38 Adventure and Chocolate
This was it now, my new or rather first adventurer's party. It wasn't like in the games I used to play, where a group of four to six childhood friends suddenly decided to become some kind of heroes, this rather felt like a family business of some sort.
There was a married couple, Sophia and Jack, two girls who could easily be their daughters and the uncle-like Ofris who lead us all. Aside from maybe Miriam with her unique hair-color, I was the only one that didn't really fit this picture, due to my fox-ears and -tail. It was also due to me, that this party of us was gathering interested and judging looks from bystanders.
"You aren't good around strangers, are you?" Miriam asked when we finally had passed the gate of the town. "You have been hiding behind Ofris all this time."
"I don't like being stared at ..."
"They will get bored of it soon enough. It was the same for me when I came to this town."
"Why would they stare at you?"
Miriam let her pale-blue hair wave over her shoulder. "It is because I am a half."
"My father was a duarian."
"Yes," she answered with some hesitation, "they met in Orynn."
"No, not that! What is a duarian?"
"What? You don't know them?"
"I kinda lost my memory... didn't they tell you?"
"You forgot it?"
"I don't know anything that happened before Ofris found me."
"That must be hard."
"It is fine."
"Anyway. Duarians are a tribe that is blessed by elemental magic. It changes the color of their hair."
«It works like it does in some games?»
"So your hair color is due to you being blessed by water magic?"
"You can use powerful water magic then?"
A forced smile appeared on her beautiful lips. "If putting out a campfire does count as powerful, then sure ..."
"I will get stronger soon enough!"
"So we are the same. I want to get stronger, too."
"But aren't you quite strong? I heard you defeated wolves and goblins."
"... even a child could defeat me."
"It doesn't look that way."
"But it is!"
"Couldn't you easily beat Ofris? Sophia told me he had been a little scared of you before."
"I would never use that kind of magic against him! No! I will never use it again!"
Miriam looked at me confused, but she chose to not ask me about it. Instead, she let her gaze wander to the front, passing the older members of our party and ultimately landing on the mountain range that was our target for today.
It took us three hours to reach the forest surrounding the mountains. When we reached it, we were greeted by the calls of various kinds of animals, most of them being birds and insects. There were yelps and howls, too, but I choose to not pay attention to them. Even though I had defeated them before, I didn't want to think about fighting wolves, goblins and bears ever again.
We only stopped when we reached a picture-perfect oasis in the midst of the forest. It was a natural clearing that had formed around a small stream. I could hear a waterfall nearby, but it was still hidden behind walls of trees and shrubs. Ofris and the others placed down their package next to the remains of a campfire they likely had used the last time they had been here.
"We will camp here for tonight," he explained. "It is dangerous to travel through the forest in the night."
"It has monsters?" I heard myself ask.
"Monsters, large Animals, Snakes, Goblins, Orcs, Wyverns ..."
"I get it! I get it!"
«Wyverns?! Did he really say Wyverns? Those dragon-like things that spit fire or poison clouds?! How are we going to defeat those! They don't even have-»
「Balls?」 Shiro's mischievous voice assaulted me. 「You will never defeat them, then.」
«You gave me new magic! It is stronger than before!»
「Do you think it is strong enough to injure a wyvern?」
«How am I supposed to know?!»
「We better find out soon!」
«How about 'no'?!»
The vixen didn't even think about listening to my opinion. Nothing I could have said would have hindered her from trolling me. When a green screen with several lines of small font appeared in front of me, I felt like dying and being reborn into a baby instead – far outside of the reach of this wicked goddess.
『Quest accepted: Ball-less Opponents
Description: Defeat 1000 opponents that lack balls.
Rewards: Title 'A Ballsy Maiden'
Additional Rewards for partial completion:
50 Experience Points per defeated opponent.』
A second screen appeared without me asking or even wishing for it:
『A Ballsy Maiden
Class: Permanent; Active
Effect: Significantly increases chance to critical strike male opponents when using offensive magic. Reduces symptoms of fear and anxiousness. Lowers effects of fatigue.
Activation: Say 'Balls' thrice.
Description: Awarded to those who displayed major ballsiness when faced by strong opponents.』
"I am going to kill you one day ..."
"What did you say?!" Miriam's surprised question came.
"It is nothing!"
«I will never do that!»
「You are boring ...」
«Who would want that kind of title? I don't want to burn anyone down there ever again!»
「What about this one, then?」
The screen disappeared and gave way for a new one. It wasn't even slightly better than the one that had just disappeared.
『Quest accepted: A Hero in the Making
Description: Defeat a wyvern.
Rewards: Title 'Hero'』
«That is pretty straightforward. What happened to trolling me?»
「I never wanted to troll my little Rika!」
"It's nothing ..."
Class: Permanent; Passive
Effect: Steals one percent of all attributes from defeated opponents. This effect is only activated when the target had total attributes exceeding those of the wearer of this title by 200% or more.
Description: Awarded to those chosen by Shiro.』
«Isn't that kind of overpowered? With Ofris and the others helping me-»
A new line immediately appeared in the description: 『When fighting in a party, the total attributes of the target must exceed the combined total attributes of all party members by 100%』
「Fox. Didn't we go through this already?」
«Why did you do this?»
「I can't have you cheating, you know?」
«You really do not want to give me cool stuff, do you?»
「Why would I? You wouldn't even use it in the first place. Don't you think you are pretty unthankful?」
«I used everything you gave me! I even kissed and licked Ofris! Don't you think you think that was more than enough of using it?!»
「You didn't even touch 'Itembox' yet. Isn't that something everyone would love to have?」
«You gave me an itembox?»
「You really forgot?! Rika is mean! You are the worst!」
A new screen appeared. This time, there wasn't just font, but pictures, too. At least there was two. One of which that I had already forgotten about.
⇒Equipment: Mira MK2
⇒Manual: Being a Fox for Dummies
⇒Manual: Foxy Dancing
⇒Magic Tome: Fox Magic – Beginners Edition
⇒Magic Tome: Fox Magic – Intermediate Edition
⇒Consumeable: Bar of Chocolate x5
⇒Recipe: Hot Chocolate』
⊱————- Extra ————-⊰
Shiro: Chocolate is awesome!
Rika: I don't like sweet stuff.
Shiro: Didn't you love the juice Ofris ordered for you?
Rika: That was a different!
Shiro: Awww! Because it was him who gave it to you?! That is soo cute~!
Shiro: There is nothing better than drinking hot chocolate when you have menstrual cramps.
Rika: Gods get cramps, too?
Shiro: Why would we? They hurt!