“Once we pass this area, we’ll be in the next one!”
That is to say, the fifth checkpoint.
According to Veil’s explanation earlier, it must be the final level.
The areas we’ve been to thus far were the general, low-level first checkpoint followed by the Spring, Summer, and Autumn checkpoints. At this point, it’s easy to guess what the fifth station will be like.
That sounds cold as hell.
“How about we stop here and go home?”
“You’re right. We didn’t prepare any protection against the cold, either. Maybe we should come back when we have thick clothing on us.”
Platy, who had already lost a lot of energy back at the Summer Area seemed to want to go home, and even our new hyelycaon friends that we also met there weren’t too enthusiastic about going to a cold place, either.
“Allll right! Let’s go home!”
Who dares object to my decision?
As I look around to find out who it was, there stands a silver-haired girl in lavish clothes.
Why is human Veil here?
“That’s mean, Master! You can’t just leave the dungeon I’ve worked so hard to create without clearing all the areas! Play with me until the very end!”
“Why are you even here?!”
Weren’t you supposed to wait at the summit as the last boss?!
“Waiting isn’t for the likes of me, so I came here to join you!”
You’re so carefree about this!
“The next monster at the fifth checkpoint is a special one. I’m sure you’ll be surprised once you see it. All the monsters you’ve met so far are nothing but small fry compared to it, you know?!”
The wolves started barking and snarling at Veil.
Maybe they were protesting against being called small fry? They don’t recognize Veil as part of the pack at all.
“That’s why I’ll be joining your dungeon conquest to get through this together! Let’s join hands to reach the summit where the last boss awaits!”
“That very last boss is right in front of us, though…”
Let’s just go along with Veil’s antics.
I’m also interested in this special monster she’s so proud about.
At last, we arrive at the fifth checkpoint, which is unsurprisingly a winter area.
And the monster that was waiting for us amidst the violent snowstorm was…
It’s a bear monster!
Unlike the monsters we’ve encountered so far that attacked us in groups, the bear was all by itself.
Its large body, sturdy limbs, and looming figure of about three meters tall are more than enough to immobilize us with fear.
The wolves surrounded it on all four sides and barked at it in hopes of intimidating the bear, but it didn’t seem to have any effect at all.
“Stay away! A slight hit from it and it’s straight to the underworld for us!”
Orkubo and Gobukichi backed off their men and were trying to deal with the bear on their own. Even if they’re stage-two mutants who can easily defeat an average hero, surpassing a bear like that is still a bit of a tall order.
“…Veil, just what kind of monstrosity did you create?”
Unlike the others that we’ve seen so far, this one’s completely different.
“Hm? I don’t even need to break a sweat defeating something like that.”
Our strongest being’s standards are so sloppy.
If Orkubo and the others were to get injured by the bear, it wouldn’t be a laughing matter anymore.
“Orkubo, Gobukichi, fall back!”
As soon as they stepped aside, I swung the holy sword in a diagonally upward slash and directed it towards the bear. It took the hit and blood splattered from its wound, eventually falling down.
“A formidable foe beaten that fast?!”
“And in just one hit! As expected of our Lord!!!”
Orkubo and the others were singing praises, but really, it was all the work of the Hand of Supremacy and the holy sword.
With one of the holy swords Hades created to aid the demon race’s victory against the war, as well as the gift from Hephaestus, the god of crafting, that can bring out the maximum potential of anything it touches, even someone like me can defeat an overwhelmingly powerful monster in just one hit.
It’s definitely not because of my own efforts!
Please don’t praise me to the skies!
“I guess it’s too early for celebrations, Dear.”
The bear, whom I thought I already defeated in one blow, stands up and glares at me.
But with a deep wound like that, it won’t be able to move as freely.
I’ll just leave this to the wolves to torment it to death.
However, that would be too ruthless of me.
“Will you be delivering the final blow to put an end to its suffering?”
As I approach the severely wounded bear, I call out to someone else.
“Give me the salve.”
Everyone was shocked upon hearing my request.
But Platy did as she was told and took out the salve, then, I applied it to the bear’s wound.
“What are you doing, Master?!”
“I couldn’t kill it with a single hit.”
I can’t help but feel sorry seeing it suffer like this.
Naturally, it was I who inflicted the wound, and though I sound hypocritical after killing dozens of monsters for predation or self-defense already, I still can’t be completely heartless.
Besides, even if we hunted this bear, I don’t know how to make use of its meat and fur. It’s no use hunting something we won’t be able to utilize.
“Its fur is so thick that it’s hard for the medicine to penetrate the wound. It will make a full recovery, but it’s going to take some time.”
“I think it’s better that way.”
If it makes an immediate recovery and attacks us again, we’ll have to slay it then.
“All right, we’ve cleared the fifth checkpoint. Let’s move on.”
Everyone was still taken aback, but we eventually moved on.
The bear sent us off with an empty look in its eyes, not revealing what it was thinking.