Chapter 0006 Assassin Hawk
The 21st day after coming to 『Phi』.
Ryo was hunting outside the barrier.
His target was a Lesser Rabbit.
A monster that resembles a rabbit.
It would hop unpredictable to close in on the target before biting their throats.
That was the Lesser Rabbit’s movement pattern.
Ryo’s aim was the moment the Lesser Rabbit hops.
At that instant, he shot Water Jets concurrently from the left and right side at its hind legs.
It was not powerful enough to pierce the legs but it would lose its balance when it lands and he could prevent its next jump.
Then, while approaching it, he would aim the Water Jets at both its eyes.
If he could do so, he would then pierce it with his knife-tip bamboo spear and end its life.
Ryo finally established a safe way of hunting. Against Lesser Rabbits.
His other foe was the Lesser Boar that he encountered the first time he left the barrier.
From then, he encountered Lesser Boars countless times but this method did not work against them.
The reason was simple.
It was possible to snipe the exposed hind legs of the Lesser Rabbits when they are jumping but the hind legs of the Lesser Boars couldn’t be sniped at when they are charging forward.
In that case, he could aim for the front legs with Water Jet but they could apparently use their hind legs to leap forward for the last 3 meters.
He was able to leap to the side at the last moment but it revived the nightmare of his first encounter with the Lesser Boars.
After that, it was a bitter memory where he finally calmed down after shooting Water Jets frantically at its legs, eyes, and everything he could see.
From then on, he reverted to the original hunting method of Ice Bahn + Icicle Lance and dealing the final strike with his knife-tip bamboo spear.
That method was the most suitable because the Lesser Boar would always charge in a straight line forward.
In any case, it was now relatively safe to hunt the Lesser Rabbits and Lesser Boars that appear around the house.
Lately, Ryo’s schedule was he would hunt outside the barrier in the morning and practice magic inside the barrier in the afternoon.
He still could not launch the Icicle Lance and Water Jet was still not powerful enough to penetrate the target.
Nevertheless, the hunting success from every day planted a seed of peacefulness in Ryo’s heart.
“Peace is the platform for the next step. By Mihara Ryo.”
The next step was of course the enrichment of his food.
That food enrichment referred to his aim to obtain fruits and seasoning other than salt.
In general, clothing, food, and housing were the fundamentals of life.
Among them, ‘housing’ was the home and barrier prepared by Michael (pseudonym) and was rock solid.
Then, ‘clothing’ … he was no longer wearing the clothes he had when he transferred to 『Phi』. He kept those in a safe place. In frozen storage.
Currently, Ryo was wearing … tanned leather from Lesser Boar skin.
Right, Ryo was performing tanning!
As it was amateur work and he had only seen it on blogs and videos on Earth, the result was quite mediocre but …
First, he peeled the skin of the Lesser Boar.
Then, he washed the peeled fur carefully. Wash. Wash.
He was living up to his worth as a water attribute magician.
After washing and drying, he stripped off the meat and fat on the inside of the skin.
In the case of the Lesser Boar, he could peel them off piece by piece by hand.
All that remained would be the dermis or the part called collagen. All that was left was ‘tanning’ by allowing the tanning agent to bind and stabilize the material but … the problem was that ‘tannin agent’.
On Earth, the mainstream tanning agent was called Chromium … of course, he didn’t have it. He didn’t even know how to make it.
The other mainstream agent was tannin … it was the astringent component of wine and was derived from plants but he didn’t know what kind of plants he can get it from.
In the first place, ‘tanning’ was written as ‘tanning’.
‘To soften the leather’
That was the essence of tanning.
In that case, what would happen if it was not done?
It would rot and dry and turn hard.
Rotting and hard clothes … wasn’t something he wanted.
To prevent that, the skin is preserved in Chromium and tannin.
Right, basically ‘tanning’ was ‘preserving’ the skin but … Ryo knew.
There was a method to preserve without tanning.
Smoke tanning … he saw a video on it before.
That said, he only recalled them burning some leaves to produce smoke but he couldn’t remember what leaves they were.
Well, any plant-derived smoke would work, yeap.
In addition to the usual firewood, he gathered lush leaves from the surrounding trees.
Then, he made a fire. Igniting a fire was now his forte.
He kept the fire from getting too strong by putting lush leaves and green grass into the fire to generate a large amount of smoke.
For example, smoke from ‘smoking’ would normally be from the burning of sakura chips or some other kind of wood but this was an expression of Ryo’s sloppiness where he felt that any plant-derived smoke might work the same.
If he did it in a residential area, he would definitely receive complaints.
Lately, in Japan, there have been cases where policemen went down to fields to jot down names … it has become a difficult world.
That said, on 『Phi』, nobody was living around Ryo’s home … probably.
The skin of the Lesser Boar was hung on a bamboo construct like a drying futon.
He tried smoking for half a day.
The next day, the smoke tanned Lesser Boar skin … no, it could be called ‘leather’.
He first washed that leather.
Smoke tanning wasn’t intended to allow the odor of smoke to seep into the leather.
After washing the leather, he finally spread it thinly and evenly with an <Ice Roller>.
Right, this was the true calling of a water attribute magician!
The completed Lesser Boar leather was about the size of a table tennis table.
For now, he cut the part to be used as a waistcloth with a knife.
He turned the remaining scrap leather into thin strings.
He didn’t have thread in the first place after all.
That was how Ryo, wrapped in Lesser Boar leather around his waist, was born.
“Peeling the skin off a monster you hunt and tanning it … this is a stereotypical slow life!”
… The definition of slow life differed by the individual.
Lesser Boar leather, waistcloth equip.
Lesser Boar leather, sandals equip.
He wasn’t wearing anything apart from that.
If he was in Japan, he would have been reported immediately.
“I actually wanted to make something like a tunic but … as expected of leather not made by an actual craftsman, it doesn’t seem that durable.”
Ryo muttered while tapping the Lesser Boar leather.
“Hn? If it’s durability, can’t I just generate ice on the surface of the leather? No, in the first place, I don’t even need a chest tunic and can just directly form an ice armor? No, that would be too cold and might even stop my heart? I want to eventually be able to automatically generate an ice shield for defense when receiving attacks … fufufu, I want to try saying ‘Fool, such an attack would never reach me!’ or something like that …”
Men would always have chuunibyou no matter how old they are.
Once the ‘clothing’ and ‘housing’ parts were settled, naturally the final aim was to enrich his ‘food’.
He aimed to acquire fruits and new flavors.
The question was which direction to set off for.
From home, the sea was about 500 meters in the Southwest direction.
Michael (pseudonym) said that.
To the South was a flowing river. A river that spans hundreds of meters to the opposite bank. The river where he found the flint.
In the East, he first fought the Lesser Boar and after that, it became the important hunting ground for Lesser Rabbits.
However, he has not traveled far from the barrier.
In that case, he had not set foot toward the North at all.
“There’s a chance I can find it nearby in the North … let’s go.”
Apart from his waistcloth and sandals, he carried his usual knife-tip bamboo spear and jute bag.
He couldn’t tell if that jute bag was actually made from jute but it was one of the two bags that Michael (pseudonym) used to keep the dried meat in the storage.
It would be meaningless if he found fruit but don’t have a bag to bring it home.
He could only use what he had available.
For now, he kept all the dried meat that was in it inside the storage.
That jute bag was the kind of jute bag used to carry coffee beans.
“Since I am between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, I wonder if there is a coffee tree?”
He noticed that there was no coffee tree listed in the 『Plant Encyclopedia: Beginner’s Edition』.
Even f he could gather coffee beans, there was the problem of how to brew them but …
For now, enriching his food with drinks wasn’t a bad idea either.
“Let’s set out!”
Even though he was heading in the direction of North, it didn’t mean that the vegetation would change compared to the East or South.
Well, it would be troubling if he encounters a frigid place where cold wind blows as soon as he goes north.
That would have been very fantasy-like though.
Immediately after he left, he found something that resembled a fig.
“I recall this is called Ichizuku in the Plant Encyclopedia. It’s written that it can be eaten.” (TN: Fig in Japanese is Ichijiku)
For now, he took one and ate it.
“There’s a good balance of sourness and sweetness!”
That was the first time the flavor of fruit was spreading across his mouth since coming to the Other world.
He put about 10 ripe ‘Ichizuku’ in the jute bag.
“It would be great if I can find all kinds of things like this.”
After that, he walked around the area for an hour but couldn’t find any other fruit.
“There’s no helping it, I should step foot a little further North.”
At the moment, he was about 200 meters from the barrier.
He had no experience of leaving the barrier further than that in all directions.
But he was planning to extend further eventually. He was just setting foot a little earlier than planned.
But Ryo was not able to proceed further.
It was not a calculated act.
He didn’t think but he sensed it.
He fell prone to the ground.
Something invisible suddenly passed over Ryo’s head after he crouched down.
Something was flapping in the direction from where the invisible something came from.
That bird flapped its wings strongly.
Then, he couldn’t see it with his eyes but he heard the sound of something slicing through the air.
He dodged to the side.
“Is that wind magic? A monster that can manipulate wind … and a bird-form.”
An invisible wind attribute long-range attack magic. The so-called Air Slash or Sonic.
“Yup, I can’t beat that.”
He made a quick judgment.
“<Ice Wall: U-shape>”
It was an ice wall that Ryo devised for protection. He created a wall about one-meter thick and two-meter high in front and to his left and right.
A defensive wall meant for retreating backward.
When he started running toward his house, the ice wall followed right behind Ryo.
In reality, Ryo was channeling magic into it to move it according to his movement speed but when viewed from the side, it looked like the wall was following him.
(200 meters to the barrier, I have to somehow dash all the way.)
But after running about 100 meters, the ice wall shattered.
After receiving three shots of the invisible wind attribute attack magic, it couldn’t withstand it any longer and shattered.
It would be impossible to run the remaining 100 meters and escape while showing his back.
Ryo had no choice but to turn around and confront it.
He could see the bird a lot clearer than before.
“Assassin Hawk … its main weapons are the invisible wind attribute long-range attack magic Air Slash and its assault that approaches the speed of sound using its beak and claw.”
He inadvertently recited the contents he memorized from the 『Monster Encyclopedia: Beginner’s Edition』 but he couldn’t think of any method to confront it.
He couldn’t use the Ice Bahn + Icicle Lance that worked against the Lesser Boars.
Using Water Jet like how he dealt with Lesser Rabbits … maybe.
Maybe he could snipe the base of its wings to hinder its movements a little?
A good plan must be acted on immediately without hesitation.
The opponent was a monster with the wisdom to manipulate magic. No chant was better.
The fired Water Jet pierced the target accurately.
Right, it ‘pierced’ … the air.
It didn’t hit the Assassin Hawk’s body.
It seemed that its speed that exceeds the speed of sound can be utilized not only for attacking straight but also for dodging enemy attacks.
“In that case, I will suppress with numbers.”
(<Water Jet 32>)
From Ryo’s right hand, 32 Water Jets was shot forth simultaneously and headed toward the Assassin Hawk.
But when the Water Jets pierced the space where the Assassin Hawk was, the Assassin Hawk was no longer there.
It moved far to the side and diagonally forward to the right of Ryo.
Ryo couldn’t tell but he jumped and rolled to the left.
Immediately after, the place Ryo was on exploded.
It was the Assassin Hawk’s charge.
He somehow managed to avoid it and the Assassin Hawk was now right next to Ryo.
He thrust the knife-tip bamboo spear in his right hand toward the Assassin Hawk.
He felt the response of cutting something.
At the same time, the Assassin Hawk’s cry deafened him.
That instant, his eyes definitely met the Assassin Hawk’s.
Its right eye was bleeding and could not open. His knife-tip bamboo spear seemed to have injured its right eye.
The remaining left eye … was glaring at him with immense hatred.
Normally emotion in a bird’s eye was not so easily read like fine glasswork but the Assassin Hawk’s eye at that time was definitely full of hatred.
“<Ice Wall Package>”
An ice wall was formed like a box from above to cover the Assassin Hawk in front of him.
However, as expected of the Assassin Hawk.
Even though it was injured, its agility was still there.
It took a distance from Ryo before the ice wall could form.
Then, it glanced at Ryo before leaving.
Ryo felt like he heard a voice telling him that it will kill him the next time.
Ryo couldn’t move for a while even after the Assassin Hawk was gone.
“This time was dangerous.”
He firmly checked his condition and injuries as he headed to the barrier.
“How should I confront that …”
Difficult problems were pouring in one after the other … a slow life in Rondo Forest was quite challenging.