Chapter 71

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In the end, it’s a place where you can get heavy metal and nothing else.」

「It really is.
The inventory is incredibly filled, though.」

Given some improved comfort due to the effects of the Tomatton during our three hours of walking, even though we had gone to the deepest part of the area, we couldn’t find even a trace of a boss.
Disappointed because of that, we exited the Scorching Caverns.

Other than heavy metal, there was light steel and 《red metal》, which was a new ore drop.
We also met new monsters, like an evolved form of Dodorock, 《Dododorock》, and its previous evolution,《Dorock》.

For having been three hours, I thought it was quite the fruitful exploration.

But still, it was human nature to have a sense of expectancy and desire that there would be something at the deepest part.

Having such a vague feeling, we decided to explore the perma-scorchlands as long as our Tomatton’s effect continued.

「Though, this place also really doesn’t have anything.」

The perma-scorchlands were a field where everything had been burnt to the ground, leaving a place that was endlessly smoldering.There were burning red cracks in the ground releasing heat, but most of the area was just scorched, pitch-black ground as there were no trees or living creatures anymore.

And in that place, there was the flat field where the Ancient Ruins of Flames was, and then there were the mountain fields where the Scorching Caverns were.
The area we were at was the mountain side.

There weren’t that many monsters compared to the Scorching Caverns, so it felt like we were simply hiking.
I guess the area was a bit too ruined to do something like a picnic, though.

「Since there isn’t that much time, let’s go to the nearest peak and then go back.」

「You’re right.
Since we’ve already seen the place we were here for.」

Though, our inventory was just barely holding on.
Even my inventory that had some extra room was already filled up, so there wasn’t any meaning to staying much longer.

And so, after deciding on a simple goal, the area we ascended to was a place that allowed you to see a wide view of the entirety of the Scorching Caverns.

「So that part is where the Ancient Ruins of Flames is….is it?」

「Since it’s at the opening of the large depression in the perma-scorchlands…I think it’s that.」

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What was before our gazes was a large pit-like flat field that was gouged out or something.
Looking at it, the smoldering ground was stacked up like a mille-feuille, and that depression was the place where the Ancient Ruins of Flames was, it seemed.

Unlike ascending the World Tree to get to the World Tree Hollow, the Ancient Ruins of Flames were basically a place you went lower to go through, but looking at it from here, it felt like it was in the middle of the perma-scorchlands.

If that was so, we would probably need enough Tomattons to go on such a long exploration.

Rin-chan and A-chan as well, all the people I knew went through the World Tree Hollow route to get to Griffis, it seemed.

Since Rin-chan couldn’t freely use her magic in the narrow grounds of the ruins, and A-chan reasoned that this place had a lot of rock-type monsters which were unsuited to sword users, they both chose the World Tree Hollow route.

However, it might have just been that they didn’t like the fact that it required heat resistance to go through.

If you ate a Tomatton then it may more or less mitigate the extremeness of the heat though, so it was not that different from walking to a place that was a bit hotter than normal

Well, no matter the reason, clearing that area would happen after the event.

Let’s just be glad that we were able to check it out.

「Then, let’s go bac-……Touka-chan!」

「Fue? Kya!?」

Feeling a sudden fear, I immediately embraced Touka-chan.

Without even giving me the time to think, just what was it? “DOGON!” Raising such a sound, what fell was a huge burning rock.

I looked at the skies.
However, there was nothing to be seen, and there wasn’t the presence of another huge falling rock either.

Even if I searched the surroundings, there weren’t any figures with relation to the rocks.
And it seemed they wouldn’t be coming horizontally.

I calmed down a bit.
First, what was strange was that that huge rock was burning.
The perma-scorchlands were basically just a place burnt to the ground, there weren’t any volcanoes.

If you took a look at the Scorching caverns, then you would understand.
Even if you dug this place up, it wouldn’t spew up fire.

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If so, then should I think of it as some sort of an attack from a monster? However, looking around, there weren’t any figures of anything like that…..

「No, is it that….?」

Beyond my immediate field of vision, or maybe several kilometers beyond.

There was a place where the ground bulged a bit and smoke was rising.

Seeing that the hugeness was clearly seen from far away, I assumed that if I got nearer to it I might find it was considerably big.

Seeing light from a distance, it happened five times.
Most likely, it was the same thing flying towards us again.
The target was obviously us.

If we were to run, it probably wouldn’t fire the final blow, but for some reason I just couldn’t help but get curious about it.

「Nee-sama, just what in the world-…」

「Touka-chan, soon five of the same thing are flying towards us again.
I’m just guessing, but most likely that is something that aims for the players that arrived on the summit, it seems.
So I think it would be fine to just run away, but….」

I made my words vague, but Touka-chan somewhat understood something and nodded, then took out her menu card.

Well, I thought it would most likely come to this.
Since Nee-sama just keeps getting caught up in troubles after all.
Nee-sama, please have this.」

Touka-chan seemed like she had kinda given up and operated her menu card, and then there was an item trade notice.

「This is…」

「A secret to Nee-sama, I bought one just in case.
Obviously Tomattons shouldn’t be the only heat resistance item, after all.」

The mistake I had made, being too caught up with the Tomatton, Touka-chan splendidly covered it up.

What was traded to me was a 《Heat Resistance Potion》.
The effect’s time was the same as a Tomatton, but the heat resistance effect was significantly higher compared to the Tomatton.

It seemed that heat resistance had levels.
Tomattons could mitigate environmental effects and weak heat attacks, classified as level one heat resistance, and the heat resistance potion had level three heat resistance, it seemed.

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「Wait a sec, only one means that-…what about Touka-chan’s?」

「If I were to be honest, I’d like to go, but…..I’m very sorry but, I have plans after this….」

「I see.
I’m sorry, thanks for going with me.」

「Please, it’s nothing to apologize for.
Nee-sama saying we should play together, just that was something that made me really happy.
Well then, Nee-sama, may the fortune of battle be with you.」

「Yeah, thanks.
I won’t force myself and will just check it out a bit and then come back.」

Maybe it was because their numbers were greater.
Unlike earlier, I could hear a thundering sound approaching.

In order to not be crushed by the huge rocks, Touka-chan ran quickly down from the summit, and I looked up and moved to a place I had predicted I would be able to avoid them.

「To be honest, it would be relieving to have Touka-chan here though.」


『Why won’t it hit?』

『It’s the one where a master always do in manga』

『Did Touka-chan went home?』

『Since it seems she is a student it can’t be helped』

「No matter what it is, RL should be the top priority.
Now then, should we see the main culprit that threw these rocks?」

Being alone, I had the space to check the comments.
While I was evading the additional incoming boulders, I gently descended down.

Each rock was fired with precise deciations.
Basically, based on how it seemed to be considering where it would shoot a rock based on predicting my movements, it might be quite smart, but if it were just a rock falling from the skies, just considering the ballistics I could easily evade them with plenty of room.

From their speed and the time of impact, the distance was quite far.
Considering the time it would take to return to Fias, I guess I couldn’t do this slowly.

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「I’ll be running a bit, okay?」

『Where are you going?』

『Just what did you see….uu-』

『Did you use a binoculars or something?』

『Is it that smoke?』

Most likely, most of the watchers couldn’t really see that unknown object.

While doing a bitter smile at the comments section that had absolutely no idea what I was saying, I ran through the perma-scorchlands.

To monsters that sometimes appeared, I’d lure them to the place the falling rock would land, crushing them, and while stopping as little as possible, I continued evading the incoming rain of falling rocks.

After several minutes, I could vividly see the place I was aiming for.

While recovering the SP I had consumed while approaching, I was overwhelmed by the huge size.

It was a dozen-meter tall slimy object.

If I was to say the truth, then it would probably be a slime.

I didn’t know on what principle it worked, but it was made of a slimy half-transparent material you could see had a flame sealed inside it.
It was quite a mysterious appearance, and it seemed that it gouged up the ground to make its ammo.

It seemed that I had gotten close enough to it.
The rock shooting had already stopped.

In exchange, a core-like eye made of six crystals was looking down at me as if scoping me out.

《Flaming Tangible Substance(炎の遊体) -Meneas- LV 89》 (9: not sure If I got the name right? I don’t really know how the last 2 kanjis work together despite using a dictionary and stuff)

The name displayed was that of a Named Boss monster.

The slime with the huge body, named Meneas, it produced a bouncing sound as it calmly sat there.

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