Chapter 24: The role of the Hero
“Give me all the gray starfish medicine you have!”
“Sorry, I am getting orders from the other clinics as well so if you are fine with just 30 doses.”
“Ooo, you have so much stock, that saves me. The other apothecaries had all sold out.”
Doctor Christopher who opened his clinic in the residential area of the congress street gladly bought the medicine.
Two months after Johnson’s drug overdose, patients were being carried to hospitals every day and the gray starfish medicine used for emergency treatment was selling like hotcakes.
“Lit, please take care of the shop in the afternoon. I will go prepare the medicine.”
“All right. The situation is awful.”
“Yeah, this is poisoning beyond that of an analgesic drug.”
The analgesic drug was certainly terrifying but the disability slowly eroded the body. The goal of the analgesic drug was to experience euphoria and a sense of release so even if the users developed heavy dependency and harmed their bodies, there would not be a large number of serious patients coming in a couple of months.
“Why do they use such a dangerous drug? Is it that addictive?”
I had no idea. The doctors asked the patients but they only repeatedly replied that they could become a new person so the findings were inconclusive.
“That Thief which was Albert’s companion also used that analgesic drug.”
So that drug was the cause of that tragedy.
“Isn’t that analgesic drug dangerous?”
“Even the Congress that wanted to implement phases to prohibit it at the start have thrown away their reluctance to lose face and have started conducting raids. The person-in-charge, Dan, has probably been fired too.”
Poor man. I guess I should give him some gastric medicine after all.
“However, the characteristics are still unknown and they still couldn’t analyze the new drug even after inviting people with Advanced Compounding skill. It looks really possible that it is a Wild Elf drug.”
The number of people with greater skill than that, people with Expert Compounding skill, could probably be counted with a single hand in this continent. The only person I was directly acquainted with was the High Elf who came to the silver town Muzari to look for mithril, Witch Empress 「Baba Yaga of Winter」. Baba Yaga was a legendary figure with the Divine Protection of the Winter Queen that only two people in history among the Witch System have ever recorded to have.
Production skills like compounding which has no direct influence in combat have slightly lower value. Only people like Baba Yaga who are over level 60 have large amounts of skill points to spend on such skills.
“It is essentially impossible to investigate it with skills.”
“Are there no other methods to analyze it apart from the Compounding skill?”
“Hn, that’s a little difficult. Although it might be possible if the materials used was known.”
There’s also the option of investigating the properties of the materials and piecing together the knowledge from there.
But there is an overwhelming number of uncommon materials. There isn’t anybody who would take the effort to investigate using knowledge if it could be understood by just using a skill.
“Looks like I will have to harvest medicinal herbs again.”
The Adventurers Guild has released the gathering request for gray starfish grass but the location where it grows in abundance was a chimera breeding ground so only people around my level can step foot there to harvest. If they have the ability to defeat a chimera, the price of their work has somewhat risen so they won’t even look at medicinal grass harvest requests.
I don’t intend to be an adventurer but I will do as much as possible for the apothecary.
“Er, Albert-san, are we really doing this?”
“What are you talking about after we’ve come this far.”
Albert sent a cold gaze after hearing the female Monk mutter.
However, their companion the Earth Magician, the Warrior and the newly-joined Thief also had the same uneasy expression as the female Monk.
“Why are we in such a place?”
The Warrior muttered quietly.
Albert stifled his urge to shout and motioned his companions to follow.
Albert’s party was in a cave along the shore to the south of Zoltan.
Monsters called a Giant Scrag with a beast-like face, rough blue skin and 4-meter stature lived there.
The Scrag was a type of Giant Troll and were also called the Marine Troll.
It depended on the growth of their Divine Protection but most Scrags were about level 9. Compared to the cruel trolls, Scrags don’t necessarily attack indiscriminately but …
“Even though they have such unpleasant faces, those Scrags treasure their own tribal children very much. To the extent that they won’t let a single one starve to death.”
Explained the Earth Magician.
The Scrags do fish on their own but they obtain anything else through pillaging. The Scrags who come from the sea would make settlements and they will normally not pose a problem but children will be born once the breeding season is over and they will attack surrounding settlements to gather food and resources.
If that repeats itself every year, their numbers will increase and a Scrag ‘kingdom’ will be made.
“That’s why we will exterminate them before they enter the breeding season.”
“But something like this should be the job for C-rank parties right?”
The Scrags possess regenerative abilities that can even reconnect torn arms if the limbs were held in place but they are weak to fire. With just a single shot of the classic Fireball which all individuals with magic-using Divine Protection learn as their very first spell when they reach level four, the majority of the Scrags would be incapacitated while the survivors would lose their regenerative abilities.
If one had companions with Divine Protection that can use Fireball, the Scrags were not foes to be frightened of as long as they retained enough magical power to cast Fireball.
Even if they don’t have Fireball, there are other spells that they can use from Divine Protection level 1 such as Firebolt which shoots out a fire arrow or Burning Hands which releases a small breath-like jet of flames from the palm.
The fire spells are excellent for attacking and they can deal stronger attacks from a lower level compared to water or earth spells.
The fact that fire was their weak point was the main element that lowered the threat level of the monster.
“I have my hands full from handling all the abandoned request because of the idling adventurers during summer. The danger is low as long as the Scrags have not entered breeding season so probably nobody would accept the request.”
Furthermore, it was actually more lucrative to defeat the Scrags after they start plundering. Since the plundered items would become important sources of income for the adventurers.
“That’s why we have to do it. Those with power have the duty to use it. Know that it is a sin the longer you keep your sword sheathed.”
Albert’s companions were verbally praising and complimenting him but their eyes clearly had looks of contempt.
You should do it yourself!
Albert shook his head slightly.
Albert’s Divine Protection was 『The Champion』. Divine Protection level 24. That Divine Protection was a hero’s Divine Protection to overcome difficulties and achieve great feats. It was one of the superior Divine Protections in the warrior class and its corresponding impulse was to display their power to the world and perform feats that will leave their names in history.
Compared to his great ambitions, his companions had ordinary Divine Protection and little ambitions. That was why Albert was exasperated. Albert could not utilize such a mighty Divine Protection on his own and could only follow the flow to Zoltan.
“It’s about time we set out.”
Albert drew his sword.
“E-erm, that sword?”
The Monk looked at the strangely-shaped sword Albert held.
The blade was thick and seemed weighty. The guard was small and it seemed easy to have your fingers sliced off.
A characteristic that was even more unique was the round tip which made it impossible to thrust with.
That was a sword that an executioner would use.
“My previous sword broke and I thought I wouldn’t be able to get a magic sword of that grade so easily but I got this off a peddler for a bargain so I was saved.”
That sword fraught with rust contrasted against Albert’s shining armor that was as good as new.
“There’s no inscription. But the cutting edge is extraordinary. I named it ‘Vorpal‧Blade (Beheading blade)’.”
The Monk used the spell ‘Detect Magic’ to visualize magical power.
She was instantly overwhelmed by a staggering aura and she inadvertently fell backward.
“Sorry, I should have explained earlier. I don’t know who made it but this is a masterpiece made by a person with legendary weapon crafting skills. Swords that can surpass this weapon would probably only be the ‘Demon Slaying Holy Sword’ held by the Hero Ruti. Just the magic aura alone would knock out somebody with superficial levels.”
“A-a peddler had something like that?”
The Monk asked while still seated.
Albert showed a friendly smile and offered his hand.
“I was lucky.”
Since he said that, the Monk didn’t have any words to reply with.
Albert’s party had already conquered the majority of the Scrag’s nest.
Only the last room remained.
It was a cave so there wasn’t even a door as Albert and his party stepped into the room.
The Monk unconsciously said that when she saw the scene.
There were three Scrags. Judging from their sagging breasts, they were all female.
However, two of the Scrags were seated in a defensive posture and the remaining Scrag’s appearance overwhelmed the Monk.
The belly of that Scrag was greatly swollen.
In an instant, the Monk’s exhilaration from battle and the impulse from her Divine Protection have completely blown away. Her ethics and more importantly, her identity as a woman sympathized with how the Scrags were pressed against a corner but still showed intent to fight back.
The Monk took a step backward. Her thoughts were paralyzed and she had trouble breathing.
“So she is already pregnant. It was the correct choice to address this as soon as possible.”
Albert said without emotion. He sent a straight cut that easily cut through the two Scrags protecting their brethren’s child.
The last remaining Scrag raised a battle roar for her dead companions and in order for her child to survive. It was a roar that made one think it would tear her throat.
Albert snorted and mowed down the Scrag mother who fought to her last claw.
That single strike was exceedingly light and two lives were snatched away all too easily.
The battle had ended.
He realized that tears flowed from the Monk’s eyes.
“Are you all right?”
Albert cared for the Monk with a gentle voice. The hand that slaughtered the Scrag mother was placed on the shoulder of the Monk to comfort her.
“Why … ”
The Monk was unable to think rationally and said whatever was on her mind. She could not stop herself.
“Those women were only trying to care for their children! We are the same too, no, they might even be much nobler compared to us!”
“There’s no such thing, those were monsters.”
“For example … can’t we form a relationship where we provide them with food and they defeat the surrounding monsters in exchange!”
Albert smiled kindly and showed an expression like an adult admonishing a child who could not understand the reason.
“Our Divine Blessings do not wish for that.”
Yes, that’s right … this world was filled with battles.
The next chapter will be the Hero’s side!