I am so, so sorry this has been so late in coming.
I appreciate all you guys’ patience, and really, truly hope you enjoy the read. I’ll say a little more at the footnote.
Happy Readings 😀
As soon as Clive stepped into the room’s center, a light began shining in the eyes of the surrounding stone statues, and they began to move.
There were around twenty of them.
Though it was supposed to be a trap, we were already aware of it, and prepared for the anticipated attack.
Carefully, we formed ourselves into a circle at the room’s center.
“Clive, once they start moving, draw them in.”
“I know. But you’ll have to withstand their attack until I can, as taunt has a limited range.”
Several of the gargoyles were already moving.
But, they didn’t seem to be preparing to attack…
――Just then, the largest of them, the Hunter Gargoyle, began to move.
Its wings beat the air in a single powerful stroke, before it shot towards Grace.
Almost immediately a wave of pressure flooded the room, and nearly all twenty gargoyles, including the Hunter Gargoyle, changed their target to Clive.
He had managed to gather all their attention on himself.
Marking the Hunter Gargoyle with Light, I then made a second and third barrier around Clive with Magic Wall.
Clive moved to receive the marked Hunter Gargoyle’s attack with his shield, and counter with his blade, but the gargoyle’s strike never landed.
The second and third gargoyle’s attacks were stopped by Magic Wall, while the fourth’s attack was intercepted by Grace’s Wind Cutter. As the fifth gargoyle’s attack seemed about to strike Clive, a greenish hue of magical power suddenly filled the room, and all the gargoyles’ movements slowed by half.
Sylvia’s Slow debuff seemed to have taken effect.
I hadn’t been particularly hopeful about her teamwork, but maybe she was just as good at supporting others as attacking. Surprising.
Clive did take the attacks of the other gargoyles head on, but thanks to Sylvia’s debuff, the pacing of the fight was slowed enough to make predicting their movements easy.
I used Magicballto take down a gargoyle while casting Heal on Clive. With the attacks slowed, the healing brought him back up to full health.
Even so, Clive was taking all the attacks from some twenty gargoyles. While Slow was effective, the metallic clanging of armor being bashed at reverberated throughout the room.
Grace and Sylvia managed to bring down another gargoyle with Wind Cutter and Rockball, but their stone bodies made them very tough. With only two down, it seemed this was going to turn into a long fight.
“Can I use an AoE to blast them all?” Sylvia asked in a tone that said she was starting to get impatient.
“No.” Giving her only a curt reply, I cast Heal on Clive.
Grace’s wind-attribute magic seemed to be pretty effective, perhaps because the gargoyles were earth-attribute, but Sylvia’s Rockball was sometimes resisted.
To be honest, I wasn’t really worried if Clive was enveloped in an AoE attack. What did worry me, was that any gargoyles remaining would focus their next attack on Sylvia.
It seemed doubly so since her fire and earth attribute magic wasn’t particularly effective against the gargoyles. With around twenty of them to contend with, there was a high chance some would survive.
Exasperated, Sylvia had switched to her fire-attribute magic, and began attacking anew. While maintaining my focus on Clive’s HP, I managed to take down a few more with Magicball. Before long, there were only around ten or so gargoyles left.
But as their numbers dwindled, their targets began to change unpredictably.
Two of them headed towards Grace, who had most likely done the most damage to them. But since she hadn’t let her guard down during the fight, she was able to dodge one attack, and parried the second with her sword.
Right afterwards, fire-attribute magic from Sylvia hit them. As though they were fish caught on a line, three gargoyles streamed towards her. Almost at the same time, Clive let out another Taunt, but only one of them refocused their attack on him.
“Wait a min――!”
Sylvia reacted quickly, managing to launch two Fireballs at one of the oncoming gargoyles. The recipient gargoyle of the two Fireballs dropped, but the other one was still rushing at her.
Resignedly, I launched myself in between Sylvia and the gargoyle, managing to catch its attack with the gauntlet on my left arm. A jarring shock-wave ran up my arm from the impact.
Almost immediately, I responded the same way as I had during the battle with Rodney; I launched an extra-large Magicball at point blank range.
It was an attack buffed by the magical strengthening provided by the Sword of Sands.
The gargoyle was shattered at impact.
Looking back at Grace, I saw she was still engaged with two others. It seemed the gargoyles were too close for her to use magic. Casting Elder Heal on Clive to rapidly restore most of his HP, I gathered magical energy onto Grace’s longsword. I continued concentrating, until her longsword was sheathed in magical energy.
As Grace realized what was going on, she flowed into the offensive. The sounds of her attacks until then had been like glancing blows against rocks, but now they cut. Slicing off the arm of one of the gargoyles, Grace brought her sword around, cutting the leg off another. Losing their balance, the gargoyles crashed into the ground. Without giving them time to recover, Grace finished one off with magic, while I finished off the other.
“――Thanks.” Sylvia said, turning to me. From her expression, it was safe to say she was being serious.
“It’s not over yet. We need to back up Clive.”
Including the Hunter Gargoyle, Clive was still taking on about five gargoyles.
For this fight, it was thanks to Clive making himself the main target of attack that things had proceeded without any serious difficulty yet. As I continued to heal Clive, I realized anew how valuable a Tank was.
While we had managed to eliminate most of the group, it still took more than twenty minutes before all the gargoyles were destroyed. The reason why, was due to how “abnormally” intelligent the Hunter Gargoyle was.
According to Sylvia, a Hunter Gargoyle was supposedly a strong enemy, the kind that needed a full raiding party.
With Clive drawing the enemies’ focus on himself, and the effects of the enchantments, there was never any danger of anyone getting killed, but that massive amount of HP really wore us down.
That, and since I was able to see the Hunter Gargoyle’s HP, I had been able to tell how the fight was proceeding――without that, we might have quit half way through and used Return.
But what really rejuvenated us from our exhaustion was the reward.
The gargoyles dropped gold coins, which were their soultokens. That by itself would have been plenty, but the soultoken dropped by the Hunter Gargoyle and the gold littering the room were what brought Sylvia to near ecstasy.
“It’s too bad I can’t use it, but there’s no mistaking a magically enchanted weapon when I see one.”
The Hunter Gargoyle had dropped a bow. I stared at it, trying to identify it.
Name: Hunter’s Bow
Type: Magical Bow
Status: Attack +289
Skills: Earth Attribute +2, Sniping, Mental Fortitude +1, Extremely Effective against Animals
Requirements: Strength > 400
“—It’s a magical bow, called Hunter’s Bow.”
“A Hunter’s Bow…that will sell for at least 300k Seldge*, easy.”
TL: Sorry I keep modifying the spelling of the currency. But I think I’ve finally settled on Seldge.
It’s worth that much!?
I was honestly surprised at the price Sylvia mentioned. All that helping out around the church, day after day—
“I’m sure the same grade of sword would have sold for over 505 Seldge though.” Grace said in reply. The real problem now was that there was only one Hunter’s Bow—
“It doesn’t seem right to decide who gets it by a simple coin toss…It doesn’t look like any of us can equip it, so what if we sell it and split the money evenly between us?” I asked, looking towards Sylvia and Clive. They nodded their acceptance.
The four of us decided to Return for now. We were fairly tired, and wanted to convert our treasures into coin. What’s more, we needed to let the guild know about the locked door as well.
In the end, after we exchanged what we could for coin, each of us ended up with 150k Seldge. My life’s earnings had just multiplied by fifteen in a single day.
Sylvia wore a satisfied expression herself.
“I was a little worried about what would happen when the guard said he wouldn’t let us into the dungeon, but in the end things turned out great.” Sylvia said, shooting me a look.
I nodded, half-way ignoring her, and spoke to Clive.
“Clive, you’re the one who did the most today. Your taking all the enemies attention was what made our success possible.” At hearing the praise, Clive’s face broke into a wide grin.
“No, not me—I mean, all I did was hold aggro until the end of the fight. Kei, your enchantments, and Grace…you two really helped out immensely.” Clive was just honestly embarrassed at being praised. He might be a bear of a man, but he was diligent and likable.
“Is your left arm alright?” Grace asked me, her voice full of concern. While I had managed to stop that gargoyle’s attack with my gauntlet, it could have broken bones; and that would have taken time to heal. I didn’t feel any trouble from my left arm though. Still, there had been very noticeable damage done to the gauntlet.
“I really should have blocked it with an enchant. But I seem to have this desire to throw up my left arm without thinking…”
In truth, I was glad I had had the gauntlet. Without it, my left arm would not have made out so well.
“Kei, let me say I’m honestly grateful to you. —Thank you for watching out for me.” Sylvia said, breaking into my conversation with Grace to express her thanks. Her hotheaded nature made these rare moments of earnestness completely overwhelming. Even if she didn’t do anything to emphasize it, she really was beautiful.
“Don’t worry about it. From here on, I’m sure there will be times you save my neck too. —Of course, that is only if you are still up to forming a party tomorrow as well.” When she heard that, Sylvia’s expression brightened.
“So, Clive and I managed to keep our positions then?” At hearing that, I shifted my gaze to meet Grace’s. She was smiling gently.
“Yeah, of course. —I mean, as long as you are satisfied with how we did, too.” Sylvia’s response came almost before I finished speaking.
“Very satisfied! —So, let’s work together again tomorrow!”
Grace and I could only smile warmly.
Well, if you’re reading this…thanks for reading! It makes it worthwhile to know people out there care. Also, if anyone wants an update on my absense…I will try to summarize.
1) 1 year old boy
2) master’s thesis (tethered satellite deployment mechanism)
3) English teaching part-time
4) The occasional anime episode and a beer with friends
I can’t say when the next update will be, but I’ve done about 1/4 of the next chapter already, and would love to find a way to set aside at least 30 minutes a day to translate…Honestly, some people screaming at me on Discord once in a while helps keep the motivation up, strange enough as it sounds, lol.
But, to be serious, if there are any other translators out there that are more willing to pick this up and do faster updates, I’d be willing to consider parting with it. I do feel bad at how far and few between the updates have been. Anyway, I’m scared of the comments to come, but let them fly. And again, thanks for still reading.