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About four months have passed since the rite of independence and it’s a full-blown summer now.
Needless to say, summer is the worst season for fluffy felans.
The dirt roads, the houses surrounded by fields, and the village surrounded by the forest should make things cooler than Tokyo, that’s been hardened by asphalt, but I resent my own fur.
I catch forest mice only in the morning and spend hot noon hours in the cool forest along the stream.
I hung a hammock on a tree that grew on a slope in the shadows of the mountain and enjoyed my nap.
I wouldn’t have to worry about being attacked by the monsters here and above all, it’s like a natural cooler, so it’s really chill.
If I get hungry, I get down to the stream and poke fish that are hiding in the depths to acquire the ingredients.
If I try to stab them with an ordinary harpoon, they become wary and run away, but if I use a harpoon created by the sky attribute magic, it’s almost invisible.
I’ve been practicing and improvising day after day, so the harpoon isn’t made of only solidified air.
I’ve made its tip sharp and hard, but that’s only on the surface; its core is flexible.
I made the handle of the harpoon flat and water-resistant so even somebody as powerless as me could handle it easily.
I crawled on my belly on the rock that I was using as my hunting ground, sank my harpoon and waited for the fish to appear.
I’m practicing magic, securing food and training for future combat; killing three birds with 1 stone.
The harpoon was faintly visible due to the difference in refraction index, but I pierced the back of the gills of the fish that approached it unknowingly with a single strike.
The squelching sounds of the fish struggling told me all I needed to know about the success of my hunt.
What I caught was a 20 cm long fish that looked like a landlocked salmon.
I disemboweled the fish I caught, skewered it and sprinkled it with salt.
I made a vessel with a round bottom with sky attribute magic, filled it with water, turned it into a lens, set it on fire with sunlight and grilled the salted fish.
“Dewicious, so dewicious, newly caught fish is dewicious, grilled salted fish is dewicious!”
It’s extremely fresh because I just caught it, it doesn’t have a fishy smell and the harmony between the crispy skin and the soft meat is exquisite.
Once I was full, I returned to the hammock and continued my nap.
Yup, summer isn’t so bad either.
Once I woke up from my nap, I went to pick medical herbs.
Recently, I always use Steps to move around, so I don’t have to worry about being attacked by monsters even in the middle of the mountains.
I’m moving about 5 meters above the ground, so I have good visibility and I don’t leave scent on the ground either.
Goblins can’t even reach me and even if I am attacked, all I have to do is run away.
I used Steps to move around, came down to the ground when I found medical herbs to collect them and used Steps again to move along.
I think that I’ve reached a sufficient mastery in escaping, so I decided to move to the next stage.
Next thing I have to acquire after the ability to escape is, without a doubt, defense.
I want to eat a monster’s heart to increase my mana but I have to defeat one in order to do that.
Sky-attribute magic doesn’t have the obvious offensive power of fire-attribute or thunder-attribute magic.
I can attack from a distance by moving solidified air, but it lacks power due to its lightness.
Currently, the only way I can attack monsters is to use a spear created with sky attribute magic and engage in close combat.
In that case, the distance needed for my attacks to reach the enemy would end up being the same distance needed for the enemy’s attacks to reach me.
If I was a race blessed with physique like bovans and ursans, I might have been able to train my body so I would be fine even if I was hit, but that’s impossible for felans.
A single hit from a goblin would probably shave away more than half of my HP.
What I need is a means of defense.
Specifically, armor and a shield.
The first thing I made was the body part of the armor.
I made ‘Armor‘ about 1 centimeter away from my body so that it would protect my neck and abdomen, and not bump into my arms and legs, and finally, so that it would not inhibit my movements.
One of the reasons why I decided to keep it slightly away from the body was not only to prevent it from getting in the way or my movements, but to also improve the ventilation and to prevent it from transmitting impact.
As a test, I tried throwing a rock and blocking it with Armor, but since it was away from my body, I couldn’t feel the impact at all.
By the way, if I lay down while wearing Armor, it feels like my body is floating in the air.
It would be really nice if I could sleep like this, but when my consciousness drifted away, Armor was released.
Since I made armor float without fixing it on the body, naturally the shield had to be floating too.
I made ‘Wall’’ that I used before when Miguel attacked me with fire-attribute magic smaller, made it sturdier and turned it into ‘Shield’.
It’s about 1 meters long and 50 centimeters wide and slightly curvy.
With its size, it can guard my whole body, and it’s transparent, so it doesn’t block my view.
I intended to keep this Armor and Shield in their basic forms and devise their materials and shapes, but at present, only one of them can be used along with Steps.
Moreover, since I’m using mana for Steps, Armor and Shield only look the part and they’re nowhere strong enough.
I want to fight monsters as soon as possible, but unlike the games, it’s over for me if I die and I can’t start over.
At their current strength, they’d be pulverized with a single blow and the damage would pass through.
I wore Armor and moved with Steps.
From the side it might look like I’m only walking unsteadily on air, but it’s exhausting because the amount of mana I have to use has increased.
I was exhausted from wandering around and just picking herbs from afternoon till evening, but I’ve trained just as much as I’m exhausted.
After returning to the stream and catching fish, I headed back home.
“Grandma Karisa, please buy some medical herbs. Fish is a gift.”
“Thanks as always. Oh, isn’t that Haslimsou? Looks like you entered really deep, but were you okay?”
“I’m taking good care of myself so I’m fine. The other day, Mr.Zeol and the others went in to subjugate monsters and I haven’t seen a single goblin today either.”
Tigran Mr. Zeol is an adventurer hired by the village chief and although he seems to be over 50 years old, he’s intimidating enough to silence the young people of the village with a single glare.
It seems that he was active around the royal capital when he was young and was talented enough to almost reach A rank, but he came to Attuca village after withdrawing from the front lines because he found dealing with nobles annoying.
“That’s fine then, but be careful. If you disappeared, I’d be in trouble too.”
Grandma Karisa had a worried look on her face while giving me the payment.
There are people other than me who bring medical herbs too, but there’s nobody else who shares fish and forest mice with her.
“I know. Oh, it’s starting to rain so I’m going home.”
“Okay, take care on your way home.”
I heard distant thunder when I was descending from the mountain, but it seems that clouds drifted over.
The raindrops that stained the dry road soon turned into a downpour that looked like a bucked had been turned over.
I made a large dome to cover me from head to toes and walked around 50 centimeters above ground using Steps.
I could see the villagers that were doing the farm work run away while covering their heads.
Lightning ran like a dragon through the pitch-black sky, and a loud thunder roared.
Water flowed like a river on the parched road, washing away even the heat of the day.
“Oh, it became cooler… but, I’d like it to be in moderation.”
Cooler weather is welcome, but it would be troublesome if the rivers overflowed or the roads that lead to the towns collapsed.
If the potatoes rot before harvest, it will be difficult to survive the winter.
This happened before I was born, but there was a year with a long spell of rain in summer which completely wiped out all the potatoes and some people seemed to have starved to death in the winter.
“Maybe I should make dried fish in autumn…”
If I want to be efficient, it would be better to hunt wild boars and make dried meat, but even if I succeeded in killing them, I wouldn’t be able to bring them back to the village.
“Starting to live as a full-fledged person comes first than becoming an adventurer…”
The rain, which had made it impossible to see what was in front of me, had lessened, and the western sky was now tinted with a soft madder red light.
The river that ran through the village didn’t seem to be going over the bank either.
With fish for the whole family in hand, I headed home along the road at dusk.