Chapter 22: The Centre of the Forest and the Ancient Tree


“Why! Are! We! Flyiiiiiiiing!?”

Liliella-san screamed for some inexplicable reason as we flew over the Forest of Magic Beasts.

“Well I mean, there’s no need for us to walk inside the forest now that you’ve tried out your spear.
And finding the forest’s centre and going straight there is way easier from up in the sky, isn’t it?”

All the trees in the Forest of Magic Beasts were monsters, after all.

So just flying over them would be way faster than fighting with every single one while walking along.

“I! Get that! But! Isn’t this kinda unfair!?”

I don’t think it’s all that unfair.

Anyone would choose a carriage if they had to choose between it and walking.

And so, we flew towards the centre of the Forest of Magic Beasts.

Ivan-san had said that reaching the centre of the Forest of Magic Beasts was the dearest wish of many adventurers who explored such forbidden regions.

Just what was at the centre of the ever-expanding Forest of Magic Beasts where it had all begun?

Ivan-san had said that many an adventurer wanted to know the answer to that question.

He also said that there were definitely wonderful treasures there.

Treasures and the truth.
Yep, it’s exactly like a story about adventurers.

“Hey, how long are we going to keep on flying foooooooooor!”

Liliella-san shouted in a fed-up tone.

Hmm, we have been flying for a while now.

“I guess it’s time for a break then.
Flame Inferno!!”

I burned the forest away to make some room for us to take a break and then landed on the ground.

“Haa, I love you, ground.”

The exhausted Liliella-san laid down on the ground, rubbing her cheeks against it.

“I’ll set up a barrier for now.”

I used barrier magic with Liliella-san as its centre, making sure we were safe.

“Now then, it might still be a little early, but let’s have lunch.”

I pulled out a blanket from my magic bag and set it down on the ground, placing food boxes we had purchased at the guild’s tavern on top of it.

“Umm, something fishy volume-wise just came out of that bag, didn’t it…”

“It’s a magic bag, so there’s nothing fishy about it at all.”

“…Ah, okay, I see…”

Liliella-san carefully rubbed the space between her eyebrows.

Is she tired?

“Let’s eat.”

I poured some tea I had warmed up with magic into a wooden cup and held it out to her.

“Thank you.”

Liliella-san took the cup, thanking me.

“Haa, being able to drink something warm while on an adventure is so nice.”

“Eh? You can easily make hot water with magic though?”

Magic to make a spark is quite widespread though, so I think anyone should be able to light a fire normally.

“That might be so, but usually magicians won’t use the necessary magic due to wanting to preserve their mana.
So people only get to drink warm drinks when they stop to camp and decide to light a fire.”

I see, they preserve their mana.

The mana needed to warm water up is at most as much as the tip of the nail on one of my fingers is large, but the pros even preserve that mana.

“Then I guess I should also preserve it from now on.”

“Noo, you really don’t have to.”

Eh? Isn’t that a bit strange though?

“So then, how much longer do we have to fly for until we get there?”

Liliella-san asked, biting into her sandwich.

“Let’s see, I’d say about an hour or two.
The trees in the centre of the forest are so tall we’ll be able to tell right away that we’ve arrived.”

Indeed, I had confirmed from up in the sky that the trees there were obviously taller than the ones at the edge of the forest.

If those were plant-type monsters as well, they were quite the colossi.

“I wonder what’s at the centre?”

“There’s definitely something.
I’m quite excited.”

◆ ◆

“Let’s get going then.”

Having finished our break, we resumed our journey through the sky.

“Ugh, I’m really bad with this.
My legs just flail around and I find it hard to breathe.”

It seemed Liliella-san and flying didn’t get along.

But hmm, if she hates her legs flailing about…

“Then, what about like this?”

Moving around mid-air, I changed how I was holding Liliella-san.


“It should be a little better like this, I think.”

I was now holding her in my arms.


But for some reason, she stayed silent.
Maybe she didn’t like it?

And isn’t her face kinda red?

“You don’t like it?”

“I-it’s n-not that I don’t like it, it’s just, this is That, isn’t it? That princess carry thing… It’s a little embarrassing…”

“So it’s okay! Then let’s go with this!”

“Eh!? Hey hang on”

“Departure number two!”

“T-this is a p–!”

Mhm, I can see Liliella-san’s face up close like this, so it’s not bad.

◆ ◆

“Ah, it’s come into view.”

I told Liliella-san that the centre of the forest had come into view.

“Yes, seeing that, even I can tell.
What big trees.”

Indeed, we could now see huge trees sticking out of the forest like pylons in the middle of a field.

Their height was roughly 40 meters from the ground to the top of their crowns.

They became ever larger as we got closer, eventually turning into something like a wooden mountain.

“We’ll land nearby.”

“All right.”

I burnt a part of the forest nearby away and landed there.

“You just burn this forest as if it’s just getting rid of weeds…”

“Well, it is magic used for getting rid of weeds, after all.”

“No, just no! Magic for getting rid of weeds doesn’t burn monsters to ashes! And speaking of that, who even gets rid of weeds with magic anyway!”

“We usually use magic to get rid of weeds back home?”

“Well usually, that would be considered unusual!”

I see, so they don’t use magic to get rid of weeds in Liliella-san’s village.

Now that I think of it, dad did say that they didn’t use to use magic for it a long time ago.

…No way, was not using magic to get rid of weeds actually for training your body and fitness!?

And if they started doing so from childhood, they would train their stamina and perseverance!?

“…I see, so each village has its own profound ideas.”

“I agree, but you’re also definitely labouring under some weird misunderstanding.”

Huh? Did I get something wrong? Whoops, did I say that out loud?

“Anyway, let’s keep moving.
We’re almost there.”

Hurried along by Liliella-san, we stepped in to the centre of the Forest of Magic Beasts.

And as we did so, the huge trees in front of us creaked into motion.

“It moved!?”

“They’re the superior species to the Killer Plant, Elder Plants.
They can’t walk, but their bark is harder than iron, and they can send their leaves flying like knives to attack.
Please watch out for those.”

“What do you mean ‘Please watch out’!? My attacks won’t even harm it, it would be better to just run away!”

Liliella-san said with a pale face, but in my opinion, she was completely wrong?

“It’ll be fine.
You can easily defeat a monster of this calibre with your new spear.”

“You say easily, but that thing’s harder than iron!?”

“It’ll be fine.
From your right, by the way.”

One of the Elder Plants’ branches was swinging towards Liliella-san to attack her.

However, even if I called it a branch, it was still as wide as a Killer Plant’s trunk, so if it hit a normal person, they would die right away.


Liliella-san dodged the Elder Plant’s attack in a panic.


Then, she swung her new spear at the Elder Plant’s incoming branch, beautifully cutting it off.

“No way!? It just!?”

The one surprised by that was none other than the culprit Liliella-san herself.

“Ah, I’ll cast defensive magic.
High Protection!”

Liliella-san was covered in a yellow glow.

“What’s this!? Magic!?”

“You wouldn’t be crushed even if a Dragon were to step on you like this!”

“Why would a Dragon ever step on me in the first place anyway!”

Liliella-san continued attacking the Elder Plants’ trunks while avoiding their attacks.

Good, she seems to be able to use the Dragon Emperor Style Air Spearmanship that I taught her quite well.

“Keep it up, Liliella-san!”


Her movements were still a little unnatural, but if she kept at it, she’d get used to the basics soon enough.

Maybe I’ll teach her how to use the spear mid-air as the next step.

Teaching bright students was quite fun.

“Now then, I guess it’s about time I joined in too.”

I also had a new weapon, and an Elder Plant would be the perfect thing to test it out on.

But the moment I thought that thought.

The forest suddenly began to rumble and shake.

“W-what!? Earthquake!?”

No, this was no earthquake.

As proof of that, the Elder Plants were also shaking.

Almost as if we had angered some frightful enemy.


I hurriedly grabbed Liliella-san and evacuated to the air via flight magic.

Right after that, the Elder Plants’ also began floating.


Liliella-san’s mouth hung open loosely at the sight.

Huge trees were floating in the air as if they were mere leaves.

Obviously, they weren’t flying because they had grown wings all of a sudden.

They had only been shot up into the air as consequence of their Lord having moved.

“W-what’s going on!?”

Liliella-san hadn’t been able to grasp the situation, and was thus rather confused.

“It seems the Lord of the Forest has shown itself.”

I said, pointing at the very centre of the forest.

There was a gigantic tree there, way bigger than even the Elder Plants.

If I had to guess, I’d say its trunk was around twenty meters in diameter?

Elder Plants’ trunks were around six meters in diameter, so it was a bit more than three times as wide.

“…It seems like the Elder Plants were all sent flying when that Ancient Plant pulled its roots up.”

“Ancient Plant? …Wait, no way!? That legendary S-Rank monster!? That legendary monster also called a living forest!?”

“Eh? Really?”

“Why are you asking that!?”

“Well I mean, I’ve never heard of them being S-Rank before.”

Hee, so those things are S-Rank monsters.

“That’s right… wait no! So the Lord of the Forest of Magic Beasts is an S-Rank monster!? And it’s also the cause of the forest’s expansion!?”


Ancient Plants were also called the Kings of the Forest, and they were monsters from whose fruits many different, dependent monsters were born.

I knew this because back in my previous life, when I had been the Hero, I had fought an Ancient Plant.

Although, it was my first time hearing about an Ancient Plant creating such a large forest.

Or rather, I had never seen one grow to such an extent.

“This is bad! We can’t beat an S-Rank monster! We have to go report to the guild!”

“But it doesn’t seem like it’s going to just let us go, y’know?”


I raised our altitude a little as one of the Ancient Plant’s branches swung through the space we had occupied half a second before.

We had evaded it, but a strong wind still battered us.

“Ancient Plants can move, using their roots like feet, so if we try and escape, it’ll just follow us all the way to Hexi.”

“B-but it’s a plant-type monster, so it’s slow, right!?”

“No, its movements are slow, but since its roots are long, it can run ten times as fast as a horse.”

“T-ten times as fast!?”

It’s stride’s on a different scale.

“W-w-w-w-what should we do!?”

“A swift counterattack.”

“T-that’s easier said than done, that thing’s huge… I know, burn it with that flame magic!”

Liliella-san patted her chest in relief, convinced it’d work out like that.

“No, its materials would go to waste, so I’ll defeat it normally.”


“With my sword?”

“I see, with your sword… isn’t that impossible!?”

Nono, it’s quite normal.

“I’ll put you down for a sec, okay?”

I put Liliella-san down on the ground and cast barrier magic on her to protect her.

“I put up a barrier, so please don’t leave it no matter what.”

“Hey, you’re really going to do it!? That’s crazy!”

What a worrywart.

“I’ll be fine.
It’ll be over before you even know it.”

I pulled out my sword and ran straight at the Ancient Plant.

“Physical Air Boost! High Protection! High Strength! High Weapon Boost! High Slash Boost!”

I used body strengthening magic, defensive magic and attack-strengthening magic, strengthened my weapon and made it sharper all at once.

The Ancient Plant swung one its roots down towards me with a loud whoosh.

It felt like the night sky was falling towards me.

“Run awaaaaaaay!!”

Liliella-san screamed, but an attack of this level didn’t even need to be dodged.


I slashed the Ancient Plant’s incoming root in half in one swing of my sword.

Mhm, as expected of a sword made with that mutant’s blade.
It’s way sharper than a normal iron sword.

The workmanship was, well, let’s say not the best, but the quality of the material used put it in around medium-tier as far as weapons went.

Then, in order to make sure the cut-off root wouldn’t go flying at Liliella-san, I jumped up and kicked it at the Ancient Plant, resulting in a loud boom when the two collided.


Liliella-san said stupidly.

Ah, she must be surprised by how unexpectedly soft the Ancient Plant was.

Hm? Soft?

“Oh no!”

That was when I noticed I had made a stupid mistake.

“What happened!?”

“I had just managed to get materials and sent them crashing away injuring them!”

“That’s what you’re worried about!?”

Ugh, well, I can’t help it now that it’s been done.

I’ll have to be careful with the remaining parts.

The Ancient Plant’s movements changed.

It seemed it had recognized me as an enemy.

“But it’s too late for you now, you’re already our prey!”

“Don’t get me caught up in this! Yours! It’s YOUR prey!”

Come on, we’re a team, so the things we hunt are the prey of the team as well.

“Slash Ray!!”

A small sphere of light appeared in front of my outstretched palm emitting an extremely thin line of light, which I then used to cut the Ancient Plant’s roots and branches off one by one.

“When cutting up big game, this is the easiest way to do it.”

“Don’t! Seek my! Agreement! For something like that! I’ve never even seen such magic!”

“Ah, right, you used a sword, so you never really had any opportunities to see magic.
You’ll probably see a lot of different types of magic on this level as we go on more adventures.”

“And! I think that! The one showing me all of them! Will be the same person! Every single time!”

Ahaha, magic-users aren’t that rare.

“Now then, let’s put an end to it, shall we.”

With all its branches and roots cut off, the Ancient Plant had no attack power any more, and looked simply like a large log.

Just as I thought that, the Ancient Plant’s trunk began creaking and it began to move.


“I think it’s going to get rid of its bark and shoot it at us, since it has no other means of attack left.”

It was quite the rare attack.

They only ever did this attack when they were really cornered, so even I had forgotten about it.

Normally I would have defeated it before then.

“Hmm, although it’ll be easier to get rid of its bark like this afterwards.”

“Assuming there is an afterwards! You’ll die if it hits you!”

“It won’t hit me.
Ah, please don’t leave the barrier.
A single fragment hitting you is equivalent to being hit by an Elder Plant.”

“There’s no way I’d leave it!”

Alright, now I don’t need to worry about her.

“Eat this!”

At the same time as I began sprinting towards it, the Ancient Plant blew off its bark.

I dodged the attack, only punching the ones heading towards Liliella-san’s barrier into the ground just in case.

Then, arriving at the Ancient Plant’s base, I swung my sword made from the mutant’s materials sideways.

“Take this!”

The godly speed of the slash created wind, which in turn created a vacuum, which in turn turned into an extension of the blade.

And this blade of vacuum followed the trajectory of the slash of my sword.

And the Ancient Plant’s bark, which was harder than iron or even steel, was cut apart helplessly before my vacuum blade.

And, with a loud crash, the Ancient Plant’s trunk fell over onto the ground.

“Phew, finally an enemy that was somewhat tough.”

“…No way, you just defeated an S-Rank monster.”

“Well, this level of opponent is basically the same as chopping firewood.”

“The firewood doesn’t normally attack back though!”

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