Enjoy the chapter~
Chapter 2 – [Cooking]
I had no idea what time it was, I couldn’t see any sunlight as it was blocked by the dense trees, and the ambient light was so dim. I must have fainted after the death match with the monster, so it’s probably evening now.
Apparently, I’m still alive, but my whole body is screaming at me with pain. It’s clear that if I don’t do something to recover, I won’t live much longer. What should I do first?
I looked at my surroundings with just my eyes. All around me were assorted furs, meat, bones, internal organs, and other body parts from dismantling the monster. Even if I do cook as a hobby, it was a grotesque and nauseating spectacle.
Next… Ah, right, let’s check my status.
Name : Tsukuru Sumeragi
Job : Chef, Level 123
Skill : [Cooking] [Ignition] [Dismantling] [Detailed Appraisal] [Material Storage] [Spring Water] [Recovery Meal] [Tool Maintenance] [Ingredient Detection]
Attributes : HP [D] | MP [D] | STR [D] | INT [B] | AGI [D] | DEX [EX] | LUK [EX]
My level is already in the three digits. That monster’s level must have been ridiculously high. Next time, let’s check its level with [Detailed Appraisal].
I’m kidding, I never want to see one of those again!
My attributes have also risen, except for DEX [EX] and LUK [EX].
However, even though my level has gone up beyond a hundred, my STR is still [D]… Hmm, probably because [Chef] is not an occupation suitable for battle.
Next I took a look at my skills. I had four extras compared to last time. I did my best to use [Detailed Appraisal] on these four: [Spring Water] [Recovery Meal] [Tool Maintenance] [Ingredient Detection].
Spring Water ⇒ You can produce and drink as much water as you want!
Recovery Meal ⇒ You can make a meal that recovers injuries and illnesses?
Tool Maintenance ⇒ You can fix any tool, even if it has a chipped edge!
Ingredient Detection ⇒ You can find anything that can be used as an ingredient!
If I had another status plate, I would have thrown this one. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to do that now. Moreover, the condition of my body makes moving so painful I could shed tears.
None of that matters now. This is it.
I imagined slowly pouring water into my mouth, and after so long… I finally had something to gulp down. Delicious. Water is so delicious! I shed tears of joy over this taste.
I’d quenched my thirst. Next, the only way to get out of this near-death situation was probably to try [Recovery Meal]. However, what’s that question mark at the end of its description supposed to mean? It’s making me nervous.
I forced my sore body to move. When the monster got dismantled, several chunks of meat fell to the ground, so I moved to the closest one desperately.
I crawled towards it at the blistering speed of one meter per minute. There were various other things scattered on the ground, but I ignored them in favor of the meat. Since it had fallen on the ground, I tried to use [Detailed Appraisal] on one of them.
Rib roast meat of large civet cat ⇒ This cut contains a lot of fat, and is overall quite fine and tender.
Regardless of my own opinions, based on the explanation, I can eat this meat. My body still aches, but now it’s time to activate [Recovery Meal].
The meat was well roasted, is it part of the effect of [Recovery Meal]? It’s also been cut into bite-sized pieces for some reason. I appraised it again:
Recovery rib roasted meat of large civet cat ⇒ It’s delicious and has an effect to cure injuries (?)
So why is there a question mark (?) in the explanation!? Why are the explanations always so limited!? I think my patience is amazing to be able to suppress this frustration. Anyway, now I have to eat this recovery roasted meat in front of me, I can think about other things later. I wanted to eat it with my hands, but that was basically impossible, so I ate the meat directly off the ground with my mouth.
It was humiliating, but I told myself that I needed to endure it this time. I sank my teeth into it, and because my mouth was injured, the bite sent pain shooting through my jaw. I tasted my own blood as well. It’s kind of a waste; this would be so delicious if I could eat it normally. Dirt and detritus stuck to the meat, so that added some grittiness and an occasional crunch.
It was kind of gross… but if I didn’t swallow it, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t work, so I did my best to swallow it without gagging. In a moment, all of my pain, throughout my whole body, eased up a little. I hadn’t fully recovered, but my condition improved just because I ate a small piece of it.
I ate another piece. It too was crunchy from the soil that stuck to it. However, the effect was immediately apparent. My right arm, which had been bent in a strange direction until now, straightened out on its own, and I could actually move it again.
With the third piece, my torso was healed. With the fourth, my legs were healed. I think I’ve recovered to almost perfect condition now, but I’ll eat the rest of the meat just in case. Because I was so hungry, I ended up putting about 500 grams of meat in my stomach [ED: just over a pound].
Moreover, my body felt lighter than ever before. I seemed to be in better condition than before I even met that monster. That was probably because my [HP] and [STR] had increased as well.
I put the remaining scattered monster parts in [Material Storage]. I’m not going to leave it forever, though ― I have to figure out the maximum capacity of this skill. Before that… I need to do something about my tattered clothes, but what can I do about it in the middle of a forest?
I sighed when I noticed shreds of my uniform all over the place, torn to pieces by that terrifying cat.
I had to eat directly from the ground without using my hands, and now wear tattered clothes that would be unsuitable for any civilized person, have I deviated this far from humanity already? Even if it has, for the sake of increasing my chance to survive, I will do anything.
“Now, I have to secure a place where I can rest before I leave this forest.”
The sun was already down, and it was dark in the forest. If this continued, I wouldn’t be able to find a safe place. Actually, could any safe place really exist there? If it did, I wanted it.
I just wandered aimlessly for a while, but it turns out there’s nothing so convenient as a designated safety zone. It’s a harsh reality for me. I had no choice but to think about spending the night in a big tree, but I’d never climbed a tree. The branches might be thick, but there was a possibility of falling off while I was asleep. There’d be no point in having survived the cat monster if I break my neck and die from falling out of a tree.
Ideally there would be something like strong vines I could use, but there isn’t anything of the sort. My surroundings were already pitch black. Nothing I can do now, might as well give up.
I climbed a tree. I’d never done it before, but somehow I was able to do it anyway. It’s probably because of my increased strength. I rested on a thick branch about four meters above the ground. The one I chose was particularly thick, so it should have been the most comfortable one possible. I wanted to think I could keep this up until morning.
Now I feel like having a drink. I activated [Spring Water] and just poured water directly into my mouth. Because there was no glass or dish or anything, that was just how I drank, I felt very distant from the civilized world.
I took out a chunk of meat from [Material Storage], about 3 kilograms. For some reason, there was no sand or soil on it anymore. Could it be that impurities would be removed when I put them in [Material Storage]? Let’s test that tomorrow.
Rib meat of large civet cat ⇒ the fat is slightly reddish and the meat is slightly tough.
The material name was displayed in [Material Storage], but I checked the explanation with [Detailed Appraisal] just in case. I cooked a meal to cure injuries with [Recovery Meal] earlier, but this time I’d try to use [Cooking].
However, if I used it with just the materials I had on hand, I could easily end up with a bunch of hot meat landing right in my hands. I wonder if there’s something I could…
When I looked around, I noticed some fairly big leaves hanging off the tree branches. I stripped several sheets worth of the leaves and washed them with [Spring Water].
Kayo leaf ⇒ Naturally antibacterial, it’s ideal for wrapping meat that rots easily.
This leaf is perfect! I placed the rib meat on the kayo leaf and activated [Cooking]. A fire rose up a jiffy, and a delicious odour started tickling my nose.
I swallowed my saliva with a gulp. It was just a chunk of meat, but it had been cut into bite-size pieces like last time, so it would be easy to eat. However, just because I can grab it with my bare hands, that doesn’t mean these are ideal eating conditions.
Grilled rib meat of large civet cat ⇒ Do you want to learn the skill [Night Vision]?
I almost dropped the meat, but I managed to recover without losing it. Like before, there was a question mark in the description, but the description itself was amazing. Perhaps [Chef] is an occupation that allows you to learn skills with cooking? Wait, but if I had such a great ability, why did I end up like this? What’s happening right now?
I couldn’t understand the reason for it no matter how much I thought about it, so I moved on to the food! I grabbed it with my fingers. It’s been a few minutes, but it’s still hot. I blew on it and threw it into my mouth.
Wh-why does it taste so good!? Even for red meat, it was incredibly juicy and sweet. Moreover, there were flavors of salt and pepper for some reason, and even a bit of something like soy sauce. It’s too delicious!
You have learned the skill [Night Vision].
A sentence appeared in my vision!
“…What the hell is that?”
I’m in a critical battle with a monster right now.
Race : Hyena Wolf, Level 150
Skill : [Sense of Smell Enhancement] [Claw Strike] [Wild Intuition] [Coordination]
Ability : HP [C] | MP [E] | STR [C] | INT [D] | AGI [B] | DEX [E] | LUK [E]
I was about to sleep for the night, but this hyena wolf showed up from somewhere. I watched from the top of the branches as it approached the big tree I planned to use as my bed. Fortunately, my view was clear even at night thanks to the [Night Vision] skill I just gained from the civet cat meat.
Then the hyena wolf, which basically has brown fur with a black stripe on its back, began to huff through its snout and locked its gaze onto me. In an instant, it was in battle mode, and leaped at me, even as I was still in the tree. The hyena wolf was about twice the size of a German Shepherd, and actually came close enough to scratch me.
I was so surprised I almost fell off the branch; the hyena wolf’s claws had scratched and injured my leg. With haste, I took out a cut of meat and baked it with [Recovery Meal]. After I threw the baked meat into my mouth, the wound disappeared, so I threw in another piece and stored the rest in [Material Storage].
All that only took a few seconds. I was becoming an amazingly fast eater. Humans can seem capable of anything when they’re in danger.
Before my eyes, the hyena wolf was staring me down and baring its fierce fangs. I didn’t know if it would be useful, but I took out the copper sword from [Material Storage] and held it in my right hand. For some reason I could handle this sword like I’d been using it for years, even though it was my first time wielding it.
The hyena wolf leaped up again while I was thinking about that. My body moved instinctively, and the sword cut through the hyena wolf’s front leg. I wasn’t even conscious of my actions; it felt like my body was moving on its own.
The hyena wolf yipped in pain as blood gushed from its front leg. Serves you right!
“Wha-what the, don’t start howling all of a sudden!”
After the howl, it just loitered around the tree. Are you waiting for me to go to sleep? This could be troublesome, should I try using [Ignition] from here?
…Nothing happened. Well, I expected as much, so I wasn’t disappointed. You can’t light a cooking stove from this kind of distance anyway. Therefore, the range of [Ignition] seemed to be at only a few tens of centimeters. I thought it might be no more than 1 meter.
How long is that hyena wolf is going to be there? I’m still fine because I slept a little during the day, but if I keep going like this, I’ll be exhausted eventually. If I keep getting scratched by the hyena wolf’s claws, I’ll have to run out of meat eventually. Should I try something else?
I imagined a large amount of water spilling out onto the hyena wolf’s head. It yipped and spluttered as a torrent of water swept it up and away from me, smacking it into a large nearby tree. It was surprising. This wasn’t at the level of spring water anymore, but rather a tsunami.
The hyena wolf that was caught and struggling in the water for a while wasn’t moving. It seemed to have fainted.
“I think I did a lot of damage, but I have to think carefully about what to do next.”
The hyena wolf certainly wasn’t moving, but its belly was slightly moving up and down, so it was clearly still alive. Just because it was unconscious now didn’t mean I was safe from it waking up and attacking me again.
If I got down from the tree and stabbed it to give a finishing blow, my safety would be assured, but what if this was just part of its strategy? If I climb down, it still takes time to climb back up, and during that time I’d be defenseless.
I feel like it’s inviting me. So, what should I do?
I had just about decided to climb down when a distant sound echoed in my ear. As I listened, it gradually grew louder.
“Are you serious…”
I trembled in despair. It was more hyena wolves. The total number now is eight. How am I supposed to fight eight hyena wolves when I had such a hard time with one?
First of all, I climbed even higher. My intuition was telling me that climbing higher was the best way to avoid their attacks. But then they also tried to climb up the tree, digging their claws into it. The blood drained from my face.
Their crazed eyes and glistening fangs stirred fear in my heart. I was prepared to die, but I felt calm for some reason.
Some people say they can do anything if their life is in mortal danger, but that’s a lie. The things you can do even if you think you’re about to die are limited, and that ability is proportional to the strength of the natural instincts a human is born with, and the experiences the individual has had so far.
I calmed down and thought about anything I could do.
When I watched closely, the hyena wolves who were climbing the trees seemed quite stupid.
I can do this! I thrusted the copper sword into the front leg of the one that was just about to reach me.
That hyena wolf fell stupidly from the tree with a pained yip, knocking the one behind it down as well. However, just falling from the tree doesn’t cause death or serious injury, and their numbers haven’t changed.
I realized then that if the sword can reach them, they should also be in range of [Ignition], right? Another one had climbed up, so I decided to just try it.
Another yip served as a signal of my success. I lit a fire on its head, and it fell out of the tree while flailing around. If I wasn’t literally up a tree, I’d be jumping for joy right now.
When I used [Ignition] with a mental picture of the fire burning it to death, my target fell out of the tree, but the face of the hyena wolf would continue to burn, despite long since being out of range.
A phrase floated into my field of view after I repelled about three of them with [Ignition].
Apparently, the first hyena wolf I set on fire at the beginning had already died, and the fire had gone out. I got two more level up notifications once the fire on those other two hyena wolves also disappeared.
Name : Tsukuru Sumeragi
Job : Chef, Level 135
Skill I : [Cooking] [Ignition] [Dismantling] [Detailed Appraisal] [Material Storage] [Spring Water] [Recovery Meal] [Tool Maintenance] [Ingredient Detection]
Skill II : [Night Vision]
Attributes : HP [D] | MP [D] | STR [D] | INT [B] | AGI [D] | DEX [EX] | LUK [EX]
Night Vision ⇒ You can see well even in the dark, but peeking is not good ♡
My level has gone up by twelve levels because of the difference between my level and those hyena wolves. The skills that were learned by eating seem to be displayed in their own skill section, which right now is just [Night Vision].
As usual, there are still too few skills for combat. The range of [Ignition] is too short. [Spring Water] can do a reasonable amount of damage, but is too indiscriminate.
The hyena wolf down below started to slip back down the tree while I was thinking about my level ups. Their claws were really gouging up the tree trunk.
“I don’t think this big tree will fall down easily, but It’s still dangerous.”
But when I thought about it, I realized the five of them were all gathered under the tree, and I saw this as an opportunity.
I tried to imagine a tsunami that could destroy even reinforced concrete buildings. In an instant, a torrential flow of water smashed into the hyena wolves with a thundering roar. Water is heavier than people might give it credit for, and it now exerted its unrelenting destructive power against living things on the ground.
Of course, I didn’t think [Spring Water] could totally kill off those hyena wolves. Nevertheless, I’d be satisfied if it made them stop trying to carve up the tree.
As expected, the five hyena wolves didn’t die from it, but they didn’t approach the tree after that, merely watching my situation from a distance. This has become what you might call a contest of patience. I’m at an overwhelming disadvantage in that case.
The curtain was brought down on the contest of patience with the Hyena Wolves by an unexpected thing. At dawn, the six Hyena Wolves that I had weakened (including the first one I fought) were suddenly overcome by fear and ran away. Seeing that, rather than relief, I felt like one crisis was about to be exchanged for another… and sure enough, that’s what happened.
Race : Hell Bear, Level 210
Skills : [Monstrous Strength] [Strong Body] [Strong Arm] [Roar] [Charge]
Attributes : HP [A] | MP [G] | STR [A] | INT [E] | AGI [C] | DEX [D] | LUK [E]
My back broke out in a cold sweat just looking at it. Its body was three times the size of the Hyena Wolf, and it was covered in pitch black fur that made it look like the grim reaper.
I climbed even higher up the tree in hopes I wouldn’t be discovered by that monster. However, it had two powerful-sounding skills, [Monstrous Strength] and [Strong Arm]. For some reason, I’m jealous.
I figured this monster was a muscle-brain because of the low [MP] and [INT], but its strength was no joke, and there was quite a big difference in level between us.
Man, this forest really is a terrifying place.
Will I even be able to get away from a monster that strong, after it’s finished devouring the Hyena Wolves I killed, and take revenge on that temple’s shitty old man? No, it’s not even a question, I’ll definitely take my revenge! I’ve decided ― I will survive this horrible place and escape, then get my revenge!
The Hell Bear devoured the three dead Hyena Wolves in about an hour. It has a great appetite. I’ve heard bears gorge themselves before hibernating, but is that actually enough of an appetite to say that’s what it’s preparing for?
…Actually, it doesn’t seem like winter is coming soon, does it? That’s not to say it feels like summer, but it’s pleasantly warm during the day and it’s only a little cool at night, so it’s fine, right?
At any rate, whether the Hell Bear was satisfied with those three Hyena Wolves or not, it loitered around for a while and went somewhere else.
“Phew, I’m saved.”
I don’t think that’s an opponent I can beat. I don’t know if I can flush it away with [Spring Water] either with such a huge body, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll die before I get into the range of [Ignition].
Anyway, I hurried down from the big tree, wanting to get away from there as quickly as possible. Fortunately, there were no other signs of monsters around. I guess they were all in hiding because of that Hell Bear that came by.
I figured the Hell Bear must have been the monster reigning at the top of the food chain in this forest. Hyena Wolves are level 150, but the Hell Bear is level 210, so there’s a 60 level difference between them.
Even if you try to fill the gap with something, it’s not a difference you can easily shrug off… wait, hang on… how was I able to beat that cat monster? [ED: This boy has brain damage]
Also, for me to beat level 150 Hyena Wolves at level 123… level differences in this world are actually kind of confusing, aren’t they?
I hurried onward. It’s not a certainty that the Hell Bear wouldn’t follow me, and those Hyena Wolves could be close by as well. I’d also finally found what I was looking for. When I climbed higher to avoid the Hell Bear earlier, I was able to spot a rocky mountain and a river. So I hurried up and went over there.
I didn’t actually need the river for drinking water anymore, thanks to [Spring Water], but I aimed for it because following it should lead me to some kind of human civilization, like a town or city.
There it is!
My [HP] and [STR] had improved from leveling up, so even if I ran as fast as I could for an hour, I was only breathing a little harder. It was completely unlike when I was in Japan. Leveling up was amazing.
I arrived at the rocky mountain which had previously been hidden by the density of the forest, and stood before the river. It was more like a stream than a river, honestly, but the riverbed was quite wide. Maybe there was a rainy season here, and the riverbed would completely fill up with water?
I don’t want to go through winter in the forest, but I don’t like the rainy season either. I want to go all the way through the forest, with the current climate, and find a place inhabited by humans.
The riverside was hard to walk on because it was filled up with various stones, large and small. The river water looked beautiful, but I wanted to check it with [Detailed Appraisal] just in case.
Ellyn River water (upper region) ⇒ Rainfall in the Great Borf Forest penetrates the ground, gains nutrients, and springs up to form a river. It contains a lot of minerals and is very delicious.
Supposedly it’s very delicious. I scooped some up in my hands and drank it. The appraisal didn’t lie! This water really is delicious! I want to bring some along, but I don’t have a water bottle, and I can’t put it directly in [Material Storage] ― wait, can I?
Stored 10x liters of Ellyn River water (upper region).
That message appeared when I tried it, so it really could… [Material Storage] is super convenient. So I tried to stored a lot of it, to see how much was possible. I stopped at a total of 3,000 liters, after I started getting the feeling that I was taking too much, but I’m really surprised that [Material Storage] wasn’t limited even by this. I’m hoping its storage might actually be infinite.
There was a splash from behind, so I looked back immediately. It was a monkey, about the size of a lower-grade elementary schooler. It had light brown fur, and the skin on its face was a reddish tint. It actually looked just like a Japanese monkey.
Race : Boagnon, Level 140
Skills : [Throwing] [Group Action] [Scratching] [Plant Magic]
Attributes : HP [C] | MP [C] | STR [C] | INT [C] | AGI [B] | DEX [B] | LUK [E]
It’s a higher level than me, but it’s the lowest level of monster I’ve seen so far. That’s kind of a relief.
Or so I thought.
The Boagnon, still looking at me, suddenly screeched loudly. In an instant, the surrounding tree branches were covered in a swarm of Boagnon. I stepped back upon seeing their numbers were far in excess of just ten or twenty.
“Guh! That’s ridiculous!”
I started running at top speed. There was no way I could deal with so many!
I could hear the pounding of their feet behind me, and more screeching squawks. In my peripheral vision, I could see them getting closer. It was still hard to run in the riverbed, and the worst case scenario was approaching.
I cried out and fell down after taking a painful blow to the back. Apparently those monkeys threw a bunch of rocks at me. That hurt!
One of the monkeys leaped on my back. I tried to knock it off with an elbow, but it easily avoided me while screeching. If I stood up, I’d get hit with a stone again, so I wouldn’t stand up and cover my face with my arms.
A shock ran up my whole arm. In an instant, a common reed-like vine shot through the gaps between stones in the river and tied me down. The phrase [Plant Magic] came to mind.
I was completely bound and surrounded. The only future I could see was my death. Those Boagnons were dancing around my tied up body. Was that some kind of dancing ritual before they eat their prey?
If I wasn’t restrained, the dancing monkeys would be funny, but I could only sweat when thinking about what would happen when they finished. I was in serious trouble. How could I get out of this crisis?
This common reed would burn easily if I used [Ignition], right? Ah, but I have to be ready for it to burn me as well. Will those swarming monkeys be flushed away if I use [Spring Water]? I have to give it a try.
I set the vines on fire.
Ow, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, it hurts, goddammit, it fucking hurts!
Since it’s a plant, it seems to burn up more easily than monsters, but it also burned my own body considerably. The monkeys suddenly stood aside to watch me burn up (restrained by the common reed plants).
Lots of those monkeys expressions looked comical because they were dumbfounded to see this during their dance. I’m burned all over and in a lot of pain, but the best time to attack them was while they were confused!
A torrent of water surged in all directions around me, sweeping away the addled monkeys. I saw one of them being carried away by the Ellyn River and drowning after my [Spring Water] carried it in.
Looks like these monkeys can’t swim.
I activate [Spring Water] again, since the first time wasn’t enough, and took out some recovery meat from [Material Storage] and popped it into my mouth. The severe pain subsided, but not completely, so I took another piece.
It’s about time to replenish the recovery meat. Fortunately, there was still plenty of meat left from the cat monster.
While I was thinking this, I saw the monkeys looked pretty exhausted already and figured this was a good chance. I activated [Ignition] as soon as I approached the nearest monkey and sent it flying at the same time. “Eat this, Ignited Kick!”
Even though I made a clean hit on the monkey’s face, it still didn’t deal a significant amount of damage, but since its whole body was on fire, it was flailing around from the pain and heat. I laughed maniacally, shouting, “Burn this horror into your mind, and fear me!”
I don’t think I want to play the part of a villain, but it seems to be a good way to clear my anger so far. I felt a lot better after killing the monkey with [Ignition]. As you might expect, I didn’t bother kicking them anymore.
Some of the monkeys managed to run away when I approached, but I was still able to ignite twelve of them. I got a level up notification when the third monkey died, and again after the eleventh. The twelve dead monkeys were dismantled and put in [Material Storage].
The monkeys that were dismantled splattered into neat piles of fur and meat. Everything except the meat was stored in [Material Storage]. I activated [Cooking] after putting the tasty-looking meat on a flat stone to grill it. It appeared in bite-sized pieces as usual.
Grilled meat of the Forest Monkey ⇒ Do you want to learn the [Plant Magic] skill?
Ooh! Am I finally becoming a magician!? I jumped for joy and took a bite!
…Ugh, it’s bad! It’s so bad! The meat is chewy and it smells awful! I did my best to endure and forced it down.
You have learned the [Plant Magic] skill.
Hehehe, my hands are throbbing. It reminds me of the good old days… in middle school… Nah, nevermind, they weren’t that good!
After winning the fierce battle with the monkeys (Boagnon), I followed the Ellyn River downstream. As you’d expect, walking and battling all night long ate away at me both physically and mentally, but I had to endure it, because if I stuck around, I could very well have gotten attacked by monkeys again.
When the sun was finally visible above the trees, I found a hollow in the trunk of a large tree that could be used as a shelter. It was just big enough for me to fit inside, but apparently it already had an occupant.
Race : Dark Bat, Level 160
Skills : [Ultrasonic] [Wind Magic] [Silent Flight]
Attributes : HP [C] | MP [B] | STR [C] | INT [B] | AGI [A] | DEX [B] | LUK [F]
It was a monster hanging upside down from the ceiling. Because it was around noon, the bat monster was sleeping and hadn’t reacted to me. This was my chance, right? I still had to raise my level more greedily than anyone else, so I decided to fight the dark bat.
A large amount of water gushed out of the hole and smacked into the dark bat.
I couldn’t just burn the very shelter I took so long to find, so I didn’t start off with Ignition.
Before the dark bat could react to the Spring Water, I restrained it with [Plant Magic] and got up close for a finishing blow with [Ignition]. It was a triple combo of [Spring Water], [Plant Magic], and [Ignition].
[ Level Up ]
The notification appeared. My level is now 141.
The inside of the hole was damp, but I grabbed some stone from the riverbed, laid lots of branch onto that, and lit a fire with [Ignition]. I pictured the fire as being weaker than a bonfire, so it didn’t burn very intensely. With that, the inside of the hole would soon be all dried out.
While the fire was going, I dismantled the dark bat and baked its meat with [Cooking].
Grilled dark bat breast meat ⇒ Do you want to learn [Wind Magic]?
I couldn’t help cheering. It’s been cut into bite-sized pieces as usual, so it’s easy to eat. It tastes a little better than the monkey meat, but that’s still not saying much. I can tell the taste is different depending on what part of the monster the meat came from. Well, that’s natural, isn’t it? If everything was equally delicious, the concept of ‘rare first-class meat’ wouldn’t exist.
The hollow was dry, so I put out the fire and waited for the stones to cool down before taking them out. Then I poured a bit of water around the outside of the tree with [Spring Water].
I was starting to stink, so I washed myself off so monsters wouldn’t sniff me out. I finished off by “closing” the entrance of the hollow with [Plant Magic]. I say “closing” because I really just covered it up with many layers of common reed plant. This would allow me to block line of sight from the outside while still being able to breathe.
“Suddenly I feel so tired… have I depleted my magic or something?”
I was hit with a kind of fatigue that I’d never experienced from just using [Ignition] and [Spring Water].
I could hear birds chirping. It’s already morning, huh…
Apparently I fell asleep. I must have slept through the night because there was no way the sun would rise in the evening. It had to be morning.
“I know I was tired, but I really slept a lot, huh?”
I think closing up the hole with a plant fence was the right decision. Still inside the hole, I took out the monkey meat from [Material Storage] and baked it with [Cooking]. It wasn’t great, but it was still much better than nothing.
You have learned the [Throwing] skill.
That message appeared immediately after I quickly swallowed the slice of meat to avoid the taste. I checked the grilled meat still in my hand with [Detailed Appraisal].
Grilled shoulder meat of forest monkey ⇒ Do you want to learn [Throwing] skill?
Hold up… does this mean the effect of the monster meat is different depending on what part of the body it came from?
I knew that I was somehow getting the skills that the monsters had, just from my prior experiences, but I thought I could only learn one kind of skill per monster. This new revelation meant it was possible to learn different skills for each body part and from each individual, didn’t it?
If so… I could get the [Silent Flight] from the dark bat meat, right? I’d have been happy with just [Flight], but [Silent Flight] sounded even cooler.
I thought things over. Power was needed to get through this Great Borf Forest to the land where humans lived. Power means levels and skills. I could gain skills by [Cooking] monster meat. In other words, there was no reason not to do this, because it meant I could level up and gain more skills.
So, what skills do I need to hunt for now? I primarily want skills that improve my ability to survive. I don’t know if they exist, but I want to get some kind of sensing skill. Until then, I can’t only make use of my ears and eyes, but all six senses in order to survive!
My next step was clear. I took a chunk of that cat monster’s meat out of [Material Storage]. There were four pieces, none of them cooked yet. Let’s use [Cooking] on the first one.
Grilled shoulder meat of large civet cat ⇒ Do you want to learn [Shadow Sewing] skill?
It turns out that even from a single individual, I can learn different skills depending on which body part the meat came from! I was overjoyed to realize this. I tried [Cooking] the rest of the meat.
Grilled inside round* of large civet cat ⇒ Do you want to learn the [Acceleration] skill?
Grilled rump of large civet cat ⇒ Do you want to learn [Presence Detection] skill?
Grilled marbled thigh** of large civet cat ⇒ Do you want to raise [AGI] a little?
Hmm? Marbled thigh meat can raise my [AGI]? I never thought I’d be able to increase my stats. My dreams are expanding with this! Moreover, there was the sensing skill I wanted, [Presence Detection]!
Let’s eat all the meat.
You have learned the [Shadow Sewing] skill.
You have learned the [Acceleration] skill.
You have learned the [Presence Detection] skill.
The rank of attribute [AGI] has increased.
The rank of attribute [AGI] has increased.
Hmm? Did I just get two increases in [AGI]? What? No way…
Name : Tsukuru Sumeragi
Job : Chef, Level 141
Skills I : [Cooking] [Ignition] [Dismantling] [Detailed Appraisal] [Material Storage] [Spring Water] [Recovery Meal] [Tool Maintenance] [Ingredient Detection]
Skills II : [Night Vision] [Throwing] [Acceleration] [Presence Detection]
Skills III : [Plant Magic] [Wind Magic] [Shadow Sewing]
Attributes : HP [D] | MP [D] | STR [D] | INT [B] | AGI [B] | DEX [EX] | LUK [EX]
Night Vision ⇒ You can see well even in the dark, but peeking is not good ♡
Acceleration ⇒ You can temporarily raise the rank of [AGI] ♡
Throwing ⇒ You can throw anything that can be thrown. Throwing kisses is also OK!
Presence Detection ⇒ You can feel the sense of the surroundings ♡
Plant Magic ⇒ You can use magic to manipulate plants. ♪ The perfect hobby for a 30 year old virgin ♪
Wind Magic ⇒ You can use magic to manipulate wind. It’s bad to use it for lifting women’s skirts, though ♪
Shadow Sewing ⇒ ♪ Tie it up with the shadows ♪
Just ignore the explanation, ignore it! Seriously, [AGI] went up twice. What’s this supposed to mean? The explanation says it’s just a little, right? I’m happy with this miscalculation, but isn’t it more like to be no more than halfhearted explanation?
Nevertheless, what’s with the teasing tone of these explanations? I feel like the [Shadow Sewing] explanation is something completely different. No, I know it’s technically correct, but… Really, if I had another status plate in my hand, I’d throw it again, and again.
I can kind of understand the explanation for now, so it doesn’t seem like something to worry about. But why is there yet another skill slot in my status?
What I can guess is that [Skill I] is for skills derived from my job, [Skill II] is for skills I’ve acquired that don’t consume [MP], and [Skill III] is for skills that consume [MP].
I was using [Night Vision] almost all night at the patience contest with the Hyena Wolves back then, but I never got fatigued from it, so that’s why I assumed [Skill II] is for skills that don’t consume [MP].
However, when I used [Plant Magic] from the [Skill III] section to cover up this hole with common reed plants, I practically shut down, so I’m guessing that was [MP] depletion. At the moment, this is only my best guess, but I get the feeling it’s close to the truth.
Alright, that’s enough thinking for now. It’s time to take action ― I should move on while the day is still bright.
I ripped up the common reeds. It’s possible to make it strong and brittle through willpower. Magic skills aren’t limited to the battlefield, but can also be used for things like this. So convenient.
My skills have improved, and I know what to do from now on. I will definitely survive!
It turns out the Great Borf Forest is massive. It was nine days ago that I’d been dumped there, and I was about to welcome the morning of the tenth. I was able to strengthen myself by learning skills and improving my ability with [Cooking].
The monsters I encountered the most were the Hyena Wolf, Boagnon, Dark Bat and Venom Whisperer. Especially the Hyena Wolf and Boagnon ― I encountered them every single day, so I’ve been able to learn all of their skills.
I also met a Hell Bear last night. Along with the warning alarm from [Wild Intuition] that I had just recently learned, I felt an enormous bloodthirst with [Presence Detection]. I ran away in a hurry, but it caught up to me easily.
I thought I could lose it with my [Acceleration] skill, but the Hell Bear just charged straight at me, knocking down the trees in its way without slowing down at all. It was like the trees weren’t even there. As it caught up to me, I steeled my nerves to confront the beast.
The Hell Bear was definitely a muscle-brain, based not only on its appearance, but its ability and skills. I made a preemptive attack, dropping a large amount of water with [Spring Water], but it didn’t even flinch.
The monster came rushing at me with its [Charge] skill at a tremendous speed, so I tried tangling up its legs with common reeds from [Plant Magic], but it started tearing through those as well. As it came closer, I also activated [Shadow Sewing] and was finally able to stop it with that combination of restraints.
After that, I started throwing rocks at the Hell Bear with my [Throwing] skill. The rocks were from my [Material Storage], they were from back when I picked up a bunch of them from the riverbank. To be clear, [Throwing] wasn’t very effective; it only pissed it off even more.
The angry Hell Bear finally tore through the restraints from both [Plant Magic] and [Shadow Sewing] with its muscle-brained determination and went after me with [Charge].
I reacted a little too slowly, so I was blown away by the impact; the moment the bear passed me felt like being hit by a dump truck. Apparently, that was just from the wind pressure generated by its [Charge].
Wind pressure it may have been, but the damage on my body was real and substantial. I was still able to stand with some effort, but I was shaking.
As the Hell Bear approached me slowly while gushing out its nassal breath, with eyes that saw me as prey, each crashing step filled me with indescribable terror. However, with my weakened state, it apparently had let its guard down. Thanks to it stepping so slowly towards me, and seeing me as already beaten, I was able to use [Ignition] once it was within range.
The Hell Bear’s face was engulfed in flames, and it writhed in pain, crashing through the surrounding big trees and jumping up and down with incredible power, to the extent that it was leaving craters in the ground. I know for a fact that once the fire is set, it won’t go out unless I order it to, or the target dies.
The Hell Bear, in such a burning predicament, looked at me with hatred. Its next action was to activate its [Roar] skill, sending a guttural blast directly at me. I was just about to run, but because of the [Roar], I couldn’t even stand anymore; all of my limbs were quivering. This was apparently a side effect caused by [Roar] ― not only couldn’t I move, my whole body froze up, and I fell face-first onto the ground.
If I’m gonna eat dirt, how many bites should I take? This is stupid.
It was like being temporarily paralyzed, but this ‘temporary’ felt like it was about to be an eternity.
The Hell Bear now approached at high speed, still enraged and with its face being wrapped in flames, and sent me flying with a single strike from one of its massive front paws. Now, I had already leveled up quite a bit, and my [HP] attribute had risen to [C], but I felt like every bone in my body had shattered.
I hit the ground so hard I bounced several times, compounding the damage across my entire body. My field of view was distorted by blood and narrowed from swelling. I want to praise myself for being able to stay conscious and alive in such a miserable state.
It was as if my whole body had just run out of pain. Despite the situation, for some reason I just felt cold. The signals from my brain were all out of whack, and I couldn’t even move a finger.
Ahh, I realized. I’m going to die here.
My short life flashed before my eyes like a slide reel. Damn, I wanted to get revenge. I wanted those bastards to taste the same pain I’ve experienced.
Lying on my stomach, what little I could see of my surroundings shook. Even in the state I was in, I could tell the Hell Bear’s face was right behind me. In the corner of my vision, it was baring its fangs, and almost looked like it was laughing at me. So annoying.
It seemed enthusiastic to eat me, licking my face to get a taste of my blood. I couldn’t even speak anymore, I was trying to say the words to use… [Dismantling].
There was a loud splatter, and the thud of something hitting the ground.
…Huh? I was still able to use [Dismantling]? Hahahahaha, and here I was thinking I couldn’t activate my skills without saying them. Silly me… but thanks to this, I was able to avoid death once again.
I was now one step closer to my revenge.
[ Level Up ]
A long list of notifications appeared, filling up my entire field of view, just like when I killed the cat monster.
And now that wall of text is over with. I took a piece of meat out of [Material Storage] directly into my mouth. I didn’t even have the strength to chew anymore, so this would take a while. Still, I did recover a little control over my body when I managed to swallow it. After I swallowed the second, third, and fourth pieces, my control was back to normal, and my injuries had fully recovered.
I picked up the Hell Bear materials that had fallen in the surrounding area with [Material Storage] and sat on the ground looking at the traces of the fierce battle. The trees had been knocked down and many craters had formed. It had the appearance of being ground zero for a meteor shower. I was deeply impressed that I’d been able to kill such a monster.
It was only after a while that I realized my surroundings were in complete darkness. I can see well even in the dark thanks to the [Night Vision] skill, but because it would have been troublesome to look for the location of today’s camping spot, I climbed a large tree a short distance from the battlefield and secured myself up in a tree with the reed plants from [Plant Magic].
Then I took out the Hell Bear’s meat and used [Ultimate Cooking]. This [Ultimate Cooking] was a new skill that I obtained from my previous level up; it was a combination skill merged from [Cooking] and [Recovery Meal].
Grilled shoulder meat of the deceased bear ⇒ Skill [Monstrous Strength] can be learned, and sickness, injury, and abnormal conditions will be cured!
Grilled breast meat of the deceased bear ⇒ Skill [Strong Body] can be learned, and sickness, injury, and abnormal conditions will be cured!
Grilled rump meat of the deceased bear ⇒ Skill [Strong Arm] can be learned, and sickness, injury, and abnormal conditions will be cured!
Grilled hand meat of the deceased bear ⇒ It can slightly increase your [STR] rank, and sickness, injury, and abnormal conditions will be cured!
[Ultimate Cooking] is awesome!
I ate the meat immediately. There was other meat which hadn’t been baked yet, but the effects I wanted were obtained, from each of the four respective meats. Suddenly I had a new notification: ( Make a Guts Pose! )
I checked my status triumphantly.
Name : Tsukuru Sumeragi
Job : Chef, Level 195
Skill I : [Ultimate Cooking] [Ignition] [Dismantling] [Detailed Appraisal] [Material Storage] [Spring Water] [Tool Maintenance] [Ingredient Detection]
Skill II : [Night Vision] [Acceleration] [Throwing] [Presence Detection] [Sense of Smell Enhancement] [Wild Intuition] [Cooperation] [Group Action] [Whispering] [Monstrous Strength] [Strong Body] [Strong Arm]
Skill III : [Plant Magic] [Wind Magic] [Shadow Sewing]
Attributes : HP [B] | MP [B] | STR [A] | INT [A] | AGI [A] | DEX [EX] | LUK [EX]
Ultimate Cooking ⇒ You can learn skills or increasing your ability and recover from illness, injury, and abnormal condition, but if you eat too much you will become fat, you know ♪
Sense of Smell Enhancement ⇒ Enhancing your sense of smell, but it’s forbidden to sniff the smell of girls ♡
Wild Intuition ⇒ Eh? Wild, you say? Have you stopped being a human? Trust your intuition!
Cooperation ⇒ Smooths your cooperation with companions….. but it does nothing for a loner, you know ♪
Group Action ⇒ When you work with a large group of people, your abilities will improve. But for a Loner…..
Whispering ⇒ If you whisper close to someone’s ears, it’s just like you think… Don’t say anything inappropriate!
Monstrous Strength ⇒ Always Increase [STR] by one rank (hidden). I want you to lift me too ♡
Strong Body ⇒ Always Increase [HP] by one rank (hidden). A wide chest is fan・tas・tic ♡
Strong Arm ⇒ You can temporarily raise『STR』by one rank. A man with thick arms is fan・tas・tic ♡
The thing I’m happiest about is [Strong Body]. While my attributes have also been raised from leveling up, having this skill has boosted my chances of surviving even more.
I went down to the river in a good mood. I saw my appearance in the water’s reflection, and… the clothes I was wearing had become rags no longer fit to even be called clothes, but my important parts were somehow still covered.
I completely look like a primitive person now. I bathed several times but there are limits to how hygienic one can really be without soap. My hair was messy, and I didn’t like it anymore. Seeing myself like this is depressing… what happened to that great mood I was in before?
* The core part of thigh meat (“Shin” in Japanese) has fine and soft texture and rich flavor. I’m calling it the inside round for now, and hoping the character won’t just start referring to every single Japanese cut of meat.
** Ichibo is a rare cut of meat, also called Ranichi. It’s the marbled meat of the thigh, named after the bone shaped like an H (“Eichi” in Japanese) to which it is attached.