Man this episode had me so stressed out for everyone! I genuinely thought Luvis’ party was good as dead after we saw the way the monster savagely killed the blue crab, because it sure looked like it was about to do the same to them. But no, instead it decided to use the three members as bait, and Aleck was used as the ‘substitute’ decoy of itself. They are all in very bad condition, and both Chariot and Lana had each lost a leg. It’s absolutely terrible what has happened to them, but incredibly they are still alive, though you could say they certainly look like they are hanging by a thread a the moment.
But sheesh, the Moss Huge is a crafty motherfucker. It lured out the front line damage-dealers with a bait and ambushing the back-line consisting the weaker members of the party. And we learned one of the worst parts about this thing is the fact he is deliberately targeting Adventurers because it had figured out they are the bet resources for quickly obtaining the Magic Stones. By devouring these things, it becomes stronger, and because it’s been able to do this so effectively, that this monster that is normally found on the middle floors has managed to becomes powerful enough to descend down to the lower floors. Luvis also had suggested one of the reasons why this monster has never been reported until now was because it had wisely selected its targets. It would avoid the strong, and then prey on the ones it thought it could handle. And we saw it strategically doing just that, when it dragged Bell into the river with it, only for Bell to be sent down the waterfall, while Moss Huge had managed to hang on avoid doing just that.
And after last week’s endless warnings of why they need to stay away from the water, it was certainly only expected that it was Bell to be the one to be separated from the party. He did actually get a really good hit on it with his Fireball attack, as Moss Huge really didn’t like that (go figure). But frankly the moment Bell was pulled into the water, I was more afraid the thing was going to snap the stone off and impale Bell with it since the opportunity to do that was certainly there. But as mentioned in the above, the monster knows who to pick its battles with, and in that moment, it certainly decided it was better off to strategically hope that Bell would fall to death or drown. In any case, even if neither happened, he still had to survive being on the lower levels on his own, which he quickly found himself in a real pinch when he came face to face with a swam of Inguazu. Lovely!
Bell honestly thought he was going to die there for a moment, and frankly I couldn’t blame him for it. But he did find his resolve, remembering his promise to his party and did what he does best, defy the odds. That said, it looked like he was actually surprised that he managed to make it out in one piece. Bell’s skill after-all is both convenient and scary in a way of how it responds to his conviction to become stronger. Needless to say, he still got cut up pretty bad, but his efforts appears to have not been in vain as a mermaid was delighted by his performance. I actually burst out laughing with the way she was excitedly applauding him because everything has been so intense, and then all of the sudden we get this. Provided she doesn’t turn around and stab Bell in the back, (and she probably won’t), it looks like he will be able to get some form of guidance from someone who surely knows these floors inside out. Also helps she looks like she may be like the Xenos, which would be a nice way to see their existence continue to be present in the current arc.
With Bell separated from the group, the leadership falls to Aisha. Again, I don’t think I can stress this enough, what would they do without her? Well I suppose they are about to find out, as Lili has formulated a plan to lure out the Moss Huge to finish it for once and for all, while Aisha speeds back to the surface to get a rescue party down there to help them and the wounded. You could say it’s a bit of a gamble considering Luvis’ party of four consisting members who are all at Level 3 didn’t stand a chance against that thing. Lili is banking on Mikoto’s gravity spell is to destroy the entire passage way and crush it once and for all. One can only hope that it will play out as smoothly as they’d like. They will do their best to protect the wounded, but it’s a more of a question of whether those guys can hold out until then. Fortunately they ran into Dormul’s group, all seemingly accounted for, but sadly like Luvis’ party, they too are suffering from grave injuries.
Overall this was a fun episode! Since Cassandra was unable to purge the parasite, it was good to see the team weighing their options of whether to get back to the surface as soon as possible, or to face the monster and purge it in hopes it would kill off the seedling parasite that is feeding off of them. Luvis and Bell’s party were certainly fortunate to have encountered each other, as Luvis was able to be taken into safety, while giving them crucial information regarding Moss Huge’s objects and targets. Without him, they wouldn’t have known that it was targeting the Adventurers for the Magic Stones in their possession. At times like this, it’s always great to see fellow Adventurers helping each other in midst of survival. We have seen previous instances where some wouldn’t hesitate to abandon their comrades, or use others as bait to ensure their own survival.
It is probably too soon to say, but I am glad that so far, none of these adventurers have been brutally murdered. Sure that would certainly raise the stakes and make this situation a lot more stressful, tragic and of course less predictable. Of course none of them are out of the woods yet, and I don’t know exactly how long this particular arc this season is going to be since I haven’t read this volume yet. It certainly feels like they have formed a momentous pace so far, but we’ll have to see how things play out– especially whether Lili’s plans will go as smoothly as she hopes for them to.