81 Part 2

The shockwave generated by Karen’s attacks pushed Haruki away from where he had fallen.

“You sure are quick to use your magic whenever I take damage, Karen. It was almost right after I fell.”

“Huh? I didn’t shoot right away…”

“What are you talking about? You did, didn’t you?”

“Eh?”

Both of them tilt their heads to the side in confusion.

To Haruki, it had been a really short time.

A matter of seconds.

Perhaps his sense of time had been distorted due to the fact that he was completely concentrated in the battle.

Thinking so, Haruki took out his Skill Board.

That attack power was like nothing Karen had ever used so far.

So there was a chance that her skills had improved to some extent.

That was what Haruki had assumed, but…

“–Oh!”

Haruki raised his voice unconsciously when he saw Karen’s skill tree.

Kurosaki Karen (18) Gender: Female

Skill Points: 9

Class: Hammer-wielding Spirit Master

Divine Protection: Peaceful One <?????> → Thunder God <Okikurumi>

-Special

Luck 1

Divine Protection 2 → MAX

“Your Divine Protection is at MAX.”

“Ehh!?”

Karen took a look at the Skill Board.

She couldn’t believe Haruki’s words at first.

Okikurumi…

Haruki felt a certain admiration for that name.

Okikurumi is a god in Ainu mythology who was said to have been raised among humans.

His father was the Thunder God Kanna Kamuy.

He’s often regarded as the God of Culture because it bestowed culture upon people.

It was said that the sound of thunder ushered in the visit of Okikurumi.

He lived with humans, and fought monsters alongside them.

Then, after exterminating every single monster, he had brought peace to the human world.

It was the perfect Divine Protection for an adventurer from Hokkaido.

While looking at Karen’s skill tree, Haruki caught a glimpse of the deer, who seemed to be about to get back on its feet.

— Can we make it?

Haruki’s brain quickly began to calculate.

Karen’s vicious lightning attacks hadn’t fatally wounded the deer.

However, the intimidating aura it had been emanating until then was completely gone.

Judging by its appearance, the deer’s muscles hadn’t completely recovered.

Karen’s lightning attacks must have applied a serious debuff to it.

The tide had turned.

Haruki could feel it.

That deer was an unusually difficult monster, but could it be that they could defeat it somehow with the right skills?

“Karen.”

“Yes?”

“You may be able to defeat it if I increase your magic power. Can I?”

“… Sure!”

She was different than before.

Haruki nodded with admiration at Karen, who had finally accepted the power of the Skill Board.

She took her eyes off it shortly after.

But it had been enough time for Haruki to notice her eyes…

— They’ve changed.

Karen’s eyes finally were those of a resolute adventurer.

She was ready to kill a monster and become a monster herself.

You can’t take pride in your own purity as long as you’re ready to take a life.

If you wish to remain pure, you will definitely be in the losing end of a battle where life is at stake.

That’s how Karen had been up until that point.

Of course, Haruki had made the same mistake in the past.

All Haruki did was realize this earlier than Karen.

While still fairly absorbed into Karen’s sudden change, Haruki quickly tapped on her tree.

Kurosaki Karen (18) Gender: Female

Skill Points: 9 → 0

Class: Hammer-wielding Spirit Master

Divine Protection: Thunder God <Okikurumi>

-Vitality

Stamina 2

Natural Recovery 1

-Strength

Strength 1

-Magic Power

Magic Power 3 → 5

Magic Compatibility 3 → 5

Magic Manipulation 3 → 5

Change <Thunder> 2 → 4

-Agility

Quickness 1

Dexterity 2

-Technology

Equipment Mastery

Blunt Weapons 1

Light Armor 1

-Intuition

Detection 1

-Special

Luck 1 → 2

Divine Protection MAX

Her magic-related skills were increased to 5.

The remaining point was put onto Luck, in hopes of it bringing in something good.

Haruki put away the Skill Board.

“Your magic power has increased considerably. Please be careful when using it.”

“Yes.”

“Okay then… Let’s go!”

“Let’s!”

Just as they were talking, the deer began to stand up.

Haruki had his short sword in hand.

The moment the deer broke into a run…

*Vrooooom!!*

One of Karen’s lightning bolts hit it directly.

The amount of time she had to charge before launching her attack was extremely short.

Being fully aware of her new limitations, Karen continued to fire bolt after bolt.

Though they didn’t seem to be as powerful as before.

The lightning bolts weren’t as charged up as before, but were strong enough to cause slight cramps on the deer’s muscles.

Haruki didn’t miss that chance.

He jumped forward with all his strength.

“–!!”

He accelerated violently.

A single step considerably shortened the distance between them.

Then, two steps later…

In the blink of an eye, Haruki approached the deer and attacked.

His short sword made a shallow cut on the deer’s hide.

“– It’s hard!”

The deer’s hide was rather tough.

However, Haruki’s heart, body and technique were in disarray.

There was no refinement in his attacks.

Haruki had yet to adjust his body to his increased skills.

In other words, he was still unable to handle his new abilities.

Could it be that he wouldn’t be able to damage the deer unless he got used to his new skills…?

Haruki took a step back once he realized the difference between his own movements and the deer’s toughness.

At the same time, Rhea started to shoot.

Haruki felt her pressing against his shoulder.

*Ratatatat!!*

The potato bullets hit the deer’s body.

She fired a considerable amount of bullets, but they weren’t strong enough to pierce through the deer’s tough hide.

However, there was a power that could not be ignored.

Haruki began to move in response to the deer’s intense hatred for Karen.

Then…

*Vrooooom!!*

Another lightning strike.

The deer once again fell to its knees.

Seeing the chance, Haruki immediately jumped to attack, but…

“–!”

His body reacted to the deer’s intimidation.

As a response, he took a step back.

“Gegegege”

The deer looked up to the sky and groaned from the back of its throat.

It made the same sound as a Japanese deer.

It was a roar meant to intimidate its opponent.

But Haruki was tense.

Why did that deer bother to make that roar, leaving himself open to attacks?

Haruki couldn’t understand the purpose behind it.

He thought about getting closer in order to assess the situation.

What would happen then?

“Ka… Karaboshi!”

Karen’s voice echoed behind him.

Haruki held back his initial eagerness to look behind him.

If he had done that, he would have left himself open to the deer’s attacks.

Instead, he chose to expand his Detection skill’s range.

Then, he noticed.

“… No way!?”

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