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It seems that larger the city, the more racial prejudice and discrimination there is.
In small, mountain-deep villages like Attuca village, there seems to be less discrimination because unless every villager fulfills their roles as workers, the village cannot be maintained.
Still, it’s not like there’s no prejudice or discrimination at all.
To start with, felans are smaller than other races.
If you let your brute strength do the talking at the end of the argument, the result of the battle will be obvious.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve seen very well how my dad was threatened by our neighbor bovan old man and forced to do troublesome things.
In terms of physique, they’re like an elementary schooler and a big man, so it’s not surprising that my dad would be scared.
I complained to lupan Miguel, who’s my peer and also the grandson of the village chief, if I didn’t like anything and whenever I was about to be challenged to a physical strength match, I’d make use of my agility to quickly run away.
It’s because I don’t want to live without being able to say whatever I want just like my previous life, where I was not only bullied, but also readily killed.
Miguel would try to incite me each time, calling me spineless or a coward, but I’ve no intention of taking him up on the provocation.
As if I’d fight properly with physical strength with somebody who excels in physical strength.
If he wants to call me a coward, he should try to challenge me at agility, which is my specialty, instead and win.
Miguel, who led a lazy life for a while after returning from the rite of independence, seemed to have been chewed out by his father, who’d lost his temper, and was attending school properly recently.
That being said, he doesn’t practice his attribute magic like I do almost the whole day everyday so I’m sure I wouldn’t lose a proper fight with him now.
After around 2 months of continuous magic practice, more improvements have been made to Armor and Shield.
One of them is the material, which I’ve become able to strengthen considerably.
A board made from the same material still breaks when I hit it with a club, but it still rebounds even as it breaks.
This is the result of an attack from a felan, so I don’t think it can withstand an attack from a monster, but it’s still better than not wearing anything at all.
The second improvement I made was the addition of the helmet.
Unlike metal it’s transparent so it’s not obstructing my vision even if I cover my head completely, but it becomes cloudy each time I exhale so I added holes for ventilation.
Also, if I cover my ears, I won’t be able to make use of my excellent hearing, so I decided to make two types of helmets, one that would let me stick out my ears and the one that would cover my head.
I’d use the one that let me stick out my ears when I would be searching for the enemy to hear the sounds of the surroundings and the one that covered my whole head including my ears during a battle.
The third improvement was the practical use of the Shield.
Shield was created in order to block the enemy’s attacks, but I realized that having it be fixed mid-air with magic made it stronger than me holding it by hand.
If I use it while holding it, in case I’m pushed by somebody stronger than me, the placement of the shield will move but when it’s fixed in place with magic, it will either receive the attack or break and won’t move from its location.
That’s why, I decided to make it float in air with magic instead of holding it myself.
During practice, I make 2 small ones and move them around my body, but maybe because I’ve become used to using Steps, it seems faster to discard them and redeploy rather than move them.
It would be ideal if they’d get deployed automatically even before I sensed danger, but it would be hard to reach that level.
If I continue practicing, I’ll reach a satisfying level of mastery in escaping and defense set-up, but the problem is improving my offensive power.
A felan body is small and light and the weapons made from sky-attribute magic are also sturdy but light so even if my mana increased, it would be hard to increase the power behind each of my strikes.
If heavy attacks are impossible for me, I have no choice but to maximize my speed.
Because of that, I’m thinking of somehow acquiring body strengthening magic.
Body strengthening magic is, as its name suggests, uses magic to strengthen one’s physical abilities, but it can’t be used without training.
The moment my attribute magic was unsealed at the rite of independence, I became able to use it, as if locked memories had come back to me, but I don’t understand its starting point.
Even if I theoretically understand how to strengthen my body with mana, I don’t have the basic sense of how to make mana flow into my body.
Even if I pour magic essence into the magic vein, just like I do when using attribute magic, it will only strengthen my attribute magic and not my body.
There are some people who’ve become able to use it on their own, but that comes with the risk of injuring their muscles or ligaments due to the inability to adjust the strengthening and in the worst case, could lead to serious aftereffects.
That’s why, in the beginning it’s normal to learn from a person who’s mastered using it.
Mr. Zeol, who’s hired by the village chief, is said to be the best user in Attuca, but according to the rumors, he won’t teach anybody easily.
Apparently he didn’t agree even when Miguel, the village chief’s grandson, asked him.
After I started hunting forest mice and going to receive the bounty, I’ve gotten more opportunities to meet with Mr. Zeol, but I’ve never spoken to him other than to say hello.
Judging from his appearance, he’s a rugged old man, so I couldn’t catch a chance to make contact with him.
The season has completely changed to autumn, and the leaves of trees in the mountains are dyed in red.
Once autumn is here, winter also follows soon behind.
This is also the season when forest mice start to gather food for hibernation, so the more active they become, the busier I’ll become.
Until now I’ve only been able to catch 5 per day, but once the autumn came, I’ve been able to catch not just twice, but thrice as much.
Thanks to that my income has increased, but there are some people who don’t think very well of that.
On that day as well, when I received the bounty for 15 mice and left the village chief’s house, I found Miguel and his goons waiting for me by the gate.
In the past, I would be thinking about where to slip through to escape, but thanks to my sky attribute magic, I have more than enough escape routes.
“Nyango, you’re cheating, aren’t you?”
“Huh? What the hell are you talking about all of a sudden?”
“There’s no way you’d catch 10 or 15 forest mice a day without cheating.”
“No, I really don’t know what you’re talking about. To start with, is there a legitimate method and cheating method for catching forest mice? As long as you don’t trouble others, no matter what method you use it will be beneficial for the village so I don’t think I deserve any criticism.”
“What’d you say? You little… who the hell do you think you’re getting payment from?”
“From the village, of course. The village money and the village chief’s personal money are different, you know? Remember that properly if you’re planning on becoming the village chief in the future.”
Miguel’s face turned bright red with just a little sound argument that couldn’t even count as an instigation and he started trembling in anger.
“I-I’ll… in the name of Goddess Fatima…”
“If you shoot magic at me from there and I evade, it’s your house that’ll burn.”
“O Flames…. Eh…it’s h-hot!”
Because he canceled the fireball that was in the middle of activation above his head, Miguel’s head was covered with sparks and he brushed them off in panic, but I could smell the scent of burning fur.
It was on fire a bit, so he might actually end up bald.
“Uwaa, that was close!”
Ursan Kimble, who was 1 year younger and hadn’t gone through the rite of independence yet, started throwing stones at me from about 10 meters away, so I immediately deployed the Shield.
The shield broke and Kimble’s eyes widened in surprise as he saw the stone lose its momentum in a seemingly empty air and roll on the ground.
“Hey you, it’s no joke if I’m actually hit with something like that. I might lose my eyesight if it hits me in the eyes, are you kidding me?!”
Perhaps not expecting to be yelled at by a felan like me, Kimble stepped back with a frightened expression.
Even the equan Dulles, who was gathering stones and swinging them at me, shuddered and stopped moving.
Throwing stones from close distance is really not funny, so just as I was thinking about punishing them with something worse than just blinding them like last time, a deep voice echoed from behind.
“That’s enough, brats.”
The moment they noticed that a tigran Mr. Zeol was looking down at us from the window next to the entrance, Miguel and the others turned tails.
Actually, Miguel’s house is here so where is he running away?
“Hey you, wait for me to come!”
Saying so while pointing at me, Mr. Zeol withdrew his face from the window.
Should I also run away?… I thought about it for a second, but running away could make things more troublesome and I might get an opportunity to learn body strengthening magic.
I thought he’d come out right away, but after waiting for a while, Mr. Zeol who opened the entrance door, showed a surprised expression when he saw my face.
“Oh? So you waited for me without running away.”
“I have no reasons to run away, sir.”
“Hm, I guess so…. Alright, come with me for a bit.”
Mr. Zeol indicated to follow him with his chin and started walking towards a separate building.