In the darkness, the green light stone dimly illuminated the surroundings.
The light reflected a slight shadow, it was that of a beast, crouching and desperately chewing on something.
“Eww~ Blegh, this is damn nasty!”
Hajime cursed as he ate the meat of the twin-tailed wolf. Shredding the meat which consist of mostly tough muscles with his teeth, he desperately swallowed while dripping blood. It has been approximately two weeks since his last meal, and being suddenly thrown meat, his stomach protested violently, assaulting him with a gripping pain. However, Hajime simply treated it as a usual occurrence and continued to gulp down the meat.
The appearance matched that of a savage completely, and any modern human would find his current state extremely disgusting. Though the repulsive smell and terrible taste brought tears to his eyes, he was intoxicated in the feeling of his hunger being satisfied. Hajime had never ever thought that such a simple act of eating could bring him such happiness, as he continued to eat ecstatically.
Treating sacred water as a drink to wash down all the meat that he has had (if the Saint’s Church’s followers got wind of this, they would surely faint at this extravagance), his stomach began to swell and his body experienced abnormal changes.
“Ah? …!? Guaaaaaa!!!”
His entire body was suddenly struck with severe pain, it was an extremely unpleasant feeling as if he was being eroded from the inside of his body. The pain only intensified as time passed.
“Guaaaaaa! What, What’s this…. Guuuuuu!”
Unbearable pain eating away at his body. Hajime thrashed around on the ground, it was a pain so severe that it even blew away the phantom pain.
Retrieving a test tube shaped container made from stone out of his bosom with a trembling hand, he chewed through one end and drank all its contents. The sacred water’s effects activated and lessened the pain, but it didn’t take long before the intense pain struck again.
“Ahhhh!! Why is it… not working, ahhhhhh!”
Hajime’s body began to convulse in sync with the pain. Ba-thump, Ba-thump, his entire body was pulsating, giving off audible popping sounds everywhere. But in the very next instant, the sacred water in his body took effect and cured the abnormality. After recovery, intense pain struck once more, but was healed again. The sacred water’s effects were amazing but its tremendous healing abilities appeared to be useless.
Due to the effects of the sacred water, fainting was impossible, its tremendous healing abilities backfired.
Hajime writhed about on the ground while screaming, hitting his head against the wall multiple times. With no end in sight, he continued to experience the taste of hell. Thinking that he would rather be killed, obviously there wasn’t anyone around to fulfill his wish and he had no other choice, but to endure.
Changes began to appear on Hajime’s body. First, his hair lost its colour, it might have been because of the pain exceeding his limits, or some other reason, but his characteristic Japanese black hair rapidly turned white. Next, his muscles and skeleton grew thicker, with several thin reddish black lines appearing within his body.
There is a phenomenon called supercompensation. It is a phenomenon in which torn muscles due to training or other activities, when recovered, will experience slight hypertrophy. Similarly for broken bones, their strength is increased after recovering. Currently, what is happening to Hajime’s body is exactly that strange phenomenon.
The meat of magic beasts is a deadly poison for humans. They possess a special organ within their bodies called the magic stone, which produces magic power that directly circulates their bodies, allowing magic beasts to exhibit astounding physical abilities. The flesh and bones of the magic beasts, soaked in the magic power circulating their body, turned strong and sturdy.
Such an ‘alteration magic’ does not require chants or magic circles, and is considered an inherent-born magic with unclear details. In any case, this alteration magic is lethal to humans as it corrodes the human body from the inside, destroying the cells from within. In the past, anybody and everybody who had eaten magic beast’s meat, without exception, have had their bodies crumbled and died. As a matter of fact, Hajime knew of this, but he was so preoccupied with his hunger that he had overlooked it.
If all Hajime had eaten was magic beast’s meat, his body would probably have collapse and died already, but he had a secret medicine that prevented this. Sacred water. Destroyed parts were instantly restored, as a result, his body strengthened at an amazing rate.
Destroy, recover, destroy, recover. His body pulsated as it changed, as though undergoing reincarnation. It was a metamorphosis in which he discarded his fragile human body and was reborn. Completing the ritual, Hajime cried out like a newborn.
The pulsations finally ceased as Hajime collapsed onto the floor, completely exhausted. His hair was dyed completely white, and now, under his clothes, several reddish black lines could be seen running across his body. It looked exactly like those on the Kicking Rabbit, Twin-tailed Wolf, and the Talon Bear.
Hajime’s right hand twitched, slightly opening his tightly shut eyes, his wavering focus landed on his right hand. Clenching his fist, scratching sounds was produced as his fingers scraped against the ground. He is still alive. He released and clenched his fist several times to ensure that he was in control of his hand’s movements before he slowly got up.
“…That reminds me, magic beasts mustn’t be eaten… I’m such a fool… oh well, even if that’s so, I have already eaten it…”
With an exhausted expression, Hajime gave a self-depreciating laugh. His hunger has subsided and even the phantom pain has been blown aways by that intense pain, it had been a long time since he had not felt any pain. Or rather, his body was strangely light and he felt his entire body brimming in power.
“What happened to my body? What a strange feeling…”
The change was not limited to his body’s appearance, as Hajime felt a sense of discomfort from within. Both hot and cold alike, couldn’t be used to describe that queer sensation. Concentrating on his arm, thin reddish black lines emerged.
“Uwah, dis-, disgusting, it’s totally giving off the feeling of some magic beast… what a joke. Oh yeah, my status plate…”
Having completely forgotten of the status plate’s existence, Hajime searched his pockets. It seems like somehow or the other, he didn’t accidentally lose it. Hajime checked his current status, thinking that maybe he could learn something regarding his body’s abnormality.
|Nagumo Hajime||17 Year old||Male|
|Magic Power:||300||Magic Resistance:||300|
|Transmutation • Magic Manipulation • Iron Stomach • Lightning Clad • Language Comprehension|
“…Why is that so.” ⌈1⌋
Hajime was so shocked that he instinctively retorted in Kansai dialect. Across the board, all his status had surged, with his skills increasing by three, and yet, he was still only level 8. If levels are considered a representation of a person’s growth, it appears that Hajime’s growth limits had increased as well.
Judging by its literal meaning, it probably allowed one to control magic. “By any chance, was the strange feeling I experienced earlier, magic power?” Speculating that, just like before, Hajime concentrated and attempted 【Magic Manipulation】. As soon as Hajime began to concentrate, the thin reddish black lines emerged again.
Envisioning an image where all his feelings were gathered within his right hand, then once again experiencing the strange sensation, the magic began to move, slowly and awkwardly.
“Whoa, whoa, oh~?”
While trying it out, Hajime raised an unintentional cry due to the indescribable feeling. The gathered magic power within his right hand began to enter the transmutation magic circle engraved on his glove. While still surprised, Hajime attempted transmutation, causing the ground to rise readily.
“Are you serious. There’s no need to chant? In principle, it is impossible to directly manipulate magic, except for magic beasts… Did eating magic beast’s meat give me that special characteristic?”
Spot on. Hajime had indeed obtained the magic beast’s unique characteristic. Next, Hajime wanted to try out 【Lightning Clad】 as well.
“Well… how should I go about doing this? 【Lightning Clad】 is about electricity right? It’s that? From the Twin-tailed Wolf’s tails…”
There was no changes no matter how he tried. Unlike magic power which could be felt, without any clues, he had no idea how to use it. “Uuu!” With a groan, he recalled the importance of having a clear mental image when he wants to transmute. Since there weren’t many formulas written into the magic circle, he needed to transmit an even more precise mental image to the processed object during transmutation.
Hajime imagined the crackling of static electricity. Then, sparks of red electricity was released from the fingertips of his right hand.
“Oo~, it came out… I see, imagination is important for the magic beasts’ inherent magic.”
After that, electricity was repeatedly discharged. However, he wasn’t able to release electric attacks like the Twin-tailed Wolf. Probably like its name suggests, 【Lightning Clad】 could only be worn around the body and was not to the extent that it could be transmitted. Adjusting the current and voltage would still require practice.
The last 【Iron Stomach】 could just be taken literally. Eating magic beasts’ meat would cause a severe pain that would make anyone beg for forgiveness. However, it’s unlikely that the dungeon would have any other food, between hunger and pain, one must be chosen. Faced with such extreme choices, Hajime hoped that perhaps this new skill, could help resolve this problem.
After stripping the meat from the Twin-tailed Wolf, Lightning Clad was used to cook it. As expected, after satiating his hunger, there was no longer any need to specially eat raw food. While enduring the intense stench, the meat was well-cooked.
Then, he made up his mind and ate it. Ten seconds… one minute… ten minutes… nothing happened. Hajime cooked and ate the meat in succession, but the severe pain did not strike. Hajime didn’t know if it was due to the effects of Iron Stomach, or due to his own resistance, either way, he was delighted. The taste of hell that came each time he ate was finally gone.
After eating to his heart’s content with the meat, Hajime prepared to temporarily return to his base. To raise his chances of victory over the Talon Bear, he would have to make an effort in honing his new powers for quite awhile.
Cutting up the meat from the rest of the twin-tailed wolves, was a comparatively easier compared to the first time he did it. Storing the meat into stone-made containers, Hajime cautiously returned to location of the God Crystal.
It had been a few days since Hajime returned to his base and began training on his transmutation and other skills. All his skills had been growing nicely. Among them, there was a change to transmutation, it had gained a derivation skill. That was 【Mineral Appraisal】. In the Royal Capital, even among the Synergists under the Kingdom, only those of the highest rank possessed this skill. Typically, appraisal-type magic required more magic formulas as compared to attack-type magic, inevitably, it could only be performed by restricted facilities with large enough magic circles. However, for a person who possessed this skill, as long as they were touching the mineral, they could analyse any mineral with just a simple chant and magic circle. It was not a latent skill, but a unique derivation skill that could only be obtained through mastering the use of transmutation over many years.
Hajime immediately examined his surrounding minerals thoroughly. For example, using 【Mineral Appraisal】 on the green light stone causes words to appear on his status plate.
|Green Light Stone|
A crystal with magic absorbing properties. After amassing magic power, a faint green light will be released. If it’s broken in its amassed state, all the accumulated light will be instantly released.
It was an extremely simple explanation, but he fully appreciated the information. Hajime broke into a broad grin as he thought intriguingly. After wandering about, looking for a useful mineral, Hajime finally discovered an indispensable mineral for creating his weapon. The weapon which would not only be his partner, but also his trump card.
A flammable ore. After ignition, it will continue to burn with itself as fuel. It will gradually become smaller as it continues to burn before it eventually burns out. If a large amount of Combustion Stones were ignited all at once in a sealed space, there is a possibility of an explosion comparable to a highest ranked fire-attribute magic.
The moment Hajime saw the explanation, he felt a jolt of electricity ran through his mind. Doesn’t the Combustion Stone play the same role as what is called gunpowder on Earth? If that’s the case, then he had discovered how to maximize his attack power without using transmutation! Hajime was excited. It would probably require much effort and trial and error in order to produce it, nonetheless, being able to use the transmutation which had saved him on countless occasions to finally obtain a means of attack, made him unbearably happy.
Thus, earnestly devoting all his time on nothing but transmutation, even forgetting to eat or sleep, and as a result of over a thousand failures, Hajime finally successfully crafted that thing.
Flying through the shortest distance at a speed exceeding that of sound, a modern weapon which used its overwhelming power to crush its targets.
Spanning approximately thirty-five centimeter, made using the hardest ore in the area, the Tauru Ore with a six-round revolving cartridge. It had a rectangular barrel. The bullets were also made from Tauru Ore with powdered Combustion Stone compacted within. In other words, it’s a large revolver-type handgun. Moreover, the bullets not only has the explosive power of the Combustion Stone, it is further electromagnetically accelerated by Hajime’s unique magic 【Lightning Clad】 into a mini railgun. Its maximum power was ten times that of an anti-material rifle. Its name was Donner. Somehow Hajime felt the need to give his partner a name.
“…If that’s the case, even that monster… even escaping… is possible!”
Besides Donner, looking at the array of weapons made in reference to modern weaponry in front of his eyes, Hajime lightly laughed.
Usually, for a common job class such as “Synergist” with their “Transmutation” skill, they could no more than craft swords and armors skillfully, but now was the moment of the birth of a conventional weapon in the world of sword and magic.
Black, hard ore. Hardness 8 (out of a 10 grades rating, with 10 being the hardest). Resistant against impacts and heat. Weak against cold. It will become brittle when cooled. Heating it will cause it to bind again.