Several days have passed after I summoned Shisuha.
We’ve went back to hunting Scorpions in Northern Cave again since then.
We are taking it easy in our room right now, it’s about time I decided what I want to do today.
Also I ended up not getting a seperate room, I’ve just been sleeping on the floor.
I don’t really like being alone.
[Hーrm, I have this shiny new set of equipment but we still end up in the Northern Cave regardless.]
[That equipment was prepared for use in the Labyrinth, you can’t really do anything about that point.]
Despite my preparations for my pseudo Tank role, there is basically no opportunity for me to make use of them.
I probably wouldn’t even flinch from a Stinger’s attack(with the new equipment).
Much like what Noru said this equipment was prepped for use in the Labyrinth so that much was obvious but still….
[Hmm…… hows about we hunt an Asterios, for a change of pace.]
Putting her hands together, Estel went and suggested something horrifying with a smile.
She’s making it sound so casual, like going out for a walk in the park.
[W, wha, what are you saying.
That’s not the kind of monster to hunt for a change of pace!?]
Just because I said I didn’t have a chance to use my new stuff, doesn’t mean we should go and hunt something that monstrous.
I didn’t get any serious injuries back then, but I do remember getting body aches all over for awhile.
[Now that Shisuha is with us, it won’t be as dangerous as back then.
Besides if Onii-san only ever fights weak enemies, how do you expect to improve yourself?]
[Uuu, that’s certainly the case but……]
Indeed, I won’t improve if all I do is fight weak opponents.
Although I am still fighting the Warrior Chiefs for training, now I barely feel any sense of crisis with my new equipment.
If I look at myself objectively I’m sure I have improved, but I have qualms on whether I’ll be able to make the proper moves against a tough enemy when it happens.
We’ve got Shisuha now too, so even if something does go awry we should be fine.
I might really need to push myself that much more…… If I just stagnate at my current level I don’t think I’ll ever be able to catch up to the girls in terms of technique.
[Don’t worry Okura-san.
As long as you are still technically alive, I’ll be able to heal you back up in no time.
Even if you lose a limb or two I can regrow them back.
Ah, but do be careful about getting decapitated.]
Oi, that doesn’t exactly sound reassuring.
I do think Shisuha is a nice girl.
She’s honest, speaks courteously and has a bright personality.
The impression she gives makes me want to cheer for her.
Sometimes… her honesty just backfires on her like what just happened.
It’d be nice if she could, like speak in a more roundabout manner.
The way she phrases things makes it easy to understand, but leaves little to the imagination.
[We’re really doing this, aren’t we…..]
[Okura-dono, this is an opportunity to overcome your past trauma! You could have gotten through that encounter safely back then if you didn’t get careless at the end.]
Anyways, we have arrived at the Minotauros Ruins yet again.
Trauma… I wouldn’t really call it that, though I may have become particularly sensitive about receiving enemy attacks after that ordeal.
Like what she said I could have gotten out ouscathed back then, if only I didn’t assume we had won and carelessly looked elsewhere……
If I manage to do well this time, I might just gain some much needed confidence.
[Gotta get the Asterios to spawn first.]
Minotaurs were loitering around the hunting ground as usual.
Estel went ahead and pulled out her staff and Grimoire and was about to begin attacking.
But, before that could happen.
[Erm, would anybody mind if I tried my hands at hunting the Minotaurs first?]
Unexpectedly it was Shisuha.
And the way she said it means she probably wants to do it alone……
I myself am terrified of hunting alone, she’s awfully fearless if you asked me.
[Well, I can’t just say “Go right on ahead!” can I…..]
[Please! I, am blessed to finally know…… t, that I am capable of fighting with my own hands!]
(EN: healers cannot fight back in the GC game)
She clasped both hands before her bosom, it almost looked like she was praying as she appealed to me.
She looks at me with sad puppy eyes, her teary eyed expression assaults me.
Kuh, there’s no way I can decline when such a pretty lady is pleading to me….
And I’m especially weak to beautiful women in general, so that can’t be helped.
[Okura-dono, isn’t it alright to just let her have a go?]
The Minotaurs most likely won’t be much of a threat to Shisuha.]
Reassuringly, Noru and Estel also give their approval.
Hーmm, she’ll probably be alright since the other girls are saying so.
The person in question looks like she’s itching for a battle as well, if she manages the role of an attacker I’m half hoping this would solve our combatant problem, maybe?
It was hard to fully judge her prowess from her battle with the Kobolds, but the Minotaurs should show me a better indication of her combat abilities.
[Nnー, I think there shouldn’t be problems since the other girls have given the green light to do so…….
but don’t be too reckless okay? Now that we are doing this…..
Noru, I hope you don’t mind letting Shisuha borrow your bracelet.
And here use these too.
Also do you want to use something else for your weapon?]
Here you go.]
[Thank you, Okura-san, Noru-san! My staff works well enough as my weapon.]
I felt anxious to let her hunt in her default equipment, so I temporarily geared her up with Noru’s Wind Bracelet and my Power Bracelet.
In addition to those, I also give her a Guardian Ring, Nike’s Shoes and a Jewel of Life.
Now that she’s fully decked out, she’ll do just dandy as a frontliner.
With equipment preparations done, she begins her run towards the Minotaurs after receiving buffs from Estel.
Now that she has better equipment, she was running much faster than she did in the previous Kobold encounter.
Setting her sights on a lone Minotauros that wasn’t near any others, she initiates the engagement.
She begins with a thrust to the exposed back of the head of the Minotaur, the attack caused it fumble forward.
Looks like a good hit.
Roaring in pain, it reared up its axe for a swing and turns around, but it does not see Shisuha as she had already swerved down for a kneebreaking attack to the legs.
She is skillfully moving and attacking from the Minotauros’ blind spots….
She doesn’t simply rely on her better Status and uses a technical fighting style.
If I were to fight Shisuha I would probably be defeated before I could even see her.
This is much easier to understand to me compared to what Noru has taught me so far.
Makes me want to try imitating her fighting style but I probably am not able to…..
It looks like there’s some prediction of movements involved.
[She’s more of a Monk than a Healer….
But she’s wielding a staff so scratch that.
Can she really be called a Priestess at this point.]
[Those are some good moves she’s got there.
Wonderful positioning, body movement and judgment.
You could say it’s a pity that she’s a Priestess.]
[She’s also using defensive magic too.
Shouldn’t she be called a Templar at this rate?]
As she continued befuddling the Minotauros, she begins to add kicks in aside from the thrust attacks she has been using.
She only does one kick before repositioning due to the difference in physical size to her opponent right now, but I remember her doing sweep → jumping kick combos on the Kobolds back then……
You can also tell she is using precautionary defensive magic from the blue light that is coating her body.
Moments later the Minotauros disappears into particle of lights.
[Fuuu, it really does feel wonderful to get some exercise in.
That sense of accomplishment from beating the monster with your own “hands”, the feeling of my attacks connecting, and the cute cries(from the monster) really got me all excited.]
Having concluded her battle, she returns to our side with a charming smile on her face.
It was the kind of smile that would break the hearts of any men who had the privilege of seeing it.
But to me, it felt like a very frightening smile for other reasons.
Her choice of words was also slightly off.
Shortly afterwards Estel & Noru enter the fray as well, and the annihilation of the Minotaurs began.
Some ten-ish minutes of hunting later, a Minotauros shrouded in thunderclouds could finally be seen charging out towards us from the inner ruins.
[I, it’s almost time for my rematch…..]
[Well then give it your best out there you 2.
Onii-san, I’ll be rooting for you.]
[We will intervene if the situation looks dangerous, so give it your all with no worries.]
Here I thought all of us were going to be fighting together, then Estel retreats back with Noru after casting her support magic.
[Eh…… wha-, only us 2?]
[Okura-san, let’s do our best shall we?]
Only Shisuha was left by my side.
Showing no signs of surprise, she casts protective magic on me, it’s like she already knew about this in advance.
Hold on a minute! I didn’t know that this was the plan!
To think that I would be this uneasy, just from not being able to fight together with the girls who have been by my side up til now.
As I was thinking about that, the Asterios makes contact with us and charges towards me while clad in that Red Aura.
[Uooooh!? Kuh….this is intense.]
Noru was the one who stopped the charge previously, but I’m the one doing it this time.
Of course there’s no way I’m going to let Shisuha take the hit, I managed to stop the charge but the immense impact numbed my arms.
With both hands on Pot Lid I’m standing my ground and withstanding the charge, but everytime the Asterios moved its head I get pushed back as the ground I stand on gets gouged.
I break out in cold sweat as I wonder how long I would need to hold on against the attack, but that too ended abruptly.
Shisuha lands a big hit onto the Asterios’ neck with her staff as I was resisting the attack.
With a loud smack, the Asterios went face first into the ground and was immobilized.
Seeing my chance as its movements are halted, I stab the axe holding arm with Bar repeatedly to deplete its HP.
[Shisuha, can you go on the offensive while using me as your shield?]
[Yes, please leave it to me!]
It would have been nice if we could win just by keeping this up, but it’s never that easy.
The Asterios pulls its head out of the ground and lets out a roar with rugged huffing.
It’s super angry.
But I didn’t feel any fear for some odd reason.
(EN: he totally forgot about that fear reducing item he had on didnt he)
Afterwards, the flow of the battle continued with me receiving the axe attacks and counterattacking with Bar, while Shisuha would attack with her staff when the opportunity arises.
Whenever she gained too much aggro, she would hide behind me for awhile before repeating the process again.
Although I am now built more defensively, my arms are still taking damage from receiving attacks so I get Shisuha to heal me up as we go.
With this reliable flow, there was no way we would lose.
Fufu, our victory is all but decided.
I am letting the advantage get to my head.
I’m not going to get careless a second time.
This is one of those moments which are the most dangerous when you get sloppy right before the end.
It really does take some time to deplete Asterios’ HP, when you have only 2 people going at it.
The battle continued for several tens of minutes, until the Asterios finally drops one of its knees as it huffed exasperatedly.
Looking to finish the battle I firmly regripped Bar and approached it, from which it threw its axe at me much like what happened previously.
I deflect the axe that was thrown towards me, and intended to land the finishing blow now that it doesn’t have its weapon.
Just as I looked at the Asterios as I was thinking that, it had lowered its head, cloaked itself in that Red Aura and charged at me before I could fully react.
This is bad, reeeally bad!
Although I raised Pot Lid up in time to guard, I wasn’t in any position receive the attack properly.
I am managing to resist the attack, but if this keeps up I would be blown away like what happened to Noru before.
Dangit, maybe I really am not cut out for the Tank role.
Seeing that I was near my limit I was just about to drop Pot Lid.
But before I could do that, Shisuha drops her stocking-ed leg square onto the Asterios’ neck with a mighty battlecry.
The motion of her jumping up into a spin in mid-air then striking down with her leg, all the while with her golden hair dancing wildly as it happened, made my heart skip a beat.
This single attack from her was akin to the falling blade of a guillotine.
The Asterios falls to the attack, going headfirst into the ground with its neck bent in a strange direction and obviously very broken.
Seeing how much it was foaming from the mouth, it’s pretty obvious just how fatal the attack was.
[Okura-san! Are you alright!]
[Err, ah, right, that I am…..]
Seeing that my opponent has fallen, I feel my strength escape me as I sat down.
She approaches the now limp me, and extends her hand to me with a smile.
The sun shone behind her as she did so, add her outfit into the picture and you would probably get a scene straight out of some historic religious painting.
Normally this would be the time when you’d fall in love with her.
However I couldn’t help but tremble, when I have just witnessed the feat that she accomplished.
All I could do was gulp as I thought that she was another girl whom I shouldn’t anger, much like how Estel is.
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