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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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

“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.”Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

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

“Yeah…”Bookmark here

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

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. Bookmark here

“Skill Books are rare, aren’t they?”Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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

“Hinota! That’s…!”Bookmark here

“A Support Skill!”Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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

“H-How do I do it…?”Bookmark here

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

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

“R-Right!”Bookmark here

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

“Learn Skill!”Bookmark here

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

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

«Yes» «No»
—————————————————————————————————————Bookmark here

“I-It popped out!”Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

《Proficiency increased. Acquired skill 【Katana Mastery】》Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

“Whoa! That’s awesome, Hinota!”Bookmark here

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

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

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

“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.”Bookmark here

“Whoa, a handy skill.”Bookmark here

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

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

“CC… you mean ‘Crowd Control’?”Bookmark here

—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.Bookmark here

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

“Ah… maybe you should take it, Kudo.”Bookmark here

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

“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?”Bookmark here

“Guh… you’re right.”Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

“A-Alright…”Bookmark here

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

“Learn Skill!”Bookmark here

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

—But it left him with a gaping expression.Bookmark here

“W-What’s wrong, Kudo?”Bookmark here

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

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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

“K-Kudo!”Bookmark here

“No way…”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

“…Looks like it.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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

“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!”Bookmark here

“Eh…?”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Then, it hit him.Bookmark here

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

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

“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.”Bookmark here

Hinota admitted, showing embarrassment for screaming in battle.Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

“Geh!”Bookmark here

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

“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.”Bookmark here

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

“…You’re right.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

“Whoo…”Bookmark here

“You okay?” Kudo had to ask.Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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%)Bookmark here

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.
—————————————————————————————————————Bookmark here

“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…”Bookmark here

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

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

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

“Mmh…Ah! I did!”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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

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.
—————————————————————————————————————Bookmark here

“W-Whoa!”Bookmark here

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

“W-What is it? Is it good!?”Bookmark here

“I-It’s just… way too unreal…”Bookmark here

“Let me see!”Bookmark here

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

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

“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.”Bookmark here

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

“—Become a Dullahan?”Bookmark here

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

“Puh—! Hahaha!”Bookmark here

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

“Gods, that was terrible…”Bookmark here

“Hey, you laughed, didn’t you?”Bookmark here

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

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

“Oh! Forgot about them.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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

Name: Logi’s Giant Heart Partisan
【Unique】Bookmark here

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!Bookmark here

Attack: 320Bookmark here

Durability: 160/160Bookmark here

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

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

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!Bookmark here

Attack: 283Bookmark here

Durability: 140/140Bookmark here

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

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

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!Bookmark here

Attack: 228Bookmark here

Durability: 120/120Bookmark here

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

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

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!Bookmark here

Attack: 308Bookmark here

Durability: 145/145Bookmark here

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

{Medium Clear}— Increase Accuracy +20%
{Medium Power}— Increase Total Damage +20%
—————————————————————————————————————Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

“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…”Bookmark here

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

“Hey! I work hard! Give me a break!”Bookmark here

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

“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.”Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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

—*Pon!*Bookmark here

“Don’t mention the descriptions!”Bookmark here

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

“Ow!”Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

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

“Then, why don’t you use them?”Bookmark here

“Eh?”Bookmark here

Kudo looked up in surprise as Hinota continued:Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

“R-Really? Can I!?”Bookmark here

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

“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!”Bookmark here

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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

“Hey, you don’t use staves, right?”Bookmark here

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

“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.”Bookmark here

“You sure are obsessive over the katana…”Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

Kudo asked, though he knew that she would answer.Bookmark here

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

“Right…” Bookmark here

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

“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.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

“Mmh?”Bookmark here

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

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

“R-Really?”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“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’.”Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

“Eh!?”Bookmark here

“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…”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“…Alright.”Bookmark here

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

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

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

“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.”Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

“However…”Bookmark here

Kudo gazed at Hinota again.Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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

It drove Kudo to respond:Bookmark here

“Yeah! Got it!”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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! Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.