Chapter 99.1 : Battle of The Underground Lake Tower I
We have yet to confirm the size of the army of Jiras, even though it was waiting for us along the banks of the lake. The army kept popping out non-stop from the water around our only escape path, around the road and near the bridge. I guess breaking through by force will be impossible. Naturally, we don’t have enough manpower to hold back the advance of the Jira troops either. If we include Rem, there are only five of us and there’s definitely not enough coverage in the banks of the lake either.
Naturally, our only choice was to run towards the tower and hold the fort there.
「CLOSE THE ENTRANCE NOW!! 」
「IT DOESN’T HAVE DOORS!? 」
Juri and Mari, who rushed in the tower ahead of me, were at a loss when they saw the opened gates of the tower.
「UWAA, WE’RE SCREWE~D!! W-WHAT SHALL WE DO, MOMOKAWA~?!」
Randou-san and I entered a bit later than them and also confirmed the lack of anything resembling an entrance gate. The gates, or whatever was previously used as the shutter, were gone. Not even its broken joints could be found amongst the remnants.
This place was wide open without any shutter to seal the entrance.
「Randou-san, use your mud wall here.」
「Eh, THAT’S RIGHT! 」
The combo of permanent shape and mud wall was what we needed the most at the moment.
「Here and here, two layers, please. Make it rise upwards but leave a small opening. We’re gonna kill anything that enters through there and decrease their numbers.」
「Nonomiya-san, Houzaki-san, please take a look inside the tower. Look for usable weapons or equipment, or a room to hide us. Also, please confirm the condition of the stairs that lead to the rooftop.」
「Let’s go! 」
They left immediately. It wouldn’t be a joke if the stairs crumbled. Still, we shouldn’t ignore the possibility of climbing to the rooftop, no matter how small a chance it was.
「Momokawa, can you check the sturdiness? 」
The mudwall sealed the entrance just as the figures of Jiras ran in our direction.
「『Tera Sagita』 ！ 」
The stone rifle bullets were fired, creating a loud “Dohyuun” sound. The bullets never missed their mark since the Jira were basically covering our whole line of sight.
The poor Jiras who got hit by the bullets died on the spot, their place taken immediately by the Jiras behind them. Their number didn’t seem to decrease at all no matter how many of them were killed by Randou.
「Keep shooting at the closest ones.」
I could hear the dying screams of the Jiras with every bullet fired by Randou. But we were simply outnumbered by them. Randou-san’s 『Tera Sagita』 needs 5 seconds to cast. Fortunately, Jiras are aquatic monsters, their speed on land isn’t that fast. Nevertheless, they were slower than me. It took them 10 seconds to cover a 50-meter distance.
After who knows how many times we shot them down with Tera Sagita, the Jira horde finally reached the entrance of the tower.
「――『Tera Blast*』」 [*TL : Stone Cannon]
The next moment, the sound of an explosion resounded around the tower. At the same time, the sound of countless pellets breaking the scales of Jiras was accompanied by the sound of their ripped flesh.
The next skill Randou-san learnt after 『Tera Sagita』 was 『Tera Blast』 . It’s what you would call an AOE attack. This skill was the earth version of class rep’s 『Eis Blast*』. [*TL : Freezing Radiation]
But still, unlike the ice counterpart which only releases cold air, this one fires physical matter called pellets. The size of the bullets is smaller than 『Tera Sagita』 and they have shorter range, but the moment an overwhelming number of pellets is fired right from the front, the effect is similar to a giant shotgun.
Long ranged attacks are better with the rifle-like 『Tera Sagita』 which has greater firepower, a wider range and a stable trajectory, while the shotgun-like 『Tera Blast』 which fires numerous small pellets is better at a short range. Thus, the firepower of Randou-san with these two firearm-type magic increased tremendously.
It was something of a big haul since Jira troops were basically flooding the entrance of the tower. Almost none of the fired pellets missed as they gouged on the bodies of Jiras.
But still, we couldn’t stop those things and their Unending Waves tactic even with the power of the『Tera Blast』 . We couldn’t rapid fire this spell like a machine gun. Its cooldown time was 8 seconds, longer than 『Tera Sagita』 which was only 5 seconds.
In the blink of an eye, the Jiras arrived at the opening of the mud wall by trampling upon the corpses of their comrades.
Nice, now it’s my turn.
「Decay within the corrupted red abyss ――『Rotten Bog』!」
I stretched my hands from the opening of the mud wall as my blood dripped from the curse crest. The drop of blood that fell right in front of the mud wall formed a 『Rotten Bog』 in the next moment.
Thanks to their own momentum, those Jiras plunged into the dangerously colored swamp. As their bodies came into contact with the extremely acidic red swamp, they raised agonizing death screams.
Fools! You guys are too naive if you think those measly scales of yours can protect you from Ruinhilde–sama’s toxic swamp!
「Waaa~h! What is that thing, Momokawa! 」
「My curse. You mustn’t touch it. It’s extremely corrosive.」
I didn’t have the chance to introduce my skills to others so far, so this was the first time Randou-san saw mine. Nevertheless, she didn’t seem to be disturbed by the sight of my skill at all.
「Use this chance while they’re falling over and blast them! Do it NOW!」
「U-U~gh, I’ve had enough of these things! 」
Randou-san, who started to complain like that, fired her 『Tera Blast』 towards the Jira who had already spilled over right in front of us from the opening of the mud wall.
「Twine into hairs, O rotten red, become thread which violates flesh and bone ――『Redhair Twine』!」
Not wanting to let Randou-san take all the glory, I released 『Redhair Twine』 from the curse crest on both on my hands after expanding my 『Rotten Bog』 . Though it took some time to kill them, that was plenty enough for me. Otherwise, they were bound to die trampled by their own comrades as they advanced from behind.
I threw a few of the tentacles towards the Jira that caught my eyes at the edge of my field of view, hoping that it would at least delay their advances through the opening of the mud wall.
Thanks to my acid swamp and Randou-san’s relentless short distance blasts, we managed to slaughter quite a number of Jira, but still―― My 『Rotten Bog』 , which was covered by Jira corpses almost reached its full capacity.
But the Jiras kept advancing, mercilessly using their comrades corpses as scaffolding.
「Retreat, Randou-san! 」
This kind of hard-fought battle proved to be too much even for Randou-san. Despite her strange reply, it seems that my instruction had reached her.
「Erect some spears at the opening in the mud wall. Quickly, we’re running out of time!」
With those Jira rushing in like this, the mud walls were bound to collapse sooner or later. Even if we erected a magnificent stone spear, only the ones at the front would be stabbed and killed by it.
「Nonomiya-san, Yoshizaki-san, how’s your situation?! 」
I shouted as I looked up at the open ceiling of the tower. Their faces appeared from the edge of the spiral staircase built on the outer wall.
「THE STAIRS TO THE ROOFTOP OF THE TOWER ARE STILL GOO~D! 」
「BUT THE ROOMS ARE EMPTY! WE CAN ONLY ADVANCE TO THE ROOFTOP! 」
I expected this situation when I saw that tower from the outside but still, there really was nothing until the rooftop. Was this used to trap invaders or to hide the transfer circle somewhere in this tower?
「Those guys outside are rushing in. The second round of this battle will be on the stairways! 」
「What should I do~? 」
「Randou-san, you are more suited for defense. Keep in mind that those guys might use projectiles.」
「OKE~, LET’S DO OUR BEST, ANZU! 」
「Thanks a lot, Juri, Mari! 」
Randou-san’s earth magic was our lifeline in this defensive battle. We have no way to stop the enemies advance without the mud wall. Any slight mistake will be our doom, we’d end in the stomach of those Jira.
「Randou-san, retreat. Make a mud wall around the stairway.」
「What about you, Momokawa? 」
「I’ll be right behind you after I cast another curse on them.」
The biggest fault of Randou-san’s earth magic was that it took a long time to activate, even just to form a wall. We probably wouldn’t make it in time if we didn’t start beforehand.
Maybe thanks to her awareness of her own power and limitations, Randou-san went towards the stairs immediately.
「Well then, guess it’s time to try my new curse! 」
Sticking together by my side like a bodyguard, Rem also raised a warcry. She also wanted to do her best since this new curse was related to her.
「Clad in Flesh and Blood of Acid Venom, Raise From The Sea of Red――」
I could hear the crunchy sound of Jiras tearing apart the mud wall. Thanks to those guys trampling the bodies of their comrades into the poisonous venom under their feet, the swamp filled up and they’ve built up a safe scaffolding.
But, that didn’t change the fact that the water below their feet was an extremely deadly corrosive poison.
「――『Vile Mud Doll』」
At that moment, I heard a loud splashing sound. The Jiras that were still clinging to the mud wall were blown away.
Standing in front of the mud wall with dark red flesh was…. A clay doll.
That’s right, it’s a new curse which I created when I used Rem in tandem with 『Rotten Bog』 in my first solo battle against Kamakiri.
『Vile Mud Doll』： A clay doll of acid and poison created in the depths of the Rotten Bog.
Thanks to Ruinhilde-sama’s recognition, that skill got it’s own name and explanation. This is my second original sorcery after the『Redhair Twine』. Or was it already a derivative skill?
That aside, the『Rotten Bog』, that was almost unusable due to the amount of corpses piling up in it, could now be recycled as another skill. Thus, the human shaped poison doll was raging on her battlefield, feeding many of her enemies with her potent acid.
The reason why I only made one Rem instead of two until now wasn’t due to the lack of materials. I left the second slot open to make this 『Vile Mud Doll』 since a single Rem was enough as my bodyguard at that time.
The 『Vile Mud Doll’s』 movement was linked to 『Vile Clay Doll’s』, the other Rem. That’s why I couldn’t make another 『Vile Mud Doll』 when I used Rem the 2nd.
I wanted to test it for a while now and yet… I never expected to do it in real combat.
「Yosh, let’s go Rem. Nº 2, Rage as much as you want.」
Taking along Rem who nodded in understanding, I ran after Randou-san towards the stairways. I barely managed to slip into the gap between the almost completed mud wall.
「We still have some time left until those guys destroy the barricade. Calm down and use that little extra time to make an even more solid wall.」
Rather than Randou-san, those words were directed at me.
Whether it’s mud wall or earth spear, both take too much time to cast. And I don’t even know whether we can hold for five minutes before the Jiras break the barricade. Making it poorly would ultimately end up with it being destroyed in a second.