Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: ”Ryunakama”
We ran through the town with Feel and me in the lead, followed by Luna, and then, behind us, Nin.
Smiles appeared on the faces of anxious townsfolk as they saw us.
「Rude! Thank goodness you are here!」
「Rude can beat any monster, right?!」
「Yeah, leave it to me.」
As I reply like that, the denizens of the town look visibly relieved.
「They have a lot of trust in you.」
「Isn’t that great?」
「……Right. I’m somewhat pleased as well.」
「Rude, over here!」
Under Feel’s guidance, we left through the northern town gate and headed to an orchard.
It’s the orchard managed by the people of the town.
Usually, many trees stood there in a row, with people of the town and militia picking fruits.
I went along with them a number of times as well, but currently, there was none of that tranquil atmosphere.
Several trees were uprooted, and ripe apples were scattered under our feet.
Shouts of fierce melee resound.
Heading here, we find the militia fighting with a monster.
The monster resembled a giant tiger.
What is that monster……? It’s clad in ominous magic power.
It’s my first time seeing such a monster.
「What, is that…… Rude, do you know?」
「I don’t know either. But, it doesn’t change what we have to do. Nin, keep repeatedly casting recovery magic on me. Feel, tell the same to the people from militia.」
About ten people from the militia were gathered.
Everyone was gasping for breath.
「Ca-captain! My outer shell shattered!」
「Damn! Back off! Is there anyone who can get in front?」
The captain, Feel’s father, shouted with a grim look on his face.
Our eyes met.
「Rude! You came!」
His expression softened a bit.
「Everyone, commence the attack. I will take it over from here.」
「Sorry, I’ll leave it to you! Everyone, Rude arrived!」
The captain shouted, smiling.
Other members of the militia also regained energy with my arrival.
……With my abilities, I can protect them.
The question is should I tell that to them. I hesitate a little.
If the truth about Luna were revealed, the country surely would want her.
I don’t want to rob her of her freedom.
But I can trust them. It should be fine.
「Listen up, everyone! I understood the effects of my skills! I can take over the damage that others are taking! So charge without fear!」
They looked at me with expressions that clearly said they find it hard to believe.
……I just have to convince them through combat.
As I stepped forward, the tiger lifted its front paw looking somewhat annoyed.
I block it with my shield. Widely opening its mouth, the tiger roared.
The sound turned into a shockwave, hitting my body.
Blocking it with a shield I felt a dull impact.
Warding it off with the tower shield I bash the tiger.
The tiger took the hit, but it didn’t look particularly bothered by it.
Attacks not powered by skills are not that effective.
As people say, monsters were created by evil gods.
The evil god’s armor given to them by their creatorsーーWhat for humans would be outer shell or endurance, non-skill based and non-magical attack will be repelled by it.
If we had someone capable of using Enchant spell I’d be able to participate in attack as well, but it’s a rather unusual skill, so we had no one capable of it.
I felt a slight pain on the back.
Looks like one of the members of the militia couldn’t withstand the shockwave and fell on his back.
The pain is not unbearable.
It is more like a light pat on the back.
「It’s true. There is no pain!」
「Rude, what a crazy skill you awakened!」
「Preventing comrades from taking any damage, doesn’t that make you basically the strongest tank?!」
As soon as they realized that, the attacks from the militia turned to something extreme.
Knowing that there is no need for them to defend, they can focus that much on attacking.
Due to the reckless rush, my outer shell diminishes at an alarming speed.
But, here we have the strongest saintess.
I lose 2000, 3000 of my outer shell.
Nin makes it in time with her healing.
What lacks I compensate with potions.
I take one potion after another from the pouch hanging on my waist.
By doing that I maintain my outer shell at 9999.
Nin is really reliable.
As long as I keep using Taunt on the tiger, it will not target anyone except me.
I only lose a bit of the outer shell when allies get hit with AOE attacks.
……Is it because I now know the effects of my skills? I’m now more conscious of the pain.
But that is not a bad thing at all.
If I know that someone is about to receive an attack I can prepare for that.
And with me at the center, we keep our offensive on the tiger.
The needle-like fur covering it gradually disappears, and swords stab into exposed soft skin beneath it.
Slowly but surely the number of wounds keeps increasing.
Perhaps being cornered the tiger decided that it’s time to escape, but it turned its back to us.
However, an earth wall appeared before it, blocking its escape.
It’s Luna’s magic.
With irritation, the tiger glared at Luna, but I disrupted it with Taunt, returning its attention to myself.
Warding off its claw attacks I smile.
Compared to labyrinths, outside has the advantage of being able to fight in large numbers.
So my abilities can be tested without limitations.
After taking about 20000 damage to my outer shell I use『Life Conversion』.
The one that turned out to be an attack skill.
I infuse my shield with the power of the damage that I have taken until now.
「Everyone, step back! I will finish it!」
I put all of the received damage into one attack.
Now, how powerful will it be?
Matching the timing with the tiger’s charge I swung my shield.
The tiger, sensing something, tried to evade, jumping back.
But it was too late. Before it managed to do that, I lunged forward, bashing it with the shield.
That instant, the tiger was blown away with a loud bang.
Knocking over the trees, it tumbled on the ground…… And then completely stopped moving.
Complete silence followed.
Angry voices that could be heard moments ago disappeared and peace returned to the orchard.
……It’s my first time seeing an attack skill with this much destructive power.
Of course, it can’t be used if conditions are not met, so it hardly can be used when dealing with small fries, thus making it a skill exclusively for strong enemies.
Being still on guard, just in case, I approach the tiger, and after confirming that it is truly dead I turn to the militia.
「Ru-Rude, you… What was that crazy skill?!」
「You didn’t have any attack skills! Damn…… So you are now ahead of me!」
「No, no, Rude was far ahead of you from the very beginning……」
「Damn… Shut up!」
Some friendly militia members were arguing, but I’m more worried if there is anyone injured.
「It’s my first time using it, so I’m surprised as well. Anyway, no one was injured, right?」
I was the one who said that I will protect them as a tank so they can focus on attacking. If we got wounded after that it wouldn’t be funny.
However, Feel’s father shook his head.
「Thanks to you, it’s fine, Rude! Thank you for coming to our rescue! If it weren’t for you… By now all of us would’ve been……」
「If everyone is okay, then it’s fine. If it’s only light wounds, then you can take medicine at Granny Gigi’s place or have the saintess over here check them.」
Everyone tilted their heads upon hearing the word saintess.
……Were they too focused on the battle to notice?
「The, the saintess-sama?! Yeah, I heard someone saying that she came to the town?! Do-don’t tell me, Rude, is she your bride?! What about my daughter?!」
To begin with, I don’t have such a relationship with Feel.
Since it will only complicate things, I pretend not to notice Nin’s stare.
「Nin is just my former party mate.」
「Must be nice to have such a beautiful bride.」
Hey, listen to me.
「But…… Since you are that strong that’s to be expected. With your skills, none of us took any damage!」
「I’m telling you that it’s not like that..」
I keep denying it, but people that took the captain’s words for truth appeared anyway.
Nin hates talking about love affairs.
Apparently, being a noble and a saintess she was fed up with countless talks about marriage interviews.
But that Nin currently has a smile which covered her whole face.
Is she happy about this misunderstanding?
On the other hand, Feel looked displeased.
Let’s not touch this subject anymore. I’m quite certain that if I talk to her right now she will only explode on me.
「Anyway, if you are fine, then have the militia go back already. There is no guarantee that there are no other monsters prowling nearby. I will investigate the orchard for a bit more.」
「……Ye-yeah, sure. The town is basically defenseless now. Then, I’ll leave it to you, Rude.」
While the militia headed back, Feel and Nin remained.
Do those two know each other?
To learn how this monster came to be I approach the tiger’s corpse to investigate it.
Then, the two came closer as well.
「Do you have a moment, Rude?」
「I also want to hear about it, Rude.」
「Rude, what is your relationship with this saintess-sama?」
「Rude, what is your relationship with this person?」
The two asked almost the same question.
And I have no other answer than both of them being just a friend.
Feel… Well, she is a beauty, so it’s not like I never had any thoughts about her.
And the same goes for Nin.
But, I have Manicia. Until I somehow fix her situation…… I can’t think of this sort of stuff, I shouldn’t.
「Relationship between Nin and me is that we were in the same party. Relationship between Feel and me is that she helped me out, that’s about it.」
「He-helped you out!? Is it something lewd!?」
What is this way of thinking? Are you in heat?
「She just showed me around when I was still new to the town」
「You were in the same party? Past tense…… Past tense? Then what is it now? Did your relationship…… progress even further?」
Feels’ face is red. Just what is she talking about?
「I was expelled from the party, nothing happened since then. She got a break and came to see me.」
「Where is she staying? As I remember, by some incredible, really incredible chance, adventurers came to our town, so the inn is full.」
If I lie it surely will be revealed right away, let’s be honest.
「At my house… You guys, maybe you would stop using me as a medium and talk with each other? This way you might get to know each other better.」
Nin’s and Feel’s questions could be just as easily answered by someone who is not me.
The two looked at each other and after exchanging self-introductions began talking.
Their exchange kept getting more and more heated. To avoid listening to them I turn to survey the tiger’s corpse.
I wonder what that sinister magic power was.
It was clearly stronger than regular monsters from here, is it some kind of unique monster?
Anyway, for now, I guess I’ll collect its magic stone.
Dismantling the tiger, I search for the monster’s heart, its magic stone.
「I got through many life and death situations with Rude! That’s how deep our relationship is!」
「Tha-that is the same for me! I protected this town with him! That time can’t be compared with a short while he spent in the same party with you!」
「You people, stop fighting and look at this magic stone.」
I interjected as things began looking bad.
「Rude, between me and her, who is more important to you?!」
「Right. Let’s make it clear who is on top.」
「Both of you are precious to me. Rather than that, I found the reason behind the abnormal strength of the monster.」
When I said that, the two blushed for a second, and finally calmed down.
Looks like this answer can be counted as a correct one.
「What? What it was?」
「It’s only my guess, but I think this magic stone is the cause. It’s probably the same type of stone as used in the creation of homunculus.」
「…So there is someone that tried to apply homunculus technology to a monster? To begin with, isn’t the creation of homunculi for combat purposes prohibited?」
Nin glanced at Luna.
Frightened, Luna cast down her eyes.
Looks like this point bugs Nin.
「Even if it’s prohibited, everyone is pretty interested in this, since the topic often comes up?」
A magic stone that was carried by a human is embedded into a homunculus’ heart.
Since magic stones have skills and other information remainingーー Well, to put it simply, it allows for the creation of a copy of a previously living adventurer.
But it’s prohibited to use them in that state.
Wiping all of the information a magic stone had and only then using it as a heart for homunculus is the expected course of action.
If a homunculus that retained it’s combat abilities went on a rampage it would be a huge problem.
「If I’m not mistaken, Granny Gigi was pretty knowledgeable about homunculus technology. We better let her examine the magic stone, and only then try to draw any conclusions. Feel, I’ll leave that to you.」
「……Yes. I’ll keep it for now.」
I hand over the magic stone to Feel.
I would feel bad about stealing the militia’s job any further.