Getting Ready for the Main Act
“Sp this the submerged forest that Chris was talking about! But rather than a submerged forest, it looks closer to the marshland near Oxter where we fought the Orc herd, right?”
“The water gets a lot deeper if you go further ahead. And so do the amount of dangerous underwater monsters squirming about.”
“That’s why you wanted to freeze it all. But……..honestly, this is a lot wider than I originally imagined. Even with me, Snow, Mielle-san and another one, it’d be impossible to freeze the entirety of the submerged forest.”
“Impossible!? Man, even though we went through all the effort to make that base are you saying we won’t be able to explore further!?”
“She only said it was impossible to freeze the entire area. Making a foothold should still be doable, right?”
“Yes, though I am worried whether our mana will last all the way but, I do think it should be possible to make footholds and proceed forward.”
I made the right choice by showing the area to Esta beforehand.
It is a bit of a worry that we can only build a foothold but, at least it’s good to know that beforehand.
There’s still the danger from things like that tall legged bird, or the big flying bird. Then there’s the carnivorous fishes that can jump out of the water to attack as well as those, that could possibly break through a thin layer of ice.
It’s clear I’ll need to think of ways to deal with all those dangers.
“Since it’s nearly impossible for people to come to this submerged forest, all sorts of creatures have built their own ecosystem here. We’ll need to specifically think how me and Ralf, who can’t use ice magic, will have to handle these monsters. That’ll be key I think.”
“So I guess whether we can safely explore depends on me and you Chris! But enemies that attack from underwater, how the hell are we going to handle those?”
“We’ll think once we return. It’s not like we’ll get attacked all day, so we can definitely figure out a method………..for now, we’ll begin our exploration from here onwards once we’re back with everyone. So don’t forget what you saw here.”
“Got it. I’m glad we at least got to get a glance beforehand.”
After chatting at the entrance of the submerged forest for a while, we returned back to go back to Edestor.
Since we turned around right where the ground began to get softer so we didn’t get attacked by Rex Bills as we made our way back to the South area, and then we walked all the way back to the Orc Base.
“This base is basically a safe point for us now. I’m sure both of you had it rough since it was your first time in a forest like this, but thanks for accompanying me this time around.”
“No need for thanks! If this is necessary for Chris to get even stronger, we of course will help as much as we can! Right, Esta?”
“Indeed. You don’t need to ask us twice for help!”
“………..you two sure have gotten so reliable. Hard to believe that there was a time you two struggled to kill even a single goblin.”
Feeling nostalgic recalling old memories from before we even officially became a party, all three of us laughed.
Snow could only tilt its head in confusion seeing us laugh like that.
“It took us an entire day of desperate fighting just to kill 5 goblins back then. It feels ridiculous thinking back now, but it’s thanks to the struggles of those days that we were able to become this strong today.”
“Well if Chris wasn’t there for us, we would have forever lived that life and died like that! You saved us who had nothing, and dragged us out of our dark lives. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to repay that debt to you.”
“With your abilities I think you two would have been able to rise up from your struggles sooner or later I think……….that said, this is no time to be reminiscing, let’s get out of this forest. Have you two learnt the way out of here yet?”
I cut the talk before it turned too long from all the reminiscing, and suggested returning now.
It was funny recalling it all now. Ralf was so antagonistic towards me when we first met, and Esta was so unsociable…….
If we started chatting, it’ll really never end but, we have more important things to do right now than that.
“Of course I remember the way back but, is Chris-san not returning with us?”
“I need to go check on a dangerous poisonous plant so you two and Snow should go on ahead.”
“if that’s the case, sure, we’ll do just that but, be careful alright? Suddenly all this reminiscing right before parting feels like a death flag now!”
“I’ll be fine. How many weeks do you think I’ve spent in this place all alone. But, also, I am always extra cautious anyway. Alright then, be sure to get the prep started when you get back. I’m counting on you.”
“Understood. We’ll be waiting for you in Edestor.”
After saying that and parting from those two and Snow, I once again began walking deep into the forest.
Not too much time has passed since but, I’m sure the Owl monster’s ongneer should have a ripe fruit by now.
Well, that is of course assuming it probably sprouted out of it.
Since I caught it by surprise and instantly killed it, I never really got a good grasp of just how strong this monster was.
There’s always a chance that it was too weak to be a proper host for the Ongneer as well after all.
While thinking of such things, I cautiously walked through the forest for a couple of hour before finally reaching the Ongneer’s location.
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It was so much work to just carry it all the way so please, don’t be a failure——-with a eager prayer in my heart I looked there and, thankfully I saw the tree growing well out of the Owl monster’s chest area.
The first humanoid rabbit Ongneer I found was already dried up but, in its stead, the owl monster’s ongneer had a green fruit hanging from it.
I also gathered another Orc King’s ongneer as well alongside the new Owl monster’s ongneer.
Now……..I just need to safely get back to Edestor.
This time around, I was able to make a new base, showed the East area to Ralf and Esta, and was also able to gather the Owl’s ongneer as well.
It was a sort trip but it was a fruitful one nonetheless.
All that’s left is to find one more person in Edestor who could help us——and get ready for the main expedition in three days time.
Just a bit more, and I really might get enough strength to match Klaus.
I gripped my slightly shivering hands tightly, and calmed myself before making my way back to Edestor.
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