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Chapter 13 – Apricot Grass Collection
「Ah, not yet, Hiroki…!」
I could easily hear Lusha’s astounded voice behind me, but I pretended not to. The most important thing right now was to collect the Apricot Grass right in front of me.
First, I threw my skills at the Shop Fairy.
The Shop Fairy looked at me in surprise.
The Demon Turtle definitely looked strong, but honestly this Shop Fairy doesn’t seem to be a match for it. Would she be all right? I was worried just thinking about it, but those concerns were apparently unfounded.
The Shop Fairy jumped quickly and struck the Demon Turtle while gracefully twisting to avoid its attack. Contrary to her small stature, she was pretty strong, but she didn’t deal much damage, probably because the Demon Turtle’s shell was so incredibly hard.
This thing would be difficult to beat.
The Demon Turtle’s tail whipped toward the Shop Fairy at high speed. Fortunately, it didn’t do any damage thanks to my Shield. It’s pretty quick for a turtle.
「Kuh, it’s pretty strong, isn’t it?」
「That’s no lie ― wait, why are you so embarrassed? It’s perfectly reasonable to not have beaten it in one hit…」
「Of course, I didn’t expect to! It’s just kind of embarrassing for other people to see me fighting.」
「O-oh, that’s my bad, then.」
She covered her face with her hands like some shy maiden, but I can’t see her face anyway, she always wears a hood. I sighed and asked what we should do next.
「In the first place, what’s your plan, Hiroki-san? Can you beat it?」
The Shop Fairy folded her arms and asked me. When I looked at Lusha for a moment, she was getting her arrows out and was ready for battle. However, the Shop Fairy shook her head, saying, “It’s impossible.”
「That guy’s shell is too hard, it’s almost impossible for an ordinary arrow to penetrate it. Oh, right! An arrow made from a Great Tree Leaf should be powerful enough to pierce it.」
「Using the Great Tree Leaf?」
The Great Tree Leaf that Lusha obtained can be used as a material for making arrows. However, it’s very valuable, and it’s the ticket that allows Lusha to meet the Shop Fairy. I think it would be a waste to use it here.
「You know, we don’t necessarily have to beat it.」
「You say that, but how are we supposed to collect the Apricot Grass without defeating it?」
The Shop Fairy believed it would be impossible if we didn’t stop the turtle from moving.
「Mm-mm-mm. I’m an evasion Healer, after all.」
Even if the turtle was alive, one could still collect the Apricot Grass as long as we could climb on its shell. If the Shop Fairy couldn’t pull it off, that meant it was my turn to shine. I ran up to the Demon Turtle while wondering how I could climb it.
I could avoid these attacks without any effort, so it seemed unnecessary to actually kill the thing.
「Wow, that’s amazing!」
The Shop Fairy marveled at what I was doing, having given up collecting it herself and going over to Lusha off in the distance.
Well, what if I really can get it on my own?
Although it’s 5 meters tall at the highest point, the edge of the shell is less than two meters off the ground, so it’s a simple matter to grab on. I gripped the edge tightly, then jumped and climbed up the shell. The Demon Turtle was still quite mobile, so it did its best to shake me off, but the surface of the shell was bumpy enough that I could grip it and hold on.
「Alright, all I have to do now is climb.」
Once I was on the shell, the tail couldn’t reach me, so I was safe from any more attacks. I aimed for the top in a hurry and reached the Apricot Grass in no time.
Evasion Healer is the greatest, isn’t it? Totally the best class.
Apricot Grass is a small plant with soft leaves. I grinned with satisfaction at seeing the orange fruit growing there in front of me. As a precaution, I also took several leaves, and with that, the collection was complete.
「Alright, I’m now one step closer to lifting Ren’s curse!」
I clenched my fist firmly, as if I was flexing my muscles.
「That was easier than I thought!」
With this, all I had to do next was get down from the turtle, go back to the city, and find an alchemist who can create the curse-cleansing potion. I looked over at Lusha on the ground to show her the Apricot Grass that I got. She cheerfully made a guts pose as the Shop Fairy applauded next to her.
「Alright, now to get down―huh? Ah!」
I slipped when I tried to get down off the shell, because suddenly the Demon Turtle stood up on its hind legs, as if it were angry.
Of course, I couldn’t keep standing in that position, and I was thrown off the top of the shell, tumbling through the air. The Demon Turtle was standing straight up, imposingly, and I was still about 10 meters in the air. It looked like it was planning to fall on me the moment I crashed into the ground.
This is bad!
I could avoid its normal attacks, but if it were to crush me like this, I’d be a dead man; there was no place to dodge to. I couldn’t avoid taking damage. All I could do was stretch my shield, but I’d soon feel the shock of the impact. Just when I decided to close my eyes and accept my fate, a floating feeling came over me.
「It’s okay, just land as you are!」
Apparently the Shop Fairy did something to me, and my body landed gently, after which I quickly dashed away from the Demon Turtle’s attack and returned to where Lusha was.
「You gave me a Shield earlier, so that’s my gratitude to you.」
「Right, thanks. Was that a magic skill?」
「It’s a company secret, you know.」
Even though I was expressing my deepest gratitude, she still didn’t want to tell me what exactly she used to help me, what a pity! Lusha sighed.
「Jeez, you scared me so much! I’m glad you’re safe, Hiroki.」
「Lusha! Sorry I suddenly jumped out like that. But hey, I got the Apricot Grass safely!」
Because I’ve put it properly into the bag, it’ll still be fine even if we fall in the river again.
「The next step is to leave the forest… hey, Shop Fairy, should we stick together until the ex― what the, she’s gone!」
「Huh!? She was just there a second ago!」
The Shop Fairy, who was supposed to be next to Lusha, had suddenly disappeared. I was hoping she could tell us how to get out of the forest, what was her problem? I sighed loudly, having no choice but to walk through the cave again with Lusha.