After that night, Reito started sneaking out of the residence regularly.
He could do so only at night, so his exploration range was limited, but he continued hunting monsters every night. Through this new lifestyle, he encountered all sorts of creatures.
For example, Horned Rabbits: rabbit-like monsters with a single horn sprouting from their foreheads. They were weak physically, but extremely quick, so they made for good chasing practice.
That day too, Reito was training in the forest, chasing Horned Rabbits.
“Im catching you, buddy! Even if your cry is that cute!!”
Horned Rabbits had very small bodies, making it very hard to track them. Reito was now trying to catch his prey without using Leap or other skills, but only with his actual physical abilities.
He was now close enough to reach the rabbit beast, so he stretched his hands.
“Just a little more…wah!?”
At that exact moment, he stumbled on a rock and crashed, face flat against a tree.
Reito grimaced, thinking he had lost the Horned Rabbit…but then saw something moving near his chest.
He looked down and realized he was holding the Horned Rabbit in his arms.
“I did it!! Agh! Ouch…”
Half overjoyed, half in pain, Reito then saw a status window appear before his eyes.
Reito, surprised by the unexpected skill acquisition, checked its description. It raised the users movement speed apparently.
Smiling, Reito talked to the Horned Rabbit.
“Thanks, buddy. But Im not letting you go.”
Reito materialized the ice blade and used it to sever the little creatures head from its neck.
He looked at the horn growing on the monsters head and recalled Airis advice.
『If you grind Horned Rabbit horns to dust, you can use them as an ingredient for invigorating medicine. It can be quite valuable, so I advise you to collect it if you find one in the wild.』
Reito extracted the horn, activated Storage Magic, and put it in the subspace.
He then took out his cooking utensils and prepared to start a fire. It was dangerous to light fires in the forest, but there was a skill he wanted to learn at all costs.
Reito skinned the Horned Rabbit and drained its blood. Seeing his hands move so deftly despite not having any knowledge about skinning animals, he couldnt help but laugh wryly.
“The Dismantle skill is sure useful at times like these…”
Reito then tried starting the fire, then realized something.
“Oh, right…I could just heat it up with magic.”
Water and fire created via magic normally disappeared quickly, but not if the user cast them continuously. Being a Support Magician, Reito had a considerable quantity of magic power, so he decided to create Fireballs under the pot, as sources of heat.
He poured oil inside the heating pot, then the meat of the Horned Rabbit he skinned.
“Like this, Airis?”
『The fire seems to be a bit weak, you have to make more or it wont work.』
Reito thus continued cooking, while following Airis instructions.
A little while later, a very pleasant smell rose from the pot. The meat was apparently ready, so Reito put it on a plate.
“Looks pretty good…”
Horned Rabbit meat was very delicious, making it a popular source of nutrition among adventurers. Reito, excited, took the first bite.
He had simply cooked the meat, but it was very juicy and delicious. Thrilled, Reito quickly wolfed it all down.
“So good!! But…I didnt learn the Cooking skill.”
Reitos real objective was to learn the Cooking skill: he had not succeeded this time but learned a bit of how to cook meat at least, so he thought it was enough.
After finishing his meal, Reito looked at the bones remaining on the plate.
“Guess I should get rid of them.”
Reito was about to use Fireball to burn the bone to ashes when he felt a presence behind him.
He turned around and found a massive monster, a bipedal creature with a boar-like face.
The monster looked just like an Orc, a familiar presence in many games in Reitos former world.
The bulging Orcs nose was twitching violently. It had been attracted by the smell of Horned Rabbits meat.
Seeing the bones on Reitos plate, The Orc roared even louder.
The Orc suddenly lunged, so Reito activated Leap to jump backward. The movement, however, caused him to drop the Horned Rabbit bones.
The Orc picked up the bones and flicked them in its mouth, crushing them under its fangs. The monster, licking its lips in anticipation, then looked at Reito.
“Crap, I have no choice.”
Reito activated magic, a Fireball on his left hand, an Iceclad Sword on his right, and faced the Orc. If its jaws were powerful enough to crunch Horned Rabbit bones like that, they could easily tear human flesh to shreds. Reito knew he had to be very careful.
After a brief standstill, Reito took the first move.
He quickly chanted a spell.
The Orc crossed its arms to protect its body from the flaming lance.
The beasts upper body, however, was engulfed in flames nevertheless. For a moment, Reito thought victory was his, but then the Orc waved its arms and put out the fire.
Reito was taken aback, but the Orc did not lose time and quickly approached him.
The monster tried to grab Reito, so he used Leap to move out of the way. The Orc fell forward because of its momentum, so Reito used his Iceclad Sword to pierce the monster from behind when it made contact with the ground.
Blood sprayed from the monsters back.
From the back, however, Reito could not target the beasts heart with precision. The Orc became furious and flung Reito off in its rampage.
Reito was thrown off the monsters back and crashed against a tree trunk. If he hadnt learned the Resilience and Break Fall skills, he probably would have been fatally wounded.
As Reito groaned in pain, the Orc stood up, the ice blade still stuck in its back, and tried to crush Reitos body under its weight.
“Kh!! Earth Block!”
Reito quickly activated the basic grade magic spell Earth Block, to scoop out the ground at the Orcs feet.
One of the monsters legs was caught in the hole, causing it to stumble and fall.
Reito materialized another blade of ice and threw it at the monsters head.
The sword pierced the Orcs head and the monster gradually stopped moving completely.
Reito, breathing heavily, rejoiced for his victory.
“Haah…I did it…!!!”
He slowly got up and thought about the battle. How could the Orc resist the Flame Lance so easily?
In order to find an answer to this mystery, Reito approached the monsters remains. Strangely enough, there was no sign of burns on its body.
Reito then called Airis.
『Ill have you know I am becoming quite displeased with your refusal to address me properly. What is it?』
『I used fire magic on the Orc, but it didnt even flinch and wasnt burned even a little. Why?』
『Oh, Orc fur is very resistant to fire magic. You should skin it and take the fur with you, dont you think? It will protect you from most flames and can also function as armor. It is rather weak against lightning, so be careful. Oh, one more thing, Orc meat is poisonous, so you better watch out. Cooking it without the skill can be very dangerous.』
『Its poisonous…but edible? Its kind of surprising.』
『Of course its edible. Its a favorite of all carnivorous monsters as the taste is really good. Its very fatty though, so I wouldnt recommend it to a lady.』
『Yeah, I didnt ask about all that.』
Reito closed the communication with a slightly cold tone.
He then used the Dismantle skill to skin the Orc but gave up on other monster parts. Its fangs and claws were very dirty, its teeth riddled with cavities. In the end, he took only the fur and returned to the residence.
On his way back, Reito reviewed his battle against the Orc.
(I used Earth Block for the first time, but it worked better than expected. It was shocking to see Flame Lance brushed off like that, though…I guess I need more firepower.)
Reito recalled what Airis told him about the monsters.
Orcs were definitely more powerful than Goblins. Airis, however, said that Orcs were not especially dangerous for any small group of adventurers to defeat.
There were surely many monsters out there more powerful than the ones in the forest: as he was right now, it might be impossible for Reito to survive by himself in the forest. With this realization, he spoke his new resolve out loud.
“I have to make my magic stronger. But to do that, is raising proficiency level the only way?”
Reito opened the status menu and checked the proficiency level of his basic grade magic.
Fireball [Proficiency Level 3]
Ice Block [Proficiency Level 4]
Wind Pressure [Proficiency Level 3]
Earth Block [Proficiency Level 2]
Ice Block, which he used regularly, had the highest proficiency level. Earth Block, on the other hand, was still level 2: it was the spell he had the least chances to use, after all. He practiced all spells every day, however, so there wasnt much difference in frequency. The reason why Earth Block had the lowest proficiency was that he had a poor affinity with the Earth element, or so Reito thought.
He then started thinking about how to use magic.
“Hmm, I shouldnt think of just increasing firepower, but also have more ways to attack…”
While hemming and hawing, Reito created a Fireball from his palm.
He was now capable of creating Fireballs over one meter in size, but he might inadvertently cause a forest fire, so he kept the size smaller.
“I wonder if theres a way to increase offensive power without increasing the size…”
Reito tried changing the Fireball to various shapes while mumbling to himself.
Suddenly, an idea flashed in his head: why not try using Magic Boost?
“Thanks to the medicinal herbs, I could raise its proficiency to the max, but I never actually used it…”
Reito then tried activating Magic Boost on the Fireball.
The color of the flame globe changed, from orange to a bright red.
“Whoa, the color changed?”
Reito looked at the Fireball more closely and felt a warmth on his palm, which he never felt before: unable to resist it any longer, he made the Fireball float in midair.
“Ouch! What the…?”
Reito was surprised but continued to observe the Fireball. He concluded that its firepower had to be higher than before and tried using it to create Flame Lance.
“Okay then, activate Wind Pressure…”
Just as Reito was activating the spell, a silhouette appeared from a nearby tree.
Reito immediately turned towards the source of the growl.
There he found a sort of half-human, half-wolf creature. It had a wolfs head and a body covered in fur, but it stood on two legs like a human. The monster stared at Reito, drool trickling from the edge of its mouth.
It was a Kobold: like the Orc, this monster too often appeared in fantasy works on Earth.
It wasnt as huge as an Orc, but clearly bigger than the average Goblin. The fangs peeking from behind its lips seemed as sharp as blades.
Reito tried to get away, but the monster attacked him faster than he could escape.
The Kobold opened its jaws wide and tried biting Reito, but the boy managed to dodge. The monsters mouth slammed shut, producing a sound of clashing metal.
After missing the first attack, the Kobold relentlessly continued trying to bite Reito.
“Crap!! Iceclad Sword..!”
Reito activated his Iceclad Sword, but the Kobolds fangs easily shattered it. His weapon destroyed, Reito activated several Fireballs to shoot the monster with.
The Fireball barrage struck the Kobolds body, which started burning. Just like the Orc did, however, a swing from the monsters arms wiped away the flames.
“Crap, what can I do…?”
Reito fervently looked at his surroundings and found the Fireball he had previously powered up with Magic Boost.
“See if you can handle this!”
Reito was quickly running out of options: he tried throwing the bright red Fireball at the Kobold.
The instant the Fireball struck, bright red flames spread as if exploding, enveloping the Kobolds entire body.
The monster quickly became charred black and dropped to the ground.
A whisper escaped Reitos lips.
The Fireball was much more powerful than normal ones. Reito thus learned that basic grade magic spells could be boosted to have higher offensive power.
“Its that strong even without fusing it with Wind Pressure…”
Reito, thoroughly impressed, gazed at the Kobolds motionless body.
The next day…
Reito, excited by the discovery of the possibilities of using Magic Boost to reinforce basic grade magic spells, decided to sneak out to the forest during the day to practice magic.
Normally, he practiced with the sword during the day. That day he was eager to practice magic, so he lied to the servants about being sick and pleaded not to let anyone inside his room.
As soon as he was alone, he headed to the forest. Thanks to the Tech Skill Stealth, it was easy for him to go out of the residence.
Reito then entered the forest and eventually found a beautiful spring.
The boy wiped his sweat and whispered to himself.
“Okay…I should be far enough now.”
The spring was in a place Reito had recently discovered, where a tall tree also grew. The springs water was crystal clear: you could see even from afar that a great quantity of fish swam in it. Some of the fish looked far from normal…but Reito chose not to think about it and focused on his magic training.
“Fireball, plus Magic Boost!”
Like the day before, Reito created a Fireball from his palm, made it float in midair, and reinforced it with Magic Boost. After the Fireball changed to a bright red color, he activated Wind Pressure.
When the wind spell fused with the Fireball, what appeared was not a flaming lance like before, but a rounder, swollen bullet-like object. The flame bullet moved away from Reitos hand with great momentum, which built faster and faster until it crashed against a boulder.
The impact caused a loud booming sound and shattered the boulder.
The results greatly exceeded Reitos expectations: cold sweat broke out on the boys forehead.
“That was amazing…oh, a new Craft Skill!”
A status window appeared before him.
Reito immediately checked the skills details.
Flame Bullet was stronger than Flame Lance but consumed a lot more magic power too. It could probably damage even Orcs and other enemies resistant to fire though.
Reito then tried using Magic Boost on other spells.
“This is fun…! Okay, lets try boosting Wind Pressure now. First activate Magic Boost, then…Wind Pressure!”
Reito activated Magic Boost with his right hand and Wind Pressure with his left.
Normally, Wind Pressure would create a palm-sized whirlpool, which blew a gust of wind comparable to a fan…but the combination with Magic Boost created a crescent-shaped blade of wind instead.
Reito released the wind blade, which cut through the springs water surface.
“Whoa, that was surprising…this is pretty awesome too.”
Reito was once again surprised, as Wind Pressure was boosted beyond his expectations, and the status window appeared again before his eyes.
According to the skill description, the crescent-shaped wind blade could cut to shreds anything it touched. Reito thus became able to create swords not only with ice but also wind.
After Wind Pressure, he tried boosting Ice Block.
“I wonder whats going to happen this time. Maybe the shape will change, or….Ice Block!”
As he did with Wind Pressure, Reito activated Magic Boost with his right hand, then Ice Boost with his left.
A shiny blue ice object formed on his palm. The color was the only visible difference, but Reito felt it was colder than before.
“Fireball becomes hotter, so Ice Block gets colder, I guess…”
Reito tried poking the ice. The surface was so cold, however, that he instinctively recoiled.
“Whoa, its freezing!! I cant handle this directly…”
Reito frowned and made the ice disappear. A boosted Ice Block was much colder than a normal one: touching it could make his hands freeze too, so it was probably impossible to use it for Iceclad Sword. It could be used as a direct offensive, though…
“Now that I think about it, I didnt learn a Craft Skill after using Magic Boost on Ice Block…oh well. The last one is Earth Block.”
Reito tried boosting the last of the basic grade magic spells he knew. He pressed his palm on the ground and activated Earth Block, then Magic Boost.
Reito expected to be able to manipulate a greater mass of soil, or for it to work faster…but yet again, the results exceeded his expectations.
“Something feels funny…whoa!?”
He felt something was off with his hands and looked at them: his palms were imbued with crimson magic power and his fingers were sinking inside the hard soil. He hurriedly took them out, leaving prints on the ground. The magic power on his palms, however, was still there.
“What‘s going on here?”
Puzzled by the strange phenomenon, Reito glanced at the large tree next to the spring. On a whim, he tried touching the trunk.
Despite not exerting power at all, his fingertips penetrated the tree bark. When he took them out, clear prints appeared on the surface.
“Could it be that…its affecting gravity around my fingers…?”
Reito himself thought it was a far-fetched theory, but it was the truth. Boosting Earth Block made it possible to control gravity.
Reito clenched his fist and punched the tree with all his might.
Reitos fist passed through the tree trunk, leaving a hole in it.
“Whoa, whats this power!?”
Reito couldnt help but shout, surprised. No matter how much he trained or leveled up, a childs fist shouldnt be able to punch a hole in a tree.
The status window appeared before Reitos eyes, announcing the acquisition of a new skill.
“Fist Strike? So with that punch, I learned a striking Battle Art…like this?”
Reito dispelled the magic power from his hands and tried punching the tree trunk again.
No hole formed this time however. Without the boosted Earth Block, it wasnt possible to produce as much power as before, apparently.
“Okay, lets try boosting Earth Block to the max and…Fist Strike!”
Reito infused his fists with the crimson magic power again and punched the air. The next moment, maybe thanks to the boosted Earth Block, the status window appeared again.
Overjoyed after learning another skill, Reito decided to practice a bit longer with his two new skills.
The moment he pronounced the skills name, Reitos fist surged with the crimson magic power and he thrust it forward, creating a small shockwave. Reito then clenched his fist again and tried the other skill.
The fist imbued with gravity magic shot forward. The speed and offensive power of Reitos Fist Strike was already on par with a martial artist: Reito had no way of knowing this, however, so he continued to train.
“Shaah! Haah! No, I can do better…like this?”
Reito subconsciously planted his feet on the ground, rotated his sole, ankle, knee, thigh joints, torso, chest, shoulder, elbow, and arm — in that order — and thrust his fist with great momentum: the resulting shockwave was massive, strong enough to cause ripples on the springs water surface.
Reito, breathing heavily, felt that something clicked, like never before. Once again, the status window appeared before his eyes.
“Yes!! Agh, ouch, ouch!”
Reito jumped up, excited about learning another Craft Skill, but a jolt of pain ran through his body, forcing him to groan in pain.
Reito hurriedly activated Recovery Boost to heal his body.
After a while, the pain wore off, so Reito sighed in relief.
“Phew…I guess I have to train my body some more. I learned many skills today, though…even Martial Artist ones…wait…Im a…Support Magician, right…?”
Reito realized he learned many skills unbecoming of a magic user and cocked his head. It didnt feel right, but he decided to go back to the residence for the time being.
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