|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1249 words|
Within ten minutes of deciding to depart, we all stood lined up in front of the entrance. The man wore an aged leather jacket and a robe on top, giving off the feeling that he was accustomed to traveling.
He wore similar gauntlets to mine on his arms. It didn’t seem like they had some kind of thread shooting mechanism in them, though, so he probably just used them for hand-to-hand combat. We were ready to depart as soon as Maxwell and I finished our business related to the inn.
But before we actually departed, there was something I had to do first.
“Hey. It’s kinda late for this, but can you tell me your name?”
“Weren’t you the one who was against knowing it?”
The man answered in exasperation. Indeed, in the past, I made such a proposal. However, since we were going to travel around, it would be quite inconvenient if I didn’t even know what to call him.
“We might find ourselves in battle. It would be hard to give directions if we don’t know what to call you.”
“Yeah, you have a point. Let’s see… You can just call me Aste. It goes without saying but it’s not my real name.”
“I’ve never seen someone declare their fake name so proudly.”
The man calling himself Aste started drawing the magic circle on the ground without caring about my retort. His way of drawing circles was quite different from that of Maxwell.
“Oh, are you drawing the shape first?”
“That’s right. If you draw the guiding lines first, it would make it simpler to guide the magic power through it later.”
“But if you do that, the instantaneous invocation would not be enough to make it in time.”
“If that happens, you can just cast it normally. Besides, if you have a cloth with the pre-drawn circle on hand, it would be much faster than the normal way of casting it.”
“I see… Very interesting. It seemed that the technique at the entrance was quite old too.”
“Oh, you saw through it? You have quite good eyes unlike that bumpkin over there.”
“Well sorry for being a bumpkin.”
In my previous life, I was a complete amateur with everything related to magic. Now, I could see that it was not a normal technique. Be it how easily he could make precious magic tools or this, it was clear that he was no ordinary blacksmith.
“That aside… Where exactly are we heading?”
“First comes the procurement of the Mythril threads. Next would be gathering materials for the exterior. I didn’t expect the exterior to have deteriorated this much, so I’ll have to hand-pick the materials.”
“These gauntlets alone seem quite a big thing.”
“I made them by using a metal called nickel. It lacks a bit when it comes to hardness, but it’s strong against corrosion and has high toughness.”
“As in, it’s quite tenacious. When an attack lands on it, it doesn’t break but bends instead and mitigates the attack. The threads inside of it also act as a cushion, so it’s quite good as a means of defense.”
“So that’s why it got crushed from one hit of a sword.”
“But in exchange, you managed to keep your left arm safe, right?”
The right one’s mechanism failed, but the left one took damage due to that sword strike. If I maintained it well, it wouldn’t have been so brittle, but I still didn’t think they’d be so easy to crush. But it was made that way to prioritize the safety of my hand.
“Well, yeah, I remained safe thanks to that fact.”
I muttered, having a flashback of that time. It was an overhead swing from an adult man. And blocking it was a 10-year-old girl.
If I guarded with just my left hand alone, it could’ve broken its exterior and even my hand with it. It might not even have stopped at that and cut through my head or shoulder. However, by redirecting its power through getting crushed, I was able to endure the blow even with my meager strength.
“So with that, let’s go get the Mythril threads first.”
“Oh, so we are going to produce these threads! I was always curious as to how they were made.”
“…Please not a word to anyone about it.”
Aste looked at the overly-enthusiastic Maxwell with an uncharacteristically troubled face, and then activated the magic. The magic circle under our feet shined and the scenery around us got blurred.
After a momentary floating sensation, we were thrown into total darkness.
“Where is this?”
At a glance, this place looked different from the mountain we previously were at. It seemed that we had teleported into a building or cavern of some kind.
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The air full of stagnated humidity clung to my skin. Not just that, it was strangely cold too.
“It’s strangely chilly here…not just that. Even when it comes to breathing…”
It feels suffocating. No, I could breathe in normally. The amount of air I could inhale was the same, but it felt as if the breathing itself had turned inadequate.
I remembered this sensation. It was the same phenomenon you felt when you were on high mountain peaks.
“We are inside the World Tree.”
“The World Tree… You mean we’re in the Holy Tree Kingdom of Forneus!?”
The Holy Tree Kingdom of Forneus. It was the headquarters of the world’s largest religion, the World Tree religion. It was the kingdom located at the center of the continent, holding the most influence, and in the center of its Capital Berith, stood the World Tree Yggdrasil that reached up to the heavens.
The inside of that Holy Tree was like a labyrinth that, at one point in time, boasted of having 1000 floors. It was said that there was a young bud at its summit that stored its lifeforce, which would grant immortality and eternal youth to one who ate it.
However, according to the legends, the God of Destruction broke that tree, and only about 70% of its original body was left standing now.
“…Now that I think about it, that Whitey sure did something awful, huh.”
“Well, those times called for such drastic measures… No, nevermind.”
“Aste, could it be that you know the God of Destruction?”
He clearly averted his eyes. That gesture was enough to tell me that they were acquaintances at least. This guy was surprisingly bad at lying.
“Oh well. So, what are we searching for inside here?”
“We are currently on the 250th floor. There should be giant caterpillars called Huge Crawlers around here. You need to-”
“Should I take one down?”
“No, catch it alive.”
My blood was starting to boil but he killed my enthusiasm with one order. Telling someone specialized in killing to catch it alive…
“Huge Crawlers can even eat and digest the World Tree trunks. If we feed it some Mythril ores and get the threads out of it, we should be able to get our hands on the composite that consists of a large amount of Mythril.”
“I see. So if we intertwine those threads, they would become usable threads for me.”
I’ve never heard of using the monsters’ ecology to create equipment… Normally you defeated said monsters and used their remains to make them.
It appears that I had yet another fellow among my acquaintances that deviated from the common standards.
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