Dream Life Vol II Chapter 23.1: “Northern Forest”

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 After Sharon’s father, Guy Jakes, left for the village of Rathmore, we decided to enter the North Woods.


 It is about one kilometer from our house to the North Woods. It takes about two kilometers to go further into the forest to encounter monsters, but it takes about an hour to get to the area where the monsters appear, so it is convenient for leveling up.


 The area relatively close to the town we were going to is a hunting ground for young adventurers. This is because the area is roamed by goblins and wolves, which form packs but are not very strong on their own and is good for training a party of about 20 level, seventh-rank adventurers.


 However, we could not let our guard down, because on rare occasions, monsters equivalent to fifth rank, cannibalistic ghouls, the most powerful of sixth-rank, and stray soldier ants would appear.



 We were also on our guard as we made our way through the forest.


 My gear consisted of a leather jacket and pants and a bastard sword. I still don’t wear any protective gear. This is partly because I’m thinking about improving my evasion skills, but also because I simply don’t want to waste armor on myself when I’m still growing up.


 Liddy is wearing hard leather armor with a composite bow and short sword. Sharon, like me, wears a leather jacket and pants with a light dagger.


 Liddy’s cane will not be used, but Sharon will carry it just in case.


 We each carried a backpack and carefully made our way deeper into the forest.



 After seeing Guy off, we entered the forest around 9:00 a.m. and had already been walking through the forest for about an hour.


 Even though it was deep in the forest, the midsummer heat was relentlessly beating down on us.


 I sipped water from my canteen and lamented my lack of basic physical fitness.



(It’s no good if I’m exhausted in this light clothing. At the very least, I should be strong enough to walk around in armor.) (Zack)



 When I took a sip of water from my canteen, I felt a tingling sensation in my neck with a faint crunching sound.


 I signaled to Liddy and Sharon with my hand and stopped moving on the spot, slowly becoming aware of my surroundings.



(This is what it feels like when you sense enemies. Normally, Guy would have already found them, but today I’m the scout. Feeling the air around…) (Zack)



 As we slowly look around, we see a Giant Centipede walking through the trees about fifty meters to our left.


 The Giant Centipede is a massive centipede about five meters long with a slimy-looking chitinous shell, huge fangs, and dozens of pairs of legs, making it a mentally repulsive monster.


 Fortunately, the enemy had not yet noticed us.


 I crouched, signaling Liddy and Sharon down, so as not to make any noise and discussed how to respond.



“There’s a Giant Centipede. It’s a fifth-rank big shot, but it hasn’t noticed us yet. We could surprise them, but what do we do?” (Zack)



 Liddy shook her head in response.



“It’s pretty hard, that centipede. I used to fight them with Govie—the nickname of your grandfather Govan Lockhart, and even we had a hard time with it. And it moves faster than you think, so if you fail to make a surprise attack, it will move to you in one fell swoop.” (Liddy)



 Sharon didn’t say anything in particular, as if the Giant Centipede was to much, and she was appealing with her eyes for us to retreat.



 I nodded to both of them and said, “Roger that. Let’s wait for them to leave quietly,” and monitor the enemy’s movements.


 The giant centipede slowly crosses about 30 meters ahead of us, making rustling footsteps. When it stopped midway and twitched its antennae, Sharon let out a small “Hii”, but it did not notice us and disappeared into the forest.



 I exhaled in relief and said, “Well, it looks like it didn’t notice us,” at which point a scream and a shout came from up ahead.



“Whoa! A Giant Centipede!” (Voice)


“Vanguards, watch out for the fangs! Arrows won’t work! Roger, you’re too far forward! Move back!” (Voice)



 I heard the voices and said to Liddy and the others, “Looks like there was another party at the end of the giant centipede’s path,” and then I added, “Let’s go help them!” I said and tried to run out.


 But Liddy grabbed my arm and said,



“It is impossible with your magic it! Not even with a sword, of course! What are you going to do when you don’t stand a chance?!” (Liddy)



 Liddy tried desperately to convince me to stop, but I blood just rushed in my head I shouted back, “I has to have a weakness! If it’s the equivalent of a fifth-rank adventurer, you should be able to defeat it!”


 She shook her head frantically at my words.



“Its weak point is fire! But that shell is so tough and can’t be defeated with a half-hearted fire. That’s why…” (Liddy)



 I wasn’t convinced, but Liddy’s desperate face stopped me in my tracks.


 In the meantime, the angry shouts of the party being attacked continued.



(What is the Giant Centipede’s weakness? My fire doesn’t have enough firepower… And wind magic is repelled… repelled? That’s it!) (Zack)



 I come up with a way to defeat the Giant Centipede.



“I’ll have Liddy and Sharon use [Air Hammer] to fling it up high. When I see its belly, I’ll hit it with my [Flame Bolt]. The belly shell looks hard, but it’s weaker than the back. Hopefully, I can even burn its legs…” (Zack)



 Liddy was still holding my arm as if to say no, but I pulled it away forcefully and said,



“I’ll try it on my own! I might be able to help. Worst case scenario, if I can stall it, they can escape. If push comes to shove, I can trap it on ice…” (Zack)



 Liddy said, “I see,” and got to her feet.



“Sharon will fire an [Air Hammer], then I’ll fire an [Ice Arrow]. You shoot a [Flame Bolt], to stop it.” (Liddy)



 The three of us quickly get up and continue through the forest.



“Gem! Get back! We’ll pull back when the time is right!” (Voice)



 As we reached the spot, we heard a strong groan, and soon a scream of “Help me!” echoed through the forest.


 About 20 meters ahead of me, a young swordsman, who looked to be in his late teens, was caught in the powerful jaws of the centipede.


 Sharon shudders at the sight and stood frozen.



“Sharon! Shoot you [Air Hammer]!” (Zack)



 At the sound of my voice, Sharon immediately began chanting her spell, and in about ten seconds, she activated the magic.


 It was not as precise as she does, but still a mass of air exploded between the Giant Centipede’s belly and the ground.


 With a cloud of dust, the Giant Centipede’s body fell over on its side, releasing the victim that had been trapped in its powerful jaws.


 Immediately thereafter, Liddy’s [Ice Arrow] hit the centipede in the abdomen.


 Although it did not penetrate, it pierced the joints in its body, causing the centipede to bend its body in an arch.


 As I watched the scene, I chanted the spell of [Flame Bolt].



“O Ignis, God of Fire, commander of the world’s fires. I seek thy flaming arrows of your kin, spirits, I offer the power of mine life to thee as payment. Burn my enemies, fiery arrows, Flame Bolt!” (Zack)



 A Flame Bolt about a meter long is aimed at the belly of the writhing centipede. I cast the spell for the next Flame Bolt without checking if it hit.


 My arrow hits the side of the centipede’s torso and burns out its two legs. But even so, the centipede only thrashed about violently and did not appear to be mortally wounded.


 Before my second shot, Sharon’s [Swallow Cutter] and Liddy’s [Light Arrow] attacked the centipede.


 They both aimed at the joint on its belly where Liddy had first wounded it, causing damage.


 Then my second [Flame Bolt] was complete.



 I took careful aim and slammed the arrow into the belly of the violently moving centipede.


 Although my aim was slightly off, I succeeded in spreading the wound of the centipede, which was spreading its bodily fluids.



 To the stunned adventurers, I shouted, “Help the wounded while you still can!” I shouted at them.


 My shout brought them back to their senses, and they ran to the wounded man.



 The centipede was still struggling, but there was something wrong with the movement of its hind leg bordering the wound. It seemed to have been hit in the nervous system, scratching the ground with only its front leg, unable to move properly.



“Liddy, take care of the wounded. Sharon, cover me. Use [Swallow Cutter] and cut off the front leg.”



 I shouted and pulled out the sword on my back, challenging the creature to a close combat.


 The centipede, which was wounded right in the middle of its five-meter length, lifted its large head to show its intent to attack as I approached.


 I used [Magical Combat] techniques to my legs and closed the distance quickly.


 Sharon’s [Swallow Cutter] flies by me and slices through two of the centipede’s legs on the right side. The centipede was slightly thrown off balance by the impact.


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