Chapter 15 Lightning Cage
Three girls wade through the grass on a road less path.
The objective is to capture the Bolt Lizard.
There were few tall trees on the mountainside, only a few sparse stands.
The environment is relatively clear with thick grass.
「 Shifle-chan, what kind of summoned beast is a bolt lizard?」
Rei, who was leading the way, questioned Shifle.
That’s because if you don’t know what they look like, you can’t find them.
「 Shifle will not give you any advice from here. He is only an examiner and a bouncer in case of emergency. He can’t help you with the exam.」
「 Is that so, that’s too bad. I was counting on you. 」
「……Am I not reliable enough?」
Rinna puffed out her cheeks and blurted out in a sulky tone.
She seemed to have done her prep work properly.
「 Oh, I’m sorry. That’s not what I meant.」
「 I’m just thinking that Shifle is more dependable right now.」
「 You don’t have to be in a bad mood. That’s right, when we get back to the capital, let’s go eat parfait, parfait.」
「 I’ll make a lot of Rin-chan’s favorite foods, too. 」
「 We, well, It can’t be helped. I’ll make a special exception this time.」
She was relieved to see Rinna in a good mood and patted her chest.
Shifle, who had been watching from the back of the line, started to speak.
「 So you’ve arranged a date… You’re good, Rei-onee-san 」
「 A, Anyway! We should talk about the Bolt Lizard!」
Forcing the conversation back to where it started, Rinna talks about the target’s characteristics.
「 First, it is about 70 centimeters in size, and its entire body is covered with blue and purple scales. Its most distinctive feature is its dorsal fin, which it spreads when it’s on alert. 」
「 Dorsal fin?」
「 When it spreads that out, it’s a signal that it’s about to shoot lightning magic at you, so be careful.」
「 Lightning Magic huh…… I wonder if it’s going to come out like flashy cracklings from its whole body. 」
Rinna shakes her head in denial.
It seems that what Rei had imagined, and the actual event, were quite different.
「 First, it will create a small thundercloud. The electrical energy stored in it is then released towards the enemy. The stronger the summoner, the less time it takes to charge.」
「 Could it be the same as that thundercloud on the summit? 」
「 That is certainly the case. There are many powerful lightning summons in that area. It’s always covered by the thunderclouds that they create.」
With that explanation, Rei seemed satisfied with the strange mountain scenery.
Looking ahead, they proceeded to look for the bolt lizard.
Eventually, on a raised bedrock.
A large blue and purple lizard appeared.
Apparently, only one of them was resting on a rock.
「 Hey, you two, look over there 」
She whispered to inform the two people behind her.
There was tension in the air.
Letting them stay where they were, she pulled out the sword at her waist and crept closer, killing any sign of her presence.
Twenty meters to go, and it still haven’t noticed.
Ten meters to go.
Right then, the bolt lizard’s entire body twitched and jumped, sensing the hostile presence approaching it.
「 It noticed us! 」
As the large lizard looked at Rei, its whole body trembled and it spread its folded dorsal fin wide.
It then created a small black cloud above his own head.
At the first sign of an attack, Rei pays attention to the thunderclouds as she sizzles into the distance.
Energy builds up in the black clouds, then rumbling sounds could be heard.
Soon it was followed by a flash of lightning, and with a rumble of thunder, the attack moved in a straight line towards Rei.
Rei rolled forward in advance to avoid the light, just in time before it hit her.
She probably wouldn’t have made it in time if she moved after the shot.
Rei runs to close in the distance of her sword before the next attack comes.
Then she struck the lizard’s head as hard as she could with the belly of his sword.
The bolt lizard that croaks like a squashed frog and faints.
Rei let out a deep breath an thend waved at Rinna and Shifle.
「 O~i, I’m done over here!」
Rinna was relieved to see Rei cheerfully waving her hands towards her.
She immediately runs over to the unconscious bolt lizard and pulls out a transparent crystal from her pack.
When it hits the bolt lizard’s forehead, the crystal ball changes color to yellow.
「 Okay, capture complete. Now I can call him out from this crystal at any time.」
「 I see. That’s how you capture summoned monster.」
I had heard about it beforehand, but seeing it in person was a different experience.
As she stared at the yellow glowing jewel in Rinna’s hand, Rei wondered.
「 I wonder if the color of a summoner’s jewel has anything to do with its strength. 」
「 Yes there is actually, Class C is transparent, Class B is yellow, Class A is red, and Class S is blue. 」
「 S-class summons, huh? I’ve never seen one before.」
「 I’ve only ever seen one blue jewel in my life, the one my sister had. 」
「 I see, so that’s the case. I wonder what color Fuu-chan’s crystal ball is.」
Rei glances at the top of Shifle’s head.
It was the same sleepy-eyed creature laying on top of its master’s head.
「 I don’t know, but Shifle is an A-level summoner, trusts me that much. It’s Probably a great summon.……Isn’t that right?」
Rinna had no choice but to reply, despite unsure about it herself.
After all, Rinna had never seen a summoned beast like that before.
「 Now, I have to catch nine more of them. If we don’t hurry, we’ll be losing a lot of time.」
「 Fuuu 」
「 Yeah, let’s go then.」
Rei tucked her sword into her waistband, and Rinna put the crystal into her luggage and left.
Again, with Rei in the lead, the three of them go down a pathless trail.
「 But still, we got lucky earlier.」
「 Eh? Why so?」
Rei turned around at Rinna’s sudden comment.
She wondered if there had been something unusual about the capture earlier.
「 Bolt lizards are pack creatures by nature. If they had a lot of friends, it wouldn’t have been that easy.」
「 A Pack huh…… It’s going to be tough if we get cornered or worse……」
Just then, they heard the sound of grass scraping in the bushes ahead of them.
There’s something hiding in there.
When Rei took a step forward, the creature sensed her presence and ran away.
She could see a slight blue-purple body through the grass.
It was probably a bolt lizard.
「 There it is. We have to go after it.」
「 Careful, now. If we get surrounded by a herd, it will be a problem.」
The three of them carefully proceeded in the direction the Bolt Lizard had fled.
The grass was getting shorter and shorter, and the visibility was getting even better.
Finally, Rei caught sight of her target.
A lone bolt lizard stands in a semicircular space surrounded by low cliffs.
「 I found it. I think there’s only one. I’m off.」
Rinna nodded her head at Rei’s suggestion.
With the two waiting in place, Rei drew her sword and rushed forward.
From the earlier fight, she learned how long it takes to fire an electric shock.
It was quite possible to get in close and stun it faster than that.
Noticing the presence of the enemy, the bolt lizard spread its dorsal fin wide and took an alert stance.
But it was too late.
Rei swung her sword to strike down the thundercloud before it could form.——
「 Rei, watch out! 」
Rinnah’s shout reaches her ears before the attack.
Immediately after that, a thunderous boom echoed from the right side.
The electric shock aimed at Rei was avoided by a quick leap.
「 An attack!? From where……!」
Another bolt lizard emerged from behind a rock. That’s not all. One by one, more than twenty of them appeared from behind the rocks.
「 This is! We’re surrounded.……!」
「 It was a raid!? I didn’t know that Volt Lizards had this much knowledge……! Get out of there, Rei!」
Twenty-five bolt lizards surround Rei. All of them spread their dorsal fins and generated a thundercloud around her at once.
「 This……I don’t know if I can escape……!」
If we turn our backs on these guys and run, we’ll be instantly shot dead, but……
Sweat trickled down Rei’s cheeks.
How long could she continue to dodge an attack of such density.
「 That’s bad! We have to help her!」
Rinna tried to run towards Rei’s side. Blaming herself for this situation, she thought it was a mistake in her strategy.
Shifle grabbed her by the shoulders and stopped her.
「 Wait for a bit! What are you planning to do after you go there!」
「 Let go! Rei is in danger because of me!」
「 You need to calm down. Calmness is also important for a summoner. Judging the situation calmly and acting appropriately. That is one of the talents of a summoner.」
「 Shifle……. Fuuuh, th, that’s right……」
At Shifle’s words, she seemed to regain some of her composure.
Rinna stares at Rei as she gets surrounded by enemies.
「 But this is the situation. How do we get through it……」
「 For now, we have to trust Rei.」
But if by any chance一if something were to happen——
Shifle gives the jewel in his pants pocket a pat.
If she interferes, the exam will be failed.
Still, she can’t leave her to die.
「 Fuu-chan, If something happens, I’m counting on you.」
A high-pitched squeal from what must be the leader of the pack was heard.
This was the signal for the vicious attack to begin.
One of the thunderclouds launched an electric shock at Rei.
Just before the attack, the black thundercloud emits a lightning flash.
As if on cue, Rei jumped back and was bombarded with a second and third electric shock.
「 Somehow……I’ve got to go on the offensive.」
She did two backflips, followed by a side roll and a forward leap. The grass in the area where Rei had been bombarded with electric shocks one after another, scorching it black.
Lightning arrows were flying at her from all directions. If she just kept evading, she will eventually be caught. But how could she get close to it in this thunderous storm?
Before she could even think about it, lightning strikes were launched one after another.
If she stop for even a moment, the next moment she’ll be charred black from the attacks.
「 I guess this is what you call being on the edge……」
She maintains as wide a field of vision as possible and watch out for strong glowing clouds. After a forward roll, and a leap, there was a slight pause.
As Rei continued to dodge the lightning strikes, she felt a small but definite sense of discomfort. The number of attacks is decreasing. Taking a look around, there were only ten thunderclouds surrounding her.
「 Are they exhausted……? Whatever it is, you’ve got a chance!」
In the meantime, she need to reduce the numbers as much as possible.
That’s when she decided to go on the offensive.
「 Rei! Above!!」
Rinna’s shout made her look above her head. Rei’s eyes widened in astonishment at the sight in her eyes, and she gulped.
「……You’ve got to be kidding me.」
Above her, a huge thundercloud, created by the combined power of a dozen or so bolt lizards, was swirling.