49. Chapter 49 – Crawler
There were torn corpses, hunted livestock, and overturned wagons. Some were blocking the road and needed to be removed before proceeding further.
Walm looked at a group of corpses. It was the Highserk soldiers, perhaps a platoon unit engaged in monster eradication.
Numerous goblins and wolf species were dead, but it seemed neither the goblins nor the wolves were the ones that destroyed the platoon.
Walm rubbed the blood that overflowed from the corpse with his finger.
“It’s not dry”
That wasn’t the only hint. Huge footprints were left everywhere.
“Three front claws, one back claw… what a monster.”
Walm had experience in subduing monsters, but he had no experience in subduing large monsters, only E and D class monsters. He couldn’t tell exactly the threat level.
The overturned wagon was crushed from above and below, leaving behind a smoky smell, perhaps it came from the human corpse inside.
There was no vestige of being human left on the corpses. It was different than the corpses devoured roughly by orcs and wolves.
Dragged the corpse from the path to the side. Many of them had lost their limbs or upper body or lower body, and were much lighter than the war corpses that Walm was accustomed to carrying.
Those killed on the battlefield were more efficiently carved with fatal wounds. No one bothers to bite or chew the flesh.
One of the cavalries threw the torn limbs and heads into the trees. He probably chose efficiency over carrying it to the side. The cavalry’s values and priorities were different from those of Walm, but they weren’t wrong.
No matter how used Walm was in killing others, he didn’t feel like treating the corpse poorly for no purpose. Even so, if ordered, if there was a benefit that outweighs the emotional remorse of getting his feeling muddy, he would throw the corpse into the trees, even skewering them like livestock prepared to be barbequed, he would do it.
Walm continued to work honestly.
Tied a rope to the wagon wreckage and dragged it to the side of the road. There was no winch or pulley, so he could only rely on his own power.
After finishing the towing, they went into the woods. The trees shook unexpectedly. As Walm looked up, one of the cavalries danced in the air with a dull explosive sound. Fresh blood was scattered in the sky from the mouth of a human and a horse. Viscera were coming out from the wound on the belly.
“It’s an attack!”
The cavalry screamed all at once. The identity of the thing that bounced off the cavalry was the tail of a huge monster.
“It’s a “Crawler” !!!”
One of the cavalries guessed the true identity of the monster.
It was one of the dragon subspecies. All dragon subspecies were classified as A class. The crawler opened its huge jaw, which occupied one-third of the total length, which exceeded 7 m, howling to the sky. Walm, whose eardrum was shaken, got a cramp and bitterly smiled.
“This is a dragon subspecies huh!?”
Dirty scales with moss and blood, limbs were long and thick like a big tree. The shape had reminiscent of reptiles, but the ugliness wasn’t similar.
“Don’t stop your legs! Keep moving! I’ll jump!!”
The cavalry began to move all at once. Walm tried to get into the range of his skill by wrapping around to the side, but when he thought that a giant shake occurred, the wind flowed.
The crawler came with a non-standard speed. It caught a running horse with its big mouth, knocked down the surrounding trees, and disappeared into the forest.
“Ah!? Mei was eaten!!”
“Damn it, it’s too fast.”
The distant ground noise was approaching again. Walm shot 《Demon Fire》 with all his might, ignoring the mana consumption, to a place that seems to be the direction of the sound.
Hot air blew, and the blue flame that swelled to the height of the tree turned the forest into a sea of fire. A loud scream popped out.
The terrifying speed was stopped by the fire, and the whole body was on fire, but the crawler struck its limbs to the ground to put out the fire and continued to swing its huge tail.
“Don’t be scared! Keep attacking!!”
The cavalry attempted a counterattack using magic and skill, but couldn’t penetrate the hard and thick scales. The crawler, which had abandoned the hit-and-away of using its huge size and speed, stayed there as the fire kept being shot at it, and tried to crush the noticeable soldiers at random.
If Walm continued to burn the crawler, it might involve soldiers, and the tough scales common to dragon subspecies made the 《Demon Fire》 less effective.
“Is there no choice but to go near?”
While measuring the distance, Walm held the halberd and jumped with wind magic.
Walm, who got on the acceleration, slashed the halberd at the abdomen with 《Strike》, but the attack stopped in the middle. His hands were numb as if he had hit a metal pillar.
The crawler turned around on the spot, trying to grind the small human. Its jaw approached Walm, who took a distance.
A giant body passed just above Walm, who had crouched down, and the tree broke from the root. Walm sneaked in with a cold sweat and instantly activated 《Demon Fire》.
Blue flames blew out from both sides of the crawler. The vegetation that hadn’t been directly exposed to fire was heated and began to burn, but only a part of the scales discolored.
“Giiii, Gu, GUGAAAAAA!!”
The crawler was burned to rare-done and got angry. Now it seemed to have a proposition to ignore the cavalry and just wanted to bury Walm with all his might.
The rolled-up soil mass fell on the body.
Walm escaped from the giant body and accelerated in small steps with wind magic to deal with the onslaught. The difference in the body size wasn’t good news at all. No matter how hard Walm tried to cover his body with a magic barrier, it would be destroyed with a single blow.
A bright red alert kept ringing in Walm’s brain. The core of his body swayed just by its movement, and he felt the powerful wind pressure caused by the missed swing.
It seemed that the crawler didn’t like the fact that Walm kept sprinkling 《Demon Fire》 while running away, and every time the fire hit directly, it breathed out a rotten odor and barked.
A roar that even made anyone feel a headache drowned out Walm’s concentration.
Walm kept hitting it with 《Demon Fire》 here and there, but he was being cornered. The scales in its body continued to discolor but couldn’t be burned off completely. It showed incredible durability against the blue flame that could melt even iron when the skill was used at nearly its maximum firepower.
The big lizard-like monster didn’t try to leave Walm even if he tried to make time.
“Ugh, uuUUGH, uuUUHH!!”
The arm that came into contact with the body was twisted. Walm was supposed to be prepared, but his shoulders were about to come off just because his body came to him.
Walm couldn’t afford to protect the aching pain. This was because the crawler, which had responded to the movement of Walm, had cornered Walm.
Each blow became a delicate movement, and Walm moved like crazy on the ground. In addition to the five senses, his instinct was mobilized, and he was moving like a leaf falling down from a tree.
However, after all, if the leaf got caught, it would be crushed. The current situation of Walm was like was going straight to death gradually.
“We’ve got its legs. Do it!!”
Walm’s wish to continue aiming for its defeat suddenly came true. Magic users that continued to be ignored restrained one of its hind legs with an icicle and one of its front legs with an earth wall.
The magic was too poor to keep the crawler captured, but it was enough to stop the movement for a moment, and one of the cavalries threw a short spear with the skill 《Strong Throw》 and crushed one eye of the crawler.
The crawler, shaking itself and looking for the bad guy, took its attention off Walm. It looked at the cavalry asking for the payment.
“Do you like to be burned well-done? This damn lizard!!”
Walm pulled out the sword on his waist with the still okay arm, inserted it all the way to the base of the scar that had been made for the first time, and poured 《Demon Fire》 to the scar. Blue flame overflowed the scar.
The crawler swayed and tried to shake Walm off, but Walm clenched his sword and clung to it. He was slammed into a tree, the air was pushed out of his lungs, and his internal organs screamed in pain.
Still, Walm kept his hand. He thought that if he missed this, he wouldn’t have another chance to get rid of it. If he was to fail, the cavalry and those in the wagon would be crushed. Besides, not only the escort unit but also the subsequent units would suffer damage.
“GUUuu, uuu, GUGIII!!”
The crawler rubbed Walm on the ground as if it were flattening the pests it had on the body. The armor squeaked and was severely worn as being rubbed against the ground, and the flesh and skin were being shredded by the rough earth.
“Just, go, die, alREADYYYY!!!”
The blue flame spread inside burning the crawler’s viscera, and the flame clinging to the outside robbed the crawler of oxygen.
The crawler was continued to be exposed to high temperatures.
The raging crawler’s movements gradually slowed down. Suddenly the time came. The giant lizard fell to the ground with convulsions.
The limbs’ movement became lesser, and with the mouth half-opened, the crawler stopped moving. Still, Walm continued to burn until its abdomen carbonized.