Take the giants down together?
Honestly, it was a damned good idea.
“Sure, why not?” I answered.
“I see, it certainly sounds good,” said Mec, “but I’m afraid I don’t have a clear idea of how strong you are, Tetsuya.”
“I told you, he’s strong!” exclaimed Lenya.
“That’s all well and good, but how strong? Ah, why don’t you show us your status window?”
Oh, so I can show other people my stats, too? Might as well bring it out – maybe they’ll be able to see it if I want them to.
Name: Tetsuya Takahashi
Skill Points: 10
Skill: Corpse Absorption, Lv2 Identify, Lv3 Meteorite, Lv2 Acid Shot, Lv2 Thundershock, Lv1 Absorb Thread
Resistance: Lv1 Poison, Lv1 Electricity
Mec stared at my stats with bewilderment. “What in the world…? How can this be? You’re only level one, but with such high-level stats… Your defense is well over 100, and you have skills that no normal person should be capable of having. And, I’ve never once even heard of the skill, ‘Corpse Absorption’.”
“Wow!” agreed Lenya. “Your stats are way higher than mine, so how come you’re only level one?”
Mec, perplexed, muttered under her breath while Lenya seemed to look at me with admiration. Both were wondering how I could possibly be level one.
I’d figured that there was nothing normal about being level one with my abilities, but their reactions reaffirmed that. And apparently, “Corpse Absorption” wasn’t your run-of-the-mill skill, either.
Mec frowned, glancing over at me. “Boy. What…are you?”
“Well, you see, I’ve had that ‘Corpse Absorption’ skill since the beginning, and I’ve been using it all the time…”
I went on and explained what the skill was used for.
“So, you’re saying you absorb enemies’ abilities from their corpses? I’ve never heard of such a skill before.”
“Huh. So, what do you think? Can we beat them or not?”
“Well,” Mec began, “your defense is far superior than all else, so I’m sure their attacks wouldn’t do much, and your speed is nothing to scoff at either. The biggest problem here would be your attack, considering how tough their skin is. Either way, there are plenty of beasts on the way to the giants, so as long as you defeat and absorb them, I’m sure you’ll become strong enough. With both you and Lenya working together, it should be doable.”
In other words, I wouldn’t beat them as I am now, but I could if I got a bit stronger. Roger.
Lenya cheered. “So we can take them down? For real? Yes! We can finally get out of here!”
She gleefully jumped and bounced around the room in her excitement. I guessed she was ecstatic to get out of here. Well, I’d hate to live down in this hellhole for so long, too. Judging from how the room looked, I doubted they’d only been here for a week or so.
“Hold on, Lenya, nothing’s for certain yet. I’m concerned he won’t be able to pull his weight halfway through if we try now. First, you both need to get a bit stronger, and then, we’ll see,” Mec told her.
“Whaaat? Come on, if we can go out, we should go now!” Lenya argued. “I’ve gotten stronger, too, and the only reason I was in that bad situation was because I didn’t pay enough attention to my surroundings back then!”
I’d really like to get out of here sooner than later, myself.
“Is that so?” Mec responded. “I can’t deny I want to leave quickly, too. Fine, then. Let’s arrange to leave first thing tomorrow, all right?”
“Sounds good to me,” I told her.
They all decided to set out the next day.
That evening, the three of them sat down together for dinner. Lenya and Mec had apparently brought some meat home, and as Lenya was able to use fire magic, they grilled the meat and ate it. Mec, being a teddy bear, had no reason to eat anything, so didn’t partake in the meal.
Speaking of magic, it was slightly different than utilizing skills. With skills, if one didn’t earn the skill points to learn them, they couldn’t be used – with magic, though, anyone who recited the incantation could use magic. The main point of contention here though, was that magic required MP, and a great deal more than skills did in comparison.
Now I can use some weaker magic that doesn’t exhaust my MP, like the one Lenya cast earlier – “Small Fire”. On top of that one, they also taught me one other useful spell: “Small Light”. It essentially lights up the immediate area around it. It was easier to remember how to separate the two by knowing that one was specifically fire, and the other, light.
After eating, we were settling down for the night when Lenya pleaded with me with a sleepy expression:
“Hey, Tetsuya… Could you pet me, pleeease?”
She then layed down near me with a sigh, holding her head up towards me.
I gotta say, this put me in a seriously iffy situation. The first time I’d stroked her head, I’d thought I’d just been petting a cat and had had absolutely no reservations about doing so, but the idea of petting an actual human girl kind of made me nervous.
“C’mon, pet me…” Lenya begged again.
Concerned about what to do, I shifted my gaze over towards Mec. She just stared back without saying anything.
What was that supposed to mean? Did Mec want me to pet this kid? Or to back the hell up?
Lenya impatiently pushed her head against me. I guessed I didn’t have much of a choice but to pet her. I lifted my hand and started gently stroking her hair. As soon as I did, she let out a sigh of contentment and not too long after, the soft sounds of her breathing.
“She seems rather attached to you,” Mec murmured to me. “Be certain not to get any funny ideas, though. I don’t have to sleep in this form, so you can be sure I’ll be watching everything.”
“What are you talking about?” I protested. “I’d never planned to!”
“Is that right? Well, Lenya would never allow herself to grow close to anyone undesirable, so I doubt you’d do anything unsavory. Just keep my words in mind.”
Having someone doubt me like that made my heart skip a beat. Truthfully, I’d never entertained the thought of doing anything with a girl so much younger than I was, and I wouldn’t have had the courage to try even if we were around the same age. I wasn’t a virgin for nothing, after all.
“We’ve been in this ravine for nigh on two years now, but to think we’ll be leaving it tomorrow…”
What? Excuse me, two years? Years?
Spending just one day in this hellhole was bad enough, but two years? You could miss me with that mess.
We had to beat those beasts and get the hell out of here come tomorrow. I felt like this was my mission to undertake.
That thought in mind, I soon lost my will to stay awake and fell asleep.