Here’s the next TNM chapter. I’m still alive as evident by my Rinkan post yesterday.
Chapter 27 – Strix Hunting
Strixes are may look like a slightly weird owl with their large eyes and sharper than normal beaks. However they are actually demonic beasts that have been recorded down in mythology, namely in Greek and Roman mythology. They have been said to be descended from Polyphonte, who was transformed into a strix by Hermes and Ares for her half-bear sons’ cannibalism. She became a strix “that cries by night, without food or drink, with head below and tips of feet above, a harbinger of war and civil strife to men.” However, that is merely a myth and nothing more. Strixes have existed long before as savage birds that hunt unsuspecting prey. They were not extremely terrifying demonic beast and usually an average demon would be able to easily deal with one, but the only problem was that strixes often moved in small flocks of between 5 to 10 strixes. This increased their threat by several times over.
On the other hand, the existences known as Grand Strixes were different. These were strixes, yet at the same time they were not. They were a higher tiered existence compared to those Strides that wouldn’t cause much trouble alone. For someone who didn’t understand, a Grand Strix was only a slightly larger Strip. However, that wasn’t the case, a Grand Strix was an avian that could wreck havoc wherever it went. Although not as terrifying as a mature Dragon, it was still an existence that one needed to be wary about, not only because of its physical prowess, but also because of its cunningness.
The being that Mira saw was such an existence. Seeing it, Mira shuddered. Why was there a Grand Strix here? She didn’t hear anything about it. If there was a Grand Strix here, the mayor should have notified everyone. What was going on?
She looked to the side, towards the four humans. They didn’t seem too surprised, shocked or worried at all. A calm demeanour appeared on their faces.
“Heh, a Grand Strix,” Lucifer said in David’s mind as David noticed the abnormally large Strix in the sky. “That’s a higher tiered strix, similar to how the High Orc you fought was a higher tiered orc. Same idea here. The Grand Strix is a more intelligent and powerful strix. Well to be precise, a more intelligent and powerful High Strix. You get the idea. The appearance of one is actually not all that common, and now it makes somewhat sense that there is such a huge flock of strixes here, since there is always such a huge flock accompanying a Grand Strix.”
Hearing that, David grimaced.
Then as if noticing David’s expression, Lucifer continued, “But don’t worry. It shouldn’t be that troublesome. A few intermediate level spells should be enough to take it down. And you can handle it since your agility is not the worst in the world, especially after becoming my host.”
At the same time, the three exorcists also seemed to have notice the strix flock.
“What do you think?” Lux asked Guang.
“I think we should be able to handle it, even if we pretend to be magicians,” Guang replied. “If we keep up the disguise, we’ll cast several spells from here to take down some of them, then David will start guarding us as we adopt a hit-and-run tactic in pairs. Although I’m not certain of exactly how capable he is, guarding one of us should be alright. Then I can just guard either you or Hikari if needed. As for the succubus… We’ll let her do as she sees fit.
There does seem to be a Grand Strix there, that could prove troublesome, but it should be fine for you to handle. Would that be alright?”
“That is what I would have suggested,” Lux nodded. It was more or less the same as what she had in mind. This would also allow them to gauge both Mira and David’s capabilities. With David in the vanguard, he would be in more danger even if h only need to fend of attacking strixes, and Then turning to Hikari and David, she asked, “Did you hear Guang’s plan?”
“Yes, Lux-sama. I think it is fine,” Hikari replied.
“Yeah, it’s fine,” David agreed. He didn’t see any reason not to, since this plan does allow him to hide his ability to use spells as much as possible. He already determined that using fire magic before was a mistake, he didn’t want to show any more than necessary.
“Mira,” Guang called out to her. “We’re going to deal with the Strix flock here. We’ll first try to strike as many of them down as possible from here, then we’re going to adopt a guerrilla tactic in pairs. That means we’ll leave you alone to your own devices. Is that okay?”
“Then I’ll do the same as you guys,” Mira said.
Seeing that Mira agreed. The three exorcists immediately begun to cast spells.
“Drawing upon the fire of the world, engulf my foes in flames!<FIrestorm>!” Both Hikari and Guang casted, immediately after, a blaze of flames surrounded many of the strixes, catching the surviving ones to turn and look around for the culprit.
“An imitation of the heavens, tear through my foes, strike fear into their hearts! <Chain Dragon Lightning>!” Just as the strix flock noticed they were under attack, Lux released a huge surge of lightning in the shape of a dragon towards the strix flock, electrocuting many strixes as it passed through them, causing them to drop dead towards the ground.
As if not wanting to lose to the three, Mira also begun to silently cast. David couldn’t hear her chant, but he recognise it as a dark magic.
After letting it charge up for around 15 seconds, she released the bolts of dark magic in her hands onto the incoming strix flock, instantly shooting down quite a few of them.
He looked back at the exorcists, to see how the partnering will go. It seemed like they have already decided on his partnership with Hikari, who smiled at him, “Shall we?”
David nodded and indicated for her to start running, as he pulled out the two knives he had in his pocket.
Just as they started running, two strixes dived down towards them. David turned around and covered his knives with mana, sharpening and lengthening them to the length of a short sword at the same time. Like the blades he usually summoned, the knives now gave off a blackish aura. He raised the blade in his right hand to parry off the talons of one of the strixes to the side, then ducked as another flew in aiming for his eyes.
As the strix flew over his head, he tried to slash its stomach, but only managed to leave a small wound that wasn’t too deep.
“Oh heaven’s flames, shoot through your enemies. Burn them to dust! <Fireball>!” Behind him, Hikari shot a fire ball at the strix that David injured, setting it ablaze.
It shrieked out in pain and fell onto the ground, trying to roll around in order to douse the flames, but it was already too late.
Taking this opportunity, David grabbed Hikari and started running. He didn’t want them to be trapped in such a disadvantage location while fighting against such a large number of enemies.