PHA - Chapter 6 - Alice Refuses to Die Unarmed
The forest Alice currently resided in was called the Gryffin Forest. It was a virgin forest located at the edge of the Gryffin Kingdom. As the forest lacked any unique resources and was infested by beasts, the Gryffin Kingdom did not set the forest as a reclamation target. Instead, the kingdom left it as a place for warriors and magicians to harvest common materials. Hence, under normal circumstances, the Gryffin Forest generally did not have human inhabitants. And although there would occasionally be people entering the woods to search for materials, they tended not to travel too deep into the forest.
Meanwhile, not only did Alice appear in the depths of the Gryffin Forest, but she had also continued to travel deeper into the forest. This naturally made it impossible for her to encounter other humans. If Zauna hadn't been searching for a material that could only be found in the depths of the forest, Alice would've probably had to stay much longer in the forest.
Looking at this situation, Alice didn't know whether to consider herself lucky or unlucky. Nevertheless, she managed to hit the brakes in time and did not continue going deeper into the forest. Otherwise, she would be making her way to the mountain range serving as the Gryffin Kingdom's national border. And with Alice's physique, she definitely wouldn't be capable of crossing the mountain range.
"But something strange seems to have happened in the forest depths. If you walk a little further ahead from your camp, you'll see that a whole section of the forest there is destroyed. The ground there is also covered in wood chips. It looked as if a dragon had slept and rolled around there," Zauna explained the strange scene she saw while showing Alice the way back to human civilization. Then, she asked, "Since you've been living here for some time now, do you have any ideas what happened?"
How the heck would I know? Alice innocently shook her head, pretending not to know anything about the devastated forest.
Alice had originally thought people living nearby would see Purification Blade's blinding light. However, she didn't think that there would be a mountain range further ahead. So, it was probably safe to assume that nobody saw the strange phenomenon. Since that was the case, Alice did not need to reveal information on this matter. After all, there was no way she could explain Purification Blade's origins. She couldn't possibly say that she accidentally destroyed a section of the Gryffin Forest after trying to hit a black wolf with her panties, right?
"That's fair, I guess. After all, you look like the young lady of a noble family. It's already tough for you to survive out here for so long, so I doubt you can understand these strange phenomena," Zauna said, shaking her head and sighing.
During their trek back to civilization, Alice had lied to Zauna, saying that she had lost her memories. Combined with the fact that her dress was made using high-quality fabric, Zauna was led to assume that Alice came from a noble or wealthy family. Hence, Zauna now treated Alice as an ojousama who had lost her memories.
Although the memory-loss excuse was something commonly used in transmigration novels, Alice had to acknowledge its effectiveness. This was especially true when unscientific things like magic existed in this world. It wasn't strange for people to suffer from insanity due to magic. So, memory loss became an occurrence people readily accepted.
"But I still don't understand why you're taking this garbage with you," Zauna said while pointing at the large bag Alice was carrying on her back.
The bag was made using the Milu Rabbit pelts Alice had harvested, and it carried the various stones and tree branches she had gathered. This situation confused Zauna as she couldn't understand why someone who appeared like a wealthy young lady would have the hobby of picking up garbage.
"This isn't garbage," Alice refuted, sending a glare at Zauna.
Alice naturally didn't have a hobby of collecting Garbage-rated weapons. Instead, the bag she carried contained weapons that were given the "Not Bad" quality. As to why Alice decided to bring these items with her, it was because she felt that they might come in handy one day. After all, Alice currently had nothing else to defend herself with. She naturally had to hold onto these weapons to give herself a sense of safety.
As a side note, Alice had also brought the pitiful Milu Rabbit with her, and it was currently tied to a vine hanging off of her back. However, as the previous concussion it suffered seemed quite severe, it remained unconscious even until now.
"...Hold for a second."
Just when Alice thought about how she should explain her bag of weapons, Zauna suddenly stopped walking and extended a hand to block Alice's path. Then, a slight frown formed on her face as she scrutinized the forest ahead. Unlike Alice, Zauna was a magician. Her spiritual power far surpassed Alice, so she quickly noticed the air of danger coming from the forest ahead.
Alice was stunned. However, considering that she had practically no combat power right now, she obediently listened to Zauna and stopped advancing. Then, she followed Zauna's line of sight and looked ahead.
Although Alice failed to see or sense anything, as more time passed by, the targets Zauna observed finally lost their patience as they slowly emerged from behind several large trees. At this time, Alice finally realized that more black wolves had set their sights on them.
"Boria Wolves. They're the locals of this forest," Zauna said with a frown. Then, she moved her gaze toward the leader of this pack of wolves.
The pack leader was significantly larger than its companions, and its mane had a faint metallic luster. Even Alice, someone who understood nothing about magic, could tell that this wolf leader was on an entirely different level compared to the black wolves that had hunted her before. Meanwhile, Zauna's subsequent words also proved this point.
"That's probably a wolf king. It might even be capable of using magic. I'm afraid this will be a little troublesome."
Alice suddenly remembered that she had picked up something named "Branch Dyed With a Wolf King's Spit." The "Wolf King" in the name probably referred to the wolf king in front of them. However, even after finding out that the wolf king might be capable of magic, Alice didn't feel too concerned. After all, Zauna was a magician. The wolf king shouldn't pose too much of a danger to them.
As soon as Alice had such thoughts, the wolf king suddenly lunged at them and opened its maw. Then, a large fireball flew out of its mouth and flew in their direction.
Zauna quickly reacted to the wolf king's actions. By the time the wolf king had lunged at them, she had already pulled out her magic staff from her waist pouch. Then, by the time the wolf king had summoned its fireball, Zauna had executed a horizontal swing at the wolf king with her staff.
For a moment, Alice thought Zauna was using her staff as a mace to smash the wolf king's head. However, Alice quickly dismissed her thoughts when she saw a light-blue magic circle appearing in front of Zauna. Then, the magic circle transformed into a curtain of water, blocking the oncoming fireball. Although the fireball had vaporized nearly half of the water curtain, it eventually faded without causing any harm to Zauna and Alice.
Alice broke out in cold sweat at this sight. It was fortunate she hadn't encountered this wolf king by herself after defeating the first pack of black wolves. Otherwise, without her panties, the wolf king could've cooked her to perfection with just one fireball.
Even so, this situation doesn't look good… Alice thought as she watched Zauna clashing against the wolf king.
After a few exchanges, Alice found that Zauna had been telling the truth—Zauna was merely an apprentice magician. The magic she could use was by no means strong, and most of them were defense-oriented magic. While Zauna could stop the wolf king's magic attacks with her own magic, the wolf king wasn't limited to just magic. The large canine was also capable of physical attacks. While using its magic to distract Zauna, it would also circle past Zauna's defenses and try to attack the apprentice magician with its fangs and claws. Hence, in no time at all, Zauna started showing signs of faltering.
Another fireball struck Zauna's water curtain. However, after taking on several fireballs, the water curtain had already lost most of its defensive capabilities. Hence, the wolf king's fireball smashed through the water curtain without dissipating and exploded on Zauna's body. The resulting explosion sent Zauna's petite body flying across the air and landing headfirst into the ground, the impact causing her to lose consciousness immediately. The fireball had also burnt many parts of Zauna's cloak and robe, and she looked to be in a relatively miserable state.
Alice had not expected the fight to finish so quickly and in Zauna's loss, so she couldn't help but be bewildered by this situation.
After dealing with Zauna, the wolf king quickly shifted its sights onto Alice. With the wolf king's attention on her, Alice was sure she had no way out of this situation now. And although she carried a large pile of "weapons" on her back, she did not even need to try to know that none of those weapons would be useless against the wolf king before her. After all, even her strongest weapon was nothing but an unconscious Milu Rabbit…
Upon thinking of the unconscious Milu Rabbit, Alice suddenly came to a realization.
Since the system considers the Milu Rabbit as a weapon so long as it is unconscious, then…
Alice stiffly turned around and looked toward the unconscious Zauna.
I will be using Japanese weeb terms such as ojousama and pantsu from time to time.
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