【Venom Mountain】 was spread with carpet of lush and dense grass . One was able to discover a Evila road that was unlike any of the Gabranth paths . The trees held thickly grown black leaves . There were even uniquely large mushrooms that made their habitat here .
Hiiro: (That’s obviously a poison mushroom . )
While thinking thus, Hiiro proceeded to walk down the grass road while being extremely wary of his surroundings . In front of him was Shyuba who was leading the way .
Shyuba: 「Please take care, Hiiro-sama(1) . The monsters that inhabit this area are well-versed in mimicry . It is not uncommon for those to be killed by poison fangs before one notices . 」
Hiiro: 「You seem to know a lot, huh?」
Shyuba: 「This is because I am a Butler . 」
As he contemplated upon the reason for this, Hiiro thought that Shyuba might have performed a preliminary investigation before coming here . He was completely different from Hiiro who improvised his actions . Hiiro thought that it became necessary for him to emulate a little bit of Shyuba’s manner of operation .
Shyuba: 「Please stop here!」
As Shyuba’s feet abruptly stopped, Mikazuki followed suit .
Hiiro: 「What is it?」
Shyuba: 「It is those branches . 」
In the direction that Shyuba had pointed his finger were, indeed, thick branches that grew from a large tree . However, all that Hiiro felt when he looked at it was that those were just branches .
Shyuba: 「Over there are monsters that are mimicking branches . I presume that they are the monsters referred to as Lugoon . (2)」
The knowledge of such a monster did not appear in Hiiro’s memory . It was probably a monster specific to the 【Evila】 Continent .
Shyuba: 「Please observe . 」
As he said thus, Shyuba began to retrieve something from his pouch . What had sparkled with a *kira~n*(3) was clearly a knife used for eating . Throwing the knife with a *shuba*(4), he pierced the branch that he had pointed at with his finger earlier .
At that location, a fat, cobra-like monster appeared, squirming around painfully with a *kunekune*(6) due to the knife protruding out of its body . It tried to move, however, as the knife had fastened its body to the branch it was mimicking, it could not escape from that spot .
Soon after, it expelled green blood as its movements stopped, as if forfeiting .
Hiiro: 「”You’re pretty knowledgeable, huh . 」
Shyuba: 「That is because I am a Butler . 」
Hiiro: 「……whatever . 」
Hiiro convinced himself that this was due to Shyuba’s eyes having good vision .
Hiiro: 「By the way, is this annoying weed-zone gonna keep going?」
As the area around one’s feet cannot be determined well, it would be a pain if they were attacked from below .
Shyuba: 「No, we will soon be approaching an open location . Unlike this area that is lush with long weeds and bushes, this location seems to be a grassland . Should one advance further, they would be met with a zone of granite . Proceeding past this stony area will bring you to the exit of the mountain . 」
Hiiro: 「I see . In that case, we should probably aim for that open area or something first, huh?」
Shyuba: 「Indeed . What I am searching for appears to be in that location . 」
It seemed that Shyuba had been ordered by his master to search for a certain something . As Hiiro had no interest, he didn’t ask any further . After walking for a while, Shyuba once again abruptly paused .
Hiiro: 「Another monster?」
Shyuba: 「……I must apologise . 」
As Shyuba’s eyes were staring straight ahead, he gave his apology .
Hiiro: 「What’s up?」
Shyuba: 「It appears that we have been completely surrounded . 」
Hiiro: 「What was that?」
Saying this, Hiiro instantly grew increasingly vigilant . Standing on Mikazuki’s back, Hiiro attentively surveyed his surroundings . However, no matter where Hiiro looked, all he could see around him were weeds . Following this, a leaves began to flutter through the air . Hiiro thought that this was caused by the wind .
However, the leaves headed straight for Hiiro .
Shyuba: 「Please evade Hiiro-sama!」
In the instant that Hiiro expressed his confusion, Shyuba threw the knife towards Hiiro’s location . Of course, what Shyuba was aiming for was not Hiiro, but the leaves . The knife penetrated the leaves before piercing itself into a tree trunk with a *ton*(7) .
Six legs began to grow from the leaves . Similar to the previous Lugoon, it struggled to escape from the knife, yet it drew its last breath as its existence faded .
Shyuba: 「That was a Venom Insect(8) that disguises itself as tree leaves! It may look small, however, they contain an extremely deadly poison!」
As he was surrounded by dancing leaves, Hiiro assumed that all of them were those insects as his thoughts raced . As he looked around restlessly, Hiiro began to ponder about how to deal with this situation when-
Shyuba: 「There is a certain point that you can use to distinguish them! In the center of the leaf, if there is a red dot then they are Venom Insect!」
While splendidly avoiding the leaves, Shyuba accurately pierced the insects . With that said, in this blizzard of leaves, identifying only the Venom Insects was a daunting task .
Hiiro: (I guess I’ve got no choice . If I use this, then the old fart will probably disregard it as just normal magic . )
As he determined thus, Hiiro cast the word 「Fire」|『火』to wrap flames around themselves . Of course, he made sure to avoid targeting Mikazuki . The flames spread as if they were a barrier of fire, mercilessly consuming any of the leaves that touched them .
Shyuba: 「Oo!(10) So Hiiro-sama was a spellcaster of Fire!」
Receiving the reaction that he had expected, Hiiro felt relieved . After one minute passed, the flames naturally extinguished . At the same time, it seemed that the leaves that were dancing around earlier were now neatly and refreshingly burned .
Shyuba: 「Nofofofofo!(11) In any case, that was quite impressive . Normally, using fire in such a place would result in the flames spreading out of control . I did not believe that you were such a spellcaster capable of controlling the flames so that they would burn only the surrounding area . A thousand pardons . 」
As the surroundings were full of weeds and trees, it would not be strange for such a flame to turn into a forest fire . However, as Hiiro’s magic caused the flames to be erased after a minute has passed, he wasn’t concerned . On top of this, as Hiiro had made created the fire precisely according to his image, Shyuba mistook Hiiro as a flame spellcaster that could completely control his magic, an extraordinary mage .
Hiiro: (It looks like it went well, huh . )
Shyuba: 「With this much magic, even amongst the 『Imp Race』, you must be an extremely talented person, am I correct . 」
Hiiro somewhat happily began to speak .
Hiiro: 「Aa(12), in regards to fire magic, I’ve never lost once . 」
Although this wasn’t a complete lie, as he didn’t want to reveal his < >, he had no choice but to phrase his answer as such .
Shyuba: 「Nofofofofo! Indeed, indeed . It appears that one such as myself might not have been necessary!」
Hiiro: 「More importantly, let’s keep moving . It looks like the grassland is up ahead . 」
As the three people walked, the advanced through and exited the weed-zone .