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Chapter: 467


「……Set, let me know you’re going to use that before you use it.」

Rei, who had caught the mottled blue and green fruit the size of a human head that didn’t seem that edible, spoke as he went over to Set.

「Guru~?」

Is it no good? Set seemed to ask with a tilted head. Seeing that, Elena smiled at Set.

「Well, it’s fine since everyone turned out okay. It didn’t hit Rei’s head. ……But, I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t caught it though.」

「If something this hard hit me on the head, it would hurt a lot.」

Tapping it lightly with the back of his hand to check its hardness, the sound was very different from apples, pears, melons, oranges, and the fruit that Rei knew of.

「If it’s like this, I probably didn’t need to catch it.」

It was quite hard and seemed unlikely to crack even if it fell to the ground from a height over 5m.

Furthermore, since they were near an oasis, the area was covered in sand, so the chance of it cracking on hitting the ground was very low.

「With this hardness, it feels like I could use it as a weapon. So, how do you eat it?」

「It seems you can just cut it open with a knife. You can also use a weapon, but if you do that, you wouldn’t be able to eat the fruit inside.」

「Guru~!」

Let’s eat it right away! Set seemed to say with a cry. Rei gave a small sigh as he took a knife out from the Misty Ring.

Of course, it wasn’t the knife he used for stripping materials, which had cut through the corpses of many monsters.

Rei didn’t want to use a knife used to strip materials from monster to cut open fruit for eating.

Rei pushed the blade against the fruit, but it couldn’t be cut with just light push.

「It’s seriously tough.」

「Yeah. From what I’ve heard, it seems some armours use this outer layer.」

「Weapons and armour, what kind of fruit is this? ……Phew-!」

Muttering in amazement, Rei wiggled the knife while putting in more force.

Even though the fruit was covered by a hard shell, it couldn’t withstand the force Rei put on the knife and it was neatly split in two.

At the same time, a sweet scent started to drift into the surroundings.

The outside was blue, green and mottled, but the inside was packed with an orange flesh.

「Heh. ……It looks strange on the outside, but this is quite nice.」

Muttering to himself, Rei gently scooped out some of the orange flesh and brought it to his mouth.

It had a rich taste, filled with condensed sweetness. However, it wasn’t overly sweet and the aftertaste wasn’t bad.

The fruit had a mysterious texture that melted in the mouth, it made sense that it would be bought at such a high price.

As for the taste, it would be best described as a condensed mango taste.

At the very least, the mangos that Rei had eaten back in Japan weren’t far from this in taste.

After enjoying the mango aftertaste, Rei gave one of the halves to Set while cutting the other half in two and passing one of them to Elena.

While cutting their own fruit into bite sized pieces with a knife, they watched Set each his share with his beak.

Elena placed a piece of fruit into her mouth and her eyes widened in surprise. Her eyes told Rei it was delicious.

For a few minutes, the three of them continued to eat in silence. By the time the fruit was all finished.

「Phew, that was delicious.」

「Yeah. I’ve had the opportunity to eat a range of high class fruits, but nothing like this. As expected of a dungeon.」

「……Speaking of which, the bread we bought the other day was also made with dungeon grown ingredients, or so they said.」

At Elena’s words, Rei recalled the bread with jam, honey, and fruit that they had eaten.

「You’re right. ……I think there should be a few shops like that since this is a labyrinth city. It might be good to search around to see what we can find later.」

「Gurururu~」

Set gave a cry in agreement.

「I’d like to collect more fruits if possible. Fortunately, I have this to stop them from decaying.」

Rei brought out the Misty Ring on his right wrist from under the Dragon Robe.

Elena nodded with a smile.

「Gururururu~……」

Set gave a cry.

However, this wasn’t a happy cry like a few seconds ago, but a wary one.

Along with his cry, the sound of trees breaking could be heard as the ground shook.

「……This couldn’t be another Cyclops, could it?」

「I don’t think so, but is there anything wrong if it is?」

「No, not at all.」

Rei took out the Death Scythe from the Misty Ring as he conversed with Elena, who had also unsheathed her sword whip.

Set also got ready to attack at any time and they waited. Before long, what showed up……was not a Cyclops.

To describe it in the simplest way, it was a huge red crab, about 3m in size.

Of course, being a monster, it was different from ordinary crabs in many ways. It had four claws, two on each side, about 1m in length. It also had a mouth with sharp fangs and a tail.

The tail in particular was covered by the same shell that covered its body, making it look like a weapon with several joints rather than a tail.

No, in fact, that was probably how it was used.

Even now, as it snapped the trees in its way, it turned its gaze towards Rei’s group as it waved its claws and waited for a chance to swing its tail.

As they looked at the crab, Rei asked Elena.

「I think I’ve heard of this monster before from Pleiades? Is this an Earth Crab?」

「Yeah. It’s a crab monster that lives in the desert. C rank. It’s a middle of the pack monster on this floor. I heard they were usually 2m large, so I didn’t expect to find one this big.」

As Elena said that, Rei looked at the huge crab in front of him with an inexplicably happy expression.

「Personally, I prefer shrimp, but it’s not like I hate crabs.」

「Gurururu~?」

Rei, are they delicious? Set seemed to ask with a cry.

「Yeah. Crabs are delicious. Especially crab miso. ……I do prefer shrimp though.」

In Japan, crabs were generally more popular than shrimp. However, in Rei’s case, he didn’t dislike crabs but just preferred shrimp for its texture.

「Anyway, all the crab meat is waiting for us if we kill this monster. Considering the size of its claws, it should be quite packed with mean. Set, let’s do our best for a delicious meal.」

「Gururu~!」

Set gave a sharp cry, as if acknowledging Rei’s word. At the same time, a shock wave was shot at the crab’s eyes.

While it was stunned by Set’s first strike, which barely had any signs, Rei and Elena immediately attacked the huge crab in front of them.

「Flying Slash!」

The slash that followed the magic shock wave collided with the Earth Crab’s right claw.

However, as the slash and claw struck each other, the slash disappeared, only leaving a slight crack on the claw.

「Tch, it’s tough. Even a level 3 Flying Slash could only crack it that much.」

Rei leapt back while complaining.

It soon became clear why he had leapt back without making a follow up attack. The Earth Crab tried to chase after the person that had cracked its shell, but was immediately attacked from the right by something that tore through the sky at high speed.

The tip of Elena’s sword whip succeeded in cutting several legs that grew from under the Earth Crab.

Although it was the same shell, the level of hardness was still different between the legs and claws.

The moment Rei’s attack had failed, Elena had used the opportunity when Earth Crab’s attention was on Rei to successfully attack it.

In addition, Elena wasn’t the only other member of Rei’s group. There was one more member……

「GURURURURURU~!」

Before anyone had noticed, Set had someone flown high into the sky as he gave a cry and dived down like a spear.

The blow from his claw, along with his speed, weight, and magic items, slammed into the Earth Crab, which had lost its balance from losing several legs. ……In an attempt to retain its balance, the Earth Crab had used its cracked claw to try to reduce the impact, but it was no use as it was sent bouncing away.

「SHAAAAaaaAaAa-!」

With a cry that seemed to leak from its mouth, the Earth Crab hit several trees without slowing down before falling into the oasis and sinking.

Seeing that, Rei and Elena continued to hold their weapons at the ready while Set also prepared himself to attack.

……But, after 30 seconds, although the water surface was still shaking, there was no sign of the Earth Crab.

「Did we kill it?」

Hearing Elena’s question, Rei shook his head.

「Impossible. Only its claw was destroyed in the previous attack. It still has three other claws and we haven’t damaged its body. ……Well, Set’s attack was strong enough to break its claw, so the impact might have reached its body.」

The moment Rei replied, a pillar of water rose up from the oasis. Not just once, but two, three, then four times.

Set crouched down while the Rei and Elena continued to maintain their vigilance.

Water pillars continued to rise in front of the three of them.

The next moment, a water pillar that was completely different from the rest appeared. Best described as a collapsed water pillar, something was blown out of the water alongside it.

The object that was blown out from the water pillar flew above Rei and bounced several times before hitting a tree and coming to a stop.

The three of them caught sight of it in the moment it flew over their heads.

Looking over at what had hit a tree, they got a good look at it……

「A crocodile?」

It had a long extended mouth, scales, and a tail that extended from its body. However, from tip to tail, it was barely 2m in length.

That was the first thing Rei thought of when he saw it.

Of course, if it lived in the dungeon, it wouldn’t be just an ordinary crocodile. In fact, the crocodile, which was covered in a thick smell of blood and wasn’t moving, had legs shaped like fish fins, making it impossible for it to move on land like the crocodiles Rei knew of.

「A crocodile? Living in a hot desert?」

「Yeah. This crocodile isn’t an ordinary one by any means though, it’s a monster. It’s probably the Bloodydile that Pleiades mentioned.」

「……I see. He did tell us to be careful as it would attack people who alerted it when they went to drink water from the oasis.」

「There’s also probably more than one or two of them in the oasis.」

Rei turned to look over at the oasis as he and Elena talked.

There were still many water pillars rising up and Bloodydiles would sometimes be sent flying out and onto land.

Examining the Bloodydiles that were thrown out, they each had large bits on their bodies, some had their insides eaten along with their scales while others had fist sized holes in their bodies.

「What do you want to do?」

「There’s nothing to do. The Earth Crab has been injured by us, so we’ll wait until it comes back up. ……No, there is something we can do.」

Rei looked over at the dead Bloodydiles as he muttered. There were already more than five now and the water pillars continued to throw more out.

Rei touched the corpses and stored them into the Misty Ring, just like the fisherman from the story of the piper and the clam. Any that were still alive he killed with the Death Scythe.

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