I can’t wait to try out my new sword.
I wasn’t able to sleep yesterday, but I’m too excited right now to care about something like that.
You see, there’s a forest that hosts weak monsters about 80km west of the school grounds, and it just so happens that I was given permission to borrow the same chestnut-coloured horse I rode the other day today as well.
I wonder how much time had passed since I left.
The horse didn’t seem to mind the long run, in fact it seemed really happy that it was able to run as long as it wished.
I was told that the small monsters gather at the west side of the forest, and even then they don’t herd together in groups to protect themselves.
That said, I shouldn’t underestimate them. Even with their size, there are many monsters that can utilize poison and other dangerous elements for self defense. I was told that there weren’t any like that in the area I was heading to though, so I should be alright.
It’s the perfect place to test this guy out.
“Now… Let’s go!”
Clapping my legs against him, the horse understood what I wanted and accelerated to an even faster speed than before.
It was around noon when the forest finally entered my vision, but for some reason the horse had stopped.
I don’t remember telling him that though.
“Hey, come on.”
With a light scolding, I clapped my legs against his stomach again.
That’s weird, just a few minutes ago he was behaving just fine.
When I got a good look at him, it didn’t seem like he was grumpy or anything.
On the contrary, he looks just quite healthy.
Is something wrong?
As I wondered about such things, I turned towards the forest.
It was vague, but I could definitely see something moving in the thicket.
The ‘thing’ froze for a second, as if contemplating whether it had been seen or not before actually coming out.
“A ghoul, huh?”
It’s a corrupted-corpse type of demon.
Disregarding the fact that he was scared of it, for the horse to be able to sense monsters from this far away is amazing.
Even if it’s only one, if its a ghoul I should probably turn back.
According to Moran-Jiisan, he said that ghouls are a kind of monster that I should definitely run away from.
More famous than its individual strength, its poison is what people really need to be wary of. There isn’t any antidote for it, so you have no choice but to admit that to encounter one is extremely dangerous.
I know that I should’ve turned around the moment I saw it but… I really want to try out my sword…
I mean, I just have to, you know?
Fortunately its movements are very static and easy to read.
Looking closely at it, I realized it was dragging one foot slightly with each step, it must’ve been injured by something.
Oh I have to do this! My willpower holding me back was wavering.
There’s also the new spell I wanted I want to try.
This is a chance for me to use the magic I learned from Moran-Jiisan’s ‘3rd Grimoire’.
The contents of volume 3 are: 1) Property Alteration, and 2) The improvement of external mana/magic power, including even more advanced magic. Magic like this includes spells that are recognized by the state.
Its theme seemed to revolve around the ‘purification of magic organisms’.
I was able to learn spells that granted temporary life to inanimate objects.
Needless to say, to actually use it is incredibly difficult.
Despite my practice, I still haven’t been able to have a ‘complete success’ but it’s started to take shape at least.
Whether or not the spell will usable in combat will be judged by how well today’s results are.
While still on horseback, I poured my mana into the weeds around me.
“Those who are not visible to the naked eye, materialize.”
My expelled mana was quickly absorbed by the weeds, and from the earth, a sound similar to a thousand ropes snapping resounded.
When everything had died down, from the soil that had swollen upwards, they appeared.
There were about a hundred creatures that resembled radishes with limbs, and had grass growing on their ‘heads’.
For what one would have considered the front of their bodies was where their faces were.
The faces looked like they were dug into them, resembling old men.
Their bodies were eroded due to the holes used to create their faces, giving off an unbalanced impression.
I succeeded, but I failed.
Just to make this clear, I have no intentions to create a creatures like this. Ever.
‘Go away!’ I thought almost instantly.
They all just stood there for a bit, but they eventually noticed me and started bouncing up and down while crying out like animals.
“U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”, “U~i~tsu~”.
That’s so creepy!!
As I reached out to the first one, they all gathered around the horse happily.
Wh-what’s up with these guys?
Being surrounded by mysterious creatures with the faces of old men, as they cheer weird noises is really annoying.
I jumped off the horse, and kicked the first one I saw in its ass.
The one that I had just kicked held its ass with its limb and turned around to look at me with its open, yet cut eyes.
At first it expressed a tremendous amount of surprise, before finally changing into a face full of deep sadness.
I’m so sorry!
It was just on impulse! I didn’t mean to be malicious!
“U~i?” “U~i?” “U~i?” “U~i?”
A few of them gathered around it, ‘What is it?’ ‘What happened?’ ‘Does it hurt?’ stuff like that seemed to be conveyed through their voices.
“U~i~tsu, u~i~tsu, u~i”
The victim was desperately explaining to the rest of them.
Whether he was telling the truth or not wasn’t known by me. I mean, how could I understand what they were saying?
I’m the perpetrator and I can only wait for the verdict, so could you shut up already?!
Anger started leaking from the creatures who heard the story.
It seems to have become comrades with the rest of them.
Every single one of the guys I summoned plunged towards me.
“U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!” “U~i!!”
Cut it out!! Its creepy!!
…and a little dangerous.
“S-sorry I kicked you. It was only on impulse, I didn’t mean to come off as malicious or anything, so please don’t get mad from a little kick, okay?”
“U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”,
Crap, it seems like I just poured oil on the fire.
“Sorry, please forgive me, it was my bad.”
An “U~i??” sounded out with a nuance wondering if I was apologising.
Sorry, no matter how many times you say ‘U~i’ at me I’ll never understand what you’re saying.
Despite that, the one that I had kicked held out its limb towards me. Huh, I guess the meaning of my words were transmitted after all.
I reached out and took his limb with a firm shake.
“Yeah, let’s let bygones be bygones.”
Once we let go, they all started jumping up in joy again.
“U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”, “U~i”!
I said that’s creepy!! So please stop!!
Almost instantly after I reconciled with them, I wanted to kick them again.
“Anyways, everyone! Listen to the instructions of your creator!”
They all settled down in unison, and gathered around to listen.
Ugh… that’s a bit scary.
…whatever, come at me!!
“Let’s see, uh…”
The ghoul has gotten considerably closer than to how it was before.
“Bind down that guy in front of us!!”
“” “” ” U~i!! “” “” “
They all got up at once, and started running faithfully according to my instructions.
They all jumped at the ghoul at once, the sheer brute force of numbers forced him down easily.
The ghoul hopelessly outmatched in numbers was bound in place.
I think I’ll call them the ‘U~i’ corps, even though I thought they were a failure, they’re surprisingly useful, so I guess I can call that a success.
I jumped back onto the horse and closed the distance towards the ghoul.
It must’ve noticed me approaching because it tried to spit something from its mouth.
I guess I should approach it from behind huh?
Jumping off the horse, I drew my new sword.
Once again, I couldn’t help but admire it.
Balance, durability, beauty, it is by far my best work in all aspects.
I bet even my old blacksmith-sensei couldn’t make a sword like this… maybe.
This sword is that amazing.
Voices of admiration leaked out.
It was my radish men.
“U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”, “U~i!!”
‘Do it already!’ is what they seemed to say, though the desperate expressions on their faces don’t really change. I guess I’ll do it, the troublesome ghoul is already tied down, so why not?
It might not leave a good feeling behind, but it would be better to finish this guy off quickly as they say.
Steadying my sword, I eyed the ghoul’s nape.
“U~i!” The radish man that was on the nape howled. Do you have to scream that every time?! I yelled in my mind.
Of course this might be a little cruel coming from a guy about to kill something but…
I swung the sword, and the ghoul’s neck was cut clean. There wasn’t even any feeling of resistance, from it.
The sword’s sharpness is really amazing.
Maybe the neck only went flying because it was this type of monster. The feeling I got as I swung was the same as cutting through pudding, so it is possible.
This individual ghoul was really stiff, but to be able to behead it with a single slash… I can only say ‘wow’.
The U~i corps had released their restraint on the ghoul, and gathered the body of one of their friends. Ah, did it slice through them too? Oops…
Carrying it over, they all gathered around me again, the person who had just killed it.
Are they going to start this again?! Is what I thought, but to my surprise, they didn’t.
They were all silent to honour the dead.
He died a worthy death, full of loyalty.
So don’t cry! Send him off with a smile!
Because he died for my own selfish reasons, I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty.
Sheathing my sword, I jumped back on my horse.
After I return the U~i corps back to the ground, I’ll go back to school.
Suddenly I noticed some unexpected movement. As I looked down at the fallen ghoul, the body that had been beheaded was moving.
It was horrifying, I could feel my body breaking out in cold sweat.
Ghouls don’t die even after all this?!
It’d probably be best if I stayed a safe distance away.
Clapping my legs against the horse’s sides, I took some distance from the ghoul.
A hellfire born from my mana surged from the ground, encroaching the ghoul in flames.
Without any pain, without any time to struggle, the ghoul’s body collapsed as nothing but a pile of black carbon.
Turning the horse around, the U~i corps had gathered.
Unexpectedly, it seems they also evacuated the magic zone.
“Thanks for everything you guys.”
The nuance seemed to say they were sad.
‘Are you going to return us to the earth already?’ is what they seemed to say.
Of course, there’s no way I would bring these guys back with me.
“Those who are not visible to the naked eye, return to the earth!”
The U~i corps banishing technique looks like them all diving into the soil.
All that remained of them in the end was just a group of weeds.
For a while, I just rode the horse absentmindedly.
It was already past noon.
…I can’t help but feel a little guilty.
It’s probably because I saw that sad face earlier.
I was thinking about such things on my ride home.
I swore to myself in my heart to fix that failure of mine.
This really is a lot of work though. Perhaps it’d be better to play around a little more in this world. instead.
The horse turned its head towards me, giving me a thoughtful look.
“Sorry, were you worried?”
Nevertheless it continued to stare.
There was a girl walking on the left side of the path.
From the silhouette, I could definitely tell who it was, and I urged the horse towards her.
“Kururi?! What are you doing here?”
Iris who was carrying something in hand was similarly surprised.
“That’s what I was going to say.”
“Oh, well I was feeling a little homesick, but because I couldn’t eat rice like back home, I was hoping to collect some wild plants to cook in the cafeteria.”
“So that’s why, I can’t say i’m surprised, I feel a little homesick too sometimes.”
“Yeah, by the way, why is Kururi out here on a horse?”
“Its because I smelted a new sword last night and I wanted to test it out.”
“Oh, are you going back already? Can you give me a ride back? My trip would sure be faster with a horse.”
School is only a couple kilometers away, but I’d feel uneasy if I left her here alone.
“Sure I can, best regards.”
“Oh, it’s nothing, don’t worry about it. Anyways let’s ride!”
It was the first time I’ve ever ridden two-seater, but the only reason why I was able to ride so smoothly was because the horse is amazing.
As I thought, an honest horse is a good horse.
Even among the other horses, this guy’s pretty straightforward.
Looking at the sky, it was already sunset. Thinking about how this day was coming to an end, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad.
“Today I had a great meeting.”
Iris started saying something while looking down.
“Really? Who’d you meet?”
“Who? Well, it’s a good person, but I don’t really know them that well yet.”
“Funny, you don’t know them very well but you still think they’re a good person?”
“Yeah, if they really are the gentle person I think they are, it might be nice to settle down together one day. ”
I wonder who it is? I can only guess for now.
“If it’s somebody that you judged to be a good person, they probably are, but it’d still be better to take care, just in case.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be careful.” she replied with a small laugh.
Looking at Iris’ silhouette in the sunset made my heart skip a beat. Calm down me!
Since we were riding at a quick speed, the wind whipping against us was pretty strong.
It was strong, but it had an inexplicable warmth to it.
“Today I also had a good meeting.”
“That’s great! So we both had good meetings today.”
“Hmm… but how do I say this? You have a sort of lonely feel to you right now.”
“Then you’re probably right.”
“If you talk, it might be easier to organise your feelings you know?”
“It’s not enough to just talk about it, but I think it might help.”
“Was it a fight?”
“I guess you could say that.”
We were quiet after that for quite a while.
The only thing we could hear, was the footsteps of the horse galloping in rhythm.
“You have to make up if you fight.”
“…Hey Iris, did you know this isn’t even this horse’s quickest speed? I can make it go even faster, you want to try?”
“Let’s do it!”
“Then here I go!”
It seems Iris feels uplifted with the wind too.
Clapping my legs against the horse, I instructed him to run even faster.
Come on! Go the fastest that you can!
This feels great.
Iris is enjoying it too.
And the sunset is so beautiful.
This might be the perfect time to say it.