When everyone was asleep in the mage's box garden in the dungeon, Dorothea was the third person on a watch that day.
Dorothea watched the streaks of light emitted from the box garden and cleaned her tools with an oil-soaked cloth in her spare time.
But she suddenly heard a voice like the cry of a beast and looked up.
「Eh... wait, no way...!?」
The creature, whose appearance Dorothea had never seen before, roared, "Guoooooooo!!" as it rushed toward her. It is so big that she misjudged the distance between them. And it has four wings.
It matches the features she has heard about.
"...Oh no," Dorothea muttered.
「It's not good. This is bad...! P-Prince! Prince, Prince, prince~!!」
Dorothea, in a panic, stayed there for a moment to work and then quickly ran into the box garden.
* * *
At that moment, Alexis fell asleep with a pleasant feeling of fatigue.
However, he heard Dorothea's voice from outside the door saying, "Hostile attack! Something's coming! Something big is coming!".
As Alexis was packing his equipment and running out of the room, the other group members were also packing their equipment and coming out of the room.
「Let's get out of here!」
Alexis instructs, and the other five members run out of the building with him.
Just as they were approaching the garden with the fountain, Jerome, a monster with nets all over his body, jumped in from "outside".
「Look, look! It looks just like the monster that the Prince mentioned!」
While Dorothea was pointing at the monster and shouting, the monster jumped into the box garden for the time being, but it was swinging its head and limbs around as if it was worried about the net that was entangled in its body.
「...It resembles him...」
Alexis muttered as he picked up his weapon and held up his shield, followed by Fransisca, who nodded, "...Yes".
「That's it, isn't it?」
「But still... I thought there was a possibility that he might try to attack us from the other side, but I didn't expect him to enter our box garden...」
Alexis was still grumbling, and Fatima asked, "By the way, what's that net?" with a staff in her hand.
「Hmm, it seems to have been caught by the trap we set just in case」
Hearing Dorothea's reply, Alexis nodded his head.
「In this case, the best thing to do... is attack from here!」
As soon as he said this, Alexis signalled Fransisca and Eden, who were on the left and right, respectively, and they started to run.
Eden did not hesitate this time, and she came forward with her shield and spear at the ready.
「Eh, shouldn't we get out of here first?」
Dorothea asked in confusion, but Alexis answered, "But we can't get out of here without going through that guy anyway, right!?"
「I'd rather risk it, and we'll settle it right here! Anyway, this garden will be restored to its original state when it comes! So, no matter how much we destroy it, let's go for it!」
Dorothea changes her mind, picks up the hammer hanging from her waist, and reaches for the Crest Stone she carries in her toolbox.
Meanwhile, Fatima, who has finished a long chant, steps out and waves her staff.
Fatima activates her magic while the monster tears the net with the claw on its two arms.
The monster regained its composure and tried to attack the approaching Alexis and the others, but it was immediately struck by a powerful lightning storm, causing it to fall back two or three steps.
As soon as they did, Fransisca was the first one to jump.
「The first one who makes the first move... win!」
As soon as she said this, she drew her shining sword and launched a sonic boom.
The sword's bluish-white glowing wind magic flies straight toward the monster's wings.
Immediately, three of the four wings are sliced off in a single attack. As expected, the place was easy to attack.
「Yeah, we did it!」
Alexis said, and Fransisca quickly retreated to the back of the two guardians.
The monster shook its only remaining wing a few times, but it soon came neighing and swung its claw first at Alexis, who was holding his shield.
As the claw came at him like a storm, Alexis managed to catch the heavy attack with his shield.
「What the hell is this guy? He's still alive and kicking!」
Eden drew her spear sharply and thrust it at the monster from the side.
The monster ducked down and caught the tip of the spear with the claw of one hand, the blade glistening faintly. Then, the monster swung its other arm sideways.
Eden held up her shield to block the attack, but the attack with either arm was still heavy as if a heavy sword had been swung with force.
Seeing the disadvantage of force, Eden retreated backwards.
At that moment, Dorothea said, "Please guard me!".
Immediately, Eden and Alexis put up their shields, and Fransisca seems to have retreated.
Dorothea throws a crest stone, and it hits the monster. The next moment, the space explodes.
As expected, the monster could not survive such a heavy attack.
So, the monster loses its balance and falls to the ground as if it had been knocked down by a wave.
「Not yet! Let's attack at once!」
Alexis and Eden, who were at the front, attacked with their weapons simultaneously.
Fransisca, who had just received an enchantment from Lily, also joined them.
They attacked from three directions at once.
The flesh was quite hard, and only a slight penetration was made. However, perhaps the use of ore, which is said to be a weak point of monsters, had a positive effect. After all, the slight wound emitted a burning smoke.
Whether the pain is worse than it looks, the monster is roaring "Guuuuu".
Despite the rush attack, the monster finally tries to get up. It starts thumping its feet again and again.
「—It's coming! It's earth magic!」
Alexis is the first to notice and shouts, causing the other two nearby to fall back in alarm. That's when it happens.
Fatima seems to have activated some kind of magic.
As a result, the ground shaking they had been warned about did not occur.
And Alexis muttered, "...hmm?"
「What the hell is going on?」
Alexis and the others were puzzled, and the monster seemed to be as well. It stomped the ground several times, but still, nothing happened.
While at it, Fatima raised her staff, emitting a dull magical light, and replied, "I'm cancelling the magic by hitting it with the same magic...!"
Alexis regains his composure and calls the other two vanguards, "Let's attack again!"
They nodded their heads and started to attack again.
However, the monster did not seem to keep on stepping on the ground. When it stopped stepping on the ground, it immediately counterattacked with the claw of its arms.
Alexis was going to instruct the other two to attack various parts of the body to search for its weak points. However, the monster no longer allowed him to jump into its bosom further.
「Damn...what are we going to do? We have no choice but to fight an exhausting battle at this point...!」
Alexis grits his teeth as he retreats, catching the attack on his shield with the same weight as before.
And at the same time, the monster starts pounding its feet again.
"Earthquakes!" Fatima casts another spell to stop the monster's magic from being activated.
「...Jerome-sama, is he using only the same magic?」
Fransisca whispered as if suddenly aware, and Alexis nodded as he caught the claw that came again.
「...Ah! I don't know if I should say this, but Aniki is simply an idiot. He dabbled in magic but only tried to learn one thing he liked. And "Earthquakes" were his favorite...—」
Alexis stops mid-sentence. Suddenly he realized something.
Alexis says suddenly and then backs away, parrying the claw.
「—Alexis-sama, are you hurt!?」
The sudden change in Alexis' behavior causes Fransisca to be one step behind, and the monster rushes toward her, perhaps taking advantage of this, and immediately swings down its claw.
Instead of Alexis, it was Eden who guarded Fransisca as a shield.
Alexis apologized and said, "Come on, guys! Follow me!".
He then turns to face the crowd.
「Eden, you cover the rear! Dorothea, you run and set the traps for now! We're changing places!」
Alexis says this, and the others follow him.
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