The two of them regained their composure after a while and materialized the card. Then they properly confirmed that it were the genuine article.
“So you really are a letter of introduction holder.”
“I guess we both are.”
Wilhelm showed a little weariness while Shin returned it with a wry smile.
Even with Millie’s mediation, he was wary of Shin…Wilhelm was still cautious of Shin’s ability even with the assumption that ‘Millie’s power wouldn’t be abused’. Though Wilhelm’s outward appearance was no problem, there was a little distrust remaining in the corner of his mind. Then both of the letters of introduction in their hand vanished.
“There is nothing more reliable than this. That explains why you know about Schnee Raizar.”
“In my case, I got it from Tiera. Did you get it from Schnee?”
“I got it after I received hellish training from her. But I was beaten up one-sidedly even if it was training.”
“Ah…she is still that serious, huh?”
Even though it was Shin who set the character, he only decided the personality aspect roughly at the last moment. When he heard Wilhelm’s story, he thought that she had hardly changed. Although he was prepared, it would not be strange if Schnee differed from the game era in various ways. She originally had a fixed character, like all AI’s, but it didn’t mean that she had not acquired something, so her personality was nothing more than his impression of her at this point.
“Well then, stop slacking and let’s go meet Rashia. We can continue this while we walk.”
“Is it that time already?”
Wilhelm looked at the clock on the wall, and stood up. He didn’t mean to stay for a long time, but it took longer than he thought because of the unexpected situation where Shin had a letter of introduction. But it was worth the time since he was satisfied with the result.
While each one of the letter of introduction holders had their own special ability, almost none of the holders has caused anyone else to have a character breakdown. Wilhelm probably felt that Shin would cause trouble for the church in one go if that wasn’t the case.
“Even if I know we can trust each other, from what I heard, Wilhelm is a Chosen One too, right?”
“I don’t have the intention to hide it at this time, but why do you think so? Not all adventurers with a rank A are Chosen Ones, you know?”
“No, it was from the weapon you hold, because an ordinary person would not be able to equip that. Therefore, when I saw you holding Venom normally, I thought ‘Ahh, so he isn’t an ordinary guy’.”
“Huh? So that’s the reason. No wonder you desperately asked the skill level of the appraiser. You bastard, acting like you didn’t know about from the beginning.”
It was Wilhelm’s 《Legend》 grade devil spear 『Venom』.
This was an item that couldn’t be equipped if the player’s STR didn’t exceed 500. When Shin met Wilhelm for the first time, he had reasons as to why he looked toward the weapon, too.
Basically, for any equipment of the《Legend》 grade, they required specific stats to exceed about 350 in order to it be equipped. If he thought about it, the stat requirements for 『Venom』 were abnormally high. But it was not necessarily a bug, because there was a reason for it.
“I couldn’t just talk about it in front of so many people. And a while ago, when you took out a card from an empty space, did you use an Item Box? I heard there are very few people who have one.”
“Oh, so you actually saw my little trick, huh? I used an item called, 『Expansion Kit』, it has the capacity of an Item Box imitation…so it looked like I’m using the real deal. But that doesn’t mean that every Chosen One has one.”
“Heh, is that so?”
Shin thought that the function remained after all, as he responded with agreeing words. It has the function to give a support character and/or a monster partner the ability to hold a large quantity of items, and players eventually expanded it until it almost had the same capacity as an Item Box. A lot of players used one or two 『Expansion Kit』 to make sure their support characters were able to carry items, this way the support characters were able to use recovery items themselves in the case of an emergency.
In Shin’s case, all of his support characters were expanded to the limit. There was no particular reason for this. It was just his obsession about it.
“That aside, it seems that you also used an Item Box.”
“In my case, I was able to use it from the beginning.”
“You are a Chosen One after all.”
“Hmm…for now, that’s fine I guess.”
Because Wilhelm seemed to be convinced that Shin was a Chosen One without asking for a detailed explanation, Shin gave up and said it was fine for now. Since it was troublesome to think about the setting in detail, and contradictions might appear somewhere, he decided to pass as a Chosen One on this occasion.
While continuing the conversation, they returned back to the appointed place. When the two returned to the east gate, Rashia was looking around restlessly.
“Hey! Hey Will. I was forced to go shopping, where have you been?!”
“Sorry, sorry. I had some business to take care of.”
“When you say things like that, I hope you didn’t go to that indecent shop again.”
“Go to that shop!? Are you still half-asleep?”
“Shin-san. Please don’t follow Wilhelm even if he invites you. Good grief…you will have a painful experience.”
“I can hear your conversation! Saying such things will lead to misunderstandings!!”
“Calm down both of you.”
Shin calmed the couple who had started some kind of lover’s quarrel, and departed immediately. Secretly, he was a little envious of their relationship, where they were able to freely dispute without reservations.
The means of transportation this time was to use horses. Wilhelm seemed to have borrowed them from the guild. The two horses had remarkable bodies and a splendid chestnut color, so that even Shin, who was an amateur about horses, understood it.
The moment it saw Yuzuha, who was laying on top of Shin’s head, the horse’s movements stopped. Yuzuha let out a small “Kuu” bark, and the horse replied with a small “Hururu” neigh, and became quiet. For some reason, Shin didn’t understand the exchange of words that was being carried out.
Wilhelm and Rashia were on one of the horses, while Shin and Yuzuha rode the other one. Though it was the first time Shin was riding a real horse, somehow the 【Riding】 skill compensated for that, so he didn’t have any problems riding it. Since he had the opportunity to ride not only horses but various monsters, including griffins and dragons, in the game, the skill level was up considerably.
It would take 5 or 6 days by a carriages’ slow speed, but it seemed like they would arrive quicker at the current speed, Shin thought. Of course, Shin could run much faster than this, but didn’t talk about it because he would’ve had to carry Rashia, who was an ordinary person.
They advanced without any problems, while letting the horses rest occasionally along the way. There were 2 Item Box holders, so there was almost no luggage, and they were able to gain more distance because of that. In addition, because they could take with them various utensils, they didn’t have to eat preserved dull foods during camping. Because she could enjoy the meal which was one of the hardest things on a journey, Rahsia who was inexperienced in a travel didn’t seem to be affected.
While traveling by horse for 4 days, they deepened their friendship to the extent that they could speak in a casual tone. Shin and his group arrived at the region that was called the Wraith Plains before noon.
Nevertheless, the plains region was gloomy despite the sun hanging high in the sky. It was as if there was an invisible wall in the gap between the forest and the plains since the sunlight was blocked. When they looked at it closely, there was a deep violet haze slowly rising from the earth’s surface, like it was welling up. It wrapped the plains zone like a boundary line.
Since nothing was displayed by 【Analyze】 when he used it, there seemed to be no effect that would be causing an abnormal state.
“There is no reaction even when I touch it, huh? It doesn’t seem like a mistake that the border line is here.”
“Yes, that’s right. It is said that the monsters won’t chase you if you leave from inside this place. They are forbidden from leaving, as if they are being restricted inside there.”
“Is that so?”
“It happened once. There is no mistake about it, their equipment were tattered in an instant, even if it was daytime.”
“Just escape outside in case of an emergency, huh?”
Since Rashia was there, the escape route was secured in case of an unexpected situation. It would be different if it was only Shin and Wilhelm, but they had to keep the dangerous monsters away from Rashia from now on.
“For the time being, let’s prepare our base so that we can take shelter if we succeed in escaping. And this is the【Prayer of Saint Sphere】. It will be useless if you don’t have this. And then, this is extra. This will repel even a dragon’s breath.”
As expected, Rashia appeared to be nervous and felt the cold that drifted from the Wraith Plains. Though she had always snapped at Wilhelm during the journey, it was probably Rashia’s own way to relax.
What Shin handed over together with the【Prayer of Saint Sphere】 was a magic item of the bracelet type. It has the effect to nullify damage under a certain value and reduce the damage if above said certain value. Because it was one of Shin’s handmade items, one would be unperturbed even if hit by a King class Skull Face. It’s durability was guaranteed too. Therefore, though it could be said that the tension was unnecessary, there was no other way but to give it to Rashia, who was not used to fighting scenes.
By the way, Rashia’s casual tone toward Wilhelm was due to them being childhood friends, so there was no need for them to act reserved.
“(I entrust her to you, Yuzuha.)”
He talked to Yuzuha, who was on top of his head, via telepathy. Previously it became possible to use telepathy shortly after he entered the country. It was discovered that the words Shin thought in his mind would be transmitted to Yuzuha. Some simple emotions, beside simple thoughts such as approval, refusal and so forth, were transmitted from Yuzuha in return.
Yuzuha, who received the telepathy, got off Shin’s head, and then rubbed its face on Rashia’s cheeks after it jumped onto her shoulder.
“J-Just a moment Yuu-chan! That tickles.”
“Full of spirit, aren’t you?”
“Ah…Yuu-chan, thank you.”
Whether or not she had cheered up a little, a somewhat awkward but understandable smile was expressed on Rashia’s face. While Shin was transmitting a feeling of gratitude toward Yuzuha, who moved according to his expectations, Wilhelm emerged from the thickets.
“Wilhelm, how about the base location?”
“I have set up the tent in the vicinity as told, but that, what is that?”
Wilhelm pointed with his eyes toward the forest ahead. Though it wasn’t seen from the place where Shin was, there was a jewel with a diameter of around 10 cemels that enclosed all sides of the tent. Even if the monsters couldn’t come out anyway, the tent was set up a certain distance from the plains for caution’s sake.
“That is just a trifling interception item. When a monster approaches, it will attack with magic. Because it was possible to put up with a barrier where the monsters couldn’t go in, it’s satisfactory for a simple base.
“I have never heard of such an item!”
Shin would normally only erect a 【Barrier】, but he thought that he would be doubted again, no matter how much of a Chosen One he was. Therefore, he decided to use an item for interception. Although he understood that a Chosen One was outside of the norm, there was a limit for that, so it would be bad to show a power beyond it. He was worried about his uncertainty of that limit.
While he was at it, he didn’t forget to put up 【Wall】, since the danger was not necessarily comprised of only monsters.
“You are a Chosen One too, Wilhelm, so you have no choice but to consent.”
“Don’t use that name for your own convenience, man.”
“What? Shin-san is a Chosen One, too!?”
Apparently, Rashia seemed to know about Chosen Ones somehow. She probably heard it from Wilhelm.
“Eh? You didn’t tell her that yet?”
“I missed the timing.”
Wilhelm smiled wryly.
“Did you two perhaps confirm it on the day of departure?”
“Something like that.”
“Then you should have said it from the beginning!”
Rashia pouted when she thought she had been excluded.
“I thought you could guess it even if I hadn’t told you. If Shin was not strong enough, he wouldn’t have proposed this harsh requirement, understand?”
“But Will, you said you wanted to do it too, so I thought it was normal.”
Wilhelm was a little astounded by Rashia, who said so while looking doubtful.
“B-But even if you say Chosen One, the only one I know is Will. I know Will is strong, but I don’t know how strong you are.”
Even if she knew about the existence of Chosen Ones, if she didn’t actually witness their power, she was not likely to understand their true significance. In the first place, no one would be able to bring Rashia to this place, even if Wilhelm put in some serious effort; it was too much. It could be said that it couldn’t be helped.
“Oi~, I know it’s bad interrupting you guys, but let’s start soon. We don’t have time for leisure either.”
Shin who was contemplating the two people, lightly called out to them.
“That’s a good idea. Let’s go then. I feel a little bit better now.”
“What? Eh! Wait a moment!”
Because he understood that Wilhelm was trying to loosen Rashia’s tension, Shin picked the right time. In addition, they could continue happily.
“Now then, I wonder which one of these creeps will appear first.”
“Since it is daytime, it might be a Skull Face, a Bio Hound or a Mad Zombie. These monsters are more abundant while the sun is up.”
“When you think about the level range, the right time is at night, right? Well, now is a good time to get her some experience before the real deal starts at night.”
“The rest will depend on Rashia…well then, they are appearing already.”
They appeared in front of Rashia who was trembling while holding her staff. Shin and Wilhelm shifted their gazes to the shadows that approached them. Their view was limited to a degree due to the haze, but it wasn’t a problem for the perception ability of these two people.
What appeared from the haze were 2 Jack class Skull Faces and 3 Bio Hounds. After seeing that half of the Bio Hounds’ bodies was rotting, Rashia covered her mouth with her hand. It was hard to look straight at it, even for Shin, as it became too realistic to some degree.
“This is so-so for a warm-up battle.”
“That Bio Hounds’ smell is awful.”
Shin drew his katana from his waist and Wilhelm prepared with『Venom』. While Rashia’s resolution would be decided here, she held her staff while having a slightly bad complexion and began to chant.
The Bio Hounds moved first, at a rate of speed that seemed slow to Shin.
Shin stepped forward before the 3 of them leaped at him straight on, which was probably because of their lack of intelligence. With one hand facing toward them, he invoked magic system skill 【Ichiyou no Misogi】*. (T/N: Single leaf of purification ceremony)
At the same time, a semi-transparent barrier was created in front of him. The charging Bio Hounds crashed into the barrier and a crushing sound was made as they fell to the ground.
In magic system skill, a lot of the skills were effective against undead monsters, and the one he used was a skill for defense. The HP of the Bio Hounds, who were basically conducting the act of suicide, instantly went down to the red zone as a result of the anti-undead skill. And then, without Shin missing it, the barrier was released and at the same time, he gave instructions to Rashia.
“Attack the Bio Hounds!”
Rashia immediately reacted to Shin’s instructions and completed her chanting.
White light emitted from the staff she held and shined upon the Bio Hounds. It was the magic system art 【Heal】. Though it was not as powerful as the magic system skill, the recovery magic was effective in damaging undead monsters as well. The remaining HP disappeared, and the bodies of the Bio Hounds disappeared.
Seeing that, Shin confirmed that the rule of monsters not leaving a corpse behind in a dungeon was applied even now. Apparently, the whole area of the Wraith Plains was regarded as a dungeon.
“The next ones are coming!”
From Wilhelms words, they prepared for the next attack. Similar to Bio Hounds, the 2 Skull Faces charged straight forward while the sound of armor scraping together was reverberating. However, they were prepared with a shield in front of them.
“【Shield Bash】, huh?”
Then Wilhelm called out the muttering Shin.
“Oi, can your barrier also stop their blow?”
“Leave it to me. And cut their arms and legs so that they can’t counter-attack once you have the chance! Or I guess that you can’t do it?”
“Ha! Who the hell do you think I am!?”
Wilhelm said confidently, and again Shin invoked 【Ichiyou no Misogi】. The Skull Faces crashed into the barrier which was deployed, but there was no damage because they used a shield unlike the Bio Hounds. However the Skull Faces, who probably didn’t think the 【Shield Bash】 would be defended against, greatly broke their posture. Shin removed the barrier right after he confirmed that the Skull Faces’ charge was stopped, and Wilhelm with the devil spear, instantaneously stepped forward between the two Skull Faces and jumped.
While drawing a big arc in the air, he used the spearmanship system martial arts skill, 【Spark Blossom】.
A single blow that hit both legs of the two Skull Faces and shattered them into pieces and the attack didn’t end there.
Without changing his momentum, Wilhelm rotated once with his spear. The Skull Face on the right side had its sword and shield blown away by the centrifugal force. The Skull Faces which had lost both feet and weapon fell down to the ground.
Shin, who released the barrier, had already crushed both arms of the Skull Face on the left side with the sword system martial art skill 【Blade Breaker】, while watching the movements of Wilhelm. He held a new katana in his hand.
It was a katana with a crimson red blade named 『Red Chidori*』. The katana’s cutting ability had a lighting attribute, it was a 《Legend》 grade katana that easily surpassed the durability of 『Several Strokes』 he used before. (T/N: 千鳥(chidori) literally means one thousand birds, usually for lighting related power.)
The Skull Faces only had a head and torso left, and no significant damage was dealt to its core. But its HP was shaved vigorously whenever the scarlet electric shock ran from the blade of the katana. The additional damage from the lighting attribute occurred because of the weak electric shocks that ran through the monster’s body, and its HP could be shaved without directly hitting its core. It was effective against a monster that couldn’t be damaged in other parts except for its core, such as a Skull Face. That was one of the reasons that Shin chose to use 『Red Chidori』, too.
“Rashia! Heal this fellow in front of me!!”
As Wilhelm came into view, he instructed Rashia to finish her chant.
While restraining the Skull Face which tried to struggle despite only having a head and torso, Wilhelm extended the perception sense beyond the his view. He could not check visually because of the haze, but he sensed multiple presences heading toward them with 【Sign Perception】, which were probably drawn in by the combat sounds.
“More will come. Please be quick.”
“It’s impossible to go any faster!!”
As might be expected, it seemed to take time for Rashia’s art to reduce the Skull Face’s HP since they had more than a 100 level difference.
“That【Heal】art won’t do, huh? Oi, Shin! Can we attack from inside the barrier now?”
“That is not possible. Even if it’s possible, I don’t know how.”
It would be convenient if they could attack from inside the barrier as Wilhelm said, but the barrier skill completely blocked the inside and outside of the deployed barrier. Therefore, the way of attacking one-sidedly was unusable. However, there was a possibility to be able to do it in this world which was somewhat adaptable, unlike in the game. And in this case, it was not possible for Shin to understand the barrier skill in such a short amount of time.
“Damn, it can’t be helped. It’s faster to beat the hell out of them, huh?”
“It’s not our goal to defeat them, but we don’t have a choice.”
“Wait a moment! Though we are in desperate situation right now, why are you two still composed like that!?”
The unexpected trouble stopped the plan of holding the enemies down, though it was understandable. Even though there would be not much composure when an ordinary adventurer did something like that, the speech that leaked from the mouth of the two people was “It’s annoying to do that.”, although not audible. As for these kinds of things, they maintained a moderate tension while preparing their weapons, although there was a complaint from Rashia toward those two people.
“The monster’s level is not high right here since we are on the edge of the plains.”
“We don’t know whether it’s necessary to advance a little deeper, right? Let’s wait a while until Rashia becomes a little stronger.”
“From the beginning, 10 level rises are quick. Just now it’s 24, because the level of the Bio Hounds is about 60. After that, it became 40 in one go. It is easier to raise the level when there is a level difference of 100 or more.”
Though there was the complaint of “Hey, are you fucking kidding me!!” from Wilhelm, Shin ignored it as he couldn’t spend time waiting for months.
With a loud voice, Rashia continued to chant 【Heal】 although she was trembling, which could be said to be cruel. Because it was natural for an ordinary person to be running away or have an absent-minded reaction in such a situation. Even if she was protected, a single blow from such a monster from an opening under their very noses would kill her. Accordingly for Rashia, she wasn’t constantly exposed to the fear of death at all. For a person who didn’t make a living out of fighting, they would feel a sense of fear far above what an adventurer felt. If mental stress was measured in a numerical value, it would probably hit an abnormal value.
“But Wilhelm, looks like her willpower has reached its limits. Her MP ―― magic power is running out, huh? After all, the Bio Hounds are difficult to defeat all of a sudden.”
Shin abruptly express the word MP in different words as magic power. He had heard the word magic power occasionally, but never heard the word MP which he noticed at the last moment.
“They’re damn grotesque than I expected. It’s a good thing that she didn’t faint.”
Fortunately (or unfortunately), Wilhelm didn’t seem to notice.
“If Rashia falls here, we will have come for nothing. Let’s take a break now while I drive them away.”
“Let’s do that! Even if her level rises without pausing, her magic power isn’t restoring either.”
Still, because the attack in the first match failed, they decided to temporarily go back to their base.
In the game, when a level rises, all the stats would be restored, but somehow it seems to be different in this world. He planned on using the restoration from the level up, but his expectations fell through.
(The restoration here is not yet complete, that is bad. If it’s not possible to restore it by leveling, I need to be careful of the MP amount remaining.)
Since he couldn’t depend too much on potions, he couldn’t do anything but go with a natural recovery. Shin thought about revising the plan in the future while cutting down a monster, because it was likely to take more time than he thought.