Chapter 7: Humans and Monsters

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Author: Shizuku Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3131 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1615 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

The next day I did my usual chores during the morning, while Olivia stayed in her room (one of the locked rooms on the second floor), studying on her own.

In the afternoon, Ophelia’s lecture began. This time the lesson was about the different races of people. I had some preexisting concepts about this, so it was pretty easy.

First are humans. The race with the highest population, but short-lived compared to other races. Most of their skills are average and balanced throughout. Elves possess powerful magic and have a natural affinity with archery, but their bodies aren’t as strong as humans. Dwarves have very sturdy bodies, and are blessed with a natural talent for forging but are bad at magic. Then demi-humans are a race of people with traits of other living beings, and depending on which features they inherit their abilities change drastically. Draconids, harpies, mermaids, and many more are grouped as demi-humans1.

Those were the main ones, but there are a few outliers too. Namely the undead and demons. Both are technically also a race of people, but they’re not treated as such.
The undead only have small vestiges of the morals and ethics they had during life left, so they often attack other people. When that happens, they’re hunted like monsters. There’s a special subclass of undead called True Ancestors, which are a type of vampires that possess a higher intellect so they don’t attack aimlessly like other undead, but they’re very prideful and look down on other races, so they aren’t too friendly either.

Then demons, which are a superior species to ogres and goblins. They love fighting more than anything, so they never seek amiable relationships with other races, but they hold actual friendship and honor in high esteem, so once befriended, they’ll stick to you until death.

There are also all sorts of hybrids, but that can get very long.

“So knowing the traits of a race can make dealing with them easier.”
“Pretty much. There might also come a time when you have to work alongside people from other races, though knowing about them will help you communicate with others during your daily life too.”

I voiced my thoughts so far, and Ophelia nodded in approval. But Olivia remained with her head tilted to the side, still struggling to understand.

“Mistress, do you perhaps have an anecdote or example of this?”
“Let’s see. There was this time when I was in a party with people from a lot of other races. We were traveling through a valley, but we had an accident and all our food provisions fell into the river. To survive we decided to hunt and eat monsters nearby, but one of the party members was an elf. Elves usually only eat vegetables though, so they had a really rough time forcing themselves to eat meat.”
“Was it really that bad?”

Olivia didn’t really get it yet.

“Well young lady, is there any food you dislike?”
“I hate bell peppers.”
“Then how would you feel if the only thing to eat at home were bell peppers, and you had no way of going out to buy something else?”
“Blegh, that sounds like hell.”

Olivia frowned in disgust.

“That’s it. Anyway, something I forgot to mention, but for demi-humans with dog traits, rubbing their ears is essentially proposing to them. So if you do that without knowing, it can get really messy.”
“Ohh, so there are traditions like that too.”

Demi-humans with dog ears, huh. I guess I’ll never find out how their soft ears feel.

“Mother, there’s this dog demi-human boy at school, I got in a fight with him a while back.”
“Olivia!”
“But I won!”
“That’s not what I mean!”

I’m starting to think Olivia is rather unruly. I don’t think that was the point of her story though.

“So what happened after that fight?”

I’ll never know the end of the story if Ophelia starts scolding her, so I push the conversation forwards.

“When I immobilized that boy, I got too curious and started rubbing his ears.”

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Oh…oh no. Ophelia and I held our heads in terror.

“The boy just started crying after that, but it was weird. We had never gotten along before that, but the next day he was strangely kind.”
“Olivia, when the next school term starts and you see that boy, apologize and tell him you didn’t have such intentions. That boy must think you proposed to him.”
“Eh! No way, that’s so gross.”

I feel bad for that boy. Our young lady had toyed with his emotions. As a former man, I truly sympathize with him.

After dinner, I went to visit Olivia in her room. I figured Olivia hadn’t fully understood the multiplication table she went through yesterday, but multiplication is the fundament of arithmetic, so I had to make sure she remembered it.

“Natalia, is something wrong?”
“There’s something I wanted to give you.”
“What is it?”
“This.”

I had written a multiplication table for her.

“This is called a multiplication table, have you seen one before?”
“Nope, I’ve never seen anything like this. How do you use it?”

I explained to her how to use the table.

“So if you have 6 x 7, you look for 6 on the leftmost column, and 7 on the top row, then check the number where the two lines cross, and you have 42 as the answer.”

“Amazing, I’ll be able to count everything easily with this.”

I can see why she thought that, but ‘count’ wasn’t exactly the point of it.

“This isn’t a tool to help you count, young lady, it’s an aid for memorization.”

Multiplication is more memorization than counting. In that way, once memorized, it can be even easier to perform than addition or subtraction.

“Multiplication has some regular patterns, and once you’re aware of them and memorize them, you’ll know the answer without even having to think about it.”

A multiplication table simply made those patterns much more obvious. When I was in elementary I also struggled at first, but I quickly learned everything with the table.

“Patterns…ah, 6 x 7 and 7 x 6 have the same answer.”

“Exactly. When multiplying, you can reorganize the terms however you want and the answer will be the same.”

She’s noticing things already. That was fast.

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“There are other similar things you can find out. Do you think you can do it on your own?”
“Yeah, the table really helps a lot. Thank you Natalia! I love you!”

Ahh, she’s so cute. Though I mean that in a general way. I’m no y’knowat.


Today’s lesson is on monsters. Anything that possesses magic power and is sentient is considered a monster, regardless of whether it’s an animal, plant, or some other substance.

There are monsters that are born as such, as well as other beings that used to be normal, but for one reason or another were imbued with magic power turning them into monsters. The undead we learned about yesterday are part of the latter.

The differences between both types are minimal, but one of them is their baseline abilities.. For instance, between a tiger that was born a monster and a tiger that turned into a monster later in life, the former will be stronger if both have the same age. Though between a rabbit born as a monster and a tiger turned monster, the tiger is stronger.

Also, if a creature that turned into a monster mates, there’s more or less a 50% chance that the next generation will be born as monsters. Though the number of offspring born at the same time varies depending on the species, so the rate at which more monsters are born can change drastically.

“Then would a magic automaton be considered a monster too?”
“Yes. Though when a magician is controlling it, they’re considered mere tools.”

I guess that means I’m a monster after all.

“Probably one of the main features of monsters is that their bodies contain valuable materials.”

A monster’s hide and bones are far stronger than those of a regular being, and in some cases they even have secondary properties.

“For instance, if you use materials from a fire dragon to forge a sword, the blade might be covered in flames, or armor can become resistant to fire. Defeating powerful monsters and using them to forge more advanced gear is also part of the appeal of being an adventurer.”

That’s true, doing that sounds fun. Though Olivia sitting beside me was more excited, her eyes twinkling so much it was almost blinding.

Anyway, let’s not get sidetracked. Monsters are categorized depending on how dangerous they are, given ratings that went from F to S. Even average people can defeat an F monster, but S monsters could be so dangerous that an entire country’s army is needed to beat them. They’re usually regarded as something like natural disasters.

“Say, what was the highest rank monster that you and Father defeated?”
“Hmm, if I remember correctly, the two headed Black Garuda we defeated was an A monster.”

S meant the entire country was in danger. Just below that was rank A, and the couple had defeated it without outside help.

“It’s nothing to boast about though, it was a rather juvenile specimen.”

Wait wait wait wait.

“Oh right, we used the materials from it to make Black Hawk.”

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I had a hunch it was no cheap artifact, but it turns out it’s far more valuable than I thought. The gun holstered to my hips felt heavier hearing that. Olivia is looking at me with jealousy too. I wish she understood it’s no toy.



References

  1. Robinxen: Generic fantasy world I see.

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