Jujutsushi Wa Yuusha Ni Narenai - Chapter 71
Chapter 71: Curse + Curse
’’Ha, haha... Finally, finally a fairy square’’
As if to congratulate me for my death match with the mantis, the next fairy square was just beyond the boss room.
For better or worse, no one else was there.
I was finally relieved of that long strenuous tension. I felt so relieved that I just plopped down on the grass and fell asleep―― But before that, I wanted to go back and get the loot, so I picked up my dead-tired body and dragged back the Knight Mantis corpse, which I had just left there in the boss room, to scavenge for parts.
I had collapsed. When I woke up, I immediately saw it, the mantis' huge head right in my face. Talk about a rude awakening.
After retrieving the corpse, I was well past my limits, and I'd apparently passed out.
Now that I think about it, even after accomplishing the feat of soloing the Knight Mantis, I hadn't actually leveled up AKA Ruindhilde-sama didn't bestow me any new curses. Well, I guess it won't be like defeating monsters in a game, and mechanically gaining new skills.
’’Haahh, so tired...’’
My body was still stiff from exhaustion. I must've slept a long while. Although I was not so exhausted, I wasn't exactly in a battle-ready condition either. Must've been all that mana I ended up using.
Yeah, for the time being, I should continue resting here. There's no point in hurrying. While I'm at it, I should also come up with a few strategies for the future.
’’Uhmm, let's see, do the laundry, make some meds, summon Rem... Nahh, I should get something to eat first’’
There weren't any snakes or shrimp worms, so I had no choice but to eat a tasteless meal of walnuts. I drank down the cool fountain water while munching on the bland walnuts. It was pretty lonely. I wanna eat meat. No, RICE, I wanna eat rice.
I was the type to spend my holidays lazing around in the house, but despite feeling so unmotivated right now, I still managed to perform my tasks. I washed my uniform that'd been pretty roughed up from the repeated battles, found some Mimesis Worms to patch up patches, while gathering some flowers and plants around the fairy garden and make my meds.
The various meds such as Ointment A were also ammunition for using Contra-Beat Butterfly. I should make extra for both healing and combat purposes.
Then, I did maintenance for my weapons. Especially the Red Knife, since such rare weapons didn't just drop everywhere. It was also a great source of light, not to mention it could be used to ignite things, it really was useful for survival. Maybe I'll just permanently borrow it.
’’Now then, next is Rem... No, not yet’’
After completing my preparations and maintenance, my body now felt like it was in working condition, but I shouldn't over do it.
This time, I'll be using the parts from the Knight Mantis I'd defeated in the earlier death match. With those parts, I should be able to create a body, whose performance will be on par with the one from the armor bear parts. Or close to it, at least. However, in proportion to getting better performance, a big helping of mana will also be needed.
If I made her while I wasn't in tip top shape, I might just collapse from mana deficiency again. As for the blood I'd used in my earlier battle, I'm not even sure to what degree it had recovered. Worst comes to worst, I might just die from the double entendre of a lack in both mana and blood.
Let's take my time, slowly test the waters―― I thought, practically like an elected politician that had no intention of keeping their promises, so I decided to do something else I'd been wondering about. .
’’Let's practice attacking’’
Of course, I mean using the new way of having Blackhair Bind hold weapons. I'd used it to kill the mantis, so it was already a proven effective method for actual combat. This was something even an amateur like me could do, since I only needed to one-sidedly attack while outside of the opponent's range.
Well, a real vanguard warrior like Mei-chan could easily shred this sort of attack, but I could at least manage gomas, skeletons, and other small mob monsters. If I could stab my opponent from a safe distance, it most definitely beat having to put down a bog and dragging it inside, not to mention the cost-effectiveness of this was better, since I'd be losing much less mana and blood.
After Mei-chan had become a Berserker, I'd subconsciously left all the actual fighting to her. Rather than trying to become stronger myself, I was more focused on how to effectively use Mei-chan's combat prowess, and how to not get in her way in battle.
Heck, with her level of power, it was the right idea too. And we'd managed to work with that.
But, she wasn't here anymore. I didn't have any allies to rely on, I was truly going solo. So right now, I needed some way to fight on my own.
Let's do it, gone will be the weakest Job! The shaman is strong! The best Job of all! We stand on the cusp of the age of curse! Long live Ruinhilde-sama!!!
’’All right, let's do this nice and steady’’
Okay, let's use one of the fairy walnut trees. The trunk was as thick as a human torso and the 2 branches are somewhat like arms, so it'll make a good substitute for a human figure. I tried outlining a face and other things using the sharpie I had in my pencil case that'd been lying in the deep recesses of my bag. I also drew those target circles like in dart boards, so it'd give me a picture of how accurate I was.
My weapon of choice was obviously NOT the red knife, since the tree might catch on fire, so I thought of using the iron dagger, but considering that it'll probably dull the blade, it too was a no go, so instead I made a knife carved out of a branch as substitute.
’’Seal off the path of escape, entangle―― Blackhair Bind ’’
Somehow, it felt like a while since I'd done the full chant. This curse that I'd grown familiar with after repeated use, it was to the point where I could easily cast it as the normal long hair or the braided hair version.
From the shadows at my feet, a black braided hair-like tentacle slowly rose like a snake raising it's head.
’’Come to think of it, can I cast these from places other than shadows?’’
The basic condition of casting Blackhair Bind was that they'd need to extend from shadows. In a place with only light, it didn't work. But, as long as there was shadow, whether it'd be from mine, an enemy's or from the natural terrain, I could cast it. However, I required a visual of said shadow for it to work.
Right now at least, that was the basic activation condition for Blackhair Bind that I knew of... But, for example, could I cast it from my hands? Or maybe use the hair on my my head as a medium instead?
’’――the heck!? It actually worked’’
The results from the experiment: A success. I was amazed with how easy it actually was.
’’Woah, it's long, and wavy’’
Right now, my hair was pretty long, it reached all the way down to my heels. Also since it could move if I willed it, so the long hair was easy to operate. With that said, I could also make it hold weapons.
When I tried waving around a knife, there was no weird feeling of my head being pulled on. So apparently, it could be manipulated as normal. How the hair supported itself was a mystery, but right now, let's not worry about the small stuff.
But, I couldn't really think of a merit for using Blackhair Bind this way. It did move, bur there wasn't much more power behind it. It seemed impractical to use it in actual combat. Maybe I could use it if I went bald?
Incidentally, when I dispelled it, the wavy long hair shrunk and my normal hairstyle returned. It was a relief that my hair didn't disappear altogether.
’’Ah, doing it with my hands feels a lot better’’
For my next attempt, I grew them from my palm. From around the spot with my bloodseal, the hair came out in braids, it felt like I was holding rope.
However, because they were tentacles that could move freely, it felt like my very hands were stretching out.
’’Yup, this style is definitely better to use with weapons’’
I tried brandishing it towards the fairy walnut tree a couple of times, it had a natural feel to it. Well, even if I used it from the shadows on the ground, there wasn't much change to the accuracy, so I guess it was just the problem of my image of how to properly wield the weapon.
But, I don't think I can take this lightly. Especially since a good mental image could have a major impact on how fluidly I could control and fight using weapons.
’’Kinda feels like, I'm a chain and sickle ninja’’
Although it wasn't exactly like how you would picture a chain and sickle. Hmmm, it's like... umm... a throwing knife? I think? Ah, who cares.
I grabbed the substitute knife in both hands, and took a random pose.
’’Wind-style... Gale Blade!’’
While I shouted out some ambiguous name that I may or may not have heard in a game, black hair-like tentacles sprouted out of my hands, both wood knives shot towards the trunk. As I took aim, or more like, I just pictured the trajectory of the tentacles, and with pinpoint accuracy, they hit the neck and torso area that I'd outlined by sharpie, and came back to me like a yo-yo.
’’Oh man, that was kinda awesome’’
Yup, I was just praising myself.
But, if you think about it. To cut something so accurately from several meters away, just how many people are there that could do the same? Probably, other than a trained specialist, no one would be able to accurately cut and retrieve their weapon as efficiently as I could right now.
Furthermore, add on the fact that I could manipulate it freely, isn't this chain that was the Blackhair Bind totally a cheat weapon? In reality, I did succeed in dicing away and finishing off a Mantis from outside its attack range.
’’With this Blackhair Bind and add-on weapons, won't I become a chain-sickle master? No seriously’’
Woah, hold that thought, calm down. I know my name is Kotarou, but I have no association with the Fuuma clan whatsoever, I have not an inkling of talent in becoming a shinobi.
’’And I can't be satisfied with just this. just this. I have to get even stronger’’
In future dungeoning, I should probably expect stuff like the mantis appearing as the small-fry class of mobs. A well placed chain-sickle attack could easily deal with humans, but its lack of power against bigger foes was a cause for concern.
I wondered, couldn't I add more firepower with my current skill set?
Should I just increase the amount of attacks? I could currently use Blackhair Bind to pop out quite a few tentacles. There was no need to be so hung up on the whole dual wielding thing. I could go tri-wielding and even quad-wielding, an omni directional attack style.
’’I can get weapons from any gomas I come across but... it'll become much more difficult to control with too many of them... Just a matter of practice, I guess...’’
If I could secure more weapons it'll add more ways of attack, but even if I can't use them all, I could have my extra tenties stick to restrain enemies, like how it was originally supposed to be used. This'll lead to a more all-rounder type of attack style.
I'm worried that if I concentrate too hard on fighting, I might lose awareness of my surroundings. Before, I had Mei-chan as the vanguard, which left me free to watch all around. But, once I was at the front, I might not have the spare time to be so wary of possible attacks, for instance ambushes from ants, even if I was extra cautious.
However, that of course is the downside of anyone going solo. Apart from close quarters combat, let's think up a method to counteract that disadvantage.
’’If it's just a simple increase in firepower... Using fire should do the trick’’
Fire was a great means of dealing extra damage. The size of the flame didn't matter, what mattered was the heat output. With the red knife, I could easily light a fire despite my lack of pyromantic ability.
The idea was to set my blackhair tentacles on fire. They had the same feel as real hair, so I expected it to burn well...
’’Wha!? Th, this smell! This won't do at all!’’
I immediately dispelled it. Fortunately, with the tentacle gone, the fire also disappeared.
Although it did catch on fire, it didn't exactly go as planned. When it started to burn, it was also accompanied by a strange smoke and was only slightly lit on fire, hardly enough to actually cause any sort of injury.
Most importantly, it stank like ass.
Right, yeah, when you burn hair, there's that sickening smell that accompanies it of course. It's a given, since sulfur makes up a bit of the composition of hair. Guess it was also the same for the hair from Black Hair Bind.
At any rate, other than maybe using it as a form of harassment, it'd contribute nothing in terms of firepower. Well it might be effective on monsters with an acute sense of smell, like red dogs maybe? But, it's not like I wanted to proactively use it.
’’Since that 'fire enchant' clearly didn't work... I don't think I have anything else that can――’’
Ah, wait wait, wasn't I forgeting something really important?
’’――Of course, Rotten Bog!’’
In the previous fight against the Knight Mantis, I'd successfully reconstructed Rem's body using the Rotten Bog. It was pretty effective too, result-wise.
There was also a point to make where Rem was doing her very best but... could this mean, maybe I could combine curses?
In the first place, Rotten Bog doesn't corrode my body nor does it degrade the hairs from Blackhair Bind. That's why my signature combo was always using a tentacle to drag a monster into the monster into the swamp.
It feels like it was intentional, rather than a coincidence, that the effects didn't counteract each other. Well, the curses were originally from a god. And, since Ruinhilde-sama created them, it's like a game system where all my spells conveniently show a certain level of synergy.
Since Super Poison Rem's was a success, maybe I could develop even more compound curse magics. Alright, let's try that out immediately.
A compound curse magic of Blackhair Bind and Rotten Bog.
’’Decay, within the corrupted red abyss ―― Rotten Bog ’’
While experimenting, I'd been using the full chants for the curses. It feels like a long time since I'd done this, just like with this last one and Blackhair Bind.
By the way, I was feeling kind if off put about creating a bog inside the fairy square, so I created it at the exit outwards. The Rotten Bog that was laid down was quite good, it spanned the entire width of the passage outside.
Ok then, the real thing starts now. Magic is all about the image, I firmly imagined the magic that I wanted.
’’Seal off the path of escape, entangle――’’
It was the correct aria for Blackhair Bind, but was it really alright using the same thing while combining it? Even if it was fine with Rem... Hm, won't get any errors without trials, let's change up the spell canto into what I'm imagining the end result as.
Don't underestimate the literature club. Thinking up magic incantations is right up the alley for those chuunibyou light novel authors.
’’Twine into hairs, O rotten red, become thread which violates flesh and bone――’’
It happened the moment I finished my random ass image-cantation. They flew out of the Rotten Bog's acid as if they'd been waiting for the moment I called upon them.
’’Oh! It's Blackhair Bind, but red!’’
They rustled like tall grasses as these red colored Blackhair Bind tentacles were extending from the surface of the swamp. Each one of them had the muddy red texture just like how I imagined them, the Blackhair Bind had taken on the toxic characteristic of the Rotten Bog.
’’Nice, let's try things out with you’’
Having somewhat high expectations, I tossed one of the wooden knife substitutes towards it. While it drew an arc over the poisonous bog, I manipulated the red blackhair tentacles to grab it.
The moment when an ominous red hair tip touched the branch, there was sizzling, and the branch was cleanly sliced in half.
When the hairs actually grabbed onto the now halved piece of tree branch, the item started getting finely chopped before falling into the bog in small pieces.
’’I-it's... a success...’’
No, this went beyond just a ’’success’’.
’’This is amazing, an offensive curse!’’
Rotten Bog, by itself, was like a land mine since it stayed in place, but if I used this, I could have this once stagnant curse rise up and unleash its merciless acid on my enemies. It's no exaggeration to say that I'd finally gotten myself a curse that I've been waiting for all this time, one that can actually attack, actively at that.
’’I did it, I finally did it!’’
My tension skyrocketing, I wanted to grant my first ever original curse magic its own name.
’’Hmm, alright, thou shalt now be called Acid Wire!’’
Redhair Twine : Skin will burn if touched, Meat will rot when entangled, Even bone will melt lest it twines. Red hair manifesting deadly acid.
A name and explanation popped into my mind at the very next moment. Oh Ruinhilde-sama, must we not have western letters in these names, is that so...
There was that bit of interference from my deity, but anyway, like this, I managed to successfully create an all new curse.