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Chapter 10 – Encounter
It’s been a month since I started traveling down the river. I’ve been walking for a long time, but still I’ve seen nothing but forest. Is this Great Borf Forest perhaps bigger than the Amazon Rainforest on Earth? If so, when am I going to find human civilization? Though my heart was ready to break from solitude, I held on, and continued walking by the riverside.
It was almost sunset. Recently, the air was biting cold even in the daytime, so when the sun went down the temperature would drop so much I’d shiver uncontrollably. It’s clear that winter is coming soon, but my current appearance is completely primitive.
My hair has grown wild compared to when I first got thrown into the Great Borf Forest, and before long the clothes I was wearing were in such tatters they couldn’t even be called clothes anymore. I just wrapped them around my waist to maintain decency, and that’s the best I could do.
However, the one thing I’m grateful for is that it doesn’t feel cold in the darkness, so I practically live there these days. Not having anyone to talk to for a whole month has left me feeling very lonely.
I wonder if there’s anyone in this forest… right now, I’d accept any kind of sapient existence to fill this emotional void, even if it turned out to be a monster. Events in light novels often proceed such that the main character is able to make friends with a monster, such as a slime or Fenrir, so I was hoping for something like that as well.
Come to think of it, are there beastmen in this world? Are there any fantasy races such as elves or dwarves? In the temple where I was summoned, everyone just looked like regular humans, so that aspect was kind of boring, but I think it makes sense to expect other races to exist because this is a different world, full of magic.
What I mean is, I’m definitely going to find some people who have animal ears! I think that I’m allowed to cuddle with something that has soft fur, considering the hardships I’ve been through so far!
The darkness was so comfortable. Whenever I get sleepy, I go to sleep in there, and keep moving after I’ve regained my stamina. If a monster comes out, I kill it, and eat it when I’m hungry. Earlier, I ran into another Hell Bear, and I didn’t have a hard time like before since I could just sneakily touch its back and use [Dismantling].
I’ve become a total cheat character, but I still remember the time when I was almost killed by the Hell Bear. It’s almost nostalgic.
Oh yeah, I also finally killed a Sword Reaper. My strategy for fighting it was to activate [Acceleration] from inside the darkness in order to shorten the distance as quickly as possible, and set it on fire with [Ignition] as soon as I was close enough.
The Sword Reaper instantly got its distance with [Transition Technique], even in that state, but the distance of a single [Transition Technique] was only about 150 meters, well within the range of my [Presence Detection]. I’d figured this out for sure after chasing so many of them.
Once I successfully managed to hit it with [Ignition], I kept a distance of about 50 meters and watched it burn. The fire from [Ignition] will continue to burn as long as I want it to or until the target dies, so I figured the Sword Reaper would keep burning and eventually die, like any other creature.
And I was right ― the Sword Reaper died after burning for about three hours. It was quite a hardy monster, but I was able to beat it for the first time! When I dismantled it, I also got the eerie sword and jet-black cloak that it had, and its heart as an edible ingredient. The heart was unexpected, but it’s still way more palatable than the eyeballs dropped by Soul Eaters, so I cooked it with [Ultimate Cooking].
Grilled heart of the grim reaper ⇒ The [Swordsmanship] skill can be learned, and sickness, injury and abnormal conditions will be cured!
Hmm, well, I’m happy about learning [Swordsmanship], but… if possible, I wanted [Transition Technique] or [Corrosion Magic]. [Transition Technique] is generally useful, and [Corrosion Magic] was just something I wanted to have. I’m not saying it would be a luxury, but… well, it just wouldn’t.
I got the usual notification in front of me that I had learned the [Swordsmanship] skill. And I finally got a cloak to cover up this body of mine! It’s time to say goodbye to looking like a wild man!
And… I got that creepy sword. Is this a sign that I should fight with a sword? I did just get [Swordsmanship], so my fighting power will surely be increased, but I barely even touched the copper sword. Also, what if I get cursed by equipping this creepy sword? That wouldn’t be funny at all, so let’s confirm what it is with [Detailed Appraisal] first.
Grim Reaper Sword ⇒ A divine sword that was born when a sword saint reached the end of his life with regrets. This sword, created by the will of the sword itself, cannot be broken, chipped, or bent, and never loses its edge. It is said to choose its wielder.
It’s a long description, but it doesn’t seem to be cursed. The question is, can I actually equip it? I mean, all I need is for the sword to choose me, right? Anyway, now for the cloak…
Hermit’s Coat ⇒ Also known as the Grim Reaper’s Coat, it will not recognize those who are living at a lower level than the previous wearer. It won’t tear or get dirty, and completely blocks magic.
This is… a bit of a delicate coat for a guy like me who can move hidden in the dark. But it’s actually a coat, not a cloak… Hmm, it said it completely blocks magic, but [Ignition] isn’t magic, so I wonder if it would still affect it?
At any rate, I can equip the sword and coat. There aren’t any negative effects or curses attached to them, so it should be fine. I put the coat on and wrapped a belt around my waist for the sword sheath. I felt a little more civilized than earlier when I only had a cloth of tattered rags around my waist.
Now that I’m dressed like this, I’m sure I can regain my civilized life! But then, something happened to me, to interrupt my cravings for the future ― actually, something happened to the sword that was hanging on my waist, not me! It started vibrating and rattling intensely.
“What is this!?”
I held the sheath and the handle as tightly as I could to suppress the vibration. Now, my raw strength is enough to pulp a monster at the level of a Boagnon, but that still wasn’t enough to suppress the vibration, and on the contrary, it was getting worse. Finally, the sword flew out of its sheath and glowed brightly.
It was so bright I had to shield my eyes.
“Are you strong?”
I felt like I heard a voice from somewhere. Perhaps it was just my imagination, a hallucination borne of the dizziness caused by this radiant light. There’s no reason for a person to be here. After all, this is the Great Borf Forest, a magical forest inhabited by monsters! No humans would want to come here!
I seem to have finally lost my mind. There’s no way I could hear someone else’s voice in a place like this. I guess it’s been long enough for that to happen.
“Don’t ignore me!?”
When I heard a yell and opened my eyes, I saw that creepy sword floating in the air in front of me. I looked around for the source of the voice.
“It’s the sword in front of you!”
“Yeah… I guess so…”
It’s certainly possible that I could be imagining this hovering sword to be talking, but my instincts appealed to firstly confirm whether it really was the old “talking sword” trope. I recognized this creepy sword probably had a will because that was written in the description, but I never thought it would actually speak.
“Don’t touch me!”
I absently tried to poke the sword with a finger, but apparently it didn’t like that. I looked it over, but no matter what angle I checked, it only looked like a creepy sword. So, if it’s a talking sword, does that mean it’s intelligent?
“Quit staring at me! Jeez, what do you think I am!?”
“…What, aren’t you a sword?”
“I’m no ordinary sword, I’m a Divine Sword!”
Ohh, well if you say so. The description did say “Divine Sword” after all.
“Now, I’m going to question you as to whether you’re worthy of being my owner. I can recognize the truth behind your answer even if you tell me lies.”
“…Question me? Shouldn’t it be more like, Give me your magic! Whoaaa! Isn’t that usually how these things go?”
“Like I said, what do you think I am?!”
“A creepy sword?”
The sword screeched hysterically. Actually, wasn’t its voice kind of like a young woman’s?
“…That’s enough. I’ll ask you a question now.”
“Will you let me use you if I answer?”
“If you qualify to own me, I will lend you my power. But if I decide you’re ineligible, I’ll go on a journey to find my next owner!”
“Looking for your next holder… but I don’t think anyone will touch a creepy sword that looks cursed~”
“Huh? This is just a temporary form! My form changes depending on the owner, no matter what.”
“Whoa~! Can you become a katana?”
“I can be any sword envisioned by the person I recognize as my wielder!”
“Wow, that’s amazing!”
“Do you understand how great I am now? Then I’ll ask you my question!”
What kind of question it will be? I’m a little nervous now.
◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆
Name : Tsukuru Sumeragi
Job : Chef, Level 208
Skills : [Ultimate Cooking] [Ignition] [Dismantling] [Detailed Appraisal] [Material Storage] [Spring Water] [Tool Maintenance] [Ingredient Detection]
Skills II : [Night Vision] [Acceleration] [Throwing] [Presence Detection] [Sense of Smell Enhancement] [Wild Intuition] [Cooperation] [Mass Mobilization] [Whispering] [Monstrous Strength] [Strong Body] [Strong Arm] [Sturdy] [Iron Wall] [Martial Art] [Intuition] [Swordsmanship]
Skills III : [Plant Magic] [Wind Magic] [Shadow Sewing] [Dark Magic] [Undead Summoning] [Earth Magic]
Attributes : HP [B] | MP [B] | STR [A] | INT [A] | AGI [A] | DEX [EX] | LUK [EX]
Titles : Weird Person
Sturdy ⇒ Umm… it’s just sturdy.
Iron Wall ⇒ Temporarily prevent damage from any attack, isn’t that great?
Martial Art ⇒ Talk with your fists!
Intuition ⇒ Intuition is good already but, [Wild Intuition] is superior, so…
Undead Summoning ⇒ Whooaa, so many new friends! You’ve graduated from being a loner!
Earth Magic ⇒ You can use magic to manipulate the earth. Do you want to build a house with this?
Swordsmanship ⇒ I apologize in advance for this one*! Don’t ever be a cutting demon, okay?
* TLN: The original phrase is “Kirisute Gomen”. It means literally, “exemption to cut down and cast aside” a member of the lower class who failed to show proper respect to a member of the samurai military caste.