Dawn of the next day.
The half-asleep Yuzuha had crawled into Shin’s futon, but it was really peaceful and not making any fuss, because it was in young fox mode. Shin unconsciously rubbed Yuzuha’s head and moved it away, and then washed his face. Just like a hotel, the room had a washbasin. After feeling refreshed, Tiera visited them, and they ate a breakfast similar to yesterday’s.
“Just now, before breakfast, I heard that Schnee will arrive in Beirun by the end of the morning. I’ll remodel the wagon, what will Tiera do?”
Shin talked to Tiera while chewing his bread. Because he thought it was not a good idea to keep waiting without doing anything, he intended to remodel the wagon.
“I’ll look at how you remodel the wagon.”
Tiera, who had demanded that Shin restrain himself, seemed to be interested in the remodeling process, too. It goes without saying for Yuzuha.
Apparently, they appeared to be excited about seeing an unknown technique.
After checking out from the inn, they headed straight to the shop from which the wagon was bought. The wagon was still in the shop as there was no horse to draw it yet.
“Welcome. Oh, it’s the customer from yesterday. Have you bought a horse?”
“It was decided that my acquaintance would supply it. So I intended to fiddle with the wagon a little.”
“Heh, is Customer-san a craftsman or something? I thought you were an adventurer.”
The surprised shopkeeper returned, and they moved to the place where the carriage was. First of all, he laid a magic skill that lifted the target temporarily to prevent the frame from falling down, and then installed the spring as a countermeasure for the shaking. Of course, it was not just attached, he tinkered around with the wheels’ axis, too. The appearance of lumps of wood and metal, wriggling and changing shape, might be quite weird, depending on the point of view. However, the speed of the operation in that state was fast. Since he went underneath the frame; he worked quickly, because he didn’t want the shopkeeper to see it. The shopkeeper didn’t notice that the wagon’s performance had already become incomparable to that of the surrounding wagons.
And seeing the work scene up close, Yuzuha had glittering eyes, and Tiera’s eyes were in a focused state. Tiera was somehow able to understand the details of the operation, too. But seeing lumps of metal become flexible and changing shape in Shin’s hand caused them to be speechless. She wanted to say: “Haven’t you learned about not attracting attention already?”, but managed to endure, as the shopkeeper might hear her.
“Phew, I only need to attach the bearings next.”
“(Kuu! Shin, what was that a while ago? The iron was flexible!)”
Was it that interesting? Yuzuha began to talk through the Tamer version of Mind Chat. Did it love craftsmanship? The enthusiasm was seen before, during the time when Shin was tempering the longsword.
“(This is the production group skill which processes iron. Somehow, I found a use for it.)”
It was the production group skill, 【Molding】, to be exact. Originally, it was only possible to transform objects into fixed patterns, but once he knew how to use it, the shape could be changed into interesting ways. Because the technique of remodeling a wagon had not changed since the game era, he could finish it without any problem.
“Shin, where did your self-restraint go?”
“A-Ah? I hid myself in a way that I couldn’t be seen, and the external appearance didn’t change either. Why are you so mad?”
“Certainly I saw it in a flash, and I don’t even know what the difference is.”
“But! It’s obviously unnatural.”
“Um, why is that?”
Before he knew it, Shin was spinning his mind around to think if he was guilty of doing something wrong, as Tiera was in preaching mode. Unfortunately, the reason why Tiera was angry didn’t come to mind.
“It’s the time.”
“Yes, time. You know, no matter how easy the work was that modified the wagon, it shouldn’t take less than 1 hour! It’s too fast!!”
“Ah, I see.”
“Don’t ‘Ah’ me, you have to take it a little more serious…”
She said it with a strong tone, but in low voice. While Shin was using the impressive lost technology, Tiera warned him. Though Tiera said one hour, only about 15 minutes had actually passed since he started his work. Come to think of it, it was definitely too fast, so it might become a story of, “How on earth did you do that?”. Because he only cared about the appearance and the result, he seemed to have forgotten about the working speed. Shin didn’t realize it, since there was never a complaint about being too quick in the game.
“It couldn’t be helped, so I’ll go slow with the bearings.”
“Please, do so.”
He accepted Tiera’s demand and proceeded to work slowly this time. Since he only had to remodel the axial junction and the wheels to some extent, it didn’t take that much time even when he did it slowly. He could concentrate on the work, because only a small part of the body was still floating.
Afterwards, the bearings were attached to all four wheels, and the modifications were completed. The total time for the job took about one and a half hours, including the installation of the springs. The current time was half past 10 now.
He told the shopkeeper at the wagon dealer that they would bring a horse, and exited the shop. And then, they waited for contact from Schnee. Since they had time, they went for another walk in a different direction from yesterday. They spent about one hour of window-shopping at the street stalls, and then the call from Schnee came.
“It’s the call from Schnee. She seems to be in the forest ahead of the north gate.”
Because he conveyed that they had already checked out from the inn and were wandering around, it was decided that she would wait outside. And so, they headed toward the north gate immediately. While extending his perception area, they passed through the gate and walked further. The response from Schnee showed what she had already captured a suitable beast. But――
Both of his feet that were supposed to be walking in high spirits became heavy.
“Kuu, what is it?”
“What’s the matter?”
“Sigh, how should I say this…, I think you will understand when we arrive there.”
Tiera raised her question after Yuzuha’s words, but Shin said that she would find out once they reached there. The reason was that even if he didn’t expressly speak of it, as Shin walked forward, he had an expression of bewilderment, because he understood what had caused Yuzuha to be cautious.
What was displayed on the map, moved into Shin’s field of vision. The monster that stood next to Schnee was why there was such a reaction from Shin.
When they got closer to the forest, the appearance gradually came into view.
“Shin, that one, is strong.”
“Hey Shin, really, what is that? My 【Analyze】 doesn’t show its name, let alone its level.”
Yuzuha and Tiera seemed to be uneasy.
“Well, that’s natural.”
Even if it was Schnee, it couldn’t be helped as the monster alone emitted huge pressure. Tiera stood behind Shin to hide herself, Yuzuha re-hardened its posture that had weakened.
“I’m here now. As I told you with Mind Chat, the monster I brought will pull the wagon. In the case of this fellow, it won’t have any problems pulling the wagon that Shin gets on.”
With a very nice smile, Schnee said so full of confidence. That smile with overflowing charm would make everyone a captive.
However, Shin’s heart was about to say “Seriously?! This will pull the wagon?”, as his line of sight went to what was behind Schnee.
“Just to check, but where did you get it?”
“Because I was near the sacred mountain, it’s from there.”
“…Clever. As expected from Schnee.”
“I’m honored to receive your praise.”
As expected from Schnee, she seemed to interpret the meaning of crazy in a good way, even with Shin’s state of mind.
“I forgot. Master sometimes gets reckless when it comes to Shin.”
“That information, if possible, I wish you would have said that earlier.”
Tiera looked up at the sky with a shocked expression, while Shin held his brow with one hand as if to say, “Oh great!…”. Watching the two people, Schnee looked puzzled.
“Well, nothing can be done since you already brought it here. For the time being, may I ask about this fellow?”
“Yes. Because it will pull the wagon that Shin is riding on, I thought it should be something like this, a divine beast class monster.”
“No no, that way of thinking is weird. It’s strange no matter how I think about it! What kind of wagon do you think it’ll pull!?”
Shin exclaimed, while pointing at the monster which was obedient behind Schnee.
That shout was reasonable too. Anyhow, its physique was much bigger than a carriage. In the case of it pulling, the wagon would need to be the size of a single house.
“Of course, I assumed that Shin would say that.”
Schnee calmly replied to Shin’s retort. Apparently, she seemed to have a plan.
Shin looked at the monster Schnee brought again.
A four-legged walking type monster, its name was Gruefago.
It had a forward-leaning posture when it walked, and its height was about 3 mels from the ground. Even if it was pulling to the wagon he purchased, they might not able to see the front.
Ash-silver hair covered its whole body to the forearm, which was developed like a horse’s body. Moreover, it had thick and strong muscle masses on its tail, and it rivaled the power of the Lord Skull Face which Shin and Schnee fought before.
In addition, if it began a surprise attack during the game era, it would be a fiendish monster even for advanced level players. Its head resembled that of a wolf, but there were scales that dully shined visible here and there, making it possible to tell that it was a different animal.
Above all, it was eye-catching as Gruefagos’ have a horn protruding from their foreheads. Though its horn was crooked to some extent, an amount of light and shade was emitted from the emerald horn, just like a crystal.
There was one fact to understand from there. This meant that this Gruefago was a unique monster.
Even though it was unclear, it should be a monster that attacked without hesitation when it found a player, and yet it behaved itself without showing such signs at all.
When he checked with 【Analyze】, it appeared as Gruefago Jade, Lv. 751. Originally, the upper limit level of a Gruefago should be 650, but it was a common occurrence for a unique monster to exceed the limit. It would certainly be a recipe for disaster if it descended on a human dwelling.
“Go on, do it.”
When Schnee said that, green phosphorescence enveloped the body of the Gruefago. Crackling sounds were occasionally heard, a small sense of incongruity was added to that magical scene.
The phosphorescence dimmed in less than a minute, and a single monster made an appearance.
Though 【Analyze】 confirmed it as the Gruefago, the appearance was different from before. The forelegs were about the same length as the rear legs and the tail also shrunk. Though it was somewhat irregular, it could be said that it was a slightly big wolf. The featured horn shrunk as well, so that only a small part of it could be seen from the forehead.
“It became small?”
“Yes. Since there’s this ability, there’s no problem if it pulls the wagon.”
“That’s certainly true.”
Surely, the wagon could be pulled without any problems. But, there was a thing Shin was interested in before that.
“Did it have such an ability?”
Gruefago were originally monsters that put emphasis on flinging themselves onto the enemy. Like Yuzuha, it should not specialize in transformations.
“Because it has a habit of ambushing and a preference for surprise attacks, it became a unique monster, and I think it obtained a more useful ability. In fact, it can use illusion and lightning attribute skills.”
Though he didn’t feel at ease because of that, a monster that couldn’t adapt didn’t make sense. Because it was born from demon essence, he was convinced that it would transform into a skeletal monster.
“I guess this appearance is probably fine for the time being. The wagon has already been modified, let’s return and depart from there.”
“Okay. Let’s do it.”
Since it was a waste of time even if he talked here, he decided to return and leave at once.
“Haa, it is strangely tiring.”
In contrast to the happy Schnee, Tiera appeared to be slightly tired. It was natural too, no matter how light the exchange of Shin and Schnee appeared to have been, that was certainly a monster that was called a divine beast standing before her eyes. Even if it seemed docile, the intimidating air dispersed around it was not normal. Now that it became small, the feeling of intimidation was on the same level as that of a common monster. It wouldn’t be strange if a commoner fainted because of the strong pressure from its original figure though. For Shin and Schnee to talk like it was nothing, the two people were strange.
If Tiera hadn’t received training from Schnee, she would have joined the fainting group.
Looking at both of them barking to talk, all one could do was to have a strained smile.
“I agree with Tiera. I didn’t expect that you would bring something of this level, either.”
For Shin, if anything, his surprise was stronger than fatigue. Because when he said horse, he expected something like the higher kind of Grimm Horse, a Wonder Horse, or even higher than that, a Tri-Horse. For a monster that was said to be the standard for every merchant player, the level didn’t exceed 200, because it was easy to handle. It was unexpectedly popular because of its horsepower.
However, a divine beast was obviously overqualified if he looked at the outcome.
“Was it something strange?”
“Master, usually one doesn’t bring a divine beast simply to pull a wagon.”
“I will only settle for this.”
What was her intention to bring it along? It couldn’t be helped for Shin’s and Tiera’s voices to be in harmony.
“Don’t you think it’s a bit excessive?”
“No way, you don’t like it…?”
Schnee’s face became gloomy.
“Wait, wait, why are you depressed?”
“Well, Shin has a contract with an Element Tail, so if it’s not a stronger monster maybe you wouldn’t be pleased with it?”
“Kuu? Guu-chan, don’t want?”
Though what Shin meant was: ‘You don’t have to strain yourself’; Schnee seemed to have interpreted it as ‘You are not satisfied with this level?’. She was overly enthusiastic, too.
And, hearing the two people’s conversation, toward Yuzuha’s remark, the Gruefago expressed its surprise. Judging from its facial expression, it probably said, “Really?!”. As expected from a divine beast, it didn’t need to say out loud what it was thinking.
“No, a Gruefago is strong enough. Besides, it is a unique monster and I see almost no other flaws.”
“I am relieved when you say that. I thought it would be useful if the monster was as smart as a person.”
“So that means, it understood the things we talked about just now?”
“Yes. Though it can’t talk with words, most of our words are understood.”
“Leave it to me, it said.”
Yuzuha promptly followed up. It seemed that fellow monsters understanding each other was possible. After all, a divine beast class had high intelligence.
“This is my master. Be sure not to be rude.”
Schnee said while presenting Shin.
“Nice to meet you.”
Shin said as he patted the head of the Gruefago. Without a sign that it disliked it in particular, the Gruefago closed its eyes partly, indicating that it felt good.
“By the way, what is this fellow’s name?”
“Is it because it can use illusions?” (T/N: The ‘影’ kanji, from ‘幻影’[genei] which means illusion, is pronounced as ‘kage’.)
“Yes. Is it too simple?”
“Well, that might be good. I think it’s a cool name.”
It was certainly simple, but Shin thought it was not bad. It was a name that is occasionally seen in games and manga.
“I like it.”
This beast seemed to like it, too. Yuzuha, who moved to Kagerou’s back from Shin head, interpreted it properly. Since it might be hard to understand with only barking and gestures, it was very helpful.
“Then, Kagerou. I will give your first mission!”
“That is, pull the wagon!”
To Shin, who exaggeratedly informed the beast, Kagerou answered full of motivation. Though Shin worried that it might complain, it didn’t seem to mind pulling the wagon.
With Schnee and Kagerou added to Shin’s party, they returned to Beirun from the forest, and came back to the shop where they left the wagon. At the time when they passed through the gate, Kagerou was registered as a monster partner of Schnee, similar to what Shin did in Bayreuth. For Kagerou, because its build was quite large unlike Yuzuha and its appearance seemed to be a little ferocious as well, it was necessary to hang a plate that indicated “Tame” on the monster’s neck.
Schnee was strongly warned that if Kagerou barked, acted violently and so on, there would be penalties for that, but that was inevitable. Unlike the monsters of the horse group, it was considered very likely that it would act violently.
Did bringing Kagerou along have some effect? Although Schnee and Tiera were beautiful women, no suspicious men tried to pick a quarrel with them. People like punks generally had a low sense of danger and lacked the ability to read the mood. But when they saw Kagerou, there were no daredevils who tried to pick quarrels with the group.
With Yuzuha riding on Shin’s head, they might have thought that Shin was Kagerou’s tamer, too. It was natural for a strong man to be with 2 beautiful elf women; it was from the air he gave off, everyone who looked at Shin’s party thought.
“Customer… this is also another great one you brought.”
The storekeeper was surprised when looking at Kagerou that appeared alongside Shin.
“There’s a little connection with someone I trust.”
“You don’t say, is it that beautiful woman whom I didn’t see yesterday?”
“Yeah, sort of.”
“I envy you brother, with how your young ladies look.”
What did the storekeeper imagine when looking at Tiera and Schnee; Shin’s shoulders were clapped down on hard. Though the storekeeper was acting a little overly familiar, there was almost no feeling of discomfort, which was expected from a merchant.
“It’s not such a relationship…”
Before he knew it, the way he was called changed from “customer” to “brother”. Incidentally, even with such a poor excuse, the smirking storekeeper didn’t seem to be listening.
Currently, Schnee had changed her appearance with a skill. With blond hair, red eyes, and a ponytail hairstyle, her impression appeared to be more energetic than usual.
Therefore, the collection of gazes she received from passerbies, was even more than Tiera and Kagerou got combined.
Shin received the wagon while sighing, and then mounted the necessary pulling device on Kagerou. It took some time for the fitting, because it was originally meant to be mounted on a horse, but he adjusted it using a skill in secret and kept up the appearance.
“Is it tight?”
Kagerou nodded, telling Shin that it didn’t have any problems. It felt no constraints, even when Shin took it for a light run. Though the wagon’s weight should be more than normal, it didn’t seem to be a burden judging from Kagerou.
“Then, shall we depart?”
While hearing enthusiastic voices from the monsters, the carriage began to move slowly. Was it the result of his remodeling? The shaking had been considerably lessened.
“Amazing, it doesn’t shake at all.”
Tiera widened her eyes in amazement.
“Fuh, this is the result of my remodeling. Aren’t you glad I did it?”
“Now that I know this to be this comfortable, I won’t be able to ride a normal carriage anymore.”
There were personalized cushions laid out for each of them, so the vibration wouldn’t make their buttocks sore. From a person who knew the shaking of an ordinary wagon, the difference in comfort was like heaven and earth. What Tiera said was also understandable.
“I see, it’s been modified, huh?”
Schnee also felt admiration as she looked around the wagon.
“Yes, originally I thought of excluding the extra bearing, but I knew I could improve it more if I tried. I thought why not do it on this opportunity, as it really is harsh to be inside a shaking wagon for a long period of time.”
“It is indeed. Isn’t the performance better than the carriage of the royal family?”
“I’m not that rash to go all out there though…”
“In present times, there are no wagons’ that don’t shake like this one.”
Schnee smiled as if she was troubled. Judging from the talk, she was likely to have ridden on the royal family’s wagon.
“Long distance travel in this world is really hard.”
“There are problems of public peace too, one wrong step could cost you your life.”
Monsters and bandits were dangerous too, but even wild animals were plenty of a threat for any ordinary person. For this reason, there existed the work called, bodyguard. For a person who couldn’t hire a guard, a trip was really risking their life.
“I think I’ll hardly feel danger with these members.”
The words that Tiera muttered alone were the truth, too.
To begin with, with a divine beast class monster, Kagerou, pulling the wagon, monsters wouldn’t approach directly. Even if a bandit who couldn’t measure its power showed up, they would either settle in Kagerou’s stomach, or become minced meat by Shin.
There was no problem even if there was somewhat of a travel mood.
“When Shin and I are present, we can generally even do something about a national disaster class problem.”
“Master is too almighty.”
The speech that came off as arrogance was incorrigible, simply because it was reality. Even with only Schnee, she was already a national class in regards of war potential.
“Kuu! Yuzuha also here, so it will be all right!”
The two of them agreed with Schnee’s words. That scene was exactly like a pet seeking approval from its master.
“As long as it’s trustworthy.”
The words Shin muttered while smiling wryly were not heard as they dissolved in the hustle and bustle.
“But well, to modify it to not attract attention, it stands out in a different way.”
“Mou, this couldn’t be helped.”
In addition to the combination of Schnee and Tiera that would attract public eyes, there was Kagerou, too. There was no way that this group wouldn’t stand out.
After all, they were continuously exposed to public eyes from the surroundings until they left the gate.
Shin’s party departed from Beirun. Kagerou’s movement speed was not comparable with a normal wagon; when it ran for a while, all presences of people disappeared.
“It’s alright if it’s here. Schnee, can you come over here for a moment? I want to ask you something.”
“Yes, what is it?”
He searched for any surrounding presences, and called out to Schnee after confirming that there was no one around. He had something to discuss with her that couldn’t be heard in the neighborhood, though he only now remembered it.
“I completely forgot about it. What was Kagerou’s position on the sacred mountain?”
So, he had forgotten to ask this because he was surprised at the appearance of the divine beast, since Kagerou had been found by chance and was brought along, he felt uneasy with its presence.
Basically, for divine beasts, most of them had their own territory, and rarely came out from there. In addition, each of them were followed by their underlings. It was different in the game, but in reality, he couldn’t just bring it along like that.
“Let’s see. If I am to say it nicely, it would be symbiosis, but if I must say it in a negative way, it would be freeloader.”
Due to the anticipation ahead of the unusual answer, Shin couldn’t be helped to have a stupid expression on his face.
It was not a word he imagined would describe a divine beast.
That symbiosis she mentioned earlier, there might be a another divine beast in this case.
“Is it that? Kagerou was allowed to live in another divine beast’s territory?”
“Yes. There is a monster called Mist Garuda that leads on the sacred mountain, near the summit. Because of that, there are not many ways for Kagerou to be helpful. And Kagerou didn’t appear to have either followers or its own territory.”
The story seemed to have taken a quite special turn. Normally, in the territory of a divine beast, other divine beasts didn’t emerge. Since it was not a game any more, it was possible, but if that was the case, Shin felt a strong sense that something was very wrong.
“I understand this much as we came to a mutual understanding over the Mind Chat. I don’t understand Kagerou as clearly as Yuzuha, but we can compare the information I know.”
“I see. Yuzuha, can you ask?”
“Kuu, leave it to me.”
Yuzuha, who was able to communicate clearly, asked about its circumstances. The conversation that sounded like “Guruguru”, “Kuukuu” continued for a few minutes.
Was she interested in that conversation? Tiera also sat near the coachman’s seat. Before long, Yuzuha returned to Shin.
“I got it.”
“Yosh, let’s hear it right away.”
“Let me see. Was it the Mist Garuda, now? Though it rules the sacred mountain, originally half of it belonged to Kagerou’s mother. However, its mother was killed by adventurers, and only Kagerou survived.”
Shin had done similar things in the game era, so he felt ashamed.
Of course, he didn’t intend to hunt divine beasts thoughtlessly in this world.
“It desperately ran for its life, and then, it was helped by an elf girl. After that, it tried its best and became strong, though when it returned to the sacred mountain, it could only help in battles, because its mother’s territory was already lost.”
“Elf, huh? Indeed, when I met it, there was a little hostility against me.”
Did she recall the time she met Kagerou for the first time? Schnee nodded as she understood.
“Did it surrender without fighting?”
“Though we did have a contest, if anything, it was a slight degree of testing each other’s ability.”
Apparently, without showing their whole power, they seemed to understand each other’s strength.
“Schnee is very strong and had a nostalgic scent attached to her, that’s the reason it accompanied her.”
“It said that it was the same scent as Tiera.”
An unexpected answer returned. Shin, who heard it, had an idea pop up by chance.
“The elf girl who helped… was probably Tiera?”
“Kuu, looks like it.”
It was totally like a development from a manga, but such a thing was really unexpected in reality. If Shin hadn’t arrived, it seemed like their destinies wouldn’t intertwine.
“Errr, I wonder when such a thing happened…”
Tiera said as she closed her eyes to search for the memory where she helped Kagerou. She didn’t seem to be able to remember it right away.
“It said it was more than 100 years ago.”
“That was when I was still a child… Now that I think about it, I did save an injured puppy.”
The information of Tiera’s age could be guessed, but because circumstances were circumstances, Shin didn’t dig deeper.
Though it was difficult to associate the puppy from back then with Kagerou’s current real figure, it probably didn’t have a brutal appearance when it was a baby. She could understand because it reduced its size to pull the wagon furthermore.
“If I’m not mistaken, there was a severe injury. It was hopeless for me alone, so I asked for mother’s help.”
“Benefactor, it said.”
“And you chose to be tamed? Even if you might not end up meeting Tiera?”
Shin pointed out that doing so was hasty; even if it followed the scent, it might not have met Tiera again.
According to Yuzuha, it seemed to understand that it couldn’t win, even if it fought against Schnee. That being the case, it decided to believe in its own intuition.
By the way, the reason it let Shin pet it quietly too, was because it felt a portion of the strength that he hid. Even if he limited it using a skill so that his true ability wouldn’t come to light, it seemed that he wasn’t able to completely cover it when it came to a monster of Kagerou’s class. It felt an overpowering sense of intimidation that couldn’t be compared, even with Schnee, or so Yuzuha informed them of what Kagerou said.
“So that’s why it was so docile.”
Indeed, it wouldn’t let an unfamiliar human touch it just like that. Although it seemed to be no problem for the members here now.
“Then, shall I transfer the master’s qualifications to Tiera?”
“Will that be alright? For her level and such.”
“If the person in question is accepting, there won’t be any problem. It has been verified.”
Though Shin raised his doubts, it seemed to be alright.
“Um, master. I don’t have the Tamer job, so continuing with this conversation is pointless.”
Of course, a special skill was necessary to form a contract. And only a tamer was able to do it.
“In this case, I was thinking of an irregular contract, rather than the said transfer. The contract is canceled temporarily and then made again, right?”
“Yes. Because a monster that was freed from the contract would return to the wild, it can make a contract with another tamer.”
Though it was obvious, this world was a reality. If it was a game, there was no such thing. It was similar in the sense that a monster would return to the wild after the contract cancellation, but something like a re-contract was impossible. After the message of it having returned to the wild, 2 characters disappeared.
As Shin had mentioned, it wouldn’t disappear in the way they did in the game.
“No, like I said, I don’t have the job.”
Tiera didn’t get the point.
“It’s fine. With this method, Tiera doesn’t necessarily need the job.”
“Errr, what do you mean?”
Tiera was at a loss for Schnee’s words. The reason for her perplexity was because she didn’t know the acquisition conditions for the job.
In THE NEW GATE, there were 3 main methods to get the Tamer’s job.
1. Accept the contract application from the monster’s side, generated at a very low probability. (E/N: Monster proposes contract, player accepts)
2. Inherit the skill, 【Master and Servant Contract】 from another player, and at the same time, acquiring the job.
3. Clear a job acquisition quest.
In Tiera’s case, it was falling under no. 1 this time. Though they were supposed to fight until it was driven into a corner, Kagerou was uninterested in fighting, so it became a contract as it was. He understood it since the characters for “Very Low Probability” were included. There were only a few players who obtained the job through method no. 1 in the game age. Even Cashmere of the Rokuten guild hadn’t experienced this, more or less making him realize the low probability to some extent. Though it looked a little like a cheat, there was no benefit in particular.
Therefore, most players received the skill from acquaintances, or obtained it directly through a quest.
“Indeed, then I can do it, too.”
Tiera consented after receiving the explanation from Schnee.
“So, let’s finish this quickly. Kagerou, stop.”
The wagon stopped moving, and everyone hopped off for the time being. The pulling device was detached from Kagerou, and it changed back to its former appearance.
“First, I will cancel the contract.”
When Schnee said so, she stretched out her arm, and Kagerou bowed its head and touched her hand.
“The light in thy future”
Schnee recited the words of contract cancellation. Then a faint light enveloped Schnee and Kagerou, and vanished after a few seconds. With this, the engraved contract marks on both of them disappeared.
“Now it’s Tiera’s turn.”
Though she was tense, Tiera stood before Kagerou.
The current Kagerou was in a state without any restrictions. The intimidating feeling released by that body was enough to make a commoner scared, even if Kagerou suppressed it. Combined with that gigantic appearance, Tiera felt the illusion of a force that pushed her into the ground.
“I-It’s alright. I can do this.”
With a smile to Kagerou who barked worriedly, Tiera composed herself. There was no hostility from Kagerou. Those eyes too, when looked at properly, were worried about the shaking Tiera.
She took a deep breath, and looked straight at Kagerou. The next moment, a stream of information flowed into her head. A golden light enveloped Tiera’s body, and disappeared after several seconds.
With the guide from the skill she acquired, Tiera recited the words of the contract.
“I, wish to walk with thee.”
Kagerou barked to answer Tiera’s words. At the same time, Tiera and Kagerou, on each of their left arms, a tattoo with the shape of some kind of flower, emerged.
The pattern of the tattoo created ripples in Shin’s memory for an instant.
But since Tiera staggered after that, his thoughts were interrupted, and he caught her as she was about to fall. Because of that, the sense of incongruity he had, was gone along with the waves.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m sorry, somehow I’m losing strength.”
【Master and Servant Contract】 was originally a skill used on a partner who was already weakened substantially. Since there was a huge level difference too, Shin judged that there might be an unexpected burden on the body.
Shin let the tired Tiera rest on the canopy top, and installed the pulling device on Kagerou again. Though Kagerou worried about Tiera, when he said she’d be alright once she took a rest, since the person in question was merely tired, Kagerou began to pull the wagon obediently.
“Hey, Schnee. When you transferred Kagerou to Tiera, was it to protect her after all?”
The carriage has moving forward, and approximately 20 minutes had passed. Shin confirmed that Tiera was still asleep, and opened his mouth.
“Yes. It is as you say.”
She probably knew that she would be asked that question. Without being surprised in particular, Schnee answered.
“After this, we won’t always be nearby.”
Schnee said it in a flat voice. This was likely one of the reasons she tamed Kagerou in the first place.
Schnee would follow Shin, but for Tiera, it was not necessary to follow him. Though she brought Tiera a little forcibly this time, she intended to let her go free after the affairs were over. It was up to Tiera on how she lived.
However, in the case of her joining Shin with his action, there was the insecure factor of fighting power in the long run. Currently, Tiera’s level was 59. Although it went up a little in the battle with monsters and bandits to some extent, it was still low. It goes without saying that the same goes for her stats. Even Rashia, who did power leveling with Shin and Wilhelm, had a much higher level. The equipment necessary to compensate for it was also limited.
That was the reason for the【Master and Servant Contract】. The person who became the master was able to summon their monster partner near oneself in an instant. The danger might decrease if Kagerou was there.
Above all, if Tiera was exposed as staff of Tsuki no Hokora, some insurance for that time was needed. No matter how much she raised her level, if a chosen one appeared, it was impossible for Tiera to deal with them alone. If Kagerou made some serious effort, it would likely end up as overkill, even against a chosen one. But one could expect that the opponent would use any cruel means, so there was no need to show mercy.
Also, if it was Tiera, Kagerou would not to be used for committing crimes.
For Schnee, what kind of life Tiera would choose, though she thought to decide on the coping method, it was unexpectedly easily settled. Of course, since it was possible for her to do something for Tiera indirectly, a different coping action was needed again.
“I didn’t expect that it would turn out like this, though.”
“That is…for an ordinary elf to tame a divine beast, usually one wouldn’t think of doing it. Though, I didn’t think you would bring a divine beast to pull the wagon either.”
“I was aiming for the Mist Garuda actually.”
“Isn’t that the top position in the sacred mountain? That would endanger the ecosystem or the territory in various ways, you should stop that.”
Certainly, bringing the master of a territory would be too much of a problem.
“If Tiera chooses a different path from us, I will look for another monster again.”
“You don’t have to be fixated on another divine beast, you know? You seem ready to pull something like this time again.”
Something like this time, it certainly was Kagerou.
She wasn’t aiming for it, and completely discovered it by chance. However, contrarily it was human nature to be suspicious when it went smoothly up until there. To the chain of events, he felt some kind of artificial destiny.
Shin asked Schnee for a horse substitution, and Schnee came across a divine beast that has a connection with Tiera. The divine beast was reminded of Tiera by the attached scent of Schnee, who was a High Elf, and followed her obediently. And then, it made a contract with Tiera.
The occurrence was too much for it to happen by mere chance.
“Really, for it to somehow move like it was arranged, it makes me uneasy.”
“It’s not a bad sign though.”
If he took it in a good way, it could be said that he was guided to it. Depending on the viewpoint, even if he was dancing in the palm of someone, he couldn’t make a conclusion based on the present situation.
“There! That’s what I mean. How do I put it…basically if it’s malicious, it seems even stranger because I couldn’t see the intentions.”
“In terms of war potential, there is no disadvantage to us, right?”
At present, they didn’t have a big disadvantage. Only at the present, however.
“Well, I won’t understand even if I think about it.”
“If something happens out of my expectation, I cannot do anything but deal with it right away.”
“It couldn’t be helped, huh? As I said earlier, it hasn’t been a long time since I came to this world. In some cases, there might be situations where I can’t make a decision.”
“You’re right. Since a lot of things are different from before, adjusting might be difficult.”
“And to be frank, I will rely on Schnee when it gets really dangerous. So please take care of me at that time.”
“!!…Leave it to me!”
I will rely on Schnee.
As Schnee heard those words, she stopped moving as if struck by thunder. And after a short period of silence, she answered in a firm voice. The expression that overflowed with determination only brightened her pretty face even more.
Because she was relied on, Shin thought it was good to show some motivation. But Shin’s words appeared to be more effective than he thought.
When he looked between her hair, her long ears, which were peculiar to an elf, sometimes twitched and quivered, and her cheeks were also tinged a little reddish. Her lips were twitching like she was enduring something, and when he looked closely, he found out that the corner of her mouth almost rose up.
“Schnee? Are you alright?”
Shin was surprised at the unexpected reaction from Schnee. Though he intended to understand Schnee’s feelings for him, he didn’t expect that this much of a reaction would come out. Having said that he would rely on Schnee, he was including Tsuki no Hokora that he carried, Tiera, and the monsters’ company, because he thought it would make a big difference in dealing with an emergency.
Of course, no one could rival Shin’s dependability of Schnee, but did he flip a switch? Shin was anxious.
“I’m alright. No problem at all…….that surprise attack, it’s unfair.”
While she answered Shin, Schnee vented out her emotions in a faint voice. The voice was covered by the sound of the moving carriage, so it didn’t reach Shin’s ears.
Schnee was a young lady, too. To the companion whom she longed for, it was impossible for her not to be happy when told she would be relied on and so forth.
She was counted on. How long did she wait for that moment. The joy that erupted next, no one in that place could understand it. Contrary to motivation, the face that almost broke out into a smile was tightened by force. In some way or another, she maintained a front as hard as possible.
“Well, that. Please do.”
With moistened eyes and a reddened face, coupled with the strange romance that appeared, as he glanced at Schnee, Shin issued instructions to Kagerou. The speed was about 1.5 times that of a normal carriage when it was doubled, and the scenery of the surroundings flowed by faster. The wind that blew against their faces became stronger, too.
While thinking that it was nice if his face didn’t redden, Shin stared ahead.