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Chapter 4 – The Leaf of The Great Tree [Part 1]
「Umm, I’m sorry, but about these Mushrents… could you defeat them for me?」
「Is it meal time?」
The laughing elf kid looked at me with amusement. It was the first time she’d ever seen someone avoid attacks like that, it was quite unusual.
「Liliana, if you please?」
The elf kid asked Liliana, the one with bunny ears, to take care of it. She nodded immediately and took a step forward.
Even though they told her to beat the Mushrents… I can’t really see any weapons on her. Her equipment doesn’t look like the type used by martial artists, so is she a magician?
I wondered for a moment, and then Liliana raised her hand and used a skill.
That was the same skill as Lusha’s, a skill to make an arrow. In other words, she was an Archer.
If she’s an archer, then — wait, where’s her bow?
I wondered if there was also a skill like 【Create Bow】 or something. If she could just make arrows and a bow out of nowhere, not needing to carry them, that would certainly be convenient.
「Hmm, I’ll just use one arrow each…」
Arrows appeared around Liliana — around ten, the same as the number of Mushrents. I was mesmerised by the arrows floating in the air. Just when I realized what she was going to do, the arrows all flew towards me at once.
「Let’s go, 【Auto Arrow】.」
I was so shocked! She didn’t use a bow at all!
Liliana used her skill to manipulate the arrows and killed the Mushrents. Just as she’d declared, each arrow penetrated one monster — and amazingly, killed them in one hit.
The arrows were also fast, cutting through the air with such speed that the wind they threw off blew my hair around. Liliana’s fighting style sent shivers up my spine, but at the same time I was fascinated by it.
The arrow that killed the Mushrent directly behind me had passed right next to my neck.
I didn’t realize I’d even said anything until a moment later. Liliana had shown off her overwhelming ability. I really wanted Lusha and I to be like that too, someday.
Uh, I mean…
「An Archer without a bow?」
「I’m a Hunter, it’s a job above Archer. You’re right about my not having a bow.」
「A Hunter, huh?」
If that’s the case, this overwhelming power was certainly attainable. I just didn’t think it was possible to be a Hunter unless you had a bow. If you only attacked with skills, there’d be the danger of depleting your magic, but if you had a good grasp on your abilities, it wouldn’t be out of the question.
「There, I’ve helped you. I’d like to have these mushrooms for dinner.」
While I was talking to Liliana, the elf kid was already picking up the mushrooms from the Mushrents. I thought it would be unpleasant to eat something that was growing on a monster, but they really did look identical to ordinary mushrooms.
「Hey, come to think of it, we didn’t introduce ourselves, did we? My name is Pino, I’m an Alchemist.」
「My name is Liliana.」
「I’m Hassan. As you can see, I’m a Dwarf, also a vanguard.」
「I’m Hiroki, my occupation is Healer.」
When I introduced myself as a Healer, they all cried out in surprise. Because I was avoiding the monsters so well, they thought I was a vanguard with an emphasis on quickness.
「Specifically, I’m an Evasion Healer. I can avoid attacks, but I can’t attack myself, so… if I’m alone, I’ll end up like you saw earlier.」
「I see… but then, why would you enter the Sea of Trees alone?」
「No, I have a partner who’s an Archer, but not long ago, I slipped and fell off the cliff…」
Pino had been wondering why I was there, so I explained what had happened earlier. The others looked at me with pity, and she just gave her frank opinion, “Such a clumsy guy.”
「Well then, you can accompany our party for now, but we can’t help you for too long, because we were originally here to collect medicinal herbs.」
「That’s fine, Pino-san, I appreciate you doing that much.」
I was relieved that they offered to let me accompany them. Like this, I might be able to find Lusha pretty quickly. I was thankful that I didn’t have to worry about monsters showing up now.
For the time being, I had to play the role of a Healer.
「Ohhh, thanks! …Hold on, is that really okay? It was just a scratch, but you still used a Heal on it?」
Hassan-san immediately thanked me. I told him it was no big deal, and asked if any of them had any other injuries.
「I’m fine. Liliana, Pino, you two have any problems?」
「Thanks for that. Giving him a Shield certainly relieves a bit of tension.」
「Not at all! Thank you, Hiroki. By the way, you don’t need to be so polite, just calling me by my name is enough. Same goes for Ossan and Liliana too.」
「It’s not Ossan, it’s Hassan!」
Pino had said that with a laugh, and Hassan straightened things out immediately. I couldn’t help laughing along with them.
「Understood then, Pino, Hassan, and Liliana.」
「Yup! Now I’m worried about Hiroki’s partner, so let’s get going!」
In this way, I was temporarily allowed to join Pino’s party.
◆ ◆ ◆
In the Sea of Trees, the monsters get stronger the deeper you go. However, since the types are weak and quantities are small, the difficulty is still much lower than the Undersea Dungeon.
「Well well, it sure is nice to be able to collect the herbs with the peace of mind from having a Shield!」
Pino picked medicinal herbs along the way whenever she found them. That was fine with me, but Hassan and Liliana were struggling with Pino’s pace.
「Oy! Don’t go moving around on your own! Liliana and I supposed to be your escort, you know!」
「It’s fine, the reward is quite good! And come on, I have Hiroki’s Shield on me now, so it makes me suuuper invincible!」
「You look more like an idiot to me!」
Is this a comedy sketch?
At this point, I’m really glad I ran into these people.
Suddenly, Liliana murmured, “Hmm…?” and I looked ahead and raised my own voice. Pino reacted to it immediately.
「There’s signs of a fight, but they seem a bit… unnatural?」
I looked forward — Liliana was right, there was plenty of evidence that a battle had taken place here. Trees were smashed and rocks were shattered. Something with considerable power had been fighting here.
Is there a strong monster around?
「For the scene of a battle, it’s really weird!」
「Did a tough monster show up?」
Pinot shouted “Noooo!” and Hassan arrived at the same conclusion as me. But suddenly — I saw it.
A single arrow was stuck high up on a tree.