After the discovery that I could, in fact, slay monsters, Eryn and I were eager to continue taking more requests in order to further our understanding of each other’s capabilities. They were all requests that took us not far from the capital and composed of simple monster subjugation, in which we would bring back parts of the monster for verification. This allowed me to get used to the local area and experiment with fighting enemies.
It was still a mystery as to why there were only certain places I could attack effectively. Attacking any other location resulted in stiff resistance, which would occasionally chip or shatter my knife. It seems like these ‘weak points’ were the only areas my knife could enter. However, once I found a weak spot, the blade would glide through the flesh with barely any resistance at all, even cutting places that I couldn’t penetrate before. This would mean that I would have to poke around everywhere using trial and error until I found one, which sometimes came down to luck. At this point, I didn’t know how many blades I had destroyed in this manner, but Eryn had assured me that we could obtain these knives in bulk due to them being cheap kitchen tools. However, that would mean that I would have to carry plenty of spares, just in case.
Eventually, it was decided that Eryn would take down any new monsters first, given that she could slay them near effortlessly with her sword. Afterwards, I’d spend some time examining the dead creature and figuring out its weak points, before tackling a live one for myself in order to conserve my knives. For the next two weeks, this proved to be successful as I was able to take down most monsters with one precise slash when I knew where to aim.
Since several of the monsters we hunted were edible, we purchased a magic fridge to store the meat obtained from them. Roasted meat as a celebration for my growing victories was definitely something to look forward to. Furthermore, I could take the leftovers home to experiment cooking with. Of course, I consulted with Carina on ways to combine my world’s dishes with the ingredients found here.
One evening after returning from a hunt, I asked Carina to leave dinner to me. Taking out some boar meat from today’s haul, I set to work slicing it and frying it up into cutlets. I had found some apples the previous day and raided the spice cabinet for some ideas. Luckily, I found what I needed to combine the apples into a curry dish. Plating the curry with some rice and topping it with the cutlet, I brought the dishes and set them on the dining table. Having confirmed before with Carina that this world didn’t have a tonkatsu curry dish, I eagerly anticipated how Eryn would respond to it. Digging in, Eryn cautiously took a mouthful and paused.
“T-This is delicious! It’s the best thing you’ve made so far.” Eryn’s eyes lit up.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I couldn’t help but undo the bow of my scarf and dramatically pose with the undone scarf in my hand while saying, “Happy to serve!”
Eryn started looking at me strangely, but I just thought, ‘Please allow me my brief moments of nerdiness. It’s who I am, you know?’
“Indeed. Sir Claude has made some progress on both cooking and fighting. He is well on his way to becoming a suitable partner.” Pietro was unfazed while eating with proper etiquette.
Apparently, Pietro had noticed something strange during our training and thus pushed me towards being Eryn’s chef. Not that I’m unhappy about that. I really didn’t mind cooking for her. However, by doing so, it seemed like I was starting to understand the benefit of my unusual Crit stat. While it was a weird way of fighting, at least I was slowly catching up to Eryn’s level. Eventually, we’d have to leave the comfort zone of this surrounding area to fight stronger enemies.
The next day, Eryn received a summons from the Magician Guild, so we had to travel there, presumably for Eryn’s first official task. After arriving there, Eryn said that I didn’t need to follow along, so I ended up wandering the marketplace while waiting for her to be done. Taking interest in a booth that had a variety of magic tools, I began browsing around.
Testing out a few, there were some tools that were neat but of questionable use, such as a hovering board that couldn’t hold more than a few pounds, a self-propelling chair that was hard to maintain balance on, and a box that expelled cold air, but occasionally spit chunks of hail at you. While I could recognize the intent of the inventor, I couldn’t help but be amused by the obvious flaws that each one had. As I continued to look around, I overheard the merchant talking to someone in a robe with a hood overshadowing said person’s face.
“I’m not so sure I could sell that. The scale of it is too small.”
“But it’s imbued with transfer magic. Isn’t that itself a rarity?”
“While it’s true that only certain people can use transfer magic, the box itself can barely hold anything. Its use is too limited.” The merchant shook his head.
I recalled asking Eryn if there were methods to quick travel around the world. While Eryn confirmed that there in fact were, typically magicians of the highest caliber were the only ones that could use said spells, making it costly to use. I guess our cart would have to do for now.
“Well, that’s a work in progress. I’m sure you can find someone that can come up with a use for it.”
“Ha-ha. That’s what you said about the other stuff you brought me. Look! Most of it is still here!” The merchant waved his hand at the items throughout his booth. At that moment, the merchant saw me.
“Oh, a real customer! Now if you’ll excuse me, we are done here.” The merchant shooed the robed person away. “What can I getcha?”
“Umm…I’m kind of just browsing for something that piques my interest. I didn’t mean to interrupt your conversation,” I hesitantly said as I was deciding whether I should escape. I felt like something was about to happen. Sure enough…
“Hey, Mister! Let me ask for your opinion, since you said you were looking for something interesting.” The robed person blocked my path.
“I have here a box in which you can store objects.”
The robed person thrust a small, rectangular black box in front of my face. It looked like the size of a jewelry box.
“And…?” I said waiting for the punchline.
“It’s enchanted with transport magic which will allow you to call upon the items inside with this magically synchronized wristband. I guess it’ll be faster to show you.”
The robed person brought out a small band. Opening the box to show the box’s contents, which was a few coins, the person closed the box and injected some mana into the band. Suddenly, a wide beam shot out of the band and displayed what looked like a portal in the air. Within the portal were the coins that had been in the box. Reaching into the portal with the other hand, the person grabbed a coin and plucked it out for me to see. Shutting off the band, the person opened the box again to show that a coin was now missing.
As I saw this happen, I realized that this was the so-called ‘Item Box’ typically found in video games. However, the size of it was so small that I could understand why the merchant looked kind of dismissive. I recalled many times in which I cursed the fact that I couldn’t hold any more healing items as I trudged around a certain horror survival game. Still, it would not be bad to have something to store my stuff, since carrying a bunch of items was annoying during a fight. In fact, I had been wondering how I would be able to carry more knives on hand due to my tendency in breaking them in the midst of battle. I didn’t want to be the kind of weirdo that had knives strapped all over them. This box would make it easy to store them in the cart instead.
“Hey, I’ll bite. Is that for sale?” I interjected.
“O-Of course! How does 10 silvers sound?” The robed person responded with surprise.
10 Silvers, huh? From my understanding, most of the common magic tools were in the single-digit silver range, so this would be on the high end. It seemed like cost was another factor in the merchant’s rejection. While it would cost me a fair chunk of my current savings, I had hardly spent any up to this point. Eryn had been supplying the knives and travel necessities, and I didn’t have the urge to get myself armor. In fact, the chef outfit that I was wearing had quite a bit of Def, so I had no reason to buy something that would weigh me down.
“Sure.” My curiosity won out.
As we made the exchange, the robed person looked back at the merchant with a gesture of triumph. The merchant sighed and went on with his business. After making my way to the edge of the marketplace where there were less people, I heard a voice call out to me again.
“Hey! Would you happen to be looking for anything else interesting?” The robed person had followed me.
“I’m not really familiar with that many magic tools since I’ve only been here for a few weeks.”
After all, I didn’t know what was available, or even useful for that matter.
The robed person looked confused, so I gave a bit of my backstory about being summoned here.
“Oh! You’re an Electi! I never would have guessed! Allow me to introduce myself. I am known as Katsys.” The person pulled back the hood revealing a bespectacled beauty with long, light blue hair. I had somehow ignored the feminine tones in her voice up until now, so I was thankful that she had revealed herself before a mistake on my part had happened.
“Claude Evers. Currently the familiar and chef of Lady Faulkner.” I reached out for a handshake.
Taking my hand, she gave me a wide smile. “If there’s ever something you want me to try making, give me a shout. I make my rounds around the market around this time every week.”
Saying goodbye again, I found a quiet corner and tested out my new purchase. I placed my paring knife in the box and slipped the band on. Letting the band absorb some mana, the portal activated, revealing my knife. I reached in and pulled it out. Inserting my knife partway into the portal, I stopped my flow of mana. With a staticky noise, my knife was forcefully pushed out of the portal as it closed. Whew, it was fortunate that a device failure happened in such a manner. It would’ve been bad if the portal had chopped the object in half.
Picking up the box again, I continue to look around the area. Soon, Eryn showed up at the marketplace to find me.
“Claude! We have a mission to do. Let’s get going!”
Our first mission, huh? I had to make sure that I supported Eryn as best as I could. While I was catching up to her in levels, I was still far behind in worldly experience. ‘Let’s hope this task is a simple one, okay?’
“So, what were we asked to do?”
“There’s a nearby town that’s been greatly inconvenienced by a sudden invasion of boars. A scout team had already been called to the scene, but it seems like more support has been requested.”
Boars? I guess it was a good chance to stock up on some more meat.
“Would we happen to pass by any apple groves along the way?”
Eryn covered her mouth as she giggled. We headed off to our first guild job in good spirits.