88 Episode 88: Armor Ant's Nest ②

 It's been two months since we started to clean up the ants' nest. We still haven't finished attacking the first ant nest we attacked.

"Oh, boy, you're a force to be reckoned with.

"Thank you.

 Allen is now in a village that smelts mithril ore made in the foothills of the Shiro Dragon Mountains into mithril in a furnace. It's a village I started building in April.

 Allen is now hauling lumber with the men in a rather bleak village.

 The reason I'm here is because we have been trying to clean out the armor ants, over 1,000 of them, and we've killed over 200 a day, but we haven't been able to kill them all in a month. After five weeks of hunting two days a week, I should have killed more than 2000 ants a month.

 But they still kept coming. It just so happens to be more than the one thousand I've heard about, and this nest is so large that there could be as many as three thousand or five thousand ants in it.

 We can assume that it was actually a fairly large nest, but there is one thing that bothers me. After killing nearly 200 ants, the next time I went to the nest, the armor ants were gone. Perhaps the dead ants have been feeding on the dead ants to create new armor. Or maybe they continue to be born, feeding on the dead ants. It's all horror.

 So we can't just retrieve the dead ants to keep them from feeding on the new ants. The endless stream of armor ants is a hindrance, and you can't retrieve your magic stones. The experience is better than anything I've ever hunted before, but there's no monetary value to be gained.

 So I consulted the butler. I found out that the knight commander had been quite accommodating so far, so I asked him for a no-go.

 I'd like you to let me stay out on hunting duty and on consecutive days off.

 The armor ant nest in the Shiro Dragon Mountains is quite far away, even for Allen, whose level and blessings have increased his speed. This won't give him enough time to hunt. So I'll swap the current schedule of serving, hunting, and rest, and make the hunting duty and rest consecutive. I've discussed with you if it is possible to have two consecutive days of hunting.

 Before change Serving, serving, hunting, and rest
 After the change Serving Serving Serving Serving Vacations Hunting Watch

 The butler gives me a difficult look when I tell him I'm going to stay out overnight. I was afraid he would refuse, so I asked him if he would also help in the village to train mithril, and he agreed to go that far.

 According to the servant master Rikker, overnight stay is basically a no-no. He said it's good that permission was granted. It sounds like you pushed it too far.

 After a few hours of helping in the village at the foot of the Shiro Dragon Mountains, it made sense to stay one night in this village and attack the ants two days in a row, even if it was worth the change.

 I was able to increase the number of armor ants I killed from 200 per day to 300.

 Since the middle of April, we have been attacking a village at the foot of the Shiro Dragon Mountains for two consecutive days and one night, and the nest of ants has been changing.

 When I finished helping out at the village at the foot of the Hakuryu Mountain Range, such as carrying logs, I went to the village at the foot of the Hakuryu Mountain Range and killed the ants that were coming out of the nest as usual, and an unprecedented change occurred.

 The armored ants have finally stopped coming out of the nest.

They're here! At last my persistence wins! (!!!)

 A certain number of armor ants were always coming out of the house, but when I was killing them, there were no more ants.

It's time to attack. What to do.

 There is a huge hole that is 3 meters long and wide with a gaping hole in it.

(I brought some torches and some magic tools for lights, but I'll let the summoner take care of that first.

 I need to check the condition inside the nest. I need to check where in the nest the queen is located, because there should be a queen in the armor.

 I need to examine the hole.

(Now, do I send Chappie down the hole? (No, it would be darker so hollow)

 Determine what to send. Instead of the summoner of Bird G, send the summoner of Bird D, which has the special skill "night eye" for the darkness.

(Hmmm, Chappie doesn't have a role to play yet.)

 As the level of summons has increased, more and more useful skills, such as sharing, have become available. I'm trying to find out what kind of opportunities all the summons have.

 I believe that the "Imitate Voice" skill of Tori G's summons is quite useful. Especially when it involves sharing, it expands the range of uses.

 Voice Imitation
Can imitate people's voice

 Conditions to imitate voices
You must listen to the voice of the subject
The name of the subject must be known

 When there was no sharing, you had to specify what to say and whose voice to imitate within 50 meters of each other. It was not easy to use, but sharing has increased the usefulness of this skill.
 The target and content of the voice are always available to you, and you can move from place to place. The possibilities have expanded considerably, but I can't find any use for it at the moment.

 While I was thinking about this, Bird D's summoner kept advancing through the hole.

It's pretty big inside. This one won't make it in time.

 Go on deeper and deeper. It's quite a labyrinth at the bottom, with more than a thousand of those giant armored ants living there. The tunnel goes on and on, branching off several times.

 This is your chance to take down the queen and three more summons of bird D and enter the nest.

I see, so this is a small room. Gah, I'm dead!

 Allen transcribed the map of the lair's strategy into the grimoire while letting the four summons advance. Where the branching off was a dead end in a small room.

 As I infiltrated, the room was not entirely devoid of armor ants. The giant jaws of one of the armored ants in the small room got hold of one of D's summonses and killed it.

We won't give up. Let's see.

 It turns out that the armored ants are still in the nest. I saw about three of them before I was hit, so there must be a good number of them.

 Think about the strategy for attacking the den.

 Keep the three Bird D summonses ahead of you and share four Beast D summonses with a new one that has already been summoned.

 Let the three Bird D summons go ahead of the other three to create a map of the strategy. If they are attacked, summon them back to the place where they were hit. Walk through the tunnel that gently descends from the place where you were hit again. Get a complete view of this nest.

 Then, mark the spot where the armor ant was killed on the map you have created in your grimoire. At the marked spot, you will send a team of three beast Ds and a bird D to the marked spot. Destroy all armor ants in the small room. Occasionally there are larvae in the small room, but I will kill them all.

 Beast D's summons are invisible due to the pitch-black tunnel, which is impervious to light. Even their shared friend Allen is invisible. I will direct the summoned beast of beast D based on the information of the special skill of the summoned beast of bird D that is with him, "Night Eye".

 It's past noon in the cave that began in the morning. Things were going well at the beginning of their progress, but the armor ants wouldn't be silenced.

(Gah, I'm trapped again)

 Armor ants are almost as big as the burrow. The burrow and the armor are about the same size, so you can't go on past the armor ants.
 If you reach a dead end and try to return, you'll find armor ants. You can't defeat the summons of Bird D alone, so you will be completely trapped.
 In that case, put it back on the card. If you return it to the card, it will automatically be stored in the holder, and you can re-summon it to re-enter the den.

 Naturally, armor ants are also in the passage. Defeat Beast D's summons both in the corridor and in the small room. Even if you defeat them, the armor ants will still be in the way, so move the dead armor ants by pulling or pushing their crushed heads to a handle. You need to skillfully move them into small rooms and dead ends so that the summons can move on.

(I feel like I'm doing a puzzle. Is this what a den attack is all about?

 Fill in the map, defeat armor ants, and move defeated armor ants to advance. It feels like you're playing some kind of puzzle game.

 When Allen was Kenichi in a previous life, there was a kind of mini-game in the game. For some reason, even though this is an adventure fantasy, there are mini-games such as quiz competitions and backgammon. The attack on the armor ant nest feels similar to this.

 Finally, in the late afternoon, the summoner of bird D found the largest ant in armor ever at the bottom of the nest.