I continued onward on the highway.
When the road’s surroundings turned to farmland, I went off the road and ran into some monsters.
There were mainly two kinds of monsters. I used【Identify】on them.
Striped Boar Lv.1
Monster Enemy Target Active
Bearded Mole Lv.2
Monster Enemy Target Active
I had no problem defeating either of them.
But in one way, the moles were an issue.
Because no matter how sharp Helix’s eyes were, they couldn’t see underground.
I’ve gotten ambushed a few times, just from moving around.
Thanks to Zangetsu’s amazing speed, I could avoid those attacks, but just by chance.
No matter where I was, I couldn’t get careless. Monsters were everywhere.
Even though they were moles, it didn’t look like they could appear if I stayed on the road.
From time to time, I had to fight boars, or more accurately piglets, on my way.
If I lost focus, I would walk off the road and have to fight moles too.
If I had to rate the difficulty in fighting them, I’d say they’re above a Wild Dog, but not extremely difficult.
Upon death, they dropped some items.
【Material】Striped Boar Meat Raw Material Grade C Rarity 1 Weight 1
The meat of a striped boar. The fat under the skin is thick, and it has a very animalistic smell. Very nourishing.
【Material】Bearded Mole Claws Raw Material Grade C Rarity 1 Weight 0+
The claws of a bearded mole. A hard material, suited for burrowing underground.
The meat looked pretty nice.
I’d love to make a hot pot out of it.
I wonder if miso exists in this world.
I’ve seen fish sauce before, so no problem on that front…
Following the flow of the river, the road continued onwards.
As the river approached the mountains, its width started getting smaller, and its flow rate started slowing down too.
After crossing a few hills, I saw several plumes of smoke in the distance.
Looking from the top of one hill, it looked like a camp, with tents scattered about.
A lot of human-like figures were walking around.
I’d guess about half were players. I saw quite a few green markers among them.
A camp/base for players that were hunting in the Northern Mountains, I bet.
I checked out the place, but quickly moved westward.
I crossed the river at a ford, but not before taking the time to refill my water bottles.
Gradually, the density of the trees around me started to increase.
By the way, I felt like this area was a great place to pick up obsidian rocks.
Searching along the river bank, I found a rock I’d never seen before.
【Material】Blue Spinel Grade C- Rarity 3 Weight 0+
A blue, translucent spinel stone, in the form of an octahedral crystal.
Not especially rare, but known to be helpful in the casting of spells.
【Material】Obsidian Rock Grace C- Rarity 1 Weight 0+
A sharp, fractured piece of obsidian rock. It has a brownish-black colour.
Can be ground to form a sharp edge, so is often used in stone tools.
Looked like I picked up a Blue Spinel. It had a dull blue colour, and was slightly translucent.
I compared it to an Obsidian Rock.
Both of them had simple explanations.
The GMs were pretty kind to us.
To be honest, I wanted to keep looking for more Blue Spinels, but Zangetsu wasn’t suited to walking on the river bank.
It was unfortunate, but I had to continue onwards.
I used the Earth Magic spell 【Dowsing】, thinking I could earn a bit of pocket change, but I didn’t think I would find a Rarity 3 stone.
Reaching the forest, I walked around tracing the edge of the forest, looking for a watchtower.
I was more or less used to the sight of the Western Forest, and the view that surrounded it.
Wild Pheasants, both male and female, wouldn’t bother coming out of the forest.
But Striped Raccoons were a different story.
I haven’t run into any raccoons in a long time, but being welcomed by a sudden fireball was pretty cruel.
Of course, I retaliated and took it down.
But it didn’t drop anything.
Not even the skin. It’s a little disappointing.
Anyway, since it was hiding in the forest, Helix’s eyes must’ve missed it.
I took a little distance from the edge of the forest and continued on my little detour.
After spotting the watchtower I was so used to, I continued my trip on a road towards Legias.
Once I stepped on the road, I was quickly attacked by a Stray Horse.
But I was prepared for that kind of attack.
After I last defeated a stray horse, my【Wind Magic】skill went up to Lv.3 and I learnt some new magic spells too.
Now my【Water Magic】skill was at Lv.3 too.
I would have to prepare for a long battle, but there was no doubt in my mind that I could defeat it.
I got Zangetsu to run parallel to the stray horse, and it quickly came to ram into us.
But Zangetsu was stronger now than ever.
She wouldn’t lose so easy.
Helix helped out by attacking the stray horse. Its HP bar was steadily falling.
I used my rod to keep the stray horse in check, while using strengthening magic and recovery magic.
I’m leaving attack magic for later. Now’s not the time.
When the stray horse’s HP bar dropped below half, it suddenly stopped and in the next moment, started running away.
Aiming for its hind legs, I used【Wind Cutter】.
The stray horse tripped and fell over.
Now’s my chance.
Zangetsu used its front legs to trample it, dishing out incredible damage.
No, really incredible, a lot more than the damage I just did using my magic attack.
It was trying to get up, but Helix was making that difficult with his more-annoying-than-anything-else attacks.
I tried my best on horseback, and focused on attacking its hind legs.
The stray horse fell over once again.
It didn’t get back up.
Now that I think about it, we were pretty brutal to it.
I felt a lot less satisfying, defeating it this time.
Even though my level hadn’t gone up by that much since the last time I defeated a stray horse.
《Summon Monster 『Helix』 Level Up!》
《Please add 1 point to a desired stat.》
Helix’s stats appeared on a virtual window. It looked like INT was the stat that went up during the level-up.
I chose to put a point into VIT.
I’ve noticed Helix’s HP bar drop quite a bit every time he fought a Steppe Hawk.
Summon Monster Helix Hawk Lv2→Lv3（↑1）
Peck Flight Far Sight Wide Area Search Ambush Sense Danger
I got another Wild Horse Hide from the Stray Horse.
The first stray horse I encountered was pretty tough, but fighting them had gotten easier since then.
If I could get Wild Horse Hides at a nice pace like this I’d love to keep hunting, but unfortunately, Stray Horses weren’t very common.
They were a pretty profitable enemy too, so that was a shame.
I arrived in Legias.
It was a bit too early for dinner, but even from afar, I saw people stocking their stores, and plumes of smoke rise from the stalls.
I’ll eat something at Mio’s place.
Mio wasn’t there, and instead Fiona and Yuka were manning the store.
There was an unexpectedly high number of NPCs looking for food, so they didn’t have the time to chat.
Yuka was cooking, and Fiona was in charge of taking orders.
Looked like it would take a while.
While I was at it, I joined the line and ordered a sandwich, a burdock kinpira, and soup, then moved to a table near the back of the stall.
I filled my stomach.
But the kinpira wasn’t that good.
It made me want to eat rice.
I felt like it wasn’t complete without rice.
When I finished my meal, Saki came into the stall.
She looked pretty surprised to see me.
「Oh. You came before sending me a message」
「I just got your boots done. I’ve got your breastplate and belt too」
「That’s great, thanks」
「I used more than half of the Wild Horse Hide, but I’ve got some left over. Not enough to make anything else though」
「Oh, in that case, I think I have something to help with that」
「But before that, is it alright if we take a look at the armour?」
「Ah, of course, sorry」
Saki pulled out pieces of armour one by one.
The helmet was the same one I saw in her message.
Holding it in my hand it felt relatively light.
The boots had a kind of dull look to them, looking closer I realised that was because Saki split Evil Ant Shells and stuck them to the boots in various places. Some kind of protection?
The belt had little flaps on the front, hanging down and covering my thighs. It wasn’t that large, clearly designed with easy movement being its top priority.
Actually, it looked like that was the case for all of them.
【Armour: Helmet】Snow Ape’s Helmet Grade C+ Rarity 3
Def+5 Weight 2 Durability 120
A helmet made from the skin of a Snow Ape.
Layered with hard leather, it’s a good item for increasing defensive capabilities.
【Armour: Thigh Guard】Wild Rabbit Skin Thigh Guard+ Grade C+ Rarity 2
Def+3 Weight 2 Durability 100
Thigh guards made out of the skin of Wild Rabbits. The skin is soft, and the design is made with easy movement in mind.
[Custom] The flaps hanging down to cover the thighs contain Evil Ant Shells. They increase the Durability and the Def of the armour.
It’s possible to switch out the Evil Ant Shells by inserting new ones.
【Armour: Boots】Wild Horse Boots+ Grade C Rarity 3
AP+2 Def+2 Weight 1 Durability 90
Boots made from Wild Horse Hide. The skin is soft, and the design is made with easy movement in mind.
The soles are rough to increase friction and allow easy movement.
[Custom] The boots are made using Evil Ant shells. Attacks using the toes, top of the feet, and heels will do more damage.
My equipment is taking a pretty big step forward today.
I quickly changed my equipment and put my old armour into an《Item Box》.
I tried moving around a bit.
I could feel that the boots were high quality.
The other pieces of armour were light, felt like they weren’t there at all.
「Cool, I’ve brought a few items too, see what you like」
I pulled out the usual Evil Ant Shells and Evil Ant Stings, items I got from hunting in the forest.
I took out the Striped Boar Meat and Bearded Mole Claws I got earlier, and placed them in another pile on the table.
The Obsidian Rocks I found lying around.
And lastly, the Wild Horse Hide.
The one I just got.
I’ll keep the Blue Spinel for now.
「Ah, you took down another Stray Horse?」
「Must be useful, having a horse. Reina and the others were complaining the other day about how a stray horse they encountered ran away on them in the middle.」
Saying that, Saki started looking over the Wild Horse Hide.
Her gaze was pretty scary, but you could tell she was having fun.
「I could make the saddle you mentioned earlier.」
「It might take a while, but I want to do it. Working this kind of material gets you a lot of levels, you know.」
「Is that so?」
「Yeah, it’ll be a really good experience.」
「A win-win situation, huh. Well then, I’ll be counting on you again, thanks.」
「Of course. Fiona looks like she’s not doing anything, so I’ll leave the price of everything to her.」
Oh yeah, Fiona did mention something along those lines.
People in production jobs level up when they do good work, with good tools, on good materials.
I’ve been counting on Saki for a lot of my armour recently.
So much so to the point where I haven’t seen her go out to hunt at all.
「Is it really alright for you to skip out on hunting? I’m in no real hurry.」
「It’s alright. I can make it up later.」
「Besides, I do go out to hunt around Legias from time to time. Don’t worry about me.」
「Ah, I see. Alright.」
Well, if she says so. I might’ve been worrying about her for no reason.
「Hey! I’m back!」
「Hey, Saki! Oh, you’re here too Keith?」
Reina and the others came in through the back door.
Just in time for dinner.
They quickly took all the items I put on the table.
「Striped Boar Meat, huh. I’ll have to get rid of the smell… And I’d kill for more spices.」
「What about burdock?」
「Oh yeah, I’d love to get more of those too. I don’t know why, but that kinpira dish was the first one to sell out」
「Yeah! Hey Rick! Help me out with the maths!」
Rick looked pretty tired. Well he did just get back from hunting.
Pretty tough party to be a guy.
「Saki, you going to bring the skin with you?」
「Yeah. Hey, Keith, what about everything else?」
「I’ll sell it.」
I sold everything except for the Magic Stones, the Mana Crystal, and the Blue Spinel, along with all my recovery items.
I kept the Beginner’s Rod as a spare.
My Rucksack was getting pretty heavy from all the Obsidian Rocks I’ve picked up, but it felt a lot lighter now.
Obsidian Rocks could be used as arrowheads, so they were pretty happy to take them. Shinohara in particular looked very excited.
Although they were both woodworkers, Reina was a lot more interested in the Evil Ant Stings.
They were both bow users, but it looked like they had different tastes.
「Keith, if you have Striped Boar Meat, does that mean you visited the camps to the north?」
「Yeah. Although I was just there for a quick look, that’s all. It was a pretty lively place」
「Is that so… Yeah, with so many people here, boars don’t come around at all…」
What’s this? Is Mio developing an interest in travelling?
By the way, I’ve never seen them fight monsters.
Just guessing from their equipment, I’d say Reina and Shinohara were bow users.
Rick had a shield and sword, and Mio and Len-Len had short spears. I’d say they were in charge of the front.
Well since those weren’t their real jobs, I’d say their roles would probably fluctuate a bit, but they looked pretty comfortable in their hunting gear.
Looking at the items the girls had on them, I saw not only female Wild Pheasant Feathers, but the colourful feathers of a Male Wild Pheasant too.
【Material】Colourful Pheasant Wing Raw Material Grade C+ Rarity 2 Weight 1
The wing of a Wild Pheasant (Male). A material most commonly processed into arrow feathers.
With its very colourful and brilliant appearance, it is also often used in decoration.
I used【Appraise】on it, but I think the description was unfair to the beauty of the object.
I didn’t hunt male Wild Pheasants.
Can’t look down on them, they’re hunting monsters I’m too scared of to even approach.
I received the money for all our exchanges from Rick, and after paying Saki for everything, I was left with one silver coin.
Ah, well that was that.
Fiona looked busy doing business with an NPC.
Well that’s too bad.
I wanted to talk to her about the Blue Spinel, but I guess I’ll have to leave that for another day.
I exchanged short goodbyes with her and got up to leave the place.
「Well, I’ll get going now.」
Reina gave me an energetic answer, and got started on her dinner.
Apparently they were going to go hunting in the forest after this.
The look on Mio’s face was pretty dark.
There was still some time before sunset, but let’s recall Zangetsu and Helix and summon Volff and Obsidian.
Obsidian was still at Lv.2, but if I continued hunting at night I’m sure he would level up soon.
Volff was already Lv.4, so I could leave him alone to fight ants without having to worry.
The real problem was having too much fun and getting carried away fighting Bloody Woods.
But today was different.
I’ve learnt【Dark Magic】and【Fire Magic】, and the pool of skills I could use has gotten larger.
I wanted to test them out.
I pulled up my list of spells.
Summon Monster (Summon Magic)
Return Monster (Summon Magic)
Force Bullet (Universal Magic)
Sense Magic (Universal Magic)
Flashlight (Light Magic)
Magical Enchant: Light (Light Magic)
Night Vision (Dark Magic)
Magical Enchant: Dark (Dark Magic)
Pyrokinesis (Fire Magic)
Physical Enchant: Fire (Fire Magic)
Air Current Control (Wind Magic)
Physical Enchant: Wind (Wind Magic)
Resist Wind (Wind Magic)
Wind Heal (Wind Magic)
Wind Cutter (Wind Magic)
Dowsing (Earth Magic)
Physical Enchant: Earth (Earth Magic)
Liquid: Water (Water Magic)
Aqua Heal (Water Magic)
Water Needle (Water Magic)
I sorted the spells into attack magic, strengthening magic, recovery magic, and everything else in a separate window.
After I did that, I realised something.
There were way too many spells.
The recovery magic category was tiny compared to the others.
Oops, I’m getting distracted.
Spells. I wanted to test out some new spells.
I chose the Dark Magic spell【Night Vision】.
While it was temporary, it would help with seeing at night.
Looked like it lasted for about an hour.
Volff and Obsidian had good night vision too, so we could move about without the need for light.
I finally got what Master was talking about when he told me to take light and dark magic first.
Hunting at night has just become infinitely easier.
Depending on what Summon Monsters were active, I could use【Flashlight】instead too.
I’ll try it out and compare next time.
Now, about【Magical Enchant: Dark】and【Physical Enchant: Fire】.
There was a difference between magic attacks and physical attacks, but it looked like they worked as strengthening magic, in other words, to increase the damage I could do.
In any case, the more ways I have to attack, the better.
Let’s get back to hunting.
I get more time to test out my skills that way too.
Hunting went more or less like usual.
But with【Night Vision】, sneaking up on monsters became pretty easy.
It was great for losing active monsters too, turning them back into a passive state.
I could ambush monsters a lot more than usual, and the damage I took in those fights was less too.
But it wasn’t all good.
Since Monsters wouldn’t approach me anymore, hunting became a lot less efficient.
Well, there was nothing I could do about that.
Now onto more attack magic.
I tried using【Wind Cutter】and【Water Needle】on the Evil Ants.
They weren’t enough to take one down in one hit, but they would take out quite a bit out of the ants’ HP bar.
I tried comparing it to a close range rod attack.
It definitely felt a lot more effective.
Now for some real close combat.
I tried my normal routine of twisting and pulling off the ants’ heads. By far the easiest way of taking them down.
Pretty fun way, too.
I ended up getting carried away like usual, luring them close the way you would call your pet, before ripping their heads off.
When I came back to myself, I had defeated more than 30 of them.
Not counting the ones Volff and Obsidian defeated.
Hey, wasn’t that a good time.
It was pretty easy work too, twisting the neck of an Evil Ant.
After continuing for a while, Obsidian leveled up.
《Summon Monster 『Obsidian』 Level Up!》
《Please add 1 point to a desired stat.》
Well, after defeating that many enemies anyone would level up.
The stat that went up during the level-up was AGI.
I chose to raise the VIT stat.
I noticed that Obsidian’s HP bar would drop quite a bit every time he fought a bat or something.
I could relax a little more this way.
Monster Summon Obsidian Owl Lv2→Lv3（↑1）
Peck Silent Flight Far Sight Night Vision Ambush Sense Danger
I continued hunting.
On the way, I picked up any Healgrass or Obsidian Rocks lying around.
Gotta make some extra money somehow.
Of course, with time I got more efficient at defeating Bloody Woods.
Instead of using my rod, a kick, followed by a throw was way more effective.
Besides taking less time, it was also a more fun way of defeating them.
Don’t tell anyone that I tried a backdrop suplex.
Or I suppose in this situation you would call it an “Ura Nage” [1. TL Note: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ura_nage] I just wanted to compare the different throws and see which one did the most damage.
Here’s my conclusion.
Strengthening magic is a wonderful thing.
Some combat skills leveled up. Sweet.
I kept hunting for as long as time permitted.
Obsidian was in good shape after the level-up.
Volff kept up his usual performance.
At some point, Obsidian looked like he noticed something, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.
I wonder what that was…
Looked like there was something else in the forest.
I felt a little uneasy, but I figured I’d done enough hunting and returned to Master’s house.
I walked down the stairs to the workshop and refilled my potion bottles.
I made a recovery pill too.
In preparation for tomorrow, I arranged the contents of my inventory.
It had to be done.
Today was a pretty fruitful day. I logged out in a good mood.
Race Human Male Racial Lv5
Job Summoner Lv3
Bonus Points Remaining 17
Staff Lv3 Punch Lv2 Kick Lv2 Joint Lock Lv3 Throw Lv3（↑1） Evade Lv3（↑1） Block Lv2 Summon Magic Lv4
Light Magic Lv2 Wind Magic Lv3 Earth Magic Lv2 Water Magic Lv3 Fire Magic Lv1 Dark Magic Lv1
Alchemy Lv3 Pharmacy Lv2 Glassmaking Lv3
Cooperation Lv4 Appraise Lv4 Identify Lv4 Cold Resistance Lv2 Grab Lv3 Horsemanship Lv3 Precise Manipulation Lv3 Jump Lv1 Heat Resistance Lv3
Kaya Wood Rod Wild Rabbit Breastplate+ Series Snow Ape Armguard Wild Horse Boots+ (New!) Snow Ape Leather Helmet Rucksack Item Box x2
Old Summoner’s Temporary Pupil
Volff Wolf Lv4
Zangetsu Horse Lv3
Helix Hawk Lv3（↑1）
Peck Flight Far Sight Wide Area Search Ambush Sense Danger
Obsidian Owl Lv3（↑1）
Peck Silent Flight Far Sight Night Vision Ambush Sense Danger