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Chapter 23 – Subjugation
We finally found a goblin and observed it from a distance. It seemed to notice us too, but it didn’t attack us right away, maybe because it’s all alone right now. It seemed to just glare at us while looking around suspiciously.
「Relius… why don’t you try to fight it alone first?」
「A-alone, you say?」
「Yeah… To be honest, I can’t really imagine how you fight. Me, I have to get up close and cut the enemy with my sword, but you… you fight from a distance, right?」
「I can’t imagine how. Could you show me? Even, uh… even for the former me, I could still win if it’s only one goblin. I’ll definitely jump in if something happens.」
I’m a little nervous. Mear-san was an adventurer for a long time, so she might have something to say about how I fight.
At the very least, I intended to show her my skills were good enough already. When I approached the goblin, it recognized a fight was inevitable and lifted its club.
I threw a dagger at the goblin without hesitation. The goblin dodged it, as I expected it would.
Then I activated Bone Shot on the dagger, firing a projectile back at the goblin, which dodged that too. However, I’d managed to throw it off balance.
I threw a dagger again, and it hit the mark without doing much damage. The goblin also looked at the dagger, laughing as if in mockery of me.
You’d like to think that was nothing, wouldn’t you?
The goblin dashes right at me, and I pull out my sword for a melee, ready to block it.
Because of my Muscle Strength Enhancement skills, there was no way it would overpower me. However, I wanted to know how quickly the poison would take effect, so I just held it back without injuring it further.
It wasn’t long until the goblin coughed up blood and collapsed. Since I knew it was on the verge of death, I relaxed. The fight was over.
「That’s it, Mear-san.」
I looked at her and indicated the goblin’s corpse. Her eyes were rather wide for some reason.
I wonder if there was some problem with how I fought…
Mear-san raised her voice and looked at me.
「W-what did you even do!?」
What’s up with her reaction?
While I was wondering what it could be, Mear-san came over.
「Is something wrong?」
「W-why did it die? I didn’t see you hit it!」
「I did hit it, though, once. I grazed it with the throwing knife.」
When I pointed out the goblin’s wound, Mear-san just stared at it.
「That much was enough!?」
「Yeah, it’s a poison attack. My knife has poison, so…」
「Po-poison!? B-but there shouldn’t be any poison that can affect monsters…」
「Y-yeah. All the Divine Treasures that possessed poison attacks have been lost over time. Many monsters are also resistant to abnormal conditions.」
Could it be that it still works if the rank of the poison attack is higher than the opponent’s poison resistance?
「Yeah. It actually depends on the poison, but poison also can be used for torture and stuff, so it’s not completely lost… but at least these days, there’s no such demand.」
If it’s your own Divine treasure, you can immediately know the skills it has. Apparently there’d been fraud related to that kind of thing in the past, because you can’t see other people’s skills. So, some folks would say they have a more powerful skill than they actually do, and threaten people that way.
「Anyway, I’ve never seen a poison strong enough to kill a monster! That knife is terrifying…!」
「I see… well, you’ve seen how I fight. How was it?」
To my question, Mear-san folded her arms and nodded.
「There’s nothing to complain about. Skill-wise alone, I believe you’re much stronger than I am.」
「That’s not true, I’d totally die if you used your Divine Treasure against me, you know?」
「Even in spite of that, just by yourself, without a Divine Treasure, you’re already much better than me.」
Does she mean that? Well, I think half of it’s probably just flattery, though.
「Well, Mear-san, could you show me how you fight? Your equipment’s better now, so your movements should be back to normal.」
「…I wish it was that simple. If I’m able to fight as well as I ever have, it’ll be thanks to you.」
I hope so.
When she was wearing the previous equipment, you could see the weakness in her face, so I’m pretty sure she’s fine now.
We walked a bit more until we found another goblin. Well, two of them. I decided to take one instead of leaving it all to Mear-san, who was still unsure about her current power. Since I want to see her fight, I decided to take out the goblin in an instant.
There were a few things I wanted to experiment with, so I figured I might as well try them out here. I dodged the approaching goblin’s club and stabbed it with a knife.
The knife had on it the weak skills I obtained from Mear-san’s equipment, such as Muscle Strength Reduction.
The fact this knife is stuck in the goblin’s body is the same as being equipped, right?
Not long after it was punctured, the goblin’s movement clearly became more sluggish. At the same time, my body become lighter.
Well, I don’t want to wear an equipment with a weakening effect, after all.
I lopped off the slow-moving goblin’s head and looked at Mear-san.
She was facing the other goblin. They both turned to look at me, as if surprised.
「Mear-san, please be careful.」
Mear-san raised her voice and faced the goblin. The goblin also shouted and jumped towards her, it became quite aggressive after realizing its companion had already been killed. Mear-san dodged the strike.
When she did, though… she really got some distance from the goblin, she jumped way too far just to dodge an attack. She looked at her body in surprise.
…What’s going on? Is there still some curse effect on her? There shouldn’t be any problems with her equipment now. So what else―
While I was wondering, Mear-san kicked off the ground hard. In an instant, she closed the distance to the goblin and swung her sword, fire streaming behind the cutting edge. The goblin was dead before it hit the ground.
Even if she still had a curse on her, could she ever move that fast? Or rather, is that really an F-rank adventurer? Man… I guess I still have a lot to figure out about adventurers. The gap between those with Divine Treasures and those without is so significant.
「…Mear-san, that was amazing.」
As I approached Mear-san with stunned praise, her eyes lit up as she jumped toward me.
W-wha-what!? Whoa, b-boobs!
「Thank you, Relius!」
「Thanks to you, I feel just like before… no, even better than before!」
It makes me uncomfortable if you’re thanking me so much, you know, but….. is all that true?
「Yeah! This equipment you made is amazing! I feel light as a feather! I couldn’t believe it until the battle began―it’s thanks to you that I was able to move like that just now! Thank you! Really, thank you so much!」
Mear-san was shedding tears of joy.
…No way, she must have had this much strength to begin with. I’m sure the new armor was just the trigger.
「Is that so? I’m glad I was able to help a little.」
「It wasn’t just a little, it was a huge help!」
Mear-san hugged me tightly.
…She really is a nice girl.