Develop 223

Chapter 223 A Ray of Hope

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 As a horde of monsters approaches the settlement, the people on the ground are captivated by the Crimson glow in the dark night sky.

 ”Is that a star?”

 ”No way, that’s below the clouds.”

 ”Could it be that the labyrinth has set up something new?”

 In this desperate situation where the unidentified Crimson glow above their heads and the approaching horde of monsters have left most people feeling hopeless and dominated by despair, a movement appears in the Crimson glow.

 The Crimson glow streaks across the sky like a comet, extending a tail of light, then suddenly bends vertically and plummets to the ground with tremendous force, kicking up dust upon impact, with the shockwave reaching the defensive line a few seconds later.

 ”Hey! It fell towards the forest!”

 ”Isn’t that where the Third Team is located!?”

 ”Third Team! What’s happening over there!? Report the situation!!”

 With the main force of monsters attacking from the front, the horde of monsters splitting to the left and right, and the sudden fall of a shining Crimson light created a chaotic situation for the defense line. Trying to assess the situation, the defensive member spoke through the item box, but received no response from Iko. The open item box only showed a thick cloud of dust swirling inside.

 ’Niya! Niya!!’

 ’I understand! I’m checking it right now!’

 Iko, who didn’t respond to the inquiry from the defense line, was in the midst of telepathically communicating with Niya.

 While chasing after the main force of monsters, Iko had noticed the presence of that shining Crimson light.

 Before the members of the defense line noticed that presence, Iko had witnessed that Crimson light leaping from the settlement into the sky.

 After it rose to a high enough altitude, it changed its trajectory, coming towards them, and then witnessed it falling into one of the monster group it was chasing.

 Niya and Iko both didn’t know about that dazzling Crimson light.

 However, they were all too familiar with the fighting style that involved falling from directly above the target and causing devastating damage.

 ’What’s happening!? Where is Momoka!?’


 ’Niya! Why aren’t you answering!?’

 Hoping it was a mistake, hoping that Momoka was still in the mansion, Iko held onto such thoughts. In response, Niya calmly replied on the surface.

 ’Momoka’s line of sight is covered in dust clouds.’


 If Momoka’s line of sight is covered in dust clouds in this situation, the answer is clear.

 However, the fact that her line of sight is still functioning indicates that Momoka is alive, filling both of them with relief and anxiety.

 Soon, the dust clouds began to dissipate, revealing the situation on the ground.

 The ground was gouged out like a blast site, with scattered flesh that used to be monsters, and trees broken from their roots, all telling the tale of its power.

 ”Momo… ka?”

 As the dust settled completely, Iko couldn’t believe that the figure standing at ground zero was Momoka.

 With her crimson hair glowing and her body unscathed, even with protective gear, it was impossible for her to be unharmed, yet there she stood calmly with just herself.

 ’Niya, is that…?’

 ’Yeah, details are unclear, but there’s no mistake, that’s Momoka.’

 Niya, who shared Momoka’s vision, was convinced from the information she received visually that it was indeed Momoka there, and she sent telepathy to Momoka.

 ’Momoka, what on earth are you doing? What’s with that appearance, explain.’

 ’Niya? Perfect timing, I need you to share Iko’s vision on me. I want to know the enemy’s position.’

 ’Are you even listening to people? You said you wouldn’t participate in defense, and yet youit rose to a high enough altitude’

 ’Sorry, I’ll explain later. Right now, intercepting the enemy is top priority, and this state won’t last long.’

 ’――――Fine, I got it.’

 Niya forcefully swallows the words rising up from the depths of her throat.

 Right now is not the time for emotions to clash. Niya, who has led her troops to victory on numerous battlefields while suppressing her emotions, quickly cuts away any unnecessary feelings.

 (Details are unclear, but Momoka currently can neutralize the backlash of her abilities. However, there is a time limit to it. Although it doesn’t seem like it will wear off immediately based on Momoka’s attitude, there is a high possibility that the effect will wear off during defense. Since Momoka has joined the battle, if the situation doesn’t improve, she will likely continue fighting even after the effect wears off. In that case, what I should do is eliminate as many enemies as possible before the effect wears off on Momoka.)

 ’Iko, raise your altitude and keep the entire group in sight. Let Momoka handle the main force interception.’

 ’Are you serious about that!?’

 ’You should have known Momoka’s situation through me. The current Momoka is not experiencing the backlash of her abilities.’

 ’Even if it’s not there now, the backlash might hit all at once later!’

 ’If that’s the case, it might already be too late at this point of attack. So all we can do now is trust Momoka and quickly end this battle.’

 ’…Got it, I’ll do it, I just have to do it!’

 Feeling somewhat desperate, Iko follows Niya’s instructions, and Niya also gives instructions to Momoka.

 ’Momoka, we’ve decided to accept your request. In return, we need you to follow our instructions.’

 ’Thanks, Niya’s instructions are always reliable.’

 ’Don’t get too cocky… Listen, even though it’s temporary, your current power with the ability to continue fighting is quite unpredictable. We can’t plan detailed strategies with such uncertainty. So the instruction I’m giving you is simple, ‘Go wild.”


 It’s such a simple instruction that normally one would ask about the intention behind it at this point.

 However, Momoka, who trusts Niya, starts to act as instructed without any doubts, believing in what Niya says.

 (Now, here comes the problem)

 While Niya can accurately assess the situation thanks to her abilities, those in the defensive position cannot.

 Apart from the fact that a crimson light is shown through Iko’s item box, charging into the enemy group and kicking up intense dust clouds, no other information is being conveyed.

 It is impossible for Momoka alone to exterminate the monsters. In any case, since many monsters are heading towards the settlement, it is necessary to share the current situation with everyone and respond immediately.

 ”What’s going on!? I can feel a strong vibration coming from the monster group!”

 ”That crimson light is causing a commotion, is it someone’s magic?”

 ”No, that’s Momoka.”

 The scene, which was in chaos due to Niya’s words, suddenly falls silent, and all eyes turn to Niya.

 Alex stepped forward, representing those with question marks floating above their heads, and asked Niya,

 ”What’s the deal with this ‘Momoka’? I heard Momoka is too weak to participate in actual combat.”

 ”Let’s just say that’s only half true. Strength isn’t something to show off; it’s something to keep hidden until it’s needed.”

 ”I agree with that thought, but… no, now is not the time to discuss such matters. How much can we rely on Momoka?”

 Alex calmly decided that it wasn’t the time to resolve individual doubts, much to Niya’s secret relief, and they continued to share information to protect the settlement.

 ”Momoka’s full power can’t last that long. Even if she can reduce the numbers, a hundred or two hundred would probably be the limit.”

 ”Two hundred!? That’s already amazing, but look at this.”

 The man who had been listening to their conversation pointed to the item box connected to Iko’s item box.

 ”It’s like she knows exactly where the horde is, she’s moving so fast. At this rate, could one person take down not just 200, but maybe even 600 of them alone?”

 ”I doubt that.”

 Iko refuted the man’s words that came through the item box.

 ”Before we knew it, the number of the group has decreased, and if it’s not just my imagination, so has their size. Probably, the labyrinth became cautious and divided the horde further after one of the groups was crushed by Momoka’s blow. It’s highly likely that almost half of the main force is lurking in the forest and heading towards the settlement.”

 ”Report that immediately. Why didn’t you respond in the first place?”

 ”Sorry, sorry, I was also lost in thought for a bit. And I did mention, maintaining this situation requires quite a bit of mental effort, you know?”

 Despite Iko showing no remorse, Alex furrowed his brow but suppressed his anger for the emergency situation, trying to fulfill his role as the defense commander.

 ”If Momoka were to attack the remaining main force now, more than half would hide in the forest. Taking into account the presence of monsters that were already lurking in the forest, there are at least close to 300 monsters heading this way.”

 ”Although the numbers are still high, it’s not an overwhelming amount. Could we possibly allocate some defense forces to the south?”

 ”No, since the monsters are advancing while hiding in the forest, we don’t know where the group of monsters might appear from. It’s unlikely, but if a group separates from the main force and strays to the south, the unprotected south side with only defensive barriers would be breached in an instant, resulting in the loss of personnel allocated there. We are already in a situation where our military strength is stretched thin. We should avoid danger as much as possible.”

 ”Everyone here is aware of the risks to some extent. Or are you suggesting that despite claiming to defend the settlement, you’re actually just looking out for your own safety and staying holed up here?”

 ”You! Don’t you dare speak to Alex-san――”

 ”Be quiet.”

 When Niya provokes him, the members of the Spear of Shouhyou raise their voices, but Alex looks straight at Niya while restraining them.

 ”…Alright, but since we don’t have enough manpower, we can only spare ten people for the south side. Who do you plan to send?”

 ”Myself and five members of my squad, and then――”

 ”I’ll go too.”

 ”I’ll go as well.”

 ”I’d like to borrow Ouza and Shaina.”

 ”You guys… Alright, I’ll send those two from our side. That makes eight, but what about the remaining two?”

 ”It’s a dangerous mission, we won’t force anyone. So we’ll ask for volunteers.”

 Unlike here, the south side lacks defenses, making it much more dangerous.

 While those present here were prepared to risk their lives to some extent, humans still value their own lives.

 Everyone thought there couldn’t be anyone reckless enough to volunteer for such a dangerous place.

 ”I’ll also participate in defending the south side.”

 The one who introduced himself was a newcomer who had recently arrived in the frontier, and he was Kilk, a member of Harmon’s group.

 ”Kilk, seriously?”

 ”I knew the risks and decided to stay here. It doesn’t matter where I fight now.”

 ”Haha, that’s cool. I don’t mind that kind of foolishness. Well then, I’ll join too. So, this Harmon-sama and my subordinate Kilk will participate in defending the south side.”

 ”Who’s your subordinate, Harmon?”

 ”…Thanks for the help. Niya, I’ll leave the command of the defense on the south side to you, count on you.”


 As a ray of hope emerged after sinking into despair, brought by Momoka, everyone’s morale rose, and the defense battle was about to begin.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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