TNG Vol. 20 Chapter 2 Part 2

Shin walked into the Moon Shrine and looked for Yuzuha.

He could have asked Kagerou, but since Kagerou could not speak, Yuzuha would have been more convenient for him to ask about details.

“You look so happy; you’ve fallen asleep.”

Yuzuha was in Shin’s room. When he was sleeping, Yuzuha would sometimes come into the futon* in fox cub mode, so it was no surprise to him. (TLN: Traditional Japanese style of bedding.)

This morning was no different.

However, unlike when Shin woke up, she was now sleeping in human form. She must have transformed on the way to sleep. A smile was on her face, as if she was having a good dream.

“Hey, it’s time to eat!”

As Shin had expected, Schnee was preparing breakfast in the kitchen.

She had rested early after the daytime exploration. It seems that they had arranged for the cooking to coincide with the time Shin and the others were leaving, so that when Yuzuha woke up, they would all be eating together.

As it seemed that there would be no time to ask Yuzuha before the meal, he planned to talk about what he said earlier after the meal.

“Hmmm…”

Yuzuha woke up slowly, rubbing her eyes.

Even though she looked half-asleep, she still had an inhuman beauty.

It’s fine because Shin was used to it, but if not, this defenseless appearance would be an element that attracts people.

“Look, you’re awake, you’re awake𑁋 what’s with that hand?”

When he tried to take Yuzuha, who was not yet fully awake, to the bathroom, Yuzuha stretched out her hands with her eyes closed.

It was the gesture of a young child demanding to be held. The meaning of the gesture was probably the same as it was now.

“Get up.”

Shin poked her on the forehead.

Yuzuha always liked to be attached to him, even in her fox cub mode. When she was in human form, he seemed to put up with it, but sometimes she did this when she was sleepy.

Usually Yuzuha would wake up complaining, but this time it was different. Yuzuha sprang out of bed and hugged Shin, then wrapped her tail around him to hold him up so he wouldn’t slip out of bed.

“Mwahhhh~”

The sleepy expression on her face had changed to one of satisfaction.

Yuzuha’s free tail was swaying back and forth as if to express her mood. It seemed that Yuzuha wanted him to take her to the bathroom. 

Recently, Shin felt that this kind of pampering had been increasing. When Yuzuha was in little child form, he thought it was inevitable, but since she no longer looked like a child, he had to drag her away depending on the situation.

This time, since there was no hurry, Shin started to move on in the spirit of letting her be pampered once in a while. 

Incidentally, if he could dodge the hug, then he would. So far, the success rate was 50-50.

Shin was confident that he could react instantly to an enemy’s attack, but his instincts were not up to the task when it came to Yuzuha’s. 

“Where did the dignity of the highest-class monster go?”

“I don’t know.”

Shin’s petulant words seemed to fall on deaf ears. The intellectual behavior and calm atmosphere during the game era would not be available until she was fully grown.

After washing her face, Yuzuha went into fox cub mode and climbed on Shin’s shoulder.

When she ate, she didn’t have a particular form, such as humanoid or monster form, so they didn’t care which form she took anymore. 

By the way, although there was a clear difference in size between a humanoid and a small fox, the amount of food they eat remained the same. In the case of the little fox mode, one might have wondered where such a volume of food was stored, but considering its original size, it was a rather small meal, so he did not go into it.

Since she was basically a woman, words that might be related to her weight were taboo.

“So, do you feel anything?”

After finishing their meal, Shin asked Yuzuha about the matter that Filma had told him about the strange behavior of the monster partners. As far as he could see, there was nothing unusual about either Yuzuha or Kagerou.

“Do you know that the magic and presence of the undead are always gushing forth in the Wraith Plain?”

Yuzuha, who had changed into human form, looked out the window and said, perhaps making it easier for her to talk. What lay beyond her gaze was the restricted area.

Shin also knew the idea that the dungeon was releasing its magic power. However, when asked if he could feel it, he was not sure. When he told her this, Yuzuha nodded her head. 

“The magic power is very weak, and it is impossible for humans to feel it unless they are very sensitive. However, monsters can sense it. Shin is referring to the dungeon magic that is being released. But there is a little bit of a different kind of magic mixed in. I think the kids who are acting strangely are sensing it.”

It probably belongs to Hades. Yuzuha told him so.

The reason she didn’t tell Shin was that the magical power was spread almost evenly throughout the Wraith Plains, so she couldn’t pinpoint where it was suspicious.

Besides, not knowing Hades’ magical power or presence, she couldn’t say for sure that this was the case.

And the biggest reason was that she was not clearly aware of it until she was told.

“Can’t monsters feel it?”

“If you ask me, I have a feeling that’s the case. Weaker monsters have the ability to detect things like this.”

According to Yuzuha, it was difficult to sense a faint sign like this when surrounded by strong magical power. The same reason why Kagerou did not show any reaction.

He asked Kagerou again, and when he had the results translated, he got a reply saying that he didn’t think it was a little different. When it comes to Yuzuha’s level, it seems like it’s a level of change that they don’t even notice. 

“I don’t know how to compare Yuzuha and the others with the monster partners of ordinary adventurers.”

Filma confirmed that most of the monster partners taken by adventurers currently active in Wraith Plains are of common races and individuals, and their levels are around 100. Even though they were not perfect, Yuzuha, an Element Tail, and Kagerou, a special individual of Gruefago, were more powerful than them. 

“I have no doubt that something is wrong. But I am not sure if it is Hades’ fault.”

“I see. I wish I knew, Yuzuha. If you know, do you know if that magic power will have a negative effect on people or monster partners?”

The fact that Yuzuha and Kagerou didn’t care means that it would definitely have no effect on high-level or high-status opponents.

But what about those who are not? Many adventurers and knights who were not Chosen Ones are mobilized for the monsters’ thinning out. If there were any adverse effects, Shin thought, they would need to be reported immediately.

“I don’t know.”

It’s a level of magical power that you don’t notice until it’s pointed out to you. Even Yuzuha doesn’t know how effective it would be against someone much weaker than himself, he said. Just to be sure, he asked Kagerou, who also tilted his head.

“If you’re concerned about magic, would you like to find out?”

Shin was surprised by what Sety, who was listening to the conversation, said and asked back.

“Can you do it?”

There was a skill to see magical power, but he didn’t think there was a skill to investigate what kind of influence it had. 

“I wasn’t sealed up like my sis Fil, nor was I busy like Shibaid. I had time to do a lot of research.”

Sety also developed a technique for analyzing the nature of the magic that exists in space. 

However, it was time-consuming, and while analyzing it, she concentrated on it so much that she could hardly use any other magic. She explained that if the need arises, she could stop the analysis and use magic, but then she would have to start the analysis all over again.

“That’s why it’s useless in actual combat. It has a few other flaws, and in that sense it’s unfinished, but it can be useful in a situation like now.”

If one could use the technique quickly, they should be able to tell which type of magic their opponent was trying to use when they released their magical power, but in reality, it couldn’t be used instantly and was shelved. It seemed that there were other such unfinished techniques.

“For now, I just need to know if it’s harmful or not. Can you do it for me?”

“Sure.”

Saying this, Sety went outside. Shin also decided to take a look.

After prefacing up front that it would be fine to watch, but it would just be boring, Sety looked toward the center of the Wraith Plains and held his special weapon, the 『Dusk Moon』, perpendicular to the ground.

A few seconds passed, and then the magic power was released from Sety’s body. They flowed from her chest, deep into her heart, tracing the contours of her body.

Fast and skillful.

Shin couldn’t help but admire in his heart the vivid control of magic power.

Shin too had been practicing magic control whenever he could find the time, but he still couldn’t control it this fast and consistently.

While he could be unusually precise when using production skills or making related movements, he was still lacking in everything else.

When Shin tried to do the same thing, the magic leaked all at once from his entire body and the surface was blurred.

The skill activated with no problem, and there was no loss of power. However, there was still a difference in efficiency between what could be done and what could not be done.

Because of the increased realism, he experienced this firsthand.

The reason why Shin has had no problems so far is because his maximum MP was already maxed out, and he had already reached his limit. Otherwise, there would have been several occasions when he would have had to rely on items in terms of MP.

In Shin’s party, Schnee and Sety were the only ones who could control the magic that coated their bodies with magical power.

With the other members, the control would be shaky except in their areas of expertise. But they were still as good as or better than the best warriors, and far more stable than Shin, so every time he saw them, he felt that he had to learn it quickly.

Furthermore, Milt, a former player like Shin, controlled it as well as a matter of course. Not as good as Sety and Schnee, but still better than Shin. Shin would surely never forget the look of triumph on her face at that moment. 

Sety said to Shin, who was remembering what happened back then, with an astonished look on his face.

“Why are you frowning? For the time being, it doesn’t seem to be harmful to the human body. It’s the first time I’ve experienced this reaction, but it’s close to the magical power that a high-level monster like Yuzuha-chan over there releases unconsciously.”

Wraith Plains was a special place to begin with. Sety’s thought was that the magic power released from the dungeon reacted with the Hades’ magic power, resulting in the current state of the dungeon.

“Even with harmless magic, I can sense the source’s power to some extent. I guess the affected monster partners must be feeling insecure because they sense the difference in power.”

That’s probably why the powerful Yuzuha and Kagerou don’t care, Sety said.

No matter how powerful the source was, the magical power leaking into the Wraith Plain had neither hostility nor favor. It was like air.

“It’s a relief to know that there is no danger that requires immediate action.”

Shin thanked Sety and returned to the Moon Shrine. While continuing the investigation to some extent, he decided to wait for the next full moon first.

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