Chapter 4-17 : Survey Expedition Ⅲ (part 2)
「I want you to catch a Lava Lizard alive for me.」(Nord)
「「……Huh!?」」(Iris & Kate)
Iris and Kate tilted their heads at the same time. They were surprised by Nord’s request.
「Umm… You don’t want to? I’m curious why Lava Lizards are able to swim in the boiling water like it’s nothing. I wonder if they don’t feel hot at all.」(Nord)
「Isn’t it obvious? It’s because they’re monsters!」(Iris)
「I’m a researcher who studies monsters. I can’t write such a conclusion in my report. I have to learn how they can survive swimming in the boiling water and how much temperature they can withstand. I also want to try burning them in fire and see if they will survive.」(Nord)
「Uhh… I thought you studied their ecology.」(Iris)
「Yes, but learning only about their environment is not enough. I also have to study how they survive. Even if it’s well-known and many people know about it, I need to see and do experiments myself. That way, I may get some new information.」(Nord)
「I see… But…」(Iris)
Iris and Kate got the idea. He said a reasonable thing, but what he was requesting was quite unreasonable.
Even though Iris and Kate were able to hunt a Lava Lizard the first time they came here with Sarasa, capturing a Lava Lizard alive was not easy.
Just like last time, Kate could shoot a Lava Lizard in the eye to weaken it so that they could easily chase after it. However, to catch it alive, they needed to restrain it, preventing it from moving.
Just like Salamanders, Lava Lizards have hot skin even though it’s not as hot as Salamanders’.
Luckily, Iris and Kate were wearing Heat-proof Coats, so they wouldn’t have a problem touching a Lava Lizard.
The problem was they wouldn’t be able to restrain it unless they could use magic to increase their physical strength just like Sarasa.
「…Iris, are we gonna do this…?」(Kate)
When Kate asked, Iris nodded with a bitter expression.
「Yeah. He’s our client after all. He will pay us a good amount of money, so we need to listen to his requests, right?」(Iris)
「Hahh… I knew it wouldn’t be an easy job… Alright then. Looks like it’s time to show the result of our magic practice. Iris, have you mastered body strengthening magic yet?」(Kate)
「Not completely, but I can do it a little. For now, I can maintain it for five minutes during practice sessions, but I’ve never used it in combat, so… I think I will only be able to restrain a Lava Lizard’s movements for twoー no, three minutes. How about you?」(Iris)
「I can soften the ground a little with my earth magic.」(Kate)
Recently, Kate, Lorea, and Iris started learning earth magic from Sarasa. Kate and Lorea were learning earth magic while Iris was learning body strengthening magic.
Iris didn’t have much magical power, so she could only use magic for a short duration. However, body strengthening magic is very useful in combat even if you can only use it for a short time.
Moreover, because Iris trained her body every day, she had strong muscles from the beginning. In other words, Iris would be able to restrict a Lava Lizard’s movements with body strengthening magic. But stillー
「I won’t be able to hold a Lava Lizard’s movements forever. We need to tie it with a rope, but…」(Iris)
「It won’t be easy… Should we make a trap or something to make it easier?」(Kate)
「That’s a good idea. However, I think I will only be able to hold its upper body since Lava Lizards have big bodies. It will definitely swing around its tail, and it will be very dangerous to approach.」(Iris)
「Hmm… Nord-san, it’s your request but can you help us?」(Kate)
「Of course. I’m not that good at fighting monsters but as you can see, I have strong muscles!」(Nord)
Nord was quite muscular for a researcher.
He was able to carry his heavy backpack easily. That means his muscles would surely be helpful.
「Alright. But before we do it, Nord-san, do you have any ideas that may make things easier?」(Kate)
「Well, it’s not an idea but I have a special rope that’s way stronger than normal ones. We can use it to tie a Lava Lizard down.」(Nord)
After Nord said that, Iris and Kate squinted their eyes, glaring at Nord while thinking, “Why didn’t he tell us sooner!?”, and “Guess not all researchers are smart.”
After that, they made a plan, set up a trap, and hid in their designated positions.
◇ ◇ ◇
After waiting for a while, there was finally a Lava Lizard walking nearby.
Kate then immediately shot an arrow toward its eye.
Just like last time, the wounded Lava Lizard didn’t try to strike back but tried to escape instead. Howeverー
Iris came out of her hiding spot and attacked the Lava Lizard with her sword.
Of course, she knew that the skin on the back of Lava Lizard was hard and her blade wouldn’t hurt it. She did that to change the direction in which the Lava Lizard ran, trying to lead it to the muddy ground where they hid the net made of Nord’s special rope.
By the way, Kate made that muddy ground with her earth magic in order to slow down the Lava Lizard’s movements even just for a little.
When they were about to reach the muddy ground, Iris and Kate, who were chasing after the Lava Lizard from behind, shouted at the same time.
「「Nord-san!!」」(Iris & Kate)
「Leave it to me!」(Nord)
As he shouted back, Nord pulled the rope he was holding as hard as he could, and then the net hidden in the muddy ground wrapped the Lava Lizard’s body, entangling it.
The Lava Lizard still tried to escape but then Iris immediately activated her body strengthening magic, jumped onto its body, and held its head with her arms as tightly as possible.
「Khh! It’s hot!」(Iris)
Iris was wearing a Heat-proof Coat that Sarasa made, so she wouldn’t get burned even though she was holding down the Lava Lizard with her entire body. However, the heat-proof effect was weaker on the face since it was exposed, so she could still feel the heat with her face.
While trying to keep her face away from the Lava Lizard’s skin, Iris was holding down the rampaging Lava Lizard with her enhanced muscle strength. Still, she had a hard time due to the difference in weight and size between her and the lizard.
Kate and Nord rushed toward the lizard.
Nord was holding its tail while Kate was trying to tie its hind legs with the special rope.
However, the Lava Lizard’s claws were very sharp and dangerous. Kate’s job was very risky because she might get seriously injured, so she had to be very careful.
「Kate, please be quick!」(Iris)
「Ghh!! Its tail is pretty strong too!」(Nord)
Nord, who was hugging the Lava Lizard’s tail, was also having a hard time.
Lava Lizards’ tails were very strong. They could destroy boulders with them.
They could pulverize human bones easily with a swing of their tails.
Nord had strong muscles but he couldn’t use body strengthening magic like Kate. He tried desperately to keep his feet on the ground while hugging the tail.
But unfortunately, he slipped.
Right after, the Lava Lizard swung its tail as hard as possible and sent Nord flying into the sky.
「「Nord-san!!」」(Iris & Kate)