br>I’ve heard that monsters B-class and above live in the towering mountain range deep in the forest.
Because of that, while it’s too late at this point, the best way to get to the ocean should be to take a detour around the mountain range.

It should be, but why did we decide on cutting through the forest again?
Ah, it’s to save time, right.
While we decided on seeing the ocean, we also wanted to reduce the travel time as much as possible so that we can reach B-rank as fast as possible.
Besides, we already took into consideration that B-class monsters are pretty much manageable and that we should be able to handle even A-class monsters as well.

Due to that, I concluded that there’s no reason to go out of the way to take a detour.
It seems that I still haven’t shook off that train of thought.

When I told Ciel that, 「There’s nothing to lose by having the guild be indebted to us.」 she replied with so.
Certainly, if they force something troublesome onto us in the future after we did them a favour, it’s going to make things considerably easier to handle.

While I don’t have a good impression of the guild considering all that happened, since we got the magic bag, I guess we should be even now.
And most of all, since Ciel’s satisfied, that’s good enough.

It’s been several minutes since Ciel stepped into the forest.
Since this is the first time we’ve been in this particular forest, Ciel’s walking speed is on the slower side.
To start, we headed to the place where the party was said to have been attacked but… For some reason, my body—my soul—was suddenly hit with a weird tingling sensation.

『Ciel, could you stop here?』
『What’s wrong?』

『For some reason, I’m feeling really uneasy…… Can I borrow your body for a moment?』
『Sure, of course.』

Borrowing Ciel’s body, I once again examined my situation.

This is a premonition.

This unease is caused by the monster in question.
Rather being caused by its bloodthirst, it’s likely better to describe this as the result of some sort of resonance between us.

Deep inside the forest, I know that it is definitely there.
Perhaps it also knew that I’m here as well, since I feel like it’s approaching us now.

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『Please head straight into the middle of the forest.』

As I returned Ciel’s body, I said so.

『It’s there, right?』
『Very likely.』
『Once you confirm its location with detection, could you inform me about it, Ain?』
I’ll be extending my detection range, so I’ll be focusing on that for now.』

While maintaining the barrier, I extended my detection range to the maximum possible range.
I generally never do this but I have a strange feeling right now, so I’m not going to be complacent.
While I should be able to protect Ciel even from A-class monsters, I should still keep the worst case scenario in mind.

After Ciel cautiously walked on for several minutes, I finally caught that thing’s presence.
The information that can be gained from detection sorcery isn’t much.
It can’t distinguish color after all, and it also can’t detect sound.
I’d say that it’s pretty similar to fumbling around blindfolded with only your hands feeling the world.
Still, being proficient with magic power manipulation, I can at least tell the amount of magic power circulating through an individual’s body.
In the case of monsters, I can roughly judge its strength based on its magic power.

The monster in question is on all fours and has a large number of monsters following behind it.
Probably around a hundred or so.
The amount of magic power I feel from it is the most abundant I’ve ever felt up until now.
The most I’ve seen so far was from the B-class Cyclops, so it should be at least B-class.
It might even be around A-class, but I don’t know what the evaluation criteria is.

And so it seems like the cause of my unease is its claws.

Something that’s similar yet different from magic power is oozing from these claws.
Something that seems to be much more dense, something that could be called an upgraded version of magic power.

The reason this monster is capable of easily felling trees is likely because of those exact claws.
This is just a speculation since I have no idea what that something’s properties are, but it can probably cut boulders in half; and as for humans? Likely won’t even feel any resistance.
I’m sure that just being grazed by it would cause a fatal injury.

And those claws are bad news.
Absolutely bad news.
This is only a guess, but it’s highly possible that these could easily break through my barrier.
That’s how threatening it feels.

『I found it.
It seems to be leading more than a hundred monsters.』
『Those should be manageable.
What about the one in question?』
『This is just a speculation, but it might be greater than A-class.
Particularly, I can feel something similar to magic power from its claws and I feel considerable danger from it.
It might even cut through my barrier.』
『That’s a surprise.
Definitely a surprise.』
『Should we run away?』
『Can we run away?』

Fortunately, there’s distance between us.
While Ciel’s running speed is slower than that of a wolves’, we can still run away if they haven’t noticed us yet.
If they notice us from here, it’s doubtful if we can outrun them.
Meaning that if they chase us, we won’t be able to flee.
Moreover, I have a hunch that they probably noticed us already.

『It’s going to be a gamble.』
『In that case, let’s wait.
After all, we might be able to beat them easily instead.
If they go towards us, then we can prepare as much as we can.
So, are the monsters heading towards us?』
『They’re moving slowly right now, but they are definitely heading straight towards us.』
『Then I’ll start preparing now.』

As we are making this exchange, the monsters are gradually drawing near.



Heya~! Huzzah! More trouble inbound for our princesses it seems as a new threat comes approaching.

First of all, it’s nothing major, but it seems like Ciel is starting to get a hang of negotiations and stuff, lol.
But yeah, this chapter we’re introduced to something that might just break Ain’s barrier, considering how cautious she’s being right now.
Not that she’s not constantly cautious or anything, lol.
Also, it’s somewhat weird for Ain to be “resonating” with our new threat, hmmm~ Also, Ain, it’s still too early to be forgetting things, lol.
Still, this is the first time there was an actual threatening monster attack that a: is not prompted by human intervention as the cyclops at the first chapters was summoned my Ain; and b: has resulted in hunter casualties.
Quite interesting, really.

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