Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
VOLUME 2 CHAPTER 20: The Boy Meets His Nightmare
Aru and Marca were still looking embarrassed when they heard the loud sound of the school siren ringing.
「What, is that sound……?」
Marca mumbled to herself, while both Elvie and Mikoto, knowing that it was an alarm in Academy, stood up.
「Iori, take Aru and Marca and go to the old school building, now!」
「Huh, but why?」
Asked Iori when Elvie ordered him with a serious voice, while Mikoto already begun to distribute the luggage she prepared beforehand.
「This alarm confirms the appearance of monsters in the vicinity. It's the sign for evacuation.」
Marca and Iori looked astonished, for they didn't know about that.
「Why, I don't understand! The magic concentration is indeed high, but it shouldn't be high enough to give birth to monsters……」
Aru mumbles to himself, clearly upset about something.
Elvie wanted to stay calm, but honestly, it was hard to do so in a situation like this.
「We don't know where they appeared, but they must be close to the forest. We should evacuate while we still can.」
Signos Academy is pretty spacious and some of its parts are placed near the forest.
Of course, even though newly developed barriers were active, there was still a way for monsters or evil spirits to get inside.
Elvie's hand wandered over the holster in which his magical gun was located, while Mikoto took hold of her wand.
Seeing that, Marca rushed to her Brother's side.
「Onii-chan, are you going to fight?」
「No, you see, I'm with the combat department and all that. Although I think they will leave the actual fighting to older students and the teachers, while leaving us in reserve.」
Seeing Marca's anxious face, Elvie gives her a reassuring smile while also taking a sword in his free hand.
「It's okay. He might not look like it, but your Brother is quite strong, even though he's unable to use magic.」
Remembering the good old days, Marca nodded her head even though she looked as if she was about to cry.
Seeing her nodding her teary-eyed face, Elvie nods at Mikoto and then casts a short glance at everyone's present.
「Let the spirits guard you, Onii-chan.」
「Relax, Little Sister. Elvie is quite strong, and I know my way around magic. WE won't go down so easily.」
「Okay, let's go.」
Aru nodded his head while looking tense, unaware of the fact that he's been holding onto his bracelet for quite a while now.
When they went outside, their surroundings were filled with restless atmosphere.
Perhaps it's because it was already after school, but there seemed to be no other students in the other classrooms.
While being aware of his surroundings, Elvie quickly went towards the main building, which was wrapped in an ominous silence.
It was strange considering just how lively it usually is.
Suddenly, they all noticed something at the sky over the nearby forest.
And before they could wrap their heads around what was going on, a chilling sensation brushed against their skins.
「The spirits are……」
Said Marca in a dumbfounded voice, sensing the spirits' unrest.
But Elvie was aware that it was not a good sign.
The atmosphere suddenly became uneasy and frightening.
「The spirits, are they afraid?」
Hearing Mikoto's startled voice, and knowing that she was able to sense the spirits, the atmosphere of fear and terror began to affect both Elvie and Marca as they began to hear voices.
"We must run!"
"It's dangerous here!"
"Something scary is coming!"
"It's going to eat us all!"
Elvie and Marca observed stoically as a group of senior students from both magic and combat departments equipped up to their teeth came out of the forest.
There may have been members of the unit that was formed to scout out the area around here.
One person raised his voice, drawing their attention.
「Guys! We need to get out of here! Quick -----」
It was at that moment. THAT appeared from inside of the forest.
No, it would be more correct to say that it materialized from thin air.
Covered in pitch-black tentacles and resembling some sea creature, the thing slowly crawled out of the forest into the open.
Its one eye moving rapidly, it sends its tentacles after the escaping spirits and grabs them firmly.
The tentacle takes the spirit to the monster's mouth and eats it whole in one go.
They could hear the spirit's voiceless scream even here.
Then the monster realized that Elvie and the rest of the Academy's students were here, so it turns towards them, and when it sees Elvie and Marca in particular, something similar to a huge opening cracks and spreads wide at the front of its body.
It looked as if, it was smiling.
Hearing Marca's scream, Elvie moves his head to see what startled her, and then his body just froze stiff.
His body remembers the feeling of fear and hopelessness it felt on that day.
He didn't forget, there was no way in hell that he would forget!
It was the demons that took Elvie's father from him.
While Elvie was still at a lost, things started to progress rapidly.
「Captain, ready for battle!」
They all stood still, only to see a group of upperclassmen appearing out of nowhere, encircling them in a well-trained formation, all ready for battle.
「You guys, get out of here! You're only going to be a bother!」
Yelled one of them at the group, a boy holding a sword, who was probably the leader.
However, the Spirit Eater was still on the move, as if nothing had happened.
The captain gave his orders, and two other students began to ready their spells.
It is a common knowledge that the best way to fight the demons is through magic. Those students knew that as well, but they could not help it but to look at their magician colleagues with envy as they made their preparations.
The Spirit Eater continued to move forward, seemingly disinterested with the newly arrived, but once it sensed their magic it stopped, and then turned right at the magic-casting students.
Seeing that, Elvie shouted.「No, don't! This thing can absorb ------!」
The two students finished casting their spells, and once they shouted the words in ancient language the atmosphere around the monster began to shift and change. In return, the Spirit Eater opened its big mouth.
When nothing at all happened, the students begun to look impatient, as they tried to build up their spells once more. Then, they became stunned as they made a discovery.
「We can't use our magic!?」
「Our spells just won't invoke!」
Hearing the distressed voices of his subordinates, their leader lost his cool for a moment.
Elvie thought it was to be expected.
After all, this thing keeps itself sustained through sucking the mana out of its surroundings.
So, neither of you lot will be able to use magic, just like his Father was unable to do so.
Chance was, there would be casualties this time as well.
As the Spirit Eater drew closer, it spawned lots of black tentacles out of its body, each with a small mouth with teeth at their tips.
Those of the students who were too slow to react to this rapid development ended up overwhelmed by the tentacles and devoured on the spot. Their remains fall onto the ground.
This, Elvie also remembered.
Those little mouth immobilize their victims once they bit onto them, sucking out their mana all at once and then devouring them whole.
Then they slowly take whatever remains back to the main body.
Back then, Elvie was bitten by the small mouths and let go of Marca's hand.
Then, she was also swarmed by a mass of black tentacles.
Wait, so then, why are Elvie and Marca still alive?
While Elvie sunk into thinking, he looked at the Spirit Eater again and suddenly understood what to do.
The tremors stopped.
「Elvie, what the hell are you doing, this thing is bad news, we need to run away!」
Elvie said his friend's name while not moving an inch, while Iori was becoming clearly irritated.
「Take Marca and Aru and get out of here, right now! Then find a teacher and tell them what's going on here no matter what it takes.」
「I know that much! But what are you going to do!? Even the combined combat and magical division couldn't take this thing down!」
「That thing must be aiming for Marca!」
In response to Elvi's words, the Spirit Eater's tentacles attacked in unison.
In that moment, Mikoto jumps forward, with her wand pulsating with magical power.
「Purify, and protect!」
Mikoto says with a high-pitched voice, raising her hands forward. There, in that moment, an invisible wall was erected between the monster and them.
As soon as the tentacles hit the invisible wall, they melt with an unpleasant hissing.
For the first time, the Spirit Eater looks to be irritated.
However, beads of sweat come down Mikoto's forehead as she looks to be in a lot of pain.
「My magic, won't last for, much longer.」
Marca shakes with tears welling up in her eyes, while Elvie takes out his sword and his gun. He casts a quick glance at Marca and smiles.
「Onii-chan, I'm not going anywhere!」
「Shit, we're going! And we're going right now! Aru! Marcchan!」
Iori runs away, holding the struggling Marca in his hands and taking Aru's hand.
At the same time, the barrier created by Mikoto breaks down and the tentacles try to eat them instantly.
They cut them down with sword and wand to avoid getting eaten alive.
The Spirit Eater was aware of the fact that its prey was trying to get away, and send a flood of tentacles to intercept them.
「Like I would ever let you to do that.」
He raised the gun with a loud click.
In that moment, magical power was released from his palms.
By doing that, Elvie felt as though he blacked out for just a split of a second. On the contrary, he was able to fire the magic-infused bullet.
The magic gun created by Elvie and Mikoto run solely on magic stored inside of the bullets that it was firing.
In other words, it needed no magic from the atmosphere to work.
Therefore, once the bullet is released, it goes straight towards its target, even if the surroundings are turned into temporary magical vacuum. The bullet would simply turn into pure shockwave in that situation.
Like that, Elvie blew out the tentacles that were chasing after Iori.
The crawling Spirit Eater made an unpleasant noise.
For the first time, it looked Elvie in the eye.
He broke into a cold sweat, as it dripped down his neck.
Before he realized it, he was speaking to Mikoto in a shaky voice.
「The main body moves slowly, but he covers that with those small tentacles. Once they bite you, it's all over.」
「Do you think these people… Are they….?」
Elvie nodded his head, after casting a quick glance at the students who fell onto the ground.
「It's over once it puts you into its mouth. There was nothing left out of my Father.」
「Mikoto, think we can win this?」
「It's still young, but this power…… There are limits you just can't surpass.」
「Figured as much.」
From what Elvie saw in the archives of Hunters Guild, the Spirit Eater was a Rank 1 monster. This means that Hunters of the highest class would be deployed to dispose of it.
Mikoto's expression stiffens as well, so much that even her tail stood straight.
They couldn't afford to just look from the sides anymore.
Even so, they didn't lose their fighting spirit.
「But, let us live through this.」
「I cannot use, my greatest spell. El, your gun is, our trump card.」
Mikoto shakes her wand, and magic runs through it.
Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Elvie was getting himself ready to rush at the Spirit Eater. However,
He saw something unbelievable.
It was Aru, who should have already evacuated by now. He was running towards them, his fair hair swaying in the wind.
「What are you doing!!」
Elvie yelled with anger while trying to rush to Aru's side.
The monsters crawling towards Aru stopped.
It looked like they were searching for something.
Then, after the main body moves around for a bit in a jerky motion, it spots something and its mouth warps in a parody of a grin.
「I knew it, their target is Aru!」
Hearing Mikoto's ragged breath somewhere behind him, Elvie saw the black tentacles rushing towards Aru all at once.
Elvie took out his gun, but the distance was simply too great.
Elvie aimed his gun, but they were too far away from him to aim effectively.
It wasn't a thing that a mere ten-year-old could possibly hope to escape from.
Shouting was the only thing he could do.
Then, for a mere moment, he could see it.
He couldn't be certain, but Aru's expression became sad and perplexed, completely different from his usual bright and cheerful self.
And then Aru put one hand on the bracelet he was always wearing and removes it.
Then he tuned his hand towards the mass of black tentacles and said:
Just as he said, there was nothing to worry about.
In this space which was supposed to be devoid of magic, the ancient words transformed into reality, summoning the storm of raging flames that burned the monsters to cinders.
It only lasted for a moment.
While Elvie was standing in awe, Aru walked over to him.
「Sorry for hiding it up until now.」
Aru brushed his hair, showing them red bunches that were mixed in between the rest of his hair.
「But, you were always the ones who protected me. So this time……」
Aru smiled with a single tear flowing down his cheek, and then he was enveloped in a bright, golden light.
When the bright light finally subsided, a completely different creature was standing in front of them.
A body covered in scales.
Strong-looking neck and tail, along with a long and thin head.
Mouth filled with rows of sharp fangs.
Colored red, this figure was a dragon, without a shred of doubt.
Seeing this image shook Elvie to his very core, while some sort of distant memory awakened deep inside of him.
Shocked and overcome with a sudden headache, Elvie drops onto his knees, and the creature lowered its head down as if thinking about something, but soon enough the black tentacles began to crawl all over his body yet again.
Even though Elvie tried to call him, the little dragon covered in black tentacles did not look behind him, spreading its red wings and beginning to rise up.
The next thing that Elvie was able to see after all the dust and wind settled down, was the appearance of a dragon heading towards the forest, while drawing the attention of monsters towards himself.