A great ogre running down the mountain was pierced by a spear.
Suisen threw this spear with so much force, it seemed to have been fired from a catapult fixed to a castle’s wall.
Moreover, it looked as though an explosion occurred where the great ogre was hit, thanks to the magic infused in the tip being released.
Still, the pace of the monsters led by Ushiwaka did not ease up, and they continued running down the mountain.
“Nick! Suisen and I will target them from here!”
“Alright, we’ll keep going after them! Cover us!”
The mountain path was not a straight line. It zigzagged as it ran down the gentle slope of the mountain. Since the path from the top to around the halfway point was sparsely dotted with trees, it was not hard to aim from above.
However, the monsters’ speed was higher than expected, no doubt due to the fact that they knew the area like the palm of their hands. Nick and the others felt uneasy.
“I hope Wilma realizes…”
“I don’t think someone her age can do much about that swarm…”
Tianna answered Nick’s grumble.
“I think she can at least hold them back. She used to be a rank A adventurer.”
“Eh, really? Then…”
“But we can’t relax.”
Nick warned Tianna as she seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.
“There’s only one path from here to the halfway point, but there are probably more paths that only monsters can use, and they might use them to get to places where people live. And the closer we get to the bottom, the more options they have. “
“…Ah, I see. They’re not human, so they don’t have to use the same routes humans do.”
“It’d be good if we can settle this before they could get past the halfway point but… This really looks bad.”
“Nick then glanced at Karan and Bond.
“…Do you want to do that?”
“Are you serious?”
Karan and Bond knew what Nick was thinking, and raised questions.
“Yes, throw a spear like Suisen. I’ll hang on to it and fly, and take Bond with me while I’m at it.”
“I-is that going to go well…”
“Your aim doesn’t have to be perfect if you’re throwing it from here. It’ll hit an incline somewhere. I’m not falling off a cliff.”
“Wait wait wait. I do not remember agreeing with this plan.”
“Just give it up.”
Nick grabbed Bond by the back of the neck, who quietly rolled into a ball.
“Oh alright… At times like these I feel like you really have a screw loose.”
“Whatever! Let’s go!”
Karan grabbed the biggest spear she could find, and held it like Suisen. Nick held on tight close to its tip.
“…It feels weird how it’s so light even with two people hanging from it.”
“Even with Light Body, our combined weight is something like thirty kilograms. It’s not that light.”
“Yes, but it looks so much heavier… Forget it. Here it goes!”
Karan let out a sigh of resignation and threw the spear as hard as she could, sending Nick and Bond flying.
“Uwaaaah!! This really is scary!!”
“Shut up or you’ll bite your tongue!”
The spear’s trajectory was more accurate than they expected.
It went straight after Ushiwaka’s back, not the great ogres.
“Wha… What are you doing…!?”
“Who are you talking to!?”
The spear did not penetrate Ushiwaka’s body, but it was unable to dodge it, and had to sacrifice one of its arms. Nick felt relieved that it caused substantial damage.
Still, this stunt did not leave Nick and Bond unscathed. It would be strange if it did not cause them at least some damage.
Nick felt as though he was about to faint, and Bond’s exquisite sword skills kept the great ogres at bay.
“Idiot! Recover quickly!”
“Ouch… Give me thirty seconds. I need to compose my breathing.”
“I told you this was crazy!”
“It’s fine. It’s fine. You can do it.”
Bond used his special Parallel skill.
The real value of Ushiwaka’s multiple arms was in a defensive position. Its vigorous attacks were menacing, but the monster still had only one body.
Its attacks could be evaded by taking some distance, and it was not all that difficult to target its arms when it would stretch them to attack.
However, it was a lot of trouble once it focused entirely on defense. Nick would be unable to penetrate its defense on his own.
But the way to break through it was simple, sheer numbers.
“Your second flank is wide open from above.”
Bond split himself in three and surrounded Ushiwaka. He would keep himself just outside of the monster’s reach, and swing his sword at the slightest movement. Ushiwaka’s arms became covered in small cuts, and the situation turned into a deadlock.
“Don’t underestimate me!”
Ushiwaka shouted and pierced the ground with its sword, creating a fierce blast.
“Nuoh… This really is too much!”
The two copies disappeared, and only the original Bond remained.
“It’s alright! Turn into a sword!”
Bond backed away with a somersault, and with a bright shine returned to his sacred sword form.
“I see, a magic sword… A sacred sword with a name?”
“I don’t like chit-chat as much as you!”
Nick brandished the Sword of Bonds.
“Then I won’t respond… OHH!”
Ushiwaka’s upper body seemingly expanded, and it let out a terrifying roar.
It went beyond hurting Nick’s head and ears. The impact made his entire body numb.
“Sorry but I’m at a disadvantage if people like you come at me. Let’s play some more after I improve a little!”
Ushiwaka’s arms stretched like an octopus.
It grabbed swords and spears off the ground and threw them at Nick.
“This is payback for earlier!”
Nick expected a spear to strike Ushiwaka in the back… But no such attack came.
“Kuh… ! What is this…!?”
Bellocchio and Suisen were keeping their enemies in check, but were now too busy defending themselves.
Not only that, but great ogres also started to throw weapons.
“What is that!?”
Nick saw another unfavorable situation occurring.
He noticed that the monsters were not running out of spears, and once he looked closer, he saw them growing almost instantly below Ushiwaka’s feet.
It was as though time was moving faster.
“That is the magic characteristic of demons. It is probably interfering with the function of the labyrinth itself.”
“Magic isn’t supposed to work here!”
“That applies to us invaders, probably not to its ruler.”
Ushiwaka slowly retreated while throwing spears. If it kept buying time in this manner, it would surely escape.
Nick then fell into a trap, as he started thinking about the situation in the long-term and failed to pay attention to the battle in front of him.
“Don’t look away idiot!”
Karan stepped in and saved Nick from a spear headed his way.
“Karan… Good timing…!”
Nick noticed Karan was covered in wounds.
He figured she must have relied on her robust body to make a mad dash towards him.
There was blood dripping from several places.
Nick wanted to thank her and let her rest, but had to push through those feelings.
“…Sorry. Can you follow me a bit longer?”
There was no need to explain what he was thinking.
The guard on the Sword of Bonds shined brightly.