“Hey, isn’t that taking things a bit too far?!”
“That’s definitely crossing the line.”
While responding to Stella’s words, we’ve already moved into a position where we can protect Blade and those weirdos.
However, I don’t make a move against the Murder Lion in front of me.
Because I’m stopping it with my gaze.
Why? Because Blade and those weirdos are raring to go.
“Whoa! We’ve got some older folks here! Looks like we’ll get some good material!”
“I’ll be perfect test subjects for my secret weapon!”
“Haha! It’s lion hunting time!”
“Hold up! That one’s my prey!”
The weirdos are getting fired up.
Blade naturally joins the mix.
Looks like they’re having fun, huh.
The dangerous atmosphere from earlier has disappeared.
What Blade needs right now isn’t a devoted young beauty, but a group of weird uncles to run wild with him. . . . . .?
“Let’s go, everyone!”
Blade takes the lead and charges in.
However, due to fatigue, his movements are slower than usual.
A high-ranking dragon class is a formidable opponent even for a fully prepared Holy Warrior.
Right now, Blade’s chances of winning are fifty-fifty.
If things get dicey, I’ll help him out, but that might mess with his head again. So I hope he can win on his own.
For Rin, who’s nervously watching beside Stella, too.
“Don’t let that guy hog all the glory! Prepare the secret weapon!”
Not to be outdone by Blade, some of the weirdos start pulling out various objects from what looks like a magic bag.
Huge chunks of metal?
They range from something long and thin like a rod to something fat like a barrel, and it’s hard to tell what their intended use is.
“Well, well, well. . . . . .”
But Auntie Elle, upon seeing this, lets out a voice that seems half-impressed and half-exasperated, so it’s probably something related to magic.
Something extravagantly odd.
Well, if it’s a creation of those weirdos, oddness is guaranteed.
They wouldn’t create anything normal unless it was a client’s request.
“Alright, Emma, it’s up to you!”
And then, the next thing the weirdos pull out is. . . . . .a little girl.
She seems utterly ordinary, probably around 5-6 years old, and definitely not someone with divine protection.
So ordinary that I hadn’t even noticed she was there, overshadowed by the weirdos.
The sight momentarily freezes my thoughts.
When my brain reboots, one thing comes to mind.
Have those weirdos finally laid their hands on a little girl?!
“What?! A girl?! Why?!”
“A girl? Wait, what?! Why’s a kid like that here?! That’s not okay, right?! It’s not okay, right?!”
“Calm down, both of you. First, let’s deal with them.”
At this unexpected development, including Rin who had only been focusing on Blade, the trio of women starts to panic.
Auntie Elle in particular is exuding murderous intent.
Maybe, as someone also in the ‘little girl’ category, she can’t forgive those who would recklessly endanger a child.
She says we should deal with them, and I have no intention of stopping her.
I think this crosses a line too.
Go ahead and do it.
While Auntie Elle is taking care of those weirdos, the little girl begins chanting magic.
“Spirit of Earth that governs one of the principles of magic! Grant life to the earth, give it form, and create a warrior to oppose my enemies! ━━『Earth Golem Creation』!”
Clumsy incantations, as if memorized without understanding their meaning.
Naturally, the magic activated by them is also unrefined.
It’s not like the prodigal talents of Stella and Rin from childhood, but rather age-appropriate magic like my old Healing Magic.
However, even if the magic itself was clumsy, the effects it produced were immense.
“What the heck is this?!”
Everyone, including me, was surprised, except for Auntie Elle who seemed to have sensed it beforehand and Blade, who was desperately swinging his sword.
I was so stunned that I even forgot to pay attention to Blade.
The chunks of metal that the weirdos just pulled out began to move as if imbued with life due to the little girl’s magic.
And then, with clanking noises, they all fused together to form a massive metal golem.
Its appearance was awkward, like a child’s toy with disproportionately slender limbs attached to a barrel-like torso, but somehow it got me pumped up.
Something inside me, like the heart of a young boy, argues that it’s cool without any reason.
By the way, a golem is a figure made by manipulating earth or rock through magic.
There are golems as monsters too, but those are like the zombie relatives born in labyrinths, so they are irrelevant now.
“Behold! This is our secret weapon, 『Iron Dwarf』!”
One of the weirdos who had created this thing proudly declared, his face swollen from Auntie Elle’s well-aimed punch.
Despite its ridiculously straightforward and lame name, it still somehow looks cool.
What is this excitement I’m feeling?!
“Go on! Beat ’em up!”
Following the command of the presumed little girl operator, the Iron Dwarf started moving.
Its total length is about 5 meters.
It’s even larger than the opposing Murder Lion.
However, its massive, metallic frame is slowing it down, making its movements incredibly sluggish.
Just now it tried to strike at the Murder Lion, but was effortlessly dodged.
Moreover, it got slashed open by a counterattack.
“Hmph! You think you can defeat our Iron Dwarf with such an attack!”
However, just as the weirdos said, the damage was surprisingly minimal.
Even if it was a lighter attack, to take a blow from a high-rank dragon-class monster and suffer so little damage is astonishing.
They’ve really created something unbelievable.
Who knows how much time, skill, and valuable materials were spent on its construction.
I can feel a sense of romanticism there, but I also get why Auntie Elle is dumbfounded.
“Ei! Ei! Huh?”
However, as excellent as the Iron Dwarf may be, it’s operated by a little girl.
She likely has no experience in combat.
Her randomly flailing fists aren’t hitting anything and are actually interfering with Blade, who’s fighting alongside her.
Moreover, Blade seems more shocked than irritated by the sudden appearance of Iron Dwarf in his field of vision, so it’s not a problem.
“Calm down, Emma! Use your left arm!”
“Ah, right! How about this!”
Following the weirdos’ instructions, the movement of the Iron Dwarf operated by the little girl changes.
It stops moving, extends its left arm forward. . . . . .and its left arm morphs into a strange, rod-like formation with a hole in the center.
The tip of the rod is pointed at Murder Lion.
“Eat this special Earth Magic Gatling!”
“Taste the rain of lead bullets, generated to the limits of stored magical power!”
A bundle of staffs, seemingly called a Gatling, spins and fires bullets at an incredibly high speed, resembling earthen magic projectiles. And a large number of them are shot continuously.
Ah, I see.
While one staff is activating its magic to shoot bullets, the other staffs prepare to activate their magic with a time delay, allowing for such rapid-fire shooting.
What an ingenious idea.
With this, most monsters could probably be turned into minced meat even if they come in hordes.
“But why go through the trouble of transforming it to attach it to that golem?”
“Seems like someone could just hold it in their hands normally.”
“It’s probably an armament to make up for its sluggishness, but then they should attach it to the head instead of making it a mere decoration, freeing up both arms. At least there’s absolutely no need for it to transform.”
“. . . . . .Indeed.”
The calm observations of the three women brought me back to reality.
Moreover, unfortunately, the Gatling is entirely ineffective against the monster right in front of us.
The Murder Lion is completely dodging the Gatling’s line of fire.
This is simply a case of picking the wrong opponent.
High ranking monsters are not to be taken lightly.
However, when Murder Lion shifted its focus to Iron Dwarf, it could no longer solely keep an eye on Blade, and as a result, it exposed vulnerabilities in the face of equally formidable foes.
Blade eagerly went on the offensive.
. . . . . .That guy, despite getting grumpy when we offer a helping hand, is now genuinely grateful for the covering fire.
What’s going on?
Is it because of the colossal weapon?
Is it because of the colossal weapon, then?
Should we just leave that guy behind on this mountain?
A soaring slash unleashed from Blade’s massive sword.
Caught between the Gatling and the slashing attacks, the Murder Lion was fully occupied with evading, and Blade closed the distance with a bold step towards it.
By using the flying slashes as a diversion to disrupt their stance, the Murder Lion now appeared considerably unstable.
Out of sheer willpower, the Murder Lion twists its body and swings its claw, attempting to counter Blade’s flying slash with its own flying claw attack. However, Blade skillfully uses the parrying technique he recently learned, handling the attack without losing any speed.
Hey, isn’t that the technique he struggled with for so long?
He can use it now?
. . . . . .Maybe it’d be better for him if we really did leave him in this mountain.
“Oraaaaa! 『Destructive Sword』!”
Blade’s all-out attack lands, severing the Murder Lion’s left front paw, which sails through the air.
However, the Murder Lion slams its remaining right paw into the ground, kicking up a cloud of dust and using it as a smokescreen to create distance.
Regaining its stance, it glares at us from afar with eyes filled with murderous intent.
Ah, those eyes realize there’s no escaping.
With one leg missing, the Murder Lion can’t escape from the duo of Blade and Iron Dwarf.
Even if, by some miracle, the Murder Lion could deal with Blade and his team, Stella and I—forces greater than Blade—are ready to intervene at any moment.
Escape is impossible.
Therefore, the only option is to charge and forcibly make a way out.
The Murder Lion is now a wounded beast with no way out.
The most dangerous thing is when someone comes at you in desperation.
Both parties realize this, filling the atmosphere with a tension greater than ever before.
Caught up in the mood, the little girl gets scared and Iron Dwarf freezes in place.
Both parties remain still, a momentary silence ensues.
The one to break the silence is the Murder Lion.
Power surges through its remaining three legs as it gets ready for a desperate attack.
Blade readies his great sword, the young girl starts to whimper, and now, the final clash begins. . . . . .
“What are you idiots doing?!”
. . . . . .Just then, a woman in her late teens runs over from a distance and smashes the Murder Lion’s head with a gigantic war hammer, ending things decisively.
A sudden conclusion brought about by an outsider.
Whether they could accept it or not, the weirdos in the crowd started to boo loudly.
“Damn it, Imina! You interrupted at the worst time!”
“I didn’t even get to see Iron Dwarf do anything! That guy took all the glory!”
“And you smashed Murder Lion’s head! All its teeth and stuff are broken! The materials are ruined!”
“Shut up, you idiots! Don’t complain when you’re the ones who rushed into this without thinking!”
An argument breaks out between the weirdos and the intruder.
Blade is left dumbfounded.
Stella and I look on, as Rin rushes to treat Blade’s wounds.
The little girl starts to cry.
Iron Dwarf is left unattended.
The situation grows increasingly chaotic.
“Waaaaah! Sister Imina, I was so scared!”
“Oh?! Are you okay, Emma?! Poor thing! These idiots got to you, didn’t they? It’s all right now!”
The little girl dives into the intruder’s chest, crying her eyes out.
Even the weirdos felt guilty at this sight, closing their mouths and moving on to recover Iron Dwarf and dismantle the Murder Lion.
They’re hardcore, going to dismantle even in this situation.
I knew that already.
So, when things finally started to calm down, I spoke to the female intruder.
“Long time no see, Imina-san.”
“Huh? Oh, if it isn’t Allan! You’ve grown since I last saw you!”
Imina-san, the female intruder, hugs me and then proceeds to put me in a headlock, petting my head.
I wish she’d stop; it’s hot and uncomfortable.
Before I could pull away, Stella quickly comes and releases me from Imina-san’s grip.
But, there’s a vein popping on her forehead.
Ah, this feels like it’s going to be troublesome.
“Allan, do you know this person?”
“Ah, yes. This is 『Hammer Saint』 Imina-san, the granddaughter of the Dwarf Village chief.”
After being introduced, Imina-san widens her eyes briefly and then grins creepily at me and Stella, as if sensing something.
She’s wearing a smile that’s just like Rin’s or Auntie Elle’s when they’re up to something.
Ah, this is going to be troublesome.