Chapter 54 : Tears of Dragon Girl
「GUHAHAHAHA! Did you see that shield skill, Tama?」
Inside the labyrinth’s 2nd floor, an orc flew across the area, courtesy of Stella.
Today she was in very high spirits, and it reflected on how enthusiastically she wielded her new weapons.
Stella’s combat style couldn’t be described as anything less than savage. The moment she spotted an orc, she rushed at it immediately and swung her greatsword down.
The second orc within her sight became a victim for the shield, flying away from the powerful impact of her charging attack.
The only orc left standing looked at its comrade’s fading figure with a dumbfounded expression.
Stella did not miss the opportunity to whack it with her sword while the orc was distracted.
The orc’s head was obliterated by that strike, fresh blood spurting from the headless neck. Seeing that, Stella smiled with pride at her handiwork and dashed forward.
Her next target was the orc that got blown away from her charging attack. It stood in place in a daze, perhaps because its head hit the wall.
「Hm. You can’t even keep your guts in front of your enemy… This is why you fools will always be a small fry.」
Stella’s comment fell on deaf ears, as she attacked before she even finished speaking. There is no need to describe what happened to that defenseless orc’s head.
The combat style was the same for every monster encountered. It made Tama exasperated that the shield wasn’t even being used for defense.
Aria and Vulcan both winced every time they witnessed Stella’s savage combat style and aggressive personality.
「Even knowing she’s a Dragonewt, I didn’t expect her to be so powerful.」
「Hunya~… I’m powerful, but even my power as a tiger-eared person is nothing compared to hers, nya~n.」
They knew they were no match for Stella’s herculean strength. Aria’s speed-focused combat style aside, even Vulcan with the power of the Tiger-eared people coursing through her stood no chance.
As they spoke, a wicked smile appeared on both their faces. They just remembered a monster that might give Stella a bit of a challenge.
And that monster just happened to nest in this labyrinth’s 3rd floor…
The 3rd floor of the labyrinth was even colder than the second one. Suddenly, grotesque creatures appeared along with a weird crawling sound.
Wiggle wiggle wiggle~
『Uhh… What is that? I have a bad feeling about th-…!!!!』
Fear made her body tremble as she said those words. When playing hide-and-seek with Tama before, she had used a different route. This was the first time she encountered this particular monster.
Its name is Looper, a resident of the deeper floors of the labyrinth.
The several tentacles that made very suspicious movements around its body were not satisfied with just seizing their prey.
If the captured target was female, the tentacles would slip inside her clothes and sexually assault her.
This was the monster that had cornered Aria into awakening her derivative skill《Gale Slash》.
Stella, as a former monster, instinctively understood that this monster was the enemy of all women.
『EE!!! This disgusting monster! Victory goes to those who strike first! 』
While saying so, Stella leaped towards the Looper. She planned to finish the fight in one hit.
However, the wriggling tentacles made a cutting sound as they moved around, baring their fangs at Stella. Contrary to their appearance they were surprisingly nimble and flexible, like a whip.
Stella was surprised since she never expected the Looper to exceed her in terms of range and speed. Incensed, she mowed down the incoming tentacles with her sword.
She tried sweeping them all in one go with a wide AOE attack.
「HOW DARE YOOOOOOUUU!! 」
A greatsword wasn’t mean for cutting, but it could dispose of those tentacles just fine.
Thus, Stella achieved her goal.
After she had disposed of the tentacles, Stella went for the main body, thinking the battle was over.
The Looper, seeing its enemy fast approaching, gave a loud screech.
From both sides of the creature, more tentacles wiggled out.
Two of them headed straight for Stella.
She did not cower and continued heading for the Looper with a mighty cry.
Just as the others wondered what she’d do next, the Looper’s tentacles managed to catch and disarm Stella, wrapping themselves around her arms.
With Stella incapacitated, Aria and Vulcan started panicking.
「Stella-chan, what are you do-!? 」
「This is bad, nyaa! The fear made her drop her weapon, nya! 」
They started running toward Stella in an attempt to help.
They wouldn’t let their comrade be raped right in front of them.
Meanwhile, Tama did not move as he pondered about Stella’s inactivity.
(Did being caught by those tentacles trigger a bad memory?)
He noticed Stella waving her arms around in a way similar to the strikes she used on him before.
She got scared of the tentacles and her instinct overruled her reason. In short, she was trying to move as if she was still a dragon.
(This is bad! She’s still in her Dragonewt form. I can’t let her hit those two while they try to help her! Can’t be helped…!)
Left with no other choice, Tama unleashed his most adorable purr.
Tama invoked a certain skill.
Several tentacles appeared, the same tea-striped tiger coloring as his fur.
Tama got that skill after eating a Looper a long time ago.
It was called 《Summon Tentacles》.
Each of those striped tentacles rushed at his comrades at ultra-high speed.
One of them reached Stella and wrapped itself around her, while another released her greatsword from the Looper’s tentacles.
The remaining two gently captured Vulcan and Aria, being very careful as to not hurt them.
Both of them were caught off-guard by the incoming tentacles but, as they noticed those came from Tama, both women soon relaxed. Their only response was a nod.
After ensuring all his companions were safe, he called the tentacles back and roared for the second time.
「Nyan! (《Water Howling》)」
This time it was his inherent skill, the 《Elemental Howl》, 《Water Howling》.
Its ultra-high compressed water shot straight at the Looper, which released a desperate cry.
Tama’s attack pierced it right in the center.
The Looper gave the last grumble as it died.
With that over, Tama turned his attention to Stella, who was still swinging her arms around. As expected, she had lost her cool and was having a panic attack.
He sent a telepathic message, hoping to calm her down.
——Calm down, Stella.
<——…?! TAMA? Huh? The tentacles are gone. How did you do that?>
—— I’ve finished the Looper already. What happened? I never expected a former dragon like you to lose her cool against such a weak monster.
<—— Um… Sorry. It seems I’m scared of unknown enemies. I think it’s trauma from my battle with you…>
Tama was shocked by Stella’s weak reply. The reason for her panic just now… Steemed from the enemy who bisected her with a flaming sword one month ago.
In other words, he was the source of her trauma.
—— Stop with that weak attitude. I can’t say anything about that fear as I’m responsible for your trauma. But now you’re under my protection. Feel free to fight to your heart’s content.
<—— …!! Ah, Tama! You don’t know how happy I am, to hear the one I love saying those words to me…! Don’t worry, I won’t let my fear control me anymore! I’ll fight to my heart’s content!>
As a man and as the one who caused her trauma, Tama couldn’t stand seeing her behaving in such a pathetic manner. That’s why he decided to protect her.
From now on, it was his duty as a man to protect Stella.
Tears spilled from Stella’s eyes as she heard Tama’s resolution. She gave him a wholehearted smile.