Communication is Important
As of now, the only Spirits Alma can command through her new 'Spirit Magic' Skill are low level earth Spirits.
Apparently once she raise her Skill level by raising its proficiency or entering a contract with other elemental Spirits, she can use other elements as well but for now she's focusing on learning to employ the earth Spirits.
A day after our dungeon delving, we went to our usual training ground where she tried to cast Spirit Magic, but the Spirits were moving more sluggish compared to when the triangle hat commanded them.
<<There are cases where Spirits treat the user lightly and refuse to exert their power, usually it is when they haven't been summoned often enough.>>
...So you're saying they're making fun of her cause she's a new contractee?
<<That understanding is mostly appropriate.>>
Hou, really now.
"P-please do it right. I'll give you a lot of mana."
<Eh~, too much work~.>
<Nope, not nearly enough mana, gimme more.>
<You can go home now~.>
Alma looked troubled as she tried to convince the Spirits. The little gnomes on the other hand, don't seem motivated at all.
By the way, it's not like Alma is being stingy with her mana tender. In fact, she's been giving them more through mana control. Far more than what triangle hat gave at least.
Umu, it's not like they're slaves, I guess it's important to take this slowly as she gains their trust over time.
<Missy, you an item with that old man over there? I say think again.>
<Yep yep, what's so good about an old man like that~.>
<And hey, we're even gonna help find you a better man. So gimme more mana.>
Man, they have no brakes, do they. Maybe a little warning is in order?
...Hm? W-what's with this intimidating pressure from Alma...
A crater three meter wide in diameter was created after that booming sound.
Alma just shot a powered up fireball on the ground.
"...If you have time to chatter on, you have time to do as you're told. Don't think I'll stay gentle forever."
Their sluggish movement vanished like a dream, replaced by a brisk motion per Alma's instruction.
...Perhaps she learned from the time I threatened these Spirits, or those their word got to her nerve, or perhaps it's both.
She's really the daughter of those two, scary when angered...
"Just you know, Hikaru is even scarier when he's mad, try to not badmouth him."
<I asked you to be reasonable...>
"I will if you do your job. You were obviously playing around. Any more complaint?"
<We're seriously sorry!>
She got them to yield through force in the end...
Well, they won't ever learn if they keep making fun of her, guess this is fine.
We ran Spirit Magic through some tests afterward.
Normally, you can only manipulate terrain to a small degree when the Skill level is still low, but by adding more mana, she managed to do stuff like making earth walls and spears emerge out of the ground, or opening up a big pitfall.
If only we had this during the village incident. Feels like we've been acquiring the right abilities only after big incidents.
This magic should be pretty powerful depending on use cases. Good thing she made the contract with Spirits.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
A day later, we're back in the dungeon yet again.
We're slaughtering, I mean defeating magic beasts while looking for treasure chests on floor four.
Umu, the equipment in here are all good stuff. Mine even got a slight upgrade.
Which is from Iron Sword to Steel Sword (ATK+45), and from Safety Shoes to Bladed Boots (ATK+15, DEF+15).
The boots have a mysterious gimmick that makes a blade come out of them when you push a button. Uh, better than nothing.
Alma's equipment have barely changed. At most, she's using the staff dropped by that triangle hat whenever she casts magic now.
Feels like she's been maining magic more these days... I think what makes Paladin good isn't exclusively magic but the ability to wield both.
She has a staff in one hand and a sword in another, so it's not like her focus is slanted to only one type, but aren't those heavy?
At least she puts the staff away when she wields Magic Swords though.
Also our levels have gone up again, I'm at 18 while Alma is at 19.
Almost the same as Rasfin and Baredo during Stampede.
...I believe those two are about 18 year old. Meaning they had three years since coming of age to level up and yet we caught up to them in just two months. How is that possible.
Unlike Heavenly Dragons (lol), those two don't seem to be lacking courage and mettle, you'd think they'd be leveling up at a faster pace.
<<Combat Job people who aspire to be adventurers generally study the basics for a period of time after coming of age and before raising their level. They are drilled on the importance of training Skills and Status before they come of age. Additionally, in majority of cases, people prioritize safety over rapid level ups. There are also those who enlist assistance of powerful people to power level, however as there is a clear gap in practical experience between such cases and people who do it the standard way, this strategy is not recommended.>>
Fumu. But feels like they're still going slow despite all that. They did level up after defeating that Werewolf though.
<<However, the pace at which Kajikawa Hikaru and Almatina are growing is considered unusual relative to the norm.>>
Yeah, I heard that from Neia-san at the guild too. Is it that abnormal?
I mean I'm sure there's plenty of people who keep delving in dungeons to level up like us.
<<As the chance of falling into fatal traps is not zero inside Dungeons even on early floors, only those who are highly confident in their ability make the attempt.>>
Hm, well, I guess the three girls from back then did fall into one such traps. I can see why people would rather do leveling at the relatively safer magic beast territories than risk dying tragically.
...Huh? Then did Alma suggest going into this dungeon because she believed we'd be fine? Isn't she being a bit too reckless. A bit late after almost a month though.
Well, in hindsight, we did level up a lot so quickly, so all is well. Yup.
Oh, found the portal.
We've gone around this floor and all, time to make our return. Still got 80% of our MP left, gonna use it in training.
"Well that's our portal, let's go home for today. I know we can still keep going, but there's no harm in being prudent."
"Got it. Let's go back."
Then, just as we were about to step in the portal, a menu display popped up in front of me all of a sudden.
<<Warning: This is not an Escape Portal.>>
<<It's a teleportation magic circle disguised as an Escape Portal. It is likely a trap.>>
W-whoa! Just narrowly avoided stepping on it!
"This thing is not an Escape Portal, it's a teleport trap. Apparently you'd be warped somewhere if you step on it."
"R-really? ...It almost got us."
"Let's go look for the real one, there are areas we haven't explored yet."
"Un... Traps like this are what make dungeons so terrifying, more than the magic beasts but we don't need to worry about them with Hikaru around. It's so, reassuring. Thank you."
"You can tell that to Menu. I know nothing about detecting traps myself."
"E-err... Thank you, Menu?"
Hear that, she said thanks, Menu-san.
<<The safety of Kajikawa Hikaru as well as his companions is this Menu Feature's raison d'etre. No thanks necessary.>>
Is it being a Tsundere? No, a Kudere?
Wonder if Menu-san is gonna have a personality on its own if we keep talking to each other like this.
<<Unlike the present day Hero, Kajikawa Hikaru's Menu Feature has not been installed with an artificial personality.>>
Hwat, the hero's got a Menu too? So it wasn't only me.
No wait, guess it's the other way around, I've been using a feature intended for heroes. What was it again, anyone coming from another world automatically gets it or something.
<<...For your information, the present day Hero is at his wit's end having to deal with the installed artificial personality.>>
...I'm so glad it's the Menu-san I've got, from the bottom of my heart.