Ch. 10 Honestly, what an outrageous mage
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It seems that it is a distance of a day and a half by horse-drawn carriage to the royal capital. Even though we stopped for a night, we’re still on schedule because we left early in the morning.
“Hey, what kind of place is the royal capital where we’re going to?”
It’s been a while since the carriage set out from Poda Village.
At first I was watching the changing scenery, but as the same scenery continued, I lost interest, so I asked Sisty thinking that it would be a good way to kill time.
“What? To think that you don’t even know that – what kind of backwater town did you live in until now? Well, whatever. I’ll tell you.”
Was Sisty also free? Her blank outwards gaze turned back to look at me.
Sorry for being such a bumpkin.
“We’re going to a major power that owns vast land and resources, the capital of the kingdom of Eldonia. Their food production is said to be the top among the great powers; they have a large variety of food and it’s well-circulated. Above all, the meals are delicious.”
Oh, I’ve finally heard the name of the country. Of course, it is not a country’s name that I know.
Or rather, the country’s meals are delicious?
But how should I put it, I don’t need to eat, things like meals have no meaning for me.
More importantly, can Dullahans and humans coexist there?
“As for its other features, the Eriaru religion is established as the state religion. I wonder if it has many devout followers? There is a saint at the temple known as a beautiful Holy mage and it seems that the people’s faith is strong. It seems like a great temple is being built.”
Somehow words like “temple” and “saint” appeared.
“Oh, a saint, huh? Is that so amazing?”
The name “saint” also came up when Sisty used recovery magic on me, I wonder what she’s like?
“It is! What are you saying, it’s a rare Holy magic user.”
“Is it different from Sisty’s recovery magic?”
“We mages can only use recovery magic to heal small wounds. But Holy recovery magic is different. If an arm is torn off, as long as you have the torn off arm, it’s possible to reattach it, it can even detoxify deadly poison. It’s exactly like a work of god, huh? Rumor has it the Holy woman is a substitute of the goddess.”
“O, oh, that is great.”
In short, I receive damage from recovery magic, so if I received the Holy woman’s Holy magic, it would be terrible!
I’m an undead. I’m weak to the Holy attribute.
I definitely cannot approach the place where the Holy woman, who is my natural enemy, is. I definitely cannot go to the temple.
When I thought of such a thing, I heard a scream from the front carriage.
“Eek, a monster appeared!”
At that voice, Sisty and I snapped into action.
It seems that the merchant who was keeping watch spotted a monster.
Because of that, we must fight positively as combatants.
“Weapons everyone! Please don’t panic! What kind of monster is it?”
An older person, the leader of the merchants, was speaking and calmly gave instructions.
Everyone except the coachman, who was keeping a lookout, followed instructions and grabbed their weapons, such as swords, bows, and crossbows.
Actually, the merchants could win this by themselves.
“It’s a Black Wolf!”
“A Black Wolf is trouble. You two adventurers. Since a Black Wolf has appeared, we’ll be counting on you!”
I respond to the merchant leader and we check the surrounding situation.
The carriage maintained a constant speed and retreated a distance, with what looked like four shadows running alongside it.
The wolf-type monster’s body is covered in pitch black fur. Its nostrils flared and its eyes glowed red with excitement while it released a howl.
It seems these fellows are Black Wolves. If wolf-type monsters had been in the Devil Forest from the beginning, that wouldn’t be fair.
If I wasn’t a Dullahan, I would have been killed and eaten by the wolves.
There is a slightly elevated cliff on one side, so I cannot to tell the situation from this direction.
I should be careful of that, just in case.
“Hey Sisty. Since it’s a great opportunity, why don’t you try to use some magic? Since they’re gathering to that extent, even you, a “No Control mage”, can get a hit.
“Stop saying that “No Control mage” for a moment! I hate it.”
“That’s a fact though. You hit me in my side. If I’m wrong, then try and hit those doggies.”
“I’ll do it then!”
After I provoked her, Sisty climbed onto the roof of the carriage while waving her staff spiritedly. It’s a surprisingly nimble movement. Her reflexes must be good.
By the way, I did not climb onto the roof. After all, if I was standing next to her, I would be shot.
Due to the wind from the fast-moving carriage, Sisty’s blue ponytail swayed beautifully in the air like a wonderful painting.
After that Sisty pointed her staff towards the Black Wolves which were keeping pace and chanted a spell.
Oh, she’s using a staff this time.
Then, a fireball appeared at the tip of Sisty’s staff.
As Sisty herself said, one in every five attempts hits, it’s a magic gamble.
Furthermore, the size is larger than yesterday’s. At that size, wouldn’t it be difficult to control it?
Somehow, looking at that, I’m starting to feel uneasy.
In contrast to my anxiety, Sisty let out a dignified voice, the fireball――flew right behind.
“Where is your magic going!?”
At the same time as I retort, the fireball strikes the cliff behind us. It seems that she charged more magic power compared to yesterday, as the fireball caused a huge explosion and destroyed the cliff back there.
If the fireball landed on the cliff slightly ahead of us, our path would have been blocked.
A sorrowful beast’s voice is heard from within it.
In the midst of the collapsing cliff, burns a body in red flames, the figure of a Black Wolf falls.
“As expected of a mage. You realized that other Black Wolves were on the cliffs from the beginning!? We were only looking forward and almost became prey for the Black Wolves coming down from the sky.
“……ehh? Oh, not at all! This is only natural!”
Sisty’s response to the merchant leader’s voice is delayed.
“…… It’s a coincidence”
“It was my aim”
I scramble up onto the roof when she says that and immediately refute it.
In the midst of our exchange, another merchant released a voice to raise morale, and fired an arrow towards the approaching Black Wolf. It seems difficult to hit a Black Wolf which is running alongside the speeding and shaking carriage, and quite an amount of arrows were avoided.
Nevertheless, it seems one was struck in the leg, so it fell and tumbled away.
Given that the remaining two were approaching the front carriage, I moved from roof to roof.
The Black Wolves seem to be aiming at the defenseless coach-driver.
A merchant with a bow gun noticed that and frantically fired an arrow.
A Black Wolf leapt, attempting to bite the coach-driver.
I casually thrust my left arm towards it.
I stretched out my arm to shield the coach-driver and the Black Wolf bit it without hesitation.
Naturally, its teeth do not pierce the Dullahan’s gauntlet.
The Black Wolf releases a growl when its fangs somehow don’t pierce, I answer with a straight right.
I feel ribs break, the Black Wolf releases its mouth and is blown away like trash.
“……ah, thank you very much! Is your arm alright!?”
“Oh, there’s no problem, it’s a strong gauntlet.”
When I showed there were no scratches, the coach-driver sighed in relief.
Having eliminated the Black Wolves, we temporarily stop the carriage.
With other monsters in the vicinity, the merchants were vigilant while retrieving arrows and stripping the Black Wolf’s fangs and pelts.
Since we spent many arrows, we need to obtain raw materials to keep a profit margin, they said with a smiling face. The merchants are scary.
“No, we were saved by the actions of Duke-san and Sisty-san. If not for you two, there would have been casualties. And wasn’t Sisty-san’s magic wonderful? She sensed the Black Wolves hidden at the top of the cliff, BANG!”
“N-no, such a thing”
It seems that she’s never been praised for her magic, Sisty blushed faintly in delight. I’d like you to please refrain from praising our useless mage.
She will get carried away and fire off her magic without reserve, I’m sure.
“We were deeply moved that Duke-san put up his body to save our companion. We’re very grateful to him as well.”
“Not at all”
Receiving gratitude is not bad. If such things are being said, I wouldn’t mind working even more……Ha! Is this the merchant’s strategy?
Expressing gratitude is free. If you can boost motivation with just that, it is cheap, so said the caravan’s leader.
As expected, this merchant is formidable and cannot be taken lightly.
As I thought of such a thing, a man’s scream was heard.
It is probably the voice of one of the men collecting arrows.
Looking towards the direction of the voice, a man is being chased by a Black Wolf.
It appears to be shedding blood from an arrow in its leg. That must be the Black Wolf that dropped out earlier when it was shot in the leg.
It’s chased us all the way here even with that injury, what a stubborn fellow it is.
I broke into a run to assist, but the distance is too wide, I won’t make it in time.
“Rick! Forget about the arrows!”
The man, who had kept hold of the arrows due to the excessive chaos, heard the merchant leader’s voice and threw the arrows at the Black Wolf.
By chance, it seems the razor-sharp arrowheads had struck the Black Wolf, as it cried out in anguish.
In that interval, the man ran away at full speed.
Will this make it in time? As I thought that, I heard a voice from behind.
“Electricity, dwell in my staff, pierce the enemy, [[Lightning]]!!”
A thunderclap rang out from the staff, and a streak of electrical energy whizzed past from behind.
Its movement was like a ferocious Basilisk slithering forward while winding back and forth.
“……ah, watch o-”
And passed right beside my helmet.
Danger!? My helmet was nearly sent flying!? Moreover, you definitely just said “……ah, watch o-”!
Or rather, what if that man is hit!?
As soon as I thought that, the winding lightning twisted around and avoided the man to score a direct hit on the Black Wolf.
The lightning-struck wolf, still smoldering and smoking, was burnt black and sunk to the ground.
……You know, sometimes I think that Sisty might just actually be an incredible mage, in a certain sense.
Looking back at the person herself, she was displaying a foolish face as if she hadn’t expected it to hit.
The scene falls silent, and two seconds later, the men’s cheers rose.
“That mage, even in such a situation where her shooting line is not secured, curved her lightning magic and only hit the Black Wolf!”
“She is an outrageous mage. If she had missed even a single step, Rick would have been hit. ……Does she have confidence in her control to that extent?”
I can hear nothing but genuine praise in their voices.
After hearing such things, Sisty was slackening her cheeks in delight.
This isn’t good. I’m sure that on the road after this she’ll get carried away and fire off her magic without reserve.
Even now, if it had swerved by mere centimeters, I would have been the one burnt black.
Since that wasn’t her aim with the first fireball, it doesn’t count; and the subsequent lightning magic had a high probability of running wild.
It was like Sisty had struck the lottery by chance, because she’s used up her luck here.
Because of that, the next person to get hit by her magic will be the vanguard, me.
“But, isn’t lightning meant to be a magic that travels in a straight line……?”
“She was able to actually curve the magic and accurately hit only the wolf. If a mage’s abilities are good, is it not possible to bend it? It was hissing like a serpent.”
Sisty’s exquisite skill was demonstrated to its extent here.
Even the nature of magic that proceeds in a straight line can be bent, Sisty’s magic is frightening. It’s like a new magic altogether.
 ED: A boxing term for a right-handed punch.