After selling my items to Fiona in Legias, I headed to the forest to continue hunting.
I had to get back to work.
My main targets were Evil Ants.
I could accept that logically, but I was unsure of if I could take it psychologically.
I felt shivers go up my back just thinking about being surrounded by a swarm of them.
I’ll be alright… Right?
I ended up… More or less alright.
No, it was really nothing to worry about.
It was unexpectedly easy, for both me and the girls.
But for some reason, when faced with C, the girls were too afraid to even move.
C? I’m talking about C, you know?
The legendary, infamous cockroach.
I wonder how they were any different from the Evil Ants in front of me.
I thought of that while twisting off the head of another Evil Ant.
Of course, I had to pay attention to make sure I wouldn’t get surrounded.
I couldn’t give them time to call in their friends.
I had quite a bit of experience with this monster. Fighting it was easy.
Even though I wasn’t using【Call Monster】, they blindly approached me anyway, making the process pretty easy.
Looked like their numbers had gone up a bit. I had to speed up my pace.
I wasn’t trying to bother the girls…
But there were some things I wanted to make sure of.
“Why would you want to fight Evil Ants with a bow and arrow?” was one of the questions I had.
Only about half of the arrows they fired actually hit their targets.
I guess with the high penetrating power of Evil Ant arrows, you could do a lot of damage.
Other arrows weren’t very effective on Evil Ants. They often simply bounced off their shells.
Well, with the popularity and superiority of Evil Ant Shell armour, using Evil Ant arrows was the most reasonable option economically too.
It was difficult to tell how effective Obsidian arrows were from just looking at them, but it looked like they could do more damage.
There was something else I wanted to confirm, though.
Wouldn’t you run out of arrows? Like, in a really long fight?
I wonder how they would react if they reached into their quivers to find them empty.
I found myself wanting to create that situation myself.
I might just be worrying over nothing again.
I noticed them pull out arrows out of the Evil Ants’ dead bodies to reuse.
You would do that.
Whether they needed a sub-weapon or not was up to them to decide. I shouldn’t force it on them.
Looks like I accidentally killed them all.
With just my fists and feet.
By the way, the ants were gigantic, but still relatively light.
It was easy to send them flying with a punch or a kick, although that wouldn’t take out that much out of their HP bar.
Their shells were light but sturdy.
I have Evil Ant Shells used in almost all my armour because of that.
Following that logic, the most effective method was still twisting their necks and pulling off their heads.
But, I still felt like it wasn’t… stylish.
I started feeling like I was doing production line work.
So I tried this other method. I called it the “cross strike”
If I had to put it simply, it’s a move where you pull the target onto your knees, and then bring your elbow down.
Well practically, it was just an attack using a knee and an elbow at the same time, fitting the enemy in the middle.
I’m sure it has many other names, depending on what school you’re from.
In my case, it was referred to casually as the forbidden move.
My grandfather told me it was a “secret-technique” level skill that could break and crush any bone.
I heard it’s supposed to be used as a counter to a tackle.
Catch your unfortunate opponent, and use it on their head.
It almost always results in death.
Might be obvious, but I’ve never used it on a person before.
I don’t think I even could, scary to think if I were put in that kind of situation.
I only learnt it as a formality.
Elbow strikes and knee strikes were pretty strong, to the point where there was a danger of seriously hurting your opponent.
If two people both used them in a duel, they could show off some real strength, not to mention destructive power.
Well because of that, it was pretty embarrassing if you failed.
With ants as my opponents, I could use the move without any mercy.
The results of my tests were… A huge success.
I split the head from the torso in one (two?) clean hit.
Hey, this is pretty fun.
Is what I thought at first.
I failed both my second and third attempts.
I just couldn’t crush them the way I imagined it in my head.
Maybe I need to focus more on breaking?
I shifted my knee and elbow slightly apart.
I used a sort of lever principle to break, instead of crush.
Hey, all those years studying science were paying off.
I tried a lot of different distances between my elbow and knee, and slowly I could more surely take them down in one attack.
Oh that felt good.
The feeling was incredible.
Not to mention fun.
I totally forgot about the girls, and how I was worrying for them.
I ended up taking some damage myself.
My HP bar had dropped by about 30%. I used【Wind Heal】on myself.
I could cast【Wind Heal】from further away, and it was generally a more convenient spell than【Aqua Heal】.
If we were in a party there would be no limit on the range, but since I’m just in a『Union』that wasn’t the case.
But since【Wind Heal】had such a large range, I could relax.
Support is important.
Making sure not to kill all of the ants turned out to be a surprisingly difficult task.
Especially for the strong tiger Mii-chan.
She could chomp off an ant’s head in a single bite.
I wonder how long we were fighting for.
I remembered having that one timestamp.
About 30 minutes.
About time for my second set of【Physical Enchant: Fire】and【Physical Enchant: Earth】to run out.
Fighting all the way to this point was pretty tough, let’s just get it over with and kill all of them.
I got Obsidian and Volff to focus on exterminating ants, and I got serious in my fights too.
The remaining 10 or so ants were promptly exterminated.
Yeah, using those skills almost exclusively would result in a level-up.
But I still can’t learn the martial arts skill, huh.
That part was kind of sad.
「Nice. Let’s split up and collect the item drops. I’ll take out all the arrows too」
「So-sorry, could I ask you something?」
「Did you level up too, Adele?」
「Yes, what about you, Irina?」
「Take it easy, you’re good」
Well, we did hunt a lot. A level-up was to be expected.
Level-ups are great, they help if you’re ever surrounded by ants, or are just generally having a tough time in a fight.
Good work today.
Their almost limitless multiplication was pretty wonderful.
「Ah, Mii-chan leveled up too!」
「Toggle leveled up too」
They looked at each other, looks of amazement on their faces.
They shifted their eyes to me at the same time.
「Hey, nice, wasn’t that quick」
They looked pretty tired.
Their MP bars were at about half.
Well, they weren’t high level players so it was to be expected.
But the looks on their faces were bright and happy.
Well, this was pretty fun so that was to be expected too.
「Is that so. By the way, did your【Summon Magic】level up?」
「Ah, yeah it did」
「That means you can summon another monster. Although you won’t be able to summon both at the same time」
Yeah, they looked pretty happy.
They looked honestly happy.
「Let’s talk about and decide on our next Monster Summons before we log out」
「But would you leave summoning them for tomorrow? I’d love to see you do it」
「Alright. Let’s get to harvesting the item drops」
Ant bodies were strewn all around the place.
We had no choice but to split the work and do it.
Volff and the others kept guard while we took the item drops.
I wonder how many we killed in total.
I guess I could get a general idea based on how many Evil Ant Stings I had. You could say one sting meant one dead ant.
We worked hard on taking the items, but it ended up taking quite a bit of time.
When we were done, we counted the total haul.
175 stings and 102 shells.
More than enough.
But really, that meant that we took out around six per minute.
Very efficient, to say the least.
I bundled up the stings and layered the shells, before tossing them into my rucksack.
There were a lot of them, but since they were so light it wasn’t an issue.
I bought the girls some equipment, but it looked like I had made quite a bit of a return.
When we finally got the opportunity to rest a bit, Adele and Irina started a conversation right away.
They were really eager to start the discussion.
We’re still technically hunting, you know?
「Hey, let’s leave that for when we get back to Legias. Our hunting isn’t over yet」
「Huh? We’re not going back to Legias?」
「You want to hunt some more?」
「No worries, I got enough recovery items for everyone」
I used my potions to fully heal all three of us.
I’ll reuse the empty bottles.
I promised the guild that much, after all.
「And I have recovery magic anyway, no need to worry」
My MP bar was at about 60%.
It was just nightfall. Was there a problem?
I won’t go as hard as I usually do with Master, but today I’m planning on doing some real rigorous hunting.
「I’m pretty fed up with ants, though」
「You don’t need to tell me that, we all are」
Getting surrounded was annoying, but ants were becoming a pretty easy enemy.
I might have to retract what I said to her.
I realised that at some point I started enjoying hunting ants.
After all that, we hunted two sets of 100 ants each before calling it a day.
At the end of it all, they were both wearing blank, expressionless faces. Looked like their souls had left them a long time ago.
This is nothing compared to the cruelty you’d see at your average exploitative company.
When we reached Legias I accompanied them to their inn, then returned to Master’s house.
Well, wasn’t today an eventful day.
Even I’ve gotten tired of all the fighting. I took out all the ants I encountered like a machine, without bothering to use my Monster Summons.
I guess I do understand where the girls are coming from.
I put way too much force into my shoulders on the next ant I encountered.
I felt like smashing all of them. This is bad. Stay calm.
When I got back I headed straight for the basement.
Looked like I got a message on the way.
《Your friend has sent you a message.》
The message was from Saki.
Huh? Wasn’t the saddle scheduled for tomorrow?
『I finished some minor businesses earlier than I thought so I managed to finish the saddle today. The actual saddle is with Fiona』
Oh, it’s done.
Man, she’s way too quick with these things.
Included was the appraisal result.
【Equipment: Saddle】Wild Horse Saddle Grade C+ Rarity 3
Weight 120 Durability 120
A saddle made from Wild Horse Hide. The skin is soft and comfortable for riding. The padding can be easily exchanged.
※The【Horsemanship】skill gains +1 Judgement. Advantages of being on horseback increase. Disadvantages of being on horseback decrease.
Oh, very much appreciated.
Even now, thanks to the level-up in my【Horsemanship】skill, I can ride just fine without using【Physical Enchant: Aqua】.
But fighting from horseback was still pretty difficult, and I tended to fumble a lot with staying on and using a weapon.
Looks like this’ll help with that.
I sent her a quick message of thanks. I’m sure she would go right to sleep after this.
Let’s refill my potions.
My MP bar was at a little less than half, so I used alchemy to get it over with quickly.
I was getting a little sleepy.
I had 16 empty bottles.
I had 7 potion bottles I hadn’t used yet.
I had more people with me this time, so I ended up using a lot more potions than usual.
No, maybe it’s because I thought I could just get more potions if I had to and got carried away.
Oops, getting distracted.
I prepared the water using the water magic spell【Liquid: Water】.
Every batch of potions was good for six bottles, so I pulled out three pieces of Healgrass and used【Quick Recreate】.
All the potions were Grade C.
One more time.
It’s starting to become pretty stable, huh.
I used【Quick Recreate】on the last four bottles too.
The last four potions were grade C+. Oh well.
I collected all the remaining Healgrass and put them to making recovery pills.
Using【Quick Recreate】, I managed to make two recovery pills.
I’ve been using nothing but【Alchemy】but for some reason my【Pharmacy】skill leveled up?
I mean, I guess I’m using【Alchemy】as a shortcut to potion brewing skills. Does that count?
I arranged my inventory in preparation for tomorrow.
I had a lot to sell.
I thought about what new equipment I would buy with all the money, but then I remembered that Evil Ant Stings and Evil Ant Shells don’t sell for much.
Burdock was out of the question.
Oh well, it’s better than nothing I suppose.
I decided to go over my spells again.
I learnt some new universal magic spells.
I learnt four spells: 【Dispel Magic】, 【Enchanted Weapon】, 【Lock】, and【Unlock】.
【Dispel Magic】is a spell used to cancel out other spells.
Looked like I need a magic item of sorts to make it work continually though.
Well in any case, it’s still a pretty useful spell I can use in any general situation.
【Enchanted Weapon】is a non-elemental magic spell meant for weapons and armour.
I was surprised to find that it isn’t used to increase offensive or defensive power.
Instead, it causes your weapon to deal magic damage along with physical damage, and increases resistance to magic attacks for armour.
【Lock】is used to lock doors and windows using magic.
It has a lasting effect, and isn’t affected by【Dispel Magic】.
The only spell you can use to cancel this one is【Unlock】.
But whether【Unlock】will succeed or not apparently depends on the relative level of the casters.
There was a warning saying that until you reached the next Racial Level Up, it would be impossible to use【Unlock】on the same lock twice.
【Lock】and【Unlock】didn’t look like skills I’d be using a lot, but the other two looked useful.
I’ll edit my spell list so they stand out more and I won’t forget they exist.
And now the thing I was really looking forward to.
This morning my【Summon Magic】leveled up.
I wanted to decide my 5th Summon Monster today.
Although I’ve decided on what it would be a long time ago.
Eventually I’ll get to use three Summon Monsters at a time.
Three during the day, and three during the night. If I had to choose a summon monster that could function well in both, I’d pick the wolf Volff.
I would have more than enough fighting strength during the day that way.
The horse Zangetsu, the hawk Helix, and the wolf Volff.
But my team for hunting at night-time was lacking.
Zangetsu and Helix weren’t suited to hunting at night.
I wanted my next Summon Monster to be one that was specialised in night-time combat.
My first choice was the bat…
But looking at the Summon Monster list I started to have a bit of trouble deciding.
That’s because the list of candidates had increased again.
I pulled up the new list of Summon Monsters.
I got the opportunity to see a tiger and snake fight directly today.
They were both attractive in their own ways.
Well, let’s just read their explanations for now.
【Tiger】Summon Monster Battle Position: Land
A tiger. Its main method of attack is a bite.
Superior in attack power, it’s a powerful beast that can fight at both daytime and night-time.
【Viper】Summon Monster Battle Position: Land
A snake. Its main methods of attack are its bite and constriction.
It can move completely silently, and is a master of ambush attacks. While it perform well at both daytime and night-time, it’s weak in cold climates.
Yeah, pretty much what I expected.
Let’s do a bat after all… Hmm…
Yeah, no more time to waver. I’m summoning a bat.
I quickly got to it.
I recalled Volff and Obsidian and did all the preparations for the summoning.
I chose the sixth line from the top of the Summon Monster list.
A bat appeared in the magic circle on the ground.
My MP bar dropped by quite a bit, but I could summon it without any issue.
I looked over at the bat.
Looking closer it looked almost like a mouse, but the fangs in its mouth gave off a menacing aura.
Its body was clearly smaller than both Helix and Obsidian.
Spreading its wings, it jumped up onto my armguard.
Its wings were wide and thin, like a single sheet of paper.
Its body was a dull black.
Oh yeah, I’ve got to give it a name.
Jean Bat Lv1
Bite Flight Echolocation Evade Ambush Suck Blood
Looking at its stats and comparing them to my other Summon Monsters, it’s definitely the weakest.
But the interesting bit was its skills.
Reading the explanations, it looked like【Echolocation】was a skill that used ultrasound as a radar to detect other living bodies.
A skill that could do damage to an enemy and at the same time, allow you to regenerate HP.
I wonder what would happen if it were to pick up rabies somewhere. It’ll be fine right?
Jean’s stats were less than ideal, but I suppose its skills made up for that.
I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.
I recalled Jean the bat and returned to my room.
I jumped onto my bed and quickly logged out.
Race Human Male Racial Lv5
Job Summoner Lv4
Bonus Points Remaining 17
Staff Lv4 Punch Lv3（↑1） Kick Lv3（↑1） Joint Lock Lv3 Throw Lv3 Evade Lv3 Block Lv2 Summon Magic Lv5
Light Magic Lv2 Wind Magic Lv3 Earth Magic Lv2 Water Magic Lv3 Fire Magic Lv1 Dark Magic Lv1
Alchemy Lv3 Pharmacy Lv3（↑1） Glassmaking Lv3
Cooperation Lv5 Appraise Lv4 Identify Lv4 Cold Resistance Lv2 Grab Lv3 Horsemanship Lv4 Precise Manipulation Lv3 Jump Lv1 Heat Resistance Lv3
Kaya Wood Rod Wild Rabbit Breastplate+ Series Snow Ape Armguard Wild Horse Boots+ Snow Ape Leather Helmet Rucksack Item Box x2
Old Summoner’s Temporary Pupil
Volff Wolf Lv4
Zangetsu Horse Lv3（Asleep）
Helix Hawk Lv3（Asleep）
Obsidian Owl Lv3
Jean Bat Lv1（New!）
Bite Flight Echolocation Evade Ambush Suck Blood
Adele and Mii-chan
Irina and Toggle