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Chapter 5 – The Great Tree [Part 2]
Without a doubt, this was one of Lusha’s arrows. I was relieved to know we were on the right track, but I was worried about her safety if she’d been fighting monsters. She might have already been hurt.
We need to hurry.
Worst of all, I thought for a moment that it might even be better for me to leave Pino’s party. Then the other three noticed the same arrow. They were baffled that it would be in such a strange place.
「An arrow stuck that far up on a tree? Maybe there’s some new kind of monster that uses super speed or hallucinations…」
Hassan wondered out loud, and began to keep an eye on the surrounding area.
I’m sorry, but it’s only because the arrow was so far off target.
I scratched my head and decided to explain it to Pino and the others and satisfy their curiosity.
「Uhh… I also thought for a moment that it was a strong monster, but I’m sorry. I think it was actually my partner who did all this.」
The three of them looked at me inquisitively.
That’s right, when it comes to Archers, they’d normally have high accuracy, with attack power only secondary. With Lusha’s accuracy being the way it is — eh, is she really even an Archer? No, no, that’s not a nice question to ask. It’s just that she’s still focusing on attack power…
「If that’s the case, doesn’t it seem like your partner is in danger? Let’s go, we should follow these traces.」
What a guy! When I told them what was going on, he immediately decided that Lusha might have been in danger and we needed to find her quickly. Pino and Liliana agreed, so we picked up the pace through the Sea of Trees.
「So far it seems like she’s still okay, because we keep finding monster corpses.」
「Her accuracy is low, but she seems to have the attack power to make up for it.」
As we followed Lusha’s trail, Hassan and Liliana guessed the situation from the destruction. I felt a little relieved by their conclusion, but Pino, who was walking next to me, had a troubled expression.
When I was wondering if it was better to ask what was on her mind or leave it alone, Pino spoke up without being prompted.
「Is it possible that Hiroki’s partner is an elf?」
How did she know that? When I looked at Pino, bewildered, she just said, “I see.”
「What are you talking about?」
「Hmm? No, maybe she’ll like it—」
Pino’s words had some kind of meaning, but I had no idea what it was. I was about to ask her to clarify that when I heard a loud noise from up ahead.
「It’s a monster—and there’s an elf girl!」
Lusha wasn’t terribly far away, and I could catch up with her almost immediately… but the distance between us was still more than 50 meters. On top of that, there was a monster about three meters in height, only a few meters in front of her.
She’s in a really tight spot!
A red-colored bear monster was attacking Lusha with its sharp claws.
「It’s too far away, we won’t get there in time!」
I understood what Hassan was saying, but I was racking my brains for a solution. Maybe Liliana’s arrow? I thought, but the monster was too close and too fast, its claws were only one meter away from Lusha. We really couldn’t get there in time.
What can I do? Lusha’s about to…!
Suddenly I got an idea. I’d never used it from this distance, but I had to give it a try and believe it was possible.
Please, please reach her!
When I put a Shield on Lusha, she called my name without looking away from the monster. Without missing a beat, she aimed her bow and sent an arrow into the monster’s forehead at point-blank range. Naturally, she couldn’t miss at that distance, and the arrow punched right through the monster’s head. It came within a hair’s breadth of hitting her on the way down.
「Whoa, amazing! That kid has courage to spare, doesn’t she?」
「Right? I almost can’t believe she’s actually an elf like you!」
Pino and Hassan praised Lusha’s gutsy moves, and I sighed with relief. Until now, I’d only used my skills from about a ten meter distance, and even that was generally considered a long distance, but it seems they can even reach a target from fifty meters out.
I should have tested it in advance, but I hadn’t had a reason to worry about it until then, so it couldn’t be helped.
Pino looked at me with a newfound respect.
「You can activate a support skill like that from so far away… The range actually depends on the recovery stat, so it’s clear you really are an incredible Healer.」
「Thank you so much. I have to go to Lusha now.」
「Yup, go ahead.」
I hurriedly ran over to Lusha. So, I’d found out that the range of support skills depended on the recovery stat. Well, mine was 100, so apparently my skills had an enormous range.
Once we’ve broken through the Sea of Trees, let’s figure out the true limit to its range.
「Lusha, are you alright? 【Heal】」
「Y-yeah… thanks, Hiroki. I’m safe, somehow.」
Lusha was still breathing hard, but smiled while looking at the monster bear’s corpse.
「With Hiroki’s shield, I can fight without worrying about getting hit.」
By saying that she’d been saved, Lusha had already grown considerably. Then she saw Pino and the others approaching and asked who they were, tilting her head.
「They helped me when I was getting attacked by a lot of Mushrents.」
「Ah, so that’s why Hiroki didn’t bring any monsters with him this time.」
Lusha immediately understood the situation and reached out to shake hands with Pino and the others.
「Thank you for helping Hiroki!」
「Not at all, it’s important to help each other! I’m glad you’re safe!」
Pino laughed in a dignified manner, then shifted her gaze to the big tree behind Lusha. She pointed up and said, “Hey, there’s a present for you.”
My voice overlapped with Lusha’s, and we looked up. A leaf fluttered down that shone brightly. It seemed like a leaf from the big tree, but… why was it shining? We looked at it with wonder as it fell in front of Lusha, who quickly grabbed it and asked me what it was.
「Who knows…? Do you know about this, Pino?」
「That’s right, I do! That’s the “Leaf of The Great Tree” that appreciated Lusha’s fight!」
「Yeah. The Great Tree loves the elf, so that’s what it is. It’s very precious, so take good care of it. By the way, if you use it to make an arrow, that arrow will have such a huge boost to its attack power that it will become an instant kill.」
Hearing Pino’s explanation, we couldn’t help verbally admiring it.
That’s right, Pino said something earlier that “Lusha might like it.” There’s no doubt she was talking about the precious large tree that was going to give her its leaf. This really is a different world where stuff like this is possible.
Pino said there were a number of large trees in this world. It’s been said that these trees can entrust their power to someone through a leaf, like just now. If you take a leaf on your own, there won’t be anything special about it.
「The Great Tree. Thank you for the leaf! I think I’ll make it a charm, just in case.」
「Right. If you’re in a pinch, remember you can use it as material for an arrow, it could save your life.」
While Lusha stared tenderly at the leaf, Pino took a breath and dropped her bag.
「Why don’t we camp here today? We have enough mushrooms to last for a while, and I don’t recommend walking through the Sea of Trees at night.」
That was a good reason to camp there for the night