The magic circle disappeared from under my feet.
I saw a black shadow, standing still some distance away from me.
Was I going to have to fight that?
The shadow stood completely still. It looked almost like a puppet.
Let’s just use【Identify】on it.
Event Monster ???
In a single moment, it changed its figure.
Hey, I actually look kind of normal… Hey! Focus!
Its HP bar and MP bar were the exact same length as mine.
At least it’s going to be a fair fight.
I held my rod at waist height.
It pulled out a rod too, and held it the same way I did.
Is it just going to imitate me now?
I remembered doing that a long time ago, when I was still a child playing tabletop role-playing games.
I wonder if it’s actually just going to imitate everything I do.
Should I go first?
Looked like the fight started when I chose《Yes》.
The monster raised its rod and used a weapon skill.
Wait a minute, was【Meditate】even a staff skill?
I’ve never used it, so I had no idea what it even did.
I’ve really messed up now.
Well now’s not the time to think about that. I’m in a fight.
I used【Magical Enchant: Light】and ran towards it, shortening our distance.
It’s using another skill I’ve never used before.
「Magical Enchant: Light!」
I increased my magic resistance. I only had ranged attack methods.
I predicted that if it had the same skills I had, it would probably use a spell attack sooner or later.
But it wouldn’t use any of the spells I thought it would use.
The monster was making things really difficult.
『Magical Enchant: Dark!』
The monster raised its magical attack power.
Looked like it was going to try to make the most out of its attacks.
I can’t let it cast a spell.
With my objective decided, my next course of action became much clearer.
「Physical Enchant: Earth!」
I selected and used a spell.
【Physical Enchant: Earth】raised my resistance to physical attacks.
I was planning on fighting it up close.
While choosing my next spell, I moved in to sweep its legs using my rod.
The monster dodged with a quick back-step, but I was ready for that.
I let go of my rod and followed up with a quick tackle.
I held its right thigh in a lock with my left arm, and rammed my right shoulder into its belly.
The monster tried to resist, and held me down with its body weight.
It then placed its two hands around my neck and started squeezing.
It had the skill【Joint Lock】too. It was a natural response, one I would have taken too.
I heard some whispers coming out of its mouth. It was chanting a spell.
I quickly threw my fist in a right overhand punch, drawing a large arc on the way.
I did feel like my fist hit ‘something’.
The monster’s spell was interrupted.
「Physical Enchant: Fire!」
Since I was fighting in close quarters, I thought raising my physical attack power would be a good idea.
I wonder if I could finally gain an advantage this way.
The monster gripped its rod firmly in its hand, then shot out at me with a stab attack at my head.
I moved my head out of the way and barely dodged it.
The rod kept going behind my head. Seeing the hand holding the rod in front of me, I quickly grabbed it and pulled.
I grabbed hold of its elbow joint and twisted, immobilising its entire right arm.
The monster let go of the rod, and used its left hand to push on its right arm, freeing it from my grip.
Oh, it knew what to do against this move.
Well, I knew it too.
I also knew its weakness. Your left arm would block vision of your feet.
I immediately raised my knee in a knee-on-stomach attack.
A direct hit.
I hardened my left fist and followed up with a left hook.
A direct hit on its chin.
I lowered my body to lower my centre of mass, before throwing a right jab.
A direct hit to the centre of its face, a little under the nose.
The monster lost its balance and stumbled backwards.
Is it over yet?
I was only doing what I had to do in a close range fight, but maybe that last punch was unnecessary…
Maybe I should’ve used a pin instead.
I ended up letting it take some distance.
This is bad.
No time to think. I selected and used a spell.
Moments after I started, the monster started chanting a spell too.
I had to prevent it from doing that.
Rush in and close the distance?
Like it could read my mind, it started moving backwards, putting more distance between us.
I wonder if I’ll make it.
I managed to cast the resist magic in time, but I still took the attack head-on.
But at that point, I was just glad it didn’t use【Wind Cutter】
It became a clash between water elemental resist magic and water elemental attack magic.
My magic was supposed to reduce the damage I took, but I still feel like my HP bar was cut down by quite a bit.
I selected a heal spell and used it on myself.
My MP bar was at a little less than 30%.
The monster was trying to run away and put some distance between us, but after a while, I finally caught up to it.
I tried to sweep it off its feet.
It dodged easily and quickly took the gap that I gave it with a punch.
I moved my head to avoid its right fist and reached for its elbow for the second time.
I locked my left arm around its right elbow, hoping to restrain it.
But it pulled back its right arm before I could catch it, and moved in for a tackle.
It was a good opportunity…
I brought up my right knee and brought down my right elbow at the same time.
The monster’s torso was stuck in between the two forces. I mercilessly put every bit of strength into my knee and elbow.
Its movements suddenly became very dull.
Taking advantage of the opportunity it was giving me, I moved behind it and wrapped an arm around its neck and squeezed.
The rear naked choke.
In short, it was a technique where you would use your arm to cut off blood supply to your opponent’s brain by applying pressure to the carotid artery. But in this case, I was shifting my arm slightly upwards. I was aiming to collapse its windpipe instead.
This is a monster we’re talking about here, and a pretty strange one at that.
I didn’t know if restricting blood to its brain would do damage to it.
I started out with a little pressure to confirm my theory, and then put all of my strength into crushing its windpipe.
I jumped onto its back and put both my legs around it, locking it in place.
Of course, the monster lost its balance and fell over.
Now all I had to do was maintain the pressure and wait.
I kept my arm firmly locked around its neck, focusing only on squeezing.
I put my whole back into it.
I saw its HP bar start to fall.
I used some recovery magic on it. The battle was pretty much set anyway and I wanted to see if it would give up before I killed it.
I saw its HP bar finally start going in the opposite direction.
I decided to just continue the attack. The fight was pretty much decided anyway,
It was trying to get away, but it was impossible.
Honestly, it was weaker than a Snow Ape.
It had some scary magic but in this situation, it couldn’t open its mouth to cast any spells.
In fact, I was the one who had the freedom to cast spells for it.
Although since my MP bar wasn’t looking so good there would be no more of that.
After a while, the monster went limp. It really wasn’t anything compared to a Snow Ape.
I started feeling kind of sad.
My opponent looked just like me.
Are you really that weak? Are you really that much weaker than a Snow Ape?
It was like the monster was asking me those questions.
When I came to myself, the monster’s dead body had disappeared into thin air.
My surroundings didn’t change. I was left alone.
『A path worthy of thy feet has been opened unto thee』
『Blessings upon thee』
『And we will wait on thee again』
With those words, the scenery around me was turned on its head once again.
I was in the field again. It was still night-time.
I couldn’t see the spirit anywhere.
Volff was standing still beside me.
Jean was lying down on Volff’s back.
It was a peaceful night. It was like everything that had happened was just a dream.
《【Fire Magic】Level Up!》
《【Earth Magic】Level Up!》
《You have acquired the【Earth Magic】spell【Resist Earth】!》
《You have acquired the【Earth Magic】spell【Earth Heal】!》
《You have acquired the【Earth Magic】spell【Stone Bullet】!》
Nevermind, looked like the fight did really happen.
I got to level up quite a few skills. Nice.
I checked for any other changes.
Hmm… Didn’t look like there were any.
It didn’t look like I picked up any key items either.
Ah, there was something.
I got another title.
Man of the Middle Path.
Well for now, my MP had decreased to a pretty dangerous place.
I could barely stand straight.
I picked up my rod from the ground and slowly made my way back to Remut.
My night of hunting was cancelled.
With the help of Volff and Jean, I managed to dodge all battles on the way back to the town.
But even then, two rabbits ambushed me from the dark.
I used potions to recover the damage I took.
When I reached the town gate, I collapsed in exhaustion.
C’mon, just a little more…
I crawled my way into an inn and recalled Volff and Jean.
I made some potions and refilled the ones I used, before getting right into bed.
Time to log out.
There were still a lot of things I wanted to check out, a lot of things I still had to take care of, but I’ll leave that for tomorrow.
I felt nothing but fatigue at that point.
Yesterday’s tiredness was completely erased.
I logged in like usual, but I felt like I logged in a little late that day.
The morning sun was completely out, and the stalls in the street were bustling.
Guess I’ll look for a place to eat breakfast.
《Your friend has sent you a message.》
Looked like Adele and Irina logged in before I did.
I’ll meet them later.
After eating breakfast, that is.
I sent a reply, telling them to meet up at the Adventurer’s Guild.
While I was at it, I sent a message to Saki too.
I wanted to bring her all the Wild Rabbit Skins we got yesterday.
The sooner I get rid of them, the better.
But before any of that…
I still had to arrange my inventory. I didn’t get to do that yesterday. While I was doing that, I looked at the forums for a bit too.
I relatively quickly found a thread related to new discoveries about the game.
I guess I’ll write down what I found yesterday.
Might be a bit of a spoiler though, but I hope that’ll be alright.
I think I got the new title after the battle, but I wasn’t so sure.
I’ll just mention that I don’t know exactly when I got the title.
That should do fine.
When I left the inn, I summoned Zangetsu and Helix in the shade of the building.
I ate some food at a nearby stall and headed towards the Adventurer’s Guild.
Adele and Irina were doing something with their Summon Monsters.
Nevermind, Adele was just burying her face in Maa-chan’s neck in a hug.
Maa-chan was a horse, and horses generally didn’t have very fluffy fur, but I do agree that their hair felt nice to touch.
You could see that she felt the same way I did just from the ecstasy on her face.
Ah this is bad, you might want to check that out, Irina.
Irina raised her rod parallel to the ground. Sky Eye the hawk came down and landed on her rod.
She was playing with Sky Eye, moving the rod up and down and watching him try to stay on.
If she only moved it a little, Sky Eye’s head remained completely still. It was kind of funny to watch.
When she moved the rod by a lot, Sky Eye would flap his wings to resist.
Why am I analyzing her games?
I messed up a bit there.
I ended up watching them kill time for a while.
「Good morning. Sorry for logging in late today」
「Sorry for being hasty, but let’s get right to yesterday’s continuation. We still have to take out another three Horned Rabbits」
「Wasn’t it four?」
「After seeing you guys off yesterday I killed another one」
「Don’t worry about it, before that, I just want to give you the heads up that I’m going to Legias today, whether or not we complete the quest」
I put yesterday’s Wild Rabbit Skins into an《Item Box》.
I’ll get quite a few more today, I bet.
Well, I think I had enough to cover my whole body several times over, and the skins themselves were pretty small and lightweight.
But the issue was the storage limit of my item boxes.
Worst case scenario, I suppose the three of us could carry them by hand.
We quickly got to it.
Just like yesterday, a lot of parties were hunting Wild Dogs.
In fact, I don’t know why, but I think that the number of parties hunting Wild Dogs had gone up.
In a sideways glance, I saw two horses running after rabbits.
I suppose Adele and Irina were doing the right thing here.
The hawk Sky Eye couldn’t exactly take down a Wild Rabbit on its own.
And now for the results.
At our usual pace, we encountered and killed our fourth and fifth Horned Rabbits.
But we were having a hard time encountering our sixth Horned Rabbit.
While I was walking around looking for monsters to kill, I managed to level up some skills.
I looked at my list of support skills. Pretty good.
My Summon Magic was doing pretty well too.
I’ve been using all the different kinds of magic a lot, but for some reason they just wouldn’t level up.
That was a lie, I actually knew the reason very well. It was 100% my own fault.
I was thinking of going for lunch when we finally encountered the sixth Horned Rabbit.
Out of all the Horned Rabbits we saw that day, it put up the best fight.
It rammed directly into Maa-chan and did some considerable damage.
Adele was pretty angry.
「I won’t forgive you just because you’re fluffy!」
Wait a minute, was she going easy on all the rabbits up to this point just because they were fluffy?
Well, we managed to take it down and finish hunting, so it didn’t really matter.
At the Adventurer’s Guild we submitted six Striped Wild Rabbit Horns, and got eight 100 Dyn coins in exchange.
It honestly wasn’t that great.
No matter how you went about it, you could gain more money from just selling the items instead.
《2 Bonus Points and 1 Extra Rating Point awarded! You now have 20 Points!》
Well, with the bonus points thrown it, I suppose it becomes worth it.
In a whisper voice, I checked with Adele and Irina.
『I got three points. What about you guys?』
『I can learn some new skills now!』
Well I guess that’s alright then.
They looked pretty happy too.
I left the counter and walked towards the wall where all the quests were posted.
I was pretty sure there wouldn’t be any Wild Dog kill quests left, but I wanted to check just in case.
Yeah, I guess not.
I did encounter that spirit last night, but I wonder what would happen if I encountered it without a title.
It looked like I cleared the “trial” it gave me, does that mean I can move on to some other area?
But I didn’t know if I could take the girls with me on this “path” it was talking about.
Not to mention the question of if I could fight the new, stronger monsters I would meet there.
I could beat a Snow Ape, but anything more difficult than that, or if I had to fight multiple monsters at the same time, would probably give me quite a difficult time.
I guess I’ll take it easy for now.
「Well, let’s go to Legias. I want to take care of an armour request」
「Is the armour for us?」
「Of course. Let’s go hunting in the forest after. I want to test out something」
There was a barrier in the forest. A place I couldn’t cross in the past.
A barrier I could maybe, just maybe, cross now.
The question was whether or not I could take the girls with me.
Now that I think about it, Master, who was an NPC, could take me to a different area just fine, so I think it’ll be alright.
I was a little anxious.
But more than that, I was excited.
A place I’d never seen before was waiting for me somewhere.
A view I’d never seen before was waiting for me somewhere.
Just the thought of those things kept me going.
「Well, there’s something very important we need to care of before any of that」
We attacked a stall on the side of the street to fill our empty stomachs.
They looked like children having fun at a festival.
And I really felt like a proper guardian, chasing them around. When I came to myself, I realised I had a smile on my face too.
Race Human Male Racial Lv5
Job Summoner Lv4
Bonus Points Remaining 20
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 Lv3（↑1） Water Magic Lv3 Fire Magic Lv2（↑1） Dark Magic Lv1
Alchemy Lv3 Pharmacy Lv3 Glassmaking Lv3
Cooperation Lv5 Appraise Lv5（↑1） Identify Lv5（↑1） Cold Resistance Lv2 Grab Lv4（↑1） 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
Man of the Middle Path （New!）
Volff Wolf Lv4（Asleep）
Zangetsu Horse Lv3
Helix Hawk Lv3
Obsidian Owl Lv3（Asleep）
Jean Bat Lv1（Asleep）
Adele and Maa-chan
Irina and Sky Eye
Thanks for the chapter, well the figth wasn’t bad but not as exciting as I hoped, but really good either way.
When the doppleganger is screwed by hus half assed skill set.
Thanks for the new chapter!
Thanks for the treat.
This further raises my suspicions, that it was possible to choose an option other than those listed by refusing to select either one for valid reasons.
Yes, that could be programmed in, but it’s a bit tricky to do; you have to really want people to reject the two extreme worldviews to allow for that.
Given the advanced AI in this novel, it’s also possible that you’d reach the third option just by reasoning with the NPC, like Keith did.