The following floors were the problem. Sword and I probably wouldn’t be harmed by poison, but I didn’t know how much the Ryoku’s shell could take.
Normal poison wouldn’t work on it. But, the poisons in this world most likely aren’t normal. That’s why you have to 『cure them with an antidote』.
“…The magic elements of this world are quite troublesome. Even if you call it Poison, there exist many kinds, and yet it’s all bundled up into one word with Poisonous Swamp. Don’t you think that it makes no sense that entering there will become your end as you’ll be poisoned no matter what equipment you might wear?”
Sword shrugged his shoulders, “Well, your ’bout the only one ponderin’ ’bout the meanin’ behind it. No matter the poison, the antidote is goin’ to cure it. Also, it’s not like poison is goin’ to work on you, right?”
“What are we going to do about the Ryokus?” I retorted.
He rolled his eyes at me, “Hey, you don’t even worry ’bout me, but you do worry ’bout golems…err, the Ryokus!?”
“Poison doesn’t work on you either, right? But, it might work on the Ryokus.”
“Rather, it definitely won’t work on the Ryokus, damnit! Look, I’m a normal human! Got it?”
What is he talking about? A normal human would never rank above me in a shooting game.
“…I guess we can proceed normally if it doesn’t work on the Ryokus.”
“No wait, it does work on me! Normal poison is somethin’ I can handle somewhat, but I’ll die from deadly poison!”
I can’t hear aaaanythiiing!
Ignoring him earned me a grinding of my temples.
“Ouch, ouch, ouuuuch! It’ll be okay. Sword, you’re a hero and an S-Rank, right? Isn’t it often said that 『Heroes don’t die』?”
“I’ve never heard of that!”
After grinding my temples, he sighed and then started to chant something under his breath.
“Ryokus, deploy the magic element barrier. It looks…like it won’t work on you guys, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
They deployed the barrier after saluting.
As for me…I’ll think about it when I get poisoned.
We ran through the grass fields.
Certain Death! Ninja-style Running! Yep! I mean the one where you wonder whether they’re able to move across water if they tap the foot off the surface before sinking.
Well, in reality it’s impossible to run across water in such a way, but I’m running while using my reaction speed and gravity control. I also cast a floating spell on the Ryokus.
Sword seems to somehow cope with magic as well.
…At the same time, insects flew at us! Like bullets!
I flicked them away with my wooden sword, the Ryokus repelled them with their magic element barriers, and Sword cut them down or simply dodged them altogether.
――Hmm? Sword has started to chant something?
Just as I wondered, he apparently used a wide-area spell, giving off a loud cracking. The grasses were scorched, and the bugs died as they dried up with crunch.
“…So fuckin’ annoyin’!”
Looks like they pissed him off.
Even afterwards, we continued to run in such a manner, arriving at the 60th floor in no time. We didn’t get poisoned either.
Rather, I feel like strong acidic swamps, chlorine swamps, or very alkaline swamps would have been much more of a danger to us, if they had been around.
Anyway, nothing extraordinary happened, so I guess we’ll charge into the boss room just like that.
Or so I thought, but Sword raised a hand in front of the boss room, “Sorry, but I’m bummed out. I’d like to take a break.”
Hmm, yup, he looks kind of unwell.
“I see. You do look pale. Okay, let’s camp out here for today.”
As soon as he nodded, he flopped down. He was completely exhausted.
“How about sleeping inside Char? I’ll get everything ready.”
“…Thanks, I’ll take you up on that.”
Once I took out Char, he crawled inside.
…Is he suffering from some kind of abnormal condition? …Hmm, are Sword and I the same, and yet slightly different? Or am I different?
I wonder why…I can’t really believe that it’s connected to my parents and family lineage, though… Oh well, whatever. I don’t have any interest in the lineage of this body.
Since I’d be troubled if he died on me, I went to check his condition.
“…Are you still alive?”
What’s wrong with him? Up until now, he never felt sick.
“Was there a poisonous swamp on the way? …I didn’t notice any.”
“…No, ain’t…poison. Used a bit…too much…mana.”
“I drank…mana potions, but…wasn’t enough.”
“…Is there no other way to recover your mana?”
“It’ll regenerate…naturally…over time.”
…What should I do?
“Mana is magic power. And, you recover it with mana potions. Or, over time. ……. Oh, I got it!” 1
I understand! It’s fuel, huh!?
“Wait a moment! I’m going to make it!”
“…Don’t mind me and let me sleep,” I was told.
I’m going to make it! Anyway! I wanna make it!
Once I finished and brought it over, Sword was already asleep. Since I felt bad about waking him up, I pulled a blanket over him, placed the energy drink down next to him alongside a note from me, and went outside again.
Since I was bored after preparing the camp, I had Sword’s personal Ryoku watch over his master, and went out hunting again.
The bullet insects seem to drop carapaces. Hmm, they’re kinda…hard. I’ll use them as reference for Ryoku and Char’s shell. If I change the server program for the next update, their shells might become tougher during their next shedding!
I also found some frogs. They dropped poison sacs! But, I have no use for those.
The frog meat looks like it’s edible, kinda? But, dungeon monsters disappear when they die, don’t they? And then they seem to be revived again.
Once I returned to our camp, Sword was back on his feet.
“Oohh! You’re awake! Are you alright? Did you drink my energy drink?”
“Rather, what’s that? It worked a lot faster than a mana potion.”
His complexion had visibly improved.
“Really? I mixed milk liquor and apple vinegar, and added liquefied magic elements to it. Hehehe, I got it totally right! In short, you were in the same state as the Ryokus when they’re out of fuel!”
Sword became speechless, for some reason…
“It worked, didn’t it? The nutritional value of milk liquor is high, and apple vinegar removes one’s exhaustion! It’s perfect against physical weariness! Well, it’d also have been fine to let you drink Ryoku’s fuel just like that, but then it’d have tasted dully, you know?”
Sword stared at me while still remaining speechless.
“…Sword? Is something wrong?”
“…Tell me, is it really alright to drink that stuff?”
I tilted my head, “Why wouldn’t it be? In the first place, magic stones can be retrieved from monsters, you, and me. In other words, they’re internal organs, right? They should be made out of something consisting of body parts and magic elements. If you heat them up, they’ll liquify. It might be possible to extract the magic elements if you let them soak in alcohol, but I never did that.”
“Please use that method next time.”
Ehh? Even though the liquefied version has proven to work…
“It’s nothing you’d dislike, though? It’s the same as eating monster meat, you know?”
Sword clapped his hands together, “I see. You might be right. No, I’ll just consider it to be like that.”
…I don’t quite get it, but he seems to have come to terms with it, despite apparently disliking it.
Just like that we had a meal which simultaneously counted as lunch and dinner. For today’s menu I went with a tender stew with high digestive and nutritional value for Sword’s sake. The bread was a soft, steamed bun this time, too.
“…Magic stones, you see, are basically nothin’ you’d eat normally, so I feel somewhat avert to doin’ it. They’re bein’ used as fuel for blacksmiths or as power source for magic tools. Well, your right that you can probably eat ’em if you think of eatin’ magic stones as eatin’ meat…no, I s’pose that’s only natural.”
“Yep, it’s natural. Of course, even I wouldn’t eat hair since there’s no good way to make it taste good, but if it comes to bones, they can be used to make great soup if you cook them thoroughly, right? Sometimes they’ll also reinforce your own bones if you drink bone powder. …Still, you draw the power for your spells from the magic elements in your body, huh? That’s incredible.”
“Your the incredible one for bein’ able to use magic without usin’ mana! You…never run out of mana ’cause you don’t use mana for your magic in the first place, do you…?”
I mean, I’ve learned all my magic through self-study! Even the books didn’t mention anything like 『You’ll need to use your own magic elements』, okay?
Sword sighed, and then requested, “…Please prepare ten potions for me. The mana potions I have on me have a bad efficiency and on top of that, they taste like shit.”
I wonder, how are those made anyway? I tried sampling a liquefied magic stone, but it didn’t really taste like anything.
“Then I’ll make them while adding your beloved distilled liquor. Adding alcohol will also make them last longer.”
He cheered up at once.
Afterwards I received an explanation by Sword. Healing and mana potions apparently came out of dungeon treasure chests. However, great wizards could create low-grade healing potions.
“High- and special-grade healin’ potions are impossible to make for ’em.”
Or so he said.
“Putting special-grade healing potions aside, low-grade healing potions frequently appear in dungeons. We also got one in your first dungeon, remember? High-grade healing potions can drop in any dungeon as well, but with a lower probability. Mana potions only have one type, and they drop at the same rate as high-grade healin’ potions, but since demand for ’em is low and because of their nasty taste and low efficiency, they’re bein’ treated as misses and sold off for cheap,” Sword explained in detail.