Chapter 2: Living at the frontier isn’t that bad either
Perhaps you were wondering … maybe there was some hidden cheat skill for 『Guide』?
But there wasn’t any. There were none.
The Divine Protection’s only gift was the inherent level up skill obtained as a starting skill. As well as the Common Skills that can be acquired anytime.
A 『Guide』 is able to obtain an extremely powerful skill as his starting skill, known as 『Starting Divine Protection Level +30』.
Divine Protection Level 30 is the typical level of Knights at their retirement age.
In other words, from the beginning, I had the level which most knights devoted their entire life to earn through battle.
However, I did not have any Exclusive Skills.
Since my ability was to be relatively strong from the beginning, there was no room for broad interpretations of how to put my sole skill into practice.
Because I didn’t have skills, I was several stages weaker than any other person with the same level so even if I tried to accumulate skill points by defeating foes to become stronger, I won’t be able to defeat monsters that others could and I would have to fight enemies that are several times less efficient than others.
Thinking about it that way, it was a skill that brought outrageous misfortune.
In terms of future prospects, lower grade commonplace Divine Protections like 『Warrior』 or 『Magic-user』 might even be better.
Having had my heart broken into two, I slowly earned money and aimed for a slow life.
I entered the mountain today as well to harvest herbs.
My only strong point was my high level so I had the stamina and while I didn’t have Exclusive Skills, I had gathered all kinds of Common Skills.
With the Survival Skill, I would not get lost while mountain hiking as long as I don’t enter too deeply and I was able to notice commonly harvested herbs.
It was a Common Skill after all so all it could do was show me herbs that are commonly harvested.
“Henbane grass that can be used to stop bleeding and disinfect wounds, Lycium chinense leaves that can act as an antidote, and Dragon God Mushroom that can be used to make nourishing tonics. The rare White Berry is a catalyst used in Magic Potions.”
Hmm hmm~ ♪
I hummed to myself as I focused on my daily routine of harvesting medicinal herbs.
The mountains in Zoltan with its wealth of water sources could be said to be nature’s treasure trove with the abundance of herbs and fruits.
“Ooo, Green nuts. Let’s boil and eat them when I set up camp.”
Medicinal herb harvesting basically takes two days and one night.
Because it takes about half a day to travel, returning the day itself would be extremely inefficient.
I traveled as a member of the Hero’s party so I was accustomed to camping out. Other than herbs, I also found wild vegetables and spices that can be used for camping.
“But camping in the middle of the mountains is certainly tiring.”
Monsters aren’t afraid of fire.
I attached bells to a rope for peace of mind and placed my sword beside me before sleeping.
There weren’t any strong monsters in the area but it was possible to suffer unexpected injuries if I was attacked in my sleep.
“Ah —, maybe I should just make a small hut.”
The residents here don’t construct mountain huts since it would be destroyed by a storm but it would be great if I could construct a fine hut that can weather the rain and wind as well as make monsters think it would be too troublesome to destroy.
Currently, I conducted my herb harvesting twice a week but it would be a lot easier if I could combine it into a four day three night journey. For that to work, I would need a small hut to act as my luggage storage and rest area to spend such a long time in the mountains.
“Well, that would have to wait until I gather a bit more money.”
I fell asleep as I thought about future plans.
I woke up in the middle of the night.
I felt the presence of a large creature along with its scent coming from afar.
I pulled over my sword without making a sound and investigated the presence.
Even though I didn’t have the unique skills granted by 『Thief』 and 『Hunter』 Divine Protections that enhances perception, my Perception Skill level was high as I didn’t have any other skills to allocate my points into.
It would probably not apply to the elite Ninja squad of the Demon Lord army but it was more than enough to detect the presence of wild monsters living in the mountains.
The presence didn’t indicate that it was approaching me immediately so I got out of my sleeping bag and climbed up a tree without a sound.
The moon in the sky tonight was a sharp crescent moon shaped like a bow. As the moonlight wasn’t sufficient, I couldn’t see the figure of the monsters.
After watching for a while, I heard the ringing of bells.
And then, a large beast appeared from the darkness.
“Just an Owl Bear huh.”
The demon beast Owl Bear with the face of an owl and the body of a brown bear.
It was a level 15 monster.
Among the demon beast that inhabit the forests of the world, it reigns at the top of the forest ecosystem in most cases so it lives freely as the King of the Forest.
How nostalgic, in the past, I remember fighting one when I chased after Ruti who went to search for her friend who got lost in a forest.
That was when I was seven years old.
Now, I could defeat it without any issues but …
“It’s not like I can get prize money if I do so.”
I nimbly jumped from the tree onto the ground.
Monsters like animals and low intelligence demon beasts can somehow judge that their opponents are mightier than them through their senses.
The Owl Bear met my gaze and slowly backed away before turning around and fleeing into the night.
I didn’t give chase as I returned to my sleeping bag and slept until morning.
The next day, after I finished harvesting herbs, there was some commotion when I returned to town.
I tried asking the gate sentry about it.
“Oo, Red, so you’re all right.”
“I’m fine as usual. There seems to be a commotion but what’s it about?”
“An adventurer was attacked by an Owl Bear. We’re now recruiting a subjugation corps so there would probably be a ban from entering the mountains until the subjugation is over.”
I might have seen that Owl Bear after it attacked some adventurer.
“Seriously? How many days would it take?”
“No idea, we rarely have to subjugate something as strong as an Owl Bear. We either have to rely on an Ace B-rank party or if not, we’ll have to put forth a large mobilization of about 30 people.”
Adventurers are ranked into six ranks, S to E.
This rank was not for individuals but for parties and once there is a change in the party, it would be subjected to re-evaluation.
As a reference:
E: Newcomers who just registered.
D: A party that can survive in the wilderness where monsters prowl.
C: A party that can resolve a crisis that threatens a village.
B: A party that can resolve a crisis that threatens a town.
A: A national-class party that can resolve a threat that spans across multiple towns.
S: A legendary-class party that is mobilized to resolve continental or world crisis.
Fundamentally, an Adventurers Guild in any town would have 1 to 3 B-rank parties registered and they would serve as the top of the pyramid.
I was D-rank.
It couldn’t be helped as all I did was harvest herbs and in the first place, becoming B-rank here would make me stand out and it might lead to my real name being revealed. If it was ever revealed, it would probably greatly inconvenience my benefactor, the Knight Captain.
“Looks like I’ll have to stay in town for the time being.”
It was great that it happened just after I finished harvesting medicinal herbs.
I headed to the Adventurers Guild to sell the medicinal herbs I had.
This time, the income was about 90 peryl.
Returning to my room in the inn I lived in, I maintained the Copper Sword that I’ve only used to mow grass recently and repaired my traveler’s attire torn from the mountain trek.
My Repair Skill was raised quite high too. It was useful when I fought at the frontier before we departed from the Imperial Capital. In the end, however, as magic could repair the items, it turned into a skill that was completely useless during the subsequent journey.
However, currently I didn’t know any Magic-user acquaintances who knew how to use the Repair magic and it would cost money to repair it at an armory. As I was gathering money to aim for a herb store, it was one of the skills that I had to re-evaluate.
Or rather, as I was currently only using a Copper Sword, the majority of my weapon skills could not be used. Although, in the first place, the effectiveness of Common Weapons Skills doesn’t amount to much …
After completing my equipment maintenance, I took out eggs and potatoes from the food compartment as well as the fruits I brought back from the mountain to make a salad and mashed potatoes for dinner.
Once I was done with that, I washed my body at the washroom and went to bed.
When I was together with Ruti, fights happened every day so our sleeping grounds were either battlefields strewn with dead monsters, dragon nests where evil dragons would swing by so there was a need for sentries with the constant fear of death or hell-like frigid snowy mountains. Now, although small, it was a room with at least a roof and walls.
Once I’ve accumulated enough money, I would build a home combined with a herb store and construct a garden at the back that can grow high demand medicinal herbs.
There won’t be any huge success but there will also not be any life-threatening fights nor any mentally-wearing conspiracies. This was the life that could be found in this place called Zoltan.
This was my second life after being kicked out of the Hero’s party.