As Tressy tried to bite off its second head, me and Monica bombarded it with cannon shells, and arrows of light.
As the rain fell, the cannon rounds exploded, and as he let off a faint light, blood flowed out of the spot where his head once was, as he glared at us.
Monica had run out of armor piercing rounds, and she had used an explosive one. And she evaluated it.
“The explosive shells aren’t too effective.”
She left the cannon on the deck. From the heat it had been building up, the rain and seawater coming down on it raised a thick steam.
“It explodes flashily, just as I like it, but… it didn’t really do much.”
When I said that, Tressy’s glowing frame looked over all of us with its red eyes, before it turned to the heavens, and let out a roar. It plunged into the water with sharper movements than before, and began its approach.
I called to Vera-san.
“Crank the speed up all the way. It seems it’s gotten serious.”
The answer that came was…
『Why does relinquishing its own heads make it stronger!? I just have raise the speed, right? Right!?』
Monica took out a large hammer from under her apron, and took a stance.
“No wonder the development of firearms is so behind. The means they have to block it are too unfair. The hell’s up with those barriers.”
The one to agree with her complaint was the Seventh in the jewel.
『Exactly. Their firepower can be shaved down to such an extent, and they cost gold, so no one recognized them… they’re definitely superior weapons, I tell you.』
They were definitely useful, but perhaps they weren’t at a level where they’d become too wide-spread yet.
I pulled my bow, and sent off an arrow at the water.
It pierced into the water’s surface, hit Tressy head-on, and raised an explosion. But his movements didn’t dull as they had before.
“With three heads… it was difficult to move just one body. It’s moving much better than before.”
When I admired it, Shannon- held up by May- looked at Tressy’s movements. She turned to me, and yelled out.
“Why do you look so happy!? Take it out before it gets serious!”
Her opinion was right on the mark. But I didn’t defeat it before that, so there was no helping it.
“That’s what I wanted to do, but it didn’t work out. Well, I don’t hate chipping away at it like that, but let’s move on to the next means.”
Monica was of the same opinion.
“By my calculations, your long distance attacks won’t be able to defeat it. As for me, I only have one exploding shell left.”
On those words, Shannon’s eyes went teary.
“Y-you really can beat it, right!?”
I used my right hand to flip my wet hair.
“How foolish. If you lose, all that happens is that you die. What good comes out of thinking what comes after losing? I only ever think of winning alone. That’s my way of life!”
Shannon held by May began thrashing about.
“When this is all over, I’m definitely smacking you!”
“Hey, don’t struggle around. I’m the only one you’re hurting, you know?”
“That’s the spirit! After we win, I’ll play with you all you want. Now then, there’s no elegance to be found in using nothing but a bow. Next, let’s have a go with this one.”
I changed the bow to the halberd, took a swing with it, and made a pose on the deck.
Right after that, Miranda sent a transmission from behind.
『Sorry for interrupting your fun, but it looks like it’ll catch u, you know? If it grabs the ships, won’t it drag us all straight down to the bottom of the ocean?』
I held the halberd in my right hand, and held my left hand high.
“No problem. The current me can take on a Tressy or two. All hands, I’m raising our speed, so please be careful… Up n’ Down.”
When I used a Skill, the ship’s speed suddenly rose, and Tressy’s movements dulled. But even with that, He was closing in on us.
By lopping off two heads, its movements had unified, making it quite troublesome.
I touched my left hand to my chin as I…
“So it was easiest to defeat while it still had three heads…”
There, I heard Clara’s voice.
『… For now, I’m thinking of making a record once this is over. Of course, it’s a monster I can’t really say will spawn again. And the results are in.』
With my Skill… Connection… linking us, information flowed into my head. What I had her look up was data pertaining to aquatic monsters.
What attacks they used, and what characteristics they shared…
From looking over monsters close to Tressy, I had her make some conjecture.
Anyways, most large monsters would try to pull boats down to the depths.
“So they’ll usually try to pull us in. Is Tressy set for that as well? And the other thing they’re skilled in is…”
When I thought, Novem called from the head of the ship. She sounded a little more impatient than usual.
『Lyle-sama, ice has manifested on the front. It’s quite big.』
I confirmed it through Novem’s visual input, And analyzing it even faster than me, Vera-san reacted.
『P-port! Everyone grab onto something!』
The ship suddenly swerved, avoiding the mountain of ice that had formed. But with our course changed, Tressy was going to catch up.
Jumping out of the water, as if to cover up the swerving ship, Tressy seemed to be trying to hit his belly down on us, and sink us.
“You’re timing it a little off, Tressy.”
I laughed, jumped up, and stuck my halberd into the scale-less part of his stomach.
When I swung my weapon, I felt some harsh resistance before it could touch his stomach. But I went ahead, took a swing, and inflicted a wound a few meters across.
The blood didn’t splash onto me, but at the same time, I could tell by instinct I wouldn’t be able to win like this.
When I landed, I was just barely at the back of the ship.
Miranda looked at me.
“As always, you do some dangerous things… and wait, I do get the feeling it’s simply too large to defeat.”
After trying to cover us, Tressy passed over the boat, and I could see him raise a large splash of water behind us.
Looking at my halberd, I confirmed it wasn’t chipped before looking at the water face Tressy had dived into.
Miranda looked at me.
“You did cut it, right?”
I shook my head.
“I thought it would work out with its stomach, but it was protected with Mana. I did make a cut, but… it was too shallow.”
Looking at Tressy’s giant body, the cut I made was but a scratch.
I returned it to its Jewel form, hung it at my neck and used a Skill… Box. From the treasure chest that came out, I took out a sabre.
“Hey, if your silver weapons don’t work, what are you trying to do with a sabre?”
To Miranda’s doubtful look, I…
“These are for the other monsters. It seems they’ve gathered up.”
Miranda noticed, and looked around. A flock of Sahuagins had gathered around the ship. To be more specific, a group of Sahuagins was attacking the ship.
That was really the only route she could choose, so I couldn’t blame Vera-san for it.
She issued out orders.
『Everyone take up your weapons! Prevent them from infiltrating the bridge! You don’t have to go out on the deck!』
Six sabres at my hips. An extra one in each hand. Holding eight sabres, I took a horizontal swing at a Sahuagin that’d leapt out of that water.
Miranda also took out her knife, and threw it at another one that had popped out.
“Looks like its head’s turning better after taking a bite out of itself.”
Having blocked our initial path, sending us into a flock of monsters, Tressy leisurely showed itself from the water, and opened its large mouth.
It wasn’t a lump of Mana this time, it gathered up the surrounding sea water, and began to compress it.
I shouted out Novem’s name, and she created a few walls of ice in front of the beast.
Immediately after, it shot out pressurized water, and easily pierced through those walls. Vera-san called out.
The ship was able to avoid the liquid stream. Taking down the walls of ice on its way, Tressy swam our way. As I cut down one of the approaching Sahuaggin, I issued orders.
『May, how are things on your side?』
『All green. To add on to that, Monica’s come to assist.』
In the center of the deck, positioned to protect Shannon and Novem, May and Monica fought off monsters.
They continued coming out one after another at the aft, and breaking down the doors, they started infiltrating the ship’s insides.
Miranda created threads from the fingers of both her hands, restraining the surrounding Sahuagins, and tearing them apart.
“That’s quite a convenient one.”
When I said that, Miranda spoke.
“It really is. It’s got a nice cutting edge, you can tie things up, and based on how you use it…”
The threads wrapped around some more Sahuagins. And as they writhed in pain, their heads were all cleanly severed at once.
From the Jewel, I could heard the Fifth’s voice.
『… A spider-like woman, she is.』
I thought the same.
“You’re like a spider, Miranda.”
Giving a smile, Miranda continued to take on the surroundings monsters, as she…
“That so? Want to be caught in my threads?”
“You better tie me tight so I don’t get away. No, we’re talking about spiders, so… whatever. I welcome it! Use your threads to bind me as you wish!”
Miranda laughed a little.
“I see. Then without further ado… and everyone is listening to our conversation, you know?”
“Is that a problem?”
When I replied with a straight face, Miranda seemed to be enjoying herself.
“Very well, I’ll refrain from teasing you over this conversation when you turn back. Make sure you shower me with love, even when you’re sane, Lyle.”
“Any time you want!”
As I continued cutting down the Sahuagins gathering around, the sabres in my hand began to become blood-stained, and chipped.
“Time to switch.”
I stabbed both of them into the monster in front of me, parted my hands from them, and kicked the enemy away.
Drawing new sabres from my hips, I spun as I cut at the Sahuagins trying to thrust their harpoons at my sides.
Aria let out her voice.
『You over there! Quite flirting in the middle of battle! The Sahuagins are getting all the way in here, and… get out da way!!』
They had gotten all the way to Aria, and she impaled them to death, one by one.
From her visual input, I could see the sailors around her were drawing back. Her tomboyish side was cute, but…
“What, are you sulking, Aria? I love your wild side too!”
When I said that with a smile, Vera-san spoke.
『Hey, shut up, all of you! Ah, just talking to myself there. Men, you need not force yourselves to fight, just bar down the room’s entrance! Take care of them later, and concentrate on Tressy for now! … No! It’s Trident Serpent, dammit!』
She seemed confused, and our conversation was being mixed in with the one she was having at the bridge.
“What’s wrong with Tressy?”
I thought it was a cute name, but Vera-san didn’t seem to have taken a liking to it. She shouted out various orders at the bridge, and make good use of the sailors.
『… It’s hot. What’s more, there are Sahuagins at the door… I’m dripping with sweat, and my clothes are…』
『Everything’s fine over here. They’ve got the guns together. They sure are convenient. Perhaps I should get one myself…』
She seemed to be showing interest in the guns.
And there, Monica…
『Chicken Dickwad. The Sahuagins have begun grappling with the bridge. If that point is captured, there is nothing we can do.』
On top of that, Novem…
『Tressy is coming to sink us for real. What shall we do, Lyle-sama?』
The bridge was in a tight spot, while Tressy was just about to attack the ship.
“Isn’t is obvious? Take care of both of them, and there’s no problem!”
And like that, I threw my sabres at the monsters, and pulled out number five and six. And my eyes turned to the cannon Monica had left on deck.
… At the bridge, a battle was raging on with the Sahuagins that had wrenched open the door.
Vera pulled her handgun from her back holster, and fired it at the door.
The captain took a gun left around in his hand.
“Milady, please stand down!”
Within the swaying ship, Vera was also putting up a desperate fight for the bridge.
“Hey, what are you doing, getting up! While I’m holding them back, you’re to properly steer the ship!”
Opening up her revolver’s cylinder, she swapped out her bullets. But as her concentration turned to the approaching Tressy, her shot ended up missing.
(Damn! I don’t have much ammo left…)
On her shot, two Sahuagins had fled from the door, and the remaining one was drawing closer. With her last shot, she managed to blow half its head off, but it continued to take a step inside.
The captain was also delayed with reloading his gun. The boat’s rocking had grown violent, and Tressy was coming closer by the second.
Vera wasn’t the only one in a panic.
“You… get out already!”
Letting her angel wing hair sway, she kicked the Sahuagin with her boot. There, it flew out the door with good momentum, and…
By the time Vera had noticed it, the ship had already taken a large lurch. Having launched a kick at the door, her momentum threw her outside of it…
Opening its large mouth, Tressy immediately surfaced below her.
Vera looked down at the beast.
(I see, so it ends here.)
As her surroundings seemed to move strangely slow, Vera extended her hands towards the ship, as she flew through the air.
Even when the captain and sailors at the bridge wouldn’t be able to reach, she reached out her hands. They were shouting something out, but Vera couldn’t hear.
And as she saw her own hands held out, the scene overlapped more and more with the dream she saw again and again.
(Was it a prophetic dream after all…)
Not wanting to fall into the ocean, extending her hands. But was the figure of her own form crumbling away a forecast of her death? That’s what Vera thought.
(I see, so it really ends here… I really should’ve conveyed my feelings properly.)
As she slowly approached the mouth that was to swallow her, Vera closed her eyes, and waited…
“Hey could you cover your ears, and open your mouth for me?”
Gripping her extended hands, she opened her eyes to find Lyle in the air beside her, with a large cannon in his hands.
Hoisting her next to him, she came into the embrace of his form, soaked in blood spurt, sea water, and rain.
Lyle raised a laugh.
“If the outside’s no good, then how about inside… if you can endure this one, I’ll show you my trump card, oh God of the Seas.”
“Hey, cover your ears.”
Vera put her gun in its holster, covered her ears, and opened her mouth. At that moment, Lyle pulled the trigger part. He was opening his mouth, and he had earplugs on.
As the impact rung out, Tressy closed its mouth on both of them…