Greetings, Automata Maid
“Stop screwing around!”
Mishella shouts annoyed once she regains her vision, but I’m no longer there.
Instead, there are multiple expressionless illusions of me all around her.
They’re mere images though, without any power to fight.
But that allows me to conceal my two guns amongst the trees and thickets better, the sights centered on Mishella.
I keep running too.
I’ll lose if she gets too close to me.
My plan is to keep running and distracting her, until her stamina eventually runs out.
Can I really win like that though? I still feel unsure, the odds are stacked against me.
If she gets close again, I can’t use that method to run away anymore.
Am I being too naive?
It’s like a sweet flower is luring me with its aroma.
Hm? A sweet flower?
“This is perfect.”
Realizing the identity of that scent, I turn and run towards its source.
Black Hawk and White Viper remain concealed by the shrubbery and illusions, but they continue their relentless attacks.
“This is getting old.”
Mishella spat out as she continued dodging the incoming barrage of bullets.
She really had underestimated the automaton, hoping those low level adventurers would be able to capture her.
The power of those magic devices she controlled through wires at a distance were strong, and it was easy to imagine they would pierce through skin, muscle, and shatter bones.
The fact that she had managed to dodge everything so far spoke heaps of Mishella’s skill.
While Mishella’s current preferred method was to use a paralyzing venom to keep her victims still while she ravaged their bodies, she was skilled enough to defeat most average adventurers.
If Giese’s party of three attempted to fight her, they would have been defeated in less than five minutes.
Her aptitude was not focused purely on combat either.
(She didn’t use any offensive magic.
Maybe she can’t use it, and now she’s run off to…)
She also knew how to analyze information, and estimate results from it.
And a way to track a presence she got familiarized with with high accuracy.
Even if Reiji was a magic automaton, not exactly a living being, she had the intelligence and behavior of a sentient being, granting her a distinctive presence as well.
That was enough to let Mishella determine what direction she ran off to.
“I’ll take you apart even if you’re a doll.”
Dodging the gunfire, Mishella darted ahead like an arrow.
While Reiji’s main body was running away, her two arms were still detached, attacking Mishella from every angle imaginable.
Black Hawk continued firing in a rhythmical fashion, but as they were single bullets, they were easy to dodge.
White Viper could fire many rounds in a short timespan, but as there was not enough mana to fuel it, the barrages stopped before they could pose a serious threat.
If they fought face to face, it was possible for Reiji to find a way to turn the odds in her favor, giving Mishella no room to dodge.
But rather than seizing such an opportunity, Reiji had chosen to vanish inside the forest.
Her arms controlled from afar were becoming clumsy as well, their aim drifting.
She really had made a questionable choice.
“I guess even automatons feel fear.
Maybe dissecting her will be more exciting than I hoped..!”
Mishella licked her lips in excitement, before she noticed a silver streak in the air in front of her and ducked.
A thin metallic thread was pulled taut between the trees.
If she had run into it at such a speed, the thread would have cut like a blade, passing through her body.
“A trap, huh.
She’s still too naive.”
It only took some looking around to notice there were similar threads tied all over the place.
They were all placed at head-height, aiming for a vital spot.
Running into them could be dangerous, but that height made them incredibly easy to spot as well.
Mishella slipped through the threads, and resumed her chase after Reiji’s presence.
“Theeere you are.”
Reiji stood with her arms spread wide.
Her nerve threads had stretched out so far that they had gotten tangled and started dragging her back, and she could not wind them back either.
She raised her head, looking at Mishella with a pained look.
That face sent a jolt of joy down Mishella’s spine, which she relished as she took as many daggers as could fit in the gaps between her fingers.
Magic automatons could not feel pain, but their body structure, including weak spots, was quite similar to a human’s.
Like the head and chest.
Mishella aimed at those areas, hurling the daggers she held in both hands.
The eight daggers flew in a straight line, piercing deep into Reiji’s chest and head, and Mishella felt a faint pain on her side.
Reiji’s figure became blurry and faded away, a tree becoming visible behind it, with all the daggers stuck on it.
“I got you now.”
The magic automaton with silver hair and blue eyes peeked out from behind the tree.
Just shooting won’t get me anywhere.
She can easily see through Illusory Magic sensing my presence too.
So a trap is the best option.
Light, Wind, and Earth Magic could be used as a smokescreen.
Then the guns and threads keep her distracted.
If she wants to follow my presence, she can feel free to do that.
I would wait for her.
Illusory Magic was a last layer of distraction as I hid behind a good tree.
I calculated from what direction Mishella would come, and hide on the opposite side of the tree.
It was obvious Mishella was chasing after my presence.
In her mind, she could tell I was in front of her.
But there was also a dummy me between the tree and her.
Mishella arrives, doesn’t realize I’m behind the tree, and attacks the projection.
That triggered yet another trap I laid for her.
I prepared a slingshot with nerve threads and the dagger I took earlier, aimed to graze Mishella’s side..
“I’ve been waiting for you.”
I dispel the Illusory Magic and step out from behind the tree.
Mishella gives up on retrieving the daggers stuck on the tree, jumping back to stay away from me.
This is starting to get ridiculous.
Somehow she takes out even more daggers from under her overcoat.
“Just how many do you have under there?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know? How about you guess?”
I didn’t actually care, but Mishella asks, trying to rile me up.
“You can pull out a dozen more and I won’t be shocked.”
She grins with delight, not paying attention to the cut on her side.
Such a superficial scratch wouldn’t bother anyone.
“Hmmm…well, I guess you’re kinda there.”
She’s both better prepared and better trained than me.
My arms moved a lot through the forest while I ran, so it’ll take some time before they’re winded back all the way here.
My nerve threads are so stretched that it’s actually becoming a bit of a nuisance.
All I could possibly use to fight back now is magic, not like mine will ever work on her though.
Calling it unfair is an understatement.
“Well, time to end this already!”
Mishella announces loudly, but she doesn’t take a single step forward.
“Wh-what, why is my body..!”
Mishella’s voice gradually grows louder, her body refusing to follow any orders.
“Ruby Burrowing Wasp venom, was it?”
“No way…you didn’t…”
Hearing that, Mishella realizes what is happening to her body, and she finally pays attention to the dagger lying on the ground.
It’s the dagger that just grazed her side, and the dagger that she used to stab my arm earlier.
I had kept it inside my magic storage since I freed my arm, and I decided to put it to good use here.
She kept boasting about that venom earlier so I assumed it was potent, but this result is even better than I hoped.
The paralysis finally reaches her mouth.
Her voice no longer makes sense, and her body starts shaking as she drops the daggers from her hands.
Time to bring my arms back and finally put an end to her.
Actually, that’s too much of a hassle.
“Hey, eat up bud.”
I chose this place because the Man Eater I tamed is nesting on a nearby tree.
I told the Man Eater to hide on the tree branches until now, and it descends while opening its large drooly mouth.
Mishella’s face is contorted and twitching, tears streaming down her cheeks.
I don’t know if it’s the drug’s effects, or fear.
She’s trying to say something, but sadly for her, I don’t feel like listening.
The Man Eater’s large mouth encloses Mishella’s head1.
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