Shinmai Boukensha – 68

Day 68: Pumpkin Head!!
Holy Era 6102, Month of the Water Serpent, 20th day.
Weather: Rain

…Since last night, I’ve been monitoring the swamp, in the rain… It is so cold.
Our camp is quite a distance from the swamp.
This was so that we could see the entire area, but I also didn’t even want to get close to it.

After all…there was something terribly eerie about that place.
While being in the middle of the forest, the trees and plants in the area were all dead, and the grounds were littered with animal bones. The water was very muddy, and there were bubbles rising to the surface…
It was only normal to want to stay away from that place.

…And the rain really is bad. Once it was night time, there was even thunder.
.,..Will this ball of fire even appear in this weather?
What if it vanishes after getting wet from the rain, without anyone ever noticing it…
I thought of such senseless things as thunder suddenly roared around me.

…!! I was so shocked that I held my head and curled up.
Ah! Why are you laughing, Ms. Noa!? It-it’s not like I am frightened or anything!!
I was just a little surprised! But more importantly, please continue to observe the swamp… Huh?

As my gaze returned to the swamp, I saw a figure…that had not been there before…
But there was nothing like a ball of fire… Was this person a traveler…?
And so I left Ms. Noa to watch the surrounding area, as I went to approach this stranger.
The person was wearing a black raincoat…
As their hood was pulled down low, I could not tell their gender.

In any case, I tried to call out to them, but they did not react.
As I watched suspiciously, there was another bolt of lightning!! At the same time, the person in the raincoat disappeared!!
It happened so quickly that I was confused for a second. And then I felt the impact of something slamming into me from behind!!

I could not react in time, and was mercilessly thrown to the ground.
While coughing, I turned to see what was behind me, only to see that it was the person in the rain coat.
As lightning struck around me again, the shadowy figure raised a dark red, rusted hatchet into the air!!
At the same time, I was finally able to clearly see the face that had been hidden under the hood.
The triangular eyes and the mocking smile that looked like a crescent moon… And the bluish flames that peeked from within… This pumpkin-head monster was…

…A Jack-o’-Lantern!!

By the time I realized this, the pumpkin head laughed and swung down with its right hand.
Ah, I will not be able to dodge it. But just as I thought this, the ring on my right hand began to glow, and a shield of light appeared in front of me!!
The hatchet bounced off of the shield… So this was a ring of protection. Ms. Noa, thank you!!
That brief opening was just what I needed in order to escape.

I could not fight that thing…
One must not be fooled by the comical appearance of a Jack-o’-Lantern.
They were powerful and evil spirits who had tricked devils and continued to wander through the world after they died.
The power to make a contract with the devil, and the cleverness to deceive and run away from them….
These were no ordinary monsters.

When I returned to our camp, Ms. Noa agreed that we should retreat.
Holy water was not going to be enough for this.
Indeed… Besides, this was originally just an investigation request… Let us return!!

I looked back just once at the swamp, and saw that there were five pumpkin heads floating… There are more now!?
Ah, there is no way… Retreat! Retreaat!!

Dawn had broken by the time we arrived in town again… I will make a report at the guild after I have gotten some sleep.

Today’s earnings and expenses:
Bronze: -28(Inn x2) (Bed: A, Food: A)
Balance: 58 silver, 15 bronze
30 cat coins

(;-_-) =3 Phew. That would have been very reckless.

Senpai boukenshasan ga tasukete kureru no de kitto daijoubu nano desu! Shinmai boukensha no nikki-chou

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