Chapter 15 – Traits of a Demi-Human
We took turns sleeping until morning came.
At around noontime, a certain incident occurred.
We were hunting some Usapiru which had appeared before us.
The bladed knife in Raphtalia's hands had snapped off completely. *pokin*
“Show it to me.”
It couldn’t be helped. The knife had done its job and broke only after killing the last Usapiru which had been gnawing at my arm.
“Nothing lasts for an eternity. So it was inevitable for this knife to break.”
It was a cheap knife, not to mention it had never even been polished.
“We'll stop here for now before returning to town.”
The bag that Raphtalia carried was splendidly stuffed full of loot.
On a side note, I've become a Lvl 11 and so has Raphtalia.
Along the way we had encountered several monsters, but we somehow managed to get by with my spare knife.
Later on, we sold off our spoils, including the compounded medicine, for a grand total of 70 silver coins.
“I wonder which one we should get.”
“You mean a knife?”
Raphtalia murmured while eating her lunch inside a street stall.
We should be able to cover our living expenses by camping outdoors.
And there wouldn’t be a problem with food if we skinned the Usapiru for their meat.
I stopped thinking about that for now.
Since I didn’t have a favorite store or know of any other good places to shop, I at least wanted to know more about the details of our purchased equipment.
“Well, guess we should go over to the Weapon Shop.”
I heard a grumbling noise coming from behind me.
“My tummy's empty.”
“Didn’t you just eat a moment ago!?”
Is it a growth spurt!?
Just how many times a day were you planning to eat!
Right, Engel’s Coefficient would skyrocket with her in the equation.
We need to start hunting again as soon as possible. At this rate our food expenses alone will bring us to ruin.
“--And that's what happened, Oyaji. I'd like some weapons and protective gear within the range of 65 silver coins, plus a cheap knife.”
For some reason, Oyaji groaned with his palm on his head.
“Well…… it's none of my business, but please properly maintain your equipment at least.”
“Sorry about that. I thought the blood-clean coating would take care of everything, so I didn’t plan for it beforehand.”
Right. The Balloon, Mush, and Eggy were creatures made from inorganic substances after all. And the bodily fluids of the Eggy could definitely be wiped off without much effort.
However, the blood of the Usapiru stained the weapon.
Not only that, but the blade seemed to deteriorate even faster because of improper care.
“But I'm amazed this girl's complexion is so much better after just three days. And haven't you gotten quite plump now?”
Raphtalia nodded at him with a proficient smile. Just what was Oyaji talking about?
“Hoh? That’s a fine expression.”
Alright, let's get down to business.
“Oyaji, please prioritize the weapon’s durability when you show us the wares meant for her.”
“And how about you?”
“I don’t need any.”
“You don’t want anything?”
Raphtalia looked up at me and asked.
“Does it look like I'll be needing any gear?”
Up until this point, I had yet to receive a single wound from a monster’s attack.
Didn’t those dipshit Heroes once say that: 'shields are easy at the beginning, but suck towards the endgame?'
That's why I didn’t feel the need to buy myself equipment until we got to the point where I start taking damage.
Raphtalia groaned, looking unconvinced. Her hands were preciously holding onto the ball which I had bought for her before.
“Well, I guess this must be karma at work. I'll give you a little something as a bonus.”
“I'll be haggling if the cost is too high.”
“I'm already selling to you at dirt-cheap prices here. Or else you’ll be throwing those Balloons around after being pushed too hard, won’t you?"
The merchant incident from before must have started that rumor. Well it's fine, since the end result will be the same either way.
“An eye for an eye, that’s all I'm doing.”
“... Not that it matters to me. But even if I came up with a countermeasure, you’ll just find another way around it. That’ll be just like you, right?”
“You certainly know me well.”
“Anyone can tell with a glance: That you, sir, are a shrewd businessman under the guise of a Hero.”
“I'll take that as a compliment.”
Oyaji rubbed his chin while looking at Raphtalia.
“It looks like this Jou-chan will soon be assessing herself with a sword rather than a knife.”
“Will it be alright?”
“Seems she's quite enthusiastic about it. A sword proves to be a rather fine weapon for a beginner, no?”
Oyaji searched through a corner of his shop. *gacha gacha*
“So that's it.”
“Will I be using this sword?”
“Looks like it.”
“I'll be tutoring her on how to use one.”
Then a tanned hide breastplate was brought to us from the back of the store.
“An iron short sword and a hide breastplate. Although they're a bit old, please bear with it. The size fits you at least.”
Oyaji handed Raphtalia the sword while the breastplate was worn on top of her casual clothes.
“Duh, she is a demi-human, right? Since she’s still a child, this much difficulty should be expected if she keeps leveling up.”
Wait, what? Is that common sense around here? This world sure worked on weird standards that I couldn't comprehend.
A long time ago, I did hear about the tale of Hina the crow, where she'd die if she wasn't continuously fed.
“So there is some truth to that story... guess it can’t be helped. Just stay here and listen obediently to the lecture, I'll go buy you some food while you practice.”
Seeing our conversation, Oyaji bursted out laughing for some reason. *gahaha*
“Okay listen up, I'll now teach you all about the basics--”
I left the Weapon Shop and hurried towards the market.
Demi-humans are truly a strange race, using hunger to compensate for level raising.
Although her condition grew favorably and her self-consciousness also gradually became more resilient.
But still, the food expenses were no joke.
To make a long story short, I bought some food from the vending stalls and returned to find Oyaji teaching Raphtalia how to grip and swing a sword.
“Here you go.”
She then munched away as Oyaji diligently taught her evasive maneuvers.
Even in such a situation, the mood didn’t change at all.
“What about you?”
“I’ve got those evasive moves memorized.”
“Well, you do seem like the blocking type. It would be rather dangerous for you to gawkily upset your balance."
That marked the end of Oyaji’s crash course on sword handling, I then paid the bill.
After that, Oyaji passed me a small slab of white stone.
“A whetstone. The ‘coating’ wasn’t applied on the weapon this time. So it'll break in no time if you don’t regularly maintain it.”
The shield reacted when I slowly grabbed the whetstone.
Which is why I ended up absorbing it.
The requirement for Shield of Whetstone has been unsealed.
Oh? This was the first shield that wasn’t in English.
Well whatever, it’s still a shield.
I should absorb more minerals from now on……
Ah I see, this isn’t a new branch, but one that's combined with the Sky Egg Shield and Usa Meat Shield.
Was it because the whetstone was as indispensable as a kitchen knife?
The huge defensive power of the Egg Shield was quite frightening.
It's likely that I would get the ‘Usapiru Shield’ if I absorbed the whole Usapiru without dismembering it.
Shield of Whetstone
Equipment Bonus: Mineral Identification +1 (Unmastered)
Special Effect: Automatic Polishing (8 Hours), High Consumption
A Special Effect?
I clicked the 'help' confirm button.
An exclusive effect that will only be usable when equipped with a specific weapon.
The effect won't be usable by other weapon even if its true powers have been unsealed. Therefore, one will need to fit a specific weapon into a slot for this special ability to take effect.
So it's something like that?
A type of effect that grants immense power like in those ○○ games.
I quickly changed my shield.
“Huh!? What the, heck is that?”
Shield of Whetstone, it looks like the Small Shield but is a whole lot bigger. A huge shield made of whetstone.
But there's a pattern of slots on top of the shield, with the multiple holes varying in shapes and sizes. Some are fat while others are thin.
“Hey, you! Tell me what's going on.”
Fumu... Just what did ‘Automatic Polishing (8 Hours), High Consumption’ mean?
Although, I am expecting it to do what it's advertised...
“Huh? What's up, Oyaji.”
“What on this flat Melromarc is that shield?!”
“Don't you know already? It’s the legendary shield.”
“I’ve never seen or heard anything like this!”
“You saw it before, though it was a Small Shield back then.”
“Huh!? Then why on Melromarc did it turn into a whetstone?”
“I guess it's because it absorbed the whetstone?”
At this rate, Oyaji wouldn’t be able to comprehend this situation anytime soon.
“You must have heard that the Legendary Weapon hold mysterious powers. This is just one of its powers."
"... You didn't hear this from the other Heroes?”
“I hadn't seen them recently. You were the first one to transform your weapon right in front of me.”
Our natural adversary will be spawning in about one week. So shouldn’t they be sharing what they know with others, even if just a little? It seems those bastards were too selfish to even assist their peers properly.
I don’t even have an ounce of trust for those type of people either.
... But then again, it may not be necessary for them, since they weren't in the ‘loser’ category like me.
“So, what are you troubled about?”
“Haha, it seems to have an effect of ‘Automatic Polishing (8 hours) High Consumption’. But I don’t know if it's really possible to polish without using anything else.”
I didn’t know what would be consumed.
Oyaji went to grab a rusty sword from within his shop and inserted it inside one of the slots in my shield.
“I'll give you this trash weapon as a bonus. Use that and see what it does.”
“Ooh, you have my thanks.”
There was an icon which popped up in the corner of my screen: 「Polishing」.
There was a lot of pressure.
Then, I felt a heavy weight on my shoulders.
I immediately glanced at the Icon and opened up my Status. In there, I saw my ‘SP’ gradually reducing.
I previously thought that something physical would be consumed, but I guess this shield can be used in this way too.
“Now then, guess we'll be taking our leave.”
Stepping out of the Weapon Shop, I continued to stroke Raphtalia’s head for a short while.
So now, in order for us to raise our level and procure food for the ever-growing Raphtalia, I'll need to go on another journey.
“Ah right, Oyaji.”
Glaring heedlessly at me, Oyaji said with an exasperated tone.
“... You still need something?”
“Do you know about the dungeon that's located near the forest village?”
I asked while opening up a cheap map and pointing at the spot where that bitch had recommended.
I want to have another person's reference just in case. Though actually trusting them is another matter entirely.
“The monsters are different from the forest; I heard they're more similar to the ones which show up along that village's highway.”
“I see, guess we'll see for ourselves once we get there.”
Right now, we have to evolve my shield and earn as much money as possible before the next wave.