122 Part 2


“Hey, Van, let’s go get some soft cream!!”

“Ah… Uh… Sure.”

“Yeah, let’s go!”

“… Haah.”


Van sighed lightly at the enthusiasm shown by Kagemitsu, whose eyes were shining with a sweet nostalgia.

I really can’t understand what’s going through this man’s mind…


* * * * * * * * *


Haruki and the others quickly finished their preparations and headed for Hakodate by foot instead of by car.

This is because the road to Hakodate had been devastated since the First Stampede, and there were places that couldn’t be reached by car.


They could have gone half-way by car and do the rest of the way on foot. However, Haruki couldn’t just leave his car in the middle of nowhere.

His car would be exposed to wind and rain, but more than that, Haruki was worried that someone would try to steal it.


There would be no use crying if he were to return to his car from his work in Hakodate only to find it with several of its parts missing or even the entire thing gone.

That’s why Haruki decided that instead of driving, they would travel the 350 km to Hakodate by foot.


But not just walking. They would run.

They would run all the way to Hakodate.

Since they had leveled up and improved their physical skills, they should be able to endure running such a distance.


The only ones who could run were Haruki, Karen, and Esta.

Rhea could manage to walk, but couldn’t run, so instead she traveled inside Haruki’s backpack, with her leaves swaying gracefully in the wind.


Maat sat on Esta’s back instead of Haruki’s head. It seemed that Esta’s running had less vibration and was smoother than Haruki’s.


And Chep…


“Ughgghh… Oh… Blegh…”


Chep seemed to have gotten sick by their running’s turbulence, and was throwing up inside Karen’s pocket.

A dispirited Karen was able to recall Chep into the bracelet with considerable ease.

It seemed whenever Chep was weakened by motion sickness, she could be forced into the bracelet without any kind of resistance.


Haruki still wasn’t 100% used to his new physical level.

Which is why he thought about getting rid of any discrepancies by running a long distance.


Back when he was in high-school, Haruki used to belong to the track-and-field club.

He was a long-distance runner.


In order to run a long distance, you have to move your body efficiently.

Because of that, he continued to make leaps in the efficiency of his energy and optimizing his body’s movements.


Haruki, who was completely devoted to running at the time, was able to adapt to various sports before he even realized.

That’s because he had learned how to move his body efficiently through practice.


One can easily understand their own physical performance simply by running.

That was a real lesson that Haruki had learned from his activities in the track-and-field club.


Haruki also believed that his stamina skill could increase by running longer distances.


“Hmm. Easy-peasy.”


As he ran, Haruki realized that he had more leeway than he expected.

Karen, on the other hand…


“Haaah… Haaah…”


… Was completely out of breath.


Haruki’s current Stamina level was 3, while Karen’s was 2.

Was that the reason for such a difference? Or was it because of his experience as a long-distance runner?


At this rate, if he were to further increase his speed, Karen would not be able to keep up with him.

Therefore, Haruki tried various movements while maintaining a constant speed.


First of all, jump.

How much had the performance of his body’s springs improved?

How much would it rise if efficiency were to be further improved from there?


To confirm that, Haruki jumped repeatedly as he ran.

It took a lot of precise physical control to jump without changing speed.


His body jumped with a light movement.

It drew a parabola and landed, absorbing the impact with his legs.


How to adjust the force to leap in a more stable way, aand how to kill the impact felt at the time of landing.

With a little thought, Haruki found a number of areas that could be improved.


A particularly unique discovery was that his body would rotate naturally in mid-air if the position of his hands were slightly changed when jumping.


“I see…”


When a gymnast jumps into the air, he fixes his hands at various angles because fixing them in that position adds a natural rotation to his body.


Is there anything that the action of this force could be used for?


While his eyes were sparkling with his new discoveries, Karen’s face became stiff as he saw Haruki jumping repeatedly.


(Why did you suddenly start jumping!? It looks like you’re getting up to three storeys high with each jump!!)


She couldn’t understand why Haruki suddenly started to jump so high while running.

Is it because it’s easier for him to move that way? That idea crossed her mind for a moment, but then she shook her head.


No matter how she thought about it, moving while jumping that high couldn’t be easier than just running.


(Then he’s doing it… As a hobby?)


He was a man who would raise a potato plant and a centipede as a hobby.

Jumping while running just because he wanted to wasn’t that strange of an idea for Karen.


Haruki analyzed his energy after jumping.

He had put a lot of energy into his weapons, but he hadn’t tried to pour energy into his armor yet.


Haruki tried to put his energy into the mask.

The mask accepted Haruki’s energy surprisingly smoothly.


At that moment…




Karen, who was running right next to Haruki, lost control of her breathing and suddenly fell to the ground.


“What’s wrong, Karen!?”

“Hee… Heee… Hooooh…”


Karen’s face was completely flushed, and she seemed to have difficulty breathing.

Her breathing must have been a mess, since she was holding her sides with teary eyes.


Haruki stared at her in confusion, not knowing what to do.


“Stomach… hurts…”


Karen had a stomach ache.

Her stomach ache wasn’t due to her efforts at long-distance running.

It was because when she was running right next to Haruki, his mask suddenly glowed and began to blink quickly.


The mask seemed to be floating in the air, flashing and jumping in mid-air.

She couldn’t stand such a surrealistic sight and burst out in laughter.


Her spewing out air so quickly disrupted her breathing, which made it difficult for her to keep on running and caused her to fall.

She wanted to laugh, but couldn’t because she didn’t have enough oxygen. That’s why her sides were cramping.


It was pure hell.


(Don’t make me laugh like that while we’re running! That’s foul play!!)


The teary-eyed Karen desperately tried to get her breathing back in order.


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