The powerful enemy that could not have possibly been made by the [Viscosity] Demon Lord stood in Kuina’s platoon’s way.
The enemy in question was a gargoyle.
A gargoyle was a magical creature with big wings and a tough body made out of some mineral. Unlike the golems though, they possessed a good amount of intelligence.
And due to their ability to fly, they could move in any direction in 3d space.
Strong, durable, and mobile—they were flawlessly excellent in all of these points.
To top it off, this particular enemy’s body was made of orihalcum which meant an even more spectacular hardness and resistance to magic. Such was the enemy that challenged Kuina and the others.
It flew in the sky and descended upon them. In retaliation, Kuina fired off her shotgun but its shell was simply deflected.
It then did a mindless charge at her but thanks to her natural agility, she narrowly evaded.
“Is this guy something like the golems you’ve made, Rorono-chan?”
“No, it’s completely not. This thing’s really alive.”
“But there’s no way [Viscosity] could have made this monster… just what kind of…”
Mid-sentence, the Adamantite Gargoyles in the sky—the followers of the Orihalcum Gargoyle—gave her chase.
These Adamantite Gargoyles were easy to defeat in single combat but facing them all at once while also fending off the Orihalcum Gargoyle was decidedly going to be taxing.
Rorono provided some covering shots but against such tough opponents, the firepower of her assault rifle proved insufficient.
Furthermore, upon seeing the opportunity, [Viscosity] Demon Lord’s original subordinates, the slimes and fishmen, surged against Kuina and her platoon. In response, the units in the mixed corps and the High Elves intercepted.
As the commanding officer, Kuina assessed the situation. Things weren’t going so well for them to the point that unless they immediately did something about the Orihalcum Gargoyle, their annihilation would be imminent.
“That guy flew again… what’s he up to?”
The Orihalcum Gargoyle in the sky spread its arms and Kuina sensed it gathering a huge amount of magic power. It was enough magic power to make even Kuina feel fear.
The positive note about this turn of events was that Kuina was able to accurately gauge how strong her opponent was: an A rank monster that could grow and had therefore been raised to the utmost of its limits.
Finally, an opponent she could fight with all her current might, she thought.
Pleased as she was, she could not let it fire off that magic it was readying. Thus, she created a small, localized explosion in the ground that propelled her upward.
At that, the Orihalcum Gargoyle was startled. Despite not having any sort of dominion over the sky like she had over fire, she moved in a speed that was inconceivable.
When she neared it enough, she activated the full-automatic mode of her shotgun and fired off consecutive shots of overwhelming firepower.
Even it could not endure the onslaught of the highly destructive shells fired off in very short intervals. It was blown away and lost control of the spell it was readying.
However, it seemed that with just sheer willpower alone, the enemy was able to activate it anyway. The spell summoned a meteorite and it was supposed to fall on Kuina and the others but instead only hit the ground, leaving behind a very deep crater.
Kuina was relieved to know that nobody got caught in it for even she would not be able to come out of being hit unscathed. That relief however was only for a moment since the Adamantite Gargoyles rushed toward her once more. Being unable to properly maneuver mid-air and being out of shells due to the full-auto firing she just did, she was forced to rely on her flame but the gargoyles simply went past it and assailed her with their claws and fists.
Wounded all over, she smashed into the ground. Blood spilled from her mouth and yet Kuina still smiled.
“Rorono-chan, that guy’s no joke; we have to take him seriously. I’ll focus on him so you focus on the Adamantite Gargoyles.”
Kuina had decided it was time to use her trump card—her [Transform]. By changing into her future, grown-upped self, she was able to make use of 100% of her hidden potential.
It was powerful but so were its drawbacks. Once she had used [Transform], she would be unable to fight for a few hours afterwards. Be that as it may though, she could not afford to hesitate using it against her current enemy for if she did, they would be killed.
Kuina’s body was wrapped in golden flames. Once the flames were gone, her golden hair was glossier and longer while her charming tail was fluffier. Her body had grown into one full of feminine charm. This strong and lovely Kuina was her future form.
“Now then, time for round two.”
Against her formidable foe, Kuina stepped forward. However, Rorono interrupted her advance.
“Kuina, let’s change roles. I’ll do something about that Orihalcum Gargoyle so please be the one to take care of the other gargoyles.”
“But won’t that guy be too much for you?”
“I’ll be using my trump card; I want to test it out. Besides, you’ve had plenty of fun with that guy already; it’s my turn next.”
Kuina looked at Rorono and saw confidence in her eyes along with some hint of excitement.
“…Alright but our first priority is to break the crystal. Once I’ve finished with those guys and you still haven’t defeated the Orihalcum Gargoyle, I’ll unapologetically snatch it away from you.”
“Fair enough. I’ll be finished with it in a moment, anyway.”
Rorono then unpacked the bag she was carrying on her back and within it were a countless number of silver metal parts.
“I’ll show you the power I’ve got when Father had given me a name. …[Suit Up]”
Overcome with great emotions, she referred to Procell as Father, a thing she said she would only do on special occasions. That was her way of showing her resolve.
Rorono shouted powerfully. The countless metallic parts then floated in the air and came toward her. A lot of the parts assembled itself swiftly and became a garb of sorts that wore itself unto her. The lightweight garb—emitting a metallic and mysterious polish—suited the silver-haired Rorono very well.
“[Mechanical Warmaiden]. There is no way the culmination of my techniques will lose against a stone fiend such as you.”
She then stepped forward and thrusted into the empty sky as though she was a bullet.
When she received her name and thus became a [Monster of the Covenant], a new power had awoken within Rorono. And that power was the materialization of magic power into a material that contained one magic spell that could then be used.
As a production skill, it was beyond extraordinary. However, its only real advantage to her was it allowed her to easily use magic that she could use to begin with. Of course, it was a different topic altogether if someone other than her were to use the material but as far as her fighting strength was concerned, it didn’t really contributed much.
She was well aware that she was more of a craftsman than a fighter but that didn’t mean she had to stop on trying to become stronger than anyone else, especially now that she had [Materialization]—the union of her own special ability and [Creation] Demon Lord Procell Unique Skill.
Determined against such adversities, she had developed a multipurpose integrated tactical unit: the [Mechanical Warmaiden].
If the materials produced by [Materialization] contained only a single magic spell, then she just had to assemble those materials as parts of a single, cohesive unit.
Regardless of how much processing capabilities Kuina and Rorono had, it was still impossible for them to have overwhelming combat and supportive capabilities by activating multiple, varying magic spells all at once. That was until…
“Dance, [Mechanical Warmaiden]!”
First, the magnetic field generating unit installed on Rorono’s ankle produced magnetic fields. By walking through the produced fields, her movement was greatly accelerated.
Additionally, a gravity-controlling unit allowed her to change which way was down or up for herself. Using these two units in conjunction thus made it possible for her to move in high speed in whichever direction she wanted to in the sky.
The Orihalcum Gargoyle was understandably surprised. It felt the danger and flapped its wings to create some distance between them. It flew at its top speed while following a zigzag pattern. It was convinced that she couldn’t have kept up and thus turned around, only to find the silver-haired girl calmly giving chase. Or rather, closing the distance between them.
“You’re slow; you won’t get away from me like that.”
The Orihalcum Gargoyle was once again greatly surprised; a wingless, non-flying enemy was quickly catching up to him. Needless to say, that injured its pride.
It pointed its hand toward Rorono and fired off a stone; an act quite similar to firing a gun.
Thanks to the unit in her chest that granted her thought acceleration, she had perfect grasp on what was happening. Despite that, however, she did not try to evade the stone bullet. Instead, she made use of the hardening feature within her gauntlet and deflected the projectile.
She then finally caught up with the gargoyle and thrusted her fist into the base of its wing. The gargoyle whose body was strong enough to defend even against a shot from Kuina’s shotgun was wounded badly, sending the monster crashing down. The cause of such destruction was the knuckles of her gauntlet vibrating at an extremely high rate.
“This will be the finishing blow”
Rorono readied the huge gun on her back and pointed it toward the fallen gargoyle.
That gun featured the best of her gun-making skills in the form of a modified .950 caliber JDJ. Even unmodified, it was ridiculous for it to have nearly twice as much destructive power as the armored-vehicle-piercing anti-materiel rifles.
She modified the bullets by changing the powder it used to mithril powder, thus allowing magic power to be put into the bullets. Furthermore, the case of the bullets were also changed into orihalcum to make it hit even harder.
The gun that could fire off such a bullet was, of course, no ordinary gun. Using her knowledge from when she developed Kuina’s and Ancient Elf’s weapons, she added [Acceleration] and [Rotation] into it to make it even more powerful.
However, since the power had increased so much, its recoil proved to be too much to bear. Aiming it was hard too due to the unsteady gun barrel. But then again, wearing the [Mechanical Warmaiden] made these drawbacks manageable, if not negligible.
This gun was also different in the way that it had two gun barrels side by side. The logic for which was exceedingly simple: twice the bullets fired was equal to twice the damage.
The moment that Rorono pulled the trigger, a roar that could be mistaken for thunder resounded.
The fired off bullet traveled at a high speed and directly hit the Orihalcum Gargoyle. It then exited the monster until it hit the ground. No matter how much the Orihalcum Gargoyle could endure, it was impossible for it to endure even that.
Rorono then let out a sigh of relief.
“Fuu, this is its first actual battle but everything went well. With this, I’ve proven myself as one of master’s [Monster of the Covenant]”
She slowly landed and cancelled [Mechanical Warmaiden]. The goal of using multiple, individual units that, although not strong by themselves, were able to function simultaneously was a success.
That said, there were still a lot of ways for it to improve.
Various issues were also confirmed in this battle. First and foremost of which was the huge consumption of magic power. The moment the [Mechanical Warmaiden] was worn, its magic power demand would constantly be at maximum.
It therefore could not be used for a long period of time. In fact, in the short time it was activated just a while ago, it had depleted 70% of its magic power reserves or the equivalent of eating one of Ancient Elf’s apples. Clearly, something had to be done.
Rorono then recalled Kuina’ furs in her tail which could store up magic power. She pondered whether or not to pluck some of them so that they may be used as some kind of battery. It seemed to her that only about a hundred among hundreds of thousands were used to store up magic power so it should be fine for her to use some of the rest.
“That was amazing, Rorono-chan!”
Kuina who had already taken care of the Adamantite Gargoyles embraced Rorono. She had reverted back to her usual form. The burden of her other form was great but Rorono judged that Kuina waited until the demise of the Orihalcum Gargoyle before she undid her [Transform].
“Mhm. I am one of master’s [Monster of the Covenant], after all.”
Said Rorono in an awkward manner.
“More importantly, Kuina, are you alright?”
“It was a little too close for comfort. The backlash from [Transform] is making me dizzy. I can stand only due to my willpower but it seems I’ll pass out pretty soon.”
“Before that even happens, we have to quickly break the crystal.”
Headed by the two, the monsters of the first platoon exited the last room and finally entered the crystal room. In there was the unattractive, bipedal frog, the [Viscosity] Demon Lord Ronove.
“Co-come at me! I won’t let you break my crystal!!”
Together with his now considerably fewer followers, he stood before his crystal, desperately trying to protect it.
“You’re in the way”
However, Rorono pulled out her assault rifle—expertly aimed it so that she would not hit Ronove— and heartlessly shot the crystal, shattering it into tiny pieces.
“Ah, ahh! Ahh! Wah! My crystal!”
His few remaining monsters then vanished. Some Devil-type monsters survived and quickly fled. It seemed that the reason those monsters didn’t vanish despite the destruction of the crystal was because they weren’t Ronove’s.
The ground within the dungeon then began to tremble, signaling its eventual collapse.
“My-my monsters, return them! Return my monsters!!”
Tears in his eyes, he took a swing at Rorono but she effortlessly avoided it and pinned him down instead, pressing down the muzzle of her rifle against his temple.
“Answer this: How could there have been such a strong monster in your last room?”
Rorono was no longer concerned about Ronove. What worried her instead was that gargoyle.
“I-I have no reason to tell you tha—ah! Ahhhhhh, my shoulderrrrrrrrrrr!”
Rorono wordlessly shot his left shoulder with her rifle. That opened up a hole in that shoulder and made his blood scatter all over the place.
“Answer me. If you don’t, the next hole will be in your left foot. And if you still won’t answer after that, I’ll just kill you.”
She had to know the secret behind it. The life of her beloved father was at stake, after all. Through it all though, she maintained a calm composure.
“It hurts! It hurts! It hurts!”
Ronove’s answer was only a scream. Dismayed by that, Rorono pressed the muzzle of her gun into his temple once more, grinding it harder and harder.
“You have three seconds to answer exactly what I asked, no more, no less.”
Ronove looked into her eyes and was convinced she would really kill him. He had told Zagan he would keep it an absolute secret but before such eyes, such an obligation didn’t matter.
“If you promise not to kill me, I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you.”
Upon receiving her promise, Ronove told her the truth, piece by piece.
And upon hearing it, Rorono clicked her tongue.
“This isn’t good, Kuina… Oh, you passed out already…”
Due to the backlash of [Transform], Kuina lost consciousness.
After a moment, Rorono then returned to thinking. What should I do?
There was the risk that there could be a monster as strong as the Orihalcum Gargoyle within the dungeon Procell and Ancient Elf went to. But then again, there was also the risk of Avalon being attacked by such a high ranking monster.
It was bad no matter which way.
“I have no choice but believe in Elf and go back to help Wight defend.”
With such a conclusion, she began to mobilize the platoon. She carried Kuina on her back as they returned to Avalon’s dungeon as fast as they could.
The key to her conclusion was simple: she could not imagine Ancient Elf ever losing.