Let’s be an Adventurer! ~Defeating Dungeons with a Skill Board~ 150
Let’s Reply To The Hero’s Invitation!
After making Masatsugu’s branch split in half, Haruki went down on his knees on the spot due to pain and fatigue.
The duel didn’t end because Masatsugu had lost his weapon.
Haruki simply didn’t have enough physical strength to keep fighting after that.
Masatsugu’s fighting power was more tremendous than Haruki had imagined.
No matter what he would do, Masatsugu would deal with it easily and deliver a powerful counterattack.
Even though Haruki believed he wasn’t leaving any openings, Masatsugu would find one and get his counterattack through.
His movements were simply beyond human ability.
He had been just barely able to see his movements at the start of their match, but as each duel progressed, it became harder and harder to follow them.
Just as he had done with the last Stampede boss battle, Haruki memorized all of Masatsugu’s movements up to that point, guessed his behavior from his slight habits, and avoided them intuitively.
It had been a series of scary decisions throughout all of their matches.
Haruki didn’t want to be put through that ever again.
(Now, how many adventurers are there that I don’t want to fight against ever again…?)
Masatsugu’s attacks seemed to have broken a few of Haruki’s ribs and fingers, and he felt severe pain from his collarbone, as well as a brain-shaking headache.
He was covered in bruises and cuts caused by being beaten many times with that branch. The damage to his ligaments caused by his constant and forced movement was also severe.
Haruki was wounded all over.
“Good job, Karaboshi. Here, use this medicine.”
Haruki accepted Karen’s medicine and drank it all in one go.
All of his fractures and muscle soreness disappeared in the blink of an eye.
“How was fighting Masatsugu?”
“…He’s very strong. No wonder he’s the strongest adventurer.”
The duels with Masatsugu had been tiring not only physically but also mentally, but the gains had been enormous.
First of all, Masatsugu was very skillful in breaking Haruki’s stance.
In addition to attacking with weapons, Masatsugu was able to break Haruki’s stance by skillfully using his footwork, strength, and his coordination between his shoulders and legs.
Haruki seemed to understand a little about what Shigure, who specializes in swordsmanship, meant when she said that “Masatsugu specializes in monsters.”
He had felt Masatsugu’s specialized combat technique for killing monsters first-hand.
Next was his strength.
Haruki knew Masatsugu’s strength level because he had seen it on his Skill Board.
However, when they actually fought, a baffling amount of power had been added to his basic strength.
It was probably aiki, the ability to use the opponent’s strength against them. That’s what Haruki guessed from the movement of Masatsugu’s muscles.
When that baffling power surged through Masatsugu’s muscles, they would move in a flowing motion as a whole.
It was like making waves with a rope. Masatsugu’s muscles became gradually stronger and turned into a more powerful force.
Furthermore, Masatsugu skillfully used his own skeleton.
The principle of leverage of joints that connect bones. The excess force that works there was used properly, delivering just the right amount of speed.
What caught the eye of Haruki the most was Masatsugu’s use of energy.
Masatsugu was in complete control of his energy, using it fully to assist his movements.
Pouring energy into the soles of his feet made his stepping more agile.
Pouring energy into his lower back made it possible to make smoother turns.
By fully controlling the flow of his own energy into his body, his movements were in complete unison.
Haruki was quickly able to imitate it, but couldn’t master it.
It was just like what happened when he was fighting Shigure.
Their techniques were so advanced that it would take some time to imitate them with Haruki’s skill.
At any rate, the battles with Masatsugu would yield tremendous results.
Haruki felt he would finally be able to get out of that stalemate he had felt himself on lately.
“Hey Air. How do you feel after being pummeled by the hero Masatsugu? Hey, how do you feel~!?”
Akane approached Haruki with the biggest and most devilish smile on her face.
Haruki’s forehead twitched.
At that moment, Masatsugu approached them with a gentle smile.
“I should have given this to you beforehand, Mask…”
He looked down apologetically and handed him a paper box.
The word “Potions” was written on the box.
Potions were the most famous and most expensive kind of recovery medicine.
They started calling them “Potions” as soon as the dungeons started to appear all over Japan.
Thanks to that name, the potions sold very well.
Using the money earned from their successful sales, the quality of these potions improved drastically.
There were potions with the same taste since their release.
There were mid potions with improved quality.
And there were high potions, which were said to grant full recovery from all kinds of wounds.
Currently, these three types were sold as standard products.
The price for a regular potion was about 50% higher than that of the average recovery medicine.
As for high potions, they could get well over 10 million yen a dose.
They were very expensive, but they were the most reliable kind of medicine an adventurer could have.
The only ones that could heal some things but not others were the regular potions.
It seems that advanced adventurers would have enough money to use potions regularly, but an intermediate adventurer such as Haruki, who wouldn’t normally have such funds, wouldn’t be able to use them as freely.
The box had a total of 6 potions.
There were three regular potions, two mid potions, and even one of the most expensive high potions.
“There’s so many of them here! You’re not really giving me all of them, are you? I’m supposed to pick one of them, right?”
“Oh no. I’m going to give them all to you.”
Just how much money are all these potions worth?
Haruki’s hands trembled as he held the paper box.
“This is not only for you to recover from the wounds from our duels, but also to make up for the troubles I’ve caused you in the past.”
Masatsugu was talking about him being attacked by Shigama and his team.
That had been Shigama’s own fault, and had nothing to do with Masatsugu.
…Wasn’t your fault.
Haruki tried to say that, but he was interrupted by Masatsugu, who raised his hand lightly and shook his head gently.
It would be rude to reject his good intentions any further.
As Haruki swallowed his words, Masatsugu extended his hand towards him.
“…For the time being, let me just thank you for today’s match, Mask.”
“No, thank you.”
Haruki took Masatsugu’s extended hand and shook it firmly.
“You did really well in our last match, Mask.”
“Ah, it wasn’t that impressive. I just did my best since I was so thrilled about being able to fight you, Masatsugu.”
“But you’re an intermediate adventurer, right? It really is impressive that you can keep up on a fight with me. You should be proud of yourself, Mask.
“Come on, you were going easy on me.”
Haruki looked at the branch that Masatsugu still held in his hand.
At the very end, the branch was highlighted by Weakness Exploit, so Haruki was able to cut it in half, but that had been his limit.
If Masatsugu hadn’t been using a branch, Haruki wouldn’t have been able to put up a good fight.
“… Ah, Masatsugu. Actually, my name isn’t Mask–”
“Right, I had something that I wanted to discuss with you, Mask. Do you have a moment?”
“Ah, uh… Yeah…”
Having his correction utterly ignored, Haruki downheartedly followed Masatsugu.
After stopping at a distance from Karen and Akane, Masatsugu turned to Haruki.
His expression had changed to a more serious one, unlike the gentle one he had been showing so far.
“Are you interested in Team Braver?”
“Yeah. I’d like you to join Team Braver.”
Haruki was surprised by Masatsugu’s words.
He was asking him to join Team Braver.
No way, me!? But why…?
Haruki was completely confused.
Team Braver was the strongest team in Japan.
It was composed of about 50 people, of which most were relatively advanced adventurers.
Those 50 people were adventurers who represented Japan.
Team Braver was a group of strong adventurers who had been active in each region to save their country.
Haruki couldn’t understand why he was being invited to join that team.
“I believe there are a lot of people who are stronger than me. Kagemitsu, for instance.”
“Kagemitsu wants to work in Hokkaido. Also, he said he was scared of Tokyo. I invited him to the team once a long time ago, but he refused.”
He could see Kagemitsu being afraid of being under a very bright spotlight if he had accepted Masatsugu’s offer.
(But he was asked to join that team after all. Kagemitsu is really strong!)
“At this point, you’re at the very top of the level of an intermediate adventurer, Mask. I think you’re just a few steps ahead from becoming an advanced adventurer, but if you join Team Braver, you’ll grow faster and stronger than ever.
We Bravers have an environment where you can become the strongest short sword user there is. I’m sure you will, if you join us. I think you have that much power and talent, Mask. After actually fighting you, I was truly convinced about that. Will you join us in saving Japan from the dungeons?”
His offer did seem very tempting.
Masatsugu, the strongest man that every adventurer in Japan looked up to, had personally invited him to join the strongest team in Japan.
Even so, Haruki had few accomplishments under his belt, and his name wasn’t that well known.
To make things worse, his presence was still almost non-existent, but…
(Could this help me increase my presence!?)
Haruki tried really hard to hide his excitement about the possibility of increasing his presence.
However, he immediately calmed down and looked behind him.
Karen and Akane were there, eating melon with a spoon, and Haruki wondered when exactly did they get that.
It was as if they had changed completely into picnic mode at some point.
“If you’re worried about your teammate, you can bring her with you to Tokyo as well. Though I can’t promise she’ll have a spot in Team Braver as well. But she can join you whenever you go into a dungeon. There are other members of Team Braver who have gone on exploration parties with people from outside the team.”
It seemed that Haruki wouldn’t have to leave Karen behind if he were to go to Tokyo.
At least, even if Haruki belonged to Team Braver, he could still have Karen join him and dive into the dungeon together.
Haruki put his hand on his mask and started to think.
If he went to Tokyo, there would be lots of people and techniques he could see.
He could also easily get his hands on items that weren’t normally found in Hokkaido.
By joining forces with the strongest adventurers, he could become stronger than ever.
(All right, I’ve made up my mind!)
Haruki took his hand off his mask and looked straight at Masatsugu.
“I’m very grateful for the offer, but I’m sorry. My answer is no.”
He then followed up with an apologetic bow.
“…Can I ask you why?”
“I… I wouldn’t stand out.”
“If I join Team Braver, I’ll become even less noticeable than how I am now!”
Each of the members of Team Braver were all powerful adventurers.
Every single one of them had an amazing presence.
Even trees become less noticeable when they’re in the middle of the forest.
If Haruki were to join Team Braver, he would definitely be drowned out by the collective presence of so many incredible adventurers being around him.
“I’m afraid that my presence will become even weaker than ever!”
Haruki’s statement sounded as if salt had been poured over an open wound, but Masatsugu seemed to be confused by it because he couldn’t understand it.
“I don’t think you will fail to stand out there. I’d even say you’ll be even more noticeable just by being a part of our team!”
“…Even like this?”
Having said that, Haruki took off his mask.