Chapter 15 Scale of Life
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
The plan was to include the battle, but the preamble became longer than expected, so I’m splitting it up.
As if lured by the roar, Diana and I made our way through the overgrown path and headed straight toward the owner of the roar.
The place is not far from where we were before, and after a while we caught sight of the owner.
”Huh!? What the hell is that!?”
”Heindahl… this is…”
Diana’s face turns blatantly cloudy as she understands the identity of the owner of the scream.
Heindahl is a big tortoise-like creature with a rock-like skin covering its shell, head, and limbs, and boasts of extremely high defensive strength.
It cannot be attacked by any half-assed attack, and effective damage can only be inflicted by high-fire magic or blunt weapons, but unfortunately neither of us had either of those weapons.
Heindahl also noticed us and went into a stiffened state, staring at us.
”Master Neil, are you sure you can take on Heindahl?”
”If you can stop it and give me a couple of tens of seconds to chant, I might have a chance… how about you?”
”I’m afraid I only have a grappling claw and a knife for dismantling, and I can use magic to help, but not offensive magic.”
”Then that’s impossible.”
We slowly leave the place, trying to keep our eyes on Heindahl, but out of the corner of my eye, I see a figure lying behind it.
”Diana, I see something lying behind Heindahl.”
”Yes, I think the roar we just heard was probably made during the battle with the fallen figure there.”
”Wait, you noticed that!?”
Seeing Diana answer nonchalantly, I am shocked to know that she had noticed the figure and was about to leave with the intention of abandoning it.
By the standards of this world, however, Diana’s thinking is quite normal.
To risk one’s own life to save others is beyond good-naturedness to a level that calls into question one’s sanity, and that is how severely people in this world think.
If one hears of a nobleman risking his own life to save a stranger, ten out of ten people would sneer at him as a lie, and the same noblemen would look at them with contempt, even if it is just a rumor.
Knowing this, my feet lead me in a straight line toward Heindahl.
I don’t give a damn about the values of this world, I’m a man with the values of the world before me. I can’t abandon the fallen person in front of me and just run away.
Because if I abandon them, I’ll be haunted by that for the rest of my life, and I’ll remember it every time something happens and I’ll want to die.
I’d rather do what I believe in than bear such a lifelong regret, even if others laugh at me.
”Diana! I’ll get its attention, take care of the person!”
I guess Diana has made up her mind after my rush, and after a short pause, she replies.
I keep a certain distance from Heindahl and cast a spell from a long distance.
”Come on! Come at me! You big, fat, ugly―!”
What!? It’s five times faster than I thought it would be! That’s so fast, I’d call it a foul move for its size!
Still, I guide Heindahl, while ducking the blow that would have surely hit me if I hadn’t kept a distance from it.
In the meantime, Diana reaches the fallen person safely, takes the person in her arms, and leaves the scene.
All I have to do now is to run away from this big guy, but I can’t escape from it because it moves much faster than I thought.
While I’m running away from it, ducking and dodging through the trees, it’s chasing me at the shortest distance, cleaving the trees, and I can’t open the distance at all.
At this rate, the situation will never get better.
But even if I turn around and try to attack, a half-hearted attack won’t work, and if I slow down slightly to counterattack, I will step into the range of Heindahl’s attack.
”Damn, I’m going to lose my strength if I keep going like this―!?”
As I ran and checked behind me, I found that Heindahl, which had been following me closely, had stopped running and was staring up at the sky with its big mouth open.
It was obvious that it was storing up something, like a preliminary move for an attack, and I reflexively cast a defensive spell and hid myself behind a tree.
The next moment I thought I heard the roar of Heindahl, a baseball-sized stone projectile was released from its mouth, and like a machine gun blast, it penetrated through the trees easily and vanished far behind me.
”Whoaaaa!? I can’t, I can’t, I can’t! I’m going to die! I’m going to die!!”
Thanks to the defensive spell, I manage to hold out, but every time the flying debris flying at high speed collides with the shield formed by the magic, I hear a disturbing sound like something is being scraped off.
The sweep, which feels like an eternity in my fear, stops after about ten seconds, and I fearfully look out from behind a tree to check on Heindahl.
”H-has it stopped?”
What the heck, can that guy even use long-range attack magic?
With its unmatched speed, tough hull, and overwhelming surface pressure, it’s just like a mobile fortress.
Fortunately, it was looking up to the sky during the pause earlier, so it didn’t see me hiding behind the tree, and it doesn’t seem to know where I am.
As I’m twisting my head to find a way to get away from this place without being found, I hear a cracking sound coming from right next to me.
I look in the direction of the sound, and I see that a tree, covered with holes caused by the stone debris, is about to fall toward me, unable to bear its own weight.
I reflexively jumped out from behind the tree and avoided being crushed by the tree in the nick of time, but instead, Heindahl found me.
I tried to get up immediately, but before I could, Heindahl closed the distance and attacked me, opening its large mouth to bite me.
”I won’t let you!!”
Just as Heindahl’s fangs were about to pierce me, someone jumped out from the side and gave it a flying kick to the head, shaking its brain and causing it to stagger backward.
It was Diana, the one who had supposedly left with the fallen person.
”Master Neil, are you all right?”
”Thanks to you. Where is that person?”
”I hid then in the bushes. More importantly…”
Diana breaks off and focuses her attention on Heindahl, who is standing right in front of her.
Heindahl was furious because its head had been kicked, and it was staring at Diana with bloodshot eyes.
”Master Neil, I’ll take care of this, please run away.”
”Don’t be ridiculous! If I abandon Diana here, nothing will change!”
I couldn’t bear the guilt of abandoning her, so I made such a reckless decision, but if I abandon Diana instead, it would be meaningless.
”So, is there any way to defeat it?”
”Before talking about emotional issues, let’s look at the reality. How futile it is for two people to challenge an opponent whom it is doubtful that even two of them can defeat. Then, one man sacrifices one and one man survives, that’s the constructive way.”
What is she talking about? Is she saying that sacrificing one of us is a positive idea?
”So please leave, Master Neil. I’ll be the bait.”
”No, I’ll be the bait then! It’s because of my reckless behavior! That’s why―”
”No good! Master Neil is the future head of Count Atmiras. Please consider which life is more important, the life of a nobleman or the life of his servant.”
Diana’s words made me feel as if my consciousness had been bleached.
Why is it always the same, slaves, commoners, nobles, everyone wants to put a rank on human life.
I know it’s common sense in this world, and I understand that it’s unavoidable considering the roles that royalty and nobility have to bear.
”How can you so easily weigh lives!”
I can understand, but I can never sympathize.
What’s the use of holding on to the values of my previous life? Are those values only a burden in this world? Yes, I understood that long ago.
I understand that, but then…!
”I! I won’t change my way of life! I won’t run away! And carry it through to the end! And I’ll live out my days as the oddest man out in history!”
I will not let myself or Diana die, and I will stand up against Heindahl with all my might.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.