Time for some science.
Translated by mranon
Edited by Xaga
Helium, 12th Chapter: A Transient Partner
After partaking of the assortments in the bar, Shin, whose mind and body had healed, wandered in the forest from yesterday.
According to the barkeeper, the distance to the capital of this kingdom was equivalent to the distance a carriage could run in two days non-stop.
‘In contrast, if you walked to the capital of Revival Kingdom in the south, you would arrive in a day or two,’ he had added. Hence, Shin decided to head there first.
The sun shining through the interstices of the trees in the late afternoon was enthralling.
The vast forest that had not been trodden on by many was in some respects quiet—quiet to the point that it felt pure. If someone told him that this wasn’t Earth, he would readily believe them.
Suddenly, the growl of a ferocious beast pierced Shin’s ears. And from the sound of it, there seemed to be several of them.
Then, as if a hard object was struck, a dull sound resounded simultaneously with the shout of someone strong, who seemed to be enraged.
Although it was only his second time in this forest, Shin somehow turned his feet toward the centre of commotion while remembering about the beasts he had heard of back in the village.
Brandishing a sword leaner than the one clad in flames wielded by the guy back then, and flipping as if performing dance steps–visible through the interstices of the trees was the silhouette of a woman striving.
Her long chestnut hair tied up behind, a lightweight silver plate clinging to her chest and crotch–a woman who gave the impression of a western knight.
She was none other than the woman Shin saw earlier in the day.
The young woman who hit out at the rampaging men angrily and put them in place instantly. ‘If I remember correctly, she was called Frey,’ while thinking so, Shin came out of the thicket.
As to why this place was relatively clear: it was likely owing to the woman’s long sword cutting the thin trees down and the wolves twice as big, which seemed to be attacking the woman, trampling on the vicinage.
The woman was confronting three beasts. She set her sword up again and repeated the slashing motion.
Lying dead on the ground were similar beasts, with the roots of their necks cut and their tongues out.
Witnessing the swordplay that had no gaps and the repeated movements in such a rough place as this, Shin could deduce the level of her ability, which she was exerting herself in the maelstrom of battles with, which the ability of the men he confronted earlier in the cave could never reach.
“It’s not strange anymore…”
Gazing at the beast that looked like yet was not a wolf, and thinking that such a creature would not exist even in Amazon, Shin spectated the battle between the woman and the beasts.
Before long, all of the beasts were lying on the ground with their lives ended. The woman guided the tip of her sword into the scabbard on her waist. In the next breath, she turned her head toward Shin.
“‘Isn’t a frail woman by herself, with such a refined aesthetic sense no less, supposed to have a hard time against a group of beasts?’ Or are you not good at complimenting?”
“…You had noticed me? My bad. You didn’t need a hand… I guess.”
At the woman’s suddenly calling out to him, Shin was somewhat discomposed.
Although he was observing the development through the thicket with an intention of lending a hand if it by any chance turned grave, he once more ended up getting himself dragged into a needless dispute; therefore, he excused.
However, he was unnecessarily worried.
Nevertheless, Shin was ill at ease for he had been noticed.
“Somehow, I sensed bloodlust. Besides, that pack of Graze Wolves was preoccupied with your presence for a moment… thanks to that, I was able to dispose them off unexpectedly quickly.”
Upon hearing the word ‘bloodlust’, Shin felt like ‘well…’
Although he undoubtedly planned on killing the beasts without any hesitation if they rushed his way after having noticed his presence, he wasn’t a dangerous existence per se.
The instinctive olfactory sense of these kinds of animals was considered to be acute. However, why would the woman in front of him have the same sense? It was incomprehensible.
“So, how was it?”
“How was what?”
To the woman’s inexplicable question, Shin replied with a question of his own.
“I have plenty of aesthetic sense, obviously. I asked you about my skills. You’re the Adventurer from back then, aren’t you? You were playing with us… those guys back in Wide Town as if you were playing with kids. I got to see your skills to some extent.”
Upon the woman’s saying so, Shin compared the movements that took the five beasts out with merely a sword to that of those men’s. The difference was clear as sky. It was indeed inappropriate to mention the woman chatting with him and those men in the same breadth.
Nevertheless, if he had to comment—
“Taking time to fix the stance of your weapon is wasteful; don’t stop the strokes of your sword until you have killed.”
Shin recalled the words of the man who in the past instructed him an ancient Japanese sword technique the forte of which was one-versus-many.
“…Fu, but continuing to move instantaneously while concentrating on the Mana Calculus is so difficult. You use a Manacraft, too; shouldn’t you know that?” (TN: Mana Machine/Instrument changed to Manacraft)
Shin honestly had no idea what that woman was talking about.
It was something beyond the realm of his understanding.
Monsters that he hadn’t seen before, abnormally huge beasts, mysterious power; and words he was hearing for the first time.
He was once again reminded that it was not the planet of Earth. At the same time, however, ‘what is it then?’ Shin, albeit rare of him, was driven by what was called the thirst for knowledge.
“The energy dispersed in the atmosphere is called Mana. And its naturally crystallized form is called Mana Calculus… you have seen that already, right? The objects that were being excavated back at the mine were Mana Calculus containing Water Energy. Apparently, there is an abundance of them in the riverhead grounds.”
While nonchalantly walking shoulder to shoulder inside the forest, Shin heard from the woman about Mana Calculus.
When Shin told the woman that he had come from a faraway land where such things didn’t exist, the woman had a dubious expression for an instant. The next instant, however, she kindly taught him about Mana.
“And a weapon or a tool synthesized with a Mana Calculus is called a Manacraft?”
“Correct. This sword of mine is a Manacraft, too. It has an Earth Mana Calculus in it. Its power and sharpness is markedly different… well, compared to an ordinary sword’s. If it is attached to an item made of a higher quality material, it will display an even greater power. There’s a reason why its price is so high.”
Shin gradually sorted the mysterious phenomenon out in his head.
In this world, natural energy could crystallize, and those crystalline objects could be extracted in the same or approximate form.
Although it was something that could not easily be believed for only elements could crystallize and such a phenomenon could never take place, he had no choice but to believe for it was right before his eyes.
“So high that you can’t buy it even with all those gold coins?”
“Well, those gold coins were meant for the incorporation of the Guild… I would not be able to do so if I spent all that money on my own items. Oh well, it does feel regrettable now that it has come down to this, but I can earn all that money back.”
The expression about the woman’s face, when she said that, was lonesome. The bluffing words the woman uttered, albeit awfully terrible, were understandable.
“By the way, what’s your plan? Based on your skills… you seem to use Unarmed Style. Are you an Adventurer from Revival Kingdom?”
Shin was reminded of the words ‘Unarmed Style User’ and ‘Southern Adventurer’, spoken by those men back in that cave.
The art of battle prevalent in Revival Kingdom, situated in the south, seemed to be bare-handed combat.
If he, who was deemed to have come from Revival Kingdom, said he was heading to Revival Kingdom, it would sound ridiculous.
Since Shin was deemed to also be an Adventurer, and he had yet to decide as to where in this kingdom he would go, he came up with something.
“The Capital, I plan on going to the Capital.”
He had heard about a place called the Capital back in the village.
He had an inkling that it was this kingdom’s royal capital. If that were indeed the case, he could only rue for he would be expected to have heard about such a place beforehand.
“I see. I’m going back to the Capital, too. The thing is, my companions are all gone now. It’s thanks to the Guild that I’m not troubled for work for the time being. The Capital is quite far from here, though, isn’t it? You’re not gonna tell me that you plan on going there without any preparation, are you?”
“Actually, I’m wondering. Honestly, I don’t even know the way.”
With a face that was looking at Shin with a mix of laughter and astonishment, the woman opened her mouth.
“You should be glad that we are companions… it’s my nature. Whenever I see someone in trouble, I don’t abandon them. I’m Frey, Frey=Foures.”
From the woman’s words, Shin could figure that she would tag herself along with him to the Capital.
Although he was reluctant for it would give too much of his information away, he could not move about without any destination either.
Besides, Shin judged that he would be able to gain information on this world through this woman.
She casually held her hand out. When Shin exchanged a handshake with Frey=Foures, he found the warmth of her hand to be the same as that of a human’s.