Chapter 5-21 : Encounter Ⅰ (part 2)
「You there! Please, help us!!!」(man)
While running away from the Giant Snow Centipede, those men waved at us, asking for help.
「Hmm… They look suspicious…」(Kate)
「Yeah, I think so too.」(Iris)
「Eh!? Why? Are you guys not going to help them?」(Lorea)
「Lorea-chan, people who ask for help aren’t necessarily good people, you know?」(Sarasa)
For example, you found someone on the highway asking for help. However, when you helped them, they stabbed you in the back and stole all your belongings.
Bandits sometimes use that kind of trap to trick kind people.
It’s not that we don’t want to help them, but we need to be cautious.
Unlike Iris-san, Kate-san, and I, Lorea-chan can’t fight. I can’t let them bring that giant centipede any closer to us.
「I can attack that monster with a strong offensive spell from here, but I might hit those people too…」(Sarasa)
My target was the giant centipede, so I would try not to hit those people. However, the shock wave coming from my attack might hurt them.
Even if they avoided the shock wave, there was still the risk of them being caught by an avalanche.
「It may be safer for us if you shoot a powerful spell from here, but we still don’t know if those people are friendly or not, so… I don’t think you should do it. You don’t want to hurt innocent people, right?」(Kate)
Seeing Kate-san who showed reluctance and Lorea-chan who was nodding next to her, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
If they were bandits or bad people who tried to trick us, of course, I would shoot a powerful spell not only at the giant centipede but at them as well without holding back.
However, we can’t tell just from looking at them. They might be just unlucky Collectors who happened to encounter a Giant Snow Centipede. Who knows?
「Uhh, it looks like we don’t have a choice but to help them and kill the centipede.」(Sarasa)
「You’re right. If they were innocent people and we let them die in front of us, I don’t think I would be able to sleep well tonight.」(Kate)
「Yeah, but let’s stay vigilant. We still don’t know who they are.」(Iris)
Our own safety is indeed our top priority, but I don’t think we can ignore those people. Moreover, Lorea-chan seemed to be worried about them. She anxiously looked at them.
Now that we have decided what to do, Iris-san, Kate-san, and I nodded at each other and held our weapons.
At the same time as Kate-san drew her bow, Iris-san shouted, warning those people.
「You guys! Stop running straight to us! Run to the sideー!!」(Iris)
As soon as Iris-san finished the warning, Kate-san released her arrow.
It hit one of the centipede’s antennae that was about to reach the person who was running the slowest.
The Giant Snow Centipede screamed in agony when Kate-san’s arrow penetrated its left antennae.
However, Kate-san frowned, not because of the ear-piercing scream but because of the result of her attack.
「Dammit! I thought my arrow would at least cut off its antennae!」(Kate)
When we fought a Salamander a while ago, Kate-san wasn’t even able to hurt it a little with her arrows.
She was so frustrated about that and asked me to upgrade her bow even though it cost her money.
So, I modified her bow by embedding some magic stones into it so that Kate-san could infuse it with magical power.
Her bow would become more powerful depending on the amount of magical power she put into it.
In other words, the resilience of the bow and the speed of the arrow would increase in proportion to the amount of magical power consumed.
However, Kate-san’s bow was a cheap bow that was originally made from low-quality wood because she didn’t have much money to buy a good one. Because of that, there was a limit to the amount of magical power she could put into her bow.
Her bow would break if she kept putting magical power into it after it had reached its limit.
Her bow had indeed become twice as powerful as before, but even so, it didn’t have enough power to sever the Giant Snow Centipede’s antennae.
「Don’t worry, Kate-san. At least your arrow hurt it.」(Sarasa)
「Well, yeah, but I wish I could do more damage.」(Kate)
「Then you have no choice but to buy a good quality bow or use special arrows.」(Sarasa)
「Ughh… I know, but… I don’t have much money…」(Kate)
Kate-san looked down and sighed.
Whether she chose to buy a new bow or special arrows, it would cost her a lot of money, especially the special arrows.
The Ice Arrows I handed to her when we fought a Salamander were special arrows that could freeze enemies when hit, and of course, they were not cheap.
There are some special arrows that could be used multiple times. You can collect them after using them. However, that kind of special arrow requires maintenance, and again, it costs money.
Unless you are a rich Collector who uses a bow, you don’t want to use special arrows as your main ammunition.
「Perhaps I can make it cheaper for you.」(Sarasa)
「Anyway, we can talk about it later. It’s coming. Prepare yourself!」(Sarasa)
After being hit by Kate-san’s arrow, the Giant Snow Centipede turned its face toward us.
I could feel a killing intent coming from it. Perhaps it now sees us as its enemy.
It then began moving toward us by gliding on the snow real fast.
「Here it comes!」(Sarasa)