135. Versus: Magic Stone Soldiers
「So that was Zerais? He sure was an obnoxious one.」
「I can’t stand the fact that he’s managed to get away.」
「I fail to comprehend the extent to which he belittles the value of the citizen’s lives…」
「How terrible he is!」
「We’re going to have to deal with these things first if we want to hunt that asshole down though, you know?」
The entire all star cast seemed pretty pissed off at Zerais, but they all assented to the fact that the alchemist had already effectively escaped regardless.
We couldn’t really go after him anymore because we flat out had no idea where he was. Moreover, we kinda needed to take out the Magic Stone Soldiers before they caused any more harm. If we were lucky, we might even be able to get a clue or two out of investigating the alchemist’s guild afterwards.
That said though, defeating them would be a milestone in and of itself. We didn’t know precisely what their abilities did, but they seemed to be able to nullify any sort of ranged attack regardless of whether it was based in might or magic. They didn’t seem to be deploying any sort of barrier or anything like that, so I really had no idea what the hell was going on.
Colbert had tried throwing another ranged martial art or two at the things, but his attacks were once again rendered useless.
「Well, projectiles don’t work, so it looks like we’re stuck with good old close quarters combat. I’m a lot more durable than you lot, so I’ll volunteer myself to go up first.」
Gamud stepped up as he made a declaration whose contents sounded fairly logical. The fully armoured dwarf was the splitting image of a tank. I really couldn’t imagine him going down all that easily, especially if he had a few buffs applied and whatnot.
「Sounds like a plan.」
Amanda assented with a nod.
「Then here I go!」
The guildmaster dashed towards the Magic Stone Soldiers with a huge smile on his face.
He reached one of the golems in a blink of an eye and immediately swung his hammer towards it. His speed was incredible, especially for someone wearing full plate armour.
「Hah, these things react slow as hell!」
The dwarf immediately swung his hammer without using any sort of technique or art and delivered a single forceful blow. Despite him choosing not to apply any sort of skill, the strike still looked powerful enough to smash his target’s head to pieces
But it didn’t.
The noise that the hammer had caused was not that of a smash, but rather, a screech.
The mallet-like weapon had ended up being forced to a stop right before it was able to make contact with the enemy golem. Gamud was sent flying, four spells on his tail. Fortunately, Phillip managed to block them before they caused him any harm.
「Are you alright, Guildmaster?」
「Ugh… The hell just happened…?」
Gamud seemed pretty confused, which, to be fair, made sense given how far he’d been blown away. The counterattack he’d been hit by was incredibly powerful, as evidenced by the huge dent in his orihalcum armour.
It was a bit unfortunate for him, but we still managed to get something out of it. Namely, Forrund seemed to have figured something out.
「Oh, that does seem fairly likely now that you’ve mentioned it.」
Amanda acknowledged the other A ranked adventurer’s muttering with an enlightened, knowing tone.
「I think there was a moonlight spell that did something like that. I’ve seen someone use it once before」
Apparently, Moonlight Magic was a branch of magic that specialized in reflecting and invalidating enemy attacks. The Magic Stone Soldiers had already demonstrated that they were capable of all sorts of rare magic, so it actually seemed quite likely for them to be able to use Moonlight Magic as well. The specific behaviour that the golems seemed to be demonstrating was reflection against close ranged attacks and invalidation of longer ranged ones.
Holy shit that stuff is rare though. Like, damn, neither Forrund nor Amanda had seen it more than just once despite their long careers.
「It might be better for us to try wiping out the ones in the rear before attacking the one up front.」
We tried following Amanda’s suggestion, but it didn’t work out.
Colbert and Phillip were both immediately blown back the moment they tried engaging one of the golems in the back. In other words, all five units were capable of using Moonlight Magic.
The golems’ stats didn’t seem all that high, but the properties of their spells made them incredibly difficult to deal with.
「So, anyone here know how to deal with this?」
「Well, it’s probably not all that easy for them to keep reflecting and invalidating our attacks, so it should show a few openings if we just keep attacking them. Let’s try pelting it with weaker hits for now, ones that wouldn’t really hurt you much when reflected.」
「I see. That does sound rather promising.」
Phillip immediately stepped up for the job. He was wearing a tonne of heavy armour and looked like he could tank as many weaker hits as he wanted.
And so, the experiment commenced. He threw a chain of light stabs at the golems, only to find that one in every few attacks would end up actually hitting its mark. The issue was that the Magic Stone Soldiers were fairly durable, so they didn’t end up taking any noticable damage.
Any attack that was strong enough to take the golems down would likely result in at least a few broken bones if reflected. And of course, that applied just as much to Colbert and Gamud as it did to Phillip.
We decided that we could probably join in as well. We wouldn’t run into any issues so long as I kept our magic barriers up at max while Fran lightly slashed the Magic Stone Soldiers over and over.
We figured that the reflection spell might not actually activate if our attacks were too weak, so Fran ended up using as much force as she could while making sure to stay within the Magical Barrier’s defensible limits.
And so, with that condition in mind, we rapidly assaulted the closest enemy rear guard whilst completely ignoring all its counters.
The act led us to hear a series of ringing sounds followed by a loud smack.
I guess that means we hit it. Wait… what?
The familiar sensation of absorbing a magic stone ran through me as the magic stone soldier we hit just flat out poofed.
Ohhhh, I get it. These things are literally soldiers made out of magic stones, which meant I could basically just absorb them as I could any other magic stones. Is this how life feels on easy mode or something? On well, either way, it seemed like I was pretty much the Magic Stone Soldier’s natural predator.
「Woah. What did you just do, Miss Fran?」
「You totally obliterated it in just one hit? Damn.」
「What sort of action did you perform?」
Oh shit. They totally just saw me absorb the magic stone soldiers. Crap, I need to come up with an excuse. I really don’t want to be telling everyone that it was one of my abilities. I didn’t want Forrund taking interest in me, so yeah… I guess we could just say it was because of a skill or something, but I’m not really sure if that’ll fly…
「Come on guys, asking other people about their skills is bad manners.」
「Well, true, but…」
「All that matters is that Fran has a way to beating these things with relative ease.」
「I guess you’re right…」
Luckily, Amanda managed to bail us out.
「In that case, I think it’d be best for us to provide Miss Fran with backup while she eliminates them.」
It didn’t take long for us to dispose of the remaining golems. The task went by especially quickly because the people helping us were so ridiculously strong. They easily held the Magic Stone Soldiers attention as I quickly absorbed them all.
It only took us three minutes to finish off all five Magic Stone Soldiers. Each yielded about three hundred Magic Stone Points, so I ended up getting approximately a thousand five hundred in total. I even managed to get my hands on Ice/Snow Magic, Lava Magic, and Moonlight Magic as a bit of an added bonus.
Man, that went so well. Felt like I was working some sort of super well paying job or something like that.
Gaining all those magic stone points did wonders for my self evolution skill. Things were looking up.
Self Evolution: Rank 11.
Magic Stone Points: 4486/6600
Spendable Points: 2
Each golem being three hundred points meant that they were worth roughly the same as B ranked magic beasts.
「Alright. That’s over with. We’d best move onto investigating the Alchemist’s Guild’s interior.」
「Good idea. Might still be something in there.」