Chapter 3-27 : Salamander Ⅰ
「Look. That’s the second cave and I think that’s the place we’re looking for. I can tell even from here.」(Sarasa)
I pointed to the cave about ten meters ahead.
I feel the magical power flowing from that cave, so most likely a Salamander lives there.
The third cave is a little farther away, so I’m glad that we don’t have to climb this volcano any further.
「Is that so? I don’t see any difference with the first cave though. Kate, how about you?」(Iris)
Kate-san nodded to Iris-san who asked while tilting her head.
「I can tell somehow… Is it because I’ve been practicing magic lately?」(Kate)
「I think so. It looks like your ability to sense magical power has become stronger.」(Sarasa)
Being able to sense magical power is important in using magic, so I can say that Kate-san’s training has been going well.
If she keeps practicing, I think she will be able to use magic soon.
At some point, you will have to overcome some difficulties when you’re just beginning to use magic but as long as you put effort into your practice, you will be fine.
「If you two say so, then there’s no mistake… It’s about time to confront a Salamander, huh?」(Iris)
Iris-san’s expression looked a bit tense and her clenched hands were trembling a little.
I could feel a tense atmosphere from Kate-san as well, but she didn’t look as nervous as Iris-san.
I’d be lying if I say I’m not nervous at all but we have to keep our cool. After all, your movements will become stiff when you are nervous.
「Iris-san, are you afraid?」(Sarasa)
「Yeah, a little… We’re going to fight an extremely dangerous monster after all. This is probably the first time I’ve been this nervous.」(Iris)
Iris-san replied to me while holding the handle of the sword on her waist tightly.
「No, no! You don’t need to fight it, okay? You’re here to support me and help to buy me some time if necessary. If you fight it in close combat, you will most likely be killed!」(Sarasa)
These Heatproof Coats can withstand heat to some extent but they’re not that dependable in terms of defense against physical attacks.
The first layer was indeed made of Lava Lizard skin but it wasn’t as hard as when it was on a living Lava Lizard. It will break after receiving Salamander’s physical attack several times.
In the first place, Iris-san’s sword is just an ordinary sword that can’t withstand a Salamander’s Fire Breath.
I really don’t want her to fight if at all possible…
「Ugh… I understand, but…」(Iris)
While saying that, Iris-san took her hand off the handle of her sword and looked at me worriedly.
I put my fist on my chest and smiled at her.
「Don’t worry! I don’t think I’ll have a hard time fighting it.」(Sarasa)
「Are you sure…? I know that you’re strong but you once said that you’re not that good at offensive spells, didn’t you?」(Iris)
「I did but not being good at it doesn’t mean that I can’t do it, right?」(Sarasa)
「Well, you have a point.」(Iris)
According to Master, I have too much magical power.
Normally, your magical power will gradually grow as you train. If you train magic properly, your ability to control your magical power will grow along with the amount of your magical power.
However, in my case, it seems that I had too much magical power from the beginning.
Although it’s an advantageous thing as an alchemist, there’s no point if I can’t control it.
Using magic without good control is as hard as pouring wine directly from a huge barrel into a small glass without spilling it.
Therefore, I trained hard to control my magical power when I worked at Master’s shop.
「I remember I caused a lot of trouble because I can’t control my magical power when I worked at Master’s shop…」(Sarasa)
「Hee… Store Owner-san caused trouble, huh? You have the image of a person who never makes mistakes though.」(Kate)
I shook my head and smiled bitterly at Kate-san who didn’t expect it.
「Everyone makes mistakes, you know? But because I’ve been recognized as a full-fledged alchemist and have a qualification for it, I’ve been trying my best not to make mistakes.」(Sarasa)
As an alchemist who has a store, I can’t afford to make a mistake, especially when processing materials because I will lose a lot of money.
It rarely happens but actually, sometimes I make mistakes when I try to make new artifacts. I never talk about it, so they both have no idea.
「Fortunately, thanks to this artifact I got from my master, I can control my magical power way easier.」(Sarasa)
While saying that, I showed Iris-san and Kate-san the necklace that I was wearing.
They looked closely at the artifact that looked just like a normal necklace on my neck.
「What kind of artifact is it?」(Iris)
「This artifact helps me suppress the amount of magical power I use, so I can control it easier.」(Sarasa)
Back to the wine barrel analogy from earlier. Using magic without good control is as hard as pouring wine directly from a huge barrel into a small glass without spilling it. However, you can control your magical power easier with this artifact as if there’s a lid on the barrel that limits how much wine you can pour so it won’t overflow.
I don’t usually use this artifact to do normal work such as making potions and artifacts but this time is different.
I may have to use offensive spells that require a lot of magical power, and when I do that, sometimes I use too much magical power without realizing it.
Normal people will just give it all when using offensive spells, but I’m different… My magical power may get out of control if I give my all when using magic…
Honestly, I’m a little envious of the people who have the right amount of magical power.
After I explained about it, Iris-san and Kate-san nodded.
「I see… But, that means without that necklace, you can release a very powerful offensive spell, right?」(Iris)
「Yup. A very, very powerful one. However, my magical power will go out of control.」(Sarasa)
「You said you’re not good at offensive spells but you can release a very powerful one, huh?」(Iris)
「I’m not good at it because my magical power may get out of control. Do you know what I mean? Well, it’s probably because I don’t practice enough though.」(Sarasa)
「I see… What happens if it gets out of control?」(Iris)
「I won’t be able to move my body for a while.」(Sarasa)
When I killed two Hellfire Grizzlies who attacked my house a while ago, I lost my cool in anger and used too much magical power without realizing it. My magical power got out of control and because of that, I ended up being bedridden for several days.
「That’s why you two are here to support me. It’ll be great if I can defeat our target easily. The worst-case scenario is if I can’t defeat it and my magical power gets out of control. If that happens, you have to carry me and run away but if you don’t think that’s possible, well, you will have no choice but to leave me.」(Sarasa)
「H, Huh!? There’s no way we’ll leave you alone! You’re doing all this for my family. I’m not a heartless person who will run away and leave my benefactor alone with a dangerous monster! I will take you back home safely no matter what!」(Iris)
「She’s right! How can we leave you? Iris, if such a scenario happens, I will try to lure the Salamander so that you can pick up Store Owner-san and carry her to safety.」(Kate)
Uwahh… They’re getting serious…
「Umm, guys? Don’t worry. I don’t think it will likely happen. Besides, I don’t think that monster will stay unwounded after receiving my attacks, so even if I fail to kill it, I think you two will have a chance to pick me up and run away.」(Sarasa)
「Are you sure…?」(Iris)
「Y-Yes, of course. Wait a sec…」(Sarasa)
Saying that, I took out some Freezing Stones and Freezing Arrows from my bag. They are the artifacts that Leonora-san sent me.
Freezing Stones and Freezing Arrows are disposable artifacts that are made from Ice Fang Bats’ fangs.
I think these artifacts are perfect for Iris-san and Kate-san who will have difficulties attacking the Salamander.
「Here, take them. If it gets too dangerous, please use these artifacts to distract the Salamander.」(Sarasa)
I handed the Freezing Stones to Iris-san and the Freezing Arrows to Kate-san.
「Freezing Stones, huh…? If I’m not mistaken, each of these stones cost over three thousand reas, right?」(Iris)
「To be exact, it’s three thousand and five hundred reas each, and Kate-san’s Freezing Arrows are four thousand reas each.」(Sarasa)
「They’re quite expensive, and we have this many… I’m amazed…」(Kate)
Kate-san was taken aback when she saw so many Freezing Arrows in the quiver I gave her and the Freezing Stones in the leather bag on Iris-san’s waist.
「I think these weapons are too extravagant for us…」(Iris)
「Well, ordinary Collectors like us don’t usually use expensive weapons after all.」(Kate)
Iris-san and Kate-san looked even more nervous for some reason…
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Here, I’ll hand these items to you just in case… “It’s dangerous to go alone!”