In Another World With Just Monika Chapter 76
In a flash I was by Elze's side. "Elze! How do you feel? Do you taste blood in your mouth?" I didn't say anything as dumb like 'Are you all right?' because patients are dumb like that about trying to get out of their own injuries and that's what [Diagnosis] was for.
"S-shut up, you!" she gasped, case in point. "I'm t-tougher than that..!" she said, even as she failed to straighten out her spine. "Don't don't worry about it."
"No, you shut up! Armor weave can stop stabs and slashes, but blunt trauma gets past all that and get all these squishy organs bruised and bleeding. Of course I'm going to worry!" I put my hands over her stomach and felt at her soft tissues. She flinched at the touch. Yep, some serious bruising in there. Livers and kidneys and pancreas were considered solid organs and could burst. The abdominal cavity could fill up from internal bleeding.
While I cast [Cure Heal], Elze coughed and pointed behind me. "Shouldn't we do something about that instead?"
The Night Baron was getting back to its feet, with my Zanzibar sword-spear stuck firmly in its chest. It would have been faintly impressive to penetrate solid armor with the point, but such an attack was also particularly useless. Pity. It was quite nice custom spellwork to fling my sword like some sort of magic railgun and not shatter on impact.
[Lightning] was just conveniently within [Wind] magic affinity after all. Wind magic is best magic. Fite me bro.
"Nah, don't worry about it."
"Strike true, Light! Sparkling Holy Lance: [Shining Javelin]!"
Linze's energy javelin that shone with the warmth of sunlight smashed into the Night Baron from behind, punching straight through the armor and out the other side. The undead wobbled in place and dark purple smoke began to wisp out of the ragged wound. It roared in pain and rage.
"Oh come on!" I roar out. "Undead are supposed to be weak to Light magic!"
/"Well this did do a lot more damage than anything we've done so far. It's just not enough."/
This was probably the reason why it was a Green rank mission. It was easy enough to escape from the Night Baron, it wouldn't chase you. But it was also annoyingly persistent and would give brash young adventurers a good dose of humility.
The Night Baron growled and raised its greatsword. Yae interposed herself between us still there on the ground and the enemy, ready to block that massive blade with her much thinner katana.
While still bent over Elze, I licked my lips and murmured, "Yae. Close your eyes, please."
Yae blinked. That would be the stupidest possible thing, when facing an enemy that didn't have a head or a brain and yet still the pinnacle of the warrior arts and capable of low cunning. This was a poor time to be practicing one's blind fighting skill!
So she closed her eyes. She threw her awareness out just in case, but she refused to move. Hers was a sword meant to protect. A swordswoman must be strong and also strong enough to trust others.
And then she felt only heat.
"Storm. Wrath. [LIGHTNING.]"
Thoom. And then there was only light. The rolling thunder comes from how the bolt of lightning breaks apart the air too quickly, but this was no mere flash. Lightning struck the ground like a hammer and stayed there, sparking and writhing like a chained dragon. The air screamed with unrelenting fury.
Thunderbolt and lightning! Very very frightening!
A hissing sound rose out from the ground. Superheated steam. Vaporising metal. A wall of cold air chuffed against a final shockwave and a piercing echo as the hammer-blow of the gods finally stopped.
As the light and spots faded from everyone's eyes, there was only that electric tang in the air and on the ground a small crater punched into the ground with bits of a boot and gloves one the outside. In the pit still glowed red-hot fused glass.
"I see" Yae whispered numbly. "Magic resistant is different from magic immune, after all."
Elze stared dully up at me. "Showoff. I could have beat that thing on my own too. I don't need you to rescue me you know?"
I sniffed haughtily. "Then do it faster next time. I'mma kill-steal if I want!" I bared my teeth at her in a shameless grin.
"Ahahaha" She began to lightly slap my cheeks and her finger trailed down my jaw. "Help me up."
Yae lowered her sword and then stared back at us with a faintly frantic expression. She blinked again, and her face resumed its warrior's tranquility. She coughed into her fist. "So we have won, yes? Is there anything else we have to do? Elze-dono, Playa-dono?"
And from above we all heard Linze wail "Mister Zaaaah! I can't get down!"
"I am underwhelmed!" Elze groused some time later after we made sure no monster beasts would be returning. "In fact I am so under the whelming I should be sinking right now."
/"What's wrong? I thought you didn't mind if Player took the kill you said that as long as it counts for the team, anything is permissible?"/
"I mean we subjugated the old capital, and what do we get for it? Some coins when we get back? Like we need any more of that! Where's the treasurrre?! Where's the loot?! This place looks like it's already been picked clean!"
I glanced around the ruins. Well I enjoyed the place. This was most of the reason I was prepared to make a backpack tour through Europe. To soak in all these fallen grandeur and tarnished antiquity. I wanted to /taste/ history. The girls were much less impressed. There were old ruins everywhere.
"Say, isn't cut stone valuable?" I mused.
/"Linze, dopeslap him for me."/
Thwap. Linze, without hesitation, reached out and slapped the back of my head. Heh.
Monika added /"This is the reason why despite how an [Inventory] system would be so convenient, it's not really much of a priority for me. Don't even indulge Player's hoarding tendencies."/
"So there's really no chance of finding any more secret treasure or hidden rooms?" Linze whispered despondently.
I crossed my arms and huffed, "Well it's not like we have any sort of treasure detect or.?"
Monika and I stared at each other through the smartphone screen. Linze noticed how my words trailed off and asked excitedly "Do you?!"
/"[Ground Penetrating Radar],"/ Monika said with wide-eyed realization.
"I also know how [Metal Detectors] work" I added, while raising my hand. Small slivers of lightning sparked between my fingers. I was the absolute master of Wind magic. Fire and Water and Earth better step up their game, because [Wind], my precious element of freedom, also made me a master of [Magnetism].
Linze let out a shriek of glee. Elze groaned and palmed her face. "You have infected my sister with your money-grubbing ways!" Then she looked up, touched a finger to her lips and made a show of thinking about it. "Actually on second thought, she's always wanted to do that. Buried treasure is a girl's romance!"
Um, I'm pretty sure *romance* is a girl's romance, but as adventurers eh sure that sounds legit.
After a few scanning passes, Monika identified a section of rubble that seemed promising. A whole section of the palace wall had fallen over, and boulders fell on that of that, and then carved pillars on top of that. If these many tons didn't look so accidental, it would have been suspicious how someone definitely didn't want something to be uncovered.
Linze excitedly stepped up to the heap and shouted "Let me!"
She raised her wand high and shouted "Burst forth, Fire! Crimson Eruption: [Explosion]!"
My face hung slack as the heat and shockwave rippled past. Small stone shards pinged off my helmet as everyone else other than Linze covered their faces. All the rubble was blown apart, what had been a pile of multiton stones tall as a three story building was now left nothing more than flattened scorched land.
okay. Fire. Fire element just reminded me it doesn't need anything fancy. All it ever asks from you, in all sincere glee, is "Won't you walk the path of [Explosions] with me?"
Linze turned and gave me a hopeful little smile. I slowly raised a thumb up in approval. Um. Good job, Linze? You're overdoing it a bit, Linze? Where did all this sudden zeal come from, Linze?
/"Player, she didn't even cast it from a [Supercharge]. That was all just from her internal magic reserves."/
I was amazeballs. Then I felt the tug of the [Search] spell.
The blast exposed a pair of massive steel doors set into the ground. Looking at the edges, it seemed that it wasn't enough to cover it with debris, they had actually bricked over the doors to hide it even further.
We all combined our strengths to pry it open (though mostly just Elze, admittedly), and suspiciously it opened smoothly with not even a hint of rust or a creak of gummed up-joints. What waited for us was a stone staircase, eerily beckoning us to descend into its lightless depths.
"Am I the only one to get a baaad feeling about this?" I mumbled.
"You scaaared?" Elze said with a catlike grin. "It's okay, we can turn back." Her grin froze as she stared down the staircase and felt the oddly hot moist air that wafted up. "Y-yeah. I think we've done enough for now. There's.. no need... to push ourselves."
"Let's go!" Linze said firmly, taking that first step down the hole.