Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
The landscape flew by at a such a rate that it was hard to tell how long we’d been following the two dragon mounts in front of us.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have something like a watch on me, but no more than thirty minutes had probably passed. Despite moving at such a high speed, there was still a gap between us and the other dragon mount.
Before long, some sort of village appeared ahead of the two tiger tribesmen’s mount.
We were still a good distance away, but everything seemed fine until the ground started to rumble as if the Mongol hoard was closing in.
Two silhouettes came over a small hill in the village’s vicinity. There were six tiger tribesmen, hailed for their fighting prowess, holding those creatures back.
“Are those the giants……?”
Ariane peaked her head up to at my question and took a look in front of us.
Despite the noise the charging dragon mount generated, I could still hear her breathing.
Ponta barked in the giants’ general direction before she hurriedly coiled herself around my neck.
The giants the tiger tribesmen were fighting were slightly different from what I imagined.
First of all, they didn’t have any heads. Apart from the lack of a head, they did resemble humans like one would expect them to.
No, though I haven’t seen the animal in this world, a more accurate description would be a headless gorilla.
They stood six meters tall and their bodies were covered in black fur. Their thick, long arms held stone axes and they managed to carve out swaths of land with each swing.
In lieu of a head, these giants had a weird face sticking out of their chest.
They had no noses and their eyes were completely dilated. Their huge mouths were filled with yellow teeth and overall, they reminded me of a monster from a sci-fi show.
“They look like Ewaipanomas……”
Contrary to my careless remark, the battle between the tiger tribesmen and the black giants was a violent struggle.
It wasn’t possible for the tiger tribe to walk away from of this battle unscathed.
When a giant grappled one of tribesmen, their life was squeezed out of them. With that much damage, even using resurrection magic would be a wasted effort.
Besides, on the outskirts of the battlefield, I could see those who were too injured to move.
When they caught sight of their allies’ plight, the two riders in front of us increased their speed and charged at the giants.
As they approached the giants at breakneck speeds, a threatening wail rose from their mouths.
The two riders were in a headlong charge, and one of the giants’ delayed reactions left the side of its leg exposed. Two sets of dragon mount horns simultaneously collided with said leg.
However, I heard a dull thwack and saw that the dragon mount’s horns had broken off, the collision sending it flying.
The horns of a dragon mount didn’t give me the impression of fragile objects.
In other words, the defensive strength of these black giants was considerably high.
“……! This is going to be a troublesome opponent.”
Chiome leaned forward in the saddle as she commented on the state of the battle.
Charging headlong would be an ineffective strategy. Though it would be helpful if we could topple these creatures, they didn’t even budge from the previous impact.
“Large-scale magic will be disadvantageous in this situation, we should stop their movement first.”
I pulled on our dragon mount’s reins to bring us to a s
top before drawing the 『Sword of Holy Thunder』 and 『Teutates’ Holy Shield』, and leaping out of the saddle.
With sword and shield in hand, I ran at the black giants.
Ariane and Chiome readied their weapons and followed after me.
“First off! 【Shield of Holy Light】!”
With a shout, I invoked one of my Holy Knight skills.
Light spread from the center of my shield and covered my entire body.
I’ve never used defensive skills in this world before, but it was a bit of insurance even if I didn’t know how effective it would be.
I passed the fallen tiger tribesmen while being wrapped in light and impeded the advance of the black giants.
“Now for the warm up! 【Holy Light Sword Slash】!”
I raised the 『Sword of Holy Thunder』 towards the heavens before unleashing another skill with a heavy slash.
A dazzling light flew from the blade’s edge and cleaved through the ground like a razor as it flew towards one of the giant’s legs.
A sonic boom accompanied the impact as fresh blood sprayed into the air.
An almost human scream was spat from the giant’s gaping chest mouth…… despite the scream itself being loud enough to shake the hill we stood on.
While the blood splash was a sign of damage being inflicted, there was only a slight wound on the giant’s black, hairy leg.
That’s not to say that the attack did nothing.
The giant rushed to protects its now injured leg.
The eyes of the fighting tiger tribesmen looked in my direction for a moment with sheer amazement in their expressions. It was only natural to be surprised by a silver knight suddenly entering the battle.
“I’m here to offer my support!!”。
I spoke in a booming voice so everyone could hear me before cutting into the giant’s leg directly. There was a good response as the sound of cracking bone rang out and more blood sprayed.
My sword was able to cut halfway into the giant’s leg. However, the amount of power I put into that swing wasn’t enough to put the beast down.
The giant’s chest face distorted in agony as it raised the leg I’d just cut into in a last ditch effort to protect itself.
One of the tiger tribesmen took the opportunity to slam his large club down on the toes of the giant’s other foot.
Though I only caught the impact in the corner of my eye, I still groaned as the image of stubbing my toes came to mind.
After another roaring scream, the giant’s six-meter tall figure began to stagger.
Just a bit more was needed to topple the giant…… it was at that moment Chiome used the giant’s body as a stepping stone.
Two orbs of water were already forming in her hands.
『Water Style: Water Spear!!』。
The orbs in her hands stretched into the shape of two spears, which she proceeded to throw like arrows.
The spears entered the giant’s gaping mouth and launched themselves into its throat.
The giant was no longer capable of screaming as it fell to the ground with a thud, right in front of Ariane. The flames that ran the length of her sword’s blade and surrounded her snow-white hair were hot enough to distort the atmosphere.
『ーInfernal Flame, reduce all that you consume to ashesー』
In response to her chant, the flames that clung to her sword became even more intense.
After running up the giant’s abdomen Ariane raised her flaming sword and thrust it into one of the giant’s eyes.
For a moment, it bounced up like a broken spring as its arms and legs violently jerked about but the smell of burnt meat and smoke soon drifted from its mouth.
Seemed like we managed to kill one of them.
However, just as Ariane pulled her sword from the giant’s corpse, the stone ax of the other giant came down on her.
An earsplitting sonic boom rang out as I raised my shield and took a knee to fend off the blow.
When I looked beneath I saw Ariane looking up at me in disbelief.
“Are you alright, Ariane-dono?”
She gave me a slight nod after I asked about her safety.
I let out a relieved sigh before I glanced back at the black giant.
It’s large body had managed to weather that last collision. Despite using both hands to hold the shield and having a defensive skill active, my hands felt a little numb.
Remembering the sensation of the taking a hit from the giant’s stone ax, I quickly fell back.
The giant, seemingly disoriented, tried to retreat as well only for chiome to throw a water dagger at its face.
One of the tiger tribesmen warriors with a large club over his shoulder started shouting orders.
“You lot!! We are the hunters of these plains, we will not fall behind these outsiders!!”
He seemed to be the same one who had smashed the giant’s toe from before.
The men responded with a thunderous cry as their leader ran at the black giant and crushed its foot with his metallic club.
The giant let out a scream that the surrounding tiger tribesmen used as a signal to attack. They numbered around thirty people.
The warriors of the tiger tribe aimed at the giant’s legs like we had done, and attacking the creature’s vital points once they toppled it.
After a few minutes, two giant corpses laid on this small hillside.
While the tiger tribesmen raised a victory cry, the man that rallied warriors a while ago called out to me.
“Let me express my gratitude for the rescue back there. You’re from the east and an elf?”
Realizing where this was heading, I grabbed the canteen from my waist as Ariane stepped forward to greet the tiger tribes representative.
A simple shrug from me was all it took for her to understand what I was trying to do.
“I’m Ariane Glenys Maple. I’m from the Great Canada Forest on the Northern Continent. The one beside me likewise hails from the Northern Continent’s Blade Heart Clan……”
I drank the hot spring water through a straw while Ariane acted as our group’s representative. If I didn’t refill the water soon it would become troublesome in a number of ways.
I took off my helmet and stepped beside Ariane as I had that thought.
“…… This person is an elf like me.”
“My name is Arc Raratoia. I am the newest member of our village, please take care of me.”
Just as I finished my introduction, Ponta uncoiled herself and cried out.
“……and this is my travel companion Ponta.”
The tiger tribe’s representative nodded once our introductions were over before hoisting his club over his shoulder and introducing himself.
“I am the leader of Uiria clan, one of the six clans that live on these plains. My name is Ein Uiria. I would like nothing more than to provide you with a proper welcome, but we need to bring the injured back to the village. Please wait a bit while we prepare something suitable for your arrival.”
I replied to Ein with a nod and put my helmet on again. For the sake of smoother negotiations, I took him up on his offer. An act of charity will be a good investment here.
“Ein-dono. I know a few healing techniques and can help treat the injured if you like.”
Ein looked at me in surprise when he heard my statement.
“I’m sorry to ask, but you’re a witch doctor as well? I will return to the village at once and send two women here. Use them as you see fit.”
Ein quickly turned towards the village and headed off with a smile on his face. As we watched his back shrink in the distance Ariane looked up at me and asked me a question.
“Aren’t you being a bit hasty? I figured you’d at least charge them…”
“Hmhmhm, my purpose was to meet the tiger tribe. Plus, if I show them kindness now the negotiations for the devil nails will go smoother later.”
Ariane shrugged her shoulders and shook her head at my reply.
“You don’t seem attached to gold, but you’re so persistent in the pursuit of food.”
“Isn’t it better to search for delicious food like the elves do, rather than collecting gold coins?”
A complicated expression appeared on Ariane’s face when she heard my reply.
“I need to listen to your definition of ‘elves’ at least once……”
When I turned around to begin treating the injured while enjoying Ariane slight confusion, I heard her timidly calling out to me.
“……A-Arc, thank you for your help just now.”
Her cheeks were slightly flushed and she was unintentionally avoiding eye contact with me.
Just now… oh, she was probably talking about how I blocked the black giant’s attack with my shield.
I tried to look her in eye while I stroked my chin, but Ariane stubbornly refused to make eye contact. I unknowingly began to circle her as I tried to understand this new reaction.
When I felt a lukewarm glaze on my back, I turned to find Chiome staring at us without saying a word.
“…… Umm, I’ll proceed with the treatment then.”
Unable to withstand the pressure of her silent glare, I hastily left the situation.