Mabbo, Fairy, Schwarz,
43. Megane-kun, Looking for Someone to Read Him the Field Guide
The pharmacist granny gave me a bottle of liquid paralytic poison. Touch to the skin is safe, but it can spread throughout the body if it gets into the eyes, mouth, or wounds even for a small amount. It’s very powerful. And since the toxic is extracted from a plant, that means plants can be quite terrifying too. She said this poison can’t kill you, but being unable to move within the hunting grounds means you are as good as dead. I have to be extra careful with it.
Conversely speaking, if the poison isn’t as strong as this, it wouldn’t be effective against the Demon Beasts around here.
Demon Beasts have something called Magic Core in them. It’s usually located in the center of their body, around their heart. Shishou, who taught me about it, apparently doesn’t know much about Magic Cores, but it seems that the Magic Core is the source of the Demon Beast’s mana, maintaining the Demon Beast’s strong physique, and giving it life force and resistances.
It is the source of their various abilities unique to Demon Beasts, such as healing wounds at a visible rate, making them immune to poison, maintaining the strength of muscles and bones that keep their huge body intact, and, the most famous example, the source of a dragon’s Breath Attack.
And when a Demon Beast loses its Magic Core, its body will begin to break down and decay.
Even if a Demon Beast lost all of its life signs, it will not deteriorate for a day or two as long as its Magic Core is still intact. They don’t show many signs of rigor mortis either. There are limits to how long they can last, but they can last for quite a while.
The Splinter Fang Hare that I hunted before had retained its Magic Core, so it was still fresh even if I didn’t dress it for half a day.
Incidentally, the line that separates a Demon Beast and an animal is based on whether or not they have a Magic Core in them. There are some Demon Beasts that don’t attack people too, so you cannot say that everything that attacks people is a Demon Beast.
Then, back to the topic at hand.
Strong Demon Beasts have large Magic Cores. In other words, they have more mana in their Magic Cores. And because of how their Magic Cores function, they are resistant to physical attacks and poisons rarely stick on them.
That is the difference between strong Demon Beasts and weak Demon Beasts. Their strength is not determined simply by how strong or weak they look or how much muscle mass they have.
Ah, come to think of it, that’s also the case with Florentine, huh. Appearance-wise, she looks nothing more than a small girl, but she is actually much more powerful than I am. I recall she said it’s because of her 「Gift」 called 「Anomalous Ogre」 or something that utilizes her mana.
In short, it would be much easier to understand if we think that Demon Beasts have 「Gifts」 that can strengthen their body or make them resistant to things.
Talk of the devil, Florentine is currently sitting in front of our dorm. The large cat is lying idly next to her. That thing is still around, huh ……I still can’t see it as a cat, after all. It’s sleeping soundly like a cat, but it can’t be a cat.
「What are you doing?」
「Can’t you see?」
「Hmm. ……A statue of God that you pictured in mind?」
「Like hell I’d pick a fight with the faith of this world. ‘Tis but a wood carving, no matter how you see it. I’m sculpting a cute lil’ doll.」
I see. …doll? It looks like some kind of animal……No, that ominous shape, I can only see it as some kind of evil god……Well, I won’t pry further. My taste in art isn’t that refined for me to comment about others’.
Exactly. Sitting on a huge enough log of timber for her to sit on, with one of her hands actively carving it out with a knife, what Florentine is doing is wood-sculpting.
「Why? Your hobby?」
「No. It’s about controlling my power. I’m actually just a liil’ bit not good at controlling my 『Gift』. I can only do three things with it; Full power, Half power, or no power at all.」
Oh, I see now. So she wants to be able to use it in a more refined way?
「Does doing that help?」
「No idea. I only do what’s told. ‘Tis a bit hard, y’see.」
It’s very evident from the sweats on her forehead. She must have been working very seriously, very carefully, and with a lot of concentration.
Well, this only means that Florentine and the other two are starting to move as quickly as possible, like how I started my agenda just as early. After all, none of us came here to play around.
「What about ya?」
「Getting reading to hunt, I guess.」
「Call me out when you’re hunting big games. I’ll at least carry it around.」
There are lots of Demon Beasts on that mountain. If I were to dress my game on the spot, the surrounding Demon Beasts would immediately storm me. The flow between killing my prey, collecting them, and retreating immediately has to be definite without a lot of room to think.
「Have you seen Cherry or Chace?」
Cherry had breakfast with us this morning, but I didn’t see Chace the bully. Well, I’m sure he’s already on the move like the rest of us.
「Aah, Cherry is out looking for a magician. She said she wants to practice magic or something.」
Training magic, huh. She does have a valuable 「Magician’s Gift」, after all. So she’s thinking of expanding it.
「For that punk, I believe he went to the smithy on the outskirts. Didn’t ask why.」
Perhaps he’s looking for a weapon. He did say he wants to get stronger.
「By the way, Florentine. Can you read alphabets?」
「Alphabets? I can’t. I remember numbers, but I had no chance to remember words.」
I see. I wonder what I should do with the Field Guide. Maybe I can ask someone from the village.
「Go and ask Cherry for it. She a noble, she must be able to read.」
「But she’s training right now, isn’t she?」
「Nah. Thar she is.」
When I look at the direction Florentine’s chin pointed, I see a blonde with glasses walking to us. That’s some subtle look she has.
「Ou. Have you found a magician yet?」
Being called by Florentine, Cherry only responds with a sigh. Apparently, she didn’t notice us here.
「Yes. ……I was told to keep using magic until I collapse for two to three days……」
Apparently, Cherry has been thinking about it on her way here but still unable to find why.
That being said, until you collapse, huh. I can only produce three pairs of 「Megane」 a day. Once I make three, I’ll lose my consciousness. I guess the instruction Cherry received was to experience that state over and over again. I’d hate to do that.
「I don’t get it. What’s the meaning behind that?」
「I don’t know…… “You can do it on your own, so do it yourself” is all I was told. That’s why I came back. By the way, what are you doing, Flo-chan?」
Asked Cherry, and then Florentine repeated the same answer she gave to me.
「Control, is it……I hope you can get better.」
「By the way……What is that Great Devil-like statue supposed to be?」
「Tis a cute lil’ doll no matter how you see it.」
「Eh? That is……?」
「Haah? Got a problem?」
Well, everyone has their own tastes in things.
「Cherry, can you read alphabets?」
Since there’s this inexplicable feeling of uneasiness creeping between them, I intervened. I would have left them alone and run away normally, but I have my businesses.
「E……Yeah, I can. Although, I obviously can’t read ancient alphabets or ciphered codes.」
「How about these?」
When I handed her the Field Guide, Cherry flips through the pages and replies to me 「These are okay」. That’s great.
「Can you read it for me? I want to know what it says.」
「It’s alright. ——I’ll get my dinner, of course.」
Seems like Cherry has also been baptized by the self-sufficient policy.
But, well, that’s a small price to pay.