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Feeling completely refreshed, I headed for the dungeon next. Not to clear it, but to visit my master. I could hear her telepathy as soon as I reached the 2nd floor.
「You’re finally here, Mi Anoir.」
「Please just call me by my name properly. Though it does have a nice ring to it.」
「Actually, that reminds me.」
「Olivia didn’t have a lot of friends in her lifetime.」
「You’re still alive technically. There’s still a future for you.」
Have faith in your own future! I didn’t know about lovers, but friends seemed unneeded for my master.
「Anyway, my story aside… Next was the 6th floor, wasn’t it?」
「Some other time. I’m here because I wanted to talk to you.」
「I feel like crying… I want to scream out this line that I read from a famous speech compilation a long time ago. Can I? I’m so glad to be alive!」
I wondered where she got all the energy from. She looked like she was having a lot of fun, laughing incessantly. When I talked to her, even I could feel my voice raising.
「I mentioned about how we needed raw materials from a dragon for our exam, right? I’m actually headed to take one down soon with my friends. Do you have anything that might help?」
「Well there are different kinds of dragons. A high-level one would be quite difficult for you right now.」
She tried to word it nicely. It would be best to assume that we had zero chance of beating one. However, we’ve been told that the one in Treasure Mountain wasn’t absurdly strong or anything. According to Laura-san, the reason other higher ranked adventurers didn’t take on the quest was because the reward was too low.
「Come on, now! Turn that frown upside down! I’m sure you can do it. I’ll teach you a skill that’s effective against all kinds of dragons, yes!」
「Please teach me.」
「Do you respect me as your master?」
「Then show me you love me anyway you can~」
She was being unreasonable again. She wouldn’t tell me about the skill if I didn’t do it. First, I gently patted her head which was chained.
「I’m no longer at that age where I enjoy head pats.」
「Then how about here?」
I rubbed her back. It seemed she liked back rubs — belly rubs, even more.
「Go lower. Lower.」
「Don’t you want the dragon info?」
I asked her to cut me some slack and she settled for gentle strokes of her hips instead.
「Hmm. You did your best, so I’ll give you a passing mark~」
「I’m just glad you still have some morality left in you.」
「I plan to up the difficulty level next time, though. Anyway, dragons usually have the skill【Intimidate】 which is much more powerful, beyond compare even, to that of the average monsters’. It’s powerful enough to freeze someone in place. To counter it…」
My master taught me some skills: one that helps me stand toe to toe against a dragon, another that was effective against them, among others.
◇ ◆ ◇
For the meantime, I decided to focus on storing up more LP. I needed three skills to fight the dragon.
【Courage】, 【Hearing Protection】, and 【Dragon Slayer】. I needed 1,000 LP and 800 LP to create the first two skills, respectively. The last one required 2,000 to create for a rank C. Dragon Slayer rank B required a whopping 5,000 LP.
The first two were defensive skills with【Courage】used to lessen the effects of 【Intimidate】. Even with this skill, it would still be tough if the enemy was extremely powerful. But it was certainly better than nothing.
【Hearing Protection】as so your eardrums won’t burst if you’re hit by a roar at point-blank range.
The last one, as the name suggested, was an offensive skill made specially for dragons. Its true powers would manifest itself when used against their kind. But there was a problem — where to grant the skill.
There would be no point it in me learning the skill unless I fought with my bare hands. And it would be pretty much useless to a weapon user apparently. So I figured I should just “grant” the skill directly into the weapons themselves. Would my double-edged sword even have enough reach? No matter how strong the weapon was, it would still prove difficult unless it hit the enemy.
Anyhow, the defensive skills come first.
I decided to be more proactive and assertive. Dusk settled in when I ran into Luna-san. It seemed she was on her way home from work as a Saint.
「If you don’t mind, how about a dinner together?」I asked.
「Why, of course. My stomach’s growling.」
「Then let’s go to some place delicious.」
Hol’ up. I was struck with an idea which I then proposed to Luna-san.
「Would you like to go to a bizarre food restaurant? I went to one before with my family.」
「I see. It would help with our fight with the dragon as well.」
And so we made our way to the bizarre food restaurant. It was pretty much empty even though it should be peak hours.
「Well it’s practically empty. Luna said.」
「Shame. Their food is delicious.」
It was completely understandable. People would be put off by how the food looked. If they tried though, they would definitely change their minds.
I had fried scorpions last time, so I ordered something different this time. I decided to try the fried mealworms.
Luna-san order fried scorpions and pit viper saké. Our order arrived fast, most likely because we were the only customers.
「This looks quite astonishing.」
Luna-san was older, but she was still a girl. She looked at the food with teary eyes. I felt sorry for her.
「You don’t have to force yourself. I can eat it myself.」
「No, it’s a perfect opportunity. I believe that people need to be fearless and adventurous, that they should not be afraid to open the doors to the unknown.」she said with tears in her eyes.
My food looked a lot grosser than the scorpions. I had a plateful of mealworms — which looked like earthworms — that were a few centimeters long. I poked it lightly. The surface was crisp since it was deep fried without any batter.
I summoned some courage and put one on my tongue. I then closed my eyes and began to chew.
I accidentally let out a shameful sound. I couldn’t help it. It was delicious — crispy on the outside, and juicy on the inside.
One bite and I couldn’t stop. I quickly worked on my plateful of mealworm. Luna-san on the other hand had her eyebrows raised, surprised by the taste of the food. She didn’t seem as averse to it as before.
She was also drinking the pit viper saké. Well, it was pretty much just liquid in a cup, not all that gross — only a few tiny pieces of viper skin in it.
We didn’t even talk. We simply enjoyed our food. I was happy for the 800 LP I got. I immediately learned the skill【Hearing Protection】.
Oh crap, that scared me for a bit.
「Are you okay?」
Luna-san finished her food and her head was on the table. Her face was red, eyes droopy. She got drunk after downing the strong pit viper saké.
「Noiry-dono, I feel great.」
She could barely even speak so I decided to take her home. After settling the bill, I put her arm around my shoulder to help her walk.
「I’m fine! Very fine! Like, totally!」
「You sure don’t look fine to me. I’ll take you home.」
「Men are animals… Anoirmals? Oh no, Noiry-dono is coming for me! I’m in luck!」
「Don’t you mean ‘trouble’?」
「But I can’t offer you much of service. I would only disappoint you. I’m fine with a casual affair, though, Noiry-dono…」
She touched my neck, staring at me with a passionate gaze. It seemed she was drunk down to her core.
Her house was situated in a corner of a residential neighborhood. It was quite big for someone living alone. Instead of feeling envious, the first thing that came to mind was how hard it would be to clean the place. Was I weird for thinking that?
I went inside and brought her to her bedroom. I dropped her on her bed and turned to leave when she caught my hand, not letting go.
「Tonight, I finally move on from being a Saint. Please be gentle.」
「You’re too drunk. I’ll cover you with a blanket. You better not kick it away, or you’ll catch a cold.」
She wasn’t listening. She was already fast asleep, breathing sweetly. I covered her up with a blanket and left her house.
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