Chapter 51: Aren’t Timeskips like Curses for Jump Series?
2 days later there was a big commotion among the Guild staff that works with dismantling, storing, and buying monster parts from Adventurers.
Well, yeah, if a Crystal Python appeared in the warehouses completely intact, I guess it’s something to freak out about. Since this is apparently something that takes teams of dismantlers at least 7 days to dismantle and carry back up to the surface.
The reason the commotion took place 2 days later is because it took us a full day to reach the Labyrinth’s exit, so the dismantling and counting of monster parts took place the next day.
Well, first of all, when we reached the Guild Hall, it was in complete chaos. Apparently the tremors from fighting the Crystal Python were very noticeable above ground. Sorry about that – wait, all that ruckus was Ragnall and Helward’s fault.
But I guess I had a hand in it too.
Pacifying the Adventurers and Guild staff panicking and preparing for the worst didn’t take too long with Ragnall’s report.
It was pacifying the girls at The Queen Mary’s that was the most frightening part of the entire ordeal. This time was really inevitable, you know? I mean, we fell through an entire level of the Labyrinth. How was I supposed to prepare for that?
I was made to sit seiza for 2 hours while they scolded me for reckless behavior.
Helward-san was put on probation for possibly endangering the city by instigating the Crystal Python, but he was acquitted.
While dismantling the Crystal Python, the Guild’s dismantlers found recently ingested remains of several people, and a group of Adventurers, Ragnall and the Valor of Arms Brigade included, were gathered together to follow the path of the Crystal Python’s destruction down into the 6th level.
There they found the mutilated bodies of a group of men. It seems very likely they had instigated the Crystal Python incident. Even if they didn’t, it was more than enough evidence that Helward-san had accidentally run into the Crystal Python after it had gone into a frenzy, and he wasn’t at fault.
As for why I wasn’t included in the Adventurers who went to investigate the source of the issue … I was being held captive at Helward’s forge by Helward-san.
After seeing me use mana forging, Helward-san gave a great yell.
“Aaaah…! What masterful instincts, but what wasteful procedures!”
And that was the beginning of Helward-san’s training camp from hell – is what it seemed to the others, but to be honest, I was pretty interested in this kind of stuff so I was actually grateful for his attention. Not even the Guild Master and Vice-Guild Master were able to persuade Helward-san to let me have extra time for Labyrinth diving. My time was completely taken up with the forge.
I am secretly happy about it.
I mean, if I kept doing a little bit here and a little bit there, I wonder how long it would have taken me to learn even half the material that Helward-san ended up teaching me.
Smithing, smelting, how to tend the fire … for the first time, I’m properly being taught all these most basic things that I could only use on instinct. I was also taught the basics of monster parts and how to make magic ores.
An interesting side effect of learning about magic ores is that my magic perception has gotten extremely good throughout all my training. Things like being able to sense magic in monster parts, and being able to sense what that magic can do, how it will react with magic from other monster parts, as well as how it effects iron and steel as it’s smelted in … those were some of the things I learned through magic ores.
Basically, my magic perception no longer just detects the presence of magic and mana. Not only can I detect the flow of magic and mana to the … milliliter? (what kind of quantity should something with no weight or volume be given?) I can now detect the minute changes the magic undergoes as a material changes and makes use of it.
Like, a Crystal Python scale gives an “amplification” effect when you put magic through it, or the Jeweled Beetles’ auto-reflect in their shells. I’ve gotten really good at predicting what will happen just by feeling how the magic changes while going through a material.
Of course, Helward-san diligently trained me in Mana Forging as well. Though the instructions he gave were all things like, “Your love for the blade is weak” or “Considering how the blade is going to be used is also a form of love” and things like that.
I can’t say that he was wrong, maybe, but it’s an embarrassing way of saying it. In the end, I discovered that my problem was that I’d be so focused on making my blades as perfect as possible that I lost sight of efficiency and ease of use.
Well, it was easy to figure out the problem, but fixing it took an entire month…
Ah, I guess in the end I would prefer to be more of a Craftsman than an Adventurer. I feel a little ashamed that I got carried away with the other-world transport template and registered as an Adventurer without really thinking about it, but when I thought about going back to the Guild to exchange my Adventurer’s Card for a Craftsman’s Card, Lor, who had come by to check up on me (probably on Dobin-san’s orders), said,
“Isn’t it fine? Someone who can come out unscathed from fighting a Crystal Python with just 3 people, and someone who can keep up with B Rank and A Rank Adventurers without falling behind, it’s fine to think of her as an accomplished Adventurer. It’ll be easier for the Guild if you’re listed with your primary as Adventurer.”
I don’t really get it but it seems no one else minds it, so I’ll just go with that. By no means is it because I think it will be a pain to do …
No, seriously, with the zeal Helward-san is teaching me with, I don’t have time.
“Girl, I can’t believe it. In a month, you’ve mastered so much. Oi, brat, Erl! Raise her Rank to A!”
“Gahahaha! What do you think, Pulman-jiji? Aren’t you jealous?”
“Hmph. I’m not jealous of a brat like you getting an apprentice like that, I’m jealous of that girl’s talent. She’ll surpass you in another month, you know? It’s not time for a brat like you to leisurely loiter around, laughing! Oi, girl, hurry it up and surpass this brat so he won’t have anything to say!”
Today, accompanied by Helward-san, I have successfully passed the second Craftsman’s evaluation from Pulman-jiji. For this evaluation, instead of a sword what I made was a knife.
Mixed in with the steel was essence from the Lapis Lantern. It’s a carnivorous plant with a large basin-like part. It’s a plant that devours its own predators, automatically secreting a paralyzing toxin when it senses potential herbivores before gripping them with its vines and dragging them into its leafy basin.
The vines of the Lapis Lantern are dried and then crushed into powder, and that is what you add to the charcoal. No, it’s not added directly to the steel. It’s more like you infuse the steel with what’s released in the fire. It’s a very delicate process, and a substance worthy of showing off your ability to handle additives to steel.
In my case, I also added a reactive phosphorescence from a Beryl Lightning Bug directly into the steel. With the Lapis Lantern’s essence, it increases magic circulation through the sword when it detects malicious intent. The increase in magic activates the glow from the Beryl Lightning Bug. It’s steel that reacts to malicious attacks by glowing.
Yes, it’s a sword that will glow a light blue when enemies attack you.
I will not deny that this was inspired by certain fantasy-like swords from stories in my old world. However, it’s really kind of useless other than demonstrating my abilities with magic ores.
I mean, it just glows. Without letting you know where the attack is coming from, it just lets you know you’re getting attacked.
If it’s an assassin, they’ll know immediately that you’re aware of them because of the glow; for those kind of attackers, they’ll definitely take immediate counter measures and get you some other way. … If it could at least detect the presence of enemies, instead of only malicious attacks…
Well, the idea of a blade that can detect attacks is already good. I’ll need to figure out how to use it better, like using it to activate a Barrier or something. But that might be delving into magic swords a step beyond just adding magic ingredients to metal.
… Ah. I’m getting carried away again. Ahem.
I, Jun Imamiya, have become an A Rank Craftsman.
I thought Pulman-jiji said he’d only raise my rank to B once I learned the basics of magic ores, but apparently I had misunderstood. B was the minimum rank I would get as long as I knew just the basics of magic ores. After a month-long training session with Helward-san, it wasn’t just the basics I learned…
Aaah, the month of harsh-but-fulfilling training at the forge was totally worth it. I have learned so much about magic and swords, and I can even make the naginata blades at reasonable and safe quality for the girls at The Queen Mary’s.
Speaking of the girls at The Queen Mary’s, Niera drops by at least once a week to train them. They are mostly doing strength-training until I finish their naginatas. Initially I had thought to prepare wooden blades for training for them, but Niera had been strangely adamant against them. She seems to think that training with a substitute will only develop bad habits, so training for a weapon should be done with a live weapon.
Even though in Japan you wouldn’t practice with a real blade right away …
Wake early, sword training, forge training, stamina training, sleep late. It felt a lot like a school training camp. That was my daily routine for a month.
It was a good month.
Oh. Well, not the entire month.
I don’t really want to think about it too much, but for several days I had been laid up in bed. To think it was something so painful… I didn’t even have any leeway to think about my impressions of having to deal with it, the pain was so strong. It was probably 5 times worse because I didn’t know what to do about any of it at all.
It was at this time that I was grateful from the bottom of my heart that I was living with the onee-sans from The Queen Mary’s. At first I was worried they’d think something was weird since I didn’t know how to deal with it, but I heard them whispering,
“Ah, it seems like it was a bad month this time, poor Jun.”
And the like.
Wait, it could potentially be worse? Or like, this is going to happen every month from now on?! I really thought about crying when I overheard that. Shit! I never considered turning back into a guy more seriously in my life.
I don’t know how, though.
Anyway, thanks to the girls at The Queen Mary’s, my crisis was … not really averted, but I received all their care and was very rudely reminded that I am now a woman who needs to know things that a woman needs to know.
But right now …
… It’s ok if I don’t want to think about it, right? I can save those worries for later, right? I mean, I was a guy for my main sexual development; I don’t want to think about these sorts of things!
Anyway, currently my status looks like this:
[PASSIVE: (Secret Trait) (Resilient Body) (Magic Enrichment) (Otherworldly Knowledge) (Accelerated Learning) (Keen Instincts) (Translate)]
[SKILLS: (Inventory) (Friend Chat) (Status) (AnalyzeIV)]
[PASSIVE: (Secret Trait) (Boundless Magic) (Chantless Cast) (Well of Magic) (Magic Sense)]
[PASSIVE: (Steady Balance) (Perceptive Sense) (Light Foot)]
[SKILLS: (Augment Body) (Augment Mind) (Farsight) (Ground Shrink) (Accel)]
[PASSIVE: (Magic Sensitive) (Magic Intuition) (Magic Control)]
[SKILLS: (Magic Sensory) (Magic Channeling) (Magic Dispersion)]
[SKILLS: (Barrier) (Reflective Barrier) (Sound Barrier) (Barrier Armor) (Barrier Shield) (Boundary)]
[PASSIVE: (Fire Sensitivity) (Fire Resistance) (Steady Hand)]
[SKILLS: (Metal Reinforcement) (Keen Edge) (Mana Imprint) (Craftman’s Trance) (Emblazon) (Material Manipulation)]
[SKILLS: (Mould) (Heat Material)]
[PASSIVE: (Element Sensitivity)]
[SKILLS: (Fire Magic: <Flame>, <Flame Orb>, <Sear>, <Fire Lance>)
(Water Magic: <Create Water>, <Create Flow>, <Ice Wind>, <Ice Lance>)
(Air Magic: <Static Discharge>, <Gust>, <Air Bullet>, <Lightning Bolt>, <Whirlwind>)
(Earth Magic: <Earth Lance>, <Solidify Earth>, <Mud Pool>)
(Light Magic: <Combustion>, <Illumination>)
(Dark Magic: <Create Vacuum>, <Increase Shadow>)]
Where to even begin …
Well, first things first, somehow [COMBAT MAGICIAN] turned into [BARRIER MASTER].
I didn’t know it could do that.
Lor said it’s because Traits are actually very fluid. Since I didn’t acquire any other Skills other than Barrier-type Skills, the Trait I had morphed into something that could describe my abilities with Barriers better. I feel like hidden in that statement is an example on how Analyze4 works, but in the end I couldn’t figure out the details so I didn’t bother thinking too deeply about it.
It’s also thanks to Lor that my magic skills increased. He’d come over on Dobin’s orders to check out the status of my forge training, and during breaks he would help me understand elemental-cast magic.
Of course he found out I could use Chantless Cast. When I forgot to chant while casting Illumination, he just stood there silently for several minutes before heaving a large sigh.
Even though he kept muttering “nothing should surprise me anymore”, he was still considerably shocked.
“Helward-san, Jun-san. Greetings.”
On the way out of the Guild Hall, while I was reminiscing over the past month with a feeling of great accomplishment, the stern-looking woman with glasses that I’ve seen several times before in the Guild Hall, stopped Helward-san and me from leaving.
“Oooh, Minerva. Did you need something?”
“Yes. That is, I need Jun-san. I asked Erl-san to notify me when her evaluation was over. There is a matter Florian-san and Dobin-san requires your presence for, Jun-san.”
“Aaah … ok. Then, Helward-san, I’ll be back at the forge soo-“
“Fumu. No need any longer.”
“Gahahaha! Did you think I was just saying those things to Pulman-jiji for politeness? Jun-chan, you may not have completely mastered using Mana Forging efficiently, but you have mastered everything else. There’s nothing else for me to teach you. For someone who uses forging techniques in their everyday life as often as breathing, there’s no need to wonder if that person will improve, right?”
Oh. Uh, so he noticed after all… Yeah, well, Mana Forging is basically just using magic to forge. By replicating those techniques for other purposes, it’s not hard to think of ways to make your life easier.
“You aren’t even officially my apprentice, and yet you’ve nearly finished an entire apprenticeship in just a month. Though I will be sorry not to oversee your growth from now on, it’s not like you want to master magic ore swords, right? To stick with me from now on … you won’t be able to expand your techniques to master true magic swords. I wish to see a Jun-chan who has reached the pinnacle of sword-smithing.”
Saying such master-like things at the end… and yet during the time he was teaching me, he was talking about how you forge with your feelings and love.
I can’t say I dislike this kind of character.
“You are being too dramatic, Helward-san. Just because Jun-san is on the verge of surpassing your abilities doesn’t mean she’ll be leaving town immediately.”
“Oh, gahahaha! That’s true! See you tomorrow at the forge, Jun-chan!”
“… Is it already given that I’ll automatically show up at the forge?”
Aaand the sentimental feelings are gone now.
<A/N: *dances* I finally got to the ‘timeskip’! Haa… I never thought it would take over 50 chapters …
I had reservations about writing in a timeskip, but it unfortunately fit right in. Just because all the Shonen Jumps did timeskips that ended up making no literary sense, writing one in makes me feel like I’m doing something bad…>