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Stalling for Time
“Illumination magic should be fired after the troops finish mounting the Spirit Turtle. Please hop on then, Iwatani-sama” (queen)
“Understood. Then, operation start!” (random soldier)
“Roger that. Everyone! We’re going!” (shield)
“I’ll do my best!” (rishia)
Ans thus Firo and I faced the Spirit Turtle for another assault.
During that time, Raphtalia, Rishia and half of the Allied forces circled around the Spirit Turtle’s back to mount it.
“Together with Master~” (firo)
Firo let me ride on her in good humour, and ran towards the Spirit Turtle.
Such a fearless kid.
I checked the number of Mana Potions and…. medicine…. and stood before the Spirit Turtle.
As the Spirit Turtle detected us, it simultaneously released a swarm of familiars.
And then it used its body to trample down on us.
“Zweite Aura! Meteor Shield!” (shield)
I chanted protective magic while raising my voice, and deployed Meteor Shield.
The Spirit Turtle’s foot rained down on us and caused an earthquake.
As if I’m going to take that obediently!
Just like that, we evasively dodged its foot before Meteor Shield could be broken.
Fissures formed in the ground.
In the midst of a dust cloud being raised, I used my whole body to grasp the Spirit Turtle’s foot before it could lift its gigantic leg.
It seemed that the Spirit Turtle raised its voice in surprise at being unable to raise its leg at will.
Such a sorry state.
gu….gu gu…… *clench*
Nevertheless, if I show even a little hint of an opening then the Spirit Turtle will try to raise its leg. And in terms of strength, I don’t have nearly enough to prevent from being thrown out into the air.
The good thing is that the neck didn’t extend up to the tip of the forefoot that we were on. I’ll try to make use of that.
Familiars were released in our direction.
A large number of magic circles were deployed in the sky, and fire came raining down incessantly.
A wave of supporting magic swept down from the rear and descended upon the familiars, stitching up that interval.
Firo kicked the familiars away, protecting me.
“How long do we hafta wait?” (firo)
“Who knows” (shield)
gu gu……. *clench*
This is bad, if I lose even a bit of focus I won’t be able to restrain the Spirit Turtle’s foot.
All the same, it’s only focusing in my direction so the rear was defenceless.
I looked behind the Spirit Turtle, through the gap in its legs. Well, what I could see was no larger than a speck.
A ladder or rope hung in order for the army and Raphtalia’s party, who had circled to the rear, to climb onto the depths of the Spirit Turtle’s shell.
It appeared that there were also wyvern-riding soldiers who boarded the Spirit Turtle favourably and were lending a hand.
A crackling vibration transmitted through the Spirit Turtle.
The Spirit Turtle turned to use and tried to fire its special move.
Firo hid behind my back.
The Spirit Turtle opened its mouth and fired that intense thunder, intending to wipe out its own foot together with us!
I immediately changed to the Wrath Shield.
Anger ignited in the depths of my heart
Firo’s arms and legs were covered in black flames.
Not yet….. I could endure it. Because Raphtalia and Firo were lending me their strength.
There was a dazzling flash, which was immediately followed by a loud roar one beat later.
I held out the shield and defended with the Wrath Shield.
…… There wasn’t any pain like the last time.
As expected from the Wrath Shield. I’m unharmed.
As I thought that, and waited for the Spirit Turtle’s attack, I realised a time counter had appeared in the corner of my vision.
4 : 37
This number that was decreasing every second……
When the number fell to just below 4:30, the Spirit Turtle’s attack ceased.
All right, I withstood it. And then I realised. Somehow strength wouldn’t enter my body.
What just occurred?
I checked my status.
……My SP became 0!?
What the? Why was my SP 0?
It couldn’t be that that Spirit Turtle’s attack also drains SP, can it?
I changed to the Soul Eater Shield and recovered SP by stealing it from the swarming familiars with a counter-attack.
I summoned Meteor Shield.
The number that appeared when I changed into the Wrath Shield has disappeared……
I have a bad premonition.
Could it be that that number was the duration that the shield couldn’t control me, or otherwise Firo, converted into a numerical value?
It seems like something bad would happen if it reached 0.
The Spirit Turtle regenerated its burnt foot and trampled down on us.
“No way!” (shield)
Like before, I seized the Spirit Turtle’s foot to halt it. If I changed to Wrath Shield, the Dark Curse Burning S would activate from the neighbouring attacks and Firo would be caught up in it. I can’t change it until the very last moment.
When I did, the Spirit Turtle took a breath as though to say it was waiting.
No matter how much, wasn’t this a bit quick!?
Sweat dripped down my face unpleasantly.
It had an ability to drain SP…. would spit out a lightning attack with that recovered SP, and then sucked away the SP I acquired again.
I could remain uninjured with the Wrath Shield but my SP would be absorbed. I’d receive a lot of damage with the Soul Eater Shield but, because it invalidates the drain and steals SP, it would take time before the lightning attack could be fired.
So it’s like this?
“Tsk! Shield Prison!” (shield)
I aimed at the Spirit Turtle’s head and summoned a cage.
However, the cage was broken as soon as it appeared.
As expected, I can’t encase something as large as that.
Well, it looks like I can’t attack with Iron Maiden.
I withstood the next lightning attack by changing into the Wrath Shield.
However, I lost all the SP I had as compensation.
I changed back to the Soul Eater Shield to counter but……..
When I look to the vicinity, the familiars hadn’t finished assembling together.
“Are you alright, Master?” (firo)
Should I get on Firo and flee?
The power of that attack is no joke. If it misfired and hit the allied troops, it would have caused a serious loss.
I deployed Meteor Shield with the SP I just managed to recover.
“Firo, it might be painful but bear with it” (shield)
I caught the lightning attack with Firo supporting me up.
The lightning attack pierced through me for about 30 seconds.
It’s a pain I’ve never felt when I was in my original world. This feeling was like receiving an electric shock together with the pain of my whole body being roasted.
….. My consciousness took a leap.
I chanted recovery magic concurrently with supporting magic invoked by the troops behind me.
My wounds healed but I lost physical strength and accumulated fatigue during the time I was recovering from the injury.
“Firo’s also gonna go” (firo)
“I’ll leave it to you” (shield)
If Firo could blow away the head, that would buy us some time.
Firo took the stance for her special move, established her aim and attacked.
“Spiral Strike!” (firo)
Firo’s assault arrived at the Spirit Turtle’s throat and pierced through.
And yet, it may be because Raphtalia wasn’t there but, it didn’t manage to sever the head.
Before our eyes, the Spirit Turtle’s wound repaired itself with an unpleasant tearing sound.
Firo sought refuge in my barrier as she landed and dropped her shoulders in fatigue.
The Spirit Turtle once again opened its mouth to spit a lightning attack.
Wha…… did the time for the next attack shrink because of the damage!?
“Firo, get away the next time this guy tries to stomp on us” (shield)
I braced myself so that Firo could have time for her magic to recover; Firo’s feathers bristled as she concentrated.
Speaking of which, the duration of the Spirit Turtle’s lightning attack and the time it takes for Firo to accumulate magic power is equal.
The Spirit Turtle spat out its lightning attack and I changed to the Wrath Shield to resist it.
And then, the Spirit Turtle’s blackened leg regenerated again and it attempted to stomp on us.
“Now’s the time!” (shield)
Firo retreated back at high speed and I stopped Spirit Turtle’s trampling with the Wrath Shield, then started running towards its face.
Dark Curse Burning S activated and black flames coiled around with me as the centre.
The Spirit Turtle’s leg and face was thoroughly burned by the cursed flames.
“How’s that!” (shield)
Dark Curse Burning S has an effect of diminishing recovery. It might be able to seal that miraculous regeneration power.
If that’s the case then stalling for time will be easy.
However…..the blackened leg and part of the face regenerated as if nothing happened.
“Yeah, I know” (shield)
I changed the Wrath Shield into the Soul Eater Shield to economise the time.
This will turn into…. quite a drawn-out battle.
Once again, I instructed Firo as I endured the lightning attack.
“Firo, please go and ask the queen, who’s monitoring the timing, for the state of progress. This is quite relentless. Make them hurry up as much as possible” (shield)
“If I do that then Master will…..” (firo)
Firo replied with a voice that seemed like it would break into tears at any moment.
“I’ll be fine…..” (shield)
That Spirit Turtle let out a mortifying cry, possibly because it couldn’t steal any SP.
I think I can endure until the next discharge.
Firo kicked the enemy away.
“High Quick!” (firo)
With high speed, she ran down to where the queen was.
I materialised Meteor Shield with SP taken from the familiars, and repeated the action of pinning down the Spirit Turtle’s foot.
It was difficult, because all the lightning attacks made the footing worse. There were fissures caused by the earthquakes as well as crater ruins.
This is harder than I thought…..
The Spirit Turtle’s familiars forcefully attacked the barrier made by Meteor Shield.
…….If I didn’t learn those strengthening methods from the other heroes, wouldn’t I have died?
Well, this situation is the fault of those other heroes.
“Zweite Tornado!” (firo)
The familiars surrounding me were blown away by a tornado
“I’m back~!” (firo)
“How was it?” (shield)
“They’re hurrying but said to hang in there for a bit longer” (firo)
“I see…….” (shield)
“Ah, also, this is medicine to recover stamina” (firo)
Firo took out some medicine from a bag she wasn’t carrying when she left, and gave it to me.
It was a candy-like medicine.
When I put it in my mouth, there was a minty taste. I felt like a bit of strength had returned to me.
“And this was also set aside for Master’s use” (firo)
….it was a Lukor fruit [T/N: Remember that alcoholic grape thing? See ch93 for more detail]
“Yes, yes” (shield)
I also put that in my mouth.
……I felt more strength return than from the candy. When I checked the status magic, SP and MP was recovered.
The Lukor fruit had a recovery effect. I’ll remember that.
With this, the curtain closed on the long battle of suppressing the Spirit Turtle
I don’t want to do this offense-defence thing a second time.
This repetition of sometimes using the Wrath Shield to resist, sometimes using the Soul Eater Shield to endure.
The barbarian’s armour had become tattered here and there.
Its self-repairing was no longer able to catch up.
The Wrath Shield’s time counter had dropped to below 0 : 30. Around this point, Firo also started tearing at her head seeming to be enduring something.
I also had a dark emotion taking over my heart, which made my mind start to become strange.
“M-Master……. Firo is already…….” (firo)
Firo, who wanted to release the anger that didn’t have anywhere to strike, and I. We’re almost at the limit.
I can’t change to Wrath Shield any more.
“I understand. I won’t change it any more! Endure it!” (shield)
I endured Spirit Turtle’s lightning attack with the Soul Eater Shield.
How many times have I endured this roasting sensation. I’m already fed up with just this. Should we flee?
Just when I thought that, the illumination was fired at last.
“Alright! Let’s go!” (shield)
“Hooray! Firo will do her best!” (firo)
The Spirit Turtle regenerated its foot, and in the instant it tried to stomp down, I got on Firo’s back and passed through its legs at high speed.
Tsk! That Spirit Turtle, it’s trying to crush us with its whole body.
The Spirit Turtle’s stomach drew nearer second by second, as the ceiling was lowering.
“High Quick!” (firo)
Firo changed her course midway using a high speed movement, turned her back and escaped from the front, dodging earthquakes by leaping over them and changed direction as she landed.
And with a huge leap, she jumped onto the Spirit Turtle’s shell.