Chapter 5: Charybdis
This has been the second time I have deleted the entire chapter to rewrite it. I hope I don't do it again.
Southeastern Tempest, Near the border with Milim's Territory
The clouds above rolled in small groups providing small patches of shade as they passed. The cool breeze moved through the forest carrying the smell of the forest with it. Birds sang throughout the forest creating a calm atmosphere. But this was interrupted by the grunting and noise of the workers. Thousands of orcs toiled away, they used shovels to dig a deep trench into the earth. Trees were cut down and carved into planks to use. As the trench was expanded another group would place the wooden planks against the walls of the trench and across. As they had been instructed they would make mud and create large slabs of mud. These slabs would be left to dry in the sun and then placed above the trench to make a roof. After this was done loose dirt was poured above the slabs and then patted down to make the surface flat.
This was the process that Tanya had taught Geld. Once he had gotten the hang of things Tanya had left the work to him. For the past week progress had been going smoothly. At this point all across the Jura Forest several miles of tunnels had already been completed. By the end of the month the project was expected to be complete.
Tanya watched the workers from the shade of a nearby tree. She had been telling Geld in the morning to assign some of his workers to begin digging out rooms in the tunnels themselves. Now she had been relaxing since the morning, but it wouldn't last for long.
She heard some rustling in the distance and noticed a goblin patrol passing by. Tanya waved at them and they waved back. She had noticed that her hearing was much better than before. She could hear that goblin patrol moving through the forest from a much farther distance than a human possibly could. On another note, Tanya was happy that the patrols had finally begun. Tanya had told Rimuru that since the construction of the tunnels was well underway the patrols that she had mentioned should begin as well. Rimuru agreed and tasked Gobta to get the patrols started.
Tanya looked up to the sky and watched the clouds move. Seeing the sky without the black smoke of explosives going off was doing wonders for her mood. She took note of the sun's place in the sky and estimated it was approaching midday. She sighed and moved away from the tree. She reached up to her coat and began to unbutton it. Once done she placed it on a nearby log. Reaching down next to the log Tanya picked up a bundle of cloth. She took the bundle and moved behind a tree.
Once behind the tree she unbuttoned her white undershirt and took it off. Now without a shirt she reached over to the bundle and unwrapped it. Inside was a white shirt, black pants and two shoes. Rimuru had given them to her as it no longer fit him. Picking up the shirt Tanya quickly put it on. It fit a little loose, but Tanya didn't mind. This clothing after all was for something specific, she wasn't going to wear it casually.
Tanya pulled at the hem of the shirt lightly. The cloth shifted slightly as she straightened everything out. Tanya sighed as she looked down. In the other world, as bad as it was, at least she didn't have to worry about growing. "Well it's only a little noticeable." She muttered to herself. "As long as it stays that way I don't care."
After that she took off her green uniform pants and the black boots she wore. She then picked up the loose black pants from the cloth bundle and put them on. Tanya kicked her legs out a little to feel the clothing, the pants were surprisingly comfortable.
Tanya took off her cap and placed it on top of her other clothing. Grabbing her long hair she pulled it all back and made herself a ponytail. She then sat down on the log and put on the two shoes. They were much lighter than her boots.
Tanya then packed up her military uniform and made her way back to the worksite. In the distance she could see the man she was waiting for, or should she say ogre.
"Ah Tanya, I see you are already ready."
"Indeed I am Hakuru."
The old ogre had the ghost of a smile as he walked towards Tanya. He reached behind his back and produced a small sword. Tossing it to Tanya he unsheathed his own blade. "Since you are ready to begin, we can start now."
With that he launched a quick attack. Tanya immediately accelerated her thought processing. Hakuru had been training her for only the past two days. Rimuru had apparently said that he was going to have a sword made for her and that he wanted Tanya ready to be able to use it. Tanya had accepted that easily enough. If the dwarfs were unable to create a firearm then she would need to learn how to fight in the ways of this world. Lest she allow herself to be vulnerable. But when Hakuru arrived on the first day, he tossed her a full sized sword and asked if she was ready. Tanya struggled a little with the weight of the sword but had said yes. Hakuru had then immediately begun attacking. Tanya complained to herself about his method of teaching, which was to attack until you learned.
But that was two days ago. Now on this third day, Tanya had something she believed could change things. Now with a smaller sword that was easier to maneuver Tanya believed she would stand a better chance.
She blocked his first strike and followed up with a slash of her own. He easily sidestepped it and closed the distance. Once closer Tanya was on the defensive again. She blocked strike after strike, but was unable to find an opening. Tanya knew that this could not be allowed to continue. Retreating to shore up your defenses was fine, but retreating without end spelled defeat. So Tanya used her flight magic to try and change the course of the fight.
She floated just above the ground, it was barely noticeable. But it was all she needed to maneuver. Tanya suddenly shot towards Hakuru's right. His surprise was visible only for a second, he was a veteran warrior for a reason after all. His stance shifted slightly. Tanya gripped the sword tightly and raised it up. Bringing the sword down, the two blades clashed as Hakuru blocked her. Before he could follow up Tanya flew away and quickly circled around him.
"You are certainly much faster now. But against someone who can block all of your strikes its meaningless." He said.
Tanya grit her teeth, she knew he was completely right. She could move around her opponent but she lacked the speed to strike just as quickly. That was something she would need to train. Tanya attempted to attack a few more times but was blocked every time. As she moved back to circle around, Hakuru moved. Her eyes widened as he moved faster than she had seen him move before. His strikes came in one after the other. They were getting faster with each swing. Tanya desperately tried to defend but was quickly getting overwhelmed.
She brought her sword up horizontally to block an overhead strike when she realized that his sword wasn't going to even reach hers. She could only watch in muted horror as his sword passed her own by a few centimeters. Once the tip of his sword was pointed at her throat, he thrust it forward. Tanya let out a groan as the blade was lowered.
"And once again you are dead." Hakuru said. He then pulled his sword back and used his palm to send Tanya flying.
Tanya quickly stabilized herself and landed softly on the ground. She rubbed her stomach as the pain slowly faded to a dull ache.
"We will be doing this all day today. Until you have memorized every strike, every feint and every technique. Fighting should come to you like breathing. If you have to think about every strike then you haven't trained enough." He brought his sword into a ready stance. "Tanya are you ready?"
She readied herself and nodded her head. The ogre turned into a blur and Tanya herself moved almost just as fast with flight magic. By the end of the day Tanya was covered in blood, dirt and sweat. She used her sword as a walking stick because her legs were too weak to carry her. As she walked back to where the workers were camped out at, her legs gave out. She let out an umph as her chest collided with something. Opening her tired eyes she looked up and saw Geld was holding her up. The orc lifted her up and placed her on his back.
"There is still some warm food if you wish to eat Tanya-sama." He said.
Tanya frowned at being carried but was too tired to object. "Oh I am going to eat alright." She said.
Geld nodded and moved towards the campfire that was burning in the camps center. Once there he lowered Tanya to the ground. She immediately sat down on the nearest log and let out a long groan. "Guess tomorrow morning I'm going to have to start training. If I have to rely on my magic to keep up with the likes of him...no I have to get stronger."
The Next Day
The next morning Tanya went straight to training. She began by trying to get the hang of evading. She was already excellent at this from her combat experience, so to slice things up she flew through the forest dodging trees. As she got used to it she increased the speed until she was speeding through the forest as her normal flying speed. After that she continued to try and get faster by sprinting everyday, trying to do a lap around the work area faster than the last time. It was then that she realized something. Using the magicules in her body, she could make herself much stronger. She figured this out after asking Geld how someone as small as Milim could strike so hard. The orc looked at her like she was crazy to ask but quickly answered. She learned that every living creature naturally would use magicules to amplify themselves. It was done instinctively so no one questioned how small or weak looking monsters could also be incredibly powerful. Tanya realized that because of her past experience with magic that she didn't instinctively use magic to augment her body. So for the rest of the day she practiced augmenting her movements with magicules within her body. The result was like night and day. Where before she could run faster than the average human, now she moved like Hakuru had during their fight. Running through the forest like a speeding car helped her increase her reaction time. She dodged every tree branch and rock, never missing anything that could trip her or slap her in the face. Then she tested out her strength. She punched a tree and the bark exploded off the tree. A grin spread across her face as she unsheathed the sword she was using to train. With her new found strength and speed she could easily slice through trees. Her swings would create gusts of wind that would fling the leaves and twigs off the forest floor.
When Hakuru came that day for training he immediately knew something had changed. Tanya had been waiting for him with a broad smile. Her eyes for once held excitement and weren't cold as ice.
As they stood across from each other, Hakuru was pleasantly surprised when she closed the distance in less than a second. And when their swords clashed Hakuru could feel the power behind the strike. He didn't know what had happened between yesterday and today, but the result was immense. The two continued for hours until Tanya was once again at the verge of collapse. Hakuru sheathed his sword and told her that he looked forward to tomorrow.
And so for another week Tanya trained everyday like a mad woman. She quickly absorbed fighting with a sword. Then near the end of the second week, Hakuru showed Tanya what he could really do. He unsheathed his sword and in a flash he sliced a tree into hundreds of pieces. Tanya immediately threw herself into training. But she knew that getting to his level of proficiency would take years. So she put it aside as a goal she could take her time with.
Third Week since Training began. Southeastern Tempest, Near the Border with Milim's Territory
Tanya paced back and forth, sword in hand. She had been waiting for Hakuru to show up for their training, but he still hasn't shown up. He was now one hour late and the pit in Tanya's stomach grew. She had a gut feeling that something was wrong thirty minutes ago but wanted to wait. Maybe Hakuru was late after all. But now that a full hour has passed Tanya decided she needed to investigate.
Not bothering to change from her training clothes, she called out to Geld. "Geld! I'm going to head to the city. You will be able to handle everything right?"
"Of course Tanya-sama. You can count on me." He said. Tanya shook her head. "Of course I can."
Tanya shot up high into the sky and headed out west. She continued to climb as she moved towards the city. After she broke through the lower cloud layer she leveled out and picked up the pace. Tanya tightened her grip on the sword as the bad feeling she felt grew worse. Something must have happened. I told Rimuru that if anything happened he could recall me back. It might be possible that they weren't able to send anyone out to get me. Could that mean there is an enemy attack? Is it Carrion? Or maybe a western nation has pulled a sneak attack? I should hurry so I can figure out what the hell is going on.
Tanya poured more magicules into her flight magic and burst through a cloud she had been flying through. She could see the city now in the distance. Her eyes widened when she spotted the massive monster flying above the city.
Western Jura, City of Rimuru
Tanya watched as explosions burst along the massive creature's body. From the look of things no real damage was being dealt to the creature. So Tanya decided to climb high above the creature. From her altitude she could see smaller shark-like monsters fighting on the ground. Tanya unsheathed her sword with her right hand. She outstretched her left and produced a small fireball in her palm. She poured more magic into the fireball and compressed it. The fire slowly began to turn blue as the heat increased. When she felt she had added enough, she let loose the attack. The fireball shot down towards the massive creature. Once it was half-way there Tanya made the fireball split into a few dozen fireballs. The attack landed and the fireballs exploded. Tanya clicked her tongue when she saw that no damage had been inflicted.
"-anya! Is that you?"
Tanya quickly recognized Rimuru's voice. He was communicating via thought communication.
"Yeah. That was me." Tanya said. "Care to explain what the hell is going on?" She dove down to the ground. She needed to know if there was a plan of action yet.
As she landed Rimuru ran up to her. "I don't have a long time to explain but magic doesn't work on the Charybdis. Only physical attacks work. So far we haven't been able to deal much damage to it, and any damage we do cause is healed faster than we can dish it out." He said. Rimuru then pointed his arm out at the Charybdis and unleashed a massive beam of black lighting.
"Any bright ideas?"
Tanya watched as the beam carved through the wing of the monster. The damage quickly vanished as if it had never happened. Tanya clicked her tongue in frustration. Why am I surprised that super healing is a thing in this world?
"If it is highly resistant to magic attacks then we will need to hit it hard physically." Tanya held up her hand to stop Rimuru from interrupting. "I am going to need Benimaru's help. Do you know where he is?"
Rimuru shut his mouth and quickly showed Tanya the way. Once she met up with Benimaru, she began to explain her plan.
"Alright listen up. Benimaru I am going to need you to supply me with as much of that black fire as you can produce. With my skill I can manipulate it and create a dome around it." Once again Tanya raised her hand to stop from being interrupted. "I am not going to do something like your hell flare. As Rimuru said, physical attacks are going to be the most effective."
This time Rimuru interrupted. "Yes, but what is surrounding it in fire going to do?" He looked skeptical.
Tanya smirked at him. "It's simple we are going to blow him up. " she quickly spoke up again. "A shockwave isn't a magical attack but a physical one. If we can produce a big enough bang then the shockwave will destroy its internal organs."
Rimuru and Benimaru looked a little more convinced but still hesitant. "The problem with that plan is that the Charybdis has ultra healing. Unless you kill it in one blow it will quickly be back in action. Rimuru said.
Tanya looked back up at the monster and glared. She then looked back at Rimuru. "Do you have any ideas?" She asked.
Rimuru shook his head. Tanya then remembered something. "Hey Rimuru where is Milim?"
Rimuru raised an eyebrow before frowning. "She's over there." He pointed over to a small hill where the Demon Lord was taking a nap. Tanya's eyes twitched at the sight before she looked back at Rimuru with equal annoyance.
"Did Milim decide to sit this one out?" Tanya asked.
"No, I just didn't want her to destroy the whole city." Rimuru replied.
Tanya's face gave nothing away as she spoke in a flat tone. "I would recommend you ask her to help out if she is willing. Or we will be fighting this monster forever."
Rimuru for his part stood his ground. "Absolutely not. She doesn't know restraint. For all I know she is going to wipe the city out too."
Tanya looked unconvinced.
"Let's try your plan first ok? I can produce black flames too, so I can help out." Rimuru quickly said.
I guess he really doesn't want to ask Milim.
"Fine. But if we can take it down, we are going to ask your besty for help." Tanya finally gave in.
Tanya flew up and waited for Rimuru and Benimaru to start. "Let's hope that this works." Rimuru muttered. He brought his hands up and formed a large fireball between them. The black flames swirled around as he poured as much magic as he could into them. Benimaru did the same.
"Alright Tanya it up to you now!"
Tanya could feel the immense amount of magic in the flames. Once the torrent was close enough she began to use her skill. The flames swirled around the giant monster and slowly began to envelope it. As the sphere formed, the monster launched an attack of its own. Its single eyes looked towards Tanya and a red beam fired out of it.
"Shit!" Tanya quickly moved out of the way. The beam sliced through the clouds and tried to follow Tanya. For her part, she simply flew behind the monster to remain out of sight.
After a few minutes the sphere was complete. Tanya was sweating from the strain of controlling such a large amount of fire. She clenched her hand and used her other skill Explosion Control.
The black fire expanded for a fraction of a second before an enormous explosion ripped through the air. Tanya shielded her eyes from the bright flash. The thunderous boom echoed far into the distance. A giant black smoke cloud hung in the air where the monster was. Tanya and everyone else watched as the smoke slowly began to dissipate. Once the smoke cleared the monster was still there. Its wings were badly damaged with large wounds covering it. But the most damage was internal. From its large mouth immense amounts of blood poured out. Its single eye was closed as blood poured out from between the eyelids.
"Tch. The bastard is alive." Tanya complained. "Guess your best friend is up Rimuru!"
Rimuru for his part was not looking forward to this. As he reluctantly made his way to the Demon Lord he heard a voice.
"D-damm you. Damm y-you M-milim!" The deep voice groaned out. Rimuru's eyes widened in surprise before he groaned.
"It looks like this fella has business with Milim." Rimuru said. Tanya replied with a laugh and groan.
"All that fighting was for naught huh." Benimaru said. He shook his head and watched as Rimuru shook Milim awake.
"Oi Milim! Wake up!" Rimuru shouted.
Milim shot to her feet. "I wasn't asleep! I was trying to think of a way to beat this thing with my eyes closed….yeah."
Rimuru deadpanned before shaking his head. "Yeah well it turned out that this guy has business with you."
Milim looked at the Charybdis and grinned. "Oh my. That's the Phobio guy or whatever that was here a while ago. Looks like the Charybdis is using his body as a vessel."
Rimuru's eyes widened before he quickly spoke up. "Don't kill him! I want to ask him questions."
Milim grinned at Rimuru and pumped her fist. "Don't worry I will restrain myself."
Rimuru didn't believe her for a second but could only hope that she was telling the truth.
As she flew into the air Tanya decided it was time to go. She did not want to be anywhere near the Demon Lord right now.
Milim smirked at her opponent before bringing her hands together. A bright blue light shone in the sky before she unleashed her attack. "I'll show you what I call restraint! Dragonbuster!"
Tanya was nearly knocked out of the sky by the resulting explosion. As the smoke cleared Rimuru flew up and caught the smoking body of Phobio.
Tanya landed nearby Rimuru as he performed what could only be described as spiritual surgery. In Tanya's opinion, Rimuru has given Phobio one too many chances. But she knew she would not be able to convince the slime to execute the nuisance. So she watched as his life was saved.
After the surgery was completed Phobio woke up and prostrated himself before Rimuru. He pleaded for his life and insisted that he was working on his own and not on Carrion's orders. Tanya glared at his kneeling form but said nothing.
"All Rimuru-sama needs to do is say the word…" she heard Shion mutter under her breath. Tanya hasn't really interacted with the female ogre but she was in agreement with her.
"Agreed." Was all Tanya said. Shion looked at her in surprise before smiling.
The scene continued as Rimuru began asking questions to Phobio. He answered until Treyni showed up. Tanya looked in awe at the dryad.
As the questioning continued, Tanya's interest peaked when a group of masked jesters came up. It seemed that these people were behind many events in the forest recently. Tanya made sure to keep a mental note about them.
Tanya straightened up when she felt a mass of magicules coming towards them. She could see everyone visibly tense. Anyone who was armed had their hand on their sword, Tanya included.
Out of the treeline a large man emerged. Tanya noticed Phobio's expression turn into surprise. Immediately she knew who this was. Making her way next to Rimuru, she noticed that Haruku, Shion, Benimaru, and Souei had moved closer to Rimuru as well. As the Demon Lord got closer Milim waved to him.
"Carrion it's good to see you. Were you also interested in Rimuru?" She said.
Carrion blinked before laughing. "So you were the one who ate the orc disaster."
Rimuru smiled a little. "Is it so obvious to everyone?"
Carrion nodded his head. "I can sense the power off of you." He turned his head to look at Phobio. "I had hoped to recruit the ones who took down the orc disaster. But I don't think that is possible anymore." He frowned.
"I do appreciate that you spared this one's life. And I apologize for his behavior." Carrion slightly bowed. "I will grant you one request with me, it can be anything."
Tanya perked up at this but kept herself silent. This was technically a meeting between two heads of state. It would be disrespectful to Rimuru and Carrion for her to voice her opinion. She glanced at the others and noted that they had done the same. Though Shion looked like she wanted to say something.
"Hmm. How about you enter a pact of non-aggression with us." Rimuru said.
Carrion blinked and then grinned. "Very well. I Demon Lord Carrion, Lord of Yuurazania declare that we shall bring no harm to you." He extended his hand out to Rimuru.
Rimuru took his hand and shook it. "Lord Carrion, if you are interested I would like to form a trade deal with you. If you would like."
Carrion looked to consider it but shook his head. "I will keep that in mind." He then walked over to Phobio and helped him to his feet. Phobio was about to say something when Carrion grabbed his head and smashed it against the ground. His body went limp instantly. Carrion then hoisted the unconscious beast man on his shoulder and walked away.
After the meeting with Carrion everyone began to see if there was any damage to repair in the city. Hakuru had approached Tanya and said that training would resume tomorrow. Tanya accepted that and was preparing to leave during the night when Rimuru said she could stay in a guest room of his residence, which was the only government building in the city.
"Rimuru is there anywhere to take a bath? I smell like smoke and sweat." Tanya said. "Also I need to get some clothes. I left my uniform back at the camp."
Rimuru immediately told Tanya about the hot springs he had constructed and pointed her to Shuna if she wanted clothes. Tanya thanked him and immediately made her way to the Executive Mansion as she called it. Tanya wasn't sure if it had a proper name so that was what she was going to call it, after all Rimuru was the executive of the nation and it was a mansion where he lived.
Once she had made it to the mansion, Tanya looked for Shuna. Once she found the pink haired ogre working in her workshop Tanya approached her. "Shuna-san, may I ask you for a favor." She said. "I need some new clothes myself. I only have the ones I'm wearing right now and they are dirty."
Shuna smiled kindly at her request. "Of course, I can have some made for you quickly." A gleam entered her eyes. "Just give me till the afternoon. For now you can borrow this." She rummaged through a pile of clothes. Shuna pulled out a cloth and handed it to Tanya.
Tanya unfolded the cloth as Shuna went on. "It is something we are going to start putting on the shelves to sell. It's not very flashy but it is made of high quality silk."
Tanya tried her best to hide her horror. In her hand was a dress. A plain white dress, but a dress nonetheless. "Um…Is there anything else I could use?"
"Nope!" Shuna immediately answered. There was something in her eyes that told Tanya that Shuna wasn't going to budge on this. So she sighed and thanked her through grit teeth.
With a least something fresh to wear Tanya made her way to the bathhouse. She entered the female side and stripped down. Once she entered the hot water she let out a sigh of relief. Tanya rest her head against the rocks that lined the edge of the hot spring. She took her time in the bath but eventually she would have to confront her enemy. As she walked over to her clothing she tried to encourage herself.
"OK Degurechaff, you have had to wear one of these once before. Sure it was only for a moment but you have experience. Just get it over with, it's only till the afternoon." She said. Determined, she grabbed the white dress and slipped it over her head. The hem reached just below her knees so Tanya didn't complain as much as she could have. Tanya then pulled her hair back and made a ponytail. She only knew how to make one because of the military regulations.
After that Tanya made her way back to the executive mansion. She moved as fast as possible. The less people saw her in this embarrassing moment, the better. So when she arrived and saw that Rimuru was just arriving as well, she wanted to crawl into a ball and die.
"Oh Tanya…" he trailed off. Then a smirk spread across his face. "And who is this adorable little elf I see?" He said.
Tanya's glare could probably have slain a thousand men, but alas her current attire made her look like she was pouting. So Rimuru laughed at her expense.
"I will never wear something like this again!" Tanya spat out. This just made Rimuru laugh harder.
Tanya swore to never again have to suffer such embarrassment again and to make sure Rimuru got what he deserved.
It is currently 12:05 AM, on the 25th of November. I took way longer than necessary for this chapter. I do hope you all enjoy it. Any criticism will be welcome. And I hope chapter 6 will come sooner. I need to sleep now, bye.