"A swarm of monsters is approaching the settlement."―With these words, I leap out of the way, pushing away Lewya who is standing at the entrance.
"Calm down! They're just approaching the settlement, but they haven't arrived yet!"
Lewya says these words from behind me as I am on the lookout for the area as soon as I jump out, and I regain my composure.
"How did you know the monster was coming?"
Lewya pauses for a moment, then turns her eyes toward the laboratory and confirms that Mei is watching, and says something in my ear so that Mei doesn't hear.
"Actually, I asked the spirit of the forest to keep an eye on the area around the settlement. Then I was warned just now that there was a group of monsters coming toward this settlement."
"So that's what it means, but they're coming this way, and whether they'll come this far or not is another story, isn't it? Maybe it's because of Ameris' wedge, but we haven't seen any monsters near this settlement so far, and there's a possibility that they might change direction on the way, isn't there?"
"The spirits warned me because this wedge has caused monsters that have not been seen before to come close to this settlement."
I see, the spirits warned this time because the monsters appeared within the effect range of the Ameris wedge, even though they usually only appear at a certain distance from the settlement due to the power of the Ameris wedge.
And even if they enter the effect range of the wedge, there is no possibility that they will naturally turn back, since they are moving toward the direction where the influence of the wedge is stronger, not to mention that they do not seem to escape from the range.
But why in the world are these hordes of monsters coming toward this settlement? Even ignoring the discomfort the wedge gives them, what is the reason why they are coming toward us?
While I'm thinking like this, Diana comes rushing toward us from the mansion.
"Diana! Where are the slaves?"
"Don't worry, Master Neil, I've evacuated them all temporarily to the mansion."
Diana, it seems she acted before I gave the order.
"Mei, please evacuate to the mansion too!"
"Okay, I'm not sure I can do anything much, so I'll do that."
"Master Neil, please evacuate to the villa too."
"What? No, I'll fight too."
The only people who can fight in our settlement now are me, Diana, Lewya and that criminal slave.
Although we can't afford to leave our forces idle here, Diana shakes her head with a sullen look on her face.
"No, Master Neil is a nobleman, and I will not tolerate any disrespect for Master Neil's safety by jumping into a dangerous place while the slaves have been evacuated to the mansion for their own safety."
"What are you talking about in this emergency? In the first place, it's already been done before when you and I went out to investigate the surrounding area."
"At that time I left the slaves behind because I thought they would only get in the way. However, in this case, the slaves were sent back to the mansion for their own safety. But if Master Neil puts himself in danger, it is as if he is putting the slave's life first."
Ah, here we go again, Diana is putting her life on the line again.
I was irritated and was about to argue with her when Lewya said.
"Enough fighting! The monsters are coming to this settlement soon!"
"No, but! Neil! You don't even have a sword! Are you going to fight them unarmed?"
"So, if you've got time to argue... go and get your weapon first!"
Lewya is right, what am I doing arguing with Diana so seriously in this emergency situation?
Let’s be prepared to be lectured, I think to myself, and I run past Diana to the mansion to get my sword.
"Master Neil! ―Lewya!"
"We can argue later! Here they come!"
I run upstairs and open the door to my room.
I grab my sword from the bed and look out the window.
"Tsk! It's too late!"
I peek out the window and see that monsters have already entered the grounds of the settlement, and that the two of them are each fighting against them.
I don't know the name of the monsters, but a bipedal wolf-like beast, wielding sharp claws, was attacking them.
There was no time to wait to run back to the entrance, so I opened the window and held my sword outward, putting my magic power into the blade.
At the same time as the blade glows blue-white, a magic circle appears at the tip of the sword, and a sharp ice pillar shoots out at the monster, but before it hits the monster, gravity pulls it down to the ground, and it shatters into pieces with a loud noise.
"Oh no! I made a bad choice."
I had forgotten that my teacher had taught me that magic to send solid objects such as water, ice, and rocks flying is not suitable for long-range attacks, since they are affected by gravity and air resistance.
I was planning to make a surprise attack, but the sound of shattering icicles alerted the monsters to my presence, and some of them came running toward the mansion.
I knew that there were people who couldn't fight here, and if they got inside, they would be in trouble, so I decided to jump out of the second floor window before the monsters could enter the house.
I hear Diana yelling for me, but that's not the important thing right now.
After a moment of floating, gravity pulls my body toward the ground.
Before my body hits the ground, I point my sword toward the ground and cast a spell. The storm of wind that blows from the tip of the sword floats me slightly, killing my momentum, and I manage to land on the ground, though awkwardly.
There are three monsters coming toward me, and there is no way that I can deal with them all at the same time with my sword, so I run toward the south to get away from the mansion where the non-combatants are.
Since I have strengthened my muscles with magic, even the monsters can't catch up with me so easily, I analyze the whole situation as I run around the perimeter of the settlement.
On the other side, the criminal slave was brought here as a combatant, and with his strong body, he grabbed a monster's body carelessly and crushed it or swung it around, kicking it away.
Lewya seemed to be mainly using magic, and although it was not a magic that could inflict fatal wounds, she used simple magic that did not require chanting to check them, and when she saw an opening, she interrupted her chanting to use powerful magic to finish them off without fail.
As for Diana, she was fighting with a rapier instead of iron claws, unlike when she was fighting against "the clone", but unfortunately, a rapier is not suitable for a fast-moving opponent who needs to hit the weak points precisely.
Besides, she was a little distracted compared to the other two, perhaps because her attention was focused on me.
Thinking that I should join Diana in this situation, I look behind me.
One of them must have given up while I was running around the perimeter, and there were now two monsters chasing me.
I put magic power into my sword and invoke a certain magic, thinking that I have to finish them off first if I'm going to join Diana.
A huge rose blooms at the tip of the sword, as if the body of the sword is the stem that supports and nourishes the head of the flower.
The sign of magic is visible to everyone, and the monsters that have been chasing me scatter to the left and right to avoid the magic, but unfortunately it is too late for them as they chase after me and get close to me.
As soon as I shouted the name of the magic, the ice rose shattered, and countless petals that became sharp blades scattered in a wide area in front of me, piercing the bodies of the approaching monsters.
The one nearest to me screamed a desperate cry and fell down with its upper body turning red. The other one escaped a fatal wound because of a little distance between us, but it ran back into the woods at once.
"Huff... it works pretty well against that kind of monsters."
I breathe a sigh of relief that I have successfully repelled the monsters.
The magic I had just used, the Scatter Rose, was originally derived from the spell to send up icicles that had failed earlier.
When I was learning magic from my teacher, he once gave me a problem how to extend the effective range of a solid object like ice or rock when I wanted to send it far away.
My answer to the question was to reduce the mass of the object, but in this case, even if the range is increased, the power is decreased.
The other is to increase the power of the object when it is shot out. In this case, more magic power is consumed, but the power increases with the range, so I chose this answer.
The teacher smiled at me and asked me to try it, and I did as he told me, but the result was failure, the projectile could not withstand the acceleration at the time of firing, and it scattered into pieces.
He told me that if I wanted to increase the firing speed, I had to consider the strength of the projectile by more closely mixing the magic power, etc. But when I saw the icicles shattering vigorously, I thought "it looks like a shotgun shell", and instead of trying to improve on my failures, I started creating another magic to make use of my failures.
Since the size and direction of the scattering of the ice blocks were not uniform with the icicles, I changed the shape of the ice so that the size and direction would be uniform, and lowered the strength of some parts so that the ice would break up beautifully.
By the way, the reason why I used a rose is because other flowers had too few petals or turned outward too much and did not scatter in the front at all, and also because I simply thought, "Isn't a rose cool?"
Putting this little story to rest, I put the finishing touches on the monster that was still breathing but had just collapsed to the ground, and went to Diana's aid.
Around Diana, there were about five monsters, repeatedly attacking her scatteringly, looking for an opportunity to catch her by surprise.
In order to overturn Diana's disadvantageous situation, I put magic power into my sword again and create an ice-image of a rose.
However, to avoid involving Diana, I release the rose in the state of a bud, adjusting it so that its petals are scattered only in front of the monsters.
The shattered bud sends the petals only to the front as intended, and hits the side of the one who was trying to attack Diana's back.
"Okay! I hit it!"
"Diana, come and join me―"
"Be prepared to be lectured later."
"Hey, I'm here to help you out, so cut me some slack!"
No reply. Well, judging from the fact that she doesn't argue with me here, I guess she appreciates my help, but she doesn't want to admit it because it would mean she approves of what I'm doing.
It's all right, I was the one who pushed her into it.
"Well then, let's get this over with before I have more reasons to be lectured!"
"There's one more reason!"
As we were rambling on like that, the monsters, who had been keeping a certain distance and moving in a scattering manner, suddenly turned wild and attacked us all at once, as if they had realized that it would be difficult to attack us with my help.
"Diana! I'll take care of the other half!"
"I don't want half, I want all!"
Leaning our backs against each other, we covered each other's blind spots to intercept the incoming demons.
I was facing the same two monsters as before, but I missed one of them and one of them escaped.
Even if I do the same thing and miss again, there is no guarantee that they will run back to the forest like the one I shot earlier.
Then, I change the shape of the rose to make sure that I can kill the two of them.
There are seven different shapes of rose petals, and I choose the one that can scatter the pieces more widely and in larger quantities.
With those words, Dianthus―an ice rose that resembles the petals of a dianthus shatters, and countless shards fall upon just two monsters.
Each piece is as small as a pea, but the pieces easily penetrate the skin of the monster, which does not have a tough outer skin, and create countless small holes all over its body.
Even though the wounds are small, the monster that is inflicted with this many wounds at a time thrashes around in extreme pain, and the more it thrashes around, the more the remaining shards dig into its flesh, and the more the pain makes it thrash around again.
As I was putting the finishing touches on the two monsters that were now too weak to fight, I looked back and saw that Diana had just finished off the second monster as well.
It seems that Lewya and the others have already finished killing the monsters, so I tell Diana and the others to check the damage immediately, and I watch the surroundings with the criminal slave, just in case a second wave of monsters attacks comes.
Note that, as a backstory, Neil, while developing the Scatter Rose, repeatedly experimented with an ice sculpture shaped like a sea urchin so that countless needles would be scattered in the early stages of prototyping.
However, after considering whether the practicality or the appearance should be prioritized, the rose was finally chosen as the best choice.
So, perhaps Neil cried "Scatter Urchin!" and the sea urchin explodes.
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