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. They were Highserk soldiers, perhaps a platoon engaged in exterminating monsters.
Numerous goblins and wolf species were dead, but apparently, it was neither the goblins nor the wolves that had destroyed the platoon.
Walm rubbed the blood that overflowed from one of the corpses with his finger.
“It’s not dry.”
This wasn’t the only clue. 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 accurately assess the threat level.
The overturned wagon was crushed from above and below, leaving a smoky smell behind, that may have come from the human corpse inside.
There was no vestige of being human left on the corpses. It was different from the corpses that were devoured roughly by orcs and wolves.
The corpses were dragged from the path to the side. Many of them had lost their limbs or their upper or lower bodies, 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 bothered 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 values and priorities of the cavalry were different from those of Walm, but they weren’t wrong.
No matter how accustomed Walm was to killing others, he had no desire to treat the corpse badly for no reason. Still, he would throw the corpse into the trees on command, even impaling it like livestock being prepared for barbecue, or if there was an advantage that outweighed the remorse, even getting his feeling muddy.
Anyway, Walm continued to work honestly.
He tied a rope to the wrecked wagon and pulled it to the side of the road. There was no winch or pulley, so he could only rely on his own strength.
Then, they continued, entering the woods.
Not long after, the trees shook unexpectedly.
When Walm looked up, one of the cavalries danced through the air with a dull explosion sound. Fresh blood spurted into 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 cavalries screamed all at once. The identity of 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 took up a third of the total length of over 7 meters, and howled to the sky.
Walm, whose eardrums were shaken, got a cramp and smiled bitterly.
“That’s a dragon subspecies, eh?!”
Dirty scales with moss and blood. The limbs were long and thick like a big tree. The shape was reminiscent of reptiles, but the ugliness wasn’t similar.
“Don’t stop your legs! Keep moving! I’ll jump!!”
The cavalries started moving all at once. Walm tried to get within range of his skill by wrapping around to the side, but when a huge quake was taking place, the wind also 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 has been 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, in the direction from which the sound seemed to come.
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 rang out.
The terrifying speed was stopped by the fire, and the whole body was on fire, but the crawler hit its limbs on the ground to extinguish the fire, and continued swinging its huge tail.
“Don’t be scared! Keep attacking!!”
The cavalries tried a counterattack with magic and skill, but couldn’t penetrate the hard and thick scales.
The crawler, having given up on using its enormous size and speed, stood still as fire continued to be poured on it, trying to crush the noticeable soldiers randomly.
If Walm continued to burn the crawler, it might involve soldiers, and in the first place, 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.
” <Burst> “
Walm, who got on the acceleration, slashed the halberd to 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 huge body passed just above Walm, who had crouched down, and the tree broke from the root. Walm sneaked in with a cold sweat and immediately activated 《Demon Fire》.
Blue flames blew out from both sides of the crawler. Vegetation that hadn’t been directly exposed to the 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 became angry. Now, it seemed to have a proposition to ignore the cavalries and simply wanted to bury Walm with all its might.
A rolled-up soil mass was sent to Walm.
Walm accelerated in small steps with wind magic to deal with the onslaught and escape the huge body. The difference in the size of the body wasn’t good news. No matter how hard Walm tried to cover his body with a magical barrier, it would be destroyed with a single blow.
A bright red alarm shrilled in Walm’s brain. The core of his body swayed just from its movement, and he felt the strong wind pressure caused by the missed attack.
And apparently, 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 the crawler with 《Demon Fire》 here and there, but he was being cornered. The scales of its body continued to discolor but couldn’t be burned off completely. It showed incredible durability and resistance against the blue flame, which could even melt 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 buy time.
“Ugh, uuUUGH, uuUUHH!!”
The arm that came in contact with the body was twisted. Walm was supposed to be prepared, but his shoulders were about to come off just because his body was coming to him.
Walm couldn’t afford to protect the aching pain. For the crawler that had reacted to his movement had cornered him.
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 moved like a leaf falling from a tree.
However, if the leaf got caught, it would be crushed. Walm’s current situation was as if he was gradually going to his death.
“We’ve got its legs. Do it!!”
Walm’s wish for its defeat suddenly could become true. Magic users, continuing to be ignored, held one of its hind legs with an icicle and one of its front legs with an earth wall.
The magic was too weak to keep the crawler captured, but it was enough to stop its movement for a moment. At the same time, one of the cavalries threw a short spear with the skill 《Strong Throw》 and crushed one of the crawler’s eyes.
The crawler shook itself and looked for the villain, turning its attention away from Walm. It looked at the cavalry and demanded payment.
“Do you like to be burned well-done? This damn lizard!!”
Walm pulled out the sword at his waist with his still okay arm, brought it up to the base of the scar that had appeared for the first time, and poured 《Demon Fire》 to the scar. Blue flames overflowed the scar.
Walm burning the Crawler
The crawler swayed and tried to shake Walm off, but Walm clenched his sword and held on to it. He was slammed against a tree, the air was forced from 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 failed, the cavalries and those in the wagon would be crushed. Moreover, not only the escort unit but also the following units would suffer damage.
“GUUuu, uuu, GUGIII!!”
The crawler rubbed Walm on the ground as if to flatten the pests it had on its body. The armor squeaked and was badly worn as it was rubbed across the ground, letting his flesh and skin shredded by the rough earth.
“Just, go, die, alREADYYYY!!!”
The blue flame spread inside and burned the crawler’s viscera, and the flame that clung to the outside robbed the crawler of oxygen.
The crawler continued to be exposed to high temperatures.
The raging crawler’s movements gradually slowed down. Suddenly, the time had come. The giant lizard fell to the ground with convulsions.
The movement of its limbs weakened, and with its mouth half open, the crawler stopped moving. Nevertheless, Walm continued to burn until its abdomen was charred.
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