139 – The First Stratum – The Watchdogs and Hellfires Realm 1

「Theo will make a path, and after everyone runs through, Ill catch up while carrying Theo.」

Scathach said.

Scathach is also a lightning-type Hero, but he has a higher ranking Lesser Spirit so he can do a lot more things.

You need both talent and technique to handle Spirit Magic, so effort is essential.

Talent and effort. There are discussions about which is more important, but in the Spirit contractors case, both are important.

If you have talent but lack effort in developing your technique, the Spirit wont teach you Spirit Magic.

If you shed blood, sweat, and tears with your effort but lack talent, the Spirit wont teach you Spirit Magic.

Also, even with both talent and effort, if the Spirits ranking is low, it might not know a strong Spirit Magic to teach you.

Which means…

If you rely on Spirit Magic, then talent, effort, and luck are essential.

Scathach has all of that.

The lightning element is derived from the wind element.

Of course, it doesnt hold a candle to the main Wind Spirit that Uncle Air made a contract with.

But among the Lesser Spirits, I think it is the closest in strength to it.

Naturally, Scathach uses lighting strikes, he can also move as fast as a thunder hammer by wreathing himself in thunder and lightning.

「Theo.」

「I already knew youd suggest that, so I have already prepared the way!」

Threads.

Five from his right hand, another five from the left. A total of ten threads stretched out from his outstretched hands, each side linked in a complicated lattice, latching around the gate of the fake Demon King Castle.

With this, the Hellhounds cannot attack from either side, and the unfortunate individuals who happened to be caught in strings were dispatched by us.

Excluding Scathach and Theo, the plan is for fifteen of us to run and reach the gate, and then Scathach will carry Theo on his back and catch up with us to complete it.

「Well then, well be going on ahead.」

「Why dont we just beat up all the incoming enemies?」

Herv, or rather the Hero of the Cursed Sword Hervor, pursed her lips in boredom.

「In that case, well open up the threads just enough for you and your party. Then you can go out there and play with the dogs.」

「Hah, you really get me, Scathach. Alright! Open those threads!」

「…It was sarcasm, you muscle-brained woman.」

「You what?」

I accidentally let out a laugh.

I understand both opinions.

Both are cool and are fine.

Hervs style of「Charge and scatterem!」 brings invigoration and excitement to the audience and makes them want to applaud.

A flashy Clear.

Scathachs members pride themselves in excellently precise attacks and speed, surprising audiences with their speedy Clears.

An expedient Clear.

Both are fine. The important thing is that we choose the way we want to win.

Do whatever you want. The Heros job is to win.

What is needed in order to do that will change depending on your own and your allies abilities.

「What a boring guy… We can do a lot more, yknow?」

「Drop it. I thought we said that we would lead on this stratum?」

Hearing that, she stopped complaining, shrugged, and let out a sigh.

「Dont get in the way, right? Do what you want.」

She said, and then gave up, but that wasnt the whole reason.

If she thought that we couldnt win with Scathachs method, she would have ignored it.

Expressing that this isnt her preferred method doesnt mean that she is denying the other party.

She simply doesnt like it, it doesnt mean its not good.

She seems to be acting as she pleases, but she actually has that kind of flexible thinking.

「Well, see ya later.」

I gave a small wave to Theo since we had been talking frequently up to this point.

「Fufu, I want to say「See you soon」, but I feel that saying that shall invite misfortune to occur so I shall NOT say it!」

You just did…

But I wont say that to him. I already ran out, and it isnt worth turning around to say it.

We ran in a formation where the Aerial party was the vanguard, followed by the Hervor party and my team, and then the three members from the Scathach party.

I think it would be better if either the Aerial party or the Hervor covered the rear but I think the remaining three members thought it would make it easier for Scathach and Theo to rejoin them.

If nothing bad happens, then I guess it shouldnt be an issue.

But this is the Demon King Castle, after all.

We were all about halfway through the space created by the walls of woven threads.

Thats when it happened.

Several things happened at the same time, each person had to make a decision instantly.

Ill go through the events one by one.

First, the threads were burned up.

I saw it for an instant, a fire elemental attack came from midair, burning the threads.

Two questions arose from this. Where did the sudden Fire Magic come from? How did the thread burn? The answers to both soon appeared in my mind.

The magic probably came from an invisible enemy. This means that attacking does not cancel the invisibility. Because we could see the magic attack, but we couldnt see who fired it.

…Theyre probably firing from a distance.

The threads burning up is also a mystery. Theos threads are resistant to magic, so a fireball like that just now shouldnt have been able to burn it up.

But once again, something immediately came to my mind.

The Hellhounds. More precisely, the liquid that we thought they put on themselves in order to slip out of the threads.

It was probably flammable.

Among the fifteen dogs, eight of them slipped out of them and retreated. They had already coated the right amount on the threads.

When creating the path, the threads were first stored in the ring first. Could it have been at that moment when all the threads were soaked? I dont know the mechanism behind the threads expansion and contraction, but Im pretty sure theyre all connected.

The wall of threads soon chang

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