Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 82

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Mightiest Melee Magician

Chapter 82: Overcoming South Mountain

My father had implicitly granted his permission, and there was no need to delay further. I began packing to cross South Mountain and head to Eight-Lake. Irene, leaning against the wall with her arms crossed, watched me and spoke.

“It seems you’re about to be in the same situation as me.”

“Yes, that’s right. A smuggler.”

“Well then, I’ll come along. I’ve already been a smuggler once, why not twice?”

Crossing the border. She spoke so nonchalantly about such an important matter. Indeed, she seemed to have a similar temperament to mine.

I smiled and nodded.

“Thanks to you, it won’t be boring.”

Thus, the ‘Eight-Lake Expedition’ from Ardell was formed.

Members: two.

Supplies: 42,400 gold.

Objective: Establish trade.

Luina was the one seeing us off.

“Sis, you’ll come back, right…?”

“Of course. There’s still plenty of vacation left.”

“Okay… Be careful.”

Luina clung to the side of Irene’s horse with sad eyes, as if she were sending a family member off to war.

In contrast,

“Luina, aren’t you going to ask your brother?”

“Brother, please don’t cause any trouble.”

I tried to bow down for a blessing but only received a scolding.

Is it okay to be jealous here?

“And what about Father?”

When I asked, Steward Baggins shrugged and said,

“Master told me to relay this: ‘It’s hard to send off a son attempting to smuggle himself.’”

“I see…”

I understood. He couldn’t stop his son’s mischief but couldn’t support it either.

“Well then, we’ll be off.”

“Brother! Sister! Have a safe trip!”

Thus, we set off towards the east of Ardell, heading for South Mountain, which stands as a border between Ardell and Eight-Lake.

South Mountain.

It had been abandoned for over a hundred years, devoid of any paths. We had to rely solely on maps and a compass to carve our way through, which wasn’t easy. I wondered how Irene had crossed this treacherous mountain range alone.

But the answer was simple.

“Trace.”

The human tracking spell, Trace. When not specifying a target, it tracks the nearest ‘human.’ The nearest city to South Mountain should be Eight-Lake, so if we followed the purple light, we could cross the mountain range.

I was surprised by how naturally Irene used magic.

“Is this okay?”

“What do you mean?”

“We’re still students. The vacation oath is the same across the continent.”

“What does it matter? We’re smuggling anyway.”

Oh, right.

Is this cool or should I call it outlaw behavior?

Well, as Irene said, considering the gravity of our crimes, this was just a minor infraction.

Anyway, the Trace spell that tracks the nearest ‘human form’ began guiding us. Sometimes we had to pass through dark caves where we couldn’t see an inch ahead, or cross cliffs where the path was entirely cut off.

“Light.”

“Shall we use a gliding spell here?”

Irene skillfully used magic whenever necessary.

Now I understood.

Irene Prius was a pro. A natural-born adventurer.

However, there was one thing even this bold adventurer Irene overlooked.

“Hold on. The Trace spell has stopped.”

“Huh? Really? That’s strange. We shouldn’t be near Eight-Lake yet…”

The Trace spell doesn’t only track ‘humans.’ It doesn’t recognize animals like deer, roe deer, or rabbits, but it does recognize anything with a ‘human form.’

In other words.

“…It seems we might have walked into a monster’s lair…”

It could guide us to ‘human form’ monsters.

The purple sphere of Trace stopped moving, indicating we had reached our destination.

Indeed.

An ominous feeling always proves accurate.

“Neigh-!”

Sensing danger, the horses reared up in fear.

In an instant.

Whoosh!

Hundreds of bats flew past my ears.

“Above us!”

Countless shadows appeared atop the narrow canyon that surrounded us.

“Werewolves…”

They were werewolves with grey manes.

Werewolves.

A type of wolf-human.

They walk on two legs like humans, but have the face of a wolf.

These creatures, about 1.5 times larger than an average adult male, showed no hesitation in baring their sharp teeth and claws at us, who had trespassed into their territory.

There were easily dozens of them.

“Ha, ha…”

They bared their teeth, drooling, as if considering Irene and me a ‘delicious dinner.’

However.

“Now we don’t need to worry about the vacation oath. Do you have any good ideas?”

“Let it all out. I’ll protect you.”

“Sounds good.”

We didn’t climb this treacherous mountain range to become the wolves’ dinner.

“Grrr!”

A werewolf leapt at Irene from above the canyon.

“Lightning Loop.”

Irene swiftly chanted and created a large ring of lightning that swirled around us.

Crackle-!

Several werewolves that charged at us were electrocuted and turned into charred wolf meat.

Irene continued to cast spells without stopping.

“Blizzard!”

The fierce snowstorm she unleashed threatened to freeze the entire canyon, an environment unfamiliar to these creatures who had ruled the area for centuries.

Perhaps because of this.

“Yelp! Howl!”

The werewolves began to panic, retreating and barking fearfully.

But this was only temporary.

“Grrr…”

“That one seems to be the leader.”

Among the pack of grey-maned werewolves, one with a distinctive silver mane appeared.

The werewolves regrouped under its command.

They didn’t charge recklessly.

They surrounded us, forming a tight encirclement.

Their snarls grew fiercer, baring their sharp teeth.

Grrr-!

They closed the distance slowly but steadily.

“This… seems like we’ve really angered them.”

It was indeed a crisis.

If dozens of werewolves charged at once, we might not be able to fend them off.

But despite the dire situation, Irene Prius remained calm, as if she had something to rely on.

And she did.

“Werewolves are heavily dependent on their ‘leader,’ aren’t they?”

“Yes, that’s the theory.”

“Show them that we’re not their dinner.”

Me.

Right.

If we just take down the leader, it’ll be over, right?

I put on the Morale Knuckles of Kunkan and clenched my fists tightly.

Bang!

A massive wave shook the narrow canyon as if to reflect the intense power surge. This ‘wave of power’ was so strong that it caused the werewolves to recoil.

Of course, the real intensity hadn’t even begun yet.

“Do we still look like your dinner?”

Skill, Chieftain’s Will.

In an instant, Kunkan materialized above me, and Irene Prius muttered in awe.

“Oh, an Ogre…”

It was a sight she had never seen before.

Naturally, this wasn’t magic.

The werewolves were just as bewildered.

“Grrr?”

Ogre.

A predator at the top of the monster food chain.

The sudden appearance of an Ogre caused the werewolves to back away, howling in fear.

The panicked werewolf leader tried to quell the commotion and issued an attack order.

“Howl!”

“Howl! Growl!”

In an instant, werewolves lunged at me from all directions, aiming for my throat.

North, south, east, west.

There was nowhere to escape.

So, I confronted them head-on.

Hammered Volcano.

Whoosh!

A brilliant flame surged from my fingertips, forming a gigantic hammer.

This hammer pounded the ground mercilessly, like a meteor.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

“Yelp! Yelp!”

The colossal flaming hammer turned the werewolves into pulp as if kneading dough.

One against many.

It posed no problem.

It was no hindrance at all.

They couldn’t even approach me, with the Ogre standing behind me.

While I drew their attention,

“Now!”

Irene used teleportation to move out of the danger zone and onto the canyon cliff.

Who is the most terrifying mage in the world?

The one who holds the high ground, out of reach.

From the cliff, Irene began casting a powerful spell capable of annihilating every creature in the canyon.

The sky split, and the clouds shifted due to the overwhelming mana.

Seeing this, the leader ordered the others to attack Irene.

But.

“Your opponent is me.”

Grrr.

I fended off the wolves lunging at me and charged at the leader’s back.

Of course, it wasn’t an easy target.

Whoosh!

Using its animalistic reflexes, it jumped high, avoiding my punch.

It landed lightly and charged at me.

Then, it began attacking with its superior physical prowess.

Head.

Abdomen.

Legs.

Right hand, left hand.

We exchanged blows in an instant, but neither landed a single hit.

A punch from me or a slash from its claws would mean severe injury.

Meanwhile, dozens of werewolves were climbing the canyon walls, targeting Irene.

I had to finish this quickly.

“Grrr!”

The leader lunged at me again.

I used teleportation to disappear from its attack range.

Then, using ‘Time Warp,’ I quickly moved into its blind spot.

Feigning an attack on its lower body, I tricked it with my shoulder movement and launched my punch upward.

Crack!

My punch landed squarely on the leader’s jaw, shattering its jawbone and sending it flying.

I didn’t stop. I jumped up, grabbed its head, and kneed it.

It was a nearly fatal blow.

Grr?

With the leader down, the werewolves climbing the canyon walls stopped in their tracks.

Without their leader, the pack scattered.

Dismay.

Fear.

Like frightened puppies, they scampered away and hid somewhere in the canyon.

The fight was over.

“Huff…”

Just as I thought I could finally catch my breath,

[“You have obtained the ’Silver Werewolf Mane.”]

It seemed I had torn it off when I grabbed its head earlier.

In my hand was a tuft of its silver fur.

From the tuft, a status window popped up.

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