot with its weapon, but the feeler doesn’t break.
I gift my ax blade to the hunched over orc.
The orc’s nose is destroyed, its face split in half.
After Rollo sees that I killed it, she moves to the next orc.
Everyone is killed.
The orcs react to our sudden appearance, but the Jellium bones don’t seem bothered.
Like a machine gone out of control, it continues attacking, swinging its long thin board-like arms.
While avoiding the glass arms, I go for a strong looking one wielding an ax.
The orc’s head, chest, hands, and feet and all armored so it’s defensive ability is high.
Thus, I aim for the unarmored parts of its body.
Looking for the gaps in its armor, I thrust the halberd, but the large orc shifts a little, preventing a fatal wound.
The large orc lifts the ax with both hands.
The continuous thrusts of the halberd are blocked, but the orc begins to show signs of fatigue, no longer to keep up.
The orc is panting like a pig.
I don’t let the opening pass.
I am for the join of the orc’s muscular arm and pulverize its elbow.
Then, it is quickly killed.
The ferrule of the halberd slams into the left side of the orc’s stomach.
The armor was dented, so the damaged passed through.
The orc recoils in pain.
-Then I swing the silver ax up.
The large orc raises its left arm to block the attack.
Drawing an orbit from the feint, the halberd slashes lower, cutting into the knee.
The leg is sliced clean through, but it feels different than the black spear, I get a feeling from the cut.
Furthermore, I twist the blood coated halberd and bring the butt end up between its legs.
The long metal shaft draws a vertical line, crushing the orc down.
The one-legged orc falls on its back.
I take that opportunity to jump- moving to crush the orc’s head.
I cover the distance with fighting moji enhanced legs.
The orc’s metal helmet gives and I hear its skull collapse. My foot print is left behind.
While standing over the dead orc, I see a fight to my left.
Igu’s powerful figure. Using his ax and round shield, Igu is toying with the orcs.
That dwarf. The short figure of Igu.
However, it looks like a scene from a movie.
He moves like one of the Spartan soldiers repelling a million man army in a canyon with three-hundred people. (TL: Author said Ancient Greek Spartans, but the Spartans weren’t Greek.)
The movie re-enacting the war of Thermopylae.
Looking at Igu’s shield, the ellipse part is cut.
-Stopping the attack with his shield, Igu responds with his ax.
This time he delivers a left hook with his shield, straight into an orc’s face, finishing it with his ax.
His style is simple, yet none of his movements are wasted.
Like that, orcs are being killed one after another.
Alberto is attacking an restraining orc from the back with his bow.
He aims for head shots.
Though, the orcs block the arrows many times, demonstrating their intelligence…they are kept in check, making it easier for Igu to fight.
At that moment, I see a curtain of pale flames from behind striking the enemies.
The flickering curtain of flames covers the orcs.
The moment the oiling pig bodies of the orcs touch the blue flames- they light up like torches.
Just like that, the fire spreads from their pig heads over their bodies.
Ready made roast pork.
The smell of burning flesh…doesn’t it smell good?
They seem to be weak to fire.
“Serupi, Kyurupi, good job!”
Sokura praises her clan members.
The clan members are taciturn, not speaking very much, as expect of A ranks.
When the orc’s bodies turn brown in the flames, a pale light falls on Igu’s body.
Igu is cut in several places, but they recover to the point of being scars where ever the soft light is absorbed.
The magic not only attacks enemies but heals an ally’s injuries.
While I admire such a convenient magic, I catch sight of Rollo’s fight.
Stabbing with her bone sword, not over looking openings, aiming for vitals, after weakening the orc she goes for its neck, tearing off chunks of flesh with her claws and teeth.
A few moments later, the orcs are wiped out.
All that remains are the three Jelliums bones.
That moment, Sokura shouts from the back.
“We’ll weaken the Jellium bones with magic! Draw their attention. They’ll stop moving when their brain is destroyed, please help!”
“Understood. Let’s do this goooooooraaaaaa!”
It seems Igu is going to act as the decoy.
-He raises a war cry.
Finally, I hear Sokura begin the chant…
This howl, it seems to be an aggro pull.
The three Jellium bones all focus on Igu.
Their aggro is all drawn in at once. (TL: Author doesn’t say aggro pull, a more accurate translation would be hostility, but it doesn’t translate well, and “aggro” fits Spear Master’s theme.)
Now that they are focused on Igu and I can get a good look at them, they have angular edges like machines.
With a question floating in my head, the barrage on Igu begins to increase.
One of the Jellium bone’s swipes its board arm down.
After that, several white thorns jut out.
Igu uses his round shield to repel the thorns. Loud clangs ring out.
While Igu is repelling the projectiles, the Jellium bones approach with creaking steps.
The thick arm board swings down at Igu.
The three humanoid glass machines try to crush Igu from above and each side.
Igu dodges one attack and blocks the other two with his shield and ax.
He is able to defend against the combined attacks of the heavy glass humanoids.
I follow Igu up by releasing a <thrust> at the back of a glass humanoid.
However, with a big dong, it was repelled.
There is only a little hole in the back of the glass.
It looks like glass, but as expected of Jelliums. They’re hard.
It seems this halberd is made of the same metal.
A red effect then hangs over the body of the Jellium bone.
It seems to be magic.
“-They’re weakened. Do it now. Destroy their heads-”
After Sokura speaks, Albert immediately fires arrows.
The sound of gusting wind follows the arrows.
When the arrow head meets the jellium, its head shatters.
One after another, arrows pierce the Jellium bones’ heads. The three machine like Jellium bones stop moving once their heads are destroyed.
Then, its form starts the collapse, its limbs separating one after another.
“Hyuhoi. Did I do good this time?”
Albert’s tiger nose twitches and he puts on a bragging face.
“Kakaka, good job.”
Laughing but looking angry, Igu reacts in a way difficult to understand.
The wrecked remains of the glass humanoids are what interests me most.
This glass like bone, there is a good amount.”
“That’s right. It is probably more than five kilos.”
Igu is talking with me.
“Hahaha, it’s a massive amount. The contents of the request are filled with this. Let’s collect it and return to the metastasis formation.”
Sokura, out of breath from running over, speaks.
“Understood. Let’s return.”
So, everyone gathers to collect the contents of the request, then we return down the route we took, killing monsters along the way.
I thought we could use magic to return quickly, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
According to Sokura, when the skill is used, you’re able to use the goddess statue like a beacon, guiding the way back. She says with exaggeration.
In the end, we return by foot according to her instructions.
I could return directly with the gate, but I adjust my pace to stay with everyone.
Even if I return quickly, the equipment I requested isn’t finished yet, besides, working as a party in the field I’ve been able to see these adventurers are sincere, I would like to see it through to the end.
As Sokura said before, they seem to understand what path to take, without taking detours, after ten days, eleven days in total, we return to the metastasis formation.
No one died on this trip, so everyone is happy they could return.
The request was also a great success. There will also be a bonus for the reward.
Including the gold coin bonus, each person should receive twenty-seven gold coins. Plus, twenty-six silver coins and five large copper coins. I put them all in the item box.
Everyone with smiling faces disperses to party.
Igu and Albert head straight for the pub.
Sokura and the other members of Aria’s Wanderer want to gather as a clan and head to the same bar.
Sokura asks if I truly don’t want to enter their clan?
I was invited with a smile, but I politely rejected.
However, while taking a break, after diving into the labyrinth for eleven days, wiping away the grime with a damp cloth, but not taking a bath, it should be fine. I probably smell.
Ma, Sokura is wearing perfume.
Suddenly going straight to the bar…it’s fine.
It’s the impression of a veteran adventurer.
While contemplating, I look at Rollo.
She looks back at me with her lovely crimson eyes.
-We’ll bath when we return.
Hearing the voice of my heart, Rollo purrs.
“Rollo, we stink, should we bath?”
Rollo raises a spoiled sound and jumps.
She returns to her regular place and rubs her head against my cheek.
It seems Rollo is asking for a bath.
The lovely feeling of her whiskers… with a smile, I kiss her small head.
The smell of an animal, it’s cute.
I return to the cheap inn while flirting with Rollo.