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Half a year later… (A year since parting with the duke’s family.)
Half a year has passed since subjugating the elder treant. Since then the seasons have changed, and now, the weather has gotten warm.
During this time, Gimuru has greatly changed, and has become more bustling than ever. This change was brought about by the opening of the previously mentioned new town and arena. As a result, workers coming in from other cities have increased, and the various different guilds have been buzzing with work.
But such things mattered little to me, and instead I’ve been focusing on raising my rank and furthering my training.
“…Looks like another job done.” [Ryouma]
I’m currently a month’s distance away from Gimuru in Mt. Surure, exterminating the nest of a magical beast known as karifu monkey. The karifu monkey has an inclination to mob and run away to trees when attacked, making it a troublesome opponent.
But with this, my training has finally reached a place where I only need to put in a little more effort before I can finally rest. As a part of that, I’ve been promoted to D Rank, and after this request, I’ll be a C Rank.
I stored the corpses of the karifu monkeys into my ‘Dimension Home’. Then I cut off their right ears as trophy to serve as proof of the job’s success. As for the rest of the corpses, I fed it to my slimes.
The slimes feasted on the karifu monkeys, and when the bloody slimes wanted to split, I let them, and then I contracted them. I’ve been hunting a lot lately, so the bloody slimes now number four.
After that, I rested for a bit, and then I descended the mountain. There’s a cliff until the foot of the mountain, but it’d take too long to use a different route. So I climbed straight down the cliff instead.
“ ‘Rock Climbing’ “ [Ryouma]
I activated my original earth magic, ‘Rock Climbing’.
Thanks to this past year of training my ‘Magic Manipulation’, I’m now able to wrap my limbs in magic power to use ‘Create Block’ to create footholds for my limbs, allowing me to climb up and down cliffs such as these.
This technique of wrapping one’s limbs in magic power to use techniques is known as magic battle technique. This battle technique was originally used with offensive magic, but it’s now an obsolete ability.
Magic battle technique requires a high level of ‘Magic Manipulation’ to use. Moreover, with the invention of the magic weapons that allows its wielders to demonstrate a similar effect to that of battle techniques without any training, the people practicing the technique greatly fell. And eventually, people forgot about it.
But it’s not just that though, as there’s also the danger in using it that caused it to become obsolete. Magic battle technique is an extremely delicate skill. Every practitioner must take care not to lose his focus. Otherwise, if a hole is perforated through the film of magic power due to lack of concentration, then the practitioner will get hurt. If his limbs are clad in fire magic, then he’ll find himself burned. If electricity, then he’ll get electrocuted.
I thought up this skill when I remembered a light novel from my previous life. I tried that out during practice, and I was able to somehow form a shape. After practicing for a while, I managed to resurrect a forgotten technique.
Eventually I’d love to be able to pull this off alongside Qigong, but for now it’s impossible. It’s certainly difficult to fire off magic while controlling ki, but it’s definitely not impossible. So for now, I’ll make it my goal to be able to cast magic while using qigong.
Magic battle techniques are really quite useful though. Not only can I wrap it around my limbs, but even around my weapons. And with this, I have more tools to deal with the undead than ever.
I thought those things to myself as I descended Mt. Surure. When I reached the foot of the mountain, I went to the nearest town, and reported my success to the guild there.
“I’ve finished this request. Please confirm.” [Ryouma]
I handed a sack full of karifu monkey ears to the guild counter.
“Understood……… I’ve confirmed it. With this the request’s conditions have been fulfilled. Amazing, to actually be able to kill off over 80 karifu monkeys by yourself. There’s been a lot of them lately, so even D Rank parties couldn’t subjugate them all. Thank you for taking care of it.
Moreover, due to having fulfilled the promotion conditions for C Rank with the completion of this request; Takebayashi-sama, from now on, you are a C Rank Adventurer.” [Guild Receptionist]
After receiving my reward and C Rank guild card, I thanked the receptionist, and left the guild.
Then I headed for the country’s westernmost city, Teressa.
I’m feeling good after completing the karifu monkey request, and getting promoted, so I’m just dropping by there to have a little bit of fun. But my main objective this time is to go the maze known as the Town of Departed Spirits. It’s what you would call a dungeon.
In this world, there are three kinds of dungeon. The man-made, the god-made, and the magic-made. Each of these dungeons have their own respective features.
The man-made dungeons are, as the name implies, made by men. A relic of history. There are also those that were constructed by adventurers and soldiers for the sake of training. There are, however, few cases where people came out rich from these type of dungeons.
The god-made dungeons are also similar in that as the name implies they are made by gods. There’s nothing in this world that could threaten the destruction of the world, but when there is a threat that the humans can’t contest or something that threatens humanity’s extinction, Gayn would create a dungeon such as this to serve as man’s relief. The people who step into this dungeon can find in it divine armaments or great power. Then with the help of that power, humanity can fight off the threat.
But on top of that, the god-made dungeons only appear in dangerous situations. It also disappears after being explored once, so finding one is a rare privilege.
The last one, the magic-made dungeons. Unlike the other dungeons, these ones aren’t made by any person in particular, but rather, are a natural occurrence after magic power naturally accumulates in one area. There are plenty of magical beasts within these dungeons. And although it is the most dangerous type, it is also the most profitable large magic jewels and magic ores can be collected from here.
The dungeon I will be going to this time around, the Town of Departed Spirits, is a naturally formed dungeon by magic. A magic-made dungeon so to speak. As the name implies, it’s inhabited by zombies, skeletons, races with no actual body, and lots of undead-type magical beasts. It’s supposedly the execution site of criminals in the past.
Once I arrive, I’m gonna go ahead and defeat a bunch of undead-type magical beasts. Then along the way, I’m going to pick up an herb known as Everlasting Darkness. This herb is needed in order to concoct an insect repellant that could keep the leech and other pests living in the Great Forest of Shurus. After I concoct that insect repellant, I’ll have completed my preparations to go into the forest.
It sure feels great knowing that I’m almost done with my preparations… In all sorts of ways… In all sorts…
My training has progressed quite favorably, but there were also a lot of things that happened before my coming fight. It might be because of those things that I started acquiring new skills. For example, from the time I started learning that magic battle technique I used a while ago, I’ve learned ‘Elixir Concoction’, ‘Construction Magic’, ‘Chantless Casting’, ‘Torture’, ‘Assassination’, ‘Cursed Song’, ‘The Power of Life or Death’… As for why I learned skills like this, well…
‘Elixir Concoction’ is probably because I was mixing my potion making with my alchemy when I was making medicine for my medicine slimes.
I investigated a bit after that, and I found out that there are times when either a new skill, a synthesized skill, or a transformed skill/magic could be made after fulfilling some conditions. When a synthesized skill has been made, it will show up in the status board.
The construction magic is the magic that I used to build my store. The ‘Create Block’, ‘Pavement’, ‘Circle Saw’… etc. And according to the magic god, Fer Noevir, the four magic types: architecture, molding, woodworking, and painting are included there.
‘Chantless Casting’ is, as the name implies, the ability to cast spell without chanting anything. I learned this thanks to the rimel birds and the wind slimes.
The rimel birds can’t talk, and the slimes don’t even have vocal chords. So why are they able to use magic? When I thought that to myself, I started researching in order to find an answer. And from my research, I discovered that as long as one has the right image, attribute, and enough magic power, then it’s possible to cast magic without any chants.
When I tried it out at first, the magic casted was weaker than the ones casted with chants. But after continued practice with the rimel bird and wind slimes as a model, I eventually managed to cast low-level elementary magic without any decrease in its power.
Now, about the ‘Torture’ skill. Once upon a time, while I was walking by myself in the mountains, some bandits came out, and tried to kidnap me. They probably thought I’d be easy pickings since I look eleven on the outside… Although I’m actually already twelve.
Anyway, I managed to beat them up, and one of the bandits let slip that they were planning to kidnap me. From that I deduced that they had already kidnapped some other children.
So I went ahead and asked them where their hideout was, but they wouldn’t talk. Because of that, I had no choice but to hurt them while using healing magic until I managed to make them T-A-L-K. It was then that I learned the ‘Torture’ skill.
I headed to the hideout of the bandits afterwards, and after a bit of work, I learned ‘Assassination’. I went back to Gimuru, and I asked Fei-san and Li Ling-san about it, and apparently, the ‘Assassination’ skill is something that can be learned after having learned ‘Covert Arts’, ‘Hidden Weapons’, ‘Short Sword Arts’, ‘Fundoujutsu’, and ‘Throwing Arts’.
But I already had those skills since way before, so why didn’t it activate? Apparently I was missing the last piece of the puzzle, experience in assassinating a human. Of course, not just once or twice too.
I’ve dealt with magical beasts plenty of times, but I’ve never had much experience with human opponents. But all that changed when I started travelling, and started beating up lots of bandits.
And then during that time when I had to save the children, well it was important, so I let the slimes go wild outside the bandits’ hideout, while I had the earth slimes dig a tunnel under the ground with earth magic. Then I sneaked through that tunnel, and rescued the kids. After which, I bumped into the bandit boss by chance, so I captured him, and got rid of his followers. That’s probably the reason why I acquired this skill.
Li Ling-san and Fei-san congratulated me after I finished telling my story. “Now, the boss is finally a first rate assassin,” they said. Apparently, getting experience as an assassin is proof of being a first rate assassin, and is something worth celebrating.
As for the kids I saved, they were taken in by the nearest village. The bandit boss fessed up where they were selling the children, so I spared his life, and handed him over to the guards of a big town along with the information. A few days later, I heard that the guards managed to also catch the illegal slave merchant that was buying the slaves.
Next is the ‘Cursed Song’ skill. The ‘Cursed Song’ is the resulting skill from the synthetization of musical performance (instrument) and singing, brought about by dark magic and ‘Chantless Casting’. When I saw the nightmare rimel bird, Einz, attack mentally with its cries, I thought to try singing a gloomy song from my previous life while casting ‘Depression’, a powerful magic that causes fear and anxiety, without chanting.
The bandits who heard my song were all affected. ‘Depression’ was originally supposed to be a target spell, unable to hit more than one target at the same time, yet somehow it affected everyone.
So I investigated a bit, and I found out that I had lost the skills ‘musical performance (instrument)’ and ‘singing’, and had gained the skill ‘Cursed Song’.
Next is ‘The Power of Life or Death’ skill. I have no idea why its name is so exaggerated, I just held back. That’s all really. I just captured some bandits alive to get information from, and then during my free time, I went to the church in Gimuru and trained with the kids, and then all of the sudden I learned this skill.
“I’m happy to see that I’ve learned a new skill, so of course I’m not mad. But couldn’t it have been worded in a more peaceful manner?” [Ryouma]
There are a lot of things to think about, but I’ve definitely learned a lot within this past year. Don’t misunderstand though, training wasn’t the only thing I’ve done.
Just a few days ago, our branch stores increased by three. If you include the one in Renauph, there are now four branch stores. Karla-san left the three stores under the care of Caulkins-san, Tony-san, and Robelia-san.
I talked to Karla-san about them, and surprisingly, it turned out that Caulkins-san was actually the best when it came to handling money. We were worried about him because we heard that he once lost all of his money, but from the looks of things, that failure has actually turned him for the better. And now, he’s not only good at management, but also really devoted when it comes to handling money.
Now, as for the last store, I left it to a man I was introduced to by Serge-san. His name is Falzen. I’ve met him several times before, but most likely because of his travels, his skin’s tanned. And despite being Serge-san’s age, he looks much older. He used to be a peddler, but because of his wounds he couldn’t continue, and so he dropped by Serge’s for help.
As a slave magic practitioner, he had his slave demons pull his cart as he would travel to dangerous regions crawling with magical beasts with his group to sell his goods. But as bad luck would have it, his group was attacked by a herd of magical beasts. Then immediately after, they were attacked by a group of bandits. Falzen-san and his slave demons were greatly fatigued from the ceaseless fighting, yet somehow someway they managed to repel the bandits. At the last moment, however, one of the bandits nocked an arrow as revenge, and poor Falzen took an arrow to the knee.
Reminds me of a certain guard, I thought. But I guess stuff like that is common occurrence in this world. And even the man himself said that he’s lucky just to keep his life.
With a long history of trade and slave magic under his belt, Falzen-san is no doubt one of the best employees I could ask for.
Also, since he went out of business, a part of his guards that escorted his group also went out of business. And just like him, they dropped by the town in search of a new job. When I heard that, I quickly went out to look for them. And after much discussion, I was able to hire them too.
During their series of unfortunate mishaps, the merchant group that Falzen-san traveled with, suffered a considerable amount of casualty, leading to a reduction in the carts within the group. With the number of people and carts to be escorted, reduced. The group decided to let go of some of the guards.
I assigned half of the newly employed guards to Falzen-san’s shop. The other half I sent over to Caulkins-san. When I later got back to the Gimuru, I contacted the different branches to see how they were doing. And fortunately, they were all doing well.
After that’s just various stuff. In general, when I’m in Gimuru, I’m resting. When I’m out, I’m either working or training. During my travels I would focus in my training, and when I’m in Gimuru, I would hang around the town, and talk with the people. I would also spend my days researching as my hobby.
As a result, I started to take requests from Gimuru less and less… But some time later, I realized that amongst the adventurers that I would meet in the town, there are some who would refer to me as “Cleaner.” Moreover, they’ve been increasing.
After I asked about it, it turned out that it was the nickname of a peculiar adventurer with abilities that put him above the rest. News of such an aspiring newcomer has even made its way to the nearby towns.
They got the name cleaner from that time when I cleaned the latrine pits. From that time when I cleaned up all those ruffians when I opened my store. From my recent actions when I would frequently deal with the bandits on the road, arresting them, and handing them to the guards. And from the fact that whenever I would hunt monsters, the only thing that would be left are the trophies (as evidence that I finished the mission) and the parts that can sell. But for everything else, nothing. Not even the bones would remain.
I was a bit embarrassed when I first heard it, but lately, I’ve gotten used to it. Well, like this, I feel like I can continue with my training smoothly. The slimes are doing great too. Yeah, let’s keep going like this from now on.
… Alright, now let’s speed up our pace so we can get to Teressa faster!