A bunch of small, green, humanoid looking creatures were shouting at each other. One of them was holding a large piece of meat that used to be a leg of some kind of boar. They gritted their teeth at each other until a larger goblin that had a darker tint of green appeared. The smaller ones cowered as the meaner looking goblin swiped away the large piece of meat for himself. It shouted something out and opened its large mouth, the teeth looked yellow and quite sharp.

Before the monster could have its feast something odd happened. A strange sound of something whizzing was heard by some of the goblins but at that point, it was too late. A glowing blue arrow shot out of the trees and embedded itself into the larger goblin's neck. It had enough penetrating power to pierce right through, the tip was even poking out on the other side.

The arrow made from blue energy fizzled out into nothingness soon after. The monster gurgled while not knowing what had happened, it could only flail its arms around before suffering from hemorrhage. Soon enough it passed out and died, the larger goblins comrades started shouting and panicking not knowing why their leader had died just like that.

About a hundred meters away up in a large tree was Roland. He was already chanting another spell while pointing with his finger at the next victim.

"Mana Arrow!"

Another blue arrow shot through the air towards the small goblin encampment. Roland had scouted it out after spending quite a bit of time hunting the goblins in this forest. The second mana arrow landed on the next enemy and he heard the female voice announcing that he had gained experience.

'I managed to get the leader on the first try, the rest are just small fries. Time to finish this up.'

He took his time finishing up the goblins from a safe spot. He descended only when the enemy numbers dwindled enough for him to engage them in melee range. The normal goblins didn't pose much of a threat to him at this point and he knew their attacking patterns by heart. Now he just needed to pick up the loot and head back, the only problem was that he had to go to the adventurers guild again.

The adventurer's guild was bustling with people. There were various people of various races coming in and out of the building. Dwarfs, elves you name it, there were even people with animal ears. Quite a bit of those people were focused on a small robed youth, this youth had garnered some fame for the past three months he had arrived in this town.

"Hey, it's the little Goblin Slayer!"

"Did he wipe out a nest, I think he even managed to get a shaman last time."

The people from the side gossiped while looking at Roland. He was one of the rising rookies here, mostly due to having a knack for killing goblins. Most of the adventurers didn't bother with those, they were busy with dungeon exploration that had more to offer than pesky goblins.

Roland grumbled while trying to cover his face with the new robe that he bought. He didn't like the attention and didn't like to stick out.

'I've earned a strange title, it's even in my status now...'

Goblin Hunter Title A person with this title is feared by goblins. Goblins might suffer a fear debuff while fighting with a person with this title, works only on Goblins below the title holder's level.

'Might suffer... so it's just a random effect...'

Titles like this could be earned by hunting monsters. There were various levels of titles and some even gave bonuses to attack or defense.

Roland took his money and left the adventurer's guild while the other guild members laughed and cheered. For some reason, he had become some kind of mascot to these adventures. They would shout out 'Little Goblin Slayer' the moment they saw him, which started to annoy him. Whenever he shouted back they would just laugh at him and egg him on even more.

'Treating me like a kid...'

He entered the inn he was staying at, this was the same one that he ate his first meal at. After going through the whole city, this one was the one most in his price range. He had rented one of the rooms upstairs for himself and was staying here for the time being. He was already high up with his levels thanks to the constant monster hunting.

Roland glanced at his stats while eating some beef jerky.

Name : Roland Arden Mage L20
HP 289/289
MP 1304/ 1304
SP 368/368
Strength 21
Agility 25
Dexterity 36
Vitality 22
Endurance 23
Intelligence 72
Willpower 50
Charisma 11
Luck 6

He also looked at the spells that he knew how to cast, he had made some progress there too.

Mana Bolt L7 Spell A focused bolt of mana energy that deals mana damage to one target. The damage done depends on the user's intelligence.
Mana Arrow L5 Spell An arrow made purely from mana, has increased speed and penetrative power compared to the Mana Bolt Spell
Mana Shield L3 Spell A mana shield that shields the caster or their allies from harm
Ember L 6 Spell By causing friction with mana the caster can create a small fire
Mana Hands L 5 Spell The caster can create hands made from mana, the weight, and distance this spell can be used for is dependent on the intelligence stat.

He had gained access to these spells mostly by leveling up. It was a strange thing after he attained a certain level the game like system would give him a prompt that he had learned a spell. The knowledge of how to cast it would somehow be inserted into his brain. He would instantly know the incantation and how to construct the spell with his mana.

This wasn't the only way you got spells. You could learn some yourself, some people could even create them. The classes offered a limited array of spells that they could use. If he wanted more he would have to experiment himself or buy some magic books that would explain the spell process to him.

His mage class came equipped with three basic spells. Mana Bolt, Mana Arrow, and Mana shield. He had learned the ember and mana hands spell thanks to a book he had previously obtained at the Arden estate. Spellbooks were extremely costly, so he was only able to get some rudimentary knowledge.

The whole process of spell casting was hard to explain. The mage had to guide the mana outwards in a certain sequence while focusing on the spell formula. This spell formula was also called a spell circle. The mage had to perfectly imagine the spell circle while at the same time shaping the mana and chanting in sequence. This was quite the hard process that didn't allow for any of the steps to fail, otherwise, the spell would sizzle out. Luckily the tier 1 spells were quite easy to master, the spell circles were just basic symbols and didn't take much brainpower to produce.

This is why it was important to have a high intelligence stat that helped the caster with visualizing and recalling the spell circles. The tier 2 classes and above were apparently, even harder to work with. Higher tier spells required larger circles and even longer incantations but this was were skills came into play as they lowered the strain on the caster's mind if he trained them.

'I gain experience by leveling up my spells too, the more I use them the stronger they become, and the faster I can do the chants.'

In this world, you garnered experience not only from killing monsters. You also gained it by leveling up your skills and abilities. When he managed to push his mana bolt spell to the next level he received a popup window with the experience. It was a lot more than what he was getting from killing monsters. You could even level up by creating items if you were a crafting class.

'I'm almost through with my first class... which of the two should I pick first, the Blacksmith or the Scribe one?'

The closer he got to L 25 the more he deliberated. He was leaning towards picking the Scribe first as it was closer to the mage class. He would be ditching his magic skill tree soon, so he wanted to be done with it. If he switched to something like a blacksmith that had nothing to do witch magic he felt like it would be harder to get past this scroll making class.

'Yeah, think that would be the better one to start out with. Probably easier too.'

Roland nodded while thinking back to a certain scene.

'That man was sitting there again...'

He had been here for three months already. By slaying the goblins and getting some mana stones from their bodies he was able to get by on his own. This was probably something the Baron didn't take into account. At some point, he noticed that there was a certain man constantly watching him whenever he was in town.

'He is probably a guard sent by daddy dearest, I'm not sure if I should be happy that he cares, or afraid that they might drag me back home, and I'd just gotten used to this place... I might have to change locations...'

This was another thing on his agenda, leaving this city and setting out on his own. He was feeling good with himself, fighting so many goblins every day had given him a slight confidence boost in his abilities. He feared that he would be dragged back, he was still a noble child and the adults could easily overpower him if they wanted to.

'Well, not like that guy is even doing his job right, even I managed to spot him with no problem...'

The man tailing him was quite bad at it. He only kept an eye on him during the day and while he was in the city. He never followed him into the goblin-infested forest. Roland theorized that the people at the Arden estate didn't want to spend too much coin on his tail, so they ended up with an incompetent one.

'He was even passed out drunk that one day when I came back. Wish my job was so easy.'

Roland had already chosen his next destination. This town he was in wasn't really suited for his needs. He was aiming to be a mostly crafting oriented class, this city didn't really have that. It was a place for adventurers and had a dungeon, but there weren't really many places where you could learn a smithing profession.

Most of the goods were shipped over from other cities that were closer to mines, the people working at those professions didn't like living next to an active dungeon. The monster-infested areas like the forest Roland used for grinding didn't help either.

'Yeah, the best city for me now would be Edelgard. It has the facilities that I need and if I have a crafting class I can get an apprenticeship.'

Roland was already bumbling around with his mage class. He felt like he would know many more spells if he was at some sort of academy and had a teacher. He didn't want to get hired by some second rate blacksmith and spend years on leveling up. You could actually just level up by creating items but he wasn't sure of the logistics of that quite yet.

'I can learn both of those at that city, it's renowned for it's crafting classes, just need to get those five levels up...'

On the next day, Roland headed out once more. Even though he had killed many goblins the pay wasn't all that great. His leather armor was getting worn down and he had to have his sword repaired.

While grumbling to himself he moved towards the notice board, his eyes going to the iron class job offers.

'I don't see any goblin notices... did I get them all... maybe they run away deeper into the forest?'

He was known as the goblin slayer for a reason, he had cleared out quite an amount of nests in these past three months. He mostly used guerrilla tactics of luring a small group out for slaughter. He used the tall trees and thick bushes to his advantage and even managed to level up some of his basic skills to normal ones.

While Roland was contemplating his next move, a person moved over to him. The voice seemed to belong to a girl.

"Excuse me, aren't you who they call the Little Goblin Slayer?"

Roland frowned instantly, he wasn't sure why but that nickname ticked him off. The person who asked him was a red-haired girl, from the looks of her gear she was an archer. Roland looked at her from top to bottom, coming to the conclusion that she was probably a young adventurer in her mid-teens.

"I guess that's what people call me around here... my name is Roland though!"

He responded while grumbling slightly. The girl smiled and then continued with the conversation.

"Great! It's rumored that you are a mage in training, is that true?"

Roland raised his eyebrow and kind of figured out where this was going. The girl didn't look dangerous or nefarious so he just nodded. He could also ask the guild staff about any other adventurers if it was required.

"Yes! Here is the deal, our Party is missing one person right now, we could use someone for the backline."

The girl pointed to two other people that were standing in the back. With the archer, they would make a group of three which was slightly small for a full party. From what Roland could see beside the red-haired girl he was talking with, there was a warrior with a shield and what looked to be someone who used daggers, either a thief or scout. The only peculiar thing about this was, that all of them were female.

"Oh? Are you heading into the dungeon?"

The girl nodded. This wasn't anything out of the ordinary, people constantly formed new parties or exchanged members with others.

"Yes, we will of course do an even split, four ways. "

He wanted to rub his chin to think. He was running low on monsters to kill and he wasn't allowed to go into the dungeon by himself with how low his rank was. This group consisted of young girls that weren't probably much stronger than him, but he could very much use the help. He didn't really have a reason to refuse. He could also ask the guild staff about these three and if they weren't shady later on, then decline if they were fishy.

"Are you sure... I'm still just on my first class..."

The red-haired girl smiled and tapped him on the shoulder.

"No need to worry, we just need some backline support and you are quite famous around here. No need to be afraid, these big sister will protect you if something happens!"

He twitched a bit, he almost forgot that he was a 10-year-old here and looked like a little brat with some baby fat on his face. For the time being, he nodded and he and the red-haired girl moved over to the other two. The warrior woman was clearly from the Goliath race, she was two meters tall and was quite muscular. Her skin was brown in tone and her nose looked like it was squished back by a brick.

The other girl was slightly taller than he was, at about 160 cm. The moment he walked up he noticed the large animal ears coming out from the top of her head along with a bushy whitetail in the back. Her hair was gray and her eyes reminded him of a wolf. She was wearing leather armor and had two long daggers strapped to her side indicating that she was probably primed more for agility.

The last girl was the redhead, she was taller than the previous girl at about 170 cm. She was wearing a really tight uniform, around her chest was some kind of belt, probably to connect a quiver too.

"He is so tiny, you sure he can handle this Rebecca?"

The large warrior girl looked at Roland while leaning down, her mouth showing off those pearly whites as she grinned.

"Hey, don't scare him Sahildr, I had enough trouble convincing him to come here!"

The third wolf girl didn't say much, she just gave him a glance and then sat down at the nearby table behind them.

"Ah, let me introduce you. The large dumb one here is Sahildr, the quiet one back there is Reyna and my name is Rebecca, you can just call me Becky~"

The three were peculiar looking but they had some charm to them. They all sat down by the table and started chatting.

"So, our fourth party member had left our party...and I think you would be the perfect fit!"

Becky proclaimed while looking at Roland with sparkling eyes.

"Hah, you mean she left us hanging and run away with some guy, that damn harlot!"

Replied Sahildr while smirking to the side, for some reason she looked like she wanted to give Roland a tug on his cheeks. The third lady remained silent while munching on a chicken leg.

"Is that so... well... I don't have a reason to refuse."

"Saw you looking at the notice board, run out of the Gobbos huh? 'Little Goblin Slayer'"

"Please don't call me that..."

Roland groaned while the girls smirked at each other.

"Before we proceed I need to ask... is there any reason why your party only has women?"

Roland asked while Sahildr was the one to reply.

"That's easy, we just don't trust men, they always try to start something during the night camps, hey does this brat even know what I'm talking about?"

The woman made a circle with her hand and index finger and then started sticking another finger through it, in and out it went. She only stopped after Becky gave her a glare.

Roland deadpanned at the explanation. He looked at the three but wasn't all that attracted to them. It was probably due to his mental age being at thirty, these girls looked to be sixteen and weren't really in his striking range. He was also stuck in the body of a ten-year-old, so that was also a factor.

"But I'm also a man?"

Roland replied while the girls looked at him, they promptly burst out in laughter.

"What are you, like 11 or 12? Don't think you will be making any night visits any time soon."

Becky moved her hand over her mouth while trying not to laugh.

'So they don't want to form parties with men as they try to climb into their beds at night? I'm 10 so they feel confident that I won't try to start anything... seems logical."

"12... sure...let's go with that..."

"Hoh, so mysterious... you're not 11 are ya?"

"No, I'm 12."

"Are you sure, do you even have hair down there?"

"This is sexual harassment, please stop."

The group of girls started laughing while they continued to chat. Roland also discovered that all there of them were on their second, tier 1 class already. Most tier 2 classes had that requirement so this wasn't something odd.

He remembered that most people didn't have the luxury of having their ascension right after their 10th birthday. There was also a slight experience gain debuff to the second tier 1 class, it also depended on the type of class and what it gave you. Combat classes had the biggest debuffs while some lesser crafting classes could be leveled up the fastest but they mostly gave subpar stats after leveling.

They decided that they would leave after everyone prepared, they would meet up at the city gates after an hour. Roland didn't need much so he just filled up by eating some more at the inn, he also checked at the guild and got the okay, the girls were a reputable party. The next destination would be the dungeon.


Support "The Runesmith"

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