Once she properly reconnects the black rod tonfas to the wrist components on her arms, they quickly constrict, settling inside her sleeves.
A magic item that expands and contracts?
When I stare at the tips of the black tonfas, that are slightly peeking out of her sleeves, with my <Magic Observation>, I discover a faint mana response.
“That gimmick sure is nice. For it to be a staff weapon capable of expanding and constricting as you will it.” (Shuuya)
Once I praise her weapon, her violet pupils sparkle, displaying her apparent happiness, and she raises one slender arm upwards.
Her beautiful armpit peeks out from the sleeves, but I don’t point that out to her. As if responding to my lewd gaze, she shows me the moment when the mana-clad black rod, connected to the component on her wrist, turns into a tonfa, transforming and growing out of the sleeve with a whoosh.
“… It turns into a tonfa that also acts as a walking stick. They’re simultaneously both my precious feet, as well as my special weapons.” (Eva)
“I see. I watched the previous battle for a while, and I couldn’t help but notice that your handling of them is really good, isn’t it?” (Shuuya)
“Sorry for not noticing… At that time I was in the middle of battle, so I was focused on my skills and the enemies…” (Eva)
Eva replies truthfully with a downcast, embarrassed expression.
“No problem, it couldn’t be helped in that situation. The enemies were coming in swarms. So, are those rods made of some special alloy?” (Shuuya)
“Nn… these two tonfas… rarities, are made by combining refined demon steel and magic spirit ore… Same for the wheelchair. They are all custom orders, created by a famous dwarf master-blacksmith family.” (Eva)
Refined demon steel and magic spirit ore? So there are metals with such names?
She said that she wants to mine for refined demon steel. I guess that’s for her equipment?
“Hee, that’s amazing. The wheelchair is unique as well, huh?” (Shuuya)
“… Nn. It reacts to my mana and skills.” (Eva)
It’s operated through her skills?
“So, that’s how it is?” (Shuuya)
As Eva nodded, I turn to take another look at the silver volck’s head lying on the ground.
I need to collect the head as well.
In addition, there are also Bat Ants’ magic stones scattered about the cave.
“… Eva-san, aren’t you going to collect the Bat Ants’ magic stones?” (Shuuya)
Eva lowers her face and quietly says,
“… Not mine.” (Eva)
“Don’t worry about that, take as many as you like. There’s a considerable number of Bat Ants that you yourself defeated, Eva-san. Besides, I’ve already secured the share needed for my request.” (Shuuya) Support the translation by reading this at infinitenoveltranslations.net!
Due to my words, Eva’s violet eyes flicker and she shows a delighted expression.
“Collecting then.” (Eva)
“Go for it.” (Shuuya)
I pick up the fallen silver volck head.
However, the crossbow bolt sticking in this head is clad in mana and made out of metal.
The bolt might be special, so why isn’t she collecting it?
Though, I guess she might not want it since its tip is bent?
I’ll try asking her anyways.
“Eva-san, don’t you have to collect this special bolt?” (Shuuya)
Upon my hearing my question, she shakes her head.
“No need, as I will get new ones after this.” (Eva)
She approaches the corpses of the Bat Ants, and after using a scrunchie to tie her hair, she faces me for a moment, and seems to hesitate.
Mmh? Is she worried about how she looks, having changed her hairstyle?
Shortly after, Eva reveals a determined expression.
In an instant, she manifests a violet mist around her entire body.
She shapes the violet mana into a circle around her, and spreads it outwards.
The corpses touched by that violet mana float into the air.
So that technique makes them levitate?
The floating corpses come over to Eva, hovering close to the wheelchair.
Long, thin blades emerge from inside the wheelchair. They cut up the corpses, as if doing a surgical operation, and extract the magic stones.
Ooh, I saw it before as well, but is it an effect of guidance sorcery?
It seems similar to my <Magic Hand guided by Thought> and yet different as well.
Did she hesitate before, because she was unsure whether to show this skill to me or not?
While admiring her, I follow Eva with an inquisitive stare.
Expressionlessly collecting one magic stone after the other, Eva takes out a small, dull-edged, almost cylindrical silver container, which seems to be an item box, from her pocket.
Ooh, she’s an item box owner too?
It seems to have been tied to her waist belt with a string.
A small, straplike, wooden doll is hanging from the belt as well.
She puts the magic stones into the item box.
Her wheelchair moves forward without her even so much as touching its wheels.
Eva displays a graceful atmosphere about her, upon having rested her hands on her thighs.
“Roger, I suppose it’s time to go deeper in, then? Please guide me to the place where we can find refined demon ore.” (Shuuya)
Eva faces me with a gentle smile, nods and starts going ahead.
We head into the cave, as rough and rocky as one would expect it to be.
The wheelchair rattles, shaken by the bumpy ground, but it seems to be alright.
I suppose around 20 minutes passes until…
Suddenly, we’ve arrived at a mountain-like wall that’s clad in mana.
Tools such as pickaxes and shovels are lying on the ground, and carts filled with ores have been abandoned in the surroundings.
The remains of a mine, huh? It has traces suggesting that the workers had ran away in a hurry.
The are no magic source responses in the vicinity.
However, I can’t get careless.
“I will dig here.” (Eva)
“Roger. — Rollo, watch the surroundings.” (Shuuya)
Rollo runs alongside the wall that towered like a mountain of ores, heading deeper inside.
“Don’t go too far in~.” (Shuuya)
But, how is Eva gonna dig this up?
As I stare at her with a questioning look, her wheelchair transforms.
“Eh? Transformation?” (Shuuya)
I react with surprise due to what I see, and mutter those words.
The backrest of Eva’s wheelchair transforms, moving upwards.
The place where she sat becomes a structure propping up her feet, and with the back supporting her, it looks as if Eva has stood up.
Her lower, metal legs properly affix to the structure, and she proceeds to swiftly and smoothly advance forward, with the wheels as the driving force.
She moves onwards alongside the wall-like mine.
“Your wheelchair also acts as an instant Segway?” is the response I would very much so like to give here.
I’ve never seen such a wheelchair, even in the modern world!
Damn, it has a really efficient design.
I guess that wheelchair truly is order made, after all.
As I harbor such impressions, she makes the wheelchair transform yet again.
It reverts back into its base form.
It seems that its speed goes up when in segway-mode.
Once she’s sitting again, she takes out a metal case from the item box that was tied to her waist belt.
She places the brand new metal case at her feet, between the wheelchair and an ore cluster.
What is she up to?
Sitting on the wheelchair, Eva carefully detaches the crossbow-leg.
She points her right foot, the bone bare without the imitation foot covering it, as well as the hammer-shaped left foot diagonally downwards, as if doing gymnastics.
Mmh? As she was doing so, it appears she was accumulating mana in her legs?
Really, I wonder what she’s doing…
She touches the ore with her fake foot and the tip of the bone foot.
At that moment, the hammer-foot shines.
Upon doing so, the steel forming the hammer starts to dissolve, dripping down into the container.
The molten metal, previously making up the hammer, hardens within the case she placed below.
It seems to have a lot of space left to fill with metal.
Eva’s breathing is rough, her face twisting in pain.
Seemingly enduring the pain, she shuts her eyes, wrinkles forming on her forehead.
What’s left of her lower legs now, is only bone…
The left leg, having lost the metal that coated it, bares its crooked bone and flesh, including the shin bone extending down the front of the calf.
A crest made of geometrical patterns appears on the thick shin bone, tinged in a black light.
A demonic mark, yet it’s different from Mysty’s?
Furthermore, the crest located on the surface of the right leg’s bone emits light as well.
Though the color of that mark’s light wasn’t black, but violet.
While maintaining a pained expression, Eva has the tips of her bony legs touch the ore.
Accompanying that, the crests, having risen to the surface of the shin bones exposed on both legs, emit a powerful brilliance that dyes the surroundings in black and violet colors.
I don’t know whether the shining crests are what’s transmitting the heat, but the shin bones begin dyeing white, before changing into an orange color shortly after.
Once an odor similar to that of burning bones begins to hang in the air, parts of the ores touching the legs become porous and begin to melt.
The molten ores are accumulating on the bones that are bathing in an orange glow, and as if the bones were gaining flesh, they begin to form legs.
Oooh, how mysterious.
The shin bones seem to function like strong magnets.
The melted ore is amassed, clinging to the bones as pure metal.
Before long, both her legs, that were nothing but bones previously, successfully transform into hammer legs without a hitch.
Was the refining of the accumulated ore done automatically?
Both of the hammers’ surfaces are smooth to the touch.
Hee, so she collects the metal in such a way?
However, Eva still shows a pained expression.
“You seem to be suffering.” (Shuuya)
“Can endure such pain.” (Eva)
Well, you do give off that kind of vibe, looking at your expression…
『It appears that she is consuming a lot of mana. Her mana manipulation is more disturbed than from back when she was fighting.』 (Helme)
『I see.』 (Shuuya)
Even while talking with Helme in my mind, her hammer legs melt just like before, the molten metal flowing into the metal case on the floor.
Once the metal hardens and the case becomes full, all that remains is a large finished ingot lying within.
Upon the ingot’s formation, Eva twists her face and repeats the entire process once more.
The right foot turns into a normal-sized, metal foot, whereas the left foot changes into the shape of a hammer.
Using violet mana to encompass the case, containing plenty of heavy-looking metal inside, she levitates it, storing it into the almost cylindrical, silver item box equipped on her waist belt.
No matter how you look at it, Eva appears totally exhausted.
Her face even seems to have become pale, and her cheeks appear sunken in.
Helme was right; I guess she did use a lot of mana.
“… Eva-san, you look quite pale. Are you alright?” (Shuuya)
“Collection of metal… always like that. A rest is okay?” (Eva)
“Of course. Let’s take a break.” (Shuuya)
“Barrier stones.” (Eva)
Upon saying so in a feeble voice, she, with a worn-out expression, takes several blue stones out of her item box.
Slowly moving her wheelchair, she places the stones on the ground surrounding us.
The stones are bathed in a bluish-white light.
So, this will turn into a barrier?
Still, I can only sense the stones’ miniscule amount of mana with <Grasping Perception>.
Eva says curtly, and after putting a piece of bread into her mouth, she lays a blanket on her knees and shuts her eyes.
At that point, Rollo, having finished her inspection of the place, returns.
“Welcome back. Going by how you look, it seems all was fine, right?” (Shuuya)
Rollo replies with a soft, throaty purr, and jumps onto my shoulder.
Just like that, she dives into the hood of my overcoat.
So, you’re also gonna get some rest, huh?
Well, I guess I might as well relax too.
I take out some hard bread, meat and vegetables from my item box, and make a simple sandwich. Bringing it to my mouth, I dig in.
After I eat, I make Rollo’s share as well and place it nearby, after which I sit down on one of the flat ore clusters next to me to rest for a bit.
I make sure to keep aware of the surroundings, in case any presences appear.
It’s best to be cautious.
After Rollo ate my pre-made sandwich, she once again returned inside the hood.
I suppose several hours of resting have passed.
Eva, trying not to move too much, takes out a big pocket watch from her pocket.
Such clocks exist in this world?
As I observe her,
“This? A magic tool. Something I obtained long ago.” (Eva)
A magic tool clock, huh?
Eva-san says that and stores the blanket away.
Making the wheelchair advance, she comes towards me.
“… Did I wake you up?” (Eva)
“I slept for a bit.” (Shuuya)
I stand up from my seat in order to cover my lie, and put away the Magic Halberd.
“Shuuya, thanks.” (Eva)
Eva bows her head while smiling.
She intends to thank me?
Even though I only watched her collecting the ore?
“No, not at all, I only watched you, but if that was of any help to you, I’m happy. Well then, time to head for the surface?” (Shuuya)
“Going back.” (Eva)
“Nya.” Read this at infinitenoveltranslations.net!
Rollo peeks out of the hood, lays her head on top of my shoulder, and gives an answer of her own.
Eva looks at Rollo quietly, and smiles.
“Nn, nyaan, nyaa.”
It seems that she likes Rollo.
Rollo opens her mouth widely, yawns, and replies with an indescribably sleepy purr.
“Haha, Rollo, you’ve been praised.” (Shuuya)
Rollo answers with nothing more than a hum, seemingly finding it bothersome to say anything beyond that.
She slowly moves from the hood onto my shoulder, steps onto my upper arm with her forepaws, jumps down to the floor, and trots to the entrance of the cave.
The bushy black fur on her buttocks is swaying. How pretty.
“Shall we go as well?” (Shuuya)
We smile at each other.
And then, leaving the cave, we begin retracing our steps through the passages.
I decide against using the gate magic.
There’s the option of returning together with it, but I only met Eva not too long ago.
Anyways, the wheelchair she’s using is an amazing construct.
The wheel parts are made out of wood, and the rubber for the tires are instead mostly made out of metal.
You immediately understand that it took some elaborate engineering skills once you see their rounded shape.
They seem to be smooth, apparently combining wood with a special metal.
Moreover, I can also sense mana from within the wheels. Since the wood and special metal are intricately intertwined like a rib around a round metal piece on the backrest of the wheelchair, it can be inferred that it’s a device extremely unlikely to be built by anyone but those who’ve studied mechanical engineering.
Bah, rather than thinking about the special wheelchair, I have to ask about the way back, don’t I?
Since I originally planned to go back through the gate, I didn’t bother memorizing the route.
“… Although it’s only for the way back, do you have a map?” (Shuuya)
“Nn, of course.” (Eva)
“I see. Can I leave the lead to you then?” (Shuuya)
Eva turns to give me a suspicious look while sitting in the wheelchair.
“… Got it.” (Eva)
You don’t have a map? is what she might have been thinking.
But, she acknowledges my request without saying anything.
“I’m in your care.” (Shuuya)
To be completely honest, I can’t say that I’m worried about the way back.
I don’t have any confidence in picking which path to take at crossroads or anything of the sort, but, well, I do remember the way I traveled, to a certain extent…
Eva in her wheelchair is actually pretty fast.
I match Eva’s pace, advancing on foot.
The Bat Ant corpses have already vanished from the passages.
After I rush into the goblin area, I immediately sense several magic source responses ahead of us.
“There are enemies in front. Several of them.” (Shuuya)
“Shuuya, you have quite a wide enemy search range. I’m the vanguard?” (Eva)
“No, leave this to Rollo and me. Even if you did rest, there’s bound to be some fatigue remaining, right?” (Shuuya)
“Nn, understood.” (Eva)
Eva nods and smiles sweetly.
In order to answer her smile, I reply with a nod and a grin as well.
I run together with Rollo through the passage, firmly stepping on the cream-colored floor as we go.
The monsters standing in the center of the passage are goblin soldiers.
There are three of them in total.
As usual, there are two shield bearers in front.
Behind them, there’s another one holding a battleaxe with a long handle, a poleaxe.
This time, I start attacking before Rollo.
Taking out my arms from within the overcoat, I hunch my back forwards and swiftly advance with <Magic Steps>, gripping my Magic Halberd closely to my body.
I quickly close the combat distance to the goblin soldiers.
I use <Thrust> the moment I pass one of them.
The spear point of the halberd splendidly penetrates through a shield-bearing goblin from the left front.
The red rotating halberds blades, after firstly drilling through the shield and the arm holding it, pierce through its stomach.
Putting strength into the arm that’s extending outwards due to the thrust, I slightly twist the Magic Halberd.
After tilting the halberds axe blade to the right, I brandish it diagonally downwards in a flash.
The other shield-bearing goblin receives a deep gash from the swung halberd, going from it’s left shoulder to around its chest.
Its tied leather armor is torn apart, fresh green blood gushing out of the gaping wound.
Upon coming in contact with the halberds red axe blade, the spurts of blood evaporate with a sizzle.
As the two shield-bearing vanguard goblins are releasing reverberating screams, the poleaxe-wielding goblin soldier advances from behind, unleashing a vicious cleaving swing horizontally towards me.
I dodge the swung poleaxe with a backstep.
The poleaxe, having been swung with too much force by the goblin, continued past me to the side, hitting the chest of one of the screaming, wounded goblins. Tearing through its leather armor, the poleaxe sunk straight into the middle of its chest.
I give a bitter smile upon seeing the goblin injuring its own comrade.
Nevertheless, I’m still the main target of the poleaxe holder. I need to stay cautious.
The stupid goblin that swung the poleaxe noisily cries with a “Gya gya”, trying desperately to pull out the poleaxe that was jammed into it’s comrade’s chest.
It seems to have gotten stuck in the corpse, because the goblin isn’t able to take it out.
Doesn’t that mean that it can’t handle its weapon correctly?
Rollo turns towards the idiotic bushy-browed goblin-san, who is, at the moment, trying to pull out the long-shafted weapon for dear life, and stretches several tentacles outwards from the bottom of her neck.
The silver-clawed bone swords extend smoothly and slippery from the tips of the tentacles, piercing the goblin’s chest, head and legs by weaving through the gaps in it’s leather armor.
The goblin starts spilling blood from its entire body, and collapses.
Even after having fallen, it still grasps the poleaxe in its green, meaty hands.
I guess it liked this weapon?
I can’t feel any mana from the poleaxe.
Though it seems worn-out as rust is visible here and there.
Suddenly, the sound of applause resounds.
“— The spear axe with its hiss-hiss is amazing. Shuuya is strong, Rollo too.” (Eva)
Once she checks the corpses on the floor, Eva claps her hands.
Her behavior almost feels like that of admiration.
“If it’s medium-sized goblins, these goblin soldiers, we can be considered used to them by now.” (Shuuya)
Rollo meows as if to say 『That’s only natural nya』.
“… A fast defeat, how cool.” (Eva)
“But still, the swish-swish spear axe, cut with a *buin*, movements of a first-class master.” (Eva)
Seemingly excited, Eva’s violet pupils widen a bit as she moves, swinging a black tonfa as if to imitate the spear techniques.
I change the subject since I’m feeling embarrassed.
“But, Eva-san, in the battle in the cave you also quickly slaughtered many goblin soldiers with your wheelchair, didn’t you? That was a very magnificent battle.” (Shuuya)
Eva denies my comment, strongly shaking her head left and right.
She began to explain frantically.
“… The magic wheelchair, consumes large amounts of mana. Mana preservation is common in the labyrinth. All the more if you are solo. Usually I use these tonfas. Therefore it takes time.” (Eva)
She is a poor talker, but gradually the numbers of words spoken have increased as well.
It seems that she’s normally using the tonfas as her main weapons.
Listening to Eva’s story, I recall that all the defeated monsters we came across until reaching the cave were beaten to death.
“… So the reason is that it consumes mana.” (Shuuya)
I collect the magic stones.
Rollo continues ahead in the passage, deciding to take on guard duty.
She already decided and acted by herself even though I didn’t say anything. She’s a good child. I will thoroughly groom her once we get back.
After joining up with Rollo, who is acting as watch, Eva and I start to advance through the passage.
As I’m walking, Eva addresses me.
“Next, I fight, too.” (Eva)
Well, that makes sense, doesn’t it?
We’re pretty much a temporary party, after all.
It’s connected to giving her a certain extent of information, but I suppose I will tell her about Rollo and me without reserve.
“Got it… I’m, as you can see— strong at fighting from short to middle range as a lancer. Since I can also use magic, it’s possible for me to fight long ranged battles too. Rollo is capable of fighting in close combat with her claws and fangs. For long range, she also possesses her tentacle bone swords as well as the ability to breathe fire. Therefore, we can mostly match up with you, Eva-san.” (Shuuya)
I give an explanation that also serves as an introduction, as I play around by rotating the Magic Halberd, as if spinning a pen around on top of my unprotected right hand.
Upon finishing the introduction, Eva looks at us with a serious expression.
“… Shuuya, your adventurer rank is?” (Eva)
No sooner than suddenly having shown a scary expression, this question again, huh?
“It’s C rank.” (Shuuya)
“… Shock.” (Eva)
Haa, the reaction about this point is the same for everyone, isn’t it?
“I guess so. But, rank doesn’t equal strength, right?” (Shuuya)
“… Sorry.” (Eva)
Eva looks at my face and apologizes.
My thoughts were apparently obvious from my expression.
“You don’t need to mind it. It’s just that I’m always asked the same thing. Putting that aside, please tell me about yourself, Eva-san.” (Shuuya)
Eva nods deeply upon my words.
“Ok, short distance, tonfas, metal blades from the wheelchair. Long distance, big blade and big needles are possible. Can also use wind and earth of language magic.” (Eva)
Hee, so that means she can also use magic after all.
She hasn’t mentioned neither her hammer feet nor the crossbow. I wonder why.
“I’m guessing you prefer to not use your hammer feet and that crossbow?” (Shuuya)
“Nn. The magic wheelchair had turned over, an emergency. … Also a heavy strain on mana consumption. My trump card.” (Eva)
Eva looked downwards with an embarrassed expression on her face.
Just as Helme pointed out, it’s her trump card. For an adventurer, that’s considered a secret skill.
Though I don’t really know whether she didn’t want to talk about it, or if she was simply embarrassed…
Well, it’s likely the former. Not wanting to talk about it too much can be considered as the correct line of thinking.
Seeing that she talked about her trump card…
I wonder, is it fine to also take this as “Eva is trusting me”?
Though if that was a lie, that’s all there is to it…
“… Is that so? Thank you for telling me. But, Eva-san, was it fine for you to tell me?” (Shuuya)
“Is alright… I was seen.” (Eva)
Yeah, I saw you.
“I understand, Eva-san. I won’t mention it to others.” (Shuuya)
“Ok, Shuuya. My… name, Eva… Eva Knightray. Also, just like with Shuuya, “san” is unnecessary.” (Eva)
She shyly says that after fidgeting around and playing with her fingers.
It might be somewhat adorable.
“Roger. Best regards, Eva, okay?” (Shuuya)
“… Yeah.” (Eva)
Her answer is curt, but she smiles.
In the end, Rollo and me are the two at the front, acting as vanguards.
Eva, on the other hand, is the rear guard.
It results in us advancing in the shape of a small, inverted triangle.
We smoothly subjugate the monsters appearing in the passages and rooms.
We split the magic stones on the spot each time.
I wonder what she will do at the place with the pit traps, is what I thought, but Eva either just jumps over with her wheelchair, or evades them by floating.
Spending our time travelling through countless forks like this, we are able to return to the crystal room. If you see this text, you are supporting an aggregator, read this at Infinite Novel Translations
In the end, the number of magic stones acquired increased further, by an extra ten stones above the share required for the request.
Adding it all up, it’s 20 stones in total. I ponder whether I should hand them in and exchange them for money. Though I suppose it would also be fine to save them for the item box, wouldn’t it?
Meh, I’ll just do both.