Chapter 27:

Silver Blaze and Motivational Fighter

Hour Empty Child


The sun barely rises from the horizon, painting the greenish clearing of the forest with its sunlight. The morning sun was just beginning to heat up on Hinota’s clear skin as she looked up to see the sun shining from the distance.

“Eh… nice.”

Hinota uttered in awe as she sees the sun rise after a long time.

As the sun continues to rise above the horizon, she could hear clamoring from inside the tents.

Kudo was the first to get out, and soon enough, he called out to the other sleeping adventurers to wake up and take advantage of the time frame.

As they groggily woke up with a grunting moan, the adventurers prepared their quick breakfast and started adorning their battle armor.

Three of the adventurers, Mick, Lailah, and Eruda, saw Kudo and Hinota put on their own equipment. They were stunned to see Kudo and Hinota putting on such powerful looking equipment so easily, as if it was simple shirt and pants.

“Wow! That armor looks comfortable! What kind of Medium Armor is it?”

Mick asked as he could see the difference between Light armor and Medium armor and asked for the answer. Kudo was making some final adjustments to his armor, making sure that he is comfortable. Hearing Mick’s question, he answered:

“Oh, this isn’t Medium Armor; it’s Heavy Armor.”

Kudo casually answered, showing a confident smile that shined a glint from the sunlight. Mic, Lailah and Eruda, though, shared a shocked look.

“T-That’s Heavy Armor?! But… it looks so flexible!”

“Hee-hee~ Impressive, isn’t it? That’s because this isn’t just your ordinary Heavy Armor; This is specialized armor made from the rare ore known as 【Rabacite!】!”

“N-No way!”

“That’s impossible! The chance to find 【Rabacite】 is like a million to one!”

“Actually, the chance to find a Rabacite Ore is about 1768 to one.”

Eruda spoke casually, which left Lailah to show a set of tired eyes from being wrong.
“E-E-Even so!! The chance of getting enough to make actual armor is… !!!”

As she started to trail off, she recalls a certain stat that was being maxed out from Kudo’s stat screen. Lailah turned her head slowly, as if it was creaking, towards Kudo.

“No. Way.”

Lailah spoke in short bursts before widening her eyes to the point of popping out of their sockets.

“NO WAY!!”

“It’s true! Look, I got proof. Hinota~!”

Kudo asserted his body as if he was dancing, then finally pointed at Hinota. The other members closed in to see Hinota, who turned around to face them with her tapered eyes glinting in a serious expression…

“It’s true.”

Hinota spoke with furrowed eyes, which made the other three widened their eyes in shock. If there’s one thing they know, is that they can trust Hinota’s words as she was the smartest in the group, literally.

“T-That’s not fair! It’s all because of Kudo’s high [LUK] stat! Cheat! I call cheat!”

“How can you cheat in real life?”

Kudo countered back, showing a look that said ‘I won!’ while Lailah was overcome with a flustered look with no response to shoot back.

“Well, it might be because of my luck, but I think that Hinota’s ability to see through mana was the real cause. Because of that, we could find tons of those Ore that emitted essences of mana to her!”

“Oh, stop it…”

Hinota’s resolute face was replaced with a teasing, blushing face, putting her slender hand on her cheek as she relished Kudo’s praise.

“I-Is that true!?”

Lailah asked as she asked the question everyone wants to know the answer to.

“I’m serious! Hinota is amazing! She was able to figure out the location of all the Rabacite Ores! She could sense the aura of mana coming from them, and even gained a handy skill!”
“No way!!”

The members looked in awe when they heard that she gained a skill from that, leaving Hinota to squirm, teasing around as she blushes some more.

“Now they know… and here I am, trying to be humble.”

Hinota, as if just hearing it, showed much enjoyment on her face as Kudo grinned.

“Come on, I know how much you love to show off.”

“Hehe, you know me well, Kudo.”

Kudo and Hinota bantered with each other, somehow affecting the mood around them as the other members noticed their somehow lighter atmosphere.

“They’re flirting, aren’t they?”

“Got to be...”

“So daring…”

Mick and Lailah formed a bead of sweat, and Eruda slightly blushes from their intense atmosphere.

“H-Hey! Can you show us the stats of your armor?”

Wanting to change the atmosphere, Lailah asked as the members looked like they were practically wagging their non-existent tails like hungry dogs.

“I don’t know… should we, Hinota?”

“Well, we can’t keep them at bay. Show them off, Kudo!”

Kudo nodded excitedly as he opened up the screen and showed the stats of the armor to the members.

———————————————————————————————————————
Silver-Blazed Chest of Heart
【Unique】

Created by an experienced blacksmith. He worked to the bone to create the armor made from the rare ore Rabacite. The armor is strong enough to be called plated armor, but is easier to move in as if it was made out of cloth. The armor is also resistant to weak magic spells because of the mana held in the Rabacite.

Defense: 216

M. Defense: 157

Durability: 156/180

Requirements: [Lv-50] [STR-30]

【Traits】
{Medium Power}— Increase Total Damage +20%
{Medium Feather}— Increase Speed +20%

【Enchant】
[Attack +45] [Defense +45]
———————————————————————————————————————

“W-What’s with these stats?!”

“And these ‘Traits’…”

“And these enchantments?!”

A smug, pompous expression was shown on the two experienced adventurers’ faces as Mick, Lailah and Eruda were shouting in disbelief.

“Look in wonder and amazement! These items only come once in a lifetime!”

Oh, Kudo, that’ll be perfect for our slogan to sell our items.”

“Oh! You’re right!”

Hinota and Kudo have made plans on selling their equipment the next time they go to town, leaving the other three to turn their gazes at them.

“The rest of your equipment are the same then?”

Eruda asked as Kudo and Hinota nodded to her, leaving her with an awe-inspired look.

“No way… I figured that it was because you were too strong, but even I would be confident if I had such strong armor…”

Mick spoke in a fascinated tone, leaving Kudo to reveal his honest answer.

“We really haven’t fully tested these armors out yet. I wanted to see how they fare against the Mid-Bosses here, but so far there was no chance to see the results.”

“Well, yeah… after all, you guys kill it in one shot.”

Lailah spoke in a low voice as she figured that Kudo doesn’t think in common sense.

“That’s obvious. Even if we have to test it out, it’s not like we would be willing to hurt ourselves. They couldn’t do so in the beginning anyways.”

“Hinota, that’s mean…”

“That’s how it is.”

After Kudo felt that Hinota was being slightly cocky, Lailah widened her eyes as if she realized something. She then gazes downwards and started to squirm, deciding whether to tell it or not.

She decided to do so, and stared at Kudo.

“U-Umm… Kudo… if… if you feel like it… umm… would… would you...?”

Lailah spoke in a reserved tone, it felt off to the other members. Mick, especially, since he knew his sister for a long time.

“Mmh?”

Kudo’s responded after hearing his name from her. Lailah’s body squirmed until finally, she grips her fists hard and shouted:

“Will you make the same armor for my brother?!”

Lailah figured that if she was going to ask, she should hurry up, and shouted at Kudo which left them surprised, and Mick wide-eyed.

“N-Nee-chan! You can’t ask something like that!”

Mick placed his hand on Lailah’s shoulder, as if it would stop her from continuing what she was doing.

“Y-You want me to make armor for Mick?”

Kudo pointed at himself with a dumbfounded expression.

“Yes, please! I… I may not have much money, but if you need it, then I’ll pay! At least… at least the chest piece; I want you to make such strong armor for Mick!”

“Nee-chan! You’re bothering Kudo! Didn’t I say that 【Rabacite】 is an extremely rare mineral? Just finding one of them is nearly impossible!”

“It’s fine, isn’t it? After all, if Kudo is right, he can find lots of them with his amazing [LUK] stat!”

Lailah, showing her unyielding spirit, shouted back at Mick, who only heaved a heavy sigh for his trouble-making sister.

“Nee-chan… please be considerate! Kudo doesn’t want to go through so much trouble again just for making an armor for another person. He might have a lot now, but what if he needs it in the future? Plus, there’s no way that we can buy it anyways, considering the price for that thing.”

“T-That’s…”

Mick spoke calmly and rationally, eventually bringing down Lailah’s tenacious will to buy him armor.

“I… I just want to make you safe! Monsters are able to tell who is healing or not. Because of that, Priests are the first ones to be taken out! I didn’t know that until right after you became one! If… if something happens to you… I don’t know if I can…”

Lailah revealed her purpose, showing an incredibly concerned look on her face. Mick was surprised to hear that, but then softens his expression.

“Nee-chan…”

“What style you want it to have?”

The sudden voice from Kudo made the siblings look up in surprise, and turned their sight towards to him.

“K-Kudo…?”

“T-Then… you’ll really-?!”

“If it’s something I can do, then I’d like to help. Especially if it’s for my party members.”

Kudo grinned as he explained, and to the siblings, it was as if it was a smile from an angel, radiating its pure light from the background.

“Ah… Kudo~!”

Lailah responded as if she yelled out a holy name. Mick widened his eyes in shock, but then he realized something as he shook his head.

“No, no! I’m sorry… having you prepare something so rare for me… I can’t make you give something like that for free!”

“Who said it was going to be free?”

Like how Kudo’s voice resembled that of an angel’s, the voice Hinota produced was as if it was a demon, together in a single harmony which balanced their personalities.

“Eh…? It won’t?”

Like a believer, Lailah felt surprised after hearing that it won’t be free.

“Of course, we will happily help you out by getting Kudo make the armor for you. However, it will only be for rent.”

“R-Rent…?”

Lailah stuttered as Mick understood what she meant as he pounded his left hand with his right.

“Oh! Like a lease?”

“Exactly. When you have it in your possession, you can give us payment in installments. You can pay us little by little, while still being able to wear the full set of armor.”

“Oh… that sounds like a great deal!”

“But… can we really pay? Even if it’s in installments…”

“Don’t worry about that. Mick, Lailah, you both are people that we can trust. Therefore, we’ll waive the fees a little so that you can pay us back whenever you can. Is that alright?”

Hinota offered, leaving Lailah and Mick to be in surprise when they heard such magnificent mercy on their pouches.

“Hinota~!”

After Lailah called out her name in gratitude, Hinota turned her sharp gaze towards Kudo.
“Kudo, is that alright? After all, you’re the one who is giving away your items.”

“It’s fine~ I trust your decisions, Hinota.”

“Ou. As expected of my partner; you get me.”

Hinota and Kudo continued their banter as Hinota faced the two siblings who were celebrating a little.

Meanwhile, Eruda stayed behind and watched the scene with contented eyes.

“Lailah wanted to protect her brother, and Kudo and Hinota would lend them their armor… Have I ever seen so much kindness before in my life?”

The memories of her dark past which she recalled seemed to have lessened in her mind as she watches the scene. Her smile has never left her lips the moment she kept hearing the conversation.

“Just to be sure, how much is the set of Rabacite Armor anyways?”

“About 4 million Jib.”

“ “T-T-THAT’S SO MUCH!!” ”

“...Maybe they are not that kind…”

The sudden change in atmosphere left Eruda with a shocked look and a blue color after hearing such a price for a set of rare armor…

Later on, in a desert-like area, where sands covered the earth all across the zone. It was unheard of that such a zone existed, but as it was Hunter’s Grave, where different climates changes in each zone, having a desert-like area was not so far-fetched to the adventurers.

However, even when it was just a small zone compared to a real desert, it was still dangerous, so bringing the fundamental traveling gear was essential for survival.

However, there were some adventurers who dared to tread on such a hazardous territory without those essentials. To say the least, hardly any of them survived the heat…

One such man, on his lonesome, was facing such a crisis. His sabatons on his feet deeply dug into the sandy ground, the older man who wore dirty, clunky Heavy armor held a simple wooden shield and one-handed metal sword.

His breath was ragged, considering that he was quite a hefty, rounded man, wearing his horned helmet over his bald cranium with a bushy, brown mustache over his pudgy face.

Sweat trickled down his rounded cheeks as the heat was starting to get to him. As his breath was letting out what seems like steam from his overheated body, he faces a terrible crisis in front of him.

Glaring right at him, a giant creature with a long body that could go on for meters with no legs or arms. It was a giant snake-like boss, with its scales as tough as armor. The sad part was that the man’s armor pales in comparison to the boss.

“Grr… this thing, the Sanguin… it’s too hard! My sword is not enough to cut it!”

The ebony-colored armored scales seemed to taunt the old man as he gritted his teeth. Then, he recalled that his party members weren’t doing anything.

“W-Where are my companions?!”

The older man screamed out in a panic, darting his eyes around to see if any of his younger companions were there to back him up. Since he was the only [Warrior], he needed support from his members.

However, all he heard was the whistling wind of hot air, and a shuffling of sand in the midst. He looked back, only to see a sliver of humans running away in a hurry, kicking up the sand to cause dust to drift away in the wind.

“N-No way… They abandoned me.”

The old man faced the harsh truth as his knees sunk into the sandy dunes, his willpower being sucked by the Sanguin’s deadly aura, along with his strength to stand after receiving such a shock.

“Of course… nobody would want to have a starting adventurer who’s too old in a party full of young teens.”

The old man uttered in a dispirited whisper, releasing his weapons to the sandy ground as he placed his gauntlet covered hands on the hot sand. The Sanguin glared at him, and started to hiss loudly as he was ready to pounce on him.

“Ah… I’m so sorry, my wife. Today, you will become a widow…”

The old man heard the snake rushing past the air with its giant head that had a spiky mane made out of its scales. He gave a faint smile as he was just about ready to lose everything with ease.

—*Twing!*

As he was ready to close his eyes, a deafening screech of metal was heard in front of him. The old man slowly looked up, to see a young man with striking blue hair in front of him, easily guarding against the attack with his bastard sword. The sword covered both upper and lower parts of the Sanguin’s mouth as it struggled and shook to get to the old man.

“Haah!”

Kudo roared as he pushes against the Sanguin with his strength. His arms shook as he felt an amazing weight ready to crush him at any moment, but he stood steadfast against the Sanguin, not letting it go past his field of vision.

“Kudo! Hold on for a bit longer!”

Hinota’s voice rang out as his comrades circled around the Sanguin in the sandy terrain. As they were about to start on their assault, the Sanguin makes an unexpected move.

It lifted its giant head, surprising Kudo as he nearly stumbles from the sudden movement, and opened its mouth. It’s wriggling, quick tongue changed shape into a concentrated ball. Using the concentrated mass of its tongue, it was quickly shot at Kudo.

Kudo takes an unexpected hit from the long, powerful tongue on his chest. A blast of air was knocked out of him, getting him to be flown away from the impact as he scraped the hot sands on his landing.

“Ah…! Agh…”

Kudo’s body was facing an extreme shock of impact that it was just dealt. However, when Kudo was expecting pain from such a large impact… there was nothing.

“It… doesn’t hurt? …Uoo! Then, that must be because of the armor!”

Kudo turned his sight to his armor that was hit. He sees his chest armor that was heavily dented thanks to the blow. So far, there was the damage of a small dent on his chest armor, but it doesn’t need much work other than popping the dent out and cleaning the dirt.

“Haha! We did it! Hinota! This armor can really take a hit!”

Kudo immediately stood up to tell the good news to Hinota as he waved his arms, also signaling that he turned out fine from such a hit.

“Damn it! You’ll pay for that!”

The old man sees the young girl that screamed out before. She stood firmly against the Sanguin, along with Mick, Lailah and Eruda. Eruda was positioned slightly farther away from the others, being the ranged fighter. Lailah took another position on the other side, as for Mick, he stood behind Hinota for support.

Mick, however, instead of wearing his robe, was now wearing the same armor that Kudo created; the【Silver-Blazed】 armor that Kudo and Hinota are wearing. Its sheen from the sunlight was produced, leaving Mick to feel extremely confident thanks to it.

“Mick, activate your buff!”

“Got it! “——《Holy Sign》!”

Mick did as she told, and lifted his mace-like staff in the air. The staff glowed a bright light, making an invisible wave to launch out from it. The invisible wave can only affect those in the same party as him. The wave affected the girls, giving them a boost in Attack Power.

“This skill lets me raise my party members’ Attack and Defense! I’ll make sure to heal you, so go nuts!”

“Ou! Then, I’ll go with my personal buffs! “——《Enchant: Attack》! ——《Burning Soul》!”

“And here comes my ——《Plus Pulse》!”

With Kudo running towards Hinota and activated his own buff, Hinota raised her own power, along with giving herself a transformation of turning her hair into that of fire itself. Her body glowed an intense aura.

The Sanguin couldn’t tell what just happened, but it’s animal instincts could sense the indomitable power coming from Hinota.

“It’s getting scared! Let’s take it down!”

Hinota roared as she and the others use their skills to take down the Sanguin, all the while the old man continues to look in shock and awe. As their skills put on accumulating damage onto the Sanguin, the boss shivered and shook dangerously before it responded back with powerful charges and snipe-like movements.

One of those snipe-like attacks, specifically where its long tongue is used as a weapon, directed its force onto Mick, who the Sanguin can guess was the healer.

“MICK!”

Lailah notices the attack, but could not do anything as Mick was hit right on the chest. Mick was pushed back, making him tumble and scrape against the sandy ground. Everyone stopped their movements to assure his safety.

“Mick! Are you OK!?”

Kudo shouted as the PlusFire could see Mick lifting himself up, pushing his gauntleted hands onto the hot sand, not even feeling the heat.

“Gah… it kinda hurts… but… I’m OK!”

Mick lifted himself up, stood up quickly and flailed both his arms around to show them his condition. Lailah’s eyes soften and nearly tears up as she was glad that the armor was not a waste for them.

“Thank goodness… You’ll pay for that!!”

Lailah's gentle face was now replaced with an expression of hatred. Her eyes scowled and her voice slightly deepens into a roar.

At that moment, Lailah did not hold her power back as she continuously cast her fire spells onto the poor Sanguin.

As the damage was piling on more and more, Eruda, with her keen eyesight, could see the armor-like scales was cracking bit by bit, revealing the soft parts of its body.

“I see it! Its skin is getting damage! On the 2nd quarter of its body!”

Eruda shouted and held her bow in front of her. Nocking an arrow, she pulled it along with the string, and inhales air.

“——《Ventus Shot》!”

Eruda’s arrow was encased with furious winds, turning it into a windy aura as Eruda released the string. The quickened arrow pierces through the soft skin, and the windy aura entered into it.

Sanguin’s wailing hiss was heard throughout the zone, as the winds were making several cuts to its already soften skin. Seeing the furious winds mercilessly cutting the Sanguin’s skin apart, Hinota produced a fierce smile.

“Die, you prize monster!”

Hinota shouted as she pierces the afflicted wound with her katana in a burst of speed. Lailah also ran towards to a favorable position, and cast her spell.

“——《Inferno Sphere》!”

Using an upgraded version of her basic fire spell, Lailah cast a spell that was of a larger size than her old one. She shoots it at the wound, getting Hinota to quickly jump out and the Sanguin to be in anguish.

During the pain, the Sanguin, who could only make thrusts and snipe attacks, desperately tried to bite back the adventurers, like a rat in a corner. However, their coordination thanks to Kudo’s instructions and Hinota boosting their moral, the party moved efficiently to avoid any attacks.

The proud armored skin the Sanguin had was slowly becoming cracked, and more of its soft spots of skin was showing.

“Now’s my time to shine!”

Kudo shouted in excitement as he ran towards the weakened Sanguin, quickly charging his power with his mana into his hands.

“——《Plus Bomb》!”

Kudo cast his 【Plus Bomb】 onto several parts of the skin where the armored skin didn’t cover. Being closest to it, the Sanguin made a desperate snipe attack with its tongue at Kudo. Hinota, however, quickly jumped towards Kudo and drags him out of the way, leaving the tongue attack to pierce into the hot, sandy ground.

The Sanguin tried to shake uncontrollably to shake off the bomb on its most sensitive parts, and thrust its giant head towards Kudo to make a final attack.

“Take this! “——《Fireball》!”

Hinota quickly appeared in front of Kudo and shot her fireball towards the ticking 【Plus Bomb 】, making the Sanguin widen its beady eyes as it felt that it would be the last mistake it would make…

—*BOOM!*

A giant explosion took place. The PlusFire covered themselves with their arms to deflect any debris that might come out. The old man was the only one gaping at the giant explosion from total astonishment.

The explosion passed, the harsh, hot winds blowing away the smoke that was produced, leaving everyone to see the Sanguin’s body being blown off in half, leaving itself motionless onto the scorched sandy ground.

“Yosh! We did it!”

“Good work, guys!”

“Though, it was totally Kudo and Hinota that did most of the damage…”

“Shut up, Mick! We did… something!”

The young teenagers shouted and cheered on their victory. As they talked, Kudo and Hinota went and took their prize, a broken piece of armored skin from the Sanguin, for the event. Of course, they didn’t hesitate to take out several other parts of the body to sell, leaving the other members to become blue from the process.

After a while, the party was just about ready to leave the zone. But before he left with them, Kudo notices the old man that was watching the entire battle, who was still in awe.

“Hey! You OK?!”

Kudo shouted at the mustached-man, getting him to shake uncontrollably as though he was ready to attack the poor man.

“Hehe, isn’t this such an awesome job? You need to get stronger fast so that you can enjoy this great career!”

Kudo spoke with utmost sincerity, leaving behind a glowing smile as he turned to leave with his party members. The old man felt as if he just saw something holy, as if a divine light was glowing behind Kudo’s back.

“Ah… these kids… managed to beat that thing with such a precise coordination!”

The older man was reminded of the words Kudo spoke, and gazes at the sandy ground, with his sword and shield that was left on the ground.

“I can’t… give up like this!”

The old man’s spirit was rejuvenated, his body rising like a phoenix out of the ashes. He flexed his arms and gave a mighty roar, not minding his surroundings.

“I will prove to everyone that I am a man worthy to be with my wife! No matter what!”

The old man shouted towards the heavens as he recalls the appearance of his concerned wife, a young, muscular woman with a body built like a bodybuilder. As he flexed his muscles in accordance to his strong wife, the PlusFire talked amongst themselves.

“Kudo, what is that sound?”

“I don’t know, Hinota… but it sounds motivated.”

“Sounds like a pansy to me.”

Kudo and Hinota had their own discussion as the PlusFire continued on their venture towards the zones, taking out each exotic monsters for the event. So far, on their 6th day; they have currently beaten 53 exotic monsters…

****************************************************************************
I hope you all enjoyed this! So far, they have beaten tons of Exotic monsters on their event! It looks like everything is going smoothly…

If there’s anything that you like to say, say it in the comments! If anyone helps out on making this story even better, I’ll dedicate the next chapter to them!


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