“What was that? He seemed to be in a strangely good mood?”
“That’s what I also thought. Well, there will always be something things we can’t understand. Don’t worry about it. Rather that, the toads seem to be behavior strangely. We shouldn’t be careless.”
While remaining vigilant of their surroundings which had become even rowdier, the two of them continued walking along the lakeshore.
The toads croaked more loudly, the sounds of their hopping growing more intense.
“I have a bad feeling about this. We should move away from the lake for now.”
The moment Ashley uttered those words with a hard expression on her face, several toads suddenly leaped at them at once.
The two of them had to devote all their efforts towards evading the flying toads and didn’t have any leisure to mount a counterattack. They swept their gazes around, looking for an escape route. However, in addition to the ones already heading towards them, there were dozens of more toads unreasonably leaping in their direction. The two humans who were surrounded on all sides could no longer move.
The croaking toads completely ignored these two as they hopped around, some colliding into trees and others colliding into their own fellow toads.
Although their behavior was evidently irregular, there was no indication that they were going to attack. Instead, the panicking toads appeared to be scared of something.
Ray felt a sense of danger rising in up in him as he grasped the situation. However, he had no idea what to do about it.
“We’ve been surrounded! What should we do Ashley?!”
“Calm down! They don’t seem to have any intention of attacking us. I think that they’re running away from something, but . . . o-oh my god!”
As she raised a voice of shock, Ray turned to see what she was looking at. A giant snake with several heads, the so-called Hydra, was raising its arched heads.
Once the Hydra’s five heads were brought up above the ground to a height of roughly three mertos, it fixed its red oblong pupils at them.
“A Hydra . . . Ray, we need to get out of here! That’s a third rank monster, it’s impossible for just the two of us to bring it down! Let’s pull back!”
“How are we supposed to do that! Our surroundings are completely flooded with toads! The moment we try to escape, we’ll be done in by their poison once we’re swallowed into their swarm!”
The giant toads around them were panicking as they run about, trying to escape the Hydra.
It was as Ray said, if they wanted to escape, they had no choice but to push through the crowd of toads. However, in their panicked state, the toads were constantly releasing paralysis poison. One wrong move and the poison would touch them.
Even worse, the Hydra seemed to have changed its target from the toads to the two humans before it. Its five pairs of red eyes dangerously glinted as it rapidly drew towards them. In spite of its large size, the Hydra nimbly creeped and crawled across the earth at a speed comparable to the two humans who were sprinting with all their strength.
“I’m going to try to pin it down! Support me with your magic!”
Feeling agitated, Ashley shouted those words to him as she raised her sword up and rushed forward.
“One minute, I need you to stall it for only one minute!”
Although Ray felt hesitant about letting Ashley fight at the forefront by herself, he knew that he had no choice but to use his most powerful magic, “Thunderbolt”, if he wanted them to survive. While gathering light spirits into his left hand, he slowly retreated towards the back.
Ashley also felt that they needed Ray’s magic to get out of this situation.
In order to buy him the time he needed, she closed the distance with the giant five headed snake and moved nimbly left and right, trying to gather its attention on her. Each of the Hydra’s five heads moved independently as they headed towards her, launching their respective attacks one after the other.
Even as she evaded the middle head which attacked her by swinging down from above, the right head immediately came, opening its mouth wide as if to swallow her whole. As the head on the left end creeped on the ground and attempted to bite down on her leg, the right-most head attacked in the same way. Against the onslaught of their splendidly cooperated attacks, Ashley didn’t have any chance to use her sword, only able to focus all her attention on evading.
Although she somehow managed to continuously evade several dozens of more attacks, her breath was becoming haggard from the constant movement and her actions were beginning to lose their responsiveness.
“Are you still not done yet!? I’m already at my limit here!”
As she struggled to contain her impatience, Ashley’s shout resounded throughout the forest. As if on cue, Ray responded,
“I’m almost there . . . alright! Jump aside to the right!”
Obeying his instruction, Ashley jumped with all her might towards the right. Immediately, the sound of air ripping apart boomed as lightning passed through right next to her. The thunderbolt beautifully hit the the base of the Hydra’s center neck. Once the sound had completely faded away, the neck that was so thick you could barely wrap both arms around was now mostly torn apart.
“We did it!” Ray shouted, in a brief moment of joy. However, the Hydra’s neck was beginning to regenerate at a rapid pace right before their eyes.
It was as if they were watching a videotape that was being rewinded. After merely a few dozen seconds, the Hydra was perfectly restored to its original state.
“Such a thing . . . Ashley! What’s the weak point of a Hydra!? There has to be a weakness somewhere!”
“I don’t know! At any rate, it shouldn’t be able to regenerate itself forever. The only thing we can do now is to continue attacking it while looking for an opportunity to escape!”
Upon hearing her words, hopelessness spread out within Ray.
We wouldn’t be able to move again if we receive even a single one of its attacks . . . and yet, it can regenerate so easily like that . . . even if we manage to run away, that thing is definitely going to catch up to us with that kind of speed . . . however, we can’t just give up without doing anything. We need to do everything we can while it’s still possible . . .
Unable to come up with a way out of the situation, the two of them continued to unceasingly pile up attacks on the Hydra. Even as he fought the Hydra, Ray’s mind was rushing to find a solution.
Restraining that thing with a “tree spell” . . . that’s impossible. That giant thing is going to rip apart a tree root in an instant . . . what would be a Hydra’s weak point? . . . since it’s a water type monster, I have a feeling that it should be weak against fire magic . . . however, this is also no good. I don’t have any fire magics that can burn this thing to death in one go . . . cutting down all of the heads before it’s able to regenerate might work, but how are we supposed to do that . . . to stop it from regenerating . . .
As he skillfully evaded the Hydra’s attack, Ray suddenly came upon an idea.
If its regeneration ability is related to water magic, then at the very least, wounds that are caused by fire should heal at a slower speed right? Since Ashley said that when I rescued her, my spear was covered in light, shouldn’t I also be able to wrap it in flames? . . . I need to try this.
With his spear held in his right hand as he continued to dodge the Hydra’s attacks, Ray began to gather fire spirits into his left hand.
After several seconds, fire had begun to materialize in the hand. Ray immediately gripped his spear with both hands while imagining the fire shifting to the spear. At that moment, the tip of his spear began radiating a red light.
“Yes, it worked! Ashley! I’m going to attack! So could you divert its attention for me!”
Although Ashley didn’t know what he was talking about for a moment, she immediately understood when she saw his spear.
When did he use magic on his spear . . . the red color probably means that fire element has been applied to it . . . something like this might just work . . .
In order to restrain the Hydra, Ashley piled up more attacks on it while making large taunting movements back and forth. Rather than dealing any actual damage, her slashes were as numerous as possible in order to make the Hydra direct its attacks towards herself.
Lured in by Ashley’s movements, the five heads all began to move in her direction at once.
Not letting that chance escape, Ray quietly circled around to the Hydra’s right side and forcefully struck out his spear at the rightmost head.
The spearhead that was covered in magical flames cut into the Hydra’s hard scales, not stopping until the its neck was half-way severed. The head collapsed helplessly onto the ground.
Enraged by that attack, the Hydra’s remaining four pairs of eyes glared a bright red, their eyes now turned on Ray. However, the neck which he had severed continued to lay on the ground, unmoving. No matter how much time passed, the rapid regeneration which they had witnessed just moment ago did not initiate.
“We can do this! You sure have a knack for magic! If we can put down two more heads then we’ll probably have a chance at escaping!”
Rejoiced that the fallen head did not regenerate, Ashley shouted those words in a loud voice even as she continued to restrain the Hydra with her attacks.
The Hydra was uncertain of who to attack, its heads swinging left and right as it looked between the relentlessly attacking Ashley and the one who had just dealt them a major blow, Ray.
“I’m going to do it one more time! Ashley, cover me!”
“Alright! However, don’t try to do anything unreasonable!”
Having now seen that there was actually a chance for success, vigor had returned to the two humans’ voices.