The World Is Overflowing with Monster, I’m Taking a Liking to This Life - Chapter 188
—To set up bombs inside the “Safety Zone”.
When Nishino-kun first mentioned this strategy, I questioned his sanity.
The “Safety Zone” was the cornerstone to our defense.
It didn’t make any strategic sense to throw it away from our side.
It was lunacy to do so.
“Of course, it would be our last resort. Sora’s breath attacks, the SDF’s assistive bombardment, and the fire from the gasoline and the gas tanks—it would be for the best if those could finish it off, but…I don’t think those would be enough to kill a monster like Peony.”
He had a point. My intuition told me that he was right.
We were up against a genuine monster.
There was always that possibility of Peony possessing a “hidden card”, and worst came to worst, it was possible for it to “evolve” in the middle of our battle.
It was very unlikely for everything to proceed as planned.
“But that still doesn’t justify giving up our greatest advantage.”
“There’s nowhere else except here where we could set up a large amount of bombs quietly and without alarming Peony or the other monsters.”
After saying so, Nishino-kun continued his speech.
“Previously, I’ve asked the Mayor whether or not it’s possible to reset the ‘Safety Zone’.”
“…And did he tell you the answer?”
“Yes, albeit reluctantly. To summarize, it’s not possible to reset it in the same location. Not only that, the level would be reset and we would have to start again from scratch. To set up a new ‘Safety Zone’, there would also be a one-hour cool-down time.”
I see, so the level would be reset and the same location won’t be available. On top of that, there would be a one-hour cool-down.
It was but a matter of course there would be penalties.
No surprise there…or rather, I’m relieved that the penalties are only “that much”.
They were next to nothing compared to the “Safety Zone” exceptional ability to fend off monsters.
“Roots are vital organs for plants. Peony shouldn’t be an exception to this as Treants are technically still considered plants …If we can somehow blow away its roots, I think the battle would tilt in our favor.”
“…But the risks involved are too great. We’ll face annihilation if we fail.”
“I didn’t know Kazuto-san was the cautious type. That said, we’ll be annihilated anyway if we don’t win.”
He was absolutely right.
Defeat meant annihilation.
In that case, it only made sense to take risks in order to raise the probability of success.
He got me good.
Before I knew it, I was agreeing to Nishino-kun’s words.
It didn’t feel bad though.
Oh, but Nishino-kun, you seem to be misunderstanding something. I’ve always been the type to prioritize my safety.
“Then if we end up carrying out that operation, where should we set up our new ‘Safety Zone’?”
“How about the Self Defense Force base in the neighboring town? That place can accommodate a lot of people, and we wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of setting up new ‘coordinates’ since it was our destination in the first place.”
What he said made a lot of sense.
We had to go collect the weapons from the Self Defense Force base anyway, so no extra effort would have to be put in.
Not only that, we would be able to transfer a large number of people in a short notice through Momo’s “Shadow Migration” and Aka’s “Coordinates”.
“Once the battle begins, Peony would have to focus on us. For an hour or so, it shouldn’t notice anything. Of course, it would be best to defeat Peony before them, but…”
I put my hand on my chin and analyzed Nishino-kun’s strategy.
It wasn’t a bad one by any means.
If we were to succeed, it would greatly influence the battlefield.
All things considered, however…
“I’d like for us to have at least one more card.”
“…And by that you mean?”
“What do you say to this? For example, if we had Aka disguised as bullets—”
By polishing Nishino-kun’s strategy even further, we came up with a solid plan.
First, Sora and I would launch a preemptive strike.
Next, the Self Defense Force members would support us.
Thereafter, we would pour gasoline and use our gas tanks.
As a finishing touch, Sora would be there to continue attacking.
In the midst of all this, Ichinose-san would shoot the bullet-disguised-Akas into Peony’s body.
If all the attacks failed, we would abandon the “Safety Zone” and evacuate its residents to the neighboring town.
Then, we would guide Peony to where the bombs had been planted, detonating said bombs along with the bombs that Aka would have mimicked inside the body.
That was the rough summary of the plan.
We were walking on a tightrope, and the strategy was ridden with uncertainties.
It was a risky gamble where a single gear malfunctioning could lead to the plan falling apart.
Convincing Fujita-san and the Mayor was a backbreaking task.
“—But we did it.”
Sora and I survey the scene laid out before us.
Inside the place where the “Safety Zone” originally stood, there’s the figure of Peony who’s about to collapse after having a majority of its roots blown away.
This must be a first for it as well.
The “trump card” that we prepared after risking everything has certainly made an impact on Peony.
—If anyone had been missing, the plan would have failed.
Without Nishino-kun, it would’ve been impossible to come up with such a plan.
Without Ichinose-san and Aka, it would’ve been impossible to prepare such a large number of bombs and weapons.
Without Momo, it would’ve been impossible to transfer so many people to the neighboring town in such a short time.
Without Kiki, it would’ve been impossible to negate the Treants’ inherent stealth skills, and we wouldn’t have known that such a convenient underground space to set up bombs existed.
Without Sora, the strategy itself would’ve been impossible to execute.
Without the Self Defense Force, it would’ve been impossible to operate the vehicles and train with the weapons.
Without Fujita-san and the Student Council President, it would’ve been impossible to persuade the residents and take command of the overall situation.
We are able to go head to head against Peony in this manner because of everyone’s cooperation.
“Just a little more.”
Without a shadow of a doubt, Peony is about to die.
Its presence has weakened considerably compared to before.
Just a little more, a tiny bit more, and we would win.
“All the more reason to not let our guards down.”
One more move.
The location of Peony’s Achilles heel which we pinpointed during our previous battle.
If Sora’s breath lands there, it will be our victory.
“Sora, can you do it? Just one more shot. Just one more shot would do.”
“…? What’s wrong, Sora?”
Sora’s not replying.
What’s the problem?
Sora suddenly presses her stomach as if in pain.
“Sora! Oi, what’s wrong? Are you okay!?”
Sora’s posture collapses, and we begin spiraling down.
“… Furu furu!”
Aka cancels its mimicry and inflates its body.
At the same time, I activate “Shadow Manipulation” to form a spider-web near the ground.
We manage to escape unscathed by falling on the double-layered cushion formed by the shadow and Aka.
Aka sticks out a part of its body and points at Sora as if to say, “Nevermind that, tend to her first.”
“Sora! Are you okay?”
I immediately rush to where Sora has crashed.
She isn’t responding.
Her breaths are uneven, and she’s clutching her stomach.
Did we not remove all of Peony’s poison?
But it doesn’t seem like Sora’s suffering from poison.
(Could there be something else…Hm?)
At that moment, I sense something, something which I would have usually missed because of Sora’s overwhelming presence.
Inside Sora’s stomach—I sense the presence of another being.
No way. Could this be—
“Sora…are you perhaps..pregnant?”
Sora doesn’t reply, but the presence in her stomach is a clear indication that my guess is right.
“Why!? Why haven’t you told me such an important thing!?”
‘Silence…you’re but a mere human…!’
Sora gets up and glares at me.
‘I’m fine…just give me the orders…!’
It’s evident that she’s overexerting herself.
She must be quite close to giving birth to her child.
The presence in her stomach is growing stronger, but her own presence is getting weaker.
She won’t be able to shoot any more breaths like this.
If she does, it would definitely affect childbirth.
What should we do…
‘THERE! FOUND THEM!’
Giant Marimos begin gathering beneath us.
“Shit! Stop disturbing us!”
I swiftly open my Item Box and crush the incoming Marimos before they could reach us.
‘LET ME EAT!’ ‘LET ME EAT!’ ‘LET ME EAT!’
‘—ET ME EAT!’
‘LET ME EAT!’ ‘LET ME EAT!’ ‘LET ME EAT!’ ‘LET ME EAT!’ ‘LET ME EAT!’
As if to mock us, the number of giant Marimos in our vicinity grows.
It’s not only the ground. Flocks of giant Marimos are floating overhead as well.
A moment later, they all open their mouths simultaneously and mercilessly fire their tongues at us.
Meanwhile, Nishino and his friends were at the Self Defense Force base in the neighboring town.
“The bombs that we set up should have exploded by now…”
“I wonder if onii-san and Sora-chin are okay—”
“We must have faith in them and await their return. Until the battle at their end is over, we must protect this place at all cost.”
They still had one hour left until the “Safety Zone” could be reconstructed, so Nishino and his friends had to protect this SDF base no matter the cost.
“Nishino-san, all the non-combatants have evacuated into the buildings.”
“Also, people have been stationed in places where monsters could possibly sneak in.”
“How well are the residents inside coping with the situation?”
“They’re so calm about it that it’s kind of eerie. The Student Council President’s skills are working their charms.”
“…Although I’m reluctant to admit it, it’s true that those skills are useful in these situations…”
There hadn’t been any hiccups in persuading the residents of the City Hall to relocate to the SDF base.
This could all be attributed to Touka’s “Enchantment” and her rhetoric.
Nishino was once again reminded that she was second to none when it came to rallying the masses.
“The President’s siblings are cleaning up the monsters in the surrounding regions.”
What’s more, her twin siblings were exceptional fighters.
Within three days, the twins had exterminated most of the monsters that gathered near the SDF base after Peony’s emigration.
“But as we feared, we weren’t able to find any survivors.”
Not a single survivor was found in the base or the houses and buildings around it.
Peony had probably devoured them all.
(It must have come to our town because it ran out of food…)
They were already very late into the game, but Nishino finally knew why Peony had invaded their town.
“Anyway, all we have to do is protect this place. Let’s do our best, everyone!”
With their weapons drawn, Nishino and co. observed their surroundings.
Soon enough, “they” appeared before them.
Giant Marimos that were about a meter in diameter.
They were the “Fertility Eating Ryes”, monsters created by Peony.
“As I thought, the seeds get scattered all the way here…”
In their previous fight, Peony had fired the seeds to these monsters in all directions.
Some of those seeds had landed all the way over at the neighboring town.
Their numbers were small compared to what Kazuto was facing, but they were still formidable foes.
If they attacked carelessly, there was a good chance of being splashed by the Marimos’ poison.
“Don’t approach them carelessly! Keep a distance while you’re fighting, and focus more on defending!”
Under Nishino’s command, the students faced off against the “Fertility Eating Ryes”.
That said, most of them excelled in close-quarters combat, and this included Rikka.
With limited ways to attack from afar, they were expecting a tough battle.
That was when Goshogawara stepped up.
He was holding onto an extremely thick log.
For a moment, Nishino wondered what he was planning to do with it.
The moment Goshogawara swung, the log “stretched”.
Not only was Nishino stunned by this, the “Fertility Eating Ryes” in front of them were shocked as well.
The log which was now more than 10 meters long swept through the battlefield and smashed apart several “Fertility Eating Ryes”, consequently making them explode into a fountain of poison.
Of course, the poison was too far away to harm Nishino and the others.
Nishino and the others entered a daze.
On the other hand, Goshogawara smiled in satisfaction as the log returned to its original length like a vacuum cleaner’s cord.
What was that?
“U-um…Goshogawara-san…what’s up with that log?”
“This? It’s a log made from one of Peony’s branches. I had Ichinose-chan tinker with the surplus branches, and this contraction-extension function was added when it got turned into a weapon (log).”
Logs are amazing!
Nishino was blown away.
He turned around to face Ichinose, who was taking a break behind him.
“I was surprised by the outcome as well. Logs are amazing, aren’t they?”
Leaving aside the speechless Nishino, Goshogawara continued swinging his log and steadily reduced the number of “Fertility Eating Ryes”.
It was a very surreal sight to behold. A run-of-the-mill Ossan was holding a log and swinging it around.
“Fuu…fuuu… just a little more left.”
While holding onto the log, Goshogawara wiped the sweat off his forehead.
Already, the number of “Fertility Eating Ryes” had been reduced considerably.
Seeing the log, and to an extent, the Ossan, as major threats, the remaining units did not try to venture closer.
It was the best development that Nishino and the others could hope for.
(…Fifteen minutes have elapsed. As long as we keep this up, we’ll be able to defend this place…)
Forty-five minutes remained until the “Safety Zone” was reset.
There were no more monsters around, and only a few “Fertility Eating Ryes” remained.
—We’ll be fine. Nothing should go wrong so long as we keep this up.
That was what everyone believed.
However—they shouldn’t have been “careless”.
They shouldn’t have “let their guards down” in the face of “hope”.
The world’s “malice” was not so kind as to overlook that opening.
Suddenly, one of the “Fertility Eating Ryes” charged at Goshogawara.
By stretching out the log, Goshogawara prepared to crush it.
It seemed no different from before.
Just as the log was about to land, however, the “Fertility Eating Rye” opened up one of its innumerable mouths and uttered a speech.
That was when Goshogawara’s movements stopped.
“Is something wrong, Goshogawara-san?”
“No…didn’t you hear a voice just now…?”
Unlike Nishino who appeared suspicious of what was going on, Goshogawara was strangely drawn in by the voice.
He stared at the “Fertility Eating Rye” that had been a whisker away from being crushed by the log.
However, he should have ignored the voice and crushed the “Fertility Eating Rye” without hesitating.
It was abundantly clear that the “Fertility Eating Rye’s” voice had changed from what it was before.
A portion of the “Fertility Eating Rye’s” bumpy surface changed form and took the shape of human faces.
“Dear…Please, kill me…”
What emerged from the “Fertility Eating Rye’s” surface were the faces of his beloved wife and daughter.
It was at that moment that the memories of his wife and daughter that he had been deprived of came rushing back.
—Forty-five minutes remained before the “Safety Zone” could be reset.