66 Part 2

Haruki reached out with his hand, and the Centipede timidly placed its foot over it.

That little foot felt smooth, solid, and a little warm.

This feeling warmed Haruki’s heart.

He lifted the little Centipede, hugging it.

Below, Rhea was moving her leaves in an aloof manner, as if saying “But it’s mine!”

— I’m sorry Rhea, but the first hug is mine!

Haruki gives it a soft hug so as to not crush the poor thing.

“Ah, but don’t go about nibbling on my armor!”

“*Wheeee*”

The Centipede raised one of his feet as if saying “Okay!”

What a lovable little guy.

Putting away a jealous Rhea in his bag, Haruki left the dungeon, still hugging the Centipede.

“What should we call you? You’re a Centipede, so maybe Cate–Ugh!”

Another slap by Rhea on the back of his head.

–Please stop. You’re going to leave a dent.

Since Rhea’s level was increasing, her slaps were getting stronger.

Haruki thought it might be a good time to start covering the back of his head better.

Rhea was trying to make Haruki come up with a proper name.”

“Well, you’re red, so how about Re–”

Before he could finish that phrase, a thorny leaf posed itself on the nape of Haruki’s neck.

— Okay, I got it, I’ll give it a good thought next time. Please refrain from threatening me with sharp, pointy objects.

Taking a deep breath, Haruki began to think.

Centipedes are beneficial insects that help with pest control.

They eat smaller bugs that are troublesome for humans.

You could say that they are like spirits that take care of the house.

And this one had a red carapace that looked like a sacred fire.

“How about Esta? It reminds me of Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth, home and family.”

Originally regarded as the goddess of the hearth, Vesta gradually became a guardian deity of the home and family in ancient Roman mythology. She was also known as Hestia in Greek mythology.

She was said to live in a sacred flame.

An insect that eliminates pests, and a goddess that protects the home.

A red carapace that looks like fire, and a goddess that resided in fire.

Because of these similarities, he came up with that name that resembled that of the goddess.

Rhea nodded at Haruki’s selected name.

The Centipede also excitedly wiggled its feet, expressing its joy.

It looked like it was the most overjoyed by this.

“…”

Suddenly, Haruki stopped.

— When did I feel this exchange before…?

Haruki quickly put Esta on his shoulder and took out his Skill Board.

He hurriedly swiped its screen, and then…

“I knew it…”

Haruki’s face went blank.

Esta (0) Gender: Male

Skill Points: 3

-Vitality

Stamina 0

Natural Recovery 0

-Strength

Strength 1

Damage Reduction 2

-Agility

Quickness 3

Dexterity 1

-Technology

Equipment Mastery

Carapace 4

-Intuition

Detection 1

-Special

Armor Break 3

Unintentionally, Haruki had tamed the Centipede.

But the Tame skill’s description stated that for it to work, both sides needed to mutually agree to it.

There were some discrepancies between what the skill said it did and what actually happened just now.

“Could it be that it could feel my love for Centipedes?”

Probably not.

Haruki went back on his guess.

The reason why he was able to Tame Esta was probably because of Rhea’s intervention.

Rhea had probably asked Esta to agree.

And Esta in turn had probably agreed so as to be free from the threat of Haruki.

Haruki wasn’t sure why exactly Rhea was so interested in Esta, but that’s what probably had happened.

“Still, you’re very strong, Esta.”

Haruki talked to himself as he looked at the Skill Board.

These were his starting values.

They were so high that the starter values of Rhea, Karen, and even Haruki’s couldn’t compare to his.

Quickness 3, Carapace 4 and Armor Break 3 were particularly high.

Just keeping those values as they were as he levelled up would keep him in the middle tier.

“There are some skills here I’ve never seen before.”

Damage Reduction, Carapace, and Armor Break.

The Carapace skill was treated like equipment, just like Light or Heavy Armor.

Armor Break was this Centipede’s special ability to nibble on armor.

The first one that caught Haruki’s attention was Damage Reduction.

“So there are skills like this one, huh?”

Damage Reduction 2 (Reduces damage received) MAX 10

The higher the score in this skill, the less damage this little one would receive.

Actually, when Haruki attacked Esta earlier, his first attack was repelled by Esta’s carapace.

His Carapace score of 4 probably wasn’t enough to completely offset Haruki’s Short Sword score on its own.

Even so, his attack was still repelled, so it must have been because of his Damage Reduction skill.

The problem was that the Damage Reduction skill was under the Strength tree rather than under the Technology one.

“Wouldn’t it make more sense that your constitution played a part in repelling damage?”

Constitution.

For Centipedes, it’s their carapace.

For humans, it’s their muscle.

If it were a Technology, it would be possible to learn that skill.

But skills under the Strength tree… the ability to learn them did not depend on a degree of difficulty, but rather it depended on the nature of one’s body.

Unfortunately, it would be very difficult for Haruki to grow his muscles in a considerable way even if he underwent heavy muscle training.

In his case, his chances for learning this skill were extremely low.

“Bacon probably has this skill, though…”

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