༺Camping (1) ༻
The casting of [Frost Explosion] was over.
Garzia was trapped inside a huge block of ice, covered in scars.
As the ice was released, the ice block disintegrated into a light blue powder that scattered and vanished.
Soon after, Garzia’s body turned to gray powder and scattered futilely.
“Is it over?”
As soon as the enemy’s resurrection spell was neutralized, Kaya immediately confirmed the outcome.
Soon after, the [Hunter] trait was released, and my body suddenly became heavy. It was a feeling I could never get used to.
At that moment, one of the swords that Garzia was holding fell to the ground. It was a dagger with a black sheath.
I immediately picked up the dagger.
Limit: 5-star magic
Cooldown: 10 minutes
Rating: Tier 1
The ‘Sheath of Disaster’. It was an immensely helpful item that significantly broadened my tactical options.
When using the spell engraved on the sheath, there was no consumption of mana. That was because it was meant to be used after filling the necessary mana beforehand.
The embedded blade was a disguise. It was just a normal dagger.
“Sir Isaac, what is that?”
“A weapon that the demon possessed. I will retrieve it.”
This is mine now, hehe.
Suppressing the urge to hum, I put the Sheath of Disaster into the magic pouch.
Now that I’ve defeated Garzia the Hermit, the Disaster Ants should have been destroyed as well. However, I had frozen them, leaving them unable to move and entrapped in ice.
I reached out my hand and dispelled the ice that covered the entire cave.
The ice that froze the cave disintegrated into blue powder and dispersed like fireflies.
For a brief moment, this massive ice release looked like a fireworks display. I could tell from Kaya’s exclamation that she also thought it was a beautiful sight.
The Disaster Ants, who had been standing in order, quickly turned to gray powder and vanished.
At that moment, a system window popped up in front of me.
Whoa, no, whoa, hold on a second.
When I defeated Garzia in Act 2, Chapter 4 of ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱, all the Disaster Ants were destroyed as a result, but I received no EXP.
The only things that gave EXP were the Disaster Ants that you directly defeated.
Even worse, the Disaster Ants didn’t come at you all at once, using a wide variety of tactics to constantly put pressure on the player instead. This made defeating all of them an impossible task.
However, while freezing the entire cave, I unknowingly touched the entire Disaster Ant population, and it was judged that I had dealt with all of the Disaster Ants.
As a result of this, an experience party was held, and I achieved the [Genocide] achievement.
Just as I was about to scream at the surging sense of accomplishment, I saw Kaya’s eyes. I coughed and came to my senses.
No, no, I shouldn’t. I could celebrate after I’ve parted ways with Kaya. Until then, it was better to put this joy to rest.
“Kaya, I have a favor to ask of you.”
“…! What is it?”
Kaya’s green eyes sparkled. Her eyes were full of expectations, as if she were a curious child.
Elements: Wind, Ice
Psychology: [Delighted at the thought of doing you a favor.]
It’s nice to be happy, but isn’t that a slave mindset…?
In any case, she gained co-op EXP and leveled up too.
Even though her level was in the 90s and had only increased by one, she must have gained a lot of experience.
Kaya’s performance appeared to have been deemed excellent this time.
Well, I admit it, I was glad things worked out as well as they did. If Kaya wasn’t here, I would have been in serious trouble.
Now there’s only one thing left to do.
“I’m going to retrieve that now,” I said, pointing to the pale yellow magic stone, Zephrim, lying on the ground.
“Help me with that.”
Honestly, you became stronger thanks to me, right? I can ask for this much, can’t I?
Kaya agreed willingly.
After I handed her one of the empty magic pouches, she moved to the opposite corner of the cave and began collecting Zephrim.
Before long, she used powerful wind magic and gathered all the scattered Zephrim into one place. Thanks to that, I was able to conveniently sweep up all of the Zephrim.
“But what are all these magic stones?” She queried, while depositing Zephrim into the magic pouch.
I didn’t feel the need to lie, so I answered truthfully, “A material used for forging weapons.”
“Are you thinking of making a weapon?”
“No, I’m going to sell it. I’m collecting it to make money.”
Kaya nodded as if she understood.
“You were short on gel because you were pretending to be weak. If you had told me, I would have helped you anytime.”
That’s too much of a request…
Kaya was the second seat of the 1st year’s Magic Department and the daughter of the Duke Astrea.
For example, if a Grade E commoner like me were to be seen having a friendly meal with her, I couldn’t even imagine the troublesome rumors that would spread among the students.
“I do not need it,” I answered sternly.
On the journey back, Kaya and I were climbing up the dark uphill road after exiting the underground labyrinth, relying on the light of the luminous lamp.
The magic bag, containing two magic pouches full of Zephrim, weighed heavily on my shoulder. In addition, the Sheath of Disaster…
Isn’t it too full~
As we walked quietly, Kaya suddenly broke the silence.
“What was that black ice from before?”
As expected. I was wondering when she’d ask.
The [Black Ice] was a magic created by combining ice and darkness elements. No one could say it was demon magic simply because it cast black light, but in this situation, it was understandable to have doubts.
If I evaded this question, there was a high chance that Kaya would imagine something wild.
Should I make something up and say it?
But there was no need for that.
I decided to answer honestly.
“Did you use a magic tool to change the color or something?”
“It’s demon magic.”
Kaya’s eyes widened.
Kaya immediately retreated to the other side, wind magic wrapped around her feet.
Her tense face showed her alert posture.
See, this is what happens.
I came to a stop and said calmly, “…I defeated a demon in the past and obtained an item.”
“‘Remnant of Darkness’. It’s a Tier-1 item that combines dark mana and my elemental mana in order to allow me to learn new magic. That’s how I can use Black Ice.”
The term ‘Tier’ referred to an item’s rarity. The lower the number, the more rare and valuable it was, and ‘Tier-1’ was without a doubt the highest grade.
By the way, did my response sound too much like an explanation? It may look like I am lying…
Three seconds. Three eerily silent seconds had passed, as if time had stopped.
Kaya lowered her gaze and nodded. She seemed to have arrived at her own conclusion.
I defeated a demon and showed Kaya. That alone demonstrated that I wasn’t siding with the demons.
Perhaps Kaya thought similarly.
“I’m sorry for doubting you.”
Kaya relaxed her guard and returned to my side.
20 minutes later.
We emerged from Tantak Underground Cave. We were greeted by the starry night sky and a view of the gorge, the nearby forest, and the unpaved road.
Perhaps it was because our spirits were lifted, but the scenery appeared especially beautiful.
“We finally made it… Thank you for your hard work, Sir Isaac.”
“But, how will we go back to the dormitory?”
…Oh right. How was I planning to get back?
“Are you going to camp?”
It was an hour’s walk from here to the carriage stop. It was already late, so the carriage service had to be over. Besides, there were no accommodations around here.
In addition, there was a limit to how far Kaya could fly using her wind magic.
It was the act of condensing enough wind to carry a person while releasing it steadily and continuously. The amount of mana consumed was unavoidably enormous if it wasn’t intended to be used for a short period of time.
Even at Kaya’s level, it didn’t matter how much mana she had, she would run out after flying for about three minutes.
“You, did you come here without any plans?” I said, while Kaya silently lowered her head, her face beet red.
She never thought I was going to camp and followed me without a plan.
“…Follow me. I’ll take care of you.”
Kaya’s face was filled with skepticism. It was as if a question mark had appeared above her head.
In the middle of the gorge.
I was lost in self-indulgence as the radiant crescent moon reflected my appearance on the rippling stream.
The gorge kept the wind at bay, making it quiet, and the ground was flat. In a nutshell, it was the perfect camping spot.
I took everything I needed for camping out of my magic pouch. First, I unfolded the simple tent and installed it with ease. It looked surprisingly comfortable with a blanket and luminous lamp placed inside.
Then, I pulled out two makeshift chairs. It was a good thing I had brought some extras just in case.
Kaya just stood there blankly. She seemed amazed by my intention to earnestly camp out.
“You came here with such a plan…”
Of course. I could catch a cold if I slept like that.
I did overspend, but I figured I could make a lot of money by selling Zephrim anyway.
It turned out to be the best choice.
“Kaya, can you bring me some firewood?”
“Oh, are you going to start a campfire?”
“I’ll be back soon!”
Kaya wrapped herself in wind magic and flew into the forest over the gorge.
If she had her wind magic, she would be able to create firewood easily. Well, I did help her get stronger rapidly, and I decided to provide her with camping equipment, so I guess it was okay to ask for that much.
I sat in a folding chair and placed a dimly lit luminous lamp in front of me.
I took out the Sheath of Disaster from my magic pouch and started examining it; there were fine scratches covering the black sheath. When I stroked it, the smooth texture had a hint of roughness to it.
On the outside, it looked old and plain. Therefore, it was a good item to catch opponents off guard.
I took out the dagger from its sheath and held it up.
A dagger with a moderately sharp edge. It really was just a normal weapon. Still, the dagger itself had its own functions, so it could be useful in many ways.
I put down the blade and turned my gaze back to the Sheath of Disaster.
I was going to engrave the [Frost Explosion] magic circle on this sheath. Then I could use [Frost Explosion] without consuming any mana if I had the Sheath of Disaster with me.
I wouldn’t have to release mana. I wouldn’t even have to pretend to use magic. Wasn’t it suitable for catching the opponent off guard?
However, the cooldown was 10 minutes, and I would need to keep enough mana in the sheath equal to the amount spent on [Frost Explosion] each time I used it. I would most likely only use it once per battle, but that single-use would give me the edge needed to win.
Of course, just engraving a magic circle and infusing it with mana wasn’t enough. It had to be a spell I could use.
I reached level 50 today, so I should be able to learn [Frost Explosion] soon. At the very least, I wanted to learn it before the PvP Performance Evaluation.
“I’m back, Sir Isaac.”
Kaya had already arrived. Next to her, the firewood was spinning in a little whirlwind.
She’s really fast, she would do well as a soldier.
Come to think of it, life in the Astrea family mansion must be no different than in an army.
She looks like a puppy.
…I felt embarrassed for no reason. Have I ever had this much influence over someone? I couldn’t think of anything other than when I was a class leader in elementary school.
Anyway, I now needed to light a fire.
I took out a fire magic scroll engraved with a magic circle from my magic pouch and spread it out on the ground and fixed it with a rolling stone.
I activated the magic scroll by infusing it with mana. The spell was then activated, and a soft flame rose gently.
Elemental scrolls could only be obtained up to a maximum of 2-stars. This was because there was a limit to the amount of mana that could be stored in a magic scroll.
The 1-star fire magic scroll I got was also useful in real life.
Kaya released her wind magic and placed the firewood on top of the fire magic scroll. Before long, the firewood caught fire and started burning…
…And the campfire was complete.
Are you feeling okay?
“Sit down,” I said to Kaya, who just stood there blankly, as I pointed to the folding chair set up next to me.
The warmth of the bonfire was comforting, but the weather was still cold.
I took out a blanket and wrapped myself in it before passing the extra blanket to Kaya.
She thanked me and wrapped the blanket around her shoulders in the same way I did.
Afterward, I heated water over the campfire and gave her a cup of warm tea. Kaya must have been amused by the number of things I brought out, as seen from the grin on her face.
“It’s warm…” Kaya’s expression softened, as if her body was melting.
The sound of a campfire burning was rampant.
We quietly watched the campfire while sipping the warm tea. The silence wasn’t that uncomfortable.
‘It’s been a while since I’ve felt this relaxed…’
It was the first time I felt relaxed after being transmigrated into ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱.
It had been a month and a half since I transmigrated into this game, and I was working hard to get stronger. I needed to be as strong as possible in order to defeat the final boss, the Evil God Nephid.
Maybe that was why this moment of leisure felt awkward.
Suddenly, the life that had been passing by rose quietly, swaying like smoke from a bonfire, like a haze.
It was a life that I tried hard not to regret. I ended up transmigrating into this game, but I didn’t have any thoughts of giving up.
Because if I gave up now, then it would all be over. I had clearly felt that already throughout my life while struggling through the exams that would decide my future.
It was hard. Magic training, physical training, and then studying. Every day, I pushed myself over and over again to the point where I felt like 24 hours a day wasn’t enough.
But it was okay once you got used to the hard times. Even now, I was doing well in my routine.
…As expected, all sorts of thoughts surrounded my head as I was spending time quietly.
However, it was fortunate that at this time, one of the people I had a lot of affection for from ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱ was right next to me. It might be that thing called psychological comfort.
She must have finished her tea by now.
At the thought of giving her another cup of tea, I turned towards the person I held dear to me.
For some reason, Kaya had her head lowered and her face was beet red. Above her head, smoke seemed to be rising like a hot spring mark.
Could it be that she caught a cold because of the chill in the cave earlier? Even then, she seemed embarrassed to admit she was feeling cold.
To check if she was suffering from a poor physical condition, I opened her status window to understand her psychology.
I was a fool for worrying.
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