Grimgal Of Ashes And Illusion / Grimgal of Ashes and Illusion Vol 4 Chapter 7.4
LEVEL 4: Chapters of the Chosen and Choosers
Chapter 7: Past Glory Lost
Part 1 of 4 (translated by Lono)
Look for it.
Find it no matter what.
In this situation, with how we are now, there must be some way we can pull this off.
Of course he hadn’t dared to think it would all go well from the very start. It couldn’t be that simple.
Even so, to think that it would be this bad…
“—ku! Ranta…! Don’t back off…!”
Haruhiro was trying to get a grasp of the situation while parrying the attacks of goblin A with [SWAT].
Goblin A was wearing a leather helmet and chainmail armor, and was armed with a short sword and a small shield, but it wasn’t like it had an orc’s big body, nor were its blows as heavy. Even fighting it one-on-one wasn’t that hard; the problem was Ranta.
“It’s not like I’m backing off…!”
Ranta yelled “[PROPEL LEAP]….!” to retreat in a hurry. Goblin B was drawn in and gave chase.
Without a moment’s delay he attacked the approaching goblin with his long sword.
“Eat this! [JUKE STAB]…!”
However, thanks to its good physique, the heavily armed goblin managed to avoid Ranta’s sword by a hair’s breadth. Well, even if he’d landed the attack between the neck and shoulder of the armor, a blow of that caliber wouldn’t have dealt much damage. Goblin B didn’t falter and closed the distance between them. Ranta slashed his long sword at Goblin B’s blade,
And immediately knocked the goblin’s sword down. It was all going fine, but then—
“Kiran! Got you! [HATRED’S CU…]!”
Ranta stepped in aggressively and performed a full body slash, landing a perfect strike on top of Goblin B’s left shoulder. However, it wasn’t enough. It was the armor. The armor was so strong, Ranta’s long sword failed to penetrate, leaving only a dent.
“You’re being too aggressive…!” Haruhiro complained while still parrying Goblin A’s sword.
“Shut it!” Ranta yelled back. He then showered Goblin B with attacks.
“Orya orya orya orya orya….! Ura ura ura ura ura ura ura…!”
Though Goblin B was recoiling, Haruhiro could see it was somehow fending off the swings.
That’s why a brute force approach is impossible. Do you understand, Ranta?
Because you aren’t Mogzo.
Haruhiro almost said as much, but he swallowed his words. That was something he shouldn’t say. Because Ranta was doing his best in his own way. He had tried to take on the tank role of the party, and from the beginning of the battle, plunged himself right into the middle of the enemies.
But unlike Mogzo, Ranta was never the type to hold position and continually exchange blows with the opponent.
To begin with, the core of the Dread Knight’s fighting style was to make use of its mobility to lead opponents around by the nose, confusing them. Moving around was inevitable. If he didn’t do that, he wouldn’t be able to use his real strength. Ranta wasn’t like that. He wasn’t a tank. Haruhiro and the others would have to change the very basics of their strategy. But what would their new tactic be…?
Haruhiro tried to [SWAT] the Goblin’s sword, but his hand slipped. The goblin will break through. This is bad—
Mary. Mary rushed in aiming her short staff at Goblin A. The goblin was sent flying despite blocking with his shield.
“Are you preoccupied with something…!?”
While answering yes in his mind, Haruhiro attacked Goblin A. Pretended to attack, to be exact. As soon as Goblin A turned to counter attack, Haruhiro switched to [SWAT]. He somehow managed to connect [SWAT] with [ARREST] and tried to incapacitate Goblin A, but it didn’t look like it would work.
Goblins are a bit too small. I’ve never used [ARREST] against a goblin. What’s up with this? Damnit. I was able to kill an orc, and happily lose my virginity, but I can’t defeat a single goblin facing him fair and square? I’m too weak. But I know. I know well enough that I’m too weak.
“Oom rel eckt nem das….!”
Shihoru used her magic, [SHADOW BIND]to shoot a shadow elemental at the ground. It attached itself near the right foot of Goblin C, which had locked blades with Yume.
Goblin C panicked and planted its left foot, trying to pull its other foot away, but the shadow elemental clung tightly and didn’t let go.
Yume jumped at Goblin C, and showered it with a combo of [SWEEPING SLASH] and [CROSS CUT]. However, Goblin C was wearing chainmail in addition to its hatchet-like weapon, so it didn’t suffer a fatal wound. Even so, its shoulders, arms and torso were hit with the kukri’s full strength, so they should be in quite a lot of pain.
Goblin C began to randomly swing its hatchet. It must have been really desperate, but Yume pulled back.
If Yume took a hit from that with just her leather armor, it would be bad.
She briefly glanced in Haruhiro’s direction, and seemed to understand just from being called.
Yume is coming here.
Parrying Goblin A’s sword with [SWAT] once more, Haruhiro dashed away. Goblin A tried to keep up with him, but Yume took over and stopped it.
Goblin C’s right foot was still affected by [SWADOW BIND]. It noticed Haruhiro coming and tried turning around to face him, but was too slow. Or rather, because it couldn’t freely use its legs, it couldn’t move or turn around. Of course, taking someone like that from behind would be easy.
Haruhiro circled around to Goblin C’s rear and leapt in. He immediately pinned the goblin’s arms behind its back and slit its throat in one go with his dagger. After Haruhiro pulled away, Goblin C’s knees bent and audibly hit the ground. His right foot was still fixed to the ground, so it didn’t collapse completely.
“—Alright! Finally got one….!”
Part 2 of 4 (translated by Lono)
Yume was fighting Goblin A, and Ranta Goblin B. Haruhiro could target either of the goblins’ backs. Should I go for A, or B?
Goblin B is protected by decent-looking armor, and dealing with that will probably be troublesome. Guess I’ll start by getting rid of Goblin A.
Haruhiro had barely started running when he felt a dull impact on his left flank. It felt like he’d been kicked.
Looking down, he found an arrow sticking out of his left side. What… is this?
He was more surprised than in pain. At the moment anyway.
Haruhiro looked around. Judging from its trajectory—There. To the left, a little bit behind. It looks like a mostly crumbled wall. It’s a little too small to hide a person’s body, but for a goblin…
“They have reinforcements…!”
“Haru, healing!” Mary tried to run towards Haruhiro.
Haruhiro shook his head and ran towards the wall. “Mary, Shihoru…!”
There was a chance the enemy could target Shihoru while Mary was healing Haruhiro. There was also the possibility of Mary being shot by an arrow. That would be catastrophic.
Of course, running makes my side hurt a lot. But not so much that I can’t move. It’s still tolerable.
To begin with, could Haruhiro even do anything, going there alone? Hard to say. However, he felt that being treated by Mary right now wasn’t a good idea. If he were in their place, he would definitely make use of that opening. Goblins were smaller than humans, but they were by no means stupid.
Haruhiro came to a stop on the other side of the wall.
“—It’s not here…!?” Haruhiro yelled, astonished. Suddenly an arrow came flying from his right. He managed to duck at the last second, dodging it by a hair’s breadth.
About seven or eight meters from where he was, Haruhiro could see Goblin D holding a short bow, half hidden behind a pile of rubble. Goblin D had probably anticipated that Haruhiro would rush to find it and moved there from its previous location. Really… they aren’t stupid at all.
“But I won’t let you run away anymore…!”
Goblin D tried to nock another arrow, but from that distance, Haruhiro could not only know the timing of the shot, but could also grasp where it would be aimed. Even if the goblin did release the arrow, he would be able to dodge it. Or at least he should have been able to.
He felt dizzy.
His heartbeat was weird. It sounded like violent stomping. It was pounding like crazy.
Goblin D shot its arrow. Needless to say, Haruhiro tried to dodge. However, his movements were a little— just a little—different from what he expected.
The arrow pierced his chest, near his left shoulder, and Haruhiro fell backwards. Uwa. I ended up taking a second one.
“It’s a poisonous arrow…!” yelled Haruhiro, mustering up all the voice he could.
Goblin D threw its bow aside, pulled out a small sword, and went flying at Haruhiro.
What should I do? [SWAT] it? Is that possible? Definitely not.
Goblin D pushed Haruhiro down and straddled him. It then tried to stab his face with its small sword. He didn’t know if he’d dropped his dagger or something, but it seemed he was no longer holding it. He could only try to protect his face using his arms. His arms and his hands; Goblin D’s small sword vigorously pierced them again and again. Haruhiro was desperate. He wasn’t supposed to have time to think about unnecessary stuff, and yet, the words ‘I screwed up’ still crossed his mind.
Maybe he shouldn’t have gone there himself. Maybe he should have left it to Yume. But his mind hadn’t thought that far. Though that might just be hindsight. The outcome. This is the outcome huh? So disappointing. Guess this is what happens when you make a mistake. But to get killed by a goblin… No, no, no, no. It’s not like that has already been decided. Not at all. Yeah, that’s right.Goblin D kept swinging his small sword down. The bone in Haruhiro’s right arm was able to brush the blade aside. Rather than letting his flesh be cut to sever the opponent’s bone, he left his flesh be cut to block with his bone.
“Oom rel eckt vel dash…!”
Huh? Magic? Is it Shihoru? Yes, it is. Shihoru performed a thrusting movement with her staff in Goblin D’s direction and shot a [SHADOW ECHO] at point-blank range. It flew through the air with its characteristic voash! sound and Goblin D’s head snapped back as it began convulsing. The black seaweed-like shadow elemental hit Goblin D right in the side of the face.
Shihoru wasn’t that only one who came to help Haruhiro.
Mary hit Goblin D with her short staff.
Goblin D was blown off its feet, but quickly got up again. It ran. It retrieved its bow and tried to run away. Shihoru pointed her staff at its back.
“Oom rel eckt vel dash…!”
Another [SHADOW ECHO]. However, Goblin D quickly leapt for cover and managed to avoid the shadow elemental.
Though it depended on the area, Damroww’s Old Town had a quite a lot of debris from ruined walls and buildings scattered around. This area was especially bad. Why did we choose this place for hunting? Maybe that was our first mistake.
“Fu… hah… fu… fu…”
Such ragged breathing. Who is that? Me, huh. It was Haruhiro himself. Haruhiro was lying flat on his back.
I can see the sky. Mary’s face too. The arrow was pulled out. —Aaaaaah… it hurts.
“I will start by detoxifying…!”
Haruhiro nodded. I wonder if she’ll manage. It would be nice if I didn’t die. Haruhiro thought, as though it was someone else’s problem.
“O light, under the divine grace of Lord Luminous… [PURIFY]!”
Detoxification. Guess it’s poison cleanser. I wonder if the poison was removed with that. I’m not so sure. Yume, Ranta… would they be alright? The Goblin who escaped was.
“Haru! Pull yourself together! O light, under the divine grace of Lord Luminous… [CURE]…!”
Pull… Pull myself… Together. Umm. I got it. I got it, Mary. That’s right. As unsightly as this is. It’s completely lame. But there’s no way I can let myself die. I won’t die. If you die, that’s it. And not only me. My friends too. Everyone.
It’s starting to feel better.
Magic sure is amazing.
“How is it going there…!?” Ranta yelled from somewhere.
“Oook!” replied Yume from some distance.
Those two… What are they doing?
Shihoru stood by Mary’s side while she treated Haruhiro. His eyes met Shihoru’s.
“…Shihoru, what about the enemy?”
“Only one was able to run, we still…”
So they were able to deal with them afterwards. Ranta, Yume and Shihoru sure did their best.
Haruhiro closed his eyes and laughed.
“… Just what the hell am I doing?”
Part 3 of 4 (translated by Lono)
He instantly regretted voicing that. Both Shihoru and Mary reacted badly, and Haruhiro felt even more ashamed.
It seemed like the treatment was finished, so Haruhiro opened his eyes and got up. He was about to thank Mary when Ranta suddenly popped up.
“You fucking idiot! The hell are you doing dropping dead like that!? You got done in by a freaking goblin! How much of a blockhead can you be!? That’s even lower than shit, you damn Haruzero!”
“…I can’t really explain myself.”
Was it really necessary to bash me that much? Well, I guess just this once I did deserve a bashing.
I really did it this time.
And worse, I had to screw up today of all days.
The day of the party’s restart. It was a big day. There could be no mistakes. That’s why they chose this place. Damroww’s Old Town. The place where they’d previously earned the title of goblin slayers. It might have been a somewhat mocking title, given to them ninety percent from teasing and ten percent from accomplishment, but that was just how often Haruhiro and his team had frequented Damroww’s Old Town. Maybe it was because they had murdered way too many goblins, but the goblins’ security had become tighter, so many people had moved their hunting grounds to the Siren Mines. However, this was a place they were thoroughly familiar with. Maybe even with a party like this, they would still be able to win here, even after losing one of their pillars—no, their central pillar, Mogzo.
Had they been careless? Maybe so. Maybe not. Frankly, Haruhiro didn’t know. He wasn’t able to make a levelheaded judgment.
“What should we do about the goblin who ran away!?” Yume yelled from a distance.
“Forget about it already! It went somewhere else, right!? It probably won’t show its face again!”
“…Isn’t thinking like that too easy-going…?”
“Haaah!? Did you say something, Shihoru!?”
“I said, isn’t thinking like that too easy-going?… didn’t you listen…?”
“What d‘ya mean by that? You saying I’m being thoughtless?”
“…To put it simply, you could say that.”
“You’re actin’ pretty defiant, huh? If you’re gonna defy me, you’d better be prepared.”
“…Don’t threaten people.”
“I’m not threatening anyone. You spewed some cheeky shit and I got pissed, that’s all.”
“…I don’t think that’s any excuse, though.”
“Why the hell do I need to make excuses? Don’t screw around. Even my big heart has its limits. You better stop—”
Yume dashed in and hit Ranta in the head with a small thud.
“Ouch! Yume you bitch! The fuck you cuffing me for…!?”
“Yume doesn’t get what coffeeing is! Don’t say weird things!”
“What‘s weird here is you! Completely and thoroughly, get it!?”
“Shut up, moron!” Yume hugged Shihoru. “You were bullyin’ Shihoru! What’re you doin’ when you’re just a scumbag Ranta! Yume’s gonna beat you up, idiot!”
“I-I wasn’t bullying her! We were just exchanging some ideas!”
“…No matter how you look at it, that wasn’t the case.” Shihoru muttered.
Ranta glared at Shihoru and clicked his tongue. “If there’s something annoying you, then spit it out! That shit gets on my nerves!”
Part 4 of 4 (translated by Lono)
Mary was about to open her mouth, but instead cast her eyes down and briefly glanced at her left wrist. A shinning hexagram floated there. Proof that [LIGHT OF PROTECTION] was still in effect.
Now that I think about it, Mary’s been checking on the hexagram quite frequently. And thinking even further, she’s using a short staff now. I wonder what happened to the weapon she was using before. —No no. This isn’t the time to be thinking about stuff like that, right? But… what was it that I was supposed to do…? My mind feels hazy. I don’t think there’s any poison left, and my wounds should’ve been healed by Mary… so why?
“…Ehh,” Haruhiro shook his head and blinked a few times. “This is… I’m sorry for messing up. Now, first of all… Ah, yes. I don’t think that goblin we saw just now was normal. And I’m not saying that just because he beat me up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a goblin act and move the way that one did. How can I say it—Ah, I get, uhm, yes, I don’t think we should stay here any longer. We could get shot again. It might even bring allies.”
Ranta made a sour expression and jerked his chin. “Then get up already.”
“Are you alright?” Mary asked, offering a helping hand.
Haruhiro stood up. It wasn’t like he couldn’t stay standing, but he was definitely feeling weird. His body felt weak and sluggish.
“Nuu—…?” Yume leaned in and stared at Haruhiro’s face intently. “Wahhh!? Your face is lookin’ terrible, Haruhiro!”
Shihoru too stared at him and frowned. “…It’s true.”
“He did lose a considerable amount of blood,” Mary said as she adjusted herself to support Haruhiro. “His wounds were healed by magic, but that doesn’t replenish lost blood. Going any further today will be…”
“Hey hey hey hey heeey.” Ranta had been rummaging through the goblin corpses, but at that statement, his face distorted and his veins popped out. “Don’t tell me you guys fucking plan on going back to Altana? We’ve barely earned anything, you know? If we go back with just this, we’ll end up in the red! Bankrupt!”
“But we have lots of money!” Yume protested.
“Shuuut up, Yume! The thing with money is, no matter how much you have, it immediately disappears!”
“…Because you waste it all on pointless stuff.”
“Shihoruuuu! Don’t go around talking about wasting stuff with those huge tits! I will fucking fondle you!”
“Wh…!” Shihoru brought her arms to her chest in an attempt to hide it. “…Scumbag.”
“Hahaha! That doesn’t bother me at all!”
“Ranta, you’re really…” Haruhiro said with a sigh.
My head kinda hurts. Everything is too bothersome. I really want nothing more than to go back, but… is that really okay? It’s probably… not, right?
“…Sorry. Let me rest a bit first. Somewhere far away from here… I think I’ll feel a little better after a break. How about we decide what to do after that?”
“I guess that’s an alright plan. But,” Ranta pointed at Haruhiro, “I’ll just say this, Haruhiro. This situation is completely your fault. You better remember this. ‘Cause even though you’re shitty, you’re still the leader.”