Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「To the West」Part 2
It was early morning and I was currently using transfer magic to travel down the highway with Ariane holding onto my shoulder and Ponta on my head. Though I called it a highway, it lacked any sort of pavement, or even laid brick, and was really only a stretch of flatted soil without any trees along it. Before long we came to a fork in the road.
“Ariane-dono, which path leads to Lanbaltic?”
I lacked confidence in my own sense of direction, so I turned to Ariane and asked her what she thought.
However, she only glared at me and questioned me in a blunt tone.
“Arc, I’ve never heard of the city before, why do you think I would know the roads of a human country?”
She was right of course. Though Lanbaltic was the next town keeping enslaved elves, I had only learned about it back in the capital.
Maps of countries weren’t sold in this world, in fact, I’ve haven’t even seen a map since I’ve come here. I’ve only found my way around by asking other people for directions.
The information I got in the capital told me to head west until I reached the coastal city of Lanbaltic.
But, in front of me were two paths separated by a group of large boulders. Both paths went in a western direction, but the right one veered northwest while the left one slightly went in the southwestern direction.
Either of the paths carried on towards the west. Because these paths weren’t as straight as modern roads I couldn’t see far down them. If the one we took led to a steep cliff, then we’d have taken a detour. A detour that would be time-consuming, considering the length of the roads in this era.
Although it’d be preferable to avoid such a detour I could always use transfer magic to return to this spot.
I casually looked around the highway until I found a sturdy looking tree branch on the ground. I picked up the branch, went back to the middle of the road, balanced it on one end and removed the hand keeping it balanced.
Gravity took over immediately as soon as the branch left my hand. When the branch hit the ground it pointed at the northwestern path.
“Well, to the right it is.”
I nodded to myself when a doubtful voice spoke up. It goes without saying that the voice belonged to Ariane. Her eyes stared at me in protest as her cheeks puffed out.
“Wait a minute, is that really a suitable way to pick our path? Are you sure you heard the directions to Lanbaltic correctly back in the capital?”
“I’m sure I heard everything correctly, but I wasn’t told anything about a fork in the road.”
Ariane held her temple as she loudly sighed.
“Don’t you know a more suitable method to decide our path?”
“No, I’m entrusting my fate to the heavens!”
“Hey don’t just entrust my fate to anyone without my permission……”
She bent down to pick up the fallen branch as she protested before she closed her eyes and prepared to speak a prayer.
“Let us ask the spirits to decide on our way…”
After saying a prayer she let the branch fall out of her hands until a hit the ground with a dull sound. The branch was pointing in the same direction it did previously.
“Hum, so it was the right path after all.”
Ariane seemed dissatisfied with the results but she put her faith in the spirits. She silently placed her hand on my shoulder.
“Well, we can always come back here if it turns out to be the wrong way.”
I started down the right path a little happier that before. I continued to invoke 【Dimensional Step】 down the not-quite highway in the early morning.
As we advanced I began to notice that the landscape gradually started to change.
The green plains up till now gave way to reddish rocks as the air became dry, and clouds of dust started to be kicked up by the wind.
The forest was soon replaced with a mountain range as a desolate stretch of land opening up on my left side. Vegetation has become sparse and it was getting harder to keep track of the road as it began to mix into the surroundings. I started to look for a village as I began to feel that we’ve gone the wrong way.
My sight was blocked by a sudden gust of wind picking up another cloud of dust.
Ponta tightened her grip on my helmet and let out a cry 「Kyun!」 Ariane’s and my cloaks were noisily blown around by the gust of wind.
When the wind subdued, I tried to look for the next place to transfer to, but I stopped when I noticed Ariane and Ponta simultaneously reacting to something.
When I called out to Ariane, she placed her index finger over her lips as her golden eyes scanned the area. I became restless when I felt Ponta move from atop my head to the back of my neck.
I shut my mouth and began to search the area. I glanced over the mountains and the reddish barren land, but I didn’t come across anything to be cautious of.
I thought so until I heard some kind of flapping being carried on the wind.
When I looked in the direction it was coming from, I saw dozens of shadows leaping into the air. Though it was hard to get a clear look from here, I could tell that the shadows were the size of very large birds.
Ariane glared at the sky and scowled as she saw the shadows leaping into the sky. There were around twenty of the so-called Wyverns in the sky and they were heading right towards us.
Ponta lowered her head and quickly wrapped herself around my neck as if she was a scarf.
As they approached I started to get a clear view of them. Although their reptilian bodies were rather small, they had four-meter long wingspans. They also had long necks and bird-like heads. Their skin had the color of yellow ocher with a striped pattern. Their three-meter long tails were used like a rudder to change direction as they flow.
In order words, they were completely different from the Wyverns in the game.
“These Wyverns are different from those I’m used to, I never seem them before…… So Wyverns are active during the day and they fly in flocks……”
Ariane turned her head and groaned.
It seems she knew about these strange Wyverns, and now that I thought about it, it’s not all that weird for animals to have different appearances based on the habitat they lived in. It’s highly likely that these were a sub-species of Wyvern.
There is something I needed to know first……
“Are these Wyverns strong?”
I looked up at the sky as I asked Ariane that question.
The Wyverns in the game weren’t considered all that strong. They were around level 100 and lacked any special attacks.
“Alone, they’re nothing much, but when in large groups likes this one…… Arc, it’s better if we avoid the hassle and just escape with transfer magic.”
Certainly, in a game you’d never be attacked by a horde of this size nor would you be targeted from this far beyond the reach of your sword. In the game, flying enemies like Wyverns only floated a meter above the ground and could be reached even with a short sword.
However, considering the future, I think now is the perfect time to test the extent of my power. I’ve held out on using some of the flashier skills because they would attract unwanted attention and inconvenience me in a number of ways. But the only ones here were Ariane, Ponta and the flock of Wyverns. It should be alright to be a little flashy here.
“There are a few things I want to try. Ariane-dono, please stay back for a bit.”
I took a step forward as I said that and glared at the approaching Wyverns. Ariane started to say something but immediately closed her mouth.
I let go of my luggage sack and prepared for battle.
I used a basic magic spell for a preliminary test. I began firing fist-sized rock projectiles from the palms of my hands straight into the flock of Wyverns. However the Wyverns, still dozens of meters in the sky, were able to avoid the rocks flying at them easily.
I repeatedly fired the same spell into the sky, but I didn’t even graze a single Wyvern. A spell that flew in a straight line was easily evaded by the agile flying Wyverns.
The Wyverns were now flying directly overhead and circled us like vultures waiting for their chance to strike. The only reason they haven’t attacked yet was because they were cautious of my constant magic bombardment.
“Well then, can you dodge this? 【Lightning Storm】!!”
The atmospheric pressure above the Wyverns rapidly shifted. In the next moment, the air trembled as a deafening roar tore through the area. Blinding flashes of light filled the area as lightning rained down on the Wyverns.
Though it was only a ranged lightning attribute magic of the intermediate wizard class, it was still impressive to see. It was truly a large and flashy magic spell.
When the lightning crossed with the flying Wyverns a few of them started to fall from the sky. However, a little over half of them hadn’t been hit.
“Hum, the accuracy isn’t all that high……”
The hit ratio of the flashy lightning magic wasn’t that high despite the resulting fanfare. As a comparison. if a modern weapon has an accuracy of less than 50%, it is considered defective.
The spell seemed to run on a one-shot system, only offering one or two shots before having to reload slowly. This is a little troubling as the magic indiscriminately attacked anything within a certain range.
However, the Wyverns were frightened by the sudden lightning strikes and scattered.
As I gazed up at the empty sky, Ariane screamed in protest.
“Hey, if you have such powerful magic say so! You scared me half to death!”
When I looked back at Ariane, I saw she was covering her ears and there were tears in the corner of her eyes. I suppose that anyone would be surprised by a sudden and flashy lightning show. Though I didn’t expect it to be so loud, I obediently apologized.
Ponta, who was originally wrapped around my neck, was now licking her forepaws to pat down her fur. Did the spell charge it statically?
“……With such powerful magic, you could do just about anything.”
Ariane sighed half in amazement and half in exhaustion as she looked around. Several of the Wyverns I struck down were all around us.
“I can’t do everything, I just do what I do.”
I spoke a certain phrase I’d heard somewhere else as I approached one of the Wyverns. It was relatively clean, with only a few scorch marks from the lightning strikes.
“Is there any value in these Wyverns?”
I asked Ariane that as I rolled the Wyvern over.
“Yes, the skin can be used to make training armor. The meat is no good, but the magic stone should be usable.”
I understood what she was talking about immediately. In the latter half of the game, Wyvern materials were used in a similar manner.
“Now that you mention it, what kind of leather is your armor made of, Ariane-dono?”
If Wyvern leather was made for trainees, it’s obvious that her equipment would be better than that. I asked her about it out of curiosity.
“It’s a Grand Dragon Leather Armor.”
“Oh, that’s some high-quality material!”
I responded in surprise to her answer. I don’t know if Grand Dragons are the same as the ones in the game, but their high-quality material drops remain the same.
“It’s still nothing compared to your armor.”
Ariane shrugged her shoulders and sighed yet again.
I grabbed a dagger from my luggage sack and inspected the Wyvern on the ground while we chatted.
“Ariane-dono, where is the magic stone located?”
“It should be in the same location as the Wyverns you’re familiar with.”
She pointed her finger a little below the center of the chest. When I cut into the section she pointed at I found a small, purple magic stone.
I cut out the eight remaining stone from the other ones I shot down and placed them in my sack.
“What should we do with the rest of it?”
“Even if we leave them here, won’t the people who want them take them?”
When I pondered on what to do about the Wyverns, Ariane responded to me in a low tone.
Certainly, if the materials could be turned into armor, even if it was just training armor, people would take the Wyverns if they’re just left on the side of the road. Maybe more than one person will want the material.
“You’re right. Let’s get a move on……”
I put my luggage sack over my shoulder as I spoke to Ariane and after a little bit, we continued our trek down the highway with 【Dimensional Step】.