Unexpectedly disappointing monsters and weapons of romance.
The carriage Ain and the others rode arrived at their destination, a forest near the Royal Capital, in a few tens of minutes.
Today’s weather was good, the sky above them was clear, and the air in the forest felt pleasant.
“We’ve arrived, Ain-sama.”
“Please be careful. This way.”
Chris took Ain’s hand and helped him off of the carriage.
It was then that Ain saw the beautiful forest, filled with greenery and birds chirping.
“What a beautiful place. You wouldn’t think there are monsters here.”
“It’s a beautiful place indeed, but there are monsters. There aren’t dangerous ones, but still, don’t forget to be vigilant.”
Receiving Chris’ advice, Ain decided to be more careful.
This was a place where monsters appeared, so he didn’t know what might happen.
“Well then, I will lead, Ain-sama, please follow after me. Chris-dono, I leave the rear to you.”
With Lloyd leading the way, Ain walked behind him. From the point of view of Ishtalika’s people, who knew Lloyd and Chris, there wasn’t a more reliable escort than this.
“By the way, Lloyd-san. What kind of monsters appear in this forest? ”
“That’s right. I haven’t told you yet, the most common ones include Forest Rats, Large Hornworms, and Green Slimes.”
Seeing Ain still a bit confused with the names alone, Chris supplemented the information on those monsters.
Apparently, Forest Rats are rats that are about 80 cm in size and prefer to act alone rather than in a group.
Large Hornworms seem to be large, exceeding 1m, but they are slow and not very aggressive. One just needs to be wary of the poison they squirt, but it only makes people tear up, like when chopping onions.
And Green Slimes are, well, green slimes. They cover what they recognize as an enemy and suffocate it. However, their sizes aren’t large, and it’s possible to even scrape out by hand the place covered. Also, the core and magic stone can be seen through, so it’s easy to defeat them attacking them there.
“It’s good the first battle is in a safe place.”
Ain’s character was not one to overdo it. That’s why this opportunity felt like the right balance for him.
“You’ve already grown enough to fight against the castle knights, Ain-sama. That’s why we won’t interfere. Of course, if it becomes a dangerous situation, we will protect you.”
“Thank you. I can then fight with peace of mind.”
“Y-Yeah……Lloyd-sama. This looks like it’s not enough, huh?”
“To be honest, I expected this to some extent. Since he’s able to spar with the knights……”
Two people looked at Ain from a little distance as he fought. From what they could tell, Ain didn’t know how to take on the Large Hornworms and Forest Rats.
When he first confronted a Forest Rat, he thought for some time about how to attack it.
Of course, he also seemed troubled as to what his first move would be against the Large Hornworm.
But now that he knew his opponents attacked in a pattern, they knew these monsters weren’t a threat to him.
“Alright, that’s done. Yeah, rats and hornworms aren’t very good. I guess they are a miss.”
What Ain spoke of was one of his pleasures, his impression on the magic stones of the monsters.
Both rats and hornworms were honestly unsavory. With that said, it seemed only the Green Slime one remained in Ain’s mouth.
“Melon soda, huh? Sort of. I wonder why do the slime tastes like melon, and like soda? Well, regardless, the taste isn’t bad.”
Ain was pleased with a taste he had for the first time after a long time. Is the green from the slime somewhat related to melon? He started to think about that but decided to just enjoy the taste for now.
“The taste from the magic stones was better than more expensive they were, but I guess the Green Slime is different. I wonder if slimes are expensive? ”
For example, melon soda was a child’s favorite that could be drunk in a family restaurant.
It a flavor like artificial sweetener, but Ain was happy with this junk food taste.
“Hahaha! Ain-sama! It looks like they weren’t good enough.”
“Hmm. Since the opponent isn’t a person, the feeling is different. Their weaknesses are different, and they’re also not similar when it comes to behavior.”
“I guessed so. After all, they will feel the danger to their lives and would want to defeat you, or maybe they’d want to run away from you.”
“Yeah. Thanks to that I’m learning quite a bit. Unlike when I was training at the castle, the other party is risking their lives, so the response changes as well.”
It was easy to understand the aim of the monsters Ain fought today since they were all weak monsters.
The rats always tried to jump at Ain’s neck, and about the Large Hornworms, they just sprayed light poison and tried to escape to a tree.
The Green Slime was the fastest and most dangerous of these three types of monsters, but its attack was only to try and cover their opponent, so attacking the magic stone and core at that time was simple.
“It seems you’ve already established a strategy.”
Just as Chris said, Ain had already completed his way of dealing with these monsters.
It wasn’t difficult at all since these were monsters of simple movements.
“But I’m glad they were only this strong today. It was a good experience for me, without having to get hurt.”
“That’s the most important thing. Next time, let’s go to a place where there are slightly stronger ones.”
“I’ll be in your care then. Thanks to you two, I can fight with a peace of mind.”
As he said so, Ain looked over to the Green Slime that was nearby.
They were about to leave, but he was thinking of trying one skill for a bit before leaving.
Then, Ain took out the special nail made by Katima.
“A-Ain-sama, that is-”
“I thought it would be a good idea to practice using this since we’re already here. Should I stop? ”
“No, I don’t think there’s a problem. Actually, I too want to see how you use it.”
Being told there was no problem, a black tentacle-like arm appeared from the base of the nail that was in his hand.
“Ohh, so this is that so-called Dark Straw?”
“You called it straw even though it looks like this, Ain-sama……”
Chris seemed to be dissatisfied with the naming, but Ain, on the other side, wasn’t.
Isn’t it fine? There’s only one of such an amazing straw, he thought.
Ver.2 was currently under development, and Katima and Ain continued to discuss the direction it should take.
“Alright. ・・・・GO! ”
With that shout, the “Dark Straw” stretched out and pierced the body of the Green Slime, right next to the magic stone.
And while decomposing the poisonous parts for humans, the contents of the magic stone were sucked with Absorb.
“It’s the first time I see a skill like that……I see, the glowing bubble is the life force and magic from the magic stone, huh?”
The Green Slime was pierced by the Dark Straw and tried to escape while trembling lightly, but immediately stopped moving after receiving the pierce damage, and simply was absorbed.
“That technique is a bit scary after all, Ain-sama……”
“I think so too. That dark thing certainly looks intimidating.”
“Not at all, if I had to say, this is just better at absorbing magic stones.”
The appearance of the black tentacle coming out of the boy’s hand, piercing and sucking the essence of the fallen monster was quite disturbing.
“Well, I can’t deny it gives off a sense of intimidation. However, it’s good to have strong skills, isn’t that right, Chris-dono?”
“Yeah, that’s right. It’s better if Ain-sama gets stronger.”
The magic stone that he absorbed using the Dark Straw felt as if it had a higher-grade taste than the one he took out from the monster and absorbed.
A while had passed since they came to the forest, and so far, Ain’s hunt had been going well. As the sun was starting to set, Ain and the others were talking about returning to the castle soon.
“By the way, Ain-sama. Was there any change in your stats? ”
“I think it changed a bit after absorbing some green slimes. Ohh, it seems the Magic really went up a little.”
He had no expectations of changes in his stats when the hunt began. However, as he continued to absorb green slimes, he noticed a slight increase in his magic power.
“As expected, it will be very difficult. When one thinks about it, I believe it was best to first absorb some weak monsters’ magic stones before the Dullahan’s.”
“You’re right, Chris-san, but it can’t be helped now. If there’s a skill I want I’ll somehow manage to prepare a lot of those magic stones.”
“There’s no helping it, huh?”
Just as Chris had said, if he had absorbed magic stones from weaker monsters, like the Green Slime, before absorbing the Dullahan’s magic stone, he might have had a lot of skills by now. It’s no wonder she thought so, but it was useless to think about it now.
“Let’s go back to the carriage, Ain-sama.”
“Alright. I had a good time hunting thanks to you two. Thank you.”
Just as Ain thank them, Lloyd and Chris answered with a big smile.
“By the way, Ain-sama. About the Dark Straw, the nail it uses looks pretty durable.”
Lloyd remembered about the Dark Straw. From Lloyd’s perspective, Katima’s special dark claw’s nail-like claw had a strong attack power.
“You’re right. I heard it was specially made by Katima-sama, but what on earth is it made of?”
“Do you want to know? ”
Ain asked with a teasing smile.
Having piqued his interest, Lloyd answered with an “Of course”.
“The claw of a dragon species, covered with mithril plating. About what species of dragon, Katima-san said she forgot.”
“E-Ehhh, was it made of such an expensive material……?”
Chris, of course, couldn’t hide her surprise.
Despite it being the claw of a dragon species, even one of the cheapest would still cost a lot of money. But more than that, she was surprised to hear mithril was used as plating.
“Mithril is great for magic conductivity, such as for the Absorb skill. I was surprised when I heard it was a dragon’s claw, but to think it even has mithril on it.”
Mithril was an expensive material, even in Ishtalika.
Equipment made from it had the quality and strength to be called a product that would last for a lifetime, but on the other side, the price was proportional to that.
If one would make a sword like a rapier entirely out of mithril, it wouldn’t be uncommon for the costs of the material alone to reach 10 million G.
In the case of Ain’s nail, the amount of mithril used wasn’t that surprising since it was only the plating. Nevertheless, the combination of a dragon’s claw and the mithril plating shocked both Lloyd and Chris.
“The pursuit of romance, nya! Is what Katima-san said when she made it for me. To be honest, I feel a bit sorry since she has spent a fair amount of money, including the magic stones……”
“Well, Katima-sama also lives for her hobby, right Lloyd-sama? ”
“U-Umu, that’s right, Ain-sama. And, Ain-sama, ever since you came, Katima-sama seems to always be having fun, so we couldn’t be more grateful.”
“It helps me you saying that. Oh, we’ve arrived.”
While explaining about the nail, the group reached the carriage where a knight was waiting.
In the end, Ain thanked them once again, and thus, today’s hunt came to an end. Ain considered the results of today’s hunt as a success since he had a good experience without sustaining any injuries.
“Duke Amour. Ishtalika’s ship has arrived.”
Large ships from Ishtalika arrived at the Dukedom of Euro at last. They numbered two.
The ships were smaller than “Princess Olivia”, but they were still larger and more powerful than any other ship that Euro owned.
“Alright. I will go welcome them too.”
There should be no disrespect when welcoming guests from Ishtalika.
It was for this reason that Duke Amour decided to go greet the people from Ishtalika directly.
Those coming from Ishtalika were civil officers coming to carry the final checks on the trade. Besides, a research team to examine the Sea Crystals, as well as knights to serve as their escorts. A lot of personnel were being mobilized.
As for the civil officers, some of the top ranks in Ishtalika were also mobilized.
“Coming to this point, it finally feels real. I never expected we would be conducting an official deal with Ishtalika.”
“Umu. I never really spoke about it, but now it’s starting to sink in.”
The two ships were anchored near the castle where Duke Amour lived.
Witnessing the feeling of intimidation and the advanced construction of the ships, he understood the strength of Ishtalika.
“What about the matter of Archduke Augusto?”
“Yes. He will arrive in a few days. After his arrival, we will meet with Ishtalika’s people and have him transfer to one of the ships.”
“There doesn’t seem to be any problem, right?
Albeit slowly, Archduke Augusto was on his way to Ishtalika.
“Duke Amour! The people from Ishtalika are disembarking, please hurry up! ”
“Ohh, I’m coming! ”
First of all, let’s give a warm welcome to our guests from Ishtalika.
Convinced the deal had completed without any problem, Duke Amour hurriedly went to meet Ishtalika’s delegation.