If a catkin looks like a bipedal cat, a tigerkin looks like a man cosplaying with tiger ears.


 If this were a cute girl, it would be a cute experience, but the sight of a short, brown- and white-haired, macho-gorilla, nearly two-meters tall.
A hairy, foreign-looking man with tiger ears and a tail is nothing short of surreal.



“Sit down.
I’ll make you a cup of tea.” (Zeol)


“Huh…” (Nyango)



 It seems that Mr.
Zeol lives alone in the remote room of the village chief’s house.


 In modern Japanese terms, a single kitchen room is tidy for a middle-aged man, but there are a lot of books.



 In this world, the printing press has just become commonplace, and books are still expensive.


 These expensive books are randomly placed on the bedside table, table, chairs, bay window, and other places where Mr.
Zeol can sit and relax.



“Do you like books?” (Nyango)


“Yeah? Oh, it’s surprising, huh?” (Zeol)


“Well, just a little…” (Nyango)



 When I picked up the book on the table, it was a travel diary of a trip to a distant continent.


 Since books are still expensive, he said, most of the contents are not for entertainment but to gather knowledge.




“When I was still actively fighting, I trusted only my own experiences first, and then the stories of trusted colleagues second.
I didn’t think I needed the moldy knowledge that was written in books.” (Zeol)



 As we talked, Mr.
Zeol took out a few tea leaves from one of a number of bottles in a cupboard and put them into a pot.


 Tea in this world is mostly a type of herbal tea, and tea lovers here enjoy blending it themselves.



 My family is poor, and I’ve never tried anything other than plain hot water or cold water, but Grandma Carisa from the apothecary sometimes brews herbal teas for me.


 I was watching Grandma Carisa brew the tea, so I could tell from Mr.
Zeol’s hands that he wasn’t used to it.



 He pours water into the pot with the tea leaves and places it over the stove magic tool.


 Rather than steeping, it would be more correct to describe it as boiling.



 As the water in the pot begins to boil, an aroma begins to waft through the room.


Zeol, took a deep breath, tilted his head, and smiled bitterly.


 Apparently, the aroma was not quite what he had envisioned.



 The liquid poured into the large cup was a murky brown color and looked like a medicinal broth.


 Well, it looked like that, but when I drank it, I was surprised to find that a sharp bitter taste sat on my tongue, and I thought it was nothing more than a medicinal broth.



“Well, it’s not as easy as I thought it would be.” (Zeol)


“Well, why don’t you talk to Grandma Carisa, the apothecary?” (Nyango)


“Huh, the old apothecary…” (Zeol)




“I go her almost every day to sell medicinal herbs, and Grandma Carisa’s tea is delicious.” (Nyango)


“Is that so? I’ve heard good things about her.
I’ll ask her tomorrow as soon as possible.” (Zeol)



Zeol nodded with a smile, then sipped his tea and frowned.



“So, what can I do for you?” (Nyango)


“Oh, that’s right.
You seem to be using some interesting magic.” (Zeol)


“Well, it’s void attribute, so it feels a little different from the common attribute magic.” (Nyango)


“What was that thing earlier? It blocked stones thrown.” (Zeol)


“That was a shield made of solidified air.
I’m practicing it so that I can use it in any moment.” (Nyango)



 Void attribute magic is magic that solidifies the air, so I told him that I was practicing void magic so that I could defend myself.



“Can you demonstrate a little bit of it?” (Zeol)


“Sure.” (Nyango)



 In response to Mr.
Zeol’s request, I used [Shield].


 However, both the strength and thickness are reduced to less than full strength.



“You can’t see it with your eyes, but it’s right here, so please touch it.” (Nyango)


“Oh, this one is surprising, there is indeed some mass present, but it is invisible to the eye.” (Zeol)


“I have a good sense of where the shield is.” (Nyango)


“By the way, can I try punching this thing?” (Zeol)


“Sure, but it’s not strong enough yet, so don’t expect too much.” (Nyango)



 If my ability is somehow recognized here, I’m afraid I’ll be dragged into troublesome things by the villagers, so I lowered the strength even further, so Mr.
Zeol’s punches easily shattered the shield.


 In my heart, I cried, “Tiger-eared Cosplaying Uncle Punch!” I was secretly shouting the name of the technique.



“Hmm, it’s certainly not strong enough, but I think it was stronger when it blocked the stones thrown earlier…” (Zeol)


“Oh… sure, when you put it that way, it feels that way.
I wonder, maybe I sensed danger and I unconsciously was suddenly able to increase its strength?” (Nyango)


“It’s possible.
That means there’s still latent power inside you.” (Zeol)


“Maybe……” (Nyango)



 I thought it would be bad in many ways if I was exposed, so I reduced the strength of [Shield], which almost raised unnecessary suspicions, but somehow, I was able to deceive him successfully.



“I asked you to show me your hand, but if you are going to live as an adventurer, don’t show your hand so easily.” (Zeol)


“You are an adventurer….
can I become one?” (Nyango)


“What are you talking about? Gathering medicinal herbs, catching Forest Mouse, and getting rewards and bounties.
What you’re doing is what adventurers do.” (Zeol)



“Eh… Oh, I see, you mean like a very, very new adventurer.” (Nyango)


Anyone who catches fifteen Forest Mouse a day will eventually be able to take down goblins and orcs alike.” (Zeol)



“But I’m a catkin, so my body won’t grow like Mr.
Zeol, a tigerkin.” (Nyango)


“So what? Wyverns are many times bigger than me.” (Zeol)



 No, no, that may be true, but isn’t that a strange comparison?



“But I can’t even use Body Enhancement magic.” (Nyango)


“Well, I can teach you that.” (Zeol)


“Well… Will I be able to use it?” (Nyango)


“I can’t make any promises, but you can make a shield instantly with void attribute magic, so it should be fine.” (Zeol)


“Really……?” (Nyango)



Zeol nodded while smiling.



“By the way, what’s your name?” (Zeol)


“Nyango.” (Nyango)


“Nyango, when you learn Body Enhancement magic, what’s the first thing you’ll use it for?” (Zeol)


“Of course, to run faster, of course.” (Nyango)


“Ha! Ha! Ha! Good, you’re correct.
Most people want to make their punches stronger or their swords faster, but adventurers are in a work for survival.
You’re right to improve your running.” (Zeol)



Zeol got up from his seat with a big smile on his face, patted me on the shoulder, and praised me.


 It hurts, it hurts, we’re too different in size, go easy on me a little bit, uncle.



 From that day on, Mr.
Zeol started to teach me how to use Body Enhancement magic.


 At first, he will teach me every evening, and once I get used to it, he will teach me once every three days.



“But why are you taking such trouble for me?” (Nyango)


“I had heard that you catch Forest Mouse every day, and I thought it was entertaining when I saw you not taking sh*t from Miguel.” (Zeol)


“It was entertaining…?” (Nyango)


“Yes, it is.
This village is nice but boring.
Everyone is going about their daily lives in silence, following the village traditions.
It’s quiet and peaceful, but sometimes I feel bored because of the lack of change.” (Zeol)


“You’re just using me to escape boredom, huh?” (Nyango)


“Hahahaha, well, that’s what it is.” (Zeol)



 Although he retired from being an adventurer and stayed in a village in the mountains, it seems that he is now bored.


 Well, as for me.
I’m not complaining, I’m just thankful for the opportunity to learn how to use Body Enhancement magic.



“So, let’s get started.
Take out your hands and put them over my hands.” (Zeol)


“Like this…?” (Nyango)




 We sat on chairs facing each other and I laid my palms over Mr.
Zeol’s palms, which were facing up.


 Compared to Mr.
Zeol’s massive baseball-mitt hands, mine is a small, thin cat’s paw.



“Listen, close your eyes and feel the flow of magic…” (Zeol)



 I nodded and closed my eyes, and immediately a change came over me.


 Something entered through the palms of my open hands.



“Don’t fight it, calm your mind and accept it.” (Zeol)


“Kuu…” (Nyango)



 The hairs on my body stood on end at the sensation of something foreign entering my body.


 It took about half an hour for the thing that started eroding my right hand to fill my body and then leave through my left hand.



“Okay, that’s all for today.” (Zeol)


“Thank you very much……” (Nyango)



 As soon as it was over, I felt as if my energy had been drained from my body, and I was drenched in sweat all over.

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