Chapter 4: Mountain and Flames
This time I did not intend to stay in the mountains for long.
I only filled my water bag with water and hung my copper sword on my waist before leaving town.
I looked around after I ran into the outskirts.
“Now then, there’s nobody looking.”
I wondered when was the last time I ran seriously?
“Swift Mastery: Lightning Feet; Endurance Mastery: Fatigue Immunity.”
Even though they were common skills, once I raised the skill level up to level 11, the acquired master ability was strong in its own way. But there was rarely anybody who trained common skills to that extent so it was not well known.
Lightning Feet increased my movement speed by ten times such that when sprinting, my opponents would only be able to see a vague shadow of my figure.
Fatigue Immunity removed the feeling of tiredness. No matter if I stayed up all night or performed hard labor, I could run at full strength for the whole day. However, I would still be influenced by everything else apart from fatigue, so it was not like I could spend days on end without sleep as sleep was necessary by nature but the usefulness was undeniable.
I gathered strength into my legs and stepped one step forward. Followed by another step, and another step.
My body steadily accelerated and the surrounding scenery became a green blur that passed me by.
I am capable of running 1 km in 15 seconds when I reach my greatest speed. When converted to speed, it is approximately 240km/h. I would be able to run even faster with the support of magic but that was my limit when relying on my own strength.
That speed was equivalent to the flight speed of an Adult Dragon more than a 100 years old.
I continued running towards the mountain as night consumed the last light from the setting sun.
It took me about 30 minutes to reach the mountains.
Even though the road was worn-down, it was still possible to sprint at full speed but I wasn’t able to do so in the lush mountain.
I had to continue at regular speed from that point on.
I took out my map and considered which route to take.
I didn’t want to waste unnecessary time but I wished to avoid the possible routes that Albert and his party would take.
In that case, the route overgrown with trees should be fine. That route was exposed to sunlight even though it was within the mountain and based on Albert’s nature which dislikes strong sunlight, he would likely avoid that route as long as no special circumstances arose.
And naturally, Albert’s party would also put off that route.
Since the route had been set, all that was left was to proceed.
By the time I noticed the smell, I felt panic for the first time in a long time as I clenched my teeth and ran.
The location where Bloodneedles grew en masse was wrapped in flames.
My hearing, enhanced by skill, picked up the angry shouts of Albert’s party in battle.
“Those guys actually used Fire Magic!”
Albert and his party used Flame Magic when fighting the Owl Bear.
Flame Magic has strong offensive power and it was certainly an established tactic to use it against resilient large size monsters like the Owl Bear.
However, the coniferous trees that the Bloodneedles parasitize on are suitable for firewood. They burn easily.
Furthermore, during this spring season with strong winds, it was dangerous to use Fire Magic in the middle of the mountain.
If the person standing there wasn’t me but Ruti or Ares or even anybody from the party, they could probably stop the fire and prevent a fire from spreading by using their inherent skills or magic.
But I couldn’t do anything. I do not possess a single skill that could eliminate the spread of the fire.
“Shit! Damn it!!”
The only thing I could do in that situation was to harvest as many Bloodneedles as possible.
Although the season for Goblin Fever was ending, we were entering the season for life-threatening airborne illnesses like the White Eye Disease, the Red Tongue Disease, and the Trembling Fever. Bloodneedle was an indispensable medicinal herb in Zoltan during the summer.
And they were being incinerated.
That location was the only location which satisfied the needs of the Bloodneedle to grow. They only grew in that area of the mountain.
I ran through the flames and smoke to harvest Bloodneedle.
The smoke burnt my throat and the heat burnt my lungs.
Fatigue tolerance was ineffective against smoke as the oxygen deficiency and burns taxed my body.
But I could still move. The only benefit of my Divine Protection was to give me a high level.
Even if I didn’t have unique skills, I still had the ability to take a beating corresponding to my level. That was why I could still tolerate it.
Nevertheless, I had my limits.
Surrounded by flames, breathing became impossible and I began to suffocate.
The lack of oxygen made my head heavy and dulled my five senses.
I heard a rustling sound.
An injured Owl Bear stood in front of my eyes.
That damned Albert, looks like he fled.
The frenzied Owl Bear, due to its injuries, relied on its fighting instinct and raised both its claws.
I placed my hand on the handle of my Copper Sword.
The heated handle made sizzling sounds as it burnt my palm.
The Owl Bear roared.
It swung both its claws down at me.
I drew my Copper Sword and slashed it from its flank up to its shoulder.
“Albert-san, this way!”
Relying on the tracking ability of his party member with the Thief Divine Protection, Albert and his party arrived at the Owl Bear that fell within the flames.
They had been magically granted heat and environmental tolerance. The smoke and heat would not damage them.
“Looks like it used up all its strength here. We’ve done it!”
Nevertheless, the Thief didn’t approach the Owl Bear. If, by any chance, it was still alive, he would be torn apart.
Even Albert was only able to endure an attack from the Owl Bear but he fainted in the process so the Thief could imagine his instantaneous death if that happened.
Even though he was still wounded, Albert had recovered 80% from Healing Magic and he approached the Owl Bear to cut off its front paw.
That would become proof of the subjugation.
“We’ve done it!”
” … This wound.”
“No, it’s nothing. Let’s leave before the magic effect wears out.”
“Yeah, even with magic resistance, it’s still hot and stuffy.”
A woman with the Divine Protection of a Monk raised her eyebrows when she heard the complaints of the Thief.
“There’s no helping it, this is a hostile environment which humans cannot withstand. Be grateful that you only feel this degree of pain.”
“I know, it’s a lot better than dying.”
The resistance-conferring magic was only effective for ten minutes. Even Albert and his party would collapse if that magic wore out inside this fire.
Albert and his party quickly ran from the fire.