Chapter 3 – Praying Mantis
We have arrived at the entrance of Elven Village at last. Geographically, it’s somewhere in the southwest of Sodogora Village.
There was nothing but tall trees towering the surrounding area at glance. However, unless we use the predetermined route, it seems the space magic developed between the trees will lead us further from the Elven Village. It’s quite elaborate technique.
“It’s no use even if you try to remember the route to our village. The area around here is designed so that no one but the elves will get lost.” (Captain)
Does this mean the placement of space magic is changed regularly? Then again, I can easily find out their placement with my Demonic Eyes. The elves seem to have a high pride, so I will keep it secret from them.
“I see. I won’t try to remember it, then.” (Fell)
It’s not a lie because there’s no need for me to remember it in the first place. Having Demonic Eyes is really convenient.
Passing through the entrance, we continued walking for a while. I was told to wait, so I observed my surrounding to kill time.
I don’t know much about the construction technique, but it seems the elves use hollowed trees as their homes. Leaves and vines are used to supplement them. The houses don’t look sturdy, but since they’re code with magic, they likely have a certain level of sturdiness.
I don’t see the other elves in the village except those who came with me. However, there are several shadows peeking from the windows of the surrounding houses.
When I was looking around restlessly, Mittor spoke to me from the side.
“The atmosphere of this village is still dull as ever. You think so too, right?” (Mittor)
“I have no comments since this is my first time coming here. Setting that aside, you make it sounds like this is your first homecoming after a long time.” (Fell)
“Yeah, I actually live outside the forest after all. I was called back only to take you here.” (Mittor)
I heard that the elves rarely come out of the forest, but is he different? He is not a shut-in like the other elves, which is his good point. Unfortunately, his personality is really disappointing.
Then, after waiting for a while, the other elves returned with some huge bugs in tow.
Beetles? Their bodies look solid even from a distance. There are loading platforms connected to the beetles, are we perhaps going to ride them?
“From here, we will ride these guys.” (Captain)
I wonder if it’s similar to how the humans use horses as a means of transportation. I’m looking forward to riding them for the first time.
Too slow! It’s even slower than the normal walking speed. It doesn’t shake too much, that’s the only part I can appreciate.
“It’s so slow.” (Fell)
“Yeah, this is that kind of vehicle after all. These guys are docile but quite strong. It’s convenient because the weak monsters tend to avoid them.” (Mittor)
“There are monsters?” (Fell)
“The elders live in the deepest part of Elven Forest. There are quite a lot of monsters around there. It’s mainly treants, though.” (Mittor)
The beetles feed on sap. Perhaps the treants avoid them out of fear being sucked dry. Treants are tree monsters, but do they have sap in the first place?
You can also find treants in the demon world. Especially, cedar treant and cypress treant are pretty popular. No, perhaps popular is not the right word. I mean, the are those who hunt them as though they are their parents’ killer. I don’t get it.
In any case, why are the elders living in a place with a lot of monsters? Maybe they’re the type of people who enjoy living side by side with danger.
The demon world is a dangerous place, but we live there because we have no other choices. I want to improve the living environment of demon world even just a little. First, I have to solve the food shortage.
When I was relaxing on the beetle’s loading platform, I noticed something approaching us with a tremendous speed. Just in case, I activated my search magic.
I don’t think that’s an elf. In addition, I can feel a strong killing intent from it.
“Hey, something is approaching. Do you know something?” (Fell)
“Hmm…? Oh, shit!” (Mittor)
Immediately, Mittor unsheathed his sword.
What’s the matter?
“Captain! Over there, a praying mantis!” (Mittor)
“Battle formation!” (Captain)
The elves were unsheathing out their swords or readying their bows with a swift movement. They seemed to be accustomed to the battle.
“Cast a magic barrier! You’re allowed to use magic arrows! Intercept!” (Captain)
Not long after the command was given, a magic barrier covered the entire unit, not just an individual.
Their coordination is pretty smooth. However, why am I outside the barrier? Not that I need it.
“You’re in the way! Get into the barrier, quickly!” (Captain)
Is this my fault? You should have included me from the beginning. Oh, whatever.
I walked towards the barrier while holding back my dissatisfaction.
Hmm!? I can enter the barrier normally. I was planning to punch my way through if the barrier repels me.
“Incoming attack!” (Captain)
Huge! If I remember it correctly, it’s a monster called Giant Mantis.
The mantis slipped through the trees dexterously. Or to be more precise, it used the surrounding trees as scaffolding.
The mantis was moving at incredible speed despite its giant body. Then, a few moments later, I heard a high pitched sound, like metallic objects hitting each other. Though the barrier managed to withstand the attack, it would likely break after receiving two or three more attacks from the mantis.
The impact of hitting the barrier caused the mantis momentarily stopped on the air. Not wasting this chance, the elves with bow fired their arrows.
The arrows which had been strengthened by wind magic caused a little blast when they hit the target. Finding them annoying, the mantis climbed a tree as it escaped from the barrage of arrows.
From the top of tree, the mantis was getting ready to launch another attack.
“Match the next attack with mine! Mittor, go stop it!” (Captain)
“Got it!” (Mittor)
Is Mittor actually strong by any chance? I’m looking forward to seeing how he fights.
Mittor came out of the barrier alone.
No, is he a decoy?
Not long after that, the mantis jumped from the top of tree, swinging its sickle towards Mittor. He stepped aside just before the sickle reach him. Taking advantage of the opening, Mittor thrust his slender sword towards the mantis’ body five times in quick succession.
It’s not working…. No, maybe his attack is just some kind of diversion.
“You got ten seconds!” (Mittor)
“Now, attack using Wind Slash!” (Captain)
On the captain’s command, several elves fired Wind Slash simultaneously.
Wind Slash is a magic to cut the target using the blade of wind. The firepower increased by firing the same magic at the same time, but at that speed, I think the mantis will easily dodge it.
However, different from my expectation, the blade of wind chopped the mantis’ body into small pieces.
Gross! There’s nothing resembles a praying mantis anymore.
Putting that aside, it was strange. The mantis should have dodged such attacks easily. But why did it hit?
“Stay alert!” (Captain)
There are no monsters nearby but he seems to be still on guard. The captain is a pretty cautious person.
“Cancel the battle formation! Is there anyone injured?” (Captain)
One of the elf reported to the captain that there was no injured.
Like Nost, maybe the captain has a commanding skill of some sort. He is pretty skilled at giving commands after all. In addition, the other elves also seem to be trained in group battle.
“How was that? That was cool, right?” (Mittor)
“I saw your attack. If you ask whether it was cool or not, I can only answer it was normal.” (Fell)
“You just don’t get it! The mantis was defeated because of me!” (Mittor)
It’s fine even if I don’t get it. Still, the reason why the mantis couldn’t dodge the last attack, was it really because of him? Maybe his sword has some kind of hidden ability. Okay, it’s my Demonic Eyes’ turn.
It’s a kind of sword called rapier. The effect only lasts for a few seconds, but his rapier has the ability to slow down the target.
“I see. Your sword slowed down the mantis’ movements. That’s a good sword. I should be careful not to be hit by it when facing the elves. I don’t want to end up like the mantis, after all.” (Fell)
The Wind Slash won’t hurt me, but it will tear my clothes. I want to avoid such a situation since I’m a maiden and all.
Mittor was looking at me with a dumb expression on his face for some reason.
“What’s wrong?” (Fell)
“No, it’s nothing. I just thought that Fell was cool.” (Mittor)
I know it. You will get nothing from flattering me, though.