“Then, Shin-sama, this is your guild card. Please be careful not to lose it, because it also serves as a proof of your rank. And a fee of 10 J silver coins is needed to reissue the card in case it gets lost.”
Shin accepted the guild card from Celica. The card had his name, rank, affiliation, party described on it. He recalled Cilica’s explanation that the description couldn’t be seen unless a specific tool was used.
“Do you want to take on a request now?”
A bulletin board with requests posted on it was seen. As for rank G requests, something like collecting stuff and other miscellaneous duties were often found. They were less dangerous and therefore less rewarding. Still, the average reward was 1 J silver coin, which seemed to be highly paid.
“How about this? Can I take this request?”
He tore off a request posted on the bulletin board and took it to the receptionist desk. Shin intended to raise his rank by at least one. Still, Celica didn’t say anything about how he had the lowest rank even if she had the information of his rank.
“This request please.”
“This is to collect Hillock Herbs. Because this request is always given, there is no time limit. The reward will be 1 J silver coin per 30 pieces.”
“If I gather 60 of them, will I get 2 J silver coins?”
“Yes, There is always a demand for Hillock Herb, because it’s an ingredient in a potion. Are you okay with this request?”
“Yes, please. Oh, is there a picture book that shows the Hillock Herb?”
“Yes, there is. Please wait a moment.”
Actually, he already saw it in the game, but he decided to confirm its appearance to make sure. The book that Celica brought over from the bookshelf behind the reception was as thick as a dictionary.
She placed the book on the reception desk and exhaled in a small voice.
“Phew, this is a plant encyclopedia. And Hillock Herb…here it is.”
He confirmed the Hillock Herb while thanking Celica who took the trouble of opening the book and find it for him. The plant’s appearance didn’t seem to have changed. Its height was about 10 – 15 cemels with jagged leaves. He was hoping that it wouldn’t be difficult to gather 30 grown plants.
“It grows in the eastern and the northern forest.”
According to the book, Hillock Herb grew in the eastern and the northern forest, especially in the depths of the forest.
“Please be careful as people have been lost in the depth of the forest while searching for Hillock Herbs. You might also get attacked by ferocious monsters if you advance too far.”
“I’ll be careful.”
There were some things better left unsaid. When he went to ‘Tsuki no Hokora’, he had already crossed the eastern forest. The ferocious monsters that he had slaughtered were used to pay for his stay at the inn.
Said Celica as Shin departed from the guild.
Shin walked toward the east gate, while wondering whether or not he should buy a map .
――In the guild’s lounge room.
Els and Celica had just finished tidying up some documents and were talking about Shin while drinking tea.
“Celica, do you know who that person is, just now?”
“Come to think of it, I don’t know much about him yet. Although one might say I know him, I don’t have much information about him either.”
Shin had only arrived at the guild yesterday, so Celica didn’t know much about him yet. Since he held the letter of introduction, she told Els about his match with Barlux.
“Are you saying the ‘Blue Wolf’ was dealt with easily? Though, even I can understand that he is a considerably strong person.”
Because Celica was her colleague, she talked with her in a comfortable tone. She was originally like that, so it was not a problem for Els to communicate with in her this way. But she had to make sure not to talk like that in public, only when the two of them were alone.
By the way, ‘Blue Wolf’ seemed to refer to Barlux.
There was not much known about that person――Shin.
As Celica introduced Shin to her, Els said something related to her ‘Official Title’.
“Indeed, no wonder I couldn’t see it.”
Els nodded as she understood the story from Celica.
“Is it true, that it wasn’t seen?”
Celica looked at Els in disbelief.
Els was one of the executives with power next to the sub-master within the guild. Els was a skill 【Analyze • Ⅶ】 holder, and at the same time, she held the title ‘Observer’. Therefore, she could even see through the name and level of people whose levels were higher than hers. A fake name could be seen through immediately by her. In fact, Barlux’s level was seen through at the first glance.
When Els said she couldn’t see through Shin, one would wonder who on earth he was.
She didn’t even know if his name, Shin, was true.
“Well, there is no need to worry about it too much. I don’t think Tiera would have handed a letter of introduction to a bad person.”
“Blue Wolf also had the same opinion. Just a little different.”
Celica muttered while remembering the mysterious sense of security she felt from Shin.
“Different…is he? Certainly, his ability and the atmosphere around him don’t match, it’s actually odd…”
“Indeed. How do I say this? It felt somewhat like a sense of security.”
Both of them stopped talking, with a good mood around them.
“I don’t know (I guess)…”
The more they thought about Shin, the more his image became blurred.
In the past, even when they felt uneasy, there was never a time when both of their hearts got riled up.
After he left the guild, Shin went toward the east gate without stopping. At first, he went along the main road, then he changed his path and entered the woods. The eastern forest was a place where rookie adventurers entered routinely. It looked like a place where almost none of the ferocious monsters came forth.
When he happened to pass through the gate, Beid informed him about this. He said that several rookies went to the eastern forest today. Beid was a guard at the south gate yesterday, but apparently the guard would rotate after a certain period of time. He seemed to be guarding the east gate now for a while.
Easy quests could be done in 30 minutes in the game. He planned to finish this quickly, and then go to a library afterwards. Shin hastened his pace.
Even if the place was said to be fine for rookies to enter, the forest was dark and filled with trees. Beid said that there were only low-level demons or wild beasts, but it was still frightening for Shin as he was not yet accustomed to it.
Without putting too much trust in the information, he looked for the Hillock Herb cautiously.
If Shin’s memory was correct, it should grow in places the sunlight easily gets to.
Since he heard that the Hillock Herb could be harvested easily, he thought that he could finish quickly.
“…This isn’t it.”
He had entered the forest 3 hours ago.
“…This isn’t it either!”
Number of harvests… zero.
Not a single Hillock Herb was found yet.
It had been a while since he entered the forest triumphantly. Despite walking with the reliance of his memory, he wasn’t able to find even one herb.
“It’s strange…No matter how much I look for it, not even one can be found.”
It was strange because he had been slowly going deeper into the forest to find some. There were no signs of adventurers around so it was not likely that someone picked them all before him.
“Should I go a little deeper?”
The information from the encyclopedia stated that it was easier to find them deeper in the forest. Naturally, the surroundings became darker and the signs of wild animals could be felt everywhere.
He devoted himself to search for the plant without any encounters with monsters. As he advanced a little more, he went towards places monsters didn’t go to, and looked at the surroundings.
Even with a full search, he couldn’t find an open place where the sunlight hit the ground. Though he searched for likely places one after another, there were no signs of them, instead there were bushes and tree roots everywhere.
“I’m feeling hungry…”
The sun was already high in the sky, so it was about afternoon. He had walked forever and his stomach was growling because he hadn’t eaten lunch.
“Should I eat some food?”
Because his hunger was near the limit, and as a change of mood, he decided to have lunch.
He put his lunch from the ‘Item Box’ on a stump and began to eat. On the menu was hot dog and cola. The food items stored in the ‘Item Box’ do not rot as time progresses. He entered the forest without buying food beforehand, because he could store food items in his ‘Item Box’.
Though the food originally had special effects such as stats rise or HP recovery and so forth, somehow those areas were unavailable, so the effect couldn’t be felt.
In addition, there were various other luxurious food items but they seemed to be treated as normal food. Even if it had special effect, there might be no time to eat the food while fighting a monster.
“Mmm, myum, fuu… Well then, shall I search for it?”
Without wasting any time, he finished his lunch. A characteristic of junk food was being able to eat it fast. He ate it quickly because he could be in trouble if a wild animal and a monster came, tempted by the smell.
Though he went to search for the Hillock Herb again, it still could not be found.
Another 3 hours later, after he ate lunch, it was rather refreshing; he had still found nothing. The Hillock Herb might just have been picked exhaustively, thought Shin.
After one more hour, Shin decided to return to the inn because he was tired. Though it was possible to go on physically, he felt mental fatigue after not being able to find what he was looking for.
When he arrived at the gate, the guards had been changed. It seemed that the guards took turns and patrolled in a rotational fashion.
He found Beid among the soldiers who returned from patrol and exchanged a few words while he confirmed Shin’s guild card.
“Yo, you look tired. Did you find what you were looking for?”
“The thing is, I went to the eastern forest to gather Hillock Herb, but I have searched for it all day long and haven’t found one…”
“Oioi, that herb can be found easily if you look for it properly. I saw several rookies return with it today. It was harvested well.”
Other rookies were harvesting well. Shin was shocked as he was struck by the words.
“I think everyone returned in the morning…You, surely you weren’t searching for it for a full day, right?”
He covered his face with his palms and dropped his shoulders. Shin was an SS rank adventurer during the time of the game. His pride was shattered here even if he knew this was a different world.
“Well, that, what can I say. Cheer up.”
“Ku, your encouraging words sting my eyes.”
Since Beid too didn’t know Hillock Herbs couldn’t be found there, without knowing, only mundane words came out.
“Well, this is just your luck, I guess. I don’t think today is your day, but you can try again tomorrow.”
“It is so…should I go deeper into the forest tomorrow?”
“Don’t go too far into the forest. Though you won’t do such blunder, a lot of rookies die easily because they advance too far into the depths.”
“I understand. See you.”
He understood Beid’s worry, too. And there was no need to hurry as there was no time limit. Yet, there was this psychology of person who wanted to find something when it was not found before. When it came to this, Shin had begun to make a plan regarding his trip to the northern forest tomorrow.
The next day.
Shin awoke at dawn and immediately started to mobilize.
He checked his equipment, had breakfast in the Bear Point Pavilion and pushed his way through the crowded area. On the way, he stopped by at a secondhand shop and purchased a simple map that showed the area around the kingdom. Yesterday he thought he was going to return quickly, so he didn’t buy one. Even though it was a map depicting the kingdom and the surrounding area, it was only a rough sketch. Because he didn’t want to explore the kingdom yet, he decided to purchase it only if the map had a record of the northern forest.
After leaving the secondhand shop, Shin walked towards the gate. He saw a crowd there. “Is something going on over there?” Shin thought as he approached.
There was a barely identifiable vehicle which looked like a carriage. A coachman entered from the gate and several adventurers followed behind the carriage. Though the coachman seemed to be unhurt, the adventurers seemed to suffer from serious injuries. They helped each other as one of the less heavily injured adventurers lent his shoulder to one missing an arm. Anyone would agree that they had barely escaped with their lives based on their appearance.
This kind of crowd loved to watch the strange group, but no one tried to be concerned. He only stared at the guards listening to the story from a distance.
(Their levels are 131, 129, 118, and 134.)
The knight leader was level 188. Assuming the ability of the knight leader was rank A, they would probably be rank C or D adventurers.
There were scratches on both the adventurers’ armor and on the carriage, one could guess it was done with sharp tools. But it would be too hasty to conclude they were attacked by thieves or robbers, because there was a huge cut on the roof of the carriage.
After a while, the curious spectators started to scatter, and the adventurers were left to be treated.
As Shin approached the gate, he talked to Beid.
“Hey Beid, what happened to that group just now?”
“Hmm? Oh Shin. They were attacked by a monster and escaped.”
It wasn’t an attack by thieves or robbers after all.
“I see. Did you ask what they were attacked by?”
“I was told not to speak carelessly. Well, I think it will be alright if it’s you. But anyway, it will be known soon.”
“Is he an important person?”
What kind of monster it was that caused the guard to be alerted, he would have to wait for Beid’s words to make sure.
“…It’s a Skull Face. You’ve heard the rumors too, right?”
“Ah, I certainly have…if I’m not mistaken, it appeared at the northern forest.”
“Yes, it has. Because there were hardly any eyewitness reports, it was thought to be a Pawn class, but, apparently, it was a Jack class. “
“Jack class…How many people were in that party?”
“Two parties with full members, 12 people in total. As you can see, only four survived.”
The level of a Jack • Skull Face was around 150 ~ 250. The average level of the adventurers’ party earlier was probably around 120. If 12 people couldn’t defeat it, despite the adventurers’ equipment, it was reasonable to think that the Jack • Skull Face was beyond level 200.
“All high-ranking adventurers are out now. Depending on the case, the guild master or the knight leader will come out.”
“If you think about the level, it’s an adequate move. Hmm? Will the princess go out as well? She is pretty strong.”
He recalled that the second princess exceeded level 200 and asked Beid.
“I hope not…No matter how strong she is, this is royal family you’re talking about.”
“No, when I heard about the princess, I thought of someone who is crazy about fighting. Even the Horn Dragon will be defeated by her.”
In contrast to yesterday, it was now Beid’s turn to do a facepalm and drop his shoulders. Apparently, it was a topic that should not be touched.
“For now, just avoid approaching the northern forest, right?”
“I expect you to understand but be careful.”
He hurriedly left toward the eastern forest. A worker of the kingdom also had hard times.
He crossed the range of his search in the eastern forest yesterday, and proceeded to the depth of the forest at once. Even though he knew monsters were wandering around from 【Search】, he didn’t worry about it as the monsters could be easily defeated by him.
He strolled into the depths of the forest looking for Hillock Herb. According to the information from the encyclopedia, it should be easier to find in the depths of the forest. And he already discovered several pieces of them growing. The current number in possession was 13 pieces. Still, he hadn’t reached half the goal yet.
After strolling for about two hours and still couldn’t find more than 13 pieces, he decided to go to the northern forest. It could be said that the eastern forest and the northern forest were connected with one main road. So he entered the northern forest and went straight to the depth via the route to the west.
He saw a road after walking for a while. Two carriages could pass by another, as that was the width of the road.
The adventurers were probably attacked by the Skull Face around here, Shin guessed. The roof from the cutout was lying on the side of the road. And puddles of blood and pieces of armor were seen everywhere. No corpses were found as the wild animals and monsters already disposed of them.
“In this world, is a Skull Face a powerful enemy?…”
He muttered while looking at the remains of the carriage. It would no longer be a habitable place for humans if a Jack class Skull Face was that strong, Shin thought.
“It’s no use to think about it now.”
He discarded the thought he had in his mind and entered the northern forest.
As for the northern forest, the trees grow denser together here than in the eastern forest. The sunlight was decreased by more than half, so it was fairly dark despite it being daytime. Just going straight required Shin to be cautious. As Shin walked deeper, he sighed seeing how he would have a hard time looking for the Hillock Herb. Unlike the eastern forest, a lot of monsters lived in the northern forest.
The map had a function that displayed a red or yellow marker. When he combined the search operation skill with the map, Shin could know how many monsters were hiding in a certain radius around him.
He didn’t want to kill unnecessarily, but he would counter-attack if monsters attacked him. He wondered how long he would last while fighting with 【Limit】.
Unlike the situation when he fought against Barlux, he, without taking any consideration, dealt a single blow to a monster and sent it flying. Although he wasn’t surprised because it also happened when he went to ‘Tsuki no Hokora’, he didn’t know the extent that his maximum offensive power had risen to. He only understood his stats from before he got transported here, but not since his stats had doubled.
He had no choice but to use a support skill, 【Limit】 at maximum level Ⅹ.
【Limit】 was a skill that was made so that a beginner and a high level player could play together. If the skill level was raised by one(from level 2 to level 3), the skill would limit the stats to 1/3 of their original value, instead of only halving it. As a result, the players could still play together despite the difference in level and stats.
Even though there was a method to check the changes of physical strength according to the stat rises, he couldn’t take action as it could destroy the surrounding area. Incidentally, the limitation was also executed as a danger-preventative measure for the accomplishment of the request.
Currently, the maximum stats value for Shin’s STR was 223, which was 1/10 of his original STR, because of 【Limit】. The others stats value were still intact. This was the STR stats value of a human without any reincarnation at level 255.
By the way, 【Limit • Ⅰ】 didn’t restrict the stats as it was 1/1 from original stats. The lowest level of this skill provides no change, while the highest level restricts a stat to 1/10 of it’s original value.
Why only STR? It’s because he was experimenting on how much damage a monster could deal to an ordinary human. It was also to avoid suspicion from other members if he joined a party.
…To prevent himself from carelessly changing the surrounding terrain by using an all out attack, was also one of the implications.
Since there were numerous monsters, he only fought them while searching for Hillock Herb because it was useless to hunt all of the monsters. While thinking that, he wished he had the skill to search for an item.
As he went further into the depth of the forest, he was able to find more Hillock Herbs.
Currently, the number in possession was 29 pieces. Only one more was needed to complete the request. Alright, just one more! Shin was getting fired up as he walked carefully in the forest. At that time, he detected a marker which made a strange move on the map that progressed to the edge of the map view.
The color was red. And that was the color that indicated a hostile existence.
But, the red marker didn’t move much from the place, instead it was moving in zig-zag line in a range of 10 mels.
“What is this?”
He was drawn to the current movement of the marker which had awakened his curiosity. He started to advance towards the direction of the marker with the help of the map, so that he could take a look at the situation.
The movement of the marker stopped for a few minutes while Shin moved closer. Then he waited and looked from the shadow of a tree.
Shin stood still as he was at a loss for words when he saw the figure.
Before his eyes, there was a figure of Jack • Skull Face. While its big body was only bones, it was twice as big as the Pawn class, its height was about 3 mels or more. It was fully equipped from gauntlet to armor and wore a helmet on its head. In addition, it had a round shield with diameter of 1 mel equipped in its left hand, and held a 2 mels long greatsword in its right.
The equipment it was wearing was all in one color, solid black, except for the greatsword. It couldn’t be compared to the Pawn class which was equipped with a rusted sword and worn-out gauntlets.
A dim purple flame could be seen in each of its bony eye sockets, and its whole body emitted a black smoke which could be called a negative aura.
It had the presence of an undead military commander who had returned from hell. It was a Skull Face of the Jack class.
The dwellers of this world would be frozen in fear if they looked at this existence.
However, that was not the reason why Shin stood still and was at loss for words. To begin with, a Jack • Skull Face was just small fry for Shin. Then why did he look at the enemy without starting to attack?
It was because,
“Why is the Skull Face breakdancing?”
Shin’s words spoke for themselves.
Undead monsters held grudges towards all living things, they were existences that would drag any living things to the dead side. Its appearance made any person who saw it feel fear, its body didn’t feel fatigue so as to lavish death upon its surroundings. There existed a group of undead monsters in THE NEW GATE, and the Skull Face was said to be its representative.
It was never an existence that was meant to breakdance in the depth of the forest.
“It’s surreal…too surreal. Do you like to dance that much? You?”
Around the Skull Face, there were no trees, and if seen from above a big hole opened in the forest. Which was not surprising, as the Skull Face wore armor and the breakdance was done while equipped with both sword and shield. Hence, the grass was mown down by the shield, the big trees were cut down by the greatsword, and the ground was scooped out by the ruggedness of the armor.
In the first place, there was the question of whether it was possible to breakdance while wearing armor, but that question was dismissed as the Skull Face had done it.
Shin revealed a trace of pity on his face.
Somehow he even felt indescribably guilty for having looked at something that he shouldn’t have.
However, such thoughts of Shin’s dissipated instantly after the Skull Face revealed its true color.
The sound of liquid splashing reached Shin’s ears. As he shifted his attention to a big tree there, the trunk of the large tree was stained with red 《・・・》 liquid.
Shin immediately observed the appearance of the Skull Face. The greatsword that resounded while cutting through the air, the armor that covered its skeleton body, the shield that mowed down the grass, all of them were stained in the same colored liquid as the tree-trunks.
As he shifted his line of sight a bit, there were corpses of monsters that were sliced in half lying around. The Skull Face was his opponent after all, no more discussion needed.
The Skull Face that appeared in the northern forest. Attacked adventurers. Dry blood that stuck to the greatsword and blood that was still dripping. There was no need for a conviction. Even so, Shin was not so optimistic as to think that the Skull Face wasn’t attacking the adventurers, so letting it roam free wasn’t possible.
He regained control of his thought process. His blurred face tightened, and the atmosphere changed from slacked to sharp.
“I don’t want to be fooled in this situation.”
He muttered while not neglecting the task of gathering information on the opponent. It was dangerous to think that the world remained unchanged since the game ended.
In fact, 30 cemels wide big trees were slashed – that didn’t seem like a joke. There was no point in lowering his guard either.
“Should I start?”
Shin unsheathed his katana and waited for the right timing. And the moment the Skull Face’s back was facing Shin, he took his stance and decreased the distance between them in a split second.
He drew his katana as the distance between them shrank, and targeted a brandish skill at the Skull Face’s defenseless back.
Moderate damage could be dealt by surprise attacks from behind, though Skull Faces generally had a tolerance for slashing attacks.
However, his expectations failed him.
The moment Shin’s katana swung toward the back of the Skull Face, as if it sensed the danger, the Skull Face flung its left arm against the ground and accelerated its rotation with the force of the recoil. Then the Skull Face began to counter-attack with its greatsword.
“What is this!?”
Shin ran past the Skull Face without losing momentum, and escaped from the range of the counter-attack.
It was no wonder that Shin was astounded. A level 250 Skull Face wouldn’t do a strange movement like the one just now. The flowing defense and the counter-attack with its sword. Moreover, it didn’t break its pose even after that. It was a movement that was not possible during in the game.
But the Skull Face’s appearance was that of a skeleton to begin with, so it’s movements weren’t restricted by joint or muscle.
Shin couldn’t hide his surprise at the unimaginable fighting power of the Skull Face.
“What is that movement? Those are not the movements of a Skull Face.”
The breakdance in itself was weird, but now he couldn’t make any sense of it.
“Even its level is strange. Besides, that sword is not supposed to be with a Skull Face.”
He looked at the Skull Face while fixing his posture. According to 【Analyze • Ⅹ】 , the Skull Face’s level was 359. Let alone Jack class, it jumped over Queen straight to King class.
In addition, the sword that it held was the problem. Humans wouldn’t be able to handle the greatsword if they weren’t using both of their hands. Besides the dazzling ornaments on the hilt, the sword blade emitted a silver shine and a blue line traveled along its center. It was likely a demon steel that was harder than iron and was combined with mithril which had good compatibility with magic. A portion of the blade’s edge shined with a strong, white light.
The white light revealed the sword’s light attribute. It had the atmosphere that could be compared to a holy sword.It was not a weapon that an undead monster would hold no matter what, as it had the opposite attribute.
“I think it’s reasonable to think of it as a unique monster.”
He raised his alertness level by one stage. Unique monsters often had a different attribute and ability from the original. But even Shin hadn’t heard of a monster that had the attribute of its own weak point.
The Skull Face now stood with both feet on the ground as it recognized Shin as a powerful enemy. Pulling its weapon and shield backwards slightly, it took on a stance. That was obviously the movement of a person who had mastered fencing, but there was a clear distinction as the Skull Face could only do repeated attacks.
“That dance didn’t seem to be a joke either!!”
While muttering he again charged toward the Skull Face, this time directly to its left side which held the shield.
Again, he closed the distance instantly with the unsheathed katana and aimed at the opponent’s left ankle.
A flash was seen on the Skull Face’s left ankle.
Even though the Skull Face also reacted to attack by defending with its shield, it couldn’t prevent the calamity because of the differences in their physique and the size of its shield.
“Kin!” The sound of metal rubbing against metal resounded in the air, metal resounded, and Shin distanced himself from the greatsword. The Skull Face would begin attacking Shin with its greatsword while ignoring its own defense when it couldn’t dodge.
The greatsword was swung down in the place toward Shin, and he dodged as he judged that it was too dangerous to take the blow head on. The ground was split about 3 mels by the slashing of the greatsword.
“I’ve never heard of that weapon before, is it rare or unique grade?”
The attack range of its weapon was increased with magic. From Shin’s view, this was an ordinary attack, but the weapon of the monster originally didn’t have this ability. Not to forget that the Skull Face could also make acrobatic moves.
As for the Skull Face, it didn’t care about the dubious Shin and started its revenge with its greatsword. Its left ankle was cut in half from the blow before, however it wouldn’t be a serious problem for it since it didn’t feel any pain. As if there was no ankle from the start, it just thrust its left foot on the ground and let out a strong side sweep.
Shin ran toward the Skull Face and invoked a sword skill, 【Dazzling Blade Sink】. The katana hit the blade of the greatsword near the hilt, as he eluded the side sweep.
Then he activated a martial art skill for fencing, 【Crushed Blade】 in a flash.
The skill was usually used to deal damage to opponents that have slashing attack tolerance. And the attack crushed the Skull Face’s armor.
――Again, it was not as he expected.
It was understandable that Shin was astonished.
The katana attack from Shin was successfully dodged by the Skull Face. Just as the blade was about to hit, the Skull Face did a back step and the katana missed its body. Though the attack broke the armor, it didn’t do much damage to its body.
It moved as if it knew that the katana attack was a powerful slash. Even if Shin didn’t take it seriously, it was already abnormal for it to follow his movement up until then.
The scream that resounded from the Skull Face could be misinterpreted as the crooked groan of a beast. It was the voice of resentment that would make any person feel discomfort when they heard it.
Even Shin frowned after being screamed at from close range. There was no special effect, but the loud sound would instigate fear on all living things.
He immediately resuscitated himself and jumped backwards. The HP gauge of the Skull Face only decreased a little, since the attack only hit the armor so the damage was only minimal. If the attack didn’t reach the core of the Skull Face, heavy damage could not be dealt.
“Man, why do I meet a strange monster this early?”
He muttered a half astonished and half praising sentence following the Skull Face’s movement.
As he look at his own katana, he noticed several cracks on its blade.
A durability value was set to weapons and armor. When it dropped to zero, it would make the weapons and armor unusable.
Currently, Several Stroke’s durability was already below 30%. Since Skull Face’s weapon was strong, it probably damaged the katana’s blade when they clashed.
“I can only do one more attack at most. Then, I will try this!”
Shin and Skull Face. The lone man and his surroundings, cruelly destroyed by the Skull Face. He changed his posture into a different one from earlier.
He put his left foot in front and bent slightly forward. He pulled his katana while lowering it to his waist.
And he muttered.
“【Limit • Off】”
The suppressed ability or stat was released from the skill’s effect.
Even ordinary people could sense the transformation in Shin.
The katana he held in his hand was channeled with energy and “Gishiri” sounds were made.
It seemed that Shin’s transformation caused the Skull Face to be vigilant. As it groans in deep tone, it hold the shield in front, and took a posture that emphasized defense.
Shin admired the Skull Face’s movement while he was charging energy into his katana.
While exhaling short breaths and concentrating energy in his katana, he brandished it.
He left an afterimage as he rushed into the Skull Face and struck a single blow.
Two sounds were heard, “Ki” and “Gin”. Then Shin’s figure vanished from in front of the Skull Face.
Two changes took place.
One, Shin’s katana was shattered, left only its hilt.
Two, the greatsword of the Skull Face was blasted away and disappeared into the sky.
Among the two sounds echoing in the surroundings, the “Ki” sound was the blow of Shin hitting the shield. The clear “Kin” sound was made when he cut through the core of the Skull Face together with its armor. And the following “Gin” sound was produced as Shin’s katana and the Skull Face’s greatsword clashed together.
The greatsword was not broken as it durability value was very high, but Skull Face’s hand couldn’t withstand the impact, so the sword was thrown up into the sky.
The core was cut in half and Skull Face’s HP gauge was drained entirely, and left were mere bones. It hard to associated the scattered bones with the intense combat just a few minute ago.
“I knew this weapon wouldn’t last long.”
He sighed while staring at Several Stroke’s hilt. It was a powerful single blow, but it still wasn’t his maximum power. Though the big trees behind the Skull Face fell down just now as an aftereffect of the attack, he placed the hilt inside the ‘Item Box’ like it was only natural.
“The greatsword from a little while ago seems good.”
He looked up in the direction the sword flew, but all he saw was a clear, wide and blue sky and he didn’t know where the sword flew to.
Though he didn’t expect that the sword would be blown off too far, he could only pray that it didn’t hit a person.
“…Should I return?”
Anyway, he wasn’t in the mood to search for Hillock Herbs anymore after all that.
Because there were jewels among the bones, so he collected them before he left.
After Shin got out of the forest, he began to walk toward the gate and thought that he had better to report about the Skull Face case to the guild.
Without knowing that the greatsword caused a commotion in the kingdom,
Shin left the northern forest and had returned to the east gate.
He noticed that the gate area was noisy as he walked closer.
“Is there something going on?”
No curious spectators gathered like yesterday, it was just the guards who seemed to be asking for information from the passerby. Seemingly, only the people entering the country got questioned.
Although he could enter without waiting in line as adventurers have guild cards, he wanted to listen to the story one by one. So he lined up and waited for his turn to come.
When the distance to the gate gradually decreased, he could listen to the guards’ and adventurers’ voices.
“Northern forest…eastern forest…shadow, flew…?”
Only a fragment of the conversation could be heard, but he couldn’t expel the bad feelings from his mind.
As the distance diminished, he summarized the story he heard clearly together. The residents of the town witnessed a mysterious object flying in the sky. Furthermore, it seems to have fallen into the royal castle. The eyewitnesses saw it was flying, but couldn’t determine if it came from the northern or eastern forest and no one knew what circumstances behind it as the investigation proceed.
(Mysterious flying object…it is the sword after all…)
He remembered the greatsword that was blown away. But he didn’t know which way or in which direction it flew as he concentrated on the battle.
His feet were getting heavier the closer he got to the gate.
“Yo Beid, has something happened?”
He replied to Beid as if nothing had happened. He wanted to believe that the mysterious flying object was not the greatsword.
People called this an escapism.
“To tell you the truth, a sword has flown toward the royal castle. From the investigation we had, it was either from the north or from the east. Didn’t you go to eastern forest? Did you saw anything?”
“…No, I didn’t see it. Were there any injuries?”
From the story, no people were hurt, as the sword fell and stuck to the castle wall. Good grief, it was absurd that a sword flew over the rampart.”
“It’s a good thing that no one got hurt.”
He breathed a sigh of relief at the words of no human injury.
“Let’s confirm the direction firmly.”
He made a promise to himself at that moment.
“No, It’s nothing. May I go now?”
“Ah, Please tell the soldier who does the investigation if you remember anything.”
He left the gate with a quick pace while maintaining his poker face. He walked until the gate was out of sight and loosened his pace as he let out a sigh.
“Haa, why did it land at the royal castle out of all places?”
Already on the third day in this different world, he had a hunch that the country was already determined to be his opponent. It was very likely that he was gonna be charged with treason for attacking the royal family. Frankly speaking, it was very bad.
Even though there was no evidence that lead to Shin, when he reported about the Skull Face to the guild, the doubt would be shifted toward him somehow.
“Why did it happen this way…”
It wouldn’t always go the way he wanted in life.