16-014 Step Up? (1)

 For the next week or so, we worked steadily, playing it safe and getting our equipment ready.

 The first thing we bought was a hoe.
 Having learned the lesson from the first day's difficulty in handling the motsu, we bought one the next day. One of the reasons I bought it right away was that it was reasonably priced for a farming tool.

 Another reason was a little bit of a problem, but in a sense, an urgent need for a toilet.
 When you are in the forest for half a day, you need to use the toilet.
 It is an unavoidable physiological phenomenon.
 On the other hand, it is not good to leave it there. Before saying anything about it as a human being, it is essential to bury it, considering the fact that we will step on it and it will become an "engacho".
 Although Toya has only used the larger one once.

 One drawback is that when Toya walks around with a hoe, I feel like I'm not sure if I'm going on an adventure or working in the field.
 Incidentally, Haruka insisted on buying a blindfold, which we agreed to.
 How could we object?

 We were able to buy enough clothes to change into, strong leather clothes for armor, and partial leather armor for Toya, who was standing in front of us, so we were able to get through without getting hurt.

 As for weapons, I bought my spear and Haruka's bow.
 With a bit of training, I've been able to kill a boar, but since I can't aim at the eyes of a charging boar like Toya, I'm not much use in a fight at the moment.
 He was told by Haruka to use magic to help her because the price of fur would be lower.

 As for Haruka's bow, if I were to tell you that I can now eat grilled chicken, you would understand.
 I would like to buy a pot soon and have a chicken hot pot.

 I'm holding off on getting Toya's sword because it's very expensive.
 However, since my wooden sword bounced off a boar's skull on the first day, I bought an iron cudgel ...... instead of a wooden sword, or to be frank, just an iron rod.
 This is convenient because it allows me to defeat them without damaging their fur, but on the other hand, it's a shame that my [Swordsmanship] level didn't increase and my [Stickmanship] skill grew.
 I can use it just as well as the wooden sword, so I guess the skill is more flexible than in the game.

 Also, by continuing to train every day, my magic skills have improved somewhat.
 I've been working on my magic skills for a while now. ...... has improved, but it's not very useful either.
 I'm not sure what to make of this.

 On the other hand, Haruka is very active.
 First, the light magic "Purify".
 It is a very useful spell that removes dirt and cleanses the body.
 Although there is no bath in the inn, this spell has helped me to live day by day. Thank you, Haruka-sama!

 Incidentally, this spell is said to be so popular that adventurers who can use it are in great demand.
 Adventurers have an image of being filthy, but the truth is that if you are too filthy, demons will find you because of your smell. In order to avoid this, they have to keep themselves as clean as possible, and this spell is useful in such cases.

 Furthermore, Haruka has also achieved a spell that is not on the list.
 It's a relatively small spell, only producing ice the size of a ping-pong ball, but it allows for the cooling and preservation of hunted prey, eliminating the need to return to the city immediately.

 Me? I haven't created any new magic yet.

 And the most useful thing is the backpack that Haruka's [sewing] skills shine and roar, and that Toya and I have incorporated our opinions into.
 This is an excellent product that took a lot of work, and was made in the image of the military backpacks of the original world.
 The base is made of cloth, reinforced with leather in necessary places, pockets for small items, and parts for tying strings.

 The bag is also designed to be removed in an instant during battle, and can be carried on the back like a backpack or by hand depending on the situation.

 At first, I had planned to buy a regular bag, but I found only simple backpacks, hand bags, and shoulder bags, and I couldn't find anything like a backpack no matter how hard I looked.
 Fortunately, Haruka had sewing skills, so we decided to make something we could use easily, and after several prototypes, we completed the backpack we are using now.

 Although Haruka had to go through a lot of trouble, thanks to her, we were able to get enough for all of us at a relatively low price.
 Moreover, thanks to this backpack, we are able to carry a large amount of luggage, and even if we increase the ratio of hunting, we are able to bring back all the results.
 However, the difference in physical strength is unavoidable, and Toya carries more than twice as much as I do. I also carry more than Haruka, but the difference is minimal.

 So, my recent problem is that I feel like I'm not being very useful.

    "Hey, you two.

"Hey, you two. I think it's time for us to go deeper into the forest.

 In the past few days, my life has become more stable, and my behavioral patterns have become more or less set.
 I wake up early in the morning and finish my work by evening. Then, for a few hours until dinner, each of us will train with our swords and magic.
 After dinner, I would have Haruka apply Purify to me, and if I felt like it, I would bathe.
 In the hours before bedtime, we had a meeting to decide our future plans.
 In the middle of such a meeting, Haruka said what I just said.

"Well, maybe it's time to go ......?

 The reason why Toya's words are a little unsure is probably because of what happened yesterday.
 I've been able to hunt the task boars that appear near the entrance to the forest without any problems, but the first one I encountered yesterday was a huge bear.

 The bear, called "Weipu Bear," was three meters tall in a standing position, which was overwhelmingly large for us.
 Toya attacked it bravely with an iron bar, but it didn't seem to have any effect on us, and its height made it difficult to aim at its eyes and other vital points.
 I rushed in with my spear, and Haruka supported me with her bow, but they were ineffective due to the thick fur.

 In the end, I managed to kill it, thanks to Haruka's arrow piercing my eye, and the fact that I ignored the consumption of magic power and used magic without worrying about damaging the fur, but to be honest, it was the first time since I came here that I felt my life was in danger.

 Even more painful was the fact that the price of the meat I brought back was higher than that of the task boar.
 Although it is rare, the taste is not that good. Task boars are very tasty.
 I heard that if the fur is clean, it can be sold for a very high price, but since it was quite tattered, it was sold off, and no good came of it at all for the risk.

 The only thing that comforted me was Diora's comment that it was not every day that I came across a Weipu Bear.
 If she'd said, "It happens all the time," we might have reconsidered our decision.
 Incidentally, it seems that "it happens often" is when a rookie meets a vipu bear and gets wiped out. --Yeah, we don't run into them very often, but when we do, we die, right?

 The only reason we were able to survive was because of Haruka's bow and magic and Toya's ability to support the front lines, so I can understand why the rookies would be killed.
 I'm not opposed to it, but I'm not a rookie in terms of skill level.

I'm not opposed to it, but when it comes to the depths of the forest, it's Dingdol, right? Do we need to go there?

 On the first day, Diora told me about the fruits that can be gathered deep in the forest.
 It is said that they can be bought for 100 to 300 rares each, but our current income is stable at 30,000 to 40,000 rares thanks to the boar.

 In order to earn that in Dindol, even if each one averaged 200 rares, you would have to pick up 200 of them.
 Even if you have a backpack, how can you bring back 200 apples the size of a small apple?

If I sell them as is, I'll make about the same as I do now, but if I can process them well, I can sell them at a higher price and double my income.

 It seems that the value of the dindle fruit can be more than doubled by drying the whole fruit and turning it into dried fruit.
 However, it is very difficult to dry a fruit of this size without cutting it and preventing it from rotting, and a great deal of know-how is required. That's why they are expensive, but Haruka says, "I think I can manage that with my magic.
 Also, if we can dry them and make them last longer, we can sell them ourselves instead of wholesaling them to the guild, and we can sell them for a higher price.

Well, if we sell them ourselves, we won't have time to go out and collect them, so we'll have to think about whether we should do it or not.
"Hmm. I don't know what to say.
The new magic is just a drying magic. It's useful for drying clothes, though.

 I'm sure you'll be able to figure out what's going on.
 I thought she was wearing the same clothes as us, having done the same cleansing as us. .......

No, no, no. Even simple magic is amazing. By the way, Nao. How many spells do you have now?
What? What?

 "What?" Toya asks, deliberately putting his hands over his ears.

"Zero! Godd*mn it!

 That's my childhood friend.
 You're a childhood friend, and you're hitting me where it hurts!

"Yeah, Nao. I'm not going to give up on you if you're a bad boy.

 I'm not happy at all.
 --No, to be honest, I'm a little happy, but more than that, I'm frustrated.

If you feel sorry for me, give me money. Give me some tips.
Tips? Tips, ......? If I had to guess, I'd say imagine not only what you want to achieve, but also the process of achieving it.

 For example, in this case, "drying".
 For example, in this case, "drying". Instead of just thinking "dry it" and pouring magic power into it, they are using it by thinking "what do you want to do with the moisture contained in the object".
 In addition, even if the result is the same, the consumption of magic power differs depending on the process, and between "the water molecules move violently, generate heat, and disappear as vapor" and "the water is squeezed out and disappears," the latter is said to be more energy-saving.
 Haruka's thought is that since the former has heat after being dried, that heat also consumes magic power.

"Wow. Thank you, I'll refer to it. I'm sure you'll be able to figure out how to make a pseudo-microwave using the water magic method.

 The microwave oven uses microwaves to move water molecules and generate heat.
 In other words, if Haruka's "drying" is really moving water molecules, then if it can be controlled well, it may be possible to heat food by stopping it at the heat generation stage before drying.

Yes. We're actually experimenting. It's a step in the right direction.
If it works, it'll enrich our diet again! I'm counting on it! Oh, you don't mind if I eat Nao, do you?

 We've been bringing lunch prepared by the inn every time we go out since we had some money to spare.
 Fortunately, we have never been unable to catch anything, but in order to eat what we have hunted, we need to build a fire, which inevitably takes a lot of time.
 So, I brought my own fire with me, but of course, it would be cold by then, and to be honest, the food at the inn, which is reasonably edible, is not so good when it is cold.
 I've been roasting it a little bit with my "ignition", but it doesn't turn out very good, as Toya made fun of me.

I'll be making some useful magic for you soon. Keep your head down!
"No, you'll have to wash your head.
What? I'm not going to cut off your head.

 I'm not going to cut off your head. ...... No, it's something else.

"Hey, Nao, useful magic is good, but combat magic, too, right?

 Yeah, yeah. Of course I'm working on that too.
 Now I'm trying to find a way to focus the "Fire Arrow" so that it doesn't burn my fur, but it's not going so well.
 It's not a new spell, so it does work, but it doesn't reduce the size of the arrow to the targeted 1 or 2 centimeters.
 However, I think I've achieved the point of making it smaller but not reducing its power, so I think I'm one step closer. I'm optimistic.

So, are you both in favor of going deeper into the forest? --If we don't step up our game little by little, we might end up as common adventurers.

 Oh, the one that dies at the end. That's not good.
 Don't forget to be ambitious.
 The goal is to be a successful adventurer.

"Well, to be honest, I'm a little nervous.

 To be honest, I'm a little nervous." I nodded at Haruka's words, but Toya snorted and shook his head.

I'll be honest, I'm a little nervous. So if you can get me a new weapon, I'm all for it.

 It wasn't completely ineffective, but it was the magic and my spear that inflicted the fatal blow.
 With Toya's current muscle strength, it was quite difficult to damage that bear's flesh armor with a bludgeoning weapon.
 I'm not sure if Haruka remembered this, but she thought about it for a moment and nodded.

So, yeah. That might be necessary. You can get by without savings right now,......, and a one-handed sword is fine to use?

"As a beastman, I'd love to wield a two-handed sword, but I'm the only vanguard here. Would you prefer to be protected by a one-handed sword and shield?
"With our style, I'd feel comfortable with that.
Yeah, honestly, that would be great.

 When it comes to armor, Haruka and I are paper.
 We're elves, so we don't need to mention our physical strength.
 While Toya seems to be able to survive being hit by a bear, Haruka and I would probably break.
 Even so, I have to admire Toya's courage in going toe-to-toe with that bear.

Well, the right person for the right job, I guess. Just make sure it's a good one, okay? I'm not only trusting you with my life, I'm trusting you with yours!

 And with that, Toya smiled.