Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi - novelonlinefull.com
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The next morning after eating breakfast we started off, heading through the forest in the direction of the level's boss area. To keep the Gluttonous Trio from bickering I imposed the same rota as the day before, they would fight the monsters we encountered in order starting with Fer then Dorchan then Sui and back to Fer and so on.
The first monster we ran into after we left Fer's Barrier was a Murder Grizzly like the one Dorchan defeated so gorily yesterday then a group of Giant Killer Mantises, thirty strong this time followed by a Giant Centipede like the one Sui-chan had defeated in a single hit back in Ishtam forest, only bigger. Next up was a bunch of about fifty Wild Apes, B-rank monsters. There were other creatures, moths and birds and such that were defeated in pa.s.sing as we progressed rapidly through the forest but the only monsters populating the 26th level worthy of mention were generally of rank and B-rank. Even monsters of that level were easily dealt with by my contracted monsters, of course. Fer spent much of the journey muttering about 'small fry'...
The high-ranking monsters dropped items quite often once they had been defeated and I spent a lot of time collecting those drops and packing them away in my Item Box. I didn't bother trying to keep track of them figuring I could sort them out once we had cleared the dungeon and we were safely back on the surface in Doran. It didn't seem like my Item Box had any real limit to what it could hold, after all. It was still going to be a pain though... While I was thinking about trivial things like that, Fer stopped abruptly.
"There's a Killer Hornet nest up ahead..." he announced. Is a Killer Hornet a monster like a regular hornet, or something worse? If Fer was being this cautious I guessed 'something worse' was the correct answer.
"Ah, Killer Hornets? I'm not good at fighting that kind of monster." Dorchan said with some distaste. "There's always a lot of them and they can fly about as well as I can." That was quite an admission from the Pixie Dragon who was always boasting of his flying ability. If Dorchan said something like that then it sounded like the Killer Hornets would be a problem for him to deal with. But Fer could handle them, right?
"Sure I can." Fer agreed with some reluctance. "I don't think they're strong individually but they keep buzzing around and it's hard to aim at them, like Pixie Dragons." Dorchan gave Fer a Look which the Fenris monster totally ignored. "Knocking them down one by one, it's annoying..."
Well, if they had a nest up ahead then it was likely there'd be a lot of Killer Hornets to fight all at once and I could see why Dorchan and Fer would be less willing to just charge in and deal with them. Their fighting styles and magic attacks worked best against large individual monsters or small groups of such monsters that didn't dodge around a lot. How many Killer Hornets would there be, I wondered -- dozens, or maybe hundreds?
"Well, we can start with the normal way to deal with a nest of these guys." Dorchan said.
"Yes." Fer agreed. "We attack and destroy the nest first then get rid of the Killer Hornets outside the nest after. That way they don't get any reinforcements."
That sounded sensible, kill all the Hornets still inside the nest before they can get out. If we attacked the Killer Hornets outside the nest first then the ones inside would come out and we'd have to fight them as well. Get rid of the ones inside the nest somehow and it becomes easier.
I asked Fer where the nest was. He led us to a gap in the trees where we could see the nest up ahead, a bulbous structure about the size of a wagon attached to the base of a particularly large tree. Some Killer Hornets, coloured yellow and black like wasps but 30cm in length were buzzing around the nest on patrol. We wouldn't be able to sneak up any closer without being detected by the guards, Fer said at which point all the Killer Hornets inside would come out and attack us.
"The next monster subjugation is Sui's turn." Fer said, studying the nest off in the distance. "Because Sui's attack is Acid Bullets and water magic... hmmm, attacking the nest at this distance with Acid Bullets is going to be tricky. We really want the nest to be destroyed in one shot to stop the Killer Hornets inside from coming out. Water Cutter, hmmm, that won't do it either. Busting up the nest will just anger the Hornets inside and they'll come out. Maybe one of us two should deal with it."
"No way no way-. It's Sui's turn to beat the bad guys." Sui-chan interrupted. "Sui will do it by herself-"
Could she really deal with such a problematic target by herself though? I wasn't sure...
"Hey, Sui, don't be selfish." Dorchan said. "What Fer just said is right. Your magic isn't the best for this sort of fight so just be patient. You can get the next monster to come along after these ones." Certainly what Fer and Dorchan had said was true but I didn't want sweet little Sui to miss out.
"Unnnh, even though it's Sui's turn... sniffle..." Oh, Sui's voice... Sui-chan, don't cry. Let me think, Sui has Acid Bullets and water magic ... water, water, water, hmmmm... ah, that's it!
"No, Sui can do it by herself." I said. "It's her turn after all."
"You know, you shouldn't spoil Sui." Fer grumbled. I could see he was ready to launch one of his overpowered magic attacks on the nest in the distance and I quickly held up one hand to forestall him. Yeah, I spoiled Sui outrageously but she's so cute I can't help it.
"I won't deny that I spoil Sui but I've got a plan. She can use her water magic to deal with the nest in one shot."
I explained my idea to Fer and Dorchan. Sui would make a large water ball and wrap it around the nest, drowning the Killer Hornets trapped inside. It would take some time for them all to die but we weren't in any real hurry. The water would do all the work for us.
"…you know, that's a really sneaky trick." Dorchan said after I finished explaining how Sui's water magic could deal with the nest. Why thank you, Dorchan. The Pixie Dragon's attacks tended to use his fire magic and lightning magic, blam! blam!, punching holes in the opposition but that wouldn't succeed with the Killer Hornet nest. Sneaky would work.
"Suffocating them in water is not a bad idea." Fer agreed. "Go on and do it, Sui."
"Sure thing, Fer-ojichan-" Sui-chan bounced happily.
We all stood back as Sui created a giant ball of water then moved it quickly into position to completely enclose the Killer Hornet's nest. A few of the Killer Hornets inside crawled out of the nest and some even made it out through the water ball but they were thoroughly soaked and couldn't fly, thrashing around feebly on the ground.
"If we wait a bit all the Killer Hornets left in the nest will suffocate and die. The ones still left outside..." my belly clock grumbled. Oh, was it that time? "Hey, is anyone else hungry?" I asked somewhat redundantly. If I was hungry the Gluttonous Trio would be too. Sure enough...
"I'm hungry too"
"Sui's belly is empty too-" So we were all agreed, time to eat. However a lot of the Killer Hornets were still buzzing around their nest, much angrier than before and the soaked ones on the ground were drying off and might be able to fly again soon.
"Hey Sui. The Nest is getting drowned nicely thanks to you, we've just got to wait. The Killer Hornets outside the nest need to be dealt with though. Are you OK with letting Fer-ojichan," I felt Fer's disapproval at me using the name only Sui-chan was supposed to use, "and Dorchan help you get them? If you do then we can eat dinner quicker."
"Yeah, I want to eat soon, that's fine-" Sui-chan agreed. She had defeated the nest with her water magic after all and that was enough for her. "Fer-ojichan and Dorchan, please-"
The two of them set to work, knocking down the flying Killer Hornets first with Claw Slash and lightning magic before turning their attention to the waterlogged Killer Hornets crawling around on the ground near the waterballed nest. As they did so some other Killer Hornets flew into the area where the nest was located, returning from scouting or foraging trips perhaps. Had they felt something was wrong with their nest and hurried back? Fer and Dorchan dealt with them as efficiently as they had dealt with their stay-at-home siblings. Me? I collected drops from the downed Killer Hornets, once the coast was clear and Fer and Dorchan had eliminated all the opposition. Safety first after all. The common drop was a poison stinger, not surprisingly.
I decided it would be a good idea for Sui to keep her water ball in place around the nest as it was likely the Killer Hornets trapped in there might not be quite dead yet. Safety first, as I said before. No reason why we couldn't eat now though. Wyvern meat beef bowl, that would do nicely. I had made it back at the inn and stored it in my Item Box piping hot and ready to eat. A beef bowl wasn't really a beef bowl without THAT ingredient though... I looked around rather pointlessly to check but we were on the 26th level and there were no other Adventurers around so I opened up Net Super and bought a few soft-boiled eggs to top the bowls with. I didn't bother with an egg on the serving I set out for Fer but the rest of us got a runny-yolked boiled egg on top of the Wyvern meat heaped on the rice underneath.
Of course the Wyvern meat was delicious, especially when served up as a salaryman favourite dish like gyuudon. Even Dorchan took a second serving and of course Fer and Sui-chan had Thirds and more. As we took a break after finishing eating Sui suddenly spoke up.
"Oh, it looks like I beat it good-" We turned to see that the Killer Hornet nest inside the water ball had vanished. Did that mean it was 'dead'? I supposed so. I had Sui-chan remove the water ball while Fer and Dorchan stood ready just in case but the only thing left was a drop item.
"Is it another poison stinger?" I wondered, maybe from the Killer Hornets trapped in the nest... I Appraised it from a safe distance just in case.
[ Killer Hornet's Royal Jelly ]
Royal Jelly? I went over to collect it, discovering it was a whitish substance in a bottle. Was it some kind of health food or maybe, remembering my elder sister's beauty obsession, some kind of cosmetic material? I wished again my Appraisal Skill was a bit better in telling me what I wanted to know about such things.
"Ah, don't you know that's some really good stuff?" Fer seemed to know about it though. "It can be collected from a real nest on the surface if you defeat all the Killer Hornets inside." That reminded me that we were in a dungeon where the monsters weren't 'real' but ent.i.ties the dungeon itself created as a challenge to Adventurers hence the drops left behind as a reward after they were killed. Dungeon monsters couldn't be disa.s.sembled for their parts and meat. "Royal Jelly restores vitality a lot if you eat just a little bit of it."
I decided I might just keep this drop item for myself if it really would restore my energy like Fer said. I put the bottle of Royal Jelly into my Item Box beside the poison stingers I had collected earlier and we headed off into the forest again. The slaughter continued, bird monsters, beast monsters, bug monsters, they all met defeat in short order with Fer, Dorchan and Sui-chan taking turns while I, as usual collected the various drops. When it got dark we made camp inside Fer's Barrier and then the next day we set off early heading towards where Fer said the level's boss was waiting for us. We soon found a treasure chest which yielded up two gemstones, a sapphire and an alexandrite. Shortly thereafter Fer stopped, his muzzle pointed unwaveringly ahead of us at something still obscured by the trees in our way.
"The level boss is just up ahead." Fer said in a low quiet voice. "And he's strong."
I resisted the temptation to say something sarcastic like, "What, not a small fry?" and slid off Fer's back. What sort of a boss was waiting for us?