At this point, Nick could not counter-attack, and focused solely on dodging.
“What’s wrong? Where’s the vigor from before!? Is that all you’ve got!?”
[Don’t let yourself get bewildered.]
As Nick fell into a predicament, he remembered his master’s words.
Sure, he was caught off guard by the monster suddenly growing extra arms, but it was not like this was a unique situation. C rank labyrinths had oni-type monsters with more than two arms, and golems as well. While they were both strong enemies, Nick’s master always remained calm as he dealt with them.
Those things were certainly not invincible, even if their range of attack and number of simultaneous attacks increased.
“But… It only has two eyes and one head. The number of fingers holding swords increased by ten, but the range of motion of its elbows and shoulders is narrower. It’s stronger, but weaker in other ways.”
Nick looked at Ushiwaka with calm eyes as it attacked him. He dodged slashes, evaded thrusts, and took advantage of the very small window of opportunity he had to aim for its outstretched arms.
Nick’s exquisite and persistent moves amazed even Ushiwaka.”
“Interesting! You’re coming at me with no fear!”
“Shut up… I’m out of breath…!”
No matter how much Nick attacked when Ushiwaka was vulnerable, the monster’s stamina and number of attacks pushed him back.
Nick’s problem was that he could not bring it down. He became stronger after learning Stepping, but he now felt all too well that this was not enough to defeat a real powerful monster like the one he was facing.
“How did she defeat White Mask…”
“You must be feeling pretty good to be talking to yourself like that. But are you sure you’re fine like this?”
“Ah, them, can I have some time to talk?”
Nick let out a surprised voice.
“If you think you can win, go for it. I don’t know why those people are just standing back there to begin with. You can come at me anytime you want.”
Ushiwaka sounded puzzled, but Survivors were the ones most confused.
Such a rational monster was a very rare sight.
“That is true. Why did this turn into a one-on-one duel?”
Asked Bellocchio, who feigned ignorance to Ushiwaka.
As the monster saw this, it giggled.
“Because I was interested… Hmph, talking to humans is fun. My subordinates are too thick headed to understand the subtleties of conversation.”
“Regular monsters are like that.”
Nick let out an exasperated sigh.
“Bellocchio, can you not pretend you didn’t choose to sit back?”
“My apologies, I thought a wait-and-see approach was the most appropriate. The monster’s minions also show no signs of moving.”
“I can tell them to move if you want.”
“That won’t be necessary… Usually there is only one great ogre here, how much higher are you trying to raise the hurdle?”
“I see, so you conquered this labyrinth before. If that’s the case, I have no choice but to let my henchmen vent their frustration.”
“Looks like we stirred up the hornet’s nest.”
Following Ushiwaka’s command, the great ogres sitting back all stood up at once.
The great ogres attacked the adventurers. Ogres were not only intelligent but also had great fighting instincts, and were in a place where weapons were abundant. They picked up longswords and spears, which were probably brought there by them in the first place.
Both vanguards clashed.
Karan, Bond, and Marcus worked well enough together that one would not think it was the first time.
The great ogres had more physical strength and a numbers advantage, and Karan and the others were put on the back foot by their vicious attacks. They were also not used to the weapons they were using.
They did a good enough job withstanding their attacks, but that would not be enough. They had to win, and win as a team.
“Leave it to me!”
Suisen took a weapon from Bellocchio, a spear infused with magic energy.
A flash of light could be seen coming from the tip. She previously used it as a throwing spear, but not this time.
Suisen thrust the spear forward, penetrating a great globin. The moment this happened, it created a great explosion.
As the after-effects of the explosion died down, a great ogre could be seen far away with a whole in its chest.
A chakram fired by Tianna hit a great globin that was taken aback, and Willy used Magic Blade to put another in check.
“Is that enough venting?”
Nick pointed at the great ogres that were now being pushed back, while frantically evading Ushiwaka’s attacks. It was meant to be a light provocation.
But his opponent did not seem to be the least bit shaken.
Nick even felt that this compliment was not sarcastic.
“You look like you think you can take us on your own.”
“As far as fighting power goes yes, but those are my stupid and weak, but cute little brothers. I can’t bear to just watch them get taken down… Now…”
Said Ushiwaka as it raised one hand.
These words prompted the great ogres to go into formation.
Five charged forward while huddled together, with more behind them.
Suisen and Karan were knocked down, unable to withstand this sudden charge.
Everyone thought it couldn’t be true.
“Hahaha! I wanted to play a little more too, sorry!”
“W-wait! Hey! No way!”
Ushiwaka showed its incredible jumping ability by jumping high above both party’s heads.
It was clearly an unusual situation. Monsters would never run away from humans, as their instinct was to attack humans. In fact, they felt it more intensely than humans and other species felt the need to eat or sleep.
“This is bad. Ushiwaka is focusing more on preserving the fighting power of the group than winning the battle in front of it. It probably has plans to gather them outside the labyrinth…”
Bellocchio said with a more sullen expression than he had ever shown so far.
“No doubt about it.”
Bellocchio plainly answered Nick’s question.
A stamped was the name given to when monsters left a labyrinth and acted as a group.
Obviously, they were after people. Not food or water, they simply wanted to fight and kill.
The Labyrinth City would be able to defend against such a threat, but smaller villages would literally turn into scorched earth.