Kay: 2 / 3 <333
Departing from the small town, I proceeded up the mountain road with Sharla-san. According to her, we shouldn’t encounter any monsters until we’ve crossed the first mountain, though wild animals are still around. The wilderness wasn’t full of monsters, and that could be said to be because of adventurer’s constantly hunting them. As a result, monsters tended to move their nests frequently. Though, they constantly gather in areas with magic ore veins so one still has to be careful.
Magic ore carried magic power like magic stones. But attributes within the stones found within labyrinths weren’t always the same. Magic ore, when it came from the same vein, would all be the same attribute. It was still unknown how the veins were created, only that they tended to be found near where monsters concentrated and where labyrinths could appear.
And again, all the more reason to conquer the labyrinths. There was a saying regarding natural magic springs. If a labyrinth died near a body of water, it is said that all the nearby water sources would produce magic water instead of regular water..
Sharle-san lectured me this world as we walked.
“Schwartz! It’s about time to shorten the travel time!”
“I don’t mind. So, are we going to start running?”
Sharle-san’s expression implied something else.
“We are not running! It’s through — here!”
Swish! In the direction where she swung her arm so splendidly that I could hear it, was a small path next to a cut tree and the grass was somehow shorter. Zooming out the map floating in my sight, there was indeed a small path there. Was this some sort of animal trail?
“Is that an animal trail?”
“Yes, it is. There are spots on the mountain road where the trails connect. We can shorten the travel time if we take this shortcut!”
Certainly, the zigzagging road would naturally increase the distance needed to cross the mountain. If there was a shortcut that didn’t stray from the direction we were heading, then it was possible to shorten the time.
“Let’s go, follow me!”
I followed Sharle-san from behind as we stepped onto the animal trail. It seemed to be a fairly straight path, if a bit steeper than the main road. I don’t know how long until I actually tired myself out but I adjusted accordingly.
“You got good stamina for a D ranker. What’s your weapon?”
“My weapon? Just a pair of daggers…”
“Daggers? That’s a surprisingly modest weapon. Are you a speed-type fighter?”
“True… I do use my speed a lot when I fight. What about Sharle-san? It seems you don’t even carry a weapon?”
Sharle-san, who walked ahead of me, only what looked like tool bags on her hips and a bag on her back. There was no indication that she was carrying any weapons – could she be a mage?
“Me? Right, take a look over there.”
Sharle-san put down the slightly larger tools bag off her waist and took out a curved bow that looked like a Yumi. The shape looked similar to a japanese bow but the top part had a metal plate with a transparent jewel placed embedded in it. Even though she took out the bow, she didn’t take out any arrows. She stood still in an upright shooting stance. When she drew the bowstring, her right hand which held the string began to glow.
That’s — a magic weapon? As soon as I identified this, she released the string. At the same time, a faint light leapt from her hand and the bow in the form of an arrow. It flew true and struck the deer in its torso.
“What do you think? This is my weapon.”
“A magic weapon?”
“Yep, a magic weapon called the ‘Attribute Bow’!”
I see. Instead of arrows, the bow shot mana. I suppose that’s not the only ability the bow has, but that’s enough to know for now.
“Schwartz, you said that despite being a D rank, you didn’t know how to properly process an animal’s carcass?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Then allow me to show you how to do it properly!”
Dragging the deer’s body off the trail and Sharle-san took out a dagger from her toolbag. She then cut its carotid artery and showed me how to drain the blood. While we waited, she prepared to store the dismantled skin and meat. In addition to what we were eating tonight, she’d apparently planned to sell the remainder to the mining village we’d pass later on.
When the blood had been drained, she stabbed the dagger into the deer’s throat, then cut downward carefully so not to damage the innards. She showed me how to remove the bone and split the pelvis, take out the organs and separate them into edible and inedible portions. She proceeded to clean the edible portions with water magic, while I dug a hole in the ground where the inedible portions would be thrown into.
After being washed, the edible portions were left in the air to dry for a while before storing. Sharle-san then used water magic to clean the deer’s stomach cavity now that its innards were out. Magic was really convenient, isn’t it? Not only was it suitable for battle, people also seemed to have simplified it to be used in daily activities.
Once the washing was done, it was time to skin it. She first ran her dagger in a circle around the neck and limbs, then peeled the skin a little along the opening across its stomach. At that point, she jung the body by tying it on the neck of a sturdy tree. Finally, she started to peel the skin off by hand; smoothly — just like that? Anyways, she made it look so easy.
Now that the skin was off completely, the deer looked grotesque with its red flesh. It was covered only by a thin film-like lays of white fat. Now that I thought about it, to some extent, not much of the body was wasted when properly dismantled. It’ll take too long to completely dismantle it, so she cut some sirloin parts for our dinner tonight.
Sharle-san then chilled the body with magic before dropping it from the tree and storing it inside her toolbag. What we didn’t eat would be sold to the butcher in the mining village. The hide could be sold in the next town. And with whatever we didn’t take buried in the ground we returned to the animal tail and resumed our journey.
Perhaps due to the anticipation of today’s dinner, both Sharle-san and I actually walked a bit faster. Speaking of sirloin, I knew that it was the most delicious portion of both beef and pork. Though, I never had deer sirloin before, I had a feeling it’d be delicious. Both of us intended to reach the rest area on the mountain top.
Without heart as one, we rushed through the path, taking every shortcut we could along the way.
“Sch, Schwartz! Wait, wait a moment!”
“What’s wrong, Sharle-san?”
“Y, you, don’t you even feel tired at all?”
“I’m not tired yet.”
Eh?! But we’ve been running for almost an hour though? You said you were a D rank, but why do you have the fitness level of an A rank!?”
“My rank? It’s just because I haven’t completed any requests at all, so my guild points haven’t gone up. Setting aside from the so-called ‘comparable to A rank’, you should be able to tell that I’m far from a newbie adventurer from the way I move.”
“Like someone who couldn’t even process a hunted animal could talk about that –”
“People… Have their own strengths and weaknesses.”
“In other words, you’re saying that you’re a muscle brain! Seeing that you haven’t used any magic so far, I bet you aren’t good at magic at all! There are a lot of skill oriented principles that eschew the use of magic for heavy warriors. For a light warrior to do the same, you must be very confident in your physical prowess.”
“By the way, thanks to all that running, the rest area is already in sight.”
Looking up to the end of the mountain path, several wooden houses and huts came into sight. That should be the rest area.
“Fuhh, just a little more! Schwartz, you can cook, right?!”
“I leave the cooking to— eh?”
“Eh? Don’t tell me Sharle-san can’t cook as well?”
The resting area was just ahead. Both of us couldn’t help but stare at each other as we stood in the middle of the path. My heart was filled with anxiety. Will we be able to eat the delicious meat tonight…?