Before entering battle with the skeletons, the four from Room 10 had a detailed meeting.
“The problem is the 『strong and big one』. If it is a type of skeleton, it can be a Skeleton General, a Skeleton King, or an Arch Skeleton. Other more common situations would be, for example, if a bear carcass becomes a skeleton … for such cases, the method to deal with it would be the same as a normal skeleton so there’s no need to discuss that.”
“Etho, which is the most troublesome among them?”
“The Arch. All magic is ineffective on Archs.”
(Immune to magic … I’ve heard that phrase somewhere recently …)
Ryo traced his memory as he heard the exchange between Niels and Etho.
But he couldn’t remember when.
(Well, it doesn’t matter.)
“In the first place, sword attacks work poorly on skeletons, so just attacking with a sword …”
“Well, Amon and I only have swords …”
Amon thought about Etho’s explanation.
“Etho, how about striking with a hammer?”
“Yes, that’s the most effective.”
When Ryo proposed from his knowledge from light novels, it seemed that it was the correct answer and Etho nodded in agreement.
“Then it will be fine. I’ll stop it, so we can have Niels and Amon strike it with big hammers from afar.”
Ryo confidently said while Niels and Amon tilted their heads in confusion.
“Then, let’s first wipe out the skeletons in front of the shrine.”
Etho began chanting in a soft voice.
“Return the unclean souls to God’s side and I pray that their sins are forgiven <Turn Undead>”
When he chanted the final trigger word, the 30 skeletons in Etho’s line of sight evaporated one after another.
(Return the unclean souls to God’s side, such a cool chant! The person who made it must have Chuunibyo!)
The last skeleton disappeared into the sky while Ryo had a rude thought.
For Etho, an E-rank adventurer, Turn Undead seemed to use a great deal of magical power.
Or was it because he turned 30 at one go? He was bent over catching his breath.
“Are you okay, Etho?”
Ryo passed Etho an ice glass filled with delicious water.
A glass of water was irreplaceable at such times.
The human body worked in strange ways.
“Thank you, I’m okay.”
Etho drank the water in one go and answered.
Meanwhile, Niels and Amon were approaching the shrine door and preparing.
It was finally time to open the door.
Since the guardian beast had captured it, the 『big and strong skeleton』 would not pop out suddenly, but the two still opened the door carefully.
After the door was opened and the dust settled, they could finally see inside.
To find a single skeleton over two meters tall.
“Arch Skeleton …”
“The troublesome one that is immune to magic!”
Etho commented and Niels verified it.
Niels and Amon distanced themselves from the door and held their swords up.
“<Ice Create Hammer>”
After Ryo chanted, ice hammers were created by covering the swords held by Niels and Amon.
“Ooo. It’s pretty big. Ryo, so you meant this when you asked us to whack it from afar.”
“Each strike seems like it would be quite heavy.”
Niels and Amon brandished their hammers and swung them, testing their usability.
“Yes, I will stop it when it comes out to the clearing, so please strike it hard and shave down its durability.”
Niels and Amon stood surrounding the clearing designated by Ryo.
“<Ice Wall 3>”
He created a path with the ice walls connected from the door to the clearing. With that, they would be okay even if it suddenly deviated from the path and attacked.
“Then, let’s notify the guardian beast to release it. <Ice Flower>”
He named the skill as an opposite of fireworks that were called ‘Fire Flowers’.
Sparkling lumps of snow were launched into the air from Ryo’s raised right palm.
When they reached a considerable height, the snow clumps burst.
Diamond dust spread from the core and sparkled brightly under sunshine. Furthermore, the lumps burst a second and third time, raining down diamond dust in the sun.
The party was momentarily fascinated by that scene to the point that they forgot they were in the process of subduing a monster.
Baba-sama’s mutter was very soft, but it still entered Ryo’s ears.
“Now then, the Arch is coming.”
Ryo warned loudly.
That brought the party’s consciousness back to the subjugation at hand.
Niels’ shout may not have been a signal that caused it, but the Arch Skeleton began to move, probably because the guardian beast removed its constraints.
The undead hate the living.
The reason is not clear, but they are attracted to the living and try to kill them and lure them to the same cursed fate as themselves.
Likewise, the Arch exited the door and began to walk towards the party.
It moved slowly and when it came out to the clearing … it walked into the ice wall in front of it which blocked its path.
Even if magic doesn’t work, whether it’s an Ice Wall or Ice Bahn, you just have to not target the Arch itself.
It can’t escape from physics … yes, like slipping on ice.
The Arch Skeleton skated wildly on the Ice Bahn.
It tried to get up many times but it couldn’t do so.
“<Ice Wall release> Niels, Amon.”
“Ooh! Amon, let’s go.”
Niels and Amon close the gap to the fallen Arch.
And … slammed Ryo’s special ice hammer into it.
“Yes, but it seems to be doing a bit of damage.”
Niels and Amon verified their thoughts with each other.
“Okay. Then let’s keep going.”
Strike, strike, strike.
The two continued to hammer the Arch that could not get up.
Ice Bahn had a radius of about 2 meters and their hammer length was slightly less than 3 meters …. They could keep hitting without fear of taking any damage from the Arch which did not possess any projectile attacks or offensive magic.
However, since it was E-rank Niels and F-rank Amon, the damage done by each blow was by no means large.
It was unavoidable that it took a considerable amount of time to defeat it.
As the Arch continued to take damage, albeit minimal, it began to crawl on all fours.
It had given up on standing and tried to move on all fours.
“Well, that’s what they usually do, but it’s the same. You’re standing on special ice. It’s really slippery.”
As Ryo said, even if it crawled on all fours, the Arch couldn’t move forward.
It kept slipping on the Ice Bahn.
Why does it slip on ice in the first place?
It’s not because the surface of the ice had a film of water.
It would slip regardless of the melted water on the ice surface.
This was not a law of thermodynamics.
Of course, the water did make it even more slippery.
Water molecule H2O. The reason why these water molecules stick to each other is due to the intermolecular interaction called hydrogen bonds.
One hydrogen H is hydrogen-bonded to the neighboring oxygen O, another hydrogen H is hydrogen-bonded to another neighboring oxygen O, this oxygen O is hydrogen-bonded to another next-door hydrogen H, and yet another next-door hydrogen H. This state with 『four hydrogen bonds and five water molecules』 is one set, which is the most common state of ice.
The most common state equates to the most stable state, the most stable form.
The lower the temperature, the harder the 『ice』.
Conversely, in the same 『ice』, the number of weak hydrogen bonds would increase as the temperature rises.
On the surface of ice, that is, where it is in contact with water or air, there are many water molecules with only three or two hydrogen bonds.
And this 『water molecule with two hydrogen bonds』, that is, the structure of one water molecule hydrogen bonded to only two other water molecules, is the cause of slipping.
These two hydrogen-bonded water molecules move around the surface of the ice and act like ball bearings.
Suppose you spill a lot of pachinko balls and marbles on the floor … it’s impossible to walk on them with shoes or slippers, right?
If you think of the pachinko balls and marbles as these『water molecule with two hydrogen bonds』, it may be a close representation.
And the ice sheet that Ryo created with Ice Bahn took advantage of that property.
That was possible because he made a lot of bonds at the molecular level in the Rondo Forest.
He created ice with a lot of 『water molecule with two hydrogen bonds』that are made by sticking three water molecules together … forming ice that makes it impossible to move on even by driving the toes and heels into it but still retaining its rigidity … this may only be achievable by Ryo, who had knowledge of both magic and science.
Anyway, on such an Ice Bahn, even if it crawled on all fours, the Arch couldn’t move forward and continued to be beaten by Niels and Amon.
Finally, the Ark shifted from crawling on all fours to crawling on its front.
“From two feet to all fours and finally crawling on its front … true, that increases the contact area and increases the friction coefficient, but it’s the same. You can’t move or, of course, jump.”
For more than fifteen minutes, Niels and Amon had been hitting the Arch without rest.
Although recently they have been training especially on stamina, Ryo felt tried just watching from the side.
(I wonder if I should replace them …)
Ryo was thinking of taking over the role of hitting, but that seemed to be a groundless worry.
“It’s almost over!”
The moment Niels struck it while saying that …
With a snap, the Arch’s neck bone broke and the red light shining in its eye socket disappeared.
Finally, they defeated the Skeleton Arch.
“So tired ……”
Niels and Amon fall onto their rears.
Niels drank from a water bottle from his waist while Amon fell back and lay spread-eagled on the ground.
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