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Chapter 24 – Red Wolf
After that, Mear-san let go, red-faced.
「I-I’m sorry. I got too excited…」
So you do get self-conscious when you’re embarrassed.
I shook my head, trying to forget about that soft feeling… it took a lot of effort and concentration to look at only her face, and nothing else.
「Well then, you don’t have any problems fighting?」
「I don’t… Even so, the armor you made is really amazing. It feels so light and easy to move, and it fits perfectly…」
Now that she mentioned it, when I create clothes or armor, it seems to automatically shape itself to fit the wearer. That’s pretty convenient, isn’t it?
「By the way, did you make that weapon too?」
「Isn’t it… stronger than a Divine Treasure?」
「Nah, there’s no way that’s true.」
Mear-san must be in shock after seeing that kind of power from an ordinary weapon. Still, if I exchanged blows with a Divine Treasure, I’m pretty sure my weapon would be destroyed first. Depending on how things go, I might end up being able to imitate a Divine Treasure’s skills, but the durability would be totally different.
「Well then, let’s go hunting for Red Wolves.」
「Okay. Hang on, before we do that, shouldn’t we dismantle this goblin?」
I’d already done the other goblin when Mear-san wasn’t looking.
「We don’t really need to.」
「Oh? Why’s that?」
Is that common sense to adventurers?
「It’s mainly to save time.」
Save time? Can’t you just hit it with your Divine Treasure? I remember my parents doing the same thing when I was young…*
「Doesn’t it take no time at all if you just hit it with your Divine Treasure?」
We stared at each other, Mear-san growing tense by the second.
「You… can’t be serious, can you?」
「Of course I’m serious.」
「C-can you show me?」
Mear-san was watching me intently to see what would happen.
Maybe people can’t normally do that? No one else ever mentioned it, so I can’t say for myself.
I took out the Creation Hammer and hit the goblin’s corpse, breaking it down into materials that disappeared into my body.
「It disappeared! Where is it now?」
「Uhh… I, uh, I’ll just take the parts out now.」
「Take out the parts!? Really?」
It was like an item box, which seemed like a great thing for adventurers to have. Mear-san watched closely as I took out the fangs and skins recovered from the goblin’s corpse.
I’d only recently discovered damaged materials couldn’t be recovered. It wasn’t a problem if there was only a little bit of damage, but it was useless if it had been completely shredded. Naturally, if I kill a monster with a single poison attack, I can collect almost everything.
「Uh, is it something like… an item box?」
「Yeah, it seems to be part of my Blacksmith occupation.」
「What, no way!」
「Having that kind of thing as part of your occupation just doesn’t happen! You’re so lucky!」
Wow, really? Sure, I knew not everyone would have it, but I figured… maybe half?
「Well, item boxes exist, don’t they?」
The item box was a magic tool available on the market. They seemed to be relics from the ancient past, and could be obtained in labyrinths, but overall they were very rare. Adventurers who didn’t have an item box would definitely want to buy one.
「T-there is, but… they’re pretty expensive.」
I see, that means I’ve been really lucky compared to an ordinary adventurer. But in the end, if I don’t have the power to fight, my Treasure won’t see use anyway.
「Well, this is something like a bonus…」
「Even though I’m just a Blacksmith?」
「I didn’t know the Blacksmith occupation was so amazing. The old wisdom is wrong…」
Who says it’s wrong? Maybe my version of Blacksmith is just particularly excellent. It’s common knowledge that the performance of an occupation can vary among individuals, and compatibility with one’s Treasure is a big factor.
…Well, my combination of Treasure and occupation just matches a typical blacksmith’s toolset.
「Mear-san, your Divine Treasure is cool and enviable too, you know!」
「Oh, y-you think so?」
「I do. I was amazed at how beautiful you looked while swinging it around.」
「D-don’t praise me so much… i-it’s embarassing!」
Mear-san turned away while scratching a scarlet cheek.
Well, now that we’ve seen each others’ fighting style…
We looked in the general direction of the Red Wolf.
「Shall we get going?」
「Yeah, we’re done here.」
Mear-san nodded energetically and we headed for the Red Wolf hunting grounds.
◆ ◆ ◆
The guild had previously confirmed the presence of three stray Red Wolves. We weren’t yet inside the forest proper, but in an area with moderately dense tree coverage.
If Red Wolves settled here, the current ecosystem could be destroyed. We might not immediately notice if they eradicate one species, but over time, that effect will ripple through the rest of the food chain.
If one species disappears, any species that preyed on it will have to change their habits. In some cases, they may even resort to attacking humans. Monsters may also evolve unexpectedly to counter the Red Wolf, and cause further disruptions.
If one linkage is broken, the whole system can collapse, so the guild has a strong incentive to keep monster populations under control. They typically used adventurers for that purpose, but even knights would be dispatched if the adventurers weren’t enough.
That’s the role of the guild.
We were walking in the forest looking for any Red Wolves… but still couldn’t find them. Was it possible they’d already moved to another location?
While I was wondering if that might be the case, Mear-san was looking for tracks.
「These footprints… might be from a Red Wolf.」
As I stared at the footprints, the word “Createable” came out.
Eh? What’s this?
It was at least labeled as Red Wolf’s footprint, so there could be no mistake.
「Mear-san, they’re indeed tracks from a Red Wolf.」
「What? You can identify it?」
「Yes. Thanks to being a Blacksmith.」
「Blacksmiths… really can do anything, huh…」
She looked at me with milder surprise than last time. I thought it was a convenient ability, but apparently it was something else only a Blacksmith could do. I didn’t know because I had no one to compare it to.
「These tracks are pretty fresh, aren’t they?」
「You’re right… if we follow the trail, we might find them.」
「Agreed. Let’s go.」
The two of us followed the tracks through the forest. After walking for a while, the number of footprints increased.
The size of individual prints was quite varied, and it seemed like there were enough tracks for six wolves.
「Maybe they’ve already started breeding.」
「If so, won’t that be kind of awkward?」
「Yeah… wolf pups are cute.」
No, that’s not what I mean. Actually, I’m not sure what I mean anymore.
*TLN : In chapter 13, it was incorrectly translated that Relius wished his parents had a tool like his. It has been corrected to state they did have a tool like his. I apologize for the error.