Translator: Charlotte Editor: Weasalopes
I thought the eyeball only had wings, but I was wrong.
I saw that it had something like a mouth.
Two of them, above and below the pupil.
A strangely long tongue spilled out of its open lower mouth.
Just looking at it gave me a really bad feeling.
The monster suddenly turned to Helix.
A moment later, Helix looked like he lost his balance.
I found out why right after.
Helix got attacked.
I saw Helix’s HP bar go down by a sliver.
I didn’t hear any incantations though.
Maybe it had a special ability to override that requirement?
The eyeball faced Zangetsu and me.
No doubt about it.
It was an attack I’d seen before.
It closed its eye, and the moment it opened back up, a spell came flying at me.
It closed its eye again and stayed that way for a relatively long time.
This is bad.
My instincts were yelling at me to watch out.
I got Zangetsu to break out into a dash and put some distance between us and the eye.
But it looked like I was just a little too late.
A sudden chill spread within and around me.
Some kind of【Ice Magic】spell?
It wasn’t just me, Zangetsu and Rig took damage too.
It was cold.
No, before that, it hurt!
But luckily the time its eye was closed was a lot longer than usual.
Helix managed to get in close enough to deliver an attack.
A direct hit to the eye.
An indescribable cry erupted from the monster’s mouths.
It was just a cry.
Not one of pain.
Not one of anger, either.
A curse, may be the best way to describe it.
The monster began floating higher into the air.
Helix delivered a quick attack to one of its wings.
The monster lost its balance and fell to the ground.
Of course, Zangetsu was there just a moment later.
The monster’s eye repeatedly opened and closed.
A moment later, I was bombarded by fist-sized rocks.
Without Zangetsu, I probably would have no choice but to take the attack head-on.
【Stone Bullet】, huh?
It seemed strangely weaker than usual though.
The monster closed its eye again.
It didn’t open again right away.
I took the opportunity to run up to it on horseback and deliver a rod attack.
The rod hit it just as it opened its eye.
Looks like that cancelled the monster’s attack.
The monster rolled around on the ground.
I got Zangetsu to turn around and trample the fallen monster.
Zangetsu’s hooves were like spears, crushing the monster.
With that, the monster’s HP bar went down to zero.
The monster’s corpse looked really ugly, but I had to check if there was something I could got.
I stuck my knife into the monster and pulled out an item.
【Material】Crystal Ball Grade C+ Rarity 3 Weight 0+
A crystal polished into a perfectly spherical shape.
What an explanation.
Well, just judging from its grade and rarity, it must’ve been pretty valuable.
I put it in an《Item Box》.
Helix and me took some damage, but it wasn’t anything serious. I used one potion each to recover everyone back to full health.
What was that monster, anyway?
In just a single battle, it used three different attack spells.
I didn’t hear any incantations either.
The attacks just came the moment it opened its eye.
Rig was pretty weak against that monster.
But I kept going with my current composition anyway.
I saw a forest in the distance, and mountains even further behind.
The mountains looked like they were getting higher the further they went to the east.
There were a few tall mountains to the west, and the mountain ridge looked like a giant wall.
I looked at my map.
It looked like the other side of that mountain ridge was another map.
N1W2… I saw that it was pretty mountainous.
I decided to just look around in the forest and then return to the village of the wind spirit.
But before that… Food.
I took out a piece of Portable Food and ate it while I walked around.
Before I noticed, it had already become noon.
The forest had a similar atmosphere to that of the forest around Legias.
They weren’t too far apart on the map so maybe that was to be expected.
But I would’ve loved for some variety in the monsters.
A female Wild Pheasant-like monster appeared in front of me, trying to intimidate me.
I cast【Forest Walk】on Zangetsu earlier.
If I really had to fight, it would be an easy battle.
Or so I thought.
I realised soon enough that I made a mistake.
The first issue was with Helix.
It was difficult for Helix to move around in the dense forest.
That was my fault for forgetting to switch out earlier.
The same went for Rig.
If Rig couldn’t launch himself onto the target, Rig was almost completely useless.
Again, my fault.
Now I was just left with Zangetsu.
Zangetsu had no issue moving around in the forest.
But still, it wasn’t anywhere near how fast Zangetsu could go in the plains.
Speaking of which, the monster was unexpectedly fast.
I used【Identify】on it.
Wild Golden Pheasant（Female） Lv.2
Monster Enemy Target Active
Looked like it wasn’t any usual pheasant.
It moved gracefully through the forest, taking any opportunities to attack with its beak.
And before Zangetsu had the time to react, it would always race back into the foliage.
What an annoying enemy.
I made up my mind and got off of Zangetsu.
I had to intercept its attacks myself.
I saw the pheasant run at me.
Not at me, but at Zangetsu.
I didn’t have the time to test if the spell worked.
I ran up to where a bush was shaking just moments earlier.
The pheasant jumped out of the bush and ran at Zangetsu.
I pulled out my rod and delivered a firm attack to its neck.
It felt a little strange.
A lot more… Solid?
I quickly tried to get a kick in, but it was a lot heavier than I expected.
A lot harder too.
It was an attack that would’ve sent a normal pheasant flying, but this one’s HP bar only went down by 10%.
The bird was built like tank.
The monster jumped back into a bush, just in time to dodge Helix’s attack.
Helix backed up.
A moment later, the monster came out again.
This time, it was running at me.
I let go of the rod.
If only I could stop its movements, I could win…
I braced myself.
The monster’s beak got closer and closer.
In the perfect moment, I grabbed its neck and slammed it against the ground.
I had no choice but to hold it down with my entire body weight.
But I had reinforcements.
I saw Rig slowly crawling in my direction.
The moment Rig touched the monster, Rig’s shape changed to envelop its whole neck.
No, not just its neck, its whole body.
I stepped on one of the struggling monster’s wings.
Zangetsu stepped on the other one.
Now all I had to do was wait.
It took a surprisingly long time to finish it off.
What kind of monster was I dealing with…
I stuck my knife into it, checking for any item drops.
As I expected, I got its wings.
【Material】Golden Pheasant Wings Raw Material Grade C Rarity 2 Weight 1
The wing of a Wild Golden Pheasant (Female). A material most commonly processed into arrow feathers.
Speaking of golden, the pheasant did have the word “golden” in its name…
But it was easy to miss.
Another trap set by the GMs, perhaps?
I also realised something else.
I had to change my Summon Monster composition.
It would come at the cost of my mobility, but that couldn’t be helped.
I decisively changed every Summon Monster.
I recalled Zangetsu, Helix, and Rig.
I replaced them with:
Obsidian, perfect as my guard and searcher.
Senki, because he looked like he would be good in a forest situation.
And Goki, for the same reason I summoned Senki.
I felt like Senki and Goki were talking about something.
But it still looked like they had no interest in each other.
Maybe they were just watching Obsidian?
Well, whatever, as long as they got along that would be fine.
Leaving that thought for later, I started equipping Goki with his usual set of equipment.
Oh, one more thing.
I cast【Forest Walk】on Senki, Goki, and myself.
All preparations complete.
I wondered how much of an effect【Forest Walk】would have.
I got an answer pretty quickly. It was amazing.
It didn’t feel that different to running in the plains.
Although it was a little bit slower.
Well, I could only sense the difference when I was running.
Made sense. The spell was called Forest Walk, not Forest Run.
I kept walking.
I noticed that walking around became a lot easier.
But I was interested in something else.
Goki was jumping from tree branch to tree branch.
Maybe I could do that to…?
I thought about it for a while, then gave up the idea after seeing how thin the branches were.
【Material】Golden Pheasant Egg Raw Material Grade C Rarity 2 Weight 0+
A Wild Pheasant egg. The yolk is larger and more delicious than normal chicken eggs.
Goki took the opportunity to rob some empty nests.
Senki and Goki looked at me expectantly.
What? No. You’re not getting any.
At least not uncooked.
I kept heading eastward, hunting any Wild Pheasants that came in sight.
I found a strange-looking cave along the way, but I decided to ignore it.
I found another monster right as I was about to cross into W1 territory.
It looked a little like a fox…
Polka Dot Fox Lv.5
Monster Enemy Target Active
It looked like a fox no matter how you sliced it.
But it had a polka dot pattern.
Goki’s arrow suddenly flew at it.
It looked like it was going to be a direct hit, but it didn’t reach the fox.
A sphere of water suddenly appeared in front of the fox.
The arrow hit the sphere and was stopped just like that.
It didn’t look like【Water Shield】, but it was definitely a similar defensive skill.
Looked like I wasn’t dealing with just any ordinary fox.
Senki approached the monster.
Senki’s fist flew towards the fox.
But it didn’t reach.
A sphere of water appeared in the fist’s path, stopping it dead.
After taking a water bullet counter-attack, Senki’s HP bar dropped to 80%.
What the heck.
What a useful spell.
Senki backed up for a second and started circling the fox.
Looked like Senki had a dirty strategy in mind too.
I knew that it was a water elemental monster, so it was a natural choice.
I approached the fox.
Several water bullets flew my way.
I got hit by half of them.
The other half I broke using my rod.
In that moment, Goki attacked it.
The fox managed to stop Goki’s arrow, but Obsidian quickly took the opportunity to attack.
But it somehow dodged that too.
Senki punched down on it.
It rolled away, but that was finally the end of its antics.
A full-force front kick from me.
My toes felt a little numb from the impact.
It must’ve done a lot of damage.
The monster’s HP bar went down to about half.
It conjured some more water spheres, but not enough to cover all directions.
Obsidian attacked it from behind.
As it rolled away to dodge the attack, I landed another kick on it, sending it flying.
The fight ended the moment it landed with a punch to its belly from Senki.
【Material】Polka Dot Fox Skin Raw Material Grade C Rarity 2 Weight 1
The skin of a Polka Dot Fox. The skin is thin and soft, but still highly heat-retaining.
More skin, huh?
I had some Striped Raccoon Skin on me too.
Maybe it was some sort of sign?
I spent some more time thinking about the item.
Making winter clothes and climbing the mountain?
There were a lot of trees with nests on them in the forest.
Maybe those were a sign I should train my climbing skills.
Were the items a sign I should continue exploring up the mountain, fighting all the Snow Leopards on the way?
But the more I thought about it, the more it started to make sense.
I would just need winter clothing.
I could use【Resist Ice】too.
Although using that spell over and over again didn’t seem very efficient.
In any case, I decided to store the fox and raccoon skins instead of selling them.
The skins weren’t so big.
I wondered how many pieces I would need until I could make myself some winter gear.
I checked my map and confirmed that the forest ended in a cliff.
I had no choice but to head back westward.
I decided to check out the cave I ignored earlier.
On the way to the cave’s entrance, I took out four female Golden Wild Pheasants, and two foxes.
All of them dropped the items they usually dropped.
I didn’t spot any male Golden Wild Pheasants.
Although I was sure they were in the forest somewhere.
Well, I could leave that for later.
I arrived at the cave’s entrance.
I headed in.
It was a little tough to see so I used【Flashlight】.
Senki had better night vision than me, but it still wasn’t anything to match Goki.
And even Goki’s night vision was nothing compared to Obsidian’s.
I didn’t want to stumble in the dark.
I kept going further into the cave.
The cave had a strange structure.
It was very organised.
But at the same time, it didn’t look like anything made by human hands.
It was full of grooves, cracks you could almost describe as gaps.
In the floor, in the walls, in the ceiling.
The cave itself looked like a wide oval.
The floor looked brittle, but it was in no way broken.
It was designed that way.
That impression weighed strong on me.
I found the creature responsible for what the cave looked like.
It was a monster.
Antman Pawn Lv.2
Monster Enemy Target Active
But this ant looked like different to what Evil Ants looked like.
It was big.
Although it may have looked that way only because it was standing on its hind legs.
It looked like it had four arms.
Each arm ended in what looked like spearheads.
They were pretty long arms too.
I was dealing with tool-using monsters here.
It was nice to see some intelligent monsters.
Before I noticed, there were already 10 of them in front of me.
It was my first fight with them, I really didn’t want to fight so many of them at once.
But I had already lost the option of running away.
Countless red markers faced my way.
Their spear-like limbs were pointed at me.
They lined up in groups of five and rushed at me.
Looked like they were going to take the initiative.
I jumped and dodged the first group of ants.
But I only managed to pull that off because they were aiming at my legs.
I would be at a disadvantage the moment I came in range of their spear-hands.
But in the moment it took me to realise that, they were already rushing at me again.
The other five ants I dodged earlier turned around and were already heading for me.
I took a stab to my belly.
Looked like I had no choice but to fight them up close.
I let go of my rod and tackled one of them.
They were slightly larger than Evil Ants.
But that didn’t mean my strategy had to change.
I reached for an ant’s head and twisted.
But it was strangely strong and it didn’t give way as easily as the Evil Ants did.
Then what about this?
I pulled down its head and delivered a double hit from my elbow and my knee.
The forbidden move.
Looked like that was enough to take it down.
I wrapped behind it and twisted its head.
I kept twisting it, combined with an upward motion.
With that, I managed to pull of its head and kill it.
Defeating them was definitely possible, but they were more troublesome than normal Evil Ants.
Senki thrashed around like usual, but it didn’t look that effective.
Goki fought bravely with a hatchet and shield.
His main strategy was pinning them against a wall before crushing their skulls.
Goki laughed. Looked like it was going well.
I was in the middle of the fight, but I burst into laughter when I heard that sound.
I got some results myself.
Once I got the ants against a wall, defeating them was easy.
Obsidian played a big part in preventing them from getting into formation.
I dealt with the next ant in a similar fashion, by pushing it against the wall and hitting it with repetitive elbow strikes.
I finished it off by twisting and pulling off its head.
It was a slow method, but that was fine.
Senki thrashing actually had some reason to it.
I could see Senki step on the ants to pin them to the ground before pulling off their heads.
Senki didn’t even need to twist before pulling for the head to come clean off.
Before I realised it, I managed to halve the number of monsters there.
But something else was happening that took my attention.
Just like Evil Ants.
The last ant was different.
It was a lot bigger than all the other ants.
But Senki was still bigger.
The ant still looked solid though.
Antman Bishop Lv.1
Monster Enemy Target Active
After using【Identify】on it, I confirmed that it was actually a different monster.
Although it still had the word “Antman” in its name.
The ant was about to throw up something when its head was smashed by Goki.
Some viscous liquid pooled up on the ground below the monster.
Smoke was coming off of it.
Some kind of acid?
Looked like the monsters were getting more and more annoying to deal with.
Compared to the new ants, raptors weren’t so bad.
《【Joint Lock】Level Up!》
《Summon Monster『Obsidian』Level Up!》
《Summon Monster『Obsidian』has learnt the following skill:【Divine Hearing】!》
《Please put one point into a desired stat.》
Oh well, at least I got something out of it.
Obsidian levelled up and learnt a new skill too.
The stat that went up during the level-up was AGI.
I chose to put a point into SPI.
Obsidian’s stats reminded me of the stats a mage would have.
Except Obsidian couldn’t use magic
Summon Monster Obsidian Owl Lv4→Lv5（↑1）
Peck Silent Flight Far Sight Night Vision Ambush Sense Danger Divine Hearing（New！）
There were a total of 18 ants, but the legs they used as spears didn’t look usable.
They were too thin.
Not to mention too light.
I pulled out my knife to collect their item drops.
They didn’t drop their shells or stings like Evil Ants.
I got another item instead.
【Material】Antman Wax Raw Material Grade C Rarity 2 Weight 0+
Solid, concentrated nectar given to the Antman larvae as food.
Can also be used as wax.
Looked like something I could use in woodworking.
I got three pieces of Antman Wax from the 17 Antman Pawns.
I got nothing from the Antman Bishop.
I decided to just be grateful I got anything at all.
The damage I took was recovered with several potions.
It was quite an intense fight.
Speaking of the fight…
I had to deal with “pawns”, and finally a “bishop” too.
I had a feeling that there were other types of ants deeper in the cave.
Knights, rooks, and the king and queen.
I was sure of it.
Race Human Male Racial Lv9
Job Summoner Lv8
Bonus Points Remaining: 9
Staff Lv7 Punch Lv5 Kick Lv5 Joint Lock Lv5（↑1） Throw Lv4 Evade Lv5 Block Lv4 Summon Magic Lv9 Spacetime Magic Lv2
Light Magic Lv4 Wind Magic Lv5 Earth Magic Lv5 Water Magic Lv5 Fire Magic Lv4 Dark Magic Lv4 Ice Magic Lv3 Lightning Magic Lv2 Tree Magic Lv3 Dust Magic Lv2 Lava Magic Lv2 Steam Magic Lv2
Alchemy Lv5 Pharmacy Lv4 Glassmaking Lv3 Woodworking Lv4
Cooperation Lv6 Appraise Lv6 Identify Lv7 Discern Lv2 Cold Resistance Lv3 Grab Lv6 Horsemanship Lv6 Precise Manipulation Lv6 Jump Lv3 Heat Resistance Lv4 Climb Lv3 Dual Wield Lv4
Physical Reinforcement Lv2 Mental Reinforcement Lv4 Speedcasting Lv4
Kaya Wood Rod x1 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 Lv7
Zangetsu Horse Lv5
Helix Hawk Lv5
Obsidian Owl Lv4→Lv5（↑1）
Peck Silent Flight Far Sight Night Vision Ambush Sense Danger Divine Hearing（New！）
Jean Bat Lv4
Jericho Wood Golem Lv3
Goki Demon Lv3
Senki Beast Ape Lv3
Rig Slime Lv3