“Did I overestimate myself? But before that, what should I do about this situation? If I can’t pierce into the body, then not even my bloody slime will work. Moreover, aiming at their eyes and mouth requires that I stand right in front of them. If I were to do that, I’d be exposing myself to their charge… Oops.” [Ryouma]
As I was thinking to myself how to defeat the bigger one, the smaller one attacked me. Honestly, after understanding the situation, I’ve lost all will to fight the smaller one…
As I was thinking that, this time the bigger one came to attack me. When I dodged it, the smaller one… Wait, why are you guys focusing on me? You should at least… Oh, right, maybe I could do something if it’s the smaller one.
Sheathing my katana, I faced my back toward the lake, and I filled my body with ki. Then I stood before the smaller cannonball rhinos.
The cannonball rhinos began to mercilessly charge at me. With a half turn, I dodged the horn of the cannonball rhinos. Then I grabbed its neck, neared my butt to the ground, and I entered the area beneath it. There, I touched the body of the cannonball rhinos with my feet, and with my ki charged, I kicked it up to the sky!
“Leave me alone for a bit!” [Ryouma]
“Kyuon!?” [Little Rhinos]
It was heavy, but I was able to kick the cannonball away. It kept flying as it drew an arc and eventually landed into the lake. Amongst cannonball rhinoses, they have a tendency to accept defeat when they’re thrown away by the horn, or pushed down. So I hope the smaller one will stop attacking me with this.
Still… it’s fortunate that I used my legs. From the weight I felt when I threw it, I don’t think I could have thrown it that far even if I had raised it up with my arms. This lake looks shallow, so I don’t think it’ll drown… That aside, there’s still the problem of the bigger one.
Immediately, I picked myself up. But for some reason, the big cannonball rhinos that was so eager to attack me before was not moving… But just as I was thinking that, the cannonball rhinos suddenly bellowed out a war cry as it charged toward me.
I decided to dodge it and move way from where I threw the smaller one. With my course of action decided, I fired off some magic at the cannonball rhinos to get its attention. Then I unsheathed my katana, wielded it with my right hand, while my left wielded the sheath itself.
Following that, I ordered the big iron slime katana and big metal slime sheath to transform. The form of the katana and the sheath began to melt, turning into liquid as they wrapped themselves over my hand toward my shoulders. When they finished transforming, the smooth, curved metal had completely changed into a scale-like silver and dark grey mittens.
Weapons that can cut have little effect against the hide of these rhinoses, so I’ll fight with strikes instead. There’s also the chained iron ball that I used to defeat the elder treant, but that one’s heavy, so if I were to use that, my movement would get dull. Besides, there’re plenty of trees around, it won’t be easy to use. Compared to that, this gauntlet might be a little heavier compared to the blade-form of the slimes, but it’s easy to use.
“My right might be… short!” [Ryouma]
I dodged the incoming cannonball rhinos, and then landed a strike at its left flank with my fist. My attack seems to have had much more effect compared to the katana as the rhinos let out a little of its voice. It wasn’t that loud though, so the effect wasn’t all that much.
Part of is it’s because it’s durable, but it’s also because my attack slipped when I attacked it while it was charging. I don’t think it did it on purpose, but it still feels like my attack got parried. I guess I should attack it when it stops moving…
I lured the cannonball rhinos into the denser area. If it’s inside an area with more trees, it should be harder for it to attack. At least that’s what I thought, but then the canon-ball rhinos ignored the trees, and it began charging recklessly.
As sounds resounded and tremors shook the earth, the trees were either bent or mowed down. The instances of the cannonball rhinos stopping also increased. Aiming for those moments, I curled my hand into a fist, and I smashed it against the cannonball rhinos.
Our battle continued like that for a while, but the cannonball rhinos still refused to show any signs of falling over.
“Hmm… On top of the weight of the slimes, there’s also the reinforcement from ki. If it was a human I was fighting, his cranium would have caved in at the power ages ago… This is making me lose confidence. This wanton destruction of nature is also making me anxious.” [Ryouma]
But still… I wonder if this thing can’t feel any pain. I’ve hit so many times, and it’s even crashed itself against so many times. I’ve even hit it with fire, electric, and ice type magic, but I’ve only either slightly burned or froze its fur.
I tried making a hole once while I let it crash against the wall erected by Earth Wall, but the hole was too small and too shallow, and the cannonball rhinos just went through the earth wall. All I managed to do was buy some time.
Dark magic works, but then the cannonball rhinos goes even wilder, and it becomes harder to predict how it will attack. Seriously, what am I supposed to do about this? I can stop its movements and buy some time, but my attacks won’t work on it, so I can’t defeat it.
After how many times of hitting it with my fists, I realized something strange. This big cannonball rhinos sometimes suddenly stops. At first, I thought it just didn’t feel like fighting anymore since it just got hit back whenever it attacked, but then it would persistently start chasing me again. It would’ve been nice if it started getting a concussion after crashing into trees so many times, but apparently that wasn’t the case…
Ahh, it’s here again!
“You’re persistent! And your eyes are bloodsh––…!!” [Ryouma]
It was here that it came to me that a part of the cannonball rhinos’ sclera was oddly congested. Taking note of that, I began observing the rhinos. As the Rhinos bellowed out a cry, I noticed that there were some violet specks inside the mouth of the rhinos. When I saw that, I finally understood the reason behind its behavior. At the same time, I felt my face cramping.
“It’s the poison of the doping bee!” [Ryouma]
A queer congestion within the eyes and specks of violet are both special traits of a magical beast that’s been pierced by the doping bee. Moreover, when the doping bee’s poison has had too much of an effect, the magical beast’s consciousness will sometimes become muddied, causing it to be dazed. And the beast will alternate between berserk and being dazed. The interval between the two states doesn’t seem to be fixed though.
Took me way too long to remember… If I can’t remember my preparatory research during a critical moment, then there’s no point in doing it in the first place. I’ll have to reflect on this later.
But that’s that. At least now I finally know why this thing’s going wild, and why it’s so strong.
“It’s not just strong because of magic. It’s strong because the originally A Rank defensive power has been further bolstered… But even if I know that, the situation hasn’t changed.” [Ryouma]
I could feel drops of sweat forming at my brows. I can’t just leisurely stop moving. I have to think of a way to defeat the cannonball rhinos while dodging it. As I was doing that, the wound I first cut on it came to my attention. It was then that I remembered something, and I decided to try it out.
First, dodge the charge of the cannonball rhinos while letting it charge into a tree to stop it from moving. Up to this point is still the same as always, but–––
“‘Bind Ivy’!” [Ryouma]
I used wood magic, and the surrounding ivy wrapped around the trees began to wrap themselves around the cannonball rhinos.
The cannonball rhinos had its attention taken by the vines, but just my moving its body in all directions, it’s already began to gradually pull itself away from the ivies. Then with a strong step, and with its power poured into its limbs, it charged. At that, it fully freed itself from the grasp of the ivies.
“A few seconds at most, huh? Let’s try it! If it fails, then I’ll just run with all my might!” [Rhyouma]
Again, I lured the cannonball rhinos as I ran back the direction we came from, and headed toward the lake.
The trees were mowed down quite a bit, so the view’s now not as obstructed as it once was. Because of that I was able to get back to the late without stopping much, and was able to get there quickly. The small rhinos is sitting in front of its deceased parents’ corpses… It shouldn’t be a problem as long as I stay away from him.
“––––––!!” [Big Rhinos]
“Take this!” [Ryouma]
I dodged the rhinos that charged from behind. When I did, the rhinos kept going and going until it plunged itself into the lake. Water burst up high into the air. Again, I was reminded of just how much power the rhinos had. But I don’t have the time to stop moving. I stood at the border of the lake and the jungle to initiate my plan.
The cannonball rhinos that had charged into the lake, turned toward me as it raised itself. Then it began charging again.
“You’re strong, but you’re too dull! ‘Bind Ivy’!” [Ryouma]
As I dodged the charge, I used Bind Ivy. As the rhinos charged into a tree, and stopped moving, its body was wrapped in ivy.
Right after that, I jumped onto the back of the cannonball rhinos with my ki reinforced body. Then I grabbed the ivy, and began strangling the rhinos’ neck.
The ivy began to be torn off again, but I won’t let the rhinos do as it pleases!
“’Mud Pool’!” [Ryouma]
“GUoA!?” [Big Rhinos]
As I activated my magic, the water and the ground began to mix, changing into mud, and swallowing the cannonball rhinos’ legs. The ivies were creaking at the cannonball rhinos’ pressure, but because of the mud that suddenly appeared, the rhinos’ resistance vanished. The rhinos was no longer able to tear off the ivies.
Mud Pool is the combination of water attribute and earth attribute. It’s a simple magic meant to transform the land into mud. I learned this magic after I heard about it from the adventurers in Gimuru, and practiced it by myself.
At the time, it was quite difficult to do. If I casted the magic poorly, then even my allies would lose their footing. Because of that the adventurers mentioned that it’s generally only used when running away. But! Something like that doesn’t matter when I’m on top of a magical beast!
I held on to the neck of the struggling cannonball rhinos while I used Exchange to bring out the adamantite rapier. Then cladding it in ki, I thrusted it diagonally from the rhinos neck toward its head.
But the rapier couldn’t reach past the tip of the rhinos’ hide. But I already expected that the rapier wouldn’t be able to pierce through easily. It was here that I changed my position while keeping myself from falling off the cannonball rhinos.
With all of my strength, I pounded the heel of my palm onto the rapier.
Because of the impact of that attack, the rapier that had pierced into the hide of the rhinos sunk deeper. The cannonball rhinos rose its voice, and its movements grew wilder.
“One more ––time!” [Ryouma]
I struck again with my palm.
I don’t know if you could this a tactic or not, but I’m doing exactly as I’ve planned. Stop the cannonball rhinos from moving, hit a vital spot with a blade, allowing it to stand. And then finish it off like that. The first stroke could only cut a shallow wound, but it still doesn’t change the fact that it was strong enough to cut into the cannonball rhinos’ skin. So I figured it should be possible to damage the rhinos enough so long as I’m able to focus my attack on one point.
I used the durable adamantite rapier for that reason. From the looks of things, it seems the rapier will be able to get through. This usage strikes me as somewhat absurd for a rapier, but so long as it works, anything’s fine!
After two more strikes, the sensation transmitted to me by the pommel of the rapier changed. After another strike, the rapier sunk deep into the cannonball rhinos. But I didn’t stopped there as I pushed it even deeper.
Using battle magic technique, I clad my entire body and the rapier in electric magic power. Then I fired off my magic through the tip of the rapier.
“’Thunder Bolt’” [Ryouma]
Intermediate electric magic ‘Thunder Bolt’. Just as the name implies, an attack that summons electricity to strike against the target.
It didn’t have much of an effect a while ago, but just as one would expect, firing it off from inside the body like this is quite effective. Immediately after casting it, the cannonball rhinos stopped moving, and it collapsed to the ground.
At that time, the ivies wrapped around the cannonball rhino were cut, and the cannonball rhino began to fall down into the mud. Immediately, I jumped off the cannonball rhino, and left the mud. I waited for a while, and after confirming it, I knew that the beast had died.
…………I was cutting it pretty close there. It’s good that I won~!!
“Even if it was strengthened by the poison of the doping bee, it seems it’s still too early for me to challenge A Rank and S Rank magical beasts… Not that I have any plans of challenging those. To begin with, it’s generally assumed that one has to form a party to challenge magical beasts above the B Rank.
As I muttered to myself while staring at the giant body of the cannonball rhinos, the smaller one approached me from behind.
“Heeey… you still feel like fighting–––Mn?” [Ryouma]
Just when I thought it still felt like fighting, the cannonball rhinos rose its two forelegs as it stood up on its two hind-legs. This is…
“If I recall correctly, this pose signifies a cannonball rhinos’ surrender, right?” [Ryouma]
It’s written down in the information I gathered beforehand. At first, I thought it might just be trying to make its body appear bigger to threaten me, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. But why? That’s normally something a cannonball rhinos would show to another cannonball rhinos that managed to defeat it, so… –Ah! Could it be it’s because I’d thrown it once? Or is it because I defeated the bigger one?
As I was thinking that to myself, I saw the small cannonball rhinos’ feet slightly trembling. It might still be a kid, but it’s body is still quite heavy. It should be painful for it to raise its body up with just two legs.
“Let’s just leave the questions for later, and contract it now. It might be a B Rank magical beast, but it’s still a kid, so it might not survive out here…” [Ryouma]
If I were to accept this little cannonball rhinos, then… As I thought that, I activated the contract of the slave demon magic. When I did, the contract was a success, and the cannonball rhinos became my slave demon. I named the little one, Rai.
After that, I began to heal Rai’s wounds with the heal slimes. During that time, I had the grave slime retrieve the big cannonball rhinos and the two corpses that were most probably Rai’s parents.
Rai quietly watched the corpses be retrieved as he continued to receive treatment. I thought he would go wild, but I guess magical beasts understand the rule of the jungle well.
Not wanting to waste the ingredients in the corpse of Rai’s two parents, I immediately took them to the Dimension Home, and disassembled them. I retrieved their pelt, their horns, and their bones. The muscularity of the meat makes it unsuitable for humans, but it’s enough as feed for the slimes. As I was feeding them to the slimes for lunch, the mimic slime began to transform into a cannonball rhinos.
I tried to order the slime to stop the transformation, but seeing Rai look at the transformed mimic slime, and then cuddle up to it, I stopped. Instead, I ordered the mimic slime to stay in that form for a while.
…I don’t know if this is good for Rai, but I’ll just leave them like this for now.
Just to be safe, I ordered Rai not to go wild. Then we left the Dimension Home, and we moved again to leave the Great Forest of Shurus. After 30 minutes, we coincidentally came across the nest of doping bees that was most likely responsible for causing the big cannonball rhinos to go berserk.
The nest was about as big as a drum as it clung to the branch of a big tree. I took out 50 sticky slimes, and had them climb up the tree, and swallow the nest.
Of course, the doping bees attacked the slimes, but if their stingers can’t reach the nucleus, then their poison won’t have any effect.
The doping bees that attacked the sticky slimes were glued to them one after another, and they eventually died by suffocation.
The same happened to the bees inside the nest. But just to make sure everything’s safe, I blocked all of the holes of the nest for 30 minutes. Then when I saw that nothing was resisting anymore, I retrieved the nest. Naturally, I retrieved the corpses of the doping bees that were inside the sticky slimes as well.
Well then… A lot of unexpected things happened, but now I’ll at least be able to go back to Gimuru. I have my treatment, the store, and a bunch of other things that need to be done. And then there’s also Rai. I managed to form a contract with him, but there’s still definitely a lot of thinking to be done regarding the future.