Someone asked for a poll, so here.
Chapter 208: Shortcut
With Firo’s acrobatic kick, the carriage was shot to the other side of the ravine.
The people inside, us, are all slammed against the sides of it. We’ve all developed some mental traumas now.
Running up the collapsing bridge, Firo is able to catch up to the carriage at an amazing speed.
I knew that crossing the bridge would be an extreme shortcut, but it was outside the bounds of human ability.
… Well, Firo is a monster.
“Uu… I don’t think I had enough lives to spare for that.” (Melty)
“What a coincidence. I think the same.” (Naofumi)
“If you think that, then choose the route more carefully!” (Melty)
“We have to use this route if we want to win.” (Naofumi)
I leave it at that.
Honestly, I don’t care whether we win or lose.
But this was a great shortcut. We’ve pretty much caught up with Motoyasu’s group.
I pull out the map and check it again.
Let’s see, Motoyasu is… If I rely on the light of the torch, he’s quite ahead.
“Next comes five devilish hairpin turns. Be careful.” (Naofumi)
One wrong step will send us hurtling down the cliffs. Truly a devilish series of turns.
… When did my mind shift into Race Game mode?
Firo takes the turns perfectly.
Yeah, this would be impossible with a car.
The carriage shakes up and down, and sways from side to side.
“Uge… Aga…” (Melty)
“Fue… Muwa…” (Rishia)
“This is quite amazing.” (Atlas)
Why is Atlas perfectly fine when we’re shaking this much?
I’m relatively fine, though.
Is it because of Magic Flow or Chi?
No, Rishia is no good, so that’s probably not it.
“Uu… I’m going to die. At this rate, we’re all going to die.” (Melty)
For once, Melty acts like a child.
You’re the one who wants to win. Deal with it.
Be thankful you were born in a world where this much isn’t enough to kill you.
“If you hate it so much, then let Firo become Motoyasu’s.” (Naofumi)
“To prioritize friendship over your life, you’ll become a fine Queen.” (Naofumi)
“That doesn’t make me happy. If you tell me that now, that doesn’t make me happy at all…” (Melty)
I’m surrounded by corpses. Perhaps I should have taken Taniko and Gaelion.
They could evacuate the people here…
“Now that I think about it, can’t you just get off?” (Naofumi)
“How am I supposed to do that!?” (Melty)
“Use magic?” (Naofumi)
“There’s no way I can chant Magic in this situation!” (Melty)
“It’s not like anything’s preventing you. Right. Can’t you use water Magic, and use the recoil to fly?”
“Quit joking around!” (Melty)
The other option is to send them off with Portal Shield.
But if I do that, I won’t be able to get back.
“Can’t you even act a little motivated?” (Melty)
“Not with Motoyasu as my opponent.” (Naofumi)
“I can understand your feelings, but don’t you care what happens to Firo?” (Melty)
… I guess Firo has been helping me quite a bit.
And I can’t deny that looking at her soothes me.
But I can’t forget how she looked at me as if I were her prey this morning.
Her head is only filled with thoughts of violating me. And food.
As I think that, my head seems to cool down.
“What? Even if Firo becomes Motoyasu’s belongings, we’ll still interact with her the same way.” (Naofumi)
“After thinking, that’s your conclusion!? Do you really hate doing it with Firo-chan that much?” (Melty)
“Isn’t it obvious? I care for Firo, but I don’t have the time to be doing things like that.” (Naofumi)
“Ah… I never thought the day would come when I wished the creepy Naofumi were here.” (Melty)
“Fuee, My head is spinning. I think I’m going crazy…” (Rishia)
“To say such a thing here. Rishia, you’re quite a pervert.” (Atlas)
“Why are you only speaking up to that!?” (Melty)
Even though I say that, we’ve almost caught up.
But we’re also closing in on the goal.
At this rate, we’ll lose.
Ah, the light is shining on Motoyasu from the torch on the cliff.
There’s quite a turn before we can reach his location. If we were able to jump to the other side of the curve, we would be able to win, but I don’t think that’s possible.
“Firo, you can see a light on that cliff, right? That’s the goal. At this rate we will lose.” (Naofumi)
Firo veers off the road!
“Cliff! Firo, that’s a cliff! We can’t fly, you know! We’ll Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-!” (Melty)
It’s over. Everything is over.
Was I satisfied with my short life?
It would be nice if we could survive.
There’s still something we can do… but there probably isn’t enough time.
Firo grabs onto the top of the carriage, and starts flapping her wings. The wind begins to pick up.
The wind whistles loudly.
Could it be that Firo is going to fly?
I recall how she was trying to beat Gaelion. Did she practice to be an aerial mount?
I forgot the obvious fact that Firo is a bird.
If she pushes herself, she should be able to fly.
Oh? We seem to be gliding for a bit.
What sort of island is this? (TL: this is a reference, but I don’t know to what.)
Though she may fit, being a gluttonous character.
Does she plan to take a shortcut like this?
But I’m not sure if this will go well. There’s a high chance of failure. We’re slowly losing altitude.
Firo’s body is not one modelled for extended flight.
Is it her weight? I’m surprised Gaelion can even fly with his massive body.
Could it be because physics work differently in this world? Then what of the usually flightless Filo Rial?
… I should probably lend a hand.
「E Float Shield! 」「Second Shield!」
I deploy these shields at the very end of my range.
I choose the rope shield. It can be used as a grappling hook.
This was an ability that unlocked when I awakened it.
Using it, I can send a rope out of the Shield and pull things closer.
The Chimera Viper Shield has a similar effect, but its range is smaller.
Pretty much, I will be able to attach the carriage to the floating anchors.
After we swing on the first shield like a pendulum, I send the hook towards the next one.
My shield prison manifests below the carriage.
When we get close enough, I release the Shields, and Firo Kicks the carriage with all her might. We arrive at the other side of the cliff. And Firo uses the Shield Prison as a platform to reach us.
We once again start heading for the goal.
“I definitely didn’t have enough lives for that one…” (Melty)
Melty is collapsed on the floor of the carriage in exhaoustion.
I feel the same.
I’m never racing with Firo again.
Next time a race comes up, I’m abandoning her with Portal Shield.
But I don’t think a race will come up again in the foreseeable future.
“I’m dying. I’ll definitely die.” (Melty)
“I withstood the Spirit Turtle’s attacks. I’m here with you.” (Naofumi)
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” (Melty)
What’s bugging her so much?
Worse comes to worst, I’d at least use a technique to cushion our fall.
Though we’d be left in pitch black at the bottom of the cliff.
Anyways, we’ve taken a massive shortcut. Motoyasu should be behind us.
We pass by the torch that marked the goal, and stopped.
Since we fell behind in the start, we had to desperately grasp for victory. As expected of Firo.
The fact that Motoyasu’s three Filo Rials were able to take on Human form, means they’re probably Queens as well, though.
But they don’t have Ahoges.
“I won!” (Firo)
While surprised with her victory, Firo climbs onto the roof of the carriage and begins singing.
What sort of ritual is this?
She’s really excited. Has she forgotten the resentment she had against me?
But our carriage is now on the verge of collapse.
The wheels can barely be called as such, and the frame is severely warped.
I’ll have to buy a new one.
Should I request it from Motoyasu?
No… I don’t really want his beat up carriage either…
“It’s Firo’s win! Firo is number one. Firo is the fastest. She won’t lose to the likes of Gaelion!” (Firo)
She’s getting loud.
I have a feeling she’s looking at me like I’m prey again.
“The only one Master will ride is Firo! The only one Master will ride is Fi-… ouou.” (Firo)
I tolerated the first half, but I couldn’t forgive the second one. She was swaying her hips.
Until Motoyasu arrived, Firo kept singing of her victory.
Does she really hate Gaelion that much?
And soon after, Motoyasu and his noisy three come storming in.
“I-I lost…” (Motoyasu)
Motoyasu confirms that we arrived first, as he falls to his knees and places his hands on the ground.
By the way, one of Motoyasu’s Filo Rials is male.