341-309 Rest and explore (1)

"...... Nao-kun, Nao-kun, please wake up.

...... Ah, ah, time for a shift?

Yes. Are you okay? If you're not recovering fast enough, you can get some more sleep at .......

No, no problem. You've been asleep for quite a while.

 Before I fell asleep, there was still some light around, but now it was completely dark.
 I wonder if it's midnight?

 I don't know if it's midnight or not, but it's a dungeon, so I don't know, but my feeling is that I've had a good night's sleep.

 As soon as I crawled out from under the covers, Natsuki hurriedly got under the covers.

It's warm.
"...... No, you have your own futon, right?

 I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but it's a good idea.

It's fine. It's good, because Nao-kun is warming it up for you. Besides, it's not like I'm going to smell it.

"No, please don't! That's kind of embarrassing!

 Well, the truth is, no matter who used the bedding, I always apply Purify to it, so there's no need to worry about it. ...... It's just a feeling.

I'm not sure what to say, but I'll try. Good night.
Oh, good night.

 It's a great way to get a good night's sleep.

 And if you pay close attention to the response of the [search enemy], you can see a few small responses, probably because it's nighttime.

 There's still a distance between us, and it's not a threat that I feel threatened by, but I don't know enough about this forest to be relaxed about it.

 As a precaution, I will surround the area with Sanctuary.

 Incidentally, the difference between the "Isolation Field" and the "Sanctuary" can be simply described as a physical wall and a magical wall.

 No, they are both walls made by magic, but as an 'effect'.

 The former blocks everything, including air, while the latter blocks anything harmful to the magician.

 The latter is affected by the perception and skill of the magician.

 For example, if there is a rock fall as a natural phenomenon, it is usually impossible to prevent it in the "sanctuary.

 If you think about it, the quarantine area is more secure, but if you also think about the danger of consuming magic power or running out of oxygen, it is not necessarily better.

 I guess you need to use it differently depending on the situation.

But ...... looking at it like this, it doesn't feel like you're in a dungeon. ......

 In the case of this level, you would not know you were in a dungeon unless you were told.

 If you listen carefully, you can hear a few insects and the wind is blowing.

 If I continued to observe carefully, I might be able to find something unnatural, but for the moment, there was nothing that I could recognize.

 While staring at the fire, I spend some time quietly focusing on the reaction of the [enemy spotter].
 Then, about three hours have passed since I switched guards with Natsuki.
 It's not that strong of a reaction, but it's not that bad.

 The reactions were not that strong, but there were about eight objects that seemed to be moving with some sort of intention.

 They were approaching in a semicircle around where we were.


 I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it's a good thing.

I'm not sure what to say.
I think the enemy might be here.
I can't ...... feel it yet, but if Nao-kun says so, we need to be on the alert.

 When Natsuki got out of the futon, I put the futon and bunk away in my magic bag.
 Now all I need is a weapon and I'm ready to go.

 I didn't take off my chainmail because I didn't know when I would be attacked, so as soon as I woke up, I was ready.

 The problem is that it's a little hard to sleep, but I've gotten used to it. I think it's much better than plate mail.

"What do you think it is?
"I don't know. At least, I don't think I've ever encountered one before. ......

 I'm not sure what it is, but I'm pretty sure it's something I've never encountered before.

I'm not sure what to do. I'm sure he's around there.

 Natsuki looked at the spot I was pointing to.

"No, ......, there it is! It's a cat!

 Almost at the same time, a number of shadows popped out of the darkness as if they were separating.
 Their pitch-black figures were truly cats.

 They were about a centimeter taller than the average Aedes aegypti, but including their tails, they were only about 50 centimeters long.

 Such demons jumped at me all at once from the trees and bushes.
 But it was good to use Sanctuary.

 It's not enough to bounce them back, but their momentum is killed as if they are caught by something in the barrier, and they can't reach us.

 And being stopped in midair for a moment is a good thing for those of us who use long arms.

 At this point, four of the eight animals that had jumped at us had their heads ripped off and were just scratching the ground.

"Shadow Margay, you have [Covert].
"Pitch black and covert. That's pretty dangerous when you're attacked in the dark.
Yeah. I wouldn't want to walk in this forest at night, at least.

 But the enemy is very quick, and the target is small, so it is difficult to hit.

 However, the Sanctuary is still very useful.

 If you follow the blind spots with Natsuki and attack, there are only a few places within the range of the Sanctuary where you can escape.

 And if you touch the barrier, it's all over.
 The moment their movement slows down, you can deal with them quickly.
 It didn't take much time for all the Shadow Margays to stop moving.

"Hmm. You were quicker than I thought, weren't you?
"Yes. Without the Sanctuary, it would have been a bit of a hassle.
Yeah, the Sanctuary is a lot more useful in a defensive battle than I thought.

 If this is a quarantined area, your attacks will also hit the barriers, but this is not the case with the sanctuary.

 But the sanctuary doesn't have such a barrier, and yet it blocks the demon's actions even for a moment, so it is much easier to fight.

 As some of them jumped from the top of the trees at first, it would have been a little more difficult if they had attacked us while hiding in the bushes or on top of the trees.

 On the contrary, the compatibility with the sanctuary that inhibits it is very good from our point of view, and the worst from Shadow Margay's point of view.

"Wow, look at ....... These claws are really sharp, aren't they? If they were aimed at your face or neck, it would be fatal.

"Geez. Too disproportionate, these claws. ......

 The claws on the paws are about two centimeters long and quite sharp, even though the cat looks a bit bigger.

 If one of these things suddenly attacked you from a tree in the dark,......, you'd have a very high risk of dying if it cut your carotid artery.

"Okay, let's never move at night. If we miss them, we'll be in trouble.

"Yes. It's not so bad if you fight them head on, but surprise attacks are dangerous.

 After that, we were on alert for a while, but there was no sign of a second wave coming, so we decided to let Natsuki sleep.

 I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's had a bad experience.

    I'm sure you'll agree.

"What do you think, Nao?
I'm sure you'll be fine. We might not be able to move for a while.

 The next morning, after eating breakfast and leaving the camp, we were looking for the transfer point that Haruka and her team might have set up, in order to transfer back.

 There were two that we could see.

 The far one was the entrance to the second layer, and the slightly closer one was probably the new transfer point Haruka and her team had set up.

 The distance was quite close, but only Natsuki and I would be transferring this time.
 If it's a little closer, I think we can make it, but it's going to take a lot of magic.

I think we should stop at ....... It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for.

I think they're probably waiting for us at the transfer point, but I'm not ...... sure.

 I don't think Haruka and the others will abandon us, but we should consider the possibility that they are attacked by demons and have no choice but to leave the location of the transfer point.

Fortunately, thanks to Nao-kun, we know where we're headed, so let's walk as close as we can. How about that?

"Yeah, no problem. Yesterday's Shadow Margay is not so scary at this time of the day.

 Of course, we need to think about the possibility of another demon appearing, but for now, there is no target that will be trapped by the [Search Enemy].

 If you are a full member of the team, you can make money even if some demons appear, but with just the two of you, you don't want them to appear if possible.

The direction is ...... this way.

 With the location of the transfer point as our guide, we start walking.
 If you think about it, the transfer point is quite convenient, isn't it?
 They allow us to walk without anxiety even in the middle of the forest, where there is no way to see.

 If you place them well, you won't have to worry about getting lost, and if you combine them with Yuki's [Mapping] skill, they're even more useful.

 Well, there is no way to distinguish which transition point is which, so if you place too many of them, you'll lose track of them.

"Stop! Stop!

 I had a bad feeling about this, so I rushed to stop Natsuki.

"What's wrong?

I'm not sure what it is, but I'm pretty sure it's something that's trapped in the tree. ....... I can't say it's an enemy response, but it doesn't look like there's anything ...... faint about it either.

 If I had to use a metaphor, I'd say it was more like a harmless animal.

 But it doesn't look like there are any small animals around the tree, and the reaction seems to be more volumetric than that.

I don't know. Invisible monster? Ghostly.

"The shadow ghosts I've encountered before were visible, ...... but I'd rather not ignore them. It's my first time here. Do you want to attack it at random? Maybe something will fall from the tree tops.

Yeah. This is the kind of thing Toya is good at. ......

 I'm sure you'll be able to figure out the best way to do this.
 I'm sure you'll be able to find something that works for you.
 For the time being, you can try to hit them with Stone Missiles. .......

"No response?
Yes. There's no sign of anything falling.

 A stone the size of my fist hit the tree and shook the trunk lightly, but that was it.
 There was no change.

"......, or is it just my imagination?

 I took the axe out of my magic bag and walked towards the tree with it.

I'm sure you'll be able to figure out what's going on.
"Nao-kun! Up here!