Chore Granting Sorcerer Volume 2 Chapter 6 part 2

Adventuring in unfamiliar floors with my wonderful companions.
 
Every step felt fresh.
 
Lost in a fantastical jungle deep in the dungeon, writhing plants I’ve never seen before. Dozens of new species with each step taken.
 
My curiosity gushes endlessly. The ringing isn’t a big deal.
 
Ah, come on, that’s exactly when it happens.
 
[Vim here, I’ve spotted lizardapes.]
 
The usual broadcast to the full party.
 
Tension runs through the party.
 
We carefully search and prepare to engage as discussed.
 
My head is pounding. Sounds are loud and clear.
 
Breathe in, breathe out.
 
It’s fine, just like normal.
 
And lately I’ve been making it a point to do this.
 
[Lorenz! I’m counting on you!]
 
[…Got it!]
 
Pre-battle coordination and individual broadcasts.
 
This isn’t just my fight. Everyone has their moment to shine and pride at stake, and I have to realize that as a conspicuous member.
 
[Abel! I may need to rely on your hidden ace!]
 
[Why bring that up, Vim!]
 
[If I watch you close enough, I’ll see!]
 
[Oh, Vim…]
 
[Monica! I’ll be hitting it from the side, so please target the opposite side! It’s a critical first strike! I’m counting on you!]
 
[Yes!]
 
Does this come off as arrogant?
 
No, they respond in voices that seem happy enough. Then it must be appropriate for my position.
 
That concludes preparations.
 
My heart rate goes up.
 
Waiting for that any second now look. Straining to see through the trees.
 
Ah, there.
 
Our eyes meet.
 
Fierce eyes.
 
Glowing bright red with blood even in the dim light. Alive.
 
Hey, cut it out. We don’t want this. It’s just, you know.
 
Don’t look at me like you were waiting too.
 
That bugs me.
 
“Transition: [Puppeteer]”
 
The ringing and headache stopped.
 
Phew.
 
I describe it as the scenery slowing down, but it’s slowest right after enhancing my brain. For an instant it probably feels like time has stopped.
 
That near frozen moment in time. It’s quite mystical.
 
I’m getting used to it, or rather, starting to find it comfortable even. Which is odd with how it strains my brain.
 
I close in along orbital rails. Hop right once, cut back left, and lightly slash from the side with both swords.
 
Just the usual feint, but this time I deliberately aim only for the left shoulder.
 
My intent gets through to the lizardape.
 
Stubborn concentration on one point implies only that point need be protected. We continue in rehearsed back and forth attacks.
 
Here it comes. Monica’s fireball. It hits the lizardape monster directly.
 
Unable to endure, the lizardape monster recoils from me to gain distance.
 
Good. I’m in the flow.
 
All that remains is repeating coordination with everyone to repel it.
 
There’s practically no danger. And once we accomplish our goal, it’s back to the surface for dinner.
 
Maintain the rising excitement.
 
Don’t get carried away. The goal is repelling it.
 
[Emergency! The left rear flank has been breached!]
 
Just as things were going smoothly as usual, an irregular broadcast came in.
 
What’s going on?
 
[Camilla here, Vim, do you read me?]
 
[This is Vim, what happened?]
 
[Friendly fire. A small crack formed.]
 
Human error, and at an awful time.
 
Well, it’s proof enough of Night Dragonfly’s excellence that this hasn’t happened since I joined.
 
Now’s the time for me to step up.
 
[Understood. Please bring the personnel.]
 
[…Apologies. Hold position for now.]
 
I take a deep breath.
 
And let it out.
 
Don’t get riled up. Don’t let your emotions run wild. Know your place.
 
“Hey! I’ll take you on a little ride!”
 
I provoke the lizardape loudly.

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Two intentions. To make myself a decoy, and to tell everyone I’m resolving to take on the opponent.
 
Not that those were my true feelings. I don’t want to get carried away.
 
My role is to protect everyone.
 
“[Momentary enhancement – hundredfold!]”
 
The lizardape grinned.
 
It realized I was increasing my output.
 
I can’t expect support. So, disrupt it, cause chaos.
 
This is a forest. Rather than two-dimensional mobility of just kicking off the ground, there are many more options available.
 
I jump backwards instead of forwards, towards the trunks of the trees. As my feet make contact, I bend my legs and kick off in one motion.
 
I don’t grapple directly. I go via other tree trunks.
 
Considering not just left and right, front and back, but also up and down, and of course eventually pressing down from above.
 
Collision. With the force of falling from above, I’m able to knock the lizardape monster flying.
 
It gets distance from me.
 
No, the lizardape was hanging from the branch of a broad leaf tree.
 
–That’s right. It’s a monkey after all, three dimensional maneuverability is its domain to begin with.
 
Our eyes meet.
 
Damn it, somehow our intents still get through to each other. But for now, that’s fine. I have to keep fighting for a while.
 
The lizardape monster uses its arms like a swing, accelerating by jumping from branch to branch, reaching the blurring edge of visible speed in an instant.
 
I respond in kind. Kicking off trunk after trunk, accelerating so as not to be caught, to catch up, kicking and kicking.
 
Taking in all the trees filling my vision, memorizing on the spot, just not stopping no matter what, grasping each other’s maneuvers, predicting trajectories while kicking.
 
Kicking off tree after tree after tree, like a game of tag.
 
And then I sense the moment.
 
I foresaw a future where the lizardape monster’s and my rhythms happen to align. After three more kicks we’ll pass each other.
 
One. The lizardape monster’s form vanishes. From its view I’ve probably vanished too.
 
Two. There. We’re both in midair. Kicking off the next trunk will make us face each other.
 
Three. Dead ahead. Our eyes meet again. In the next instant we’ll collide.
 
My body sought that.
 
Despite knowing we’ll crash kicking off, I can’t stop bending my legs to build momentum.
 
A flash. We both slash once.
 
Strangely, we happen to aim for each other’s vitals.
 
Our strikes carrying our full momentum clash, changing the angle of our charge. There are no trees ahead. We unavoidably tumble to the ground, absorbing the impact and immediately standing back up.
 
I glare so as not to lose sight of the lizardape monster.
 
Then once again our eyes meet.
 
Cut it out, with that “we moved the same” look.
 
I jump. I kick off trees. So I don’t get pinned down, I keep moving no matter what, taking in the opponent’s motions and interfering with each other.
 
Here it comes. This time I’ll finish it off.
 
The floating sensation in my guts feels great. The wind cutting sounds corresponding to changes in speed and angle are fun. And all the more so knowing an exchange of life is at stake.
 
I’ll kill it. But in return, come at me with intent to take my life. Otherwise it’s not exciting.
 
We pass each other again.
 
My side is cut a little. I lightly slash its wrist in return.
 
Hot. Painful. Different from fatigue. Stimuli unattainable simply by moving my body.
 
I rapidly accelerate in response to the lizardape monster.
 
My head’s processing speed is forcibly increased.
 
One mistake in handling it all would mean the end, that tension is irresistible.
 
But even while fighting, I’m properly waiting for Ms. Camilla’s broadcast.
 
[–Vim boy! We’ve resolved things here! Feel free to return!]
 
So I pick up her voice.
 
Ah, is it over?
 
I see.
 
After an emergency stop, I jump big, and jump, rejoining everyone.
 
The lizardape monster doesn’t let down its guard, retreating in the opposite direction from me.
 
“Abel! You okay!?”
 
“And you, Vim! …As expected!”
 
The battle situation was reset.
 
It looks like everyone has reformed their ranks.
 
“Is everyone alright!?”
 
Yeah! Of course! and similar responses come back.
 
“I was in trouble too…I’m really glad we somehow pulled through. But the battle isn’t over yet! Let’s combine our strength and get through this!”
 
I really am relieved. And tactically it’s good news too.
 
Like this we can safely get through this situation in one piece as usual.
 
It was practically already a successful repelling.
 
Following the familiar pattern, the outcome was clear.
 
The apes seemed to realize this too, exchanging a few more attacks like a farce before vanishing into the darkness of the jungle.
 
[My friends! Once again we have survived!]
 
Ms. Camilla’s broadcast to all comes in, and cheers erupt.
 
It really is over.
 
There’s no hesitation or reluctance.
 
I promptly undo my brain enhancement. Speed returns to the slowed scenery, sound comes back.
 
And as expected, the headache returns as well.
 

 
Returning to the surface, the townspeople of Villebron are waiting in front of the Adventurers’ Guild.
 
People asking for autographs, people waving, quite a few who seem to be tavern staff.
 
Just the Night Dragonflies visiting has quite the promotional effect, apparently. Ever since I introduced it, the Inn on the Branch has been thriving, and Ms. Greta gushingly thanked me.
 
A party that apparently never loses members and always returns with results seems to be easy for people to cheer for.
 
Minstrels freely embellish the exploits in their songs, and as proof, the members sprinkle money as they liven up the town.
 
Same as everyone, I wave back in response.
 
All sorts of people want reactions from me.
 
Housewives, middle-aged adventurer fans, boys with innocent eyes, young girls.
 
I don’t feel it’s wrong.
 
Because this is what I sought.
 
Adventuring surrounded by the best companions, scheming to the utmost, achieving, being praised by so many people for the results. My companions recognize and value me, letting me join their circle.
 
But my ears are ringing. My head hurts.
 
That “voice” chases me even outside the dungeon.
 
Yeah, I should drink with everyone. That would probably make it a little better.


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