1 – 5: Crossroads
I went back to my home leaf.
After all that, the Skill Monolith suddenly shattered. That meant the Flying skill tree couldn’t be reacquired.
There was nothing else in the room, and just standing there wasn’t doing me any good, so I returned home. It took days to climb but only a moment to return. After falling a bit, I would send out my thread as an anchor, and repeat that process until I made it safely down.
By using Analyze on my leaf, I learned that this was part of the “World Tree”. As the name indicated, it was a gigantic tree. Could it be the same one I’d heard about in the Nordic myths?
【Handmade World Tree Bow】
【A bow made from the World Tree. While normally having Water and Wood elemental attributes, due to poor craftsmanship, such attributes were lost.】
【World Tree Leaf Fragments】
【May act to a certain extent as a healing item for status effects recorded on the Status Screen, as well as recovering MP.】
【Handmade Bag (S)】
【A small bag made from the string of a Giant Crawler. While normally a highly valued handicraft, due to poor craftsmanship, such value was lost.】
【World Tree Arrow】
【An arrow cut from the World Tree. While normally possessing the Divine Protection attribute to pierce through anything, due to poor craftsmanship, this attribute was lost.】
Those were the results of examining my belongings. Really, poor craftsmanship this, poor craftsmanship that, give me a break! And, I thought as much, but this Analyze skill really only uses certain verbiage and automated sentences. It also recognizes the difference between handmade goods and the real deal. I wondered if I’d get to see the items’ stats when my Analyze skill reached the Advanced level.
Even though I’d gotten my hands on that skill tree, I couldn’t use it. It probably had something to do with being Level 0. I had no idea how to raise that level, but if I couldn’t get it to 1 I likely wouldn’t be able to use the Flight magic at all. Why couldn’t it be some kind of proficiency meter instead…?
And thus I returned to my Home Leaf. My next goal was to investigate inside the hole again. I had a bit of an inkling about something. If what I was thinking turned out to be true, then going through the hole again would be a piece of cake.
Inside the hole was…exactly as I’d expected.
Along the ground and walls, there were white lines everywhere. They stretched as far as the eye could see, marking things like switches, hooks, and spears. ‘Yeesh, just how many traps does this place have‘…I thought while making an unpleasant face. Everything I looked at with Analyze had it’s name displayed, so much so that it was almost too much.
Seriously, Analyze is totally cheating.
I continued on avoiding the traps. During that time, I didn’t run into any monsters. I figured the blue bat I battled last time must have been triggered by a trap.
After a while I happened upon a square hole in the floor, from which visible words were coming out. They were displayed in the lower right corner of my vision.
“Mufuu…this is terrible. But I gotta hang in there!”
Oh, this was just like watching a subtitled foreign film. Er, does this mean someone’s in that hole? Were the subtitles picking up on the voice coming out of there?
After thinking for a moment, I decided just go for it and use my 《Thought Speech》 skill.
<I-is someone there?>
After a short silence there came a reply.
“Wha? There’s a voice in my head? W-who are you?”
Ooh, it worked. Hehheh, so Thought Speech was pretty much just like Telepathy.
<My apologies, due to certain circumstances I’m incapable of speaking, So I’m using 《Thought Speech》 to speak with you.>
“Ah, okay, I see. Oh, could it be…you’re at the top of this hole?”
Hmm, the subtitles didn’t indicate the gender of the speaker. I got the feeling from the text that it was a bit girlish, but if the person turned out to be some super muscly middle-aged man…what should I do?
“Mufuu! Ah, um, um, I don’t know if you’re able to, but I would very much like to be rescued. I’ve been stuck living in this pitfall for a while now, so…please help me!”
Living in the pitfall? My oh my, I’m surprised this person was still alive…
<I don’t mind helping you. I do, however, have a condition.>
“Con-condition?! Eh, if you made it this far you must also be an adventurer so you’re probably not interested in money…but I do have some magic items stored at the guild if that would be all right?”
<Oh, no that’s not what meant. I just ask that you not be shocked by my appearance, or suddenly attack me is all.>
But all that talk of magic items and the guilds had me super intrigued.
“Mufuu. I-I can do that. I-if you save me.”
<Understood. Now then, I’m sending down some thread, be sure to grab hold of it.>
I lowered some thread down the hole.
“I’ve got it.”
I then reeled in the thread and pulled the mystery person up the hole.
And what I saw in the hole was a girl. She was probably a little taller than me, somewhere between 140-150cm (4’6″-4’9″). The girl’s skin was snow white against her dyed-blue leather armor and short blue cape, and she had long silver hair. One distinctive feature were her ears that stuck out like tree limbs. When she first looked at me she was shocked, but then seemed to come to an understanding and turned quiet. But wait a minute, those ears, is it possible she’s an elf girl?! This really was another world. Wow, the genuine article.
Er, I suppose I should use Analyze on the Elf girl.
【Name: Syrone Evergreen Swilow】
Agh, that’s not very much information… But ‘Treefolk’, isn’t that exactly like an elf?
“Hey, um, would you mind getting me out?”
Whups, I went back to finish pulling her up out of the hole, then released my magic thread.
“Mufuu, you really saved me. And wow, I now understand why you asked me not to be surprised. You’re a Stellar Beast aren’t you?”
“Oh, were you not aware? My people call such intelligent animals and beasts ‘Stellar Beasts’. Normally they’re the type of creatures that guard the treasure in the center of a labyrinth, or protect a tribe or village. However, you’re the first living one I’ve ever met. Are you perhaps the Guardian Stellar Beast of the World Tree?”
“I think you’re mistaken.”
Did that mean there were many others out there like myself?!
“Oh dear, is that so? Ah, please excuse me, I haven’t introduced myself yet. My name is Syrone, Syrone Swilow.”
I struggled for a moment, wondering what name I should give her, and finally replied.
“I suppose, you could say my name is King of the Ice Storm.”
And that was my first meeting with Syrone.