I think I've managed to reach an acceptable state at reproducing Mana Blade.
I can use a sword as a conductor no problem, uses up a bit more mana, but yeah.
Though well, wrapping my own body with mana consumes less and controls more stably.
Imaging the mana to move like a chainsaw instead of a vibrating blade raises its power to a remarkable level even though it doesn't cut as cleanly.
Or rather, the cutting may have a bit of lag than the real Skill-based Mana Blade, but my Pseudo Mana Blade slices up meat better.
By this point, it's more Mana Blade Mark 2 than 'Pseudo'. Fufufu. I've finally obtained a proper means to fight monsters.
"...What's up with that reaction...?"
Alma is looking with a slightly twitchy face as I'm feeling content with Mana Blade Mark 2. Don't make that face now.
Mana Blade Mark 2 is invisible unlike the Skill version, so it must look like I'm slowly dicing up foes.
...Yup, gotta look weird to the spectators.
Swept by enthusiasm, I also tried other stuff like shaping my mana into a drill and making it spin to increase penetrative power.
Or turning mana into a stake shape and making it stab the instant it hits target, just like a Pile Bunker.
Drills and Pile Bunkers are men's romance after all.... Wait what am I saying?
"You'd better not use those on people. They'd probably die..."
"No, I won't do that of course. Maybe."
I might do if the other party come for our lives.
I'd do my best to hold back the power. I'm just gonna hope the opportunity never arises.
For now I'm done with my Mana Blade training. I'm probably gonna keep making up new techniques if I don't put a brake.
Next up is Alma's training to learn new techniques.
That said, it's mainly about powering up her Skills using Mana Control.
She's trying that out with offensive magic this time.
Offensive magic is a bit of a special case despite its popularity, the ability each individual learns differs even at Lv1.
There are people who learn Fire Ball like Alma and then others who learn Stone Bullet, an earth elemental spell that shoots out sharp pointed stones.
The number of elements can also differ to each individual, like some can only use fire but in exchange they have a huge repertoire of fire spells.
The classic Fire Ball, creating a wall of fire, shooting out flame javelins in three directions, or a bullet of flame that shoots at high speed to an incredible distance. The higher your level the more varied the types of magic you can use even though you can only use fire element, like highly specializing in one point of strength.
Though it makes them super weak against foes immune to fire, and that's where your friends pitch in.
In contrast, there are also mages who can use multiple elements yet they can only command simple weak spells.
By the way, Alma is the latter. By Offensive Magic Lv4, she can already use Fire, Wind, Water, and Lightning, it's possible she'll learn more too. Just how keen is the god at making this girl a jill of all trades.
Well, now that she has mana control, she can cover that weak point though. Serves you right. My god.
No wait, guess we should be thankful instead. Thank you very much. What's the deal with my skills though!
So she tried to arrange her magic with mana control, for example, she cast a basic fire ball on a goblin.
By simply adding more mana to consume, she can make the fire ball bigger and more powerful.
She can also freely shift the shape, like say, she could shoot out fire balls in not three, but eight directions with her as the focal point.... Huh? Is there even any need to learn Advanced Magic now?
Well I mean, she'd get to use more elements with higher level I guess, but there's no rush to it now.
I'm just happy to see Alma looking so excited arranging her magic to pack them with more power... Wonder if she was stressing out cause she could only use weak spells before...
Ah, she ran out of mana. I hurriedly went to support Alma who fell limp. That was close.
...It's consuming so much more mana than normal spells, guess that's one topic to tackle on in the future. I refilled her mana a bit and went back to our inn.
Dunno how well this impromptu few days training gonna do us, but once we're done let's find some mob monsters to put the result into practice and check the parts that need improvement.
Three days after we ordered new equipment, we went to the store to fetch Alma's new stuff.
We went in the morning. I'm afraid of that old man's wrath if we postpone it.
The store is open, and you can look the inside well from the curtain-drawn window.
The peculiar scent of iron and leather wafted inside the store.
So this would be my third time here, and I still got excited unbecoming of my age whenever I saw all the rows of swords and armor... Guess I'm still a kid at heart.
"We're here to take our orders."
"Ah, young miss. I've got them done here, go put 'em on. Lemme adjust till you think they fit right, just speak the word."
Clack click, she started taking off her chest protector and boots... Ah, hey!
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"Not here! We got a space for changing in the back, go there!"
"...? It's not like I'm taking off my inner clothing anyway."
"Well yea sure, but no. Just, get in the back."
The old man hurriedly stopped Alma from changing here.
Alma moved to a space hidden behind a curtain with a perplexed look on her face.
"...Yer' her companion? You gotta make her aware of that kinda stuff."
"My apologies. She's a bit naive on that kinda thing..."
I mean you know? It's not like she's undressing it all just like Alma said.
But I still think she shouldn't do it in the open being a woman and all. Yup.
All the more for a cute girl like Alma. In fact, some guys watching outside looked disappointed. The hell you lot doing out there dangit.
This might play part in making Alma's mom and dad turn into such doting parents... Nah, those two are just natural at it.
In the meantime, Alma finished changing to her new equipment.
Fumu fumu, the new chest protector and boots have black as the main color, they go pretty well with her hair.
"So how 'bout it, anything feel off?"
"Nope, none at all. I can move around nicely."
"Good to hear. They suit you well."
It's nice look-wise, but how about their stats. Checking out.
Werewolf Leather Protector
...Werewolf leather? Is that made from that Werewolf's mat? Kinda feel weird since we just fought it the other day.
The Gale Boots are about the same as the one I borrowed. Their look and size have been made to fit Alma though. This old man's pretty good with his hands.
"And here's your new sword. Use it well."
"Un, thank you."
I could tell from a glance that the sword the old man gave is on a different level than her old iron sword. It's kinda blink blink too.
...How much is it? Let's check it along with its stats.
Steel Sword (Mithril Blade)
Price: ７００００ En
...Mithril blade? So the base is made of steel and the blade is mithril? Didn't know mithril existed in this world. Wonder if orichalcum too.
It's seven times as expensive as the iron sword I have.
"The total comes in 120000 en. We accept installments if ya can't pay in full."
"No worries, full it is."
...Well, it's a necessary expense. We can afford up to 150000 en, and this much should be appropriate for what we got.
Cheap even considering our lives depend on them.
"Yer' not buyin' anything, lad?"
"Well, I've just bought mine the other day and we're planning to take on weak monsters for the time being, so I'm good."
"Yeah? Well with all the stuff you got this young miss, guess the time's not right eh. But don't ya penny pinch on your equipment when you need 'em, it ain't gonna end well."
"I appreciate your concern."
Now then, we've got our equipment covered however the magic beast forest is still missing beasts, so we've got nowhere to test them out.
What do, hmm.
"I know another place where we can take on magic beasts besides the forest."
"There is this small cave to the south, that's the entrance to a dungeon. We get no reward for exterminating magic beasts there since it won't cause a Stampede even if we don't cull them, but we can obtain good items like mats and stuff."
Hohou. Dungeon is it.
I gotta hear more.