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Chapter 129


 The monster that used to be Jerome roared and stomped the earth with its hoofed feet. The earth shook and they staggered.
 Alexis puts down his shield to keep his feet on the ground, lowers himself, and points his spear sword straight at the monster.
 
(Earth magic—this guy can use aniki's magic just like that...!)
 
 Alexis waits until the shaking stops, then stands up and shouts to his friends.
 
「Watch out! This thing is probably a boss and strong!」
 
 At that moment, the monster leaps forward and leaps at them, swinging its blade-shaped claws. Its four wings trembled, making a deafening buzzing sound.
 The monster was not heading for Alexis, but for Eden, who was farther to the left to the rear than Alexis.
 
 "Eden, defend yourself!" Alexis shouts.
 
**a
「Kuh...」
 
 Eden held up her shield and met the monster's claws head-on.
 There was a resounding crash, and then the monster swung away, using its four legs and the propulsive force of its wings to leap at Eden with all its might.
 
「Aaah—-!」
 
 Eden was thrown away, and her back hit the ground hard.
 At that moment, Fransisca slashed at the monster's side.
 
「Haaaa!」
 
 The sword is swung away, leaving a flash of light and a whirlwind.
 It was aimed at the lion's side of the monster.
 At that moment, the monster turns around and swings its claws away.
 There was a clattering sound, and Fransisca's sword not only caught it, but also knocked it down.
 
「Ah...!」
 
 Fransisca falls to the ground involuntarily, but immediately gets up on her knees and raises her head.
 By that time, the monster had already raised its other claw and was about to cut Fransisca into pieces.
 But before it can strike, *Boom! Boom! the monster takes a step back.
 Fatima shoots a fireball into the monster's head.
 
 "Switch!" Alexis jumps while shouting.
 At this, Fransisca quickly backsteps and Lily rushes up behind her.
 
「Are you hurt!?」
 
「I'm still fine...」
 
「Then, I'll do enchantment!」
 
「Then I'll enchant the reinforcement...」
 
「Yes!」
 
 While Lily and Fransisca were exchanging such words, Alexis was holding his shield to hold back the monster's attack. He is hardly able to turn to attack.
 Now, they rely on Lorenzo's bow and arrow and Fatima's magic. However, these do not seem to be working very well.
 Meanwhile, Alexis himself was trying his best to catch the successive attacks of the monster with his shields, which sliced into him one after another like a barrage of blows, using the claws on its both arms. Moreover, because of the weight of each blow, both of his legs, which he is trying to hold on to no matter how hard he tries, are slowly falling backward.
 
**b
(Damn...—It's hard with this firepower to hit repeatedly. And since aniki used to be a great swordsman, the monster's power is the best, as expected from an ex-aniki...)
 
 The strength of monsters seems to be comparable to that of the living before their death. No, their strength is increased many times by being transformed into monsters. No matter how many members there are in this team, surely they would have a hard time. —Besides...
 
「Hey, Eden, what are you doing!?」
 
 Alexis shouts at Eden, still blocking the rain of attacks.
 
「Get your ass in gear and fight!」
 
「...—」
 
 Eden jerks back to her feet.
 Since she had stood up earlier, she had only been watching the situation in a daze.
 
 "Switch!" Fransisca calls out to him.
 
 "Yeah!" Alexis switches places, and Lily comes in with an enhancement spell.
 Two or three blows and Fransisca hit the monster with a "sonic boom".
 After that, she quickly switches the attacker and the guardian again.
 
「Anyway, we can't get anywhere at this point! Let's attack the weakest parts first to reduce the strength of the enemy!」
 
 Alexis shouted while blocking the attack.
 "Yes!" Fransisca answered and quickly looked at the monster.
 
(The weakest part of the body is, after all, those four wings...!)
 
 Fransisca tries to go around the monster, but it immediately changes direction and attacks Fransisca.
 
「Shit—!」
 
 Alexis stands in the way and catches the monster's claws.
 
「It's well guarded... and neither arrows nor magic seem to be working... especially the arrows, which the monster seems to be dodging by shaking its back.」
 
 "We'll have to cut it off physically," responds Fransisca.
 But the attacker has little way to defend herself. Even if she tries to go around, she needs a guardian to help her.
 But if there is no one else to act as a decoy, there is no way to go around.
 
(It's Eden after all...)
 
 After catching the claws that were swung at him again in a wild mix of attacks with his shield, Alexis raised his voice.
 
「Eden, you'll cut its wings! Be a decoy!」
 
 Eden shakes her head.
 
**c
「No...! If that happens... Master will...!
 
「You idiot! He's not aniki anymore! Its used to be aniki!」
 
「But... but...!」
 
 Eden looked very distraught.
 There's no way out of this.
 
「Damn you!!」
 
 That's when it happened.
 
「Alex, we're out of magic!」
 
「I'm out too! What do we do!?」
 
 Fatima and Lorenzo announced themselves.
 
「W-What should we do? I don't think we can continue the battle...」
 
 Lily said waving her hands.
 
 "...Alexis-sama, let's escape," Fransisca said.
 
「What!? What do you mean, escape?」
 
「That's of course—」
 
 Fransisca grabbed Alexis's arm firmly, and she spun around and started to run.
 
「Hey! You mean "escape" as in "escape"?」
 
 "Yes," Fransisca replies as she runs.
 
「Follow me, everyone!」
 
 As Fransisca spoke, Fatima, Lorenzo and Lily, who were in the rear guard, followed her. Behind them, the monster is chasing after them, howling.
 
「Hey, there are many guys who are slower! And aniki is chasing us! And we can't get away from him at all! Is it going to be all right!?」
 
 "It's okay!" Fransisca replies, sheathing the sword and reaching for her chest instead.
 Fransisca stopped where Eden was standing.
 
「If we've come this far, we'll be all right」
 
 Fransisca pulled out a shiny pendant from her bosom, and with a snap, she pulled it off the string and held it up to the monster.
 Strangely enough, the monster stopped in its tracks as if it were frightened by the light.
 
 "We're going to escape!" Fransisca said, and released the power of the artifact.
 
 **a
 
 Before they knew it, they were in front of the jet blackness of Avalon.
 They looked up at the sky, which was blue.
 
「Yes, we're out...」
 
 Alexis relaxed his shoulders and sat down on the spot.
 
「I'm surprised the monster didn't follow us... I thought it would come as a set after we got out...」
 
 Looking back at Fransisca, Alexis speaks.
 Fransisca smiles and shakes her head.
 
「The pendant can't be followed Avalon's movement, so the monster can't too. After all...—Ah, no. Anyway, they're not very good with the light this thing produces.」
 
 Fransisca shows Alexis the pendant she is still holding.
 
「...What the heck. If it works so well, why don't you use it as a monster repellent in the first place? The monsters were scared of it when they saw it.」
 
「Ah... uhh, I thought it was just a little scared. The light emitted by this thing itself doesn't have much power, but there's a light that's created when it escapes, right? I'm sure it's not so good at that.」
 
「Oh, I see. I understand」
 
 Then, it can't be used all the time.
 As Alexis thinks about this, Fransisca sits down on the floor.
 
「Your Highness...!?」
 
 Fatima, startled, rushes to Fransisca's side and crouches down beside her.
 
「Hey, are you okay?」
 
 Alexis also called out to her, and Fransisca gave him a carefree smile.
 
「Haah, haah... I think I've reached my limit, too. I'm tired」
 
「...Anyway, I guess that was the end of the line...」
 
 Alexis sighs.
 The area should be roamed by his brother from now on.
 However, even though it's a wide area, they still have to continue their exploration, and they don't know when they'll run into him.
 
(Well, what should we do...)
 
 He thought like this and sighed.

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Edited Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.
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