Rena was stunned by Mile’s completely unscratched appearance.
Meavis also came closer while rubbing the side where the Rock Lizard had hit her. It seems she has bled off most of the tails impact with her sword by jumping back when it connected. Like this she managed to avoid a fracture and the blunt trauma she had suffered had been easily healed by Pauline’s Healing Magic.
「…..the secret writings of my family?」
Expectedly, nobody believed Mile’s words.
Meanwhile, behind them the Rock Lizard the had finally found was completely roasted.
「Now then, I’m calling for an on-site reflection conference.」
As always, Rena had ordered the start of a conference. The tear trails on her face had been cleanly wiped off.
The plan had been to continue hunting without break until dinner.
But as expected, after the last battle they needed to rest for a little, and in front of them was a nicely cooked Rock Lizard. Slicing off some nicely roasted parts, the held their conference while enjoying a little bit of food.
「First of all, Mile’s plan to 『cool down the Rock Lizard’s body temperature to slow down its movement』. It certainly did work, but it didn’t affect the explosive power of the tail very much.」
「I, I am sorry…. reptiles should get slower though…..」
In response to Rena’s words, Mile deflated and apologized.
「There isn’t really any need for you to apologize. It would have been nice if it worked, nothing more. And maybe the cooling just wasn’t strong enough…..
Well, anyway, let’s try something different next time. There’s some other Magic i’d like Pauline to try out.」
「Okay, I will try.」
Pauline nodded to Rena’s order.
「The problem is, how can we defeat it while avoiding that swift and powerful tail and not hurting its torso in the process…」
The Rock Lizard from earlier had already landed in Mile’s Item Box. Its outside was completely burnt though, so its value was down in the gutters.
But nobody blamed Rena for using Fire Magic in that situation. And since there was still more than enough prey wandering around the others didn’t mind.
「Umm~, why don’t we just cut off the tail first?」
「If it was that easy…」
「I will do it!」
Rena raised her voice as if questioning Mile’s words.
「No matter how fast, powerful, and sturdy you are…. can you really do it?」
「Alright. Let’s try going with this strategy next time.
But if you think it gets too dangerous retreat immediately. It’s not like we have no other options….
By the way, you still owe us an explanation, Mile. How come you don’t even have a scratch?」
「S-Secret scriptures of my family?」
「Enough with that already!」
In the end Mile weaseled her way out of it by claiming that the had caught the blow with her sword, jumped back when it hit her, was blown away due to her light weight instead of getting hurt, and used Wind Magic to form an air cushion between her and the rock she was thrown into. Luckily, Meavis who had been close by had been too concerned with getting herself back up that she didn’t see Mile getting hit.
Mile also had already figured out why, despite her expectations, she was easily blown away.
No matter how strong she was, with a body weight of just above forty kilograms Mile couldn’t possibly absorb that much kinetic energy.
If the blow had come from above she would probably have been able to stop it. But a blow from the side would throw her away as long as it overwhelmed the friction between her and the ground, even if she still had power to spare and it wouldn’t hurt her.
「But for an enemy that a couple of normal C Rank Hunters could fight without getting injured to almost badly hurt two of us. Even if we payed attention not to damage its torso, we still have a long way to go. We might have been a bit overconfident…」
Everyone nodded in agreement with a serious expression on their faces.
After deciding on a new tactic and a new magic for Pauline to use, the quartet resumed their hunt.
Their faces were all drawn taught. The conference had its intended effect.
While hunting Rock Rabbits on the side they continued their search and once again Maevis was the one to discover their target. This time, it was even larger at just about 4 meters.
Rena and Pauline started chanting.
Mile and Meavis drew their swords and prepared for a charge.
「Water Sphere Creation」
Finishing their incantations, Rena and Pauline’s magic activated.
Rena’s magic created a multitude of water spheres around the Rock Lizard which proceeded to drench the reptile and its surroundings. Pauline’s magic then froze the moisture Rena had created.
This time Meavis dashed forward following after Mile’s command.
Mile was in the front. In preparation for Mile who came running at it brandishing her sword, the Rock Lizard moved its tail back to ready it for a strike.
The water had frozen, covering the Rock Lizard in a layer of ice. As it was only on the surface and didn’t reach the inside of the Rock Lizard’s body the speed of its tail had not dropped significantly.
But that hadn’t been their goal from the beginning.
Bracing itself to lash out with its tail, the Rock Lizard slipped.
With its balance broken the Rock Lizard couldn’t put any strength in its tail and bashed against the ground beside Mile listlessly. At that moment Mile’s sword came rushing down without mercy.
From her earlier experience Mile had learned that no matter how much power she had, she needed the corresponding body weight to bring it to bear. So, to increase the weight she could put behind her sword, Mile used her running speed to make up for it. Yes, 1/2 m v^2.
And in the same moment the Rock Lizard lashed out Mile brought her sword to the front.
Western swords in contrast to japanese swords aren’t used to 「sharply cut」 but rather to 「cut with strength and weight」. But Mile’s sword was different from a normal western sword in that it had an especially sharp and hard blade. So even without the curvature of a japanese sword she could still use a similar cutting technique.
In a single cut the Rock Lizard’s tail was cleanly separated from its body.
It didn’t seem as though the Rock Lizard was in a lot of pain, but after losing its strongest weapon and unable to regain a solid footing it became shaken and panickedly looked around. It turned its head away from Mile and tried to run.
But Meavis had already used the time to position herself perfectly and unleashed a slash at this moment.
Asking for her to cleanly cut off through the neck protected by thick hide in one swing was too much, but her swing had been enough for the Rock Lizard to stop moving.
「We did it!」
「Yay, we did!」
Even though Mile had taken over the hardest part of cutting off the tail, Meavis was still happy over being able to beat the Rock Lizard in one attack. What’s more, they had done so without hurting the torso, so they should be able to turn its body over for the full amount specified in the quest.
Rena and Pauline also slowly walked towards them, satisfied that the plan worked out this time, and that both their teams were able to work together flawlessly.
「Okay, let’s continue on like this!」
They went on to smoothly hunt Rock Lizards while encountering Rock Rabbits, Rock Wolves, Rock Snakes and Rock Raccoons on the way.
Taking turns at being in charge of head or tail, slipping on the frozen ground themselves a couple of times, they continued hunting even after they had exceeded the five Rock Lizards needed for the quest. If the client wouldn’t buy them the guild probably would. There was nothing to lose by hunting more of them. Additionally, at last, Mile thought that it was okay to tell her comrades that 『things in her Storage Magic don’t decay』. Like this they could preserve the Rock Lizards until the next quest came around and pretend that they hunted them alongside a different quest.
Anyway, with this they decided to start their way back toward the capital tomorrow. Now they could simply spend the rest of the daylight hunting as they pleased.
….but since they had struggled against the Rock Lizards they had forgotten.
Exactly why they had taken this job and come this far.
It suddenly appeared before them.
Rena muttered when faced with the monster that had appeared before them.
Yes, the reason 『Red Oath』 had chosen this quest in part to hunt the Rock Lizards and increase their funds, but the true purpose of their trip this time was to test their own abilities, to confirm their limits.
But since they had already struggled quite a bit against the Rock Lizards they thought that they had gotten a little too full of themselves, and focused on hunting Rock Lizards. The thought of fighting against even stronger monsters had vanished from their minds.
And indeed, this was the habitat of such monsters, so whether they wanted to or not, they would encounter them before long.
Rock Golem. In contrast to the other 『Rock』-series of monsters and animals, its name didn’t come from its habitat. Simply said, because it is made of rocks it’s a Rock Golem. It seems that there are also others like 『Sand Golems』 or 『Earth Golems』.
Anyway, this Rock Golem is a threat that would need at least 2-3 B Rank, 4-5 high C Rank or around 6 middle C Rank Hunters to 『defeat without getting injured』.
But that was only if you didn’t budge on 『without getting injured』. Otherwise even smaller number would suffice. If you didn’t mind having some suffering deep wounds or dying that is.
And Rena had overestimated themselves after they had soundly beaten the B Rank party 『Mithril Roar』 with their A Rank leader. She had thought that they could easily defeat a Rock Golem.
But after their unexpectedly tough battle against the Rock Lizard she noticed that the win might have gone to her head.
「Eh? Didn’t we come here to fight against a Rock Golem?」
Meavis asked but Rena’s decision had fallen.
「….please, for now just listen to me!」
When faced with Rena’s earnest pleading Maevis could only quietly obey.
Right now was not the time to discuss this at length. And since Rena was the most experienced among them she was the most reliable field commander among them.
But as things go, it wouldn’t be that easy.
「It looks like that won’t be possible…」
Turning around at Pauline’s words from the rear, Rena could see a second Rock Golem behind them.