Chapter 3 – To The Magic Beast Forest
The sun rose up over the forest.
Cornelia blocked the Wild Boar’s charge with her shield.
For a female adventurer, her physique wasn’t that large. It was thanks to magic that she could withstand the Wild Boar’s charge.
She reinforced her bones and muscles and also used an earth magic spell to prevent her feet from slipping. Thanks to that, she could withstand the Wild Boar’s charge without budging an inch.
Wild Boars were over 2 meters tall and easily weighed ten times more than Cornelia. Even Olun, Crack of Dawn’s tank, would be blown away if he tried to take the Wild Boar’s attack from the front. Roa knew it, so he was deeply impressed by Cornelia’s strength.
Once it was stopped, the Wild Boar was then struck by lightning.
It was Bernhart’s lightning magic.
He had muttered the enchantment to himself, so no one else knew when the spell would activate, but Nostalgia’s members kept fighting without any concern.
The Wild Boar, completely unable to move because of the lightning, was then attacked by Dietrich. His slash ripped through the beast’s weakness, its neck.
Moments later…Dietrich wiped the blood off his blade and waited for the smoke and dust kicked up by the Wild Boar’s body to disappear.
“Death confirmed! Finish!”
Nostalgia’s members then relaxed.
Roa, who had been watching them from some distance, nodded to himself.
He had watched Crack of Dawn fight for many years.
Even if he couldn’t fight himself, he was able to tell how powerful an adventurer was from the way they fought. As far as Roa knew, Nostalgia was a party of top class adventurers. They were strong enough to, maybe…no, they definitely surpassed Crack of Dawn, minus the servant beasts.
Their teamwork was extremely smooth and natural as if they formed a single entity. They knew how the others moved and moved to the positions the others wished they were. All of their movements were ideal.
As a result, they dispatched a Wild Boar -a magic beast Roa expected them to struggle more against- with just 3 people, and an attack each too.
Roa’s group had entered the Aldon forest right after breakfast. The first magic beast they encountered was that Wild Boar.
They were still in the outer reaches of the forest: it was strange to find Wild Boars there, as they used to dwell in the depths.
“Roa, what did you do to my armor?”
Surprised to be spoken to while he was still thinking about the battle, Roa replied with a high-pitched tone.
Cornelia walked towards Roa and called to him all of a sudden.
She was now completely armored, from head to toe.
“I just feel it’s lighter than usual.”
“There’s no way the armor got lighter, come on.”
Kristoff stepped in from Roa’s side, as to protect him.
“But I can move more easily too…”
That morning, when Nostalgia’s members woke up, they found that Roa had performed maintenance on all their equipment. Roa felt uneasy since he had too little to do, so he thought to help them out.
He had applied grease on leather to make it stronger and softer, polished metal parts and applied matte to prevent it from shining too much. He also stitched any ripped cloth parts: a perfect maintenance.
That wouldn’t make an armor lighter, however.
There were magic spells that made armor lighter, but they knew that Roa could not use them.
“I just arranged the balance a little. I don’t think there would be much of an effect with other gear, but yours is a full body armor after all. I suppose it feels different when worn.”
Roa said it as if it was nothing, but Nostalgia’s members could not follow.
“That armor and shield were made by the same artisan, yes? Also, when you bought that armor maybe you bought a sword too?”
“That’s right, but…”
“Right. But you recently you exchanged the sword with another one, didn’t you? The armor, sword and shield were made in a way to create a balance together. Normal artisans don’t go that far, but yours was definitely someone who knew their craft very well. They even provided weights to make it easier to do small adjustments.”
Roa pointed at several spots on Cornelia’s armor.
“I went ahead and did the adjustments. Your sword arm….right shoulder should feel heavier than before, but now that it’s balanced you won’t need to use excess force, so you should feel better than before.”
Roa’s words had hit bullseye.
Cornelia’s armor and shield had been crafted by an artisan she knew, so they had been completed after a series of minor adjustments based on her movements and quirks. Her sword, however, broke after she came to this country, so she was forced to buy a new one.
“…Roa, did you study under an armorsmith?”
Kristoff asked without thinking: he then said “no, there’s no way he did…” to himself.
Having been an All-Rounder till recently, there was no way Roa had become an armorsmith’s disciple.
“No, I was just taught how to do adjustments. There was this artisan, a very skilled person who was a bit strange, though, and did not belong to the Creators’ guild… in exchange for some healing potions, they taught me a bit…it helped me a lot, though.”
“That’s “a bit”, huh…”
Dietrich whispered, at a loss for what to say, but Roa did not notice at all.
Nostalgia’s members too learned more than basic skills of caring for weapons and armor, at school and from artisans they knew. No one ever taught them about adjusting balance, however.
It was probably very delicate work that only expert artisans could perform without failure.
Roa’s skill was intriguing, but that mysterious “very skilled person who was a bit strange and did not belong to the Creators’ guild” even more.
Maybe they didn’t enter the guild because they didn’t meet the conditions, or they refused because they didn’t like organizations, but if they could teach such complex work in “a bit”, they had surely achieved a much higher level of craftsmanship.
Nostalgia had yet to find an armorsmith they could trust in this country, so they decided to have Roa introduce them.
“…anyway, we should cut up the Wild Boar…”
“Okay, I’ll help too!”
Roa talked to Dietrich and Cornelia, who were about to start working on the fallen beast.
“No, leave it to me and Cornelia. I’d like you to do your own job, Roa.”
“Yes, you’re right. I’ll go look around here if there’s anything to gather. Can someone escort me?”
“Okay, Kristoff, you go with Roa. Bernhart, you guard us while we cut up the Wild Boar.”
Dietrich softly refused Roa’s proposal and gave orders to the party.
“Oh yes, please take this, everybody.”
Roa gave a small, fingertip-sized candy to not only Dietrich and Cornelia, but the rest of the party too.
“It’s a medicinal candy. It’s less effective than liquid medicine, but it heals you slowly, so it doesn’t place any burden on the body. It doesn’t make you feel full either. It’s perfect when you’re a little fatigued. Don’t chew it though, just let it melt.”
For magic potions, the speed at which they were absorbed by the body was considered most important, so they were mostly liquid. They were very effective, but -be it via healing or recovery- causing sudden changes to the body would cause a relatively heavy burden on the body. In the worst case, an excessively strong effect could make the user feel sick.
Because of this, except in emergency situations when one was unable to move, generally adventurers never used magic potions while on the move.
Roa’s recovery candies, however, had been made with the objective of slowly healing fatigue and small wounds without burdening the body, so they could be used every day and could help keep the body always in the best shape.
….this guy has been thrown out of the party because he can’t fight, but isn’t he a literal “All-Rounder”…?
Dietrich looked at the candy he received with mixed feelings.
Roa cannot fight.
That was only because he wasn’t taught properly, though.
He was knowledgeable in magic potions and normal medicine and could also perform maintenance on weapons and armor at professional level. Since he had offered to help with cutting up the Wild Boar without hesitation, he was probably accustomed to that.
Honestly speaking, they couldn’t tell the extent of Roa’s abilities.
Dietrich started thinking of having him join their party, but as they would leave the country one day, he couldn’t invite Roa; snatching him would also displease Coralde, which was far from Dietrich’s intentions.
Dietrich quietly put the candy in his mouth and started working on the fallen beast.
When we go back, I’ll have an honest talk with Coralde…
Dietrich continued thinking while working. The medicinal candy tasted like medicinal herbs, a bit bitter, yet sweet.