Chapter 4 – Swimming and the Ruins on Lake Bottom
"Today we're acting separately as well, will you be okay Yun-kun?"
"There's no problem. I'm going to use 【Swimming】 Sense to check whether the rumours about the lake are true. I might be able to find something."
In the morning of the third day Magi-san was quite worried. Yesterday when I told her that I challenged a violent young beast and didn't resist it, she was seriously worried.
"Yun-kun, don't be too reckless. Come back safely."
"Come on, we're going. Today too we're going to look for crafting materials."
Magi-san seemed to be broadening the area of their search together with Cloude and Lyly. Yesterday they seemed to search while maintaining a safety margin, but the mobs which appeared were mostly weak and it gave me an impression of a monotonous work.
While embracing little furball in her arms Magi-san anxiously looked back a few times, I sent her off with a smile, I continued to smile until she disappeared. What a worrywart, I muttered.
"Now then, now that they're gone, let's head straight towards the lake today."
I muttered and moved out of the safety area in which we had our own base camp, the young Unicorn appeared in front of me, I put on a wry smile as it started walking beside me.
"You were close by after all. You should have come to our base camp yesterday."
The foal walked right by my side, it was as big as a pony, it had a different charm from Rickle and others.
"It's inconvenient not to have a name right? What do we do about it?"
I looked at the Unicorn but it didn't show any reaction in particular, I started thinking of names with a finger on my chin.
"Not much of a talker huh. You're not talking so... how about Taciturn. Hey, uwaah?! You didn't like it?! Sorry, sorry about that."
I was headbutted from behind, the white horse showed its dissatisfaction. Names are quite difficult.
"Then, Ryui. How about it?"
As I said that, it stopped headbutting me. Although it showed an aloof attitude, it didn't leave me and kept up with my pace. I don't know if it liked it, but it seems like it has acknowledged it. Speaking of which, about the young Unicorn——I've forgotten to tell Magi-san about Ryui.
We faced the waterway on southeast, and went along it towards the lake.
There was a clean boundary between the lake and the canal, there were tidal flats by the edges of the lake.
"There are living things in the shallow water too, I don't need to use 【Swimming】 to secure food."
Although I took a step forward into the tidal flat, it seemed like there will be a delay as my footing was unstable and I lost balance. Ryui didn't enter the unstable ground at all.
"You're not good with these huh. Wait there, I'll be going to pick some food for tonight."
As I said that, Ryui lied down and started napping.
I focused on the tidal flats again and proceeded deeper, after a short while I was able to pick up something that looked like oversized shrimps.
When I bent over to pick them up, the shrimps and shellfishes attacked me with its limbs or shells.
"Hey that's dangerous... these are treated as mobs too?"
Although I pulled out my knife to try attacking it, there was no damage. Since I didn't have an appropriate Sense it seemed like it didn't judge it as an attack. Though, I only tried hitting its shell.
"It's slow and it doesn't move. And it's a mob... like this, move around the shrimp and stab the knife into a gap in it's shell..."
I held the opponent down with my leg, and after stopping its movements I p
ressed the knife against the gap. Fuuh, I took a deep breath. I put some strength into the knife all at once and bisected the shrimp starting with the gap.
It's shell gave a strong resistance at first, but as I pushed it forcefully and before long it gave a death cry and disappeared. 'Shrimp' has appeared in my inventory.
"So I can use a kitchen knife to hunt mobs. It's not a dagger, I don't want to be joked about as a 'kitchen knife user'."
But a dagger was quite thick. I was able to attack the gap like this because of how thin and sharp a kitchen knife is.
After that, I was able to insert the knife inside of a shellfish's shell and after cutting the adductor muscle inside I obtained a shellfish.
Since I had to stop it from moving and aim at the gap it couldn't be said it was too efficient. It was time-consuming.
However, when I killed about a hundred of them——
『"The 【Cooking】 Sense is level 10 or higher, a skill was generated after subjugating over a hundred enemies with Cooking-type equipment."』
"Ehh? So skills appear after fulfilling conditions that are different than the Sense level or events huh."
A new skill was added to 【Cooking】 besides the 【Preparing】 【Processing】 and 【Facilitating】.
Even so, the level went up by attacking mobs with a kitchen knife. Hey, what's this?
《Ingredient Knowledge》——For 10 minutes a red marker appears on enemy, damage increases if the marked place is attacked.
In other words, it was a skill that revealed weaknesses. When I tried it, a red marker appeared in a gap in the shrimp's shell.
Unlike 【Enchant】, it felt more like a Sense increasing weapon damage. An additional damage correction within a limited range felt completely different from how enchant worked.
"I've gathered enough ingredients, let's check out the lake and go back."
I unequipped the 【Dosing】 Sense and switched to【Swimming】 Sense. Although I was slightly anxious removing the high level 【Dosing】, I'll try covering its correction with an enchant.
The water wasn't unmoving, the aquatic plants swayed back and forth as underwater streams moved them.
I swam freely in the water as there was less resistance as compared to the stream's rapids. When I found a building on the bottom of the lake, on the edge of my vision I saw a black shadow of a fish swimming towards me at breakneck speed, I immediately avoided it.
(Danger...?! What's that.)
I looked over my shoulder for signs of the fish, a pitch black 1,5m long giant fish was there. Its name was Western Bluefin Tuna.
I was convinced that it was seafood that had strength incomparable to shrimps and shellfishes I've picked up until now.
(This is the lake's unique mob.)
What to do, although I want to examine the building on the bottom of the lake, this guy will definitely get in my way. There's no other way than to get rid of it.
I returned to the surface once again. Although the Bluefin Tuna gave up on chasing me halfway, seeming as if it had no intention of leaving the depths, and it went back into the depths.
"Now then, let's come up with a strategy to defeat the guy."
If it comes to worst, I'll escape to the surface where he won't chase after me. I can challenge him as much as I want. I adjusted my posture in water and took a breath. I cast three enchants on myself, ATK, DEF and SPEED. I've also cast the 《Ingredient Knowledge》 I've acquired very recently to see its weak points.
I clenched the knife and once again dived into the water, I looked for the tuna.
I didn't have to look long, the tuna which avoided still water came out of the area it occupied and assaulted me.
This time when we got in contact I didn't avoid it completely, and I swung the knife at the marker on the tuna's body.
Although I swung it with all strength I had in my arms towards the large figure, the moment the knife has struck the tuna——
(It hurts?!! My arms——)
I didn't pull the knife which pierced through tuna. With a knife still piercing it, the tuna held my body and started to swing to sides in water. As I was exposed to water resistance, my HP has gradually decreased.
Not good, I thought. I didn't pull out the knife yet, I waited until he slows down and then pulled it out.
The moment I pulled it out and thought of escaping, the tail fin was swung and hit my side, I've been strongly blown away in the water.
I've moved in the water traversing an unknown distance, and when the tuna finally stopped approaching me I escaped towards the surface in a hurry. The first contact was my loss.
"Shit! That guy received barely any damage, I've dealt only about 5% of his HP."
It's speed wasn't great when it was caught, but if I stab my knife in I'll be attacked and pulled around. At times like these I could use 《Cursed》 to decrease its speed, but there was quite a distance from the water surface and it was impossible to articulate in water.
I recovered my HP with a potion and went back into water once again.
The sense of distance wasn't a problem. I need to change the way I attack,
If I stab it in like before I'll be pulled around. With this blade length I could kill it as long as I lured it away from the underwater streams. I continued to avoid not finding a way to attack it.
...three times, four times, five, six, seven, eight times.
I confronted him nine times. An hour has elapsed since I first fought with the tuna. Mechanically, my body remembered how to move in water optimally. Meanwhile, I thought of a way to attack.
The only means of attacking I had was the kitchen knife in my hand. How do you use a knife?
In my head, I recalled the way a knife was used. Knife is pressed and then pulled. That's the basic movement. Then I need to press it against the tuna, but how do I go about pulling it.
Perfect, the tuna was heading towards me.
With elbows close to my body, I impaled the opponent in the place with a red mark using the knife I clenched in my hands.
When the driving force of my propulsion and tuna's added to each other, the knife cut smoothly.
(Good, it cut.)
Just to outstretch the blade and use our driving force to cut.
Because of the water's high resistance I swung my arms blindly, when I thrust the knife I just continued to swim——and this was the result.
The blow just now traced the marker, but it was slightly offset in the middle. Next time, I will follow the line precisely. Now, it's my turn to go on offensive.
I kicked the water and proceeded towards the tuna head-on.
I increased my speed in the water and created a waterflow.
The moment we closed in on each other, I diverted my body and pierced the knife into the longest marker. I put more strength into my legs and continued to swim forward until the the knife reached the tail.
Coupled with the momentum I've had from kicking the water, and without wasting my strength this time I cleanly cut along the marker.
With this, I have gained confidence. The time has come, I rose up to the surface and rebuilt my posture.
"At least I shaved off 10% of his HP. 90% left."
I challenged it for the tenth time.
I confronted it head on again and approached it. It was a chicken race during which we both gained momentum. If I miss the chance to avoid, I'll be hit by the tuna's mass and carried off, it will prevail, but if I avoid normally I won't be able to deal a large amount of damage.
Every time we crossed each other, its HP vanished. And it came down to the final showdown.
*slip*, the kitchen knife was stabbed into tuna's body and driven into the end of its life.
(——Dismantling complete. Or something like that.)
It was a formidable enemy. One vs one it was stronger than any mob I've encountered before. It was on par with a boss, it might sound funny, but the environment made the boss really strong.
And a treasure chest which was a reward for subjugating the water unique mob, was sinking.
I followed it in a hurry, after making sure everything is calm on the bottom I opened the treasure box.
(Now, let's see what kind of item did Western Bluefin Tuna drop.)
I looked at the items expectantly, and was stunned with surprise. And then, conveying those thoughts by kicking the water strongly, I rushed to the surface above.
"Why the heck the reward for Western is a set of western cooking tools?!"
The item contained inside, was a set of western tools.
A tool that turns pasta dough into pasta by putting it in and turning a handle, a bowl, a cylindrical pot, a large magical stove, there were various tools in it.
I appreciated it, the management has mischievously named it, but I still wasn't convinced.
"Ahh, I'm dead tired. Now lets confirm what's underwater and go back."
I dove underwater to look for artefacts. In the stone building there was only one entrance.
I entered it, the interior seemed to be filled with air. I lit a torch.
"Heyhey, I shouldn't be able to use a torch in such a damp place."
Despite me thinking so, when I used the cooking set's lighter it caught fire. Well, it's a game. As I proceeded to light the torches I was finally able to see the entire room.
It was narrow and long, the stone walls continued, there were pictures drawn on the walls.
On the picture there was a variety of animals. Wolf, tiger, large bird, elephant, bear, fox, dragon. Beside them there were multiple people coexisting with them. There wasn't a single character in it, but everything was expressed with a picture.
As I looked around the room, I found a passage leading to another space, but I was unable to pass through it as the ceiling has collapsed.
I explored the surroundings carefully, but there were only pictures of animals.
One by one, I took screenshots of it, I didn't want to divulge it though. The ceiling pictured coexistence on it.
And then I proceeded to the deepest part, the aspect of the pictures changed.
Humans coexisted with animals, and now the tamed animals cherished their ties with humans.
There was a particularly conspicuous presence in the picture.
It had a gaping mouth and irregular sharp fangs, an organism which had countless tentacles extend from its black body. The colour scheme promoted odiousness, its torso was so twisted it was impossible to be biological. The location in which pupils should be, had gaping cavities.
That organism captured the animals with its tentacles and threw them to its mouth.
A number of these creatures appeared and has overrun the animals, it has ruined the impression of idyllic murals.
It was as if it was a natural enemy of the animals.
"It might be just my imagination, but there might be such a setting for this continent."
And the people held weapons in its hands and attacked those natural enemies. The deformed profile had hidden eyes behind it and it targeted people with them.
In the end, there was a mural highlighting a fierce fight with number of irregular monsters. At the end of the dead serious mural, it was treasure time again.
The treasure chest that was enshrined in the deepest part of the space was more decorated and better build then treasure chests up until now, giving it a dignified feel.
This time, it was a treasure chest from the building at the bottom of the lake. I was able to arrive here because I had 【Swimming】 level 12. Considering there was no workaround for mortal combat with the Bluefin Tuna, the difficulty was considerably higher. If I didn't take 【Swimming】 Sense yesterday-today I wouldn't have arrived here. No, in a party of six it would be easier with an equipment like spear, and it would be easy to attack.
(This time, I hope it's not a joke item!)
After I opened the treasure box with a tense hand, inside I found four weapons I couldn't appraise.
—— A Staff, a battle axe; a longbow, and a pair of daggers.
The staff had an onyx gem on top which sucked in the light. It was distinctly black.
The battle axe was dark red, it felt solid and it didn't seem like I would be able to lift it. The blade had a cracked up surface and it pulsed with red and black like magma.
The pair of daggers, the colour of their blades was different even though the handle had the same design. One of them was black and glossy, the other was purple and looked poisonous. Both of them had a texture which seemed rough and didn't reflect light.
And with a red cloth wound around the flexible wood, made out of a material unknown to me and elaborately decorated with feathers, a long bow with a black string.
It was slightly larger than the bow Lyly made, although it was unlikely that I would be able to casually shoot it, if I stood unmoving, I would be able to shoot from it.
The last thing inside, was a memo.
"Umm, 『Congratulations. You have found a chest hidden in the field. The contents are unique weapons. These are weapon types that your party uses the most. You can learn the details by appraising them.』 hey, it's not appraised yet."
I checked the details, but they weren't appraised yet. I could equip them, but I don't know what will happen. Better confirm it with Magi-san and others tonight. Rather, these are weapons for the entire party.
Even though we're separated, we're still a party. Nice. I thought.
I didn't have anything else to examine in this place, so I dived in the water once again.
As I looked up from the bottom of the lake, water reflected sunlight and shined brilliantly. I stopped in place for a moment and recorded the scene before leaving the lake.
"...Ryui, you here?"
I might have left it for too long. I couldn't find the white horse even as I looked around. When I thought it must have been too long to leave him for two hours and scratched my head, a figure appeared from the grass nearby.
"You waited for me, thanks."
I bent over and stroked Ryui who approached me. It looked away, it was a sign of being grumpy. I did something I shouldn't.
"I finished searching the lake, should we return, or maybe search a different location... what is it Ryui?"
Until now it hasn't looked into my eyes, but Ryui hasn't shook off my hand that stroked it, suddenly it seemed as if it saw something and quietly it tensed up.
It happened few seconds later. Ryui moved to a position 30 metres away from me, it waved its neck signalling me to come. Urging me. Was the ability to perceive a crisis of animals also applied to the game? The moment I stopped near Ryui I heard a heavy metal sound and a loud shriek.
Along with a familiar voice, two huge monsters were blown away from the forest into the lakeside. It was the location I just stood in.
"Being blown away by a single hit, you're too lacking to be a field unique! Come on, become rust on my sword!"
Pointlessly high tension. Pointlessly brandishing a sword, cutting through the air.
Girls took on shrimp-type and a tree-type unique mobs appearing from the place they were originally blown away.
"...Myu. Taking on two opponents all of a sudden is too risky."
"Hmm. I'm fine as long as I can raise my Hammer's level on that hard crustacean."
"Well well, let's search-and-destroy before it's stolen by someone else! That's the best!"
Acquaintances, helluva acqueintances.
The lightly equipped Toutobi used her daggers to thrust. Hino took out her sledgehammer and laughed, and my little sister Myu was running out of control. Probably feeling danger, Ryui who was next to me in stealth straightened its vigilance.
Even so, where are the three remaining ones including Lucato? Well, I'm acting separately as well so I shouldn't question it.
"Eh? It's Onee-chan! Heey, Yun-oneechan!"
"Myu, in front, IN FRONT!"
Even though she was in middle of combat, she had time to spare to wave. She effortlessly avoided the pincer attack of the from monsters' wood and spear. Hey, cheating little sister. I beg you, don't worry your brother so much.
Toutobi pierced through the blind spot of shrimp-type mob's Timewasting Scissors, Hino swung her hammer and crushed its studs.
While the two of them dealt with one unique mob, Myu took the Sweets Tree-type mob all alone.
"Hey hey! You won't hit me with such a slow attack!"
Myu continued to resist curses the tree has been casting because of her high magic defence and avoided all the wooden spears made from the tree branches.
It quickly switched between offence and defence, I felt like it could be called a true unique mob. The spider mob we've seen on the first day was weak enough to be taken down by a beginner party, the Bluefin Tuna from the lake might not have had high stats but it was difficult to defeat. If even once one were to be hit underwater, there was a high possibility of losing.
And the two mobs in front of me had a strength that made me feel like I absolutely wouldn't be able to defeat them alone.
I've observed the fight with the Sweets Tree, it attacked faster than one could move one's arms and body. However——
"You're too slow so I'll make my move instead!"
"No, just how is that slow."
The growing branches were corresponding to its hands, the number of those piercing increased, if I didn't focus on avoiding them I would have been skewered immediately.
She continued to avoid it by a hair's breadth and closed the distance. With the sword she had poised in her hand she lightly cut down the branches that interfered with her approach.
It felt like both of them gave their everything in this battle. However, the Sweets Tree still had a margin. And Myu...
She's been blown away earlier, but now she was rooted to the ground and stood firmly.
After entering the range at which she could use Arts, Myu started operating one. I perceived a change in Sweets Tree and raised my voice.
She cancelled the operation and immediately stepped back gaining distance. The location in which Myu was earlier had wooden spears protruding from the ground.
The Sweets Tree was immobile, in the medium distance it used piercing attacks. Once one has approached it, it had wooden spears protrude from the ground. I immediately thought of countermeasures for that, that would be long distance magic attack, however...
"Nice! That's how it should be!"
"Yeah, my little sister has become a complete battle-freak..."
She avoided a dangerous blow, but she didn't chagrin or curse. She had a large childish smile on her face and happily held her one-handed sword.
Momentarily, she dropped her waist low and sprung out to reach it all at once. With just her speed she avoided the spears the tree attacked her with, she twisted her body and went past them by a fine line.
Her actions were the same as before, but her speed was in another league. Seeing that high level players are capable of such a things, I felt fear.
Once again she went into close range of the tree. When there was an unnatural upsurge from the ground Myu rushed without stopping.
The spears popped out momentarily like mines, they appeared from blind spots. It was inevitable.
"Naive! I won't get caught by the same trick twice!"
She suddenly stopped, leaving all the momentum remaining from the run centred on her right foot, she rotated around using the momentum and deflected the wooden spears with her sword. And once again she started running to confront the tree.
Truly, inhuman technique.
"This time——《Fifth Breaker》!"
The Arts left a pale light behind as the one-handed sword cut the Sweets Tree body.
Its HP was greatly reduced with each blow, even so it only shaved away about 30%. Because her first blow earlier decreased it by 10%, there was 60% remaining.
If she repeats the thing from before two times more she will win. Taking distance and using a hit-and-run tactics would be best, I thought.
However, it was Imouto-sama quality. She went beyond what I predicted.
"Lukewarm! This is lukewarm! So this event's strongest enemy isn't Ki-sama huh!"
When it comes to nuances, it must have been 『貴』-sama and 『木』-sama huh, even though it's just a Sweets Tree.
Hey, that wasn't what was surprising. Myu dropped her waist and took an action with a motion which looked as if she activated an Arts.
It clearly wasn't a technique, that attack was a series of five consecutive strikes. I could trace behaviour that seemed exactly the same as when she used the one-handed sword Arts called Fifth Breaker before.
The speed and precision was as good as that of Arts, but the Arts wasn't emitted. There was no damage correction applied to it which would shave off a large amount of damage. Just the action was the same.
The continuous attacks left everything to speed. No matter how long the interval was that took the wooden spears to be reused, fighting in close quarters was reckless I suspected.
The tree's tentacles approached, she hunched over and continued to slash with her sword ignoring the branches' attacks.
She was visibly damaged, but she continued to cast self-heals recovering it.
"With this it's over.——《Fifth Breaker》!"
This time it was the genuine Arts. Even though it was sunk down with just two hits Myu dealt the rest of the hits overkilling it, I felt sympathy for the Sweets Tree.
The fake-Arts attack from earlier was good, and it must have took a lot of courage to challenge an unique mob in close quarters combat.
Myu was abnormal after all. She was worthy of being called a cheater by normal people.
It was absolutely impossible for me. Even if I were to defeat it alone, I would have spent a lot of time attacking it from a distance of the underground tree spears.
"...oh, you don't need to be so wary. They're not enemies."
Immediately after Myu finished her battle, I said that to Ryui, but not only it didn't come out of stealth, but became even more vigilant as well.
"Ho, amazing. You're outstanding as usual. But you've received quite a lot of damage haven't you."
"Hm? I've took on those attacks to raise my 【Armour】 level."
So she withstood those attacks to raise her level huh. As usual, she ignores the risk and emphasizes on efficiency.
"That's too reckless. If you retire we'll be the ones troubled."
"Ahahaha, sorry. But we've got a treasure."
Although I didn't see it, it seemed like that the three saw the unique mob drop a chest. From how they acted, it seemed like they were opening a chest. And as I looked at them, they took out from the subspace an egg beater, a bowl, cup, cookie cutter and so on...
"All right! It's another step towards the sweets-making plan we dreamed of!"
"I think that since no one in the party has 【Cooking】 Sense, this dream will never come true."
"...agreed. Before that, you've forgotten something. Look."
"Oops, Yun-oneechan! It's been a while!"
The three approached me. Although I wanted to call out to them in a friendly manner, Ryui beside me was very wary and I didn't want to scare him.
"Y-yeah, you doing good? Also, sorry Toutobi, Hino."
"Why is Onee-chan apologizing?"
I glanced towards the two of them, you have my sympathies, I've relayed. Sorry about her always being a bother.
"So, why are the three of you here?"
"Hmm. Looking for food? See, because they implemented satiety we don't want to retire because of lack of food. So we acted divided into two teams, and then we found a party run away from an unique mob, so we pulled it instead. Because the place was narrow, we asked Hino-chan to blow it away with her hammer elsewhere!"
Wasn't that MPK? Also you guys are amazing for defeating two of them so fast.
"I see. If you're properly securing food I don't have to worry."
As I spoke, the three openly looked away. Hey, why do you look away.
"Ehmm, we haven't eaten any decent food ever since we came here."
"Fruits are delicious. We tried forcing Myu's and our cooking into ourselves..."
"...since all of us had 【Poison Resistance】 Sense beforehand, its level went up quite fast. Also, the poisonous fruits tasted like combination of strawberries and orange."
Umm, in other words. For food, they have endured the poisonous plants because of hunger? Strengthening one's tolerance to poison by eating it was a ninja's technique wasn't it. Letia whom I met yesterday didn't have any self-support capability either.
"Haa〜, enduring three days of such meals sounds the worst."
"Cause〜 we were suddenly given a Sense learning limit, we didn't know what kind of new Sense to take and level in order to adjust to the living environment. Everyone was lost. And when I wanted to do my best cooking everyone stopped me..."
"Myu, you better stop. Don't increase the amount of victims outside of our home."
"You're horrible, Onee-chan."
"Call me brother. Geez, you're lacking when the situation absolutely requires something, you need some ingenuity."
Top players making a commotion over cooking a single meal and creating poisonous miasma, haa〜, I sighed deeply.
"The necessities ran out... yesterday our potions have ran out in the dungeon and Luka-chan's weapon durability went down to the point of almost breaking. We've gotten a lot of drops and unique items, weapons and armour, but we want potions. And using unappraised items is scary."
"...luckily we were able to appraise normal food and poisonous fruits. If Myu was to rampage because of eating something with 【Confusion】, it wouldn't end well."
Hell, prepare to retire at that time.
"You guys, that's a critical zone. Get a hold of yourselves. Geez, I'll help you out a little."
Dumbfounded, Myu stared towards me.
"Dinner and potions, I can prepare it at our base camp. The dinner'll be later together with my party, is that fine?"
"However, I'll take compensation properly. It'll be 【Atelier】's bussiness trip, barter trade. I don't need money I will be able to use only five days later. I want items. Not really the unique ones, ingredients and herbs, as well as information. I'll give you potions and abnormal status recovery drugs as well as dinner later."
I think it was a quite a good idea. Even if I did something similar in real, I'm not a such good person to help others unconditionally. Give and take, is what it is.
"I'll be able to enjoy the taste of home for the first time in a while."
"I definitely won't have enough ingredients so it'll be impossible to do anything other than fruit meals."
"Okay let's go! Let's go to convince Luka-chan and the others!"
Myu raised her first and started walking towards the forest. Good grief, what a troublesome little sister.
"...umm... there's something I want to talk about, Yun-san. Is it fine?"
"What is it, Toutobi. If you have ingredients then that'll broaden what meal I can make."
"No, that's not it... there's something next to Yun-san... what is that?"
The timing was bad. I wanted it to remain unseen for now since it was stimulated after seeing that battle.
Also, Myu will be definitely interested. Although it was a short relationship, I already knew that Ryui absolutely wouldn't forgive anyone for touching it.
"Umm, Toutobi-chan can you see something? I can't see anything."
"That's probably because of a search-type Sense, I think. So, what's that next to Yun-san?"
"...eh, umm... That's... absolutely don't touch it."
Don't stimulate it. Myu was especially vigilant. I said few words asking Ryui to come out. *fshoo*, the eyes of the three were glued to the white horse which appeared.
"Calm down, they aren't enemies."
I crouched and stroked its body to calm it. All three responded differently, but Myu who was most cautious raised a shrill voice as expected.
"Uwa!! A young animal! And a white horse too! WANTTT!!"
"Not giving it! Not yielding it! Capture your own."
"Yun-oneechan, I didn't say a word about you giving it. But how did you get it?"
The other two were also curious. But I didn't really know.
"Like... before I realized it... it was beside me?"
"Why did you turn it into a question..."
"In fact, this guy is invisible so when I looked away for a moment it had eaten my lunch. Then it was tamed slowly."
Ryui's excitement settled down considerably as I continued to stroke it. On the contrary, it started pressing its body against me. No, that could be taken as showing off our relation. It could be expressed that way.
"Can I at least touch it?"
"Ryui, you heard her."
"Hey? Is it okay?"
But it averted its neck after hearing Myu's question, rejecting her.
"Arara... Myu, you were dumped."
"But I will touch!"
As usual, my little sister couldn't control herself, but Ryui's figure disappeared before she could touch it. Myu doesn't have a searching-type Sense so she didn't know where it was gone.
And like that, Ryui showed up further away, it was a bit weird. It was looked slightly uncomfortable.
Toutobi too seemed to feel it and she has raised her eyebrows.
"Fufufufu, to chase the running one is in my nature! It's the beginning of the game of tag!"
The young animal wouldn't beat Myu's overwhelming speed. So it seemed. But the reality was different.
The small white horse took on the existence which overwhelmed the Sweets Tree.
Its running speed wasn't great. It disappeared the moment Myu tried to touch it, and reappeared elsewhere. We could see an illusion as if it teleported a small distance.
And when Myu lost sight of Ryui and found it appear elsewhere she instantly unleashed her maximum speed.
She was one step away from touching it. That's when her body ricocheted away.
Running over, Ryui came back to us. After thoroughly making fun of Myu it looked satisfied.
"What happened? You lost 20% of HP."
Myu came back while applying a heal to herself. Although to Hino it looked like Myu was being only played with, Toutobi and I grasped the harsh reality.
"That, was an illusion wasn't it."
"...yeah, while hiding its figure it displayed an illusion of itself. And then, the object of her desire disappeared right in front of her."
The truth was that Ryui barely moved. What was moving, was Ryui's illusion. The phantom was erased every time she was about to catch it, it seemed like short-range teleportation because it repeatedly disappeared and reappeared.
The thing that Myu was blown away, was her own outrageous speed. She hit the tree that was hidden behind Ryui right directly from the front.
"Uhh. I give up on today, but let me touch you sometime!"
Ryui responded with a 'come at me, I'll take you on at that time'. It gazed at her a bit merrily. It might be the moment like those in manga where one recognizes someone as their rival.
With this as the trigger, the atmosphere became softened, for the time being we aimed at Myu's base camp and chatted. After withdrawing from there we will head for our base and after spending the night there, they will head to an underground dungeon once again.
The three finished contacting Lucato and the others, along the way I lectured them on the types of plants that can be eaten, picked up herbs and had the three appraise them. I adopted the same appraisal method I used for Letia. And, we laughed the most along the way when Hino and Toutobi abruptly touched Ryui. Seeing that, Myu was frustrated and once challenged Ryui to touch it.
I thought it will reject her again, but it might have been the result of Myu's unusually nervous and fearful appearance, without resistance Ryui let her obediently touch it. However, she's gotten too full of herself and after incurring Ryui's wrath she received a kick.
And when we arrived at Myu's party's camp——we found players caught up in the spreading pillar of flames.↑ Now, a wordplay. Both 貴 and 木 can be read as 'Ki', -sama is a suffix for someone who greatly respect. To go further, 貴 can be a honorific for someone 'noble', but used with the honorific "sama" it means "bastard". So the nuance is that she's calling him "kisama" as in bastard or whatever. Sigh.