Rei continued to collect the corpses of the Bloodydiles that were thrown out of the oasis and killing any that were still alive with the Death Scythe for the next 30 minutes.
After storing away nearly 20 Bloodydiles, tranquillity finally returned to the surface of the oasis.
「Looks like it’s over. ……Well, I wonder who won?」
Elena replied to Rei’s question as she held her sword whip.
「The Earth Crab of course. The hardness of its shell was considerable. I’m sure you understand well considering it was hit by a flying slash.」
Set gave a cry to agree with Elena’s words.
「You think so? It’s not that I don’t think it can’t kill what it’s fighting, but it’s still a relatively defensive monster……tch-!」
As he was talking with Elena, Rei felt killing intent directed towards him and poured magic power into the Death Scythe as he swung it on reflex.
At that moment, something shot out of the oasis like a laser as Rei sliced it with the Death Scythe’s blade.
Considering the speed of the attack, it was a much harder task that slicing a flying arrow. However, Rei didn’t seem to be too bothered by it as he turned to look at the oasis and activated a skill.
With those words, a shield of light was created.
Rei’s defensive trump card that could block a single attack.
As he activated it, Rei watched the oasis as he wiped away something that had splashed onto his cheek.
Yes, it was water. Nothing strange, just water.
As Rei looked at the water, which was probably from the oasis, he immediately realised what the previous attack had been.
It was an attack that used compressed water, like a water jet.
It was probably the same reason why water pillars had shot out from oasis earlier.
「Tch, considering it’s called an Earth Crab, it’s quite good at fighting underwater.」
There was no way that the Earth Crab, with the absolute advantage of the water, would come out of the oasis so easily.
However, the next moment, he was astonished to see an unexpected sight.
The Earth Crab, which should have had an absolute advantage in the water, came out of the oasis.
Seeing it break through the water’s surface, not just Rei, Elena and Set were also unable to understand.
Of course, the Earth Crab had also wanted to fight where it held the advantage. However, it needed a certain amount of magic power to be able to release water jets like earlier.
It had used too much magic power against the Bloodydiles earlier and had barely any magic power left.
The Earth Crab primarily excelled in close combat and water jets were its only way of attacking from range. Because of that, when it ran out of magic power, it had no choice but to attack directly.
Its best option would have been to hide in the water and wait to recover its magic power, but this wasn’t possible for several reasons.
The first and biggest reason was that there were other monsters living inside the oasis.
Even though it had killed the Bloodydiles, it hadn’t killed everything. If it stayed in the water and waited for its magic power to recover, it would most likely have been attacked by the other monsters.
Finally, the Earth Crab couldn’t stand leaving the two small humans who had destroyed the shell of one of its claws.
It did realised that there was Set, a Griffon, but it still judged that it could do whatever it wanted. This was probably one of the reasons why it was classified as a lower C rank monster, despite its combat strength.
Emerging from the oasis, the Earth Crab gave a menacing cry from its fanged mouth, angry about its smashed claw.
Despite being a crab monster, it was able move straight towards Rei to attack, unlike ordinary crabs which moved sideways. It gave the impression that it was more like a scorpion than a crab with its articulated tail.
「Well then, it looks like the crab is turning red with anger.」
「It was red from the beginning. Quite amazing considering it hasn’t been cooked.」
Does it taste better when cooked? Set seemed to ask with a cry.
Although they were joking around, they remained ready to react to anything the Earth Crab might do.
The first to move was the Earth Crab. It spat out bubbles with great force from its fanged mouth.
It was similar to Set’s fire breath and could be called a bubble breath of sorts.
Rei judged that the bubbles had no direct attack power, but even so, he had no intention of being hit by them. Rei leapt to the right with magic shield in tow to avoid the bubbles.
At the same time, Elena leapt to the left while Set escaped to the sky after running several steps and flapping his wings.
Seeing Elena change her sword whip to whip form while Set dived down to strike, Rei left the vanguard and middle guard to them while moving back to provide support.
Looking over to where the bubble breath had hit a tree near the oasis, he saw that the bubbles had turned into a highly sticky liquid as it dripped down from the tree trunk and its branches.
Seeing that, Rei quickly shouted to Elena and Set, who were fighting the Earth Crab.
「Watch out! If you touch the bubbles from the bubble breath, it will slow your movements!」
As he shouted, Rei thought that it was a clever move by the Earth Crab. If its target couldn’t move, it would be hard to strike with one of its powerful claws, whether it smashed its target or tried to grab it.
(In that case……an eye for an eye.)
Muttering to himself, Rei took out what he wanted from the Misty Ring.
From Rei’s position, he could see Elena swing her sword whip and successfully slice off the claw that had been damaged in their previous exchange.
At the same time as his cry, Set vanished from the sky.
Of course, he didn’t actually disappear. Set had just used the skill Optical Camouflage.
The Earth Crab’s tail swiftly swung towards where Set had been a moment ago, but it just struck air as it swept through.
Set didn’t remain stationary while invisible and, the next instant, struck the Earth Crab’s back with his claw, causing a sharp wound on the back shell which the Earth Crab prided itself on.
The Earth Crab must have realised its shell had been damaged. While giving a cry, it swung its tail towards Set, who had suddenly struck its back. However, Set was of course no longer there.
Set’s next target was its middle left leg. As expected, it wasn’t as armoured as its shell and was easily destroyed.
While watching the middle left leg sent rolling across the ground, Elena’s sword whip didn’t stop moving either.
Even though Set was still attacking the Earth Crab while invisible, causing it to thrash around, Elena didn’t hesitate to swing her sword whip.
As one of its right claws had already been cut off by the sword whip, Elena wanted to remove the other right claw if possible. That said, she couldn’t cut through the Earth Crab’s shell that easily with her weapon and had to focus all her attention on it. ……At the same time, Set made another deep scratch along the Earth Crab’s shell.
Unfortunately, Optical Camouflage only lasted a short duration.
Although the skill had gone up to level 2, it was still only effective for about 20 seconds and the next moment, Set reappeared……
Set went in for the finish as he swung his claws while activating Poison Claw, his highest level skill.
「Set, move away!」
Rei shouted at Set, who had just activated Poison Claw.
In his hands was a dark green spear, from shaft to tip.
As he poured magic power into the spear, Set moved away from the Earth Crab, as if he understood what Rei meant with just those words. Elena, who had been attacking from a distance, also took some distance just in case.
The moment he saw Set move away, Rei threw the Thorns Spear he held in his hands.
The spear flew out like a green flash and tore through the air as it headed for its target.
Its speed was several orders of magnitude faster than the water jet released by the Earth Crab from within oasis. The next moment, it pierced the Earth Crab’s body, which was tougher than ordinary metal, as if it wasn’t even there.
After that, the spear immediately took effect.
Countless thorns grew rapidly from the tip of the spear that pierced into the Earth Crab’s body. Then, as if overflowing from inside its body, the thorns started to grow outside of it, entangling the Earth Crab everywhere.
In a matter of seconds, the Earth Crab’s entire body was wrapped in thorns, holding it in place.
This was the effect of the spear Rei had just thrown, the aptly named Thorns Spear.
The Earth Crab was now unable to move, but Rei’s attack didn’t stop there.
Rei focused his magic power on the Death Scythe, which he had taken out after throwing the Thorns Spear.
『Flames of fire, gather. Form great wings and fly!』
Along with his magic, flames formed on the blade of the Death Scythe before eventually turning into a bird.
When it reached 1m in length with a 3m wingspan, Rei activated the magic.
『Sky conquering phoenix!』
Along with those words, and a swing of the Death Scythe, the phoenix made from fire magic flew towards the Earth Crab.
The reason Rei chose this magic was because he could control the phoenix as he wanted.
Aside from the disposable spears he had bought, he had no intention of destroying a magic item as good as the Thorns Spear.
If the magic he used couldn’t be actively controlled, it might accidentally damage the Thorns Spear that was still stuck in the Earth Crab.
Under Rei’s control, the phoenix flew over to the Earth Crab with a flap of its wings.
The first thing Rei targeted was its claws, the Earth Crab’s strongest weapon, so as to avoid the Thorns Spear stuck in the middle of its body.
The one on the right or the two on the left. The phoenix flew straight for the left……and burned the claws off right at the base as its fiery wings passed through.
The Earth Crab cried out in disbelief that two of its claws had been burnt off, as if it had thought that they could withstand Rei’s fire magic.
However, the attacks didn’t end there. Turning in mid air, the phoenix attacked the Earth Crab’s tail next. Burning it off just like the claws, it continued to fly around the Earth Crab as it burnt off its remaining legs and claws.
Of course, the Earth Crab tried to escape from the attacking phoenix, but the Thorns Spear in its body prevented it from moving and it was helpless to do anything as its remaining legs and claws were burned off. ……Eventually, Rei went over to the Earth Crab and pulled the Thorns Spear out, after which the phoenix thrust itself into the wound, burning the Earth Crab from inside out.