The Adventurer’s Guild had a somewhat deserted atmosphere.
Everyone was gathering at the neighbouring bar, looking for other players to party up with.
Well, it’s great that at least one part of the building was lively.
I looked at the notice board full of requests to the Adventurer’s Guild.
From just a glance, I could tell that escort requests and material requests were on the rise.
I’ll ignore those.
When I filtered the quests by the word『Rabbit』, a few quests appeared.
The client was apparently the guild itself, but I’m sure they were just acting as a stand-in for farmers.
Of course, the contents of the quest were pretty simple: “Go kill some rabbits.”
But looking at the conditions made me feel somewhat uneasy.
It said I would have to submit three Striped Wild Rabbit Horns. The kind you could only get from Horned Rabbits.
Those guys, huh…
Although I get where they’re coming from. It made the quest a lot simpler than if I were asked to just kill tens of Horn Rabbits.
Horned Rabbits didn’t just appear out of nowhere, so to encounter them in the first place you would have to kill a lot of Horn Rabbits too.
I don’t know who issued this quest, but it looked like there were some cunning fellows among them.
I could just buy Striped Wild Rabbit Horns from other players, but since they were so rare they were pretty expensive. There would be no point to cheating this quest if you were going to lose money in the process.
There were seven pages of the same quest. I took two of them from the wall and headed towards the counter.
I gave one of them to Irina.
「Yep. If we’re going to be hunting rabbits either way, we might as well do a quest at the same time. Kill two birds with one stone」
We didn’t have to wait much before it was our turn.
It was the staff member I was hoping to meet. I felt a little relieved.
The picture-perfect example of an elderly staff woman looked at me.
I spoke to her in a polite, cheerful tone, while trying my best not to be rude.
「Excuse me, could I please accept this request?」
「Pardon me, could you repeat that please?」
「I’m supporting a party, and they would like them to do this quest. Of course that means there won’t be a reward for me, right?」
「Would there be an issue if I were to accept the same quest they are accepting?」
「No, that’s fine, but if you combine the two quests, do keep in mind that splitting the reward will be your responsibility」
「Thank you very much」
Everything went smoothly.
I told Adele and Irina to accept the quest.
I accepted the same quest afterwards.
We’ll have to kill a total of six Horned Rabbits.
It’s good to have a goal to work towards.
We continued hunting in the fields.
If we kept hunting just normal Horn Rabbits, a Horned Rabbit would be sure to appear at some point.
Naturally, I had to deal with being ambushed by Steppe Hawks.
Adele and Irina weren’t used to it, but they did fine.
Sky Eye was on guard and warned them whenever a Steppe Hawk dived down to attack them, but I guess dodging all of them would be too much to ask.
At least they weren’t complete surprise attacks, so they didn’t cause any serious damage.
But it still was enough damage that one potion wasn’t enough to fully heal them.
Well whatever, It’ll be a good experience for them.
I ran around the field, taking down any rabbits I could lay my eyes on.
I tried using【Call Monster】a couple times, but the skill only called Horn Rabbits and Wild Dogs.
Well, it’ll work out somehow if I keep on hunting.
And then I encountered a Horned Rabbit.
Immediately after trying【Call Monster】again.
I felt like it wasn’t around before…
It took some time, but I had no issue defeating it.
After all, it was one monster against seven.
When I first encountered a Horned Rabbit it was just me and Volff. Hard times come again no more.
The Horned Rabbit took one last arrow through the chest and fell over.
「That monster, it was quite strong, don’t you think?」
「Even though it’s so small and fluffy…」
No, I don’t think fluffiness has got anything to do with it.
Irina stuck her survival knife into the body, and got a Striped Wild Rabbit Horn.
It dropped a piece of Striped Wild Rabbit Meat too, but no Magic Stone.
Looked like they weren’t a reliable method of getting Magic Stones.
I continued hunting.
We often ran into other parties who were looking for rabbits.
But there were a lot more parties doing Wild Dog hunting.
In fact, we saw one party run away from a Wild Rabbit attack.
We did them a favour and killed those rabbits for them.
They gave us a bow and a few words of thanks, before continuing on their way.
Hey, that felt good. Well, fellow adventurers have got to look out for one another.
We didn’t encounter another Horned Rabbit, and now it’s time for our lunch break.
It was a little disappointing.
We finished lunch at Remut and sold all the Wild Rabbit Meat and Wild Rabbit Horns we got to the guild.
I kept all the skins. They were useful for armour.
Of course, I kept the Striped Wild Rabbit Horn too.
Let’s get back to hunting.
We were hunting, but it went a little differently than it did before lunch.
This time Irina was the rider and Adele was in charge of attacking.
I respected their idea and didn’t say anything.
It took some time for the girls to get used to their new roles, but we continued hunting without any major issues.
It was going excellently.
But there was one problem.
The two hawks Helix and Sky Eye were on standby, one on my arm and the other on my shoulder.
Sometimes both of them were perched on my shoulders, blocking my vision.
But the two of them were getting along.
They couldn’t say anything to me, but I could tell they were in a good mood.
The horses, on the other hand …
Zangetsu was acting pretty indifferent to Maa-chan.
But they ran parallel to each other every time they had to break out into a gallop.
Maybe just a habit, built into herd animals?
Hunting started to get a little worse.
It’s not that we couldn’t find any more prey, it’s just that we couldn’t find the Horned Rabbits we were originally meant to take out.
For some reason, we just couldn’t find any Horned Rabbits.
They didn’t have the regularity that Wild Dogs had. It was pretty stressful.
I looked over at the girls to see how they were feeling, but it looked like they didn’t mind too much.
Isn’t there that feeling of frustration? When you’re working hard but just won’t get any closer to your goal?
There were just two of them, but the hawks scoured the fields like seasoned hunters.
It was a Search and Destroy mission.
They eagerly took down any rabbits they could find.
I got them to dodge any other player parties to avoid getting in their way, but even then they were going at a nice pace.
When the sun was about to set, we encountered another Horned Rabbit.
It was the second time fighting a Horned Rabbit today, so the fight was even easier than last time.
Zangetsu and Maa-chan suffered some damage, but there were no other problems.
Adele used her survival knife and got a Striped Wild Rabbit Horn.
But this one didn’t drop its meat or a Magic Stone.
Instead, she found a completely different item.
【Material】Striped Wild Rabbit Skin Raw Material Grade C Rarity 3 Weight 1
The skin of a Horned Rabbit. Not yet tanned into leather. It has a beautiful stripe pattern.
It looked pretty nice.
Adele looked at the skin the same way she looked at Mii-chan.
Her eyes were wide open.
She looked like she wanted to bury her face in the fluffy skin, but I decided not to give it to her just yet.
It’s still hunting time, after all.
We kept on going until the sun went down, but in the end of the day, we only managed to find two Horned Rabbits.
We stopped when it became night-time.
The two of them had done their best, and their MP bars had gone down by quite a bit too.
Hunting at night was just difficult, useless, and not to mention, dangerous.
Although I have been told that working in such conditions was the key to becoming better at your craft.
That kind of spartan training was alright, I guess, but it was often used as an excuse to overwork and crush new employees instead.
Well those kinds of companies would suffer a loss in the long term anyway.
I heard somewhere that raising a company was just like raising a child.
Some thoughts just lead into a maze, a deep, deep maze without any exit in sight.
All this fruitless thinking and complaining.
I need to focus on the game.
「Hey Keith, what about hunting at night?」
「Horses and hawks aren’t suited to hunting at night.」
「If you change Summon Monsters now you’ll run out of MP. We’ll take it easy for today.」
Adele put on a dissatisfied face, but it looked like I managed to convince her.
I don’t get it.
It looked like once she got into it, she could do anything.
「Let’s go to an inn and log out for now.」
「Tomorrow we’ll stop by Legias. Bring your Wild Rabbit Skins, I’ll tell you where you can get armour made.」
I knew they were friends in real life, but their speaking in unison was amazing.
I noticed that they matched their movements almost perfectly when they were eating too.
Now that I think about it, you two are pretty greedy when it comes to food, huh?
You guys are sucking me dry.
After selling the Wild Rabbit Meat to the guild, I gave part of the money to Adele and Irina.
After seeing them off at an inn in Remut, I continued hunting on my own.
My MP bar was at a little less than 70%. Still good.
I recalled Zangetsu and Helix and summoned Volff and Jean.
I meant to see what Jean could do in the forest, but looked like his debut was being moved to the plains.
Well with Volff here, there shouldn’t be any issues.
「Well, I’ll be counting on you.」
I called out to Jean and walked into the darkness of the field.
I heard the plains were dangerous at night.
I got Volff to use【Sense Danger】, and stepped forward into the plains.
Wild Rabbits were only active during the day, and retired to their burrows at night, but I also heard that they had a habit of ambushing people from their nests at night.
But I wasn’t sure. I only heard it once or twice in discussions.
I tried to use【Call Monster】to get a better grasp of my location, but I suppose the skill wasn’t that useful for that case.
In that case I guess I had no choice but to be prepared for an ambush at any time.
I used【Physical Enchant: Earth】on myself and all my Summon Monsters.
Although my vision was alright at night, I still opted to use【Flashlight】.
I’m planning on baiting the monsters out.
I didn’t know if it really had an effect.
But I got attacked quite a few times so I think it did.
About Jean’s fighting style…
Jean was very quick, and could intercept a wild rabbit’s ambush.
He could move to where my【Flashlight】skill couldn’t reach, and attack any monsters waiting there.
I could only celebrate that I finally had a Summon Monster specialising in night-time combat.
But it looked like defeating rabbits uninjured was still out of Jean’s reach.
He took quite a bit of damage.
But I didn’t have to worry about that.
By sucking the blood of the rabbits, Jean could regenerate his HP bar.
【Suck Blood】was a pretty dangerous skill.
Jean’s attack power was clearly inferior to my other Summon Monsters, but since he was so agile, he could easily intercept any ambushes by the Wild Rabbits.
And with【Echolocation】, he could track the enemy’s movements very well.
In some cases, he was able to detect surprise attacks earlier than Volff could with his【Sense Danger】ability.
But it looked like【Echolocation】didn’t cover all directions.
I’ll have to be careful not to depend on it too much.
It took a while but I reached the west edge of the field.
I was used to riding Zangetsu, so having to walk felt really inconvenient.
I had no choice but to keep moving, retaliating against the rabbits that ambushed me.
But still, no Horned Rabbits appeared.
I ran into a couple packs of Wild Dogs, but most of them were fighting another party of players.
There were a lot of them during the day, but at night too…
I wasn’t hunting Wild Dogs so there weren’t any problems, but I decided to dodge the party anyway, just to avoid any arguments.
Jean suddenly flew up and Volff let out a small howl of warning.
I grabbed my rod and held it at hip height, preparing for an ambush.
Out of nowhere a rabbit rammed into me from my left. I saw that Jean was attacking it.
I didn’t have the time to【Identify】it.
That charge attack was way too fast.
It took me all my energy to attack with only my rod.
It was obviously different from all the rabbits I’ve encountered so far.
After taking my attack, the rabbit fell down and quickly tried to get back up again.
But Volff wouldn’t let that happen.
Volff bit into its hind legs and raised them, causing the rabbit to fall again.
Wrestling for wolves, huh.
One point for Volff.
Of course, it wouldn’t just end there.
Its horn started changing.
It was changing to its enraged state.
The real battle had only just begun.
The rabbit twisted, and tried to attack Volff’s front legs with its horn.
To avoid the attack Volff let go of the rabbit and jumped backwards.
I couldn’t tell where Jean was anymore.
In the next moment though, he appeared right behind the rabbit in a surprise attack.
He sunk his fangs into the rabbit and stuck himself to it.
The rabbit twisted around and rolled on the ground to try to get Jean off, but he wouldn’t budge.
Its HP bar was slowly decreasing.
Jean’s HP bar was pretty low, but I could see it slowly rising again.
【Suck Blood】really looked like a useful ability.
Volff bit its hind legs again but this time, used his body weight to prevent the rabbit from escaping.
No matter how much the rabbit struggled, it couldn’t get away.
I used my rod to hold it down too.
I stepped on its feet and with that, it was completely immobilised.
From there, I waited for Jean’s【Suck Blood】and Volff’s【Bite】to finish it off.
Jean’s HP bar was at under half but after the fight, he had completely recovered all damage.
Actually no, I’d say “useful” would be a more accurate adjective.
But still, without【Physical Enchant: Earth】he might’ve been in a serious pinch then.
Bats used a pretty cruel and ugly way of fighting, but it looked like they were really only effective in groups, not on their own.
Also its cry was unexpectedly cute.
I got a general idea of a bat’s fighting strength and optimal conditions.
If I had to summarise, I’d use the word “usable”.
It’s going to be up to me to decide how to best pair Jean and get him to support my main attack force.
Anyway, that was my third Horned Rabbit.
Three more until we were done.
I got a Striped Wild Rabbit Horn and the rabbit’s skin, but no Magic Stone.
I got a Magic Stone the first time I defeated one, looked like I just had good luck then.
I continued hunting at a slower pace.
I wanted to preserve as much MP as I could.
But even then, I continued casting【Physical Enchant: Earth】.
Since my MP bar was slowly draining, I had to rely on potions for HP recovery.
Even if it was just a little, I wanted to get more used to fighting together with Jean.
Such trivial thoughts flitted through my mind.
I was attacked by a spirit.
From above my head.
The same monster that tried to keep me away, until Volff started pulling on my sleeve last time.
I never thought it would suddenly appear in front of me.
Volff and Jean didn’t seem to notice it.
Right after I thought I would get to fight it…
The scene was turned on its head.
The view turned into a normal view of the plains.
Far away, I could see lights in Remut.
Volff was lying down next to me.
Jean was standing on my left shoulder.
Something was wrong.
Looked like it was morning… or evening?
The sun was half hidden, and on the other side of the sky I could see the full moon.
A starry sky was over my head.
Wasn’t it just night-time?
Ah, it wasn’t a dream. The spirit was still above my head.
The spirit didn’t move.
It showed no signs of aggression.
I didn’t move a muscle.
Volff followed my lead, and took an alert stance. He could pounce at any moment.
Jean looked like he wanted to fly away on the spot, but he still stood frozen on my shoulder.
For some reason, none of us could think of what we should do next.
Some time passed without any movement from both sides.
『It is time for a trial.』
『Thou hast fulfilled the conditions for the trial.』
『If thou willest not to accept the trial, leave this place.』
Like a whisper, the messages rang in my head.
《Will you accept the trial?》
A window suddenly appeared in front of me, urging me for an answer.
Well, I’ll just accept for now, I guess.
I was just being carried along by the flow but now that I think about it, how did I even get to this point?
At that moment, Volff and Jean started to fade into a thick mist, before completely disappearing.
I was left alone.
『If so, let us begin the trial.』
『Everything exists for order.』
『For all is chaos.』
『Everything that begins, begins to end.』
『For all live in a dying universe.』
『A question for thee.』
『Dost thou wish for an orderly, but constrained world?』
『Dost thou wish for a chaotic, but free world?』
『Which will it be?』
I get to choose?
Two options appeared in front of me. I was lost in thought.
What a dumb question, running to the extremes like that.
That’s what I first thought.
But it looked like I couldn’t move on without choosing.
What do I do?
What do I choose?
「I can’t choose.」
That was my answer.
「I can’t choose. I wish for an orderly and free world.」
「I don’t intend on choosing any of the two. I know that order and chaos are opposites of each other, but I think they both have their values, to all of us.」
「I won’t choose. I can only see an unhappy world in both options.」
『The trial is hereby concluded.』
The options in front of me disappeared.
I wonder how it’s going to turn out.
『Oh ye, who hath chosen the middle path, thy trial is complete.』
『Oh ye, who hath many troubles but art stubborn, a new path has been opened unto thee.』
『Time will soon return.』
『But I have yet to give thy last trial.』
The spirit disappeared into the ground.
It turned into a glowing magic circle on the ground in front of me.
This is some sort of event, right?
『I challenge thee. Proceed and I will turn thee into a spirit to contend with me!』
The options《Yes》and《No》appeared in front of me again.
What do I do here?
Well, actually it was pretty obvious.
It became way too late to turn back a long time ago.
I focused my gaze on《Yes》.
『Very well… The time has come for us to do battle!』
Race Human Male Racial Lv5
Job Summoner Lv4
Bonus Points Remaining 17
Staff Lv4 Punch Lv3 Kick Lv3 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 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（Asleep）
Jean Bat Lv1