As we swung against the elder treants’ attacking roots, we closed in on it.
The elder treant was swarthy with a girth of over 10 meters wide, and a height of over 20 meters. Bulges and crevices could be seen here and there on its trunk, exuding an eerie aura. The face attached on its trunk, near its roots, was bigger than the others, being twice the size of an adult’s height.
“Ryouma, Raypin, stay away from the range of the branches, and support from the outside! Syria, protect Ryouma and Raypin!” [Asagi]
I killed the slow treants one after another by casting pavement on the ground, and throwing iron slime axes against them, while Raypin-san supported with his magic and Syria-san protected us from the oncoming roots.
The elder treant took on heavy damage from Asagi’s group’s continuous attacks, but it was unexpectedly tough.
On top of the elder treant’s size, the elder treant was able to use the wood magic, ‘Grow’, making it annoyingly tough. That magic normally shouldn’t have a healing effect, but because the elder treant was a plant-type magical beast, the elder treant was able to restore its body by growing its own body. The speed of that healing was apparently also faster compared to other elder treants. The advantage is currently in our favor, but we can’t let our guard down.
We continued fighting like that for some time until the elder treant suddenly let out an incomprehensible scream.
“OoOOOO!” [Elder Treant]
Then suddenly, the elder treant did something unexpected. And out of the elder treant’s mouth appeared a dark sphere, which shot towards Wereanna-san.
“Tch! Now what!?” [Wereanna]
Wereanna-san managed to dodge, but because of the pursuing branches, she had no choice but to stop attacking the elder treant.
Just now, wasn’t that the dark magic, ‘Dark Ball’?
The elder treant may have stopped Wereanna-san with ‘Dark Ball’, but Miya-san is still… But just as I was thinking that, the elder treant suddenly spit out some sort of dark mist, forcing Miya-san to take a step back. Unfortunately, the hand that was holding her axe touched the mist, and in the blink of an eye, the axe became rusted.
“That last one was dark ball! This elder treant can apparently use dark mage, de aru! And that effect… that’s most likely also dark magic!” [Raypin]
…Hey, hey, no one said anything about this.
“There’re too many unexpected things. Let’s retreat first, and think up a plan, de gozaru!” [Asagi]
At Asagi’s call, we all took a step back, and retreated.
We took a break in a place outside the treant’s attack range, and discussed.
“Miya, how’s your arm?” [Asagi]
“Nothing’s wrong with my arm, but this thing’s no good anymore, nyaa.” [Miya]
As Miya said that, she showed everyone her axe. Her axe was completely rusted, and the edge of its blade could be seen crumbling.
“It turned into this after being touched by that black mist, nyaa.” [Miya]
“That’s rather severe.” [Asagi]
“We won’t be able to fight if our weapon is rusted.” [Mizelia]
“Raypin, can’t you think of something?” [Wereanna]
“I’ve also never heard of an elder treant that could use magic other than wood magic, de aru. And neither have I heard of dark magic that could cause weapons to rust. As for dealing with dark magic, we could strike it with healing white magic as white magic has an exorcising effect against dark magic, but unfortunately it’s not possible to do that continuously during battle, de aru.” [Raypin]
So that magic can cause metal to rust? …Could it be that the reason the metal slimes were afraid was because of that? But then, why…
Wait, come to think of it…
Hmm… it’s only a hypothesis, but I should probably bring this up with the group.
After explaining my hypothesis to everyone, we decided to fight the elder treant one more time.
The treant has a lot of surprises, but in terms of strength, it’s not that much of a problem. Even if it does get dangerous, we can easily run away from it, so there’s nothing wrong with trying out a thing or two.
“Let’s go!” [Asagi]
Casting pavement on the ground, I stopped the roots from attacking while we rushed towards it. As the elder treant came to notice our presence, it began to spit out black mist again.
“It’s here!” [Asagi]
“Let’s try it! [Ryouma]
As soon as I saw the mist, I threw one iron slime axe towards the face of the elder treant!
The iron axe slime drew a parabola in the air as it flew, piercing through the black mist.
“OOOOO!” [Elder Treant]
The iron slime axe spectacularly pierced into the center of the elder treant’s forehead. And through the contract, I knew that the iron slime was safe.
“The iron slime is fine! As I thought, the iron slimes are immune to that magic!” [Ryouma]
“Alright, let’s finish it, de gozaru!” [Asagi]
As Asagi-san said that, he headed for the elder treant’s face. Miya-san, Mizelia-san, Wereanna-san followed him from behind. At the rearmost was me, firing fire arrows while I cut away at the branches.
What I proposed to everyone during the break was to use the transformed iron slimes as weapons and armors.
I reminded them about the time the metal slimes shook in fear. then I suggested that the reason that they might have been afraid could be because they were metal, causing them to fear for their lives as they sensed the elder treants’ ability.
As soon as Raypin-san heard that, he understood where I was getting at.
Continuing, I argued that since the iron slimes didn’t feel fear, despite being also metal like the metal slimes were, then they must have some way to defend against that mist. There, I taught them something I learned from my previous life. Of course, I presented it as if I had learned it from my grandfather in this world.
The purer the iron is, the harder it is to rust. The iron slimes I have contracted have been feeding all this time on iron that I made with alchemy, giving it a body with ultra-high purity iron.
To add to that, we also wondered whether or not the elder treant could cause all metals to rust in the same way as it did before, so we decided to fight it one more time.
Magic can make even impossible objects come to existence with magic power as long as one is able to imagine it. However, the same is not true for magic power. For magic power, one needs to follow to some extent the shape of nature.
Although it’s possible for magic with image to distort what is dictated by nature, the more the magic tries to do so, the greater the consumption of magic power. Moreover, there’s also a limit to how much one can bend nature, which is why I knew that the magic wouldn’t be able to cause a kind of metal that’s difficult to rust, to rust.
In a long battle, however, the slimes might be in danger. But according to Raypin-san, we could throw one slime first, then look at its condition. If the experiment is a failure we could just take it and run away, while I heal it with the method Raypin-san told me. According to him, as long as the nucleus isn’t affected, then the slime will be fine as long as I provide it some nourishment. So even if the surface gets rusted, it doesn’t matter. As long as I stop the corrosion before it gets to the nucleus, the slime should be safe.
Putting together the information we had, we decided to aim for a quick battle.
Also, to be safe, we’ll heal the iron slime with white magic once the battle is over. And in the case where we can’t defeat the elder treant, then we could just retreat again.
Like that, we decided to challenge it once more.
This time around, I’m also included in the vanguard.
The elder treant is attacking. The first attack were the branches, which came whipping from above. The second, the dark ball. The third, it blocked our path with its roots, at the same time, it tried to catch me, but I just cut it, and I slipped through, leaving me right in front of the elder treant’s face.
I thought of slashing at it a direct hit, but the elder treant wasn’t going to let me as it fired off another ‘Dark Ball’ accompanied by a whipping strike from above.
Twisting my body, I swung my sword to meet the branches, drawing a circle, and cutting the branch off in a single stroke.
Continuing, I dodged the incoming ‘Dark Ball’ while closing the distance. Then underneath the elder treant’s face, I cut what appeared to be its neck. With my blade clad in ki, it was extremely sharp, and I cut through its face with no resistance. Magic power then seeped out from the wound left on the elder treant’s face.
“UoOO!” [Elder Treant]
The elder treant panicked, and immediately tried to close the wound with its wood magic, but we weren’t just going to stand by and watch.
“ ‘Flame Lance’ !” [Raypin]
Raypin-san’s intermediate fire magic struck into the elder treant. And as one would expect from having fire magic driven into its body, the attack had a huge effect, causing the elder treant’s healing to greatly slow.
Miya-san and the rest weren’t took advantage of that opening, and started releasing a barrage of attacks towards the treant and the branches around it.
But as for me, I did not join in their barrage, and instead I prepared for my attack, ordering the big iron slime that was currently a blade to transform again.
I put it down, and 15 slimes split out of it. The big slime quickly used ‘Enlarge’, and using both of its hands, it formed a loop, turning into an iron ball big enough to have to be carried in both arms. Around that iron ball, sharp thorns and a semi-circle-shaped grip with a hole in its center was attached to it. The iron slimes that split off then each turned into a loop, and connected themselves to my right arm and to the iron ball’s grip. With this the weapon has changed from a blade to a chain and ball.
Right now, the big iron slime can change freely at will into a number of weapons. It could, of course, change into the weapon I used before, the blade and the throwing axes, but it can also change into a spear, a great sword, a hammer, into all sorts. One of those types is this iron ball. Moreover, if I feel like it, I could even have it change into a scythe, the same weapon the shinigamis use. So having it change into an iron ball is a piece of cake.
Incidentally, this iron ball is something I saw in a weapon shop of this world. Using that as reference, I had the slimes transform into it. It’s a kind of weapon that specializes in one-hit attacks meant for large magical beasts. When using it, I have to first strengthen it with either magic or qi gong, so it takes some time to master. The skill to use this iron ball is apparently included in my Fundoujutsu (Weight) skill, so I’m able to use it. It’s use is mostly limited to fighting against large monsters though…
The chains jingled as I pulled on them. The iron ball was heavy, but with qigong, my strengthened body was able to wield it.
“I’m ready.” [Ryouma]
“Alright, let’s go!!” [Asagi]
As soon as I said that, Asagi-san gave the signal. Everyone who was still barraging the elder treant with attacks nonstop immediately opened a path for me.
With the elder treant’s face as my target, I put all of my strength, and sent the iron ball flying towards the elder treant’s nose!
The instant the iron ball hit the elder treant, a crack appeared on the elder treant’s face, and magic power gushed out. After having been hit all this time, its resistance was at its worst, leaving it unable to resist the force of the iron ball.
I was originally planning to hit 4 or 5 times, but with this, the battle might already be over. And even the surrounding roots and branches have stopped moving. It’s not completely subjugated yet, but…
“Ryouma, finish it off.” [Asagi]
“After all, this victory is thanks to Ryouma.” [Syria]
“So you should be the one to put an end to this battle.” [Mizelia]
So I pulled on the chains again, and struck at the elder treants forehead with all of my might.
A booming thick sound exploded, then the sound of the elder treant’s face collapsing resounded. The gushing magic power grew fiercer, and in the next moment, no more magic could be felt from the elder treant.
“With this, it’s down for real, right?” [Ryouma]
“I can’t feel any more magic power, so it should be fine, de aru.” [Raypin]
After ensuring everything was ok, I went to heal the iron slimes with healing magic. Well, it doesn’t seem like anything’s wrong, but just in case. In any case, it’s good that nothing bad happened.
While I was shooting ‘Light Ball’ at the iron slimes, I spoke with Asagi-san and the others about our movement from here on out. And it’s been decided that we will be going back to the village first, report to the guild there, then get some help to transport all the logs.
We weren’t planning to hunt this much, but leaving it would be a waste, so we might as well make use of it. It won’t all fit into mine and Raypin-san’s ‘Dimension Home’, so this time around, we’ll have to get some actual transport. As for the fees, the guild can apparently take care of it as long as we do the papers properly.
Like this we went back to the village, reported to the guild, and retrieved the lumbers the next day.