Chapter 34 “Seppuku”
First, we need to lead this guy out of the village….
”I'm curious about something.”
Heidi told me that the Death Worm that was supposed to be chasing her somehow changed course and returned to the village.
If you ask me, it was conveniently heading this way when I used my second .
It doesn't look like it has eyes, so it must be aware of its surroundings in some way.
I wonder what they are reacting to.
If it was a movie or something…
no, it would be hard to identify them since there is so much fire around it.
Sound then? I don't think so either.
What's that sign?
I'll make a fireball as big as I can.
Death Worm turned its head toward us as if it had been bounced.
That's easy to understand.
If that's the case, it makes sense why it acted the way it did earlier.
While chasing after Heidi, it reacted to my magic and headed my way.
That's right, even if it can't see, it can still aim at the target.
The reason why it was able to accurately attack me after the first is now clear.
But why did it ignore me after I was blown away?
Was it the range of the spotter? Or was it because they couldn't detect me after I finished shooting?
After I put out the , I changed my magic to .
I fire it at the Death Worm's head.
It hits and the water ball pops.
I slip by the side of the Death Worm and move away from it without taking my eyes off of it.
I hear Heidi's confused voice from behind me, but I leave it alone for now.
Five meters away, the Death Worm turns its head toward me.
At 10 meters, the Death Worm chases after me, spewing its venom.
At 15 meters, I pick a place where no one is around and run.
It was still chasing me.
I felt the distance was getting closer, so I hit one more time with + .
The water ball that hit him freezes the ground, and the Death Worm stops moving.
…The moment I used the magic, its movements became quicker.
It is surely reacting to the magic.
Then how is it chasing me after I finished shooting?
25 meters, the Death Worm has broken the ice bind.
30 meters, it is still chasing me.
35 meters, it's slowing down.
40 meters, it has stopped moving.
But it's still pointing its head this way.
It's no longer targeting me.
It's head is moving around as if it lost sight of the target.
…If it is this far away, it will not be recognized.
It seems to be able to tell something is there within about 50 meters, though it is rough.
The exception is magic.
When magic is used, it reacts immediately.
It seems to be able to recognize the magician quite accurately.
If attacked from out of range, it runs into the source of the magic.
If it's in range, it's spitting venom or biting, something like that.
That's the outer shell.
The natural means of attack would be magic.
I have gathered most of the information I need.
But I'm glad I didn't replace the whole body with a demon's.
If I had, I would have been chased to the ends of the earth.
Demons are always using magic, so it would have been very obvious.
It's convenient, but due to fuel consumption issues, only a part of the brain – the part needed for magic – has been converted to demon design, but the rest of the brain is still the same.
At first it was a worm, but now it has become a creature that I don't really understand what it is.
I've come a long way, come to think of it.
＜Water Ball＞ launched.
The Death Worm immediately lunged at me.
Come this way.
The distance is wide enough.
We're going to get out of the village…
Multiple magic hits landed on the Death Worm.
For a moment, I thought Heidi had done something unnecessary, but it seems the survivors of the villagers had attacked.
”How dare you take my house!”
”I'll kill you!”
More than a dozen people charged at the Death Worm, their mouths filled with hatred for it.
I tried to use magic to distract it, but…this won't help.
The first few fell prey to the venom, and the next few were wrapped around the Death Worm's massive body and slid down by the spikes on its surface.
Those who had shot the magic were about to shoot it again, but their chanting was not in time.
In the end, they were eaten before they had time to shoot.
And what's more, the surviving villagers were clustered near those who had been eaten.
The mages from earlier were also guarding the survivors, but did they join in with the attackers to cover them?
From my point of view, it seemed like an unnecessary thing to do, but from their point of view, I guess they couldn't help it.
I don't understand it now.
Because it was suicide.
I activate .
While maintaining it, I run toward the Death Worm.
The Death Worm shakes itself for a moment, but does not remove the villagers from its target.
It seems to have lost its way, but it's going to start with those within range.
The Death Worm is poised to fire its venom.
Yeah, that's not gonna work.
We're all going to die.
I'm gonna slow down a little bit.
I'm going to make the most of the sacrifice.
If the villagers get poisoned, I'll turn its head to sand after the attack.
I'm worried that I won't be able to take away its memory, but…I'll make it work.
While I was thinking about that, I saw something move at the edge of my vision.
Is it Heidi?
Unlike me, she didn't slow down and was closing in on Death Worm.
She was closer than I was, so I guess she made it in time.
She threw a knife.
It pierces through the part where I had removed the armor.
The Death Worm shakes itself and turns its head toward Heidi, spitting out its venom.
Heidi, clutching her mouth with the sleeve of her dress, jumps backwards and ducks.
…I guess it's impossible to guide it.
The villagers within range are too wounded to move.
We have no choice but to kill it.
If we kill it here, I can't eat the carcass, which is a pain.
Then it occurred to me.
Ah, there's this way.
I hit the Death Worm with a while running.
As expected, at this distance, it did not ignore me.
It immediately turns its head toward me.
I am the one who is using magic the most spectacularly.
If it's in close proximity, you'll want to aim for it.
But even so, it's a fickle fellow, going this way and that way.
Death Worm opens its mouth.
Poisonous fluid again? Doesn't it release flames or electric shocks?
I felt a little uncomfortable there.
…Oh? The motion seems a little different…?
When it spits its venom, it turns its head slightly, but that's not happening this time.
My hunch was correct.
The thing that came out of its mouth was a large number of long, thin strings ……, rather tentacles.
Immediately, I deployed .
It breaks through the defensive magic and pulls me in, entangling my body.
Before I could react, I was dragged into the Death Worm's mouth.
I – Heidi – could only watch in amazement as he was swallowed by the monster.
It really happened in an instant, and I myself was so frozen in my thoughts that I couldn't think of anything else.
But…no, not yet.
It is still too early to give up.
It will take time to be digested.
If I hurry, there is still time.
I shook off the feelings of resignation that welled up in me and gouged out the monster's stomach with my kukri.
The monster screams.
Without any fear, I thrust the other kukri into its belly, and forcefully opened the wound.
A sticky liquid of a great color gushed out, but I didn't care, I just kept on spreading the wound with the kukri.
It was my fault.
Because I pushed him too hard.
He pushed himself into it…
and the result was…
In the end, was I doing the same thing as the person who had set me up?
I didn't even try to do it myself; I forced it on others.
I swore to help him, and then almost killed him.
What did I want to do in the end?
I wanted to protect him, and I wanted to protect the people.
All I did was talk about wanting to protect them, but I let them both die….
No, it's not too late.
He is not dead.
I shake my head inwardly and put all my strength into it.
I had noticed that the monster was opening its mouth above my head, but I didn't care about that.
If I don't rip his belly open soon, he will die.
I put all my strength into my hands, almost choking.
In a corner of my mind, I think that I have become less able to control my emotions since I got into this body.
I feel tears streaming down my cheeks and wonder if I have ever been such a crybaby.
The monster was going to spit out its venom.
I had no desire to lose.
If I widened the gap between us, it would take time to close it again.
If I did so, the possibility of saving him, even if only a small one, would disappear.
…Oh…I think I'm dead this time.
I wish I could apologize to him.
I close my eyes and brace myself.
No matter how long I waited for that moment, the poisonous liquid did not come down.
I fearfully look up.
The monster is not moving at all, with its mouth open towards me.
I stared at the monster for a few seconds….
The monster's body trembled and it slowly collapsed and stopped moving.
What in the world…?
I turned my eyes to the monster's wounds.
A black string-like object wriggled across the surface of the wound…
I stared at the wound again with my eyes, but I couldn't see the string from earlier.
What was it?
What was that string-like object?
The moment it came into view, I felt a tremendous sense of disgust…no, fear….
I shook my head and put my questions aside.
I don't know why the monster stopped moving, but I have to get him out of there as soon as possible…
I was about to widen the wound in a panic when a human arm sprouted from the wound.
I quickly jumped backwards to get away from it.
The arm that had sprouted out touched the monster's body as if to check it, and then retracted.
I was so shocked that I couldn't speak.
The protruding arm was familiar to me.
I thought for sure it would not die instantly, but inwardly I also thought it was only a matter of time.
But no way…on his own….
It stinks inside the monster.”
He came out of the belly in his usual mucus-covered state.
He didn't look particularly injured, and his demeanor was normal.
I froze, unable to move.
He may have just noticed me, but he only turned his gaze toward me.
“As you can see.
This time, though, I'm chilled.”
Hearing this, my strength suddenly drained out of me and I slumped to the ground.
For some reason, a strange smile escaped my mouth.
What is this guy doing?
I wasn't sure how to react to the woman slumped in front of me with a tearful smile on her face.
Does it matter?
My whole body was in a mess, but I had gotten my money's worth.
I'd better check on that later.
I'd better take a bath and wash my clothes quickly.
…I'll pay someone to wash my clothes for me.
I guess that's impossible under the circumstances….
I look around lightly.
The number of dead is around 50, and the number of injured is about double that.
Damage to buildings is only about 30%.
Part of this is my fault, though.
As I recall, the population here was about 400.
A little more than 10%, that's quite a decrease.
But still, just one of them did this.
Two or three of them will destroy a village.
It's that tough.
The stationed knights and ordinary adventurers won't be able to handle it.
It would be better to seize the ruins before the next one comes.
It is possible that some of them are already out there, but…
the ruins come first.
Let's get going.
“I need a change of clothes.”
Let's at least get rid of this mucus.
…And then I'll have to take care of Heidi, who's smiling like she's broken.
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