CHAPTER 8: ESCAPE IS THE WAY TO WIN
It seems that a person with high magical power is not someone who has a large amount of magic element stored in his/her body, but someone who can take in and circulate a large amount of magic element in his/her body.
The thickness of the magic veins that circulate the magic element and the efficiency of taking in magic element is said to be important.
I don’t know the details of how I take in magic element into my body, but it is probably similar to the cardiopulmonary system.
The people who are scouted by the Knight Order during the “Nest Leaving Ceremony” are those who are born with the ability to take in and circulate a large amount of magic element.
It is said that the height of one’s magical power will increase as one continues to use magic and that during the period of physical growth, one will also grow in terms of magical power.
That is why I continue to use magic.
Incidentally, running out of magical power does not mean that the magic element in the body is depleted, but rather that the stamina to continue to invoke magic has run out.
No matter how big magic may be at a moment’s notice, it cannot be used in a real battle if the stamina runs out after a single shot.
It seems that there are other ways to increase magical power other than training with magic.
The almost superstitious method I learned from Grandma Carisa at the apothecary is to eat the raw heart of a monster just after defeating it.
Unlike people, monsters are said to strengthen their bodies by circulating the magic element they have stored in the form of magical stones in their bloodstream.
The heart of a monster is very close to the magic stone and is responsible for pumping blood containing a large amount of magic element throughout the body.
For that reason, the monster’s heart seems to contain a large amount of magic element.
By eating the heart of a monster, a large amount of magic element is rapidly absorbed into the body, and the ability to circulate magic element is said to be enhanced, but Grandma Carisa warns against doing it.
Eating monster meat raw is taboo in the Church of Fatima.
Eating monster meat is not uncommon, but it is said that the blood must be drained and the meat must be completely cooked.
From my point of view, as a reincarnated person from Japan, it feels like the church’s plan is more on preventing parasites from being taken into the body.
If you want to increase your magical power even if you are prepared for the risk of parasites, you should do so at your own risk.
I’d like to give it a try, but the bottom line is that I don’t think I can defeat monsters.
For a catkin with an inferior physique, even a small goblin is a dangerous monster.
About two years ago, I started going into the mountains alone to gather medicinal herbs.
When I go into the mountains, I have to be careful to watch out for wild animals as well as monsters, but I was attacked by a goblin once.
On that day, as I was walking through the mountains gathering medicinal herbs, I came across three goblins.
Fortunately, I was downwind of the goblins and noticed their presence before they noticed me, so I decided to climb a tree to get away from them.
The goblins showed no sign of noticing and walked toward the tree I was climbing, cackling at each other.
Just when I thought they were going to pass by, one of the goblins stopped and started sniffing around.
“Gah, gah gah!” (Goblin)
Two other goblins crawled on the ground and started sniffing, too, until they came to the base of the tree I was climbing.
Apparently, they smelled my scent.
“Gii, Gigya!” (Goblin)
I was hiding by pressing myself against the trunk when a goblin started to climb up the tree and so, I began to flee.
Fortunately, the surrounding area was a dense forest, and I could use my catkin’s physical abilities to escape by leaping from branch to branch.
“Are you kidding me…” (Nayngo)
I thought I would be able to shake it off easily, but the goblin that climbed up the tree followed me straight along the branches, and the other two also followed me from the ground looking up at the treetops.
The goblin was heavier than me and its branches were more bent, but it was still chasing me at a speed comparable to mine.
I was running from the tree ahead of the one I was jumping from, but the goblin was completely using its superior strength.
On top of that, the two goblins on the ground are trying to surround me, working in tandem so they don’t lose sight of me.
A catkin’s body is flexible and quick-footed, but when it comes to endurance, there is a question to be answered.
At this rate, I might run out of stamina and fall prey to the goblins.
However, when I enter the mountains, I am very careful not to encounter monsters, and I have not neglected to take countermeasures when I do encounter them.
I headed for the stream, changing course to avoid being surrounded by the goblins.
The nearby stream flows vigorously down a sheer cliff.
If they fell in, they would be swept down rapids of sharp rocks, drowning at worst, and even if they were lucky, they could not avoid severe bruises.
“Gah, gigah!” (Goblin)
The goblin, perhaps realizing that we were approaching the stream, increased its speed with a sharp cry and began to close the distance between us.
We were only about 10 meters away now.
To break through the goblin’s encirclement, I jumped down from the branch, changing direction rapidly.
Weaving my way through the shrubbery, I ran through the forest, down the slope along the stream, and into a large rocky crevice.
The gap in the rock was just wide enough for me to get through, but not for the goblins.
This rock, arbitrarily named Folding Screen Rock, looks like a folding screen stuck in the slope, and the top of the vertical cliff is an overhang, making it difficult to climb over. [T/N: 屏風 “byoubu” or folding screen and 屏風岩 “byoubuiwa” or sheer cliff.]
Moreover, the rock juts out into the stream, so the only way to get around it is to climb along the vertical rock face, which is wet with water splashes.
The only way to get safely downstream was to go back along the stream and make a large detour.
After losing the goblins, I followed the stream back to the village and finally released my wariness.
The monsters and beasts were aware of the danger of being hunted down and rarely came out to the village.
If I had not found a place like Folding Screen Rock, I would have become goblin food.
The mountain to the north of the village is Folding Screen Rock, the mountain to the east is the Azalea Tunnel to Ibouro, and the mountain to the west is like a charcoal hut, so I have a number of places to escape to.
Since then, I have grown a little bigger and am able to use magic, but I am not yet confident that I can defeat a goblin by myself.
The more I practice, the better I get at using void magic, but it has a fatal flaw: it can’t be used as a weapon.
The air is too light to be used as a weapon.
Even if you try slashing a tree trunk with air solidified into the shape of a sword, you won’t get a deep cut.
The sword itself is light, and my own weight is also light, so the slash is inevitably light.
I don’t think I can cut through hard skin and muscle and inflict a fatal wound.
If I were to use a spear to thrust, I would be able to inflict a deeper blow than with a sword, but I would not be able to finish one off unless I could accurately aim at a vital spot.
Goblins also tend to work in packs.
Three goblins are still a small number, and it is not unusual for a goblin pack to consist of ten or more.
It would be insane to deal with multiple goblins when it was doubtful that even one could be defeated.
If you can’t beat them, you have to figure out how to escape.
What I am working on now is further improvement of [Step].
[Step] started out as smooth boards, but the surface was made rough to improve the grip.
I also revised the surface material to add cushioning and resilience like that of a track field
With the revised material, the fear of slipping is almost eliminated, and I have begun training for precise placement.
At first, I would place a [Step], aim for it, step out, and when I landed, I would make the next [Step].
The next step was to use [Step] while stepping out and gradually increase the speed.
Since [Step] could be used even when walking normally, the practice could be done anywhere.
Thanks to the practice, I was able to handle running at full speed on two feet.
I also mastered setting up [Step] in a sloped position so that I could smoothly change direction on a sharp turn.
Now I am practicing the use of [Step] in the fastest form of Catkins, the four-legged sprint.
Well, once I have mastered running at full speed on two legs, I am on track to be able to escape from goblins when I encounter them.
After all, if I use [Step] to get up to about 10 meters off the ground, the goblins will be unable to catch up or touch me.
The four-legged sprint is a training exercise in case I encounter more powerful monsters in the future.
Once I have mastered this, I will not be caught unless they are flying monsters.
However, while running away is a good thing, the issue of improving my offensive ability remains.
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