Chapter 111: Aspect of Wolf
Lit’s blue eyes that could reflect the sky traced the ground.
Even though Mistome-shi’s footsteps had already been stepped on by the pedestrians who used the road, Lit tracked them without hesitation.
With the aid of the Spirit Magic Hunter Insight and Aspect of the Wolf, Lit could clearly see the traces which I couldn’t see.
The ‘Hunter Insight’ is a spell that heightens perceptual ability by increasing concentration toward noticing fine details.
As for ‘Aspect of the Wolf’, the user takes on the aspect of a wolf such that they can gain various perceptual abilities of the wolf that allows them to keep track of their prey.
The Aspect spells belong to the category of spells called Transformation spells. They are spells that grant a portion of the target’s ability by taking on their features. Within transformation spells, there are four types, Power, Aspect, Form, and Shape.
Power are spells to acquire a portion of the physical ability of the transformation target and does not alter the appearance of the caster at all. They are spells that purely enhance muscle strength. For example, ‘Power of the Wolf’ would add the muscle strength of a wolf and their agility to the user’s own ability.
In contrast, the spells from Aspect onward would transform the user’s appearance into the target. ‘Form of the Wolf’ would cause the user to appear as a bipedal wolf, a mix between human and wolf. ‘Shape of the Wolf’ would completely change the user’s appearance to that of a wolf.
In that case, ‘Aspect of the Wolf’ would …
Walking in front of us, a slowly swaying wolf’s tail peeked out from under Lit’s skirt. Wolf’s ears were propped up above her head.
With Aspect spells, certain aspects of the target would appear as such.
It was somewhat … cute. I felt like stroking her head for no reason.
Lit turned around as though she noticed my gaze. As expected of the senses of a wolf. I shook my hand to indicate nothing was wrong and averted my gaze from Lit while feeling a little embarrassed.
“Lit is amazing.”
Ruti seemed impressed. Now that I think about it, Ares was bad with transformation magic so he totally did not use them. Yarandorara could only use spells that controlled plants so she could not use them and Convent Magic only have Power transformation magic so Theodora could not use them either. And in addition to not being able to use transformation magic, Ruti had complete resistance toward transformation magic.
『Hero』 is humanity’s strongest divine protection but it was not omnipotent apart from its combat ability. Nevertheless, it performed above average for all aspects but Lit was still better in terms of tracking.
Currently, Lit, Ruti, Tise and I were tracking Mistome-shi’s footsteps. Ruti and Tise seemed to have heard about Mistome-shi and party’s story so they quickly joined in to search for them.
It seemed that the investigation on Ruti’s side was already complete and all they had to do was wait for the reply from the Veronia church which they had sent a letter to directly hear from the Veronia side’s point of view.
And so, Ruti and Tise joined us in our search for Mistome-shi and party.
That night, after Mistome-shi went to the Adventurers Guild, they went to Garadin’s house for the night.
Early in the morning the next day, they went to the church where Bishop Cien was and a few hours later they left the town on horses.
“That was the day Veronia’s warship came.”
She was right. When that ship came, Mistome-shi and party left Zoltan temporarily.
“They could all be counted as central figures in Zoltan. Why would they party up and leave Zoltan?”
“Neither Garadin, Moen or Bishop Cien lack a sense of responsibility. They also love Zoltan as their home country.”
“Nevertheless, their actions seem irresponsible.”
“In other words, they were convinced that Veronia did not come to harm Zoltan.”
I could understand their actions if that was the case. From the Devil’s divine protection incident, I could tell Moen’s love toward his family and Garadin’s anger toward Albert and company who disturbed Zoltan’s peace and those feelings were not superficial.
“They knew that there would not be any problems even if they left Zoltan.”
Lit nodded, convinced by our interpretation of their actions.
We left Zoltan and the foot trail continued from the grassy highway to the forest. The path was well-traveled but it was a muddy road in poor condition that would stain the traveler’s shoes.
It appeared to be a path that was difficult to travel via carriage.
“The footprints have been preserved so clearly.”
Even I could clearly see them.
There was evidence of horses traveling through the muddy road several times recently.
“But the forest huh, I have not been here before.”
It was around two hours on foot to the northwest of Zoltan.
Perhaps because there were insufficient nutrients in the wetland found here, the trees were thin and bent. That gave the forest an eerie appearance so Zoltan’s resident spread rumors that human eating monsters such as hags lurked in the forest.
“In the first place, nobody has ever seen a hag. It is more like a catchphrase used when scolding children. That if they don’t behave, the forest hag would kidnap and drag them away.”
“We have that in Logavia as well. I was not told it before but the ghosts of the Wood-Elves from the Forest of Deception would kidnap and drag you into a cold and dark hole.”
“In my village as well, they would tell children that ogres would descend from the mountain and munch on them.”
“Eh, so it is the same everywhere.”
The wolf ears on Lit’s head twitched.
“I hear something.”
“Yup, I hear it too.”
Ruti drew her sword as well. Tise held her throwing knife and I placed my hand on my sword handle.
A fog suddenly rolled in. I saw a human shadow running over from the other side of the white fog.
It was a person dressed in a robe … the figure of Sage Ares.
Ares glared at me with hatred and pointed both arms at me. Both his arms fell off and blood gushed out from them.
I drew my sword without hesitation and slashed in front of me.
Green mucus splashed onto the sword and adhered to it. The Ares figure distorted like a damaged sketch and the sudden fog quickly fled.
“It was a Horror Fog.”
Lit seemed a little surprised. That was a monster with a gaseous body that projects an illusion which provokes the fear of its opponent and it feeds off its opponent’s mental power and magical power.
Since the illusion can’t tailor itself to the situation, it wasn’t terrifying as long as you keep calm. As it does not have any means to attack physically and it would take time for it to kill its opponent, its danger level was low. However, dealing with a gaseous body was difficult. The easiest way would be to douse it with fire.
Well, all four members present could naturally ‘Cut the particles that make up the fog’ so there were no issues.
“That seemed to have been somebody’s pet.”
Tise and Ruti did not immediately attack because they felt that the Horror Fog was something like a watchdog. Lit did not know about the existence of a Horror Fog so it was reasonable that she failed to notice it.
“It probably belongs to Mistome-shi or somebody with Mistome-shi. It smells like Mistome-shi.”
However, even though she did not know about the monster called a Horror Fog, Lit’s olfactory senses acquired through her Aspect of the Wolf allowed her to sense the minute smell that was left behind by the living fog. Mistome-shi was in the forest.
In that case,
“I held back as much as I could. It shouldn’t be life-threatening. We will finally be able to meet Mistome-shi if we chase after it.
The puddles of green mucus continued into the forest. That was the blood of the Horror Fog from its wound.
“In that case, I don’t need this spell anymore.”
Lit concentrated to dispel her spell.
I couldn’t resist myself, yup.
I walked over to Lit while pretending to be calm.
“Ah, we were able to track them thanks to Lit. Thank you.”
With that pretense, I stroked the area behind the wolf ears on Lit’s head while taking care not to mess up Lit’s hair. They were soft and fluffy after all. It felt nice.
Lit’s eyes were round in shock for an instant before she quickly accepted it and she faced down in embarrassment. She didn’t seem to dislike it as far as I could tell by her strongly wagging tail.
I’m glad. But the inside of her skirt was about to show so I decided to not do it again when they were others around.
In the end, we proceeded onward without Lit canceling her spell.
Lit walked next to me and her tail was wagging with joy.