Momo spurted a tree to the level of the small spot on the cliff's surface, then she produced a vine coiled around it, Shizuka went ahead to help the catgirl.
She had a bob hairstyle with a small pair of ears on the top of it, her paw twice bigger than ordinary human's hand and its furry reached up to her elbow.
There were bruises on her skin, and her legs seemed injured.
"How serious your leg wound?"
Shizuka crouched beside her, the catgirl drew the corner of her lips bitterly.
"I think it's broken nyaa..."
The kunoichi nodded before lifting her hand and formed a seal with it, she stared at the catgirl's eyes.
"I am sorry, but don't get the wrong idea, Binding Technique..."
The catgirl immediately stiffened, she tried to move but her body only shook in place.
"I mean no harm, this technique was blocking your nerve so you won't feel pain."
"Ah... OK, nyaa..."
Shizuka placed both hands under the catgirl's tender body, then carried her toward the ground.
Looking at many people, there was even a man strapped someone on their back, the catgirl became anxious.
"How's her condition?"
She looked at the man who spoke, there was nothing special about him except he was a mage.
"She had a broken leg, and judging by the height of the fall, her bones should have fractures in several parts."
Alex knitted his eyebrows, if only this kind of injury, the potion should do the job fine, there was no need to feed her the Ygdrasil Seed.
He looked at the catgirl's face, the latter as if spooked and tried to place her eyes elsewhere.
"Hello, my name is Alex, what's yours?"
His tone was neither over-friendly or awkward, the catgirl hesitated for a brief.
"Alright, Nyantaa, your condition doesn't appear will heal any soon, and frankly, we are rather in a hurry, would you mind tag along with us for a time being?"
"Where... where are you heading nyaa?"
"Well, after our business here concluded, we will go to Eldorado Town, are you familiar with it?"
Nyantaa's eyes somewhat downcast, she lightly nodded.
"Oh, then will it be alright for you to come with us?"
She gave another nod.
"But... but... please let me move nyaa... I... I don't like cannot move nyaa..."
Alex heard the sense of discomfort in her tone, even borderline horrified, he wrinkled slightly, what happened to her that being petrified was conjuring that much dread inside?
"My apologize, Shizuka, if you please?"
Shizuka released Nyantaa from the Genjutsu Binding, the catgirl let out a relieved sigh.
Afterward, Momo summoned the Wheel Plant and laid the catgirl inside of it, she also attached the Kenja Flower as its spore could act as the calming agent, she fed a potion into Nyantaa's mouth.
"Sorry... for the trouble nyaa..."
Momo smiled while shaking her head, then after she'd done, the party continued into the next destination.
The surface of the ground now lightly slanted upward, but the slope gradually sharpened until it reached the point where the wheel plant had to be pushed, they grabbed the trees and roots to pull them up.
About 45 minutes later, Alex and the others arrived at quite a large clearing, there was a rabbit hole, but enough to cramp a slim person at the center of the clearing, and great lord, this area had 6 cockatrices, but only 2 of them that was near each other.
The gang gathered behind the bushes to discuss the situation.
"Do we have the chance to take them all out?"
Alex swept his eyes toward the surrounding people, his forehead knitted tightly.
"Well, Shibarisugi can strangle the nearest two..."
"Hmm, just restraint them, no need for it to kill..."
No, Alex didn't being compassionate, Shibarisugi was Momo's friend but it's not connected to her nor part of her, killing through Shibarisugi wouldn't earn him any benefit.
Also possibly, these cockatrices would run away the first chance Shibarisugi appeared, that's a waste of experience.
"I can handle one."
Alexis said with confidence, yeah, they had seen her capability, it's true enough.
"Let Damian accompany you."
"Shizuka can ambush the other one, Momo also takes one, I and Dick will take care of the last..."
Jason was slightly disappointed as he didn't get to be in the action, but there were two people who incapable to fight, so eventually one of them had to become the nanny.
"Everyone clear with each role?"
They nodded, Momo silently summoned Shibarisugi, the alien tree's appearance shocked Nyantaa, Alexis, and Elliot, Cipiri, on the other hand, as if appeared nervous, perhaps it never thought the master had another pet like it. Afterward, Shizuka carried Momo away to circle the area, went to fight the cockatrices at the most further. Alexis and Damian took the monster on the left side and finally, Alex and Dick took the one at the right.
After three minutes passed, Momo sent the Cipiri to inform Shibarisugi to start, the tree spirit flew straight from the cover across the clearing, none of the cockatrices bothered by its appearance
"Yo, scar-face, now's the time."
"Who you call scar-face, bug?!"
"I am not a bug! I am a spirit tree!!!"
"But your wing looks like a fly's..."
"No, these are- ok, these indeed look like a fly's..."
"And what is a fly?"
A brief moment of silence.
"Hum, Master, scar-face bully me!!!"
Cipiri darted out from the bush and flew back to Momo with amazing speed, Shibarisugi dropped a sweat.
The alien tree suddenly sprang out its branches, it traveled the ground as fast as possible and caught the two cockatrices by their body, the big-chickens let out a piercing shrill as their body hung in mid-air, the other cockatrices noticed the peril of their kin, prepared to leave the area almost immediately.
*Pit pat pit pat pit pat!*
The sound of firearms broke the glass of silence, Dick and Damian let out a storm of bullets onto their respective target's body, on the red scale emerged many holes, blood spurted out from it, but they did not die, just like Alexis' previous battle, the damage this iron bullet could do was quite superficial, but at least, they managed to stun the monster.
Alex prepared 7 iron swords earlier, right now, his right hand grasped a silver tome as he cast the spell, the 7 blades floated into the air and quickly stabbed the cockatrice's back, the monster screamed painfully before its body slammed onto the ground, Alex controlled the swords again and lined them up as one by one fell onto the monster's neck, ultimately beheaded the monster.
This normally impossible for his current strength, but thanks to Nuon's spell and the sky ring, he somehow managed to do it, though this was his limit.
At the other side, Damian stopped shooting as Alexis leaped from the cover, she slashed the monster on its right neck side, bent over to pass by from below the neck, then she slashed its left neck side. The cockatrice didn't fall due to her attack like Alex's, but it wasn't long before the monster succumbed into the swell and the blistered on its neck.
Momo spurted out a tree and struck the cockatrice high into the air, she shot out thunder from her tail and punched the monster as it was about to land, the giant-chicken smashed against the same tree that propelled it into the air, its entire body also blackened with smoke coming out from its beak.
Shizuka tied her target neck onto a branch above with her chain kunai, then using her palm covered wind to behead the monster as it hung straight in the mid-air.
The two that Shibarisugi held was later killed by Shizuka.
Six corpses of cockatrices less than 5 seconds, Alex nodded as the operation succeeded, he came out from the jungle and walked into the clearing, he told Dick and Damian to dig the person out from the rabbit hole.
They widened their eyes upon seeing the figure, not because she's extravagantly beautiful, but the condition she bore was... unseemingly.
She was full of bites and claw marks, even her face had a clear visible three lines of scratch.
What most gutwrenching, she was missing a limb, her right arm had gone...
Shizuka pressed her fingers on the girl's vital spot, she widened her eyes in amazement.
"Alex, she's alive, her vitality was slowly draining, but she's... alive..."
Alex strode toward their position and crouched beside them with speechless expression.
By her wounds, this perhaps due to the hellhounds, but... that was like several hours ago...
How's she still alive? Also, why Nuon didn't tell him to hurry?
The girl didn't stir upon being taken out from the rabbit hole, she seemed deep in a coma state.
How should they feed her the seed?
"Alex, Cipiri can help!"
Momo appeared at his side, the green orb stuck close to her ear, like perching on it.
"She can enter the girl's body through her mouth and deliver the seed right into her stomach!"
Alex stared at Cipiri, its green aura might look like as big as a baseball, but its true body actually as big as a marble.
Well, it's not like they have other options.
Momo caressed the tree spirit, urging it to do the task.
Cipiri went inside her hair, Momo shut one eye as she was lightly tickled.
"Come on, Cipiri, this girl needs our help, otherwise, she would have died."
"Hump, why should I care?!"
"If you are going to be like this, then don't expect me to care about you either!"
"But... but... you are my master... that doesn't make any sense!"
"Oh, it makes sense alright, I don't need to take care of a child that is naughty."
"Cipiri, if you do this... I'll give you something sweet to eat, alright?"
The tree spirit went silent, of course, the only one who could interact with her was Momo, to everyone's eyes, Momo as if exhibiting a facial muscle exercise, she went from angry to gently smile, then went angry again...
Eventually, Cipiri moved out from Momo's hair and grabbed the Ygrdrassil seed on Alex's palm, Shizuka opened wide the girl's lips to make a passage for the tree spirit.
It stopped right at the soft gate that was her mouth, hovered there for a while before finally darting in, it passed the oral and dived into the throat.
Shizuka didn't stop using her fingers to check on the girl's vitality on her neck, her face slightly unsettled, perhaps the girl was still slowly dying.
After about 3 minutes of waiting, Cipiri went out from the girl's mouth and immediately approached Momo, snuggled into her chin.
Momo smiled while caressing the spirit tree, she looked at Alex and nodded.
They waited again, to see what kind of reaction would occur.
Bright green light emitted from the girl's body, it forcefully made Alex and the others squinted, using their hands to reduce the glare.
The light lasted quite a while, and after it resided, they immediately widened their eyes and dropped their jaw.
What appeared before they were no longer an injured young lady, the pale skin turned reddish, the jagged skin became smooth, the terrible facial now as beautiful as possible, and most importantly, her right arm grew back!
The girl now instead of someone at the brink of death, became a sleeping beauty, her soft breath carried her chest to rise in a gentle rhythm.
Alex wondered where Nuon received such an amazing item, and why he had no qualm on giving it to her...
The fact she didn't die yet had proven Nuon's words, she potentially might be a valuable helper for him.
"Shizuka, please carry her together with you."
Shizuka nodded and put the girl behind her back, they walked toward Jason, Elliot, and Nyantaa.
The moment Nyantaa saw the girl, her eyes immediately widened, let out a small gasp.
Alex and the others startled, never expect the two of them were acquaintance.
"Your friend?" Alex said.
"Yes, nyaa... we... we were party nyaa..."
"A term for a group of hunters, people who hunted monsters for money," the system said.
So they were cohabitant... but why in separate locations? Did they try to lose the hellhounds or something?
"Was it only the two of you?"
"No nyaa... there is... another person..."
Nyantaa's eyes suddenly became weak, her entire body slumped onto the wheel plant.
Alex frowned, Nuon only mentioned two people, so... this third person... possibly didn't make it.
But he didn't mention it to Nyantaa, the gang continued to make their way toward the exit of Old Woodlands.