Translator: Charlotte Editor: Weasalopes
The time was a little past 4 pm.
I was heading towards Legias.
After the last qualifier match, I got on Zangetsu and left Remut.
My brain wasn’t working too well.
I didn’t know why.
I just wanted to find a strong monster.
I just wanted to move my body.
I saw a relatively tough monster, a Stray Horse.
Although I would’ve preferred a Rabid Horse.
I used【Call Monster】to force an encounter, and easily defeated it.
After taking down my third Stray Horse, my mood improved by a lot.
No more monsters came in response to my【Call Monster】skill.
I felt a little angry at that for some reason.
I ran around a bit, using【Call Monster】again and again, until I finally managed to take down eight Stray Horses.
I figured that was a good place to stop. I went into the nearby forest to fight some male Wild Pheasants.
When I was done with that, I took down another two Stray Horses.
I finally calmed down.
I looked at the Stray Horse body in front of me.
What was I doing? I kind of regretted all the rampaging I did.
At some point the clock had passed 6 pm.
I’d completely calmed down.
I really enjoyed watching the matches.
There were just a few cases where I couldn’t release the built-up tension through my own matches.
Most of my matches felt rather empty.
I arrived in Legias.
It was a little early, but I decided to have dinner.
I went to Yuka’s stall and bought some stew and bread.
I sat down at a table near the back and thought about all the matches I had that day.
The matches were all certainly short.
I won all of them a little too easily.
No, maybe since all of my opponents were mages to some extent, using close combat was an effective counter strategy.
I kept thinking about it for a while.
I brought up the fight logs. They weren’t a long read.
But it looked like I won most of them by just sheer luck.
Especially the fourth match.
I could easily see the match go the complete other direction, with me taking arrows until I fell over.
Good, my head felt a lot clearer.
It would be important for the real tournament.
Even if I was forced into it, I still wanted to do my very best.
「Oh, Keith. Perfect timing.」
「Good evening, Saki.」
Saki walked over with a smile on her face.
Did something good happen recently?
「The Rabid Horse Cordovan. Please, I need more of it.」
「I totally get you, but finding Rabid Horses is pretty difficult.」
「Well, I guess so. Sucks that there isn’t a lot of info on Rabid Horses.」
「I can get a lot of experience from working on it. Even more than I expected.」
「Yeah. I bet if you got a new player to just play around with the material, they could reach a nice level in no time.」
「Oh, I almost forgot, I meant to talk to you about your armour. I need your help.」
「I’m not completely done, just the shoulder bit is left. I figured I might as well just finish it right now. Could you let me borrow your breastplate for a while?」
I saw other pieces of leather armour and a belt lined up on the table.
Just from a glance, I could tell they were higher quality than my current equipment.
「I know, right. They actually look pretty nice, I’m confident in these ones.」
The largest piece was like a shirt. It covered everything from the waist up.
There were even loops around the waist, probably for a belt.
Speaking of the belt…
It looped around my waist and up diagonally onto my shoulder.
The belt didn’t look like the rest of the leather.
It had a darker appearance to it. It was probably reinforced with Evil Ant Shells.
It had that familiar dark sparkle to it.
There was another set of leather armour, this one had a different size.
It was meant for Goki.
The boots looked more like shin guards.
Saki started removing some of the Snow Ape Skin from my breastplate and adding it the new leather shirt.
She finished a lot quicker than I thought she would.
I used【Appraise】on the final product.
【Armour: Leather Armour】Wild Horse Leather Armour+ Grade C+ Rarity 3
Def +10 Weight 8 Durability 170
Armour made from Wild Horse Hide. The skin is soft and the armour is clearly designed with easy movement as its main priority.
[Custom] The left shoulder pad is reinforced with Snow Ape Skin.
The entire surface is reinforced with Evil Ant Shells. Def and Stability increase.
A very nice improvement.
I tried combining it with the two armguards on the table.
The left armguard was also reinforced with Snow Ape Skin. The pieces of armour flowed into one another perfectly.
I moved around a bit to test out my new armour.
I used【Appraise】on the belt.
【Armour: Belt】Rabid Horse Belt+ Grade B- Rarity 4
Def +2 Weight 2 Stability 100
A belt made from Wild Horse Cordovan. A thick, soft, and beautiful piece of equipment.
[Custom] The entire surface is reinforced with Evil Ant Shells. Slight increase to Def and Stability.
※ Expansion +1, Increase to equipment capacity [Slight]
「Hey, Saki, what’s an『Expansion』?」
She proceeded to give me a really long explanation, but in summary…
An《Item Box》works in a really mysterious way.
Its total storage space depends on your Racial level.
The amount of space an《Item Box》has is determined by the following formula:
Racial Level × Racial Level = Total Units of Space
A simple formula.
My Racial Level was 7. That meant that the total amount of space I had in each《Item Box》was 49.
As long as an item had a Weight stat of two or less, that item could fit in one unit of space in an《Item Box》.
For example, the logs I got from the Branch Golems in the forest maze were all Weight 2.
That meant I could carry a total of 49 of them in each《Item Box》.
But there were some things I couldn’t really understand.
For example, there were other limits for what counted as one unit of space.
· An item can be considered to take up one unit of space if its Length (in cm) + Breadth (in cm) + Height (in cm) = 200 cm.
· Liquids and Gases had to be inside containers.
Even with all of that, Saki told me that her explanation still oversimplified some things.
I realised Saki was actually pretty amazing.
No, I was just further reminded of that fact.
The『Expansion +1』effect counted as one extra Racial Level.
In other words, each item box now had 8×8=64 units of space.
What an amazing buff.
The belt was also a pretty good Grade B-.
No complaints whatsoever.
「I’m sure the processing costs won’t be cheap.」
「Actually, don’t worry about that. I made quite a bit from just the materials alone.」
「I won’t ask for more Rabid Horse Cordovans, but at least get me more Wild Horse Hide, alright?」
「Yeah. I got some right now, actually.」
I’d been hunting Stray Horses for the whole afternoon.
I put all the Wild Horse Hide I got on the table.
I added my haul from the day before too.
「Rick! Could you come over?」
Rick left store duty to Fudo and walked over.
He immediately worked on calculating the price for all the things I brought.
I took the time to recall Helix and summon Goki to get him to try out the armour.
The armour suited him very nicely.
Goki looked really tough with the armour on.
It looked like he could easily take care of the vanguard.
Looking closer, I realised it was a little too big on him, but nothing the included belt couldn’t fix.
I wanted to keep Goki with me to test out his armour later.
While we were in the town, I got him to put on a coat.
「Oh, by the way, what will you do with the Wild Rabbit Breastplate?」
「I’ll sell it.」
「Why not keep it as a spare?」
「Nah. Looking at this new armour, I doubt I’ll ever be able to go back.」
「Alright. Guess I’ll fix it up a bit and resell this…」
Rick finished his calculations.
The total amount was a good amount of money.
I could go for some shopping, but I didn’t really have anything I wanted.
It felt a bit like a waste.
And I couldn’t invest any of my money either.
All I could do was hold on to it.
And maybe lose it to a Player Killer.
A scary thought.
Saki and Reina sat down and started eating their dinner.
I joined them.
While we were talking, Rick suddenly changed the topic.
「Oh yeah. Wasn’t today the end of the qualifiers?」
「How were the qualifiers, Keith?」
「I managed to make it, somehow.」
I was glad they were complimenting me, but…
Ah, that was bad.
Negative emotions were growing inside me.
「We won’t be able to watch you but I know Fiona is going.」
「Now that you mention it, all the fight logs were made public, anyway.」
「Might be a little too cliché of me to say this but, good luck. Do your best, alright?」
「Thanks, I will.」
We kept talking for a while after that.
Mainly about the tournament.
It was nice to just sit down and relax for a while.
When the stall started to get a little busier, I left the place.
I gave Fudo and Yuka a nod before leaving.
Without Fiona there, everyone was always kind of high-strung at all times. I didn’t want to be more of a bother than I already was.
The time was already 7 pm.
I decided to do some hunting.
I left Legias and switched out Zangetsu with Jean.
I wanted to test out Goki’s new armour.
I immediately got Goki to walk in front of all of us.
The time was a little past 10 pm.
Hunting was going very smoothly.
I didn’t see a lot of other players in the forest while the tournament was going on, but it looked like they had all returned.
I saw some of them getting completely surrounded by Evil Ants, too.
One such player’s party member was a mage, and they burnt all of the ants with a single spell.
The spell was probably【Fire Storm】.
The fighter was released from the cage of Evil Ants.
He looked alright.
I prayed that his psychological state would be alright too.
But the spell that that mage used looked really cool.
I was honestly a little jealous.
I wondered how much time it would take until I could use that spell too.
In the forest, I kept fighting using just my bare hands.
It wasn’t for any real reason.
I was just used to fighting without a weapon.
With ants, I liked to use my palms more than my fists.
It was a great way to relieve some stress.
I had a lot of fun just watching Goki fight.
He liked to use his hatchet to cut up the ants at their joints.
A new fighting style, nice…
Woah, stop cutting off their legs one by one with that look on your face!
Aim for the head!
Jean and Obsidian did well with their normal surprise attacks.
The female Wild Pheasants were easy, and if they worked together, they could take down a male Wild Pheasant on their own, too.
Well, they were dealing with what was essentially a flightless bird, after all.
The sky gave them an overwhelmingly superior position at all times.
What a reliable pair.
When I was about to attack another pheasant nest near Master’s house, I saw a strange shadow in the distance.
Another grey marker.
I silently climbed the tree.
I got Goki to climb the same tree as silently as possible.
Jean and Obsidian flew up and stood still next to me.
Great. Everyone was assembled.
I looked at the situation.
The marker was floating above a player’s head. They were wearing a coat that covered their whole body.
I saw some more shadows.
Nothing happened when I used【Identify】.
It was difficult to tell exactly how many there were, but they were definitely players.
I bet Obsidian and Jean could see.
I focused my eyes a little and saw some green markers too.
Five of them.
The grey marker started moving.
I saw four other grey markers pop up.
It looked like they were trying to sneak up on the group of players.
No doubt about it, they were definitely going to attempt PK.
The group of grey markers moved to right under the tree I was on.
The party was picking up item drops. They had their backs turned to us.
What should I do…
Should I just sit still and wait for it to blow over?
I looked at the group of grey markers.
I felt like I’d seen one of them before.
I used【Identify】on each one of them and the skill worked on two of them.
Bandit On Alert Counterattack Allowed
Black Sorcerer On Alert Counterattack Allowed
《PK players identified. Counterattacks are now allowed.》
Looked like I was allowed to do a pre-emptive attack the moment I confirmed they were PK characters.
Wait a minute…
These guys were the guys that attacked me last time.
The two players I used【Identify】on had both green and grey markers now.
Hmm… What should I do…
I came up with a genius idea.
It really came to me out of the blue.
I felt the edges of my lips bend upwards in a cruel smile.
I prepared to cast a spell.
I did the casting process in as quiet a voice as I could muster.
I finished the preparations.
I called monsters to my location.
I noticed there were countless ants around us.
Most of them were passive.
I had only been using the skill to call one monster at a time so far, but what about a group of them?
There was only one way to find out.
C’mon, get over here…
An army of Evil Ants started building up behind the group of PK players.
Ah, were there really that many around here?
No, it was probably a chain reaction. Evil Ants had a habit of calling their friends, after all.
The group of ants exceeded anything I ever imagined.
They finally reached the bottom of my tree.
The hunters became the hunted.
The red markers flooded over the grey markers below me.
I remained still on top of the tree, looking down on the situation below.
It was incredible.
But the five of them weren’t dead yet.
The black sorcerer was trying to cast spells, but they weren’t enough.
They were crushed by the sheer number of Evil Ants.
I saw their HP bars start to go down.
I used【Discern】on the other three while they were busy.
At that moment, an info screen telling me【Discern】had levelled up appeared.
But it wasn’t the time and place for that.
I looked down again.
It looked like a scene from a horror movie.
The five of them were flailing helplessly.
The party of players they were targeting quickly ran away.
The issue was that now I couldn’t get off of the tree.
What should I do…
Well, you reap what you sow.
There were three mounds of ants at the base of the tree, and another two some distance away.
They were pretty much done for.
Resistance was futile.
I had no choice but to move from tree to tree.
That wasn’t an issue for Obsidian and Jean.
What about Goki?
I thought about it for a while, then just took off his equipment and recalled him.
That was dangerous.
I never thought of using【Call Monster】that way before.
It was really a double-edged sword. I almost took out myself there.
No, not just the skill.
I gained a new respect for Evil Ants.
I whispered an apology for using them as easy earnings.
I decided to be more thankful for their existence from then on.
I just gained some new respect, the fact that I liked hunting them didn’t change.
The fact that they liked to call their friends made it really easy for me to get some nice materials, after all.
That fact didn’t change.
Although, I suppose I could regulate the number of Evil Ants I kill every day, or something like that.
When I arrived at Master’s house I immediately recalled all my Summon Monsters, took off all of my equipment, and snuggled into my bed.
I really didn’t feel like killing any more Evil Ants that night.
I logged out feeling a different kind of frustration than the feeling of frustration I felt during the day-time.
Race Human Male Racial Lv7
Job Summoner Lv6
Bonus Points Remaining: 5
Staff Lv6 Punch Lv4 Kick Lv4 Joint Lock Lv4 Throw Lv4 Evade Lv4 Block Lv4 Summon Magic Lv7
Light Magic Lv3 Wind Magic Lv4 Earth Magic Lv4 Water Magic Lv4 Fire Magic Lv3 Dark Magic Lv3 Ice Magic Lv1 Lightning Magic Lv1 Tree Magic Lv1
Alchemy Lv4 Pharmacy Lv3 Glassmaking Lv3 Woodworking Lv3
Cooperation Lv6 Appraise Lv6 Identify Lv6 Discern Lv2（↑1） Cold Resistance Lv3 Grab Lv5 Horsemanship Lv5 Precise Manipulation Lv6 Jump Lv2 Heat Resistance Lv3 Climb Lv3 Dual Wield Lv3 Mental Reinforcement Lv3
Kaya Wood Rod x2 Kaya Wood Tonfa x2 Snow Leopard Push Dagger x3 Wild Horse Leather Armour+ Snow Ape Armguard Wild Horse Boots+ Snow Ape Leather Helmet Rabid Horse Belt+ Rucksack Item Box x2
Survival Knife Woodworking Set
Old Summoner’s Pupil
Guardian of the Forest
Man of the Middle Path
Volff Wolf Lv6
Zangetsu Horse Lv4
Helix Hawk Lv4
Obsidian Owl Lv4
Jean Bat Lv4
Jericho Wood Golem Lv3
Goki Demon Lv2