Chapter 36:

Flamver Weapons and Dark Monster

Hour Empty Child


After their inspirational speech about their goals, the PlusFire returned to their inn so that they can sort out the items given to them by Maon.


Given to them were several unique weapons and armor, two Skill Books, x100 Crimson Potions, x100 Azure Potions, and several loot items used for crafting.


“Hinota, you’re family really is rich…”


Kudo spoke in awe as the loot items in question were rare, usually sold by crafters directly for lots of money.


“And the weapons are really nice too,” Hinota added in, eyeing on the quality of the weapons.


“Do your parents really want to you quit?” Kudo asked as he began to doubt. “With this amount, it looks like they want you to continue.”


“That is because it was Lord Grandfather that gave me these, not my parents. He’s the one that has always supported me about this.”


“I see… Your grandfather really is a nice guy.”


“Yeah…”


“He even gave you Skill Books… that’s amazing.”


Kudo became interested as he reached out to touch one of the Skill Books. Feeling its sturdy leather texture, Kudo held it in his hand, feeling its nearly hefty weight.


“Skill Books are rare, aren’t they?”


“Yeah,” Kudo explained. “Skill Books are hard to get around because of their costs. First, you need an extremely high-level Adventurer to spend nearly all of his mana into the book, which is crafted by a specialized crafter, equal to that of a [Magic Bag] merchant. The process costs already lots of jib. Even if the skill book teaches only a starting [Warrior]’s first skill, the skill book can get around 10 to 20 million Jib on the market.”


Hinota was left gaping as she took another glance at her Skill Book, given to her by her grandfather.


“I can’t believe Lord Grandfather gave me such a precious item…”


“Well, let’s see what they do!” Kudo shouted as his tone of voice showed his excitement.


“Okay, okay, I’ll read it… Mmh, the first one says 【Power Roar】, and the other one is 【Katana Mastery】…”


After speaking the second skill, Hinota and Kudo widened their eyes enough to look like their eyes are popping out.


“Hinota! That’s…!”


“A Support Skill!”


Hinota shouted as she read the Skill Book’s contents from the first page.


“The skill increases the mastery of the use of katanas, making the user faster and more proficient, giving more damage and precise critical hits!”


Hinota finished, her tone becoming higher as she got more excited.


“Kudo! It’s a rare skill! And it’s for katanas! It’s perfect for me!”


“Then, what are you waiting for!? Hurry up and learn it!”


“H-How do I do it…?”


Through the excitement, Hinota asked as her mind became flustered.


“You read the guidebook, didn’t you? Say ‘Learn Skill’ out loud!”


“R-Right!”


Hearing his words with a grin, Hinota placed her hand on top of the Skill Book, and then shouted:


“Learn Skill!”


Then, a blip sound was heard. Hinota saw in front of her a small screen which said:


—————————————————————————————————————
Would you like to learn the skill【Katana Mastery】?


«Yes» «No»
—————————————————————————————————————


“I-It popped out!”


Getting excited, Hinota quickly shouted again, “Yes!”


With her shout, the screen disappeared and the book began to glow a shining light. The light nearly drowned out the vision of the other two. As they got used to it, they saw the book slowly disappearing into small motes of lights, each one flowing right into Hinota’s body.


《Proficiency increased. Acquired skill 【Katana Mastery】》


Seeing the words in front of her, Hinota knew that it worked. Somehow, her knowledge of her own blade expanded, getting her to learn all the ins and outs of the katana, and even the small information as the feel of the texture and the sharpness of the blade.


“Kudo… it worked! It’s like I know everything about katanas now!”


“Whoa! That’s awesome, Hinota!”


Kudo became excited for her as she clenches her fists in excitement, getting Kudo to look at the other book.


“Now, let’s see what 【Power Roar】 can do…”


Kudo then took the other book and began to read the first page for the contents.


“Apparently,” He explained. “It’s a skill that enhances [STR] and [VIT], increasing your Attack Power and [HP]. If the level is raised, it can also stun enemies near your level or below.”


“Whoa, a handy skill.”


Somehow, Hinota’s excitement for the skill was slightly lower than the last Skill Book.


“It’s a handy CC skill, that’s for sure.”


“CC… you mean ‘Crowd Control’?”


—Crowd Control:
Skills that limits the enemy’s movements in battle. Some can also prevent enemy attacks or seal their mana to stop incoming magic attacks. If used properly, it can give opponents a hard time as their movements and available techniques are sealed.


“Hinota, this skill can be really handy to you! It’s not just a buff— it’s a CC as well!”


“Ah… maybe you should take it, Kudo.”


Kudo tilted his head in confusion, “W-Why?”


“Because! Don’t you need more Support Skills to help your battles? I’m already fine as it is, but with just your skills, your [MP] will run out faster! With this skill, you can rely on your physical attacks more, and survive a lot longer without potions. We might have excessive potions, but do you really wanna drink that nasty stuff?”


“Guh… you’re right.”


Kudo remembered the strong bitter taste of the Azure Potion down his taste buds and throat, causing him to put on a puckered face.


“Good, so learn it. This way, your attacks will hit more.”


“I… guess. Is it really okay for me, though? Your grandfather was the one that gave it to you.”


“He’ll understand that I don’t need such a skill, and would definitely say that I should give it to you instead.”


“A-Alright…”


Convinced, Kudo puts his hand on top of the book, slightly getting Hinota more excited as she watched with glittering eyes.


“Learn Skill!”


As Kudo shouted, suddenly the screen from before appeared in front of him.


—But it left him with a gaping expression.


“W-What’s wrong, Kudo?”


“T-This… I don’t understand any of it!”


“W-What!?” Hinota shouted as she quickly ran towards Kudo to see the notice.


“I-It’s nothing but garble and weird text!”


Kudo shouted as he sees the notice having no options, but had weird texts and letters that was scrambled together, not making a single sentence.


“N-No way… could it be because of your Class?”


“My own Class won’t let me learn free Support Skills!?”


Kudo wanted to slump so badly that he fell over to the floor. A huge *thud* sound was heard which slightly made Hinota jolt.


“K-Kudo!”


“No way…”


Kudo never wanted to do more than kick his own Class in the rear. Not being able to learn even Support Skills, Kudo never felt more aggravation than before.


“S-So it’s not possible to learn Support Skills for you, other than learning it yourself?”


“…Looks like it.”


Having no choice but to accept it, Kudo got up to his rear as he heaved a grand sigh that could be heard by Hinota a mile away.


“Don’t worry, Kudo! Your Class has really good skills, so it’s worth it!”


Hinota admitted, clenching her fist to show off her positivity.


“…Yeah, I guess. The skills help anyways, so it’s fine.”


Having heard Hinota’s words, Kudo returned to his old self, though he still felt the heavy loss within his heart.


“The only choice now is for you to learn the skill yourself.”


“Ah! Umm…” Suddenly, Hinota flustered as she shook her hands. “H-How about we go and sell the book? Something like 【Power Roar】, we’ll make tons of jib!”


“Eh…?”


Kudo didn’t believe the words she was saying. Perhaps it might be due to him traveling with her all these months now, but Kudo could somehow sense something was off about Hinota, and how strongly she was denying from learning the skill.


Then, it hit him.


“…Are you saying that you don’t really want to learn the skill?”


Hearing his words, Hinota widens her eyes, then she gave a sigh herself.


“I-It’s just so… I do roars all the time before, but it’s only because I thought it was a good tactic! But truly, roaring in battle seems so… lame.”


Hinota admitted, showing embarrassment for screaming in battle.


“I think it’ll make you look like a total badass.”


“No! I want to be the cool, quiet swordswoman that slays opponents with one slash of her sword!”


Hearing those words, Kudo put on a doubtful look at her, showing squinted eyes.


“Don’t you always make fun of your opponents, or show off your strength?”


“Geh!”


Hinota felt the heavy blow to her ego, getting her shoulders to slump as she hung her head down.


“Hinota,” Kudo couldn’t help but try to convince her. “The skill is really good, so we might not be able to have it the second time. You should learn it. If not, then you can just leave it behind while you level your other skills. But I think that it might be a good move to use when you’re in trouble.”


Hearing Kudo’s words of wisdom, Hinota raised her head.


“…You’re right.”


Having been defeated, Hinota took the book from Kudo, and put her hand on the cover. She shouted the words and had the prompt appear near her face.


After accepting, the same process happened as the book disappeared into motes of light, gathering together inside of Hinota.


“Whoo…”


“You okay?” Kudo had to ask.


“Yeah… I feel like I’m getting wiser and wiser.”


“Alright!” Kudo’s energetic side returned. “Go ahead and check them out!”


Hinota nodded in agreement as she opened up her Skill Menu, and showed Kudo and herself the new skills she learned.


—————————————————————————————————————
【Katana Mastery】 Lv. 1 (Proficiency: 0%)


You know the exact weight and length of a katana by a single touch. You can make accurate critical hits when you attack with the katana. Attack Power and Speed increases, by skill level, as long as you equip a katana.
—————————————————————————————————————
—————————————————————————————————————
【Power Roar】 Lv. 1 (Proficiency: 0%)


Roaring in battle stuns your enemies within your level range or below, making them unable to take any action for a few seconds. Roaring also increases Strength and Vitality by the skill’s level for yourself and your party members.
—————————————————————————————————————


“Now that I take a closer look at it, it does look like a useful skill…” Hinota’s tone slightly lowers. “Now if only if it was more quieter, like a glare or something…”


“Maybe there’s a skill for that somewhere, hahaha!”


Kudo chuckled as Hinota made a pouting face and directed it towards Kudo.


“Whatever… Hey, now that I think about it, didn’t you tell me at some point that you learned a new skill?”


“Mmh…Ah! I did!”


Kudo realized it after a moment of pondering, finally remembering the moment where a familiar message told him of his new skill during the last day of the Olinia Event.


Kudo went and searched for it through his skill menu and finally caught sight of it.


—————————————————————————————————————
【Sixth Sense】 Lv. 6 (Proficiency: 8%)


You developed a feeling unlike any other physical senses. You are able to perceive incoming events through the emotions and will of people and items. Leveling will increase your range and understanding of the event.
—————————————————————————————————————


“W-Whoa!”


Kudo couldn’t help but scream out loud which caught Hinota by surprise.


“W-What is it? Is it good!?”


“I-It’s just… way too unreal…”


“Let me see!”


Kudo’s vague response made Hinota quickly charge in and see the skill for herself.


“T-That’s pretty amazing itself, Kudo! So now you got a skill that lets you sense out your surroundings.”


“I-I don’t know how I managed to get this. It must be when Roark nearly tried to slice my head off. It was then that the skill appeared.”


“I see,” Hinota nodded. “Thank goodness for our training and usual grinding. Otherwise, you might have—”


“—Become a Dullahan?”


Kudo mentioned one of the legendary monsters that travel on a skeleton horse, holding its head in his hand.


“Puh—! Hahaha!”


Hinota couldn’t help but laugh at the poor joke, but it made Kudo grin like a fool as he rubbed his head sheepishly.


“Gods, that was terrible…”


“Hey, you laughed, didn’t you?”


“Oh, shut up. For now, I’m thankful that you didn’t become one.”


“Yeah,” Kudo nodded. “And with these weapons, we’ll improve ourselves even further.”


“Oh! Forgot about them.”


Hinota quickly realizes as she then takes out the weapons out of her [Magic Bag]. They were the flashy looking weapons made by her family’s blacksmith, who also made Hinota’s beginning katana.


“I can’t wait to see what these new weapons have!”


Kudo said with a giddy expression as Hinota quickly laid them out in front of them, getting each of them to check their appraisals.


—————————————————————————————————————
Name: Logi’s Giant Heart Partisan
【Unique】


Flames of justice are eternal, and the heart remains pure everlasting! The partisan is the embodiment of the soul, granting strength to the user with its awesome might! It’s sharp blade and fearsome power strikes fear into the hearts of evil!


Attack: 320


Durability: 160/160


Requirements: [Lv-60] [STR-40] [VIT-30]


【Traits】
{Medium Sharp}— Increase Sharpness +20%
{Medium Power}— Increase Total Damage +20%
—————————————————————————————————————
—————————————————————————————————————
Name: Eisa’s Burning Light Sword
【Unique】


Nothing can douse the sun. That is fact. The sword’s power is the sun itself. Therefore, this sword can never be doused! With its power and sharpness, nothing can withstand the heat of this blade!


Attack: 283


Durability: 140/140


Requirements: [Lv-60] [STR-30] [DEX-30]


【Traits】
{Medium Sharp}— Increase Sharpness +20%
{Medium Power}— Increase Total Damage +20%
—————————————————————————————————————
—————————————————————————————————————
Name: Eimyrja’s Golden Flame Dagger
【Unique】


The dagger is nothing to laugh at. Once equipped, the soul of the mightiest warrior, one who uses the mightiest blade, falls in fear to this dagger!


Attack: 228


Durability: 120/120


Requirements: [Lv-60] [DEX-30]


【Traits】
{Medium Sharp}— Increase Sharpness +20%
{Medium Power}— Increase Total Damage +20%
—————————————————————————————————————
—————————————————————————————————————
Name: Eate’s White Fiery Rain Bow
【Unique】


The bow, giving its user incredible foresight in the battlefield, will rain down arrows of burning glory towards the enemies who dare to traverse your territory! Smite them down with your godly arrow!


Attack: 308


Durability: 145/145


Requirements: [Lv-60] [DEX-35]


【Traits】
{Medium Clear}— Increase Accuracy +20%
{Medium Power}— Increase Total Damage +20%
—————————————————————————————————————


“Wow…” Kudo was left with a gaping mouth. “The weapons are really impressive.”


Kudo, having a blacksmith’s mindset, was seriously impressed. He looked closely at the weapons, and gawked at the impressive detail and design.


“The partisan here is the most impressive…” Kudo said with a serious look on the weapon.


“Of course,” Hinota added. “Our blacksmith is nothing to joke about. It has a Unique Grade, something that you can’t do yet, right?”


“Right. Having a higher grade increases the stats overall, and the chance of making one requires tons more mana control and persistence. Just making one of these can tire me out…”


“Geez, that’s because you don’t have any discipline.”


“Hey! I work hard! Give me a break!”


Kudo wanted to defend himself, but the subjecting glare from Hinota made him falter.


“Hehe, don’t feel so bad,” Hinota chuckled as she let off her pressure. “It’s also because our blacksmith has been training his skill for years. He is at a level that is far from yours. So it’s possible that you can make higher grades the more level you have.”


“Yeah, that’s what my blacksmith master told me too.”


Kudo now found himself something to look forward to. His love of making weapons has been pumping his body as he stood up while clenching his fists.


“And that description he made really pumps me up!”


—*Pon!*


“Don’t mention the descriptions!”


Hinota quickly punches Kudo’s head as her cheeks were brimming with a pinkish color.


“Ow!”


“Don’t mention those embarrassing descriptions! That’s the one thing I don’t like about these weapons!”


Hinota quickly sat back down on the floor cross-legged with a pout on her face, leaving Kudo to rub his head, coping with the pain.


“Geez… it’s kinda unfair. You can use all these kinds of weapons. They all look so nice…”


“Then, why don’t you use them?”


“Eh?”


Kudo looked up in surprise as Hinota continued:


“I might use them for versatility, but my honest weapon of choice will always be the katana. That’s what the skill, 【Katana Mastery】, is for. I don’t mind you using these weapons, Kudo.”


“R-Really? Can I!?”


“Of course,” Hinota put on a smile. “Anything that makes you more powerful will be more beneficial to the party.”


“O-Ooh!” Kudo returned to his child-like state, his eyes beginning to glimmer. “Thank you, Hinota! I promise to show them off just as much!”


“Geez, you’re such a guy. Getting so excited over weapons.”


Hinota chuckled to herself as she sees Kudo’s excited, childish jumping over the new weapons.


The two began sorting out their items now, figuring that they should add in all the new items they gained plus the amazing pile of loot materials for their crafting needs.


One question popped into Kudo’s mind as he turned around to face Hinota.


“Hey, you don’t use staves, right?”


Kudo remembered about the certain incident back in the Olinia event, and now he wanted to know whether Hinota herself has problems with it.


“My family is not well known as [Mages]. We only use physical weapons. Though I personally believe that physical weapons aren’t everything in a battle, I prefer to use my katana.”


“You sure are obsessive over the katana…”


“Hey! Don’t call it like that!” Hinota retorted. “I loved katanas ever since my sister told me stories about warriors who wear nothing but clothing in the distant past, equipping only the katana to fight their deadliest foes.”


“Eeeh… so you liked them since childhood?” Kudo widened his eyes as he hears more of Hinota’s past.


“Y-Yeah… now that I think about it, it’s kinda embarrassing… why did I say such a thing?”


“Hehe, doesn’t that mean that you’re comfortable around me?”


Kudo asked with a silly grin, involuntarily making Hinota smile at the remark.


Before long, the day was nearing its end. They didn’t go out and adventure like they promised they did, but each of them was having so much fun that they didn’t really think of it as a loss.


After a while, a certain memory from the event reached to Kudo’s mind, giving him a complicated frown.


“…Hinota, do you remember the giant zombie from the event?”


Kudo asked, though he knew that she would answer.


“Of course, I do. How could I not? It left a nasty impression, after all.”


“Right…”


Kudo bit his lip as he remembered the gory detail, but something else caught his mind instead.


“That thing gave me goosebumps… like the bad kind. It was so strong, too. I still can’t believe that someone just came in and killed it so easily, and with a kick to boot.”


Hinota remembered the details where Kudo barely made it out of the valley alive with the luck that could possibly transcend the gods themselves. However, that wasn’t what Kudo was thinking.


“It’s… not really that I wanted to talk about. Have you seen… the giant zombie closer?”


“Mmh?”


Hinota tilted her head in response. Kudo knew that she wouldn’t get it, but the curiosity is making him say it.


“When I saw the boss, it had some sort of… weird, dark energy swirling around it. It was… really creepy, and downright disturbing.”


“R-Really?”


Hinota was the one that could sense mana more than Kudo himself, yet she cannot recall ever feeling the kind of mana that could make one disturbed.


“A-Are you sure that it’s not just your new skill, 【Sixth Sense】, kicking in? I mean… maybe swirling dark energy meant ‘extremely dangerous monster’.”


Hinota offered her thesis on the matter, but Kudo shook his head.


“It’s not that… it was worse. I don’t know why… but I could sense it. Something was off… something bad.”


Kudo’s tone lowered, causing Hinota to worry. Then, he answered:


“Hinota… if I see another of those things like before… we’re running.”


“Eh!?”


“We’re gonna run away and never look back! Forget the experience and loot; we need to put priority to surviving! I… I just don’t want to face that kind of thing again without proper preparations… or maybe I just don’t want to face it at all again…”


Hearing Kudo talk so negatively about it, Hinota realized how frightened Kudo has gotten. She could see Kudo’s shoulders trembling, knowing that it was affecting him deeper than she imagined.


“…Alright.”


Kudo raised his head to meet Hinota’s gaze, returning a smile to him.


“If you say so, then we’ll run away. I believe you, and I don’t want to lose my life, either.”


“Hinota…” Kudo felt relieved, and a guilty feeling reached into his heart. “You… probably think I’m a coward, aren’t you?”


“Of course not,” Hinota assured. “I rather live another day than to die pathetically. Especially when there’s a chance that I can meet my sister again.”


Hearing about her sister once more, Kudo widened his eyes.


They have a goal. To get stronger and get to Hinota’s sister’s level. Hearing their goal, Kudo now felt more ashamed about suggesting to run away from a powerful monster.


“However…”


Kudo gazed at Hinota again.


“When we get a lot stronger, and we feel that we can take on anything, if we find it… we’re going after it. No experience points. No loot. We’re going after it for one thing and one thing only.”


Hinota closed in towards Kudo’s face—a fiery flame burning within Hinota’s eyes.


“We’re paying it back by making it fall to its knees.”


Kudo could see it. He could see the humiliation Hinota had to go through in her eyes when facing the dark monster. He knew how much Hinota wanted to beat it, yet she could only to be saved by luck.


She wanted payback by getting more stronger, and killing it with her own strength.


It drove Kudo to respond:


“Yeah! Got it!”


Kudo showed a fierce smile—contradicting his innocent-like expression. Hinota nodded in approval as the night was getting them tired, getting the both of them to say their goodnights as the two head to sleep.


In their minds, they see the dark monster as the next wall on their journey—
—And they plan to break through it.
******************************************************************
Seeing their next hurdle, and seeing the goal behind that hurdle, the PlusFire plans on breaking through! They’ll get strong and prove that they’re not going to take this down!