The area in a circle around Kyoko shimmered with blue light, then erupted into a volley of spears made from water that had appeared from nowhere, skewering the Greater Wolves that surrounded us, sending them high in the air.
[Aqua Launch]. A level 4 attack spell from the Water subcategory of Basic Magic. Although the damage multiplier on this spell was considerably low, it had a good [Area of Effect] and the ability to launch lighter targets into the air, making it a very cost-effective crowd control spell.
Making sure that the ten airborne wolves were all in my field of vision, I snapped my fingers. Sibylline, which was suspended midair in front of me, opened, its pages rapidly flipping.
“[Haste]! [Accel Bang]!”
Sibylline shone purple for a moment, then I felt its magic entering my body. Time slowed down, even more so than with [Haste] alone. Time seemed to stop, the wolves suspended in midair. Next to me, Kyoko’s hair was frozen midair, mid-flutter. I focused on the wolves and picked my three points, making sure that the path of traversal crossed all the wolves. Then I kicked off the ground.
The next moment, I found myself at the third point I had selected, and time resumed its flow. There was a moment’s pause, and then each of the ten wolves’ bodies suffered an immense blow, as if they had been struck by a large blunt object. They were each flung to the ground, reducing their HP to zero.
I lightly landed on my feet, and Sibylline zoomed towards me, landing in my hand. About 10 meters away, Kyoko was applauding with admiring eyes. I sighed. The girl had gotten like this ever since she concluded that I was some sort of divine being. All I did was let her see my [Gacha] in progress. I didn’t expect that it would cause her to make such strange assumptions. Well, she was a little cuter now than when she was acting cold and distant, so I didn’t really consider it a problem, though.
The spell I had just used, [Accel Bang], was a Level 3 spell from my Time Magic skill. It allowed me to select up to three points, each up to ten meters away from the last. Upon selection, I would rapidly move through all selected points, ending at the last point. The gimmick was that the time spent moving would be erased – in other words, it was practically instantaneous teleportation. Additionally, upon the end of the movement, the sum of the kinetic energy that should have accumulated in the course of the movement would immediately be turned upon all enemies along the path of movement, dealing damage that increased based on the amount of gathered kinetic energy – in other words, damage that scaled based on my speed and mass. It was classified as a [Special Spell] rather than an [Attack Spell], because it lacked a damage modifier. It also used up a large amount of MP – 100MP per cast, five times the MP cost of [Haste]. Even though it was reduced to 50MP by the [Time Savings] passive, in terms of cost-damage ratio, it was very inefficient, but it was my only means of attacking multiple enemies at once, so it was efficient for the powerlevelling we were currently attempting.
Incidentally, Sibylline’s [Time Magic Lv.2] had upgraded into [Time Magic Lv.3] when I raised Sibylline’s level to 10 using the Essences from Converting the other 2 SR weapons I had gotten in the gacha, the [Fenris Orb] and the [Fang Sword]. [Sibylline] was currently Level 13, but I had unfortunately run out of weapons to Convert. I did still have the [Durandal], but it was probably a bad idea to Convert an SSR weapon at this point where I still had only two of them.
Since I was now level 11, the EXP from 10 Greater Wolves was unfortunately insufficient to level me up, even though it had been enough to go from level 8 to 9. It seemed that the EXP obtained from monsters scaled in relation to the level difference – based on my calculations, I would need to kill another 85 Greater Wolves if I wanted to hit level 12. Well, given the speed at which I could kill them with Kyoko’s [Aqua Launch] and my [Accel Bang], the only real issue was finding the Wolves to kill.
I moved over to the dead Wolves and removed the canines and claws of seven of them. Then I placed the remaining three in my [Item Box] to sell later. Rock Wolves were useless in terms of materials, but Greater Wolves, which were anatomically closer to the wolves from my world, were considered to be prime meat, and their fur, unlike the rocky coats of the Rock Wolves, fetched a high price as materials for use in making clothing. Ideally, I would have liked to store all ten corpses, but the [Cadaver] tab of my [Item Box] only had 15 spaces, so I had to be conservative about it, since the corpses took one slot each. The fangs and the claws of the Wolves all stacked together in the same slot, so I made sure to pick those up, at least. Wolf ivory could be crushed into a fine powder that was a key component in making healing potions, so there was always demand for it. If it were up to me, I would butcher and skin the wolves myself, since it seemed like monster components stacked together in the [Item Box], even if the corpses didn’t. However, I didn’t have the prerequisite knowledge or skills, so that wasn’t an option available to me.
Even though this was very much a game-like world, there wasn’t such a thing as the monster disappearing in a puff of smoke and leaving behind a treasure chest. I suppose that was a bit too much of a stretch even for a fantasy world.
When we were done collecting the materials, Kyoko tapped me on the shoulder.
Are we continuing, or should we return?
I checked my [Item Bag]. We were running dangerously low on supplies. After setting aside the supplies for the half-day trek back to Kronshire, I estimated that we had enough for another half-day of hunting or so.
“Hmm… If the mobs were appearing at the same rate as in the beginning, we would have had enough time to level again, but at this current appearance rate, it might be a little tough…”
When we had first entered the [Wolf King’s Plains], Greater Wolves had actively sought us out, appearing in droves, to the point where we were fighting back-to-back battles without a break. It would have gotten dangerous if not for Kyoko being overlevelled. But as we killed more and more wolves, their rate of appearance began decreasing. At one point, we even had a pack of six Greater Wolves run away from us. It seemed that killing too many of a certain enemy type in one area within a short amount of time caused that enemy to start avoiding you.
I guess it was kind of like one of those mechanics in games designed to stop players from hoarding all the monsters in one area to themselves? I briefly wondered whether this avoidance would reset after some time.
Whatever the case, it meant that continuing to farm here would be inefficient.
“No, let’s return and plan our next hunting ground. I want to go sell these materials, anyway.”
Kyoko gave me a salute and nodded. With her child’s stature, it looked unbearably adorable, like a toddler pretending to be a soldier. I cupped my hand to my mouth to stop my squeal from leaking out.
I took out the map of [Wolf King’s Plain] that I had bought from the Guild. I found the green blip that indicated my current direction. A helpful arrow next to the blip showed me where I was facing. I started to look for where I currently was, and searched for the direction to get back to the main road.
I blinked and rubbed my eyes. No change. The map was unchanged. I wasn’t mistaken. We must have gone in deeper than I’d thought. This was bad. I turned to Kyoko.
“We need to leave. Now.”
Kyoko didn’t question me, but immediately grabbed my hand and began to run in the direction that the map had indicated as heading to the road. While we ran, a deep howl resounded.
A vision of being slashed in half and chewed to pieces.
My [Foresight] activated, causing me to pause in my tracks and yank Kyoko back by the collar of her miko outfit. A large shadow pounced on the place where we had been about to step on, its sharp claws glinting in the sunlight. Kyoko launched a swift kick into its side, sending it flying back while we regained our composure.
The large wolf skidded to a halt about 30 meters away. It righted itself and lowered its body, baring its fangs and growling deeply.
“Uwah… not good.”
Standing before us was the [Boss] of the Wolf King’s Plain, the level 25 [Wolf King Byron].