The Pseudo-Ninja from Another World - 29
It’s been an hour since our battle with the killer bears. We continued hiking towards the top, slaying any of the monsters that kept popping up. It should have been a difficult climb without a trail and going through the trees, but thankfully my stats are high enough to make it a breeze. The same applies to Nellie and even Laurina is pretty light on her feet.
“Geeze…” I mutter. “Is this really what happens the moment you step off the trail? 3 killer bears, 2 scale vipers, 4 horned wolves… just how high is the encounter rate here?”
“Encounter rate…?” Nellie asked, confused.
“Ah, I meant, just why are we running into so many monsters?”
“Oh, that’s because barrier stones are buried at certain intervals on mountain trails and highways,” Nellie explained. “Its design lets it absorb mana in the air around it, so it’s not that powerful, but it’s good against most threats.”
“Huh, I see…” I said. “Well, we are hunting for a bear liver, so it’d be nice if one showed up soon.”
“We are close to the summit, so it should be about time,” Nellie replied. “We might already be in its territory.”
“Mmm, sounds about right,” I said.
So far, we’ve been completely monster free, and no signs of animals either…
“Nellie, something’s up…” I said. “It’s too quiet.”
As you get nearer the summit of Mt. Cuccoda, the trees and the grass start thinning out until the ground is almost all rock. There should be fewer animals around here, yes… but what does it mean if there’s none at all?
“Fufufun… congratulations on making it up here, The Creator.”
“That voice…” I say. “No way!”
I turn to it and looked at the top of a small boulder, the air distorted like a mirage before three people appear.
“Fufufu, yes, it is us…” the woman says.
“The Three Stooges!” I cry.
“Hey, who are you calling the Three Stooges?!” she yells back. “We are…!”
“The Witch of Destruction, Majora Negou!”
“The Warrior Strategist, Crozier Aines!
“The Living Mountain, Jarvan Coben!”
“Together, we are the Sazan Terrors!”
The three strikes a pose on the boulder with Majora in the center.
… I don’t think they understand just how ridiculous they look…
“… Ah, are you some kind of parody characters?” I ask
“We are not parodying anything!” Crozier yelled. “Do you know how rude you’re being right now?!”
“Ah, yeah, sorry for messing up…” Jarvan says.
“This is… just dumb as I expected!” Majora yells.
“Hey, don’t blame me, it’s this guy that screwed up,” Crozier says.
“I’m really sorry, Cro…!” Jarvan says.
“Ah, just leave this to me, Boss,” Crozier says as he jumps off the boulder and to us.
“Huh, just one of you…?” I ask.
Crozier chuckles and says, “It would be a problem if we’re too close together… we don’t need all three of us to beat you, just me.”
“Lady Shino, I feel something terribly off about this…” Nellie mutters. “I don’t think he’s alone if he’s this confident.”
I can’t help but agree. Our level difference is massive but we can’t afford to be careless.
“Why aren’t you coming forward?” Crozier taunts. “Suddenly feeling scared?”
I’m unaffected by the provocation.
“W-What did you just say?!”
“I’ll take you down myself!” Walter cries. He lets out a battle cry as he whips out his silver-white slapping fan and charges Crozier.
However, Crozier is still at a much higher level than him.
With a black dagger, Crozier disarms Walter. “Ha, you’re the one going down, brat,” he says.
“… How?” Walter asks.
Crozier’s dagger glows red and black.
“Walter! Get back!” I yell.
“Summon Large Beast!” Crozier shouts.
As Walter tried to flee, the dagger is covered in black-red energy, it transforms into a giant mass that lashes out at Walter.
He’s sent flying, he screams.
“Walter!” I yell.
He smashes into a tree, he starts coughing up blood.
An external cut is one thing, internal bleeding is another thing entirely. “Nellie!” I yell. “Heal Walter! Laurina and Karlvint, protect them!”
And with that, I whip out my swords and charged at our new foe.
At first glance, it looked just like a killer bear, but it was twice as large and the claws were like longswords more than daggers. With how large it loomed over me, I felt like I was fighting a dinosaur.
Crozier lets out an evil laugh. “Look at this and weep: it’s the demon bear you were looking for! And the strongest of them all, too: an Ogre Bear!”
“That’s… only supposed to be possible with Grand Beast Tamers…” Laurina muttered, shaking her head in disbelief. “But even if he’s not one, can you even use a monster of that size?!”
“… It’s not just that,” Walter said, standing again thanks to Nellie. “It’s not just the top bear, it’s almost S-class…”
I look at Crozier’s dagger, glowing with black-red light again. “… Seems that blade of his is enchanted with skills,” I said.
“Oh, you figured it out!” Crozier said. “Anything that I feed a Mind-Control Millet Dumpling skewer can be controlled with this Beast King’s Dagger… but that’s enough explanation. Oi, bear? Bow your head.”
The ogre demon bear bows its head as commanded. Crozier straddles its neck and grabs a fist full of its thick fur. “Woah!?” he yells. “This is really high up… but now you’re never reaching this dagger!”
I’m getting real sick of him already.
“As I’ve expected of you, Crozier!” Majora cries. “This is a brilliant plan…”
“Shut up, Boss!” Crozier yells.
“What… did you just say?” Majora mutters.
“That was rude!” Jarvan says.
“Crozier, who do you think you are talking to?” Majora says as she puts her hands on her hips and looks up at Crozier high up in the air.
… Something very confusing is going on right now… are they all having a falling out?
“Cro, you can’t talk to the boss like that!” Jarvan calls out.
“I’m tired of taking orders from her, Meathead!” Crozier yells.
“Wha… Crozier, Cro, I will never forgive you for this!” Majora snaps.
Crozier just lets out another evil laugh. “Nothing you say matters anymore! This ogre bear is almost an S-class! So long as I have the Beast King’s dagger, I am its ruler… I am the Beast King!”
Well, this isn’t good. It’s a familiar pattern: someone gets their hands on something with mysterious power then proceeds to go crazy from it.
“Sic ‘em!” Crozier yells. “Show ‘em the power you’ve got!”
At his command, the ogre bear opens its jaws wide, magic gathering up inside its mouth.
“Absolute Barrier, Multi-Magic Barrier!”
The air shakes as the ogre bear fires its laser.
My barriers protect us all, but everything around us isn’t spared. The cross-sections afterward look like glass—is it hot enough to melt rock?
Walter and Laurina scream while I grunt as we’re sent flying by the kinetic impact–the one thing the barriers can’t stop. I reach out for Nellie—oof, never realized she was this big.
Crozier ignores us and turns to his companions. “Hey, Majora, Jarvan, who’s the leader of the Sazan Terrors…?” he yells.
“… You are, Mr. Crozier!” Majora yells, nervously sweating.
“It’s Boss Crozier!” Jarvan yells much more eagerly, though he’s also sweating bullets.
Oh, give me a break, you two.
Crozier laughs and says, “Good to see you get it! From now on, you pledge loyalty to me!”
Jarvan laughs then says, “What…?”
While Crozier was drunk on power, I hit his ogre bear from its right flank. Thanks to my wave-cutter short-sword’s Armor-Breaker, I cut deep into the muscle.
The ogre bear shakes and roars, confused and agonized; this must have been the first time in a long time it’s ever felt pain like that.
“Wh-Whabu…?” Crozier sputters as he’s violently shaken. “Muh tonguh…!”
He doesn’t get thrown off but I least I hurt him a little.
“You hurt an S-class?!” Crozier yells. “I don’t believe this… hey, summon your bear friends!”
The ogre bear roars. The air before me distorts, 2 killer bears suddenly appear.
… A breath attack and summoning capabilities, this bear is dangerous. Little wonder it’s equal to an S-rank.
Hm, I can take it but its minions could distract me while I’m fighting it. “Walter,” I said.
“Y-Yeah?” he asks.
“Here, take this,” I say as I take out Hokkaido’s famous rice wine, “Rolling Bear”. In Sengoku Online, this would temporarily increase attack power against beast-type animals. I’m hoping it’ll be the same here…
“While I take on the ogre bear, you take on the killer bears,” I said. “Use that rice wine for that skill.”
“R-Right… that skill,” Walter says.
“Hold up, w-we won’t let you hurt Mr. Crozier!” Majora screams as she comes before us.
“Yeah!” Jarvan yells as he joins in.
And of course, there are the other two members of this trio, coming at us with weapons raised. Do we seriously have to deal with them too? What a pain.
“Those two are yours, Karl,” I say.
“O-kay!” Laurina hums. “Just leave it to us…!”
And so our battle began.
“First of all, I’m fending you off!” Walter says as he jumps in front of the killer bears.
They roar and claw at him, but his barrier holds.
Walter grunts from the impacts before he cracks open the Rolling Bear. “Eat this! Liquor Flame!”
Fire shoots out of the bottle’s mouth and wraps around the two killer bears; it grows into a huge inferno, swallowing them completely.
They howl in agony. Beast-type monsters were often vulnerable to fire and killer bears are no exception, and with Rolling Bear’s anti-beast properties, huge chunks of their HP disappear at once.
As the flames die down, Nellie charges the one on the right, Laurina the one on the left.
“Holy Impact!” “Double Whip Strike!”
The two killer bears fall on the ground, dead.
“Phoo, this isn’t going well!” Majora says.
“The monsters!” Jarvan yells. “They’re dead!”
“Jarvan, this our chance!” Majora says. “The carbuncle will be here no matter what… haha!”
“Hey, Majora, I know that, but this critter is pretty clever and fast… it’s here!” Jarvan yells.
Karlvint lets out a series of squeaks. Later, Laurina told me he said, “Phooey, you’re not going to win against me!”
He starts dashing around Majora and Jarvan, it’s like they’re playing tag with how they’re scrambling to get him.
“Jarvan, let’s hit do a pincer!” Majora says.
“Got it!” Jarvan yells.
“Eat this!” they both yell.
Karl lets out a rapid series of squeaks: “Sweet! Watch this!”
Jarvan and Majora attempt their pincer attack, Karlvint somersaults out of the way and has them hitting each other.
“S-Stop!” Majora yells. “What are you doing, Jarvan?!”
“M-Majora, it’s…” Jarvan stutters.
“… Where is the carbuncle…?” Majora asks.
Karlvint lets out another series of amused squeaks. “Hah, you two eat this!” the gem on his head starts to glow white-hot. “Hyper-Beam Cannon, charge and fire!”
The beam strikes the spot between Majora and Jarvan, the ground explodes in flames.
“What the hell is that thiiiinnnggg….?!” Majora yells as she flies off into the distance.
“I don’t got a cluuuueeee…!” Jarvan yells as he does the same.
Karl has a strange, satisfied look as he watches them fly and hears the echo of their voices. He lets out a quiet series of squeaks: “Oh, I forgot to turn them into smoking bones.”
And now the only score to settle is mine.
“H-How…?” Crozier yells. “How are you doing any of this?!”
Neither Crozier nor the ogre bear have hit me yet due to our difference in stats and Flow Like Water. Even if it’s an S-class like the greater demon, they’re not remotely the same level of danger. To a ninja, he’s just a sitting duck.
Already, my counters have left it bleeding all over… but as expected, it might be physically sturdier and stronger than the greater demon.
“This ends now… Thousand Cuts!”
I dash around to the ogre bear’s blindside and start slashing. I’m moving so fast I leave an afterimage… it might be similar to those “bullet time” effects you see in the movies.
I land 2 slashes to the head, 6 slashes to the right arm, 5 slashes on its left leg, 7 slashes to the back, 3 slashes to the chest, 12 times to its stomach… it may not actually be a thousand individual attacks, but each slash is over in milliseconds.
“What the hell is going on…?” Crozier yells as his ogre bear is at death’s door, stunned from bloodloss. “How are you taking on an S-class so easily…?!”
“And this is just a bonus…!” I cry as I run up the ogre bear’s back then smash Crozier over the head.
He chokes and is out in an instant.
The ogre bear falls with a heavy crash like a fallen tree, Crozier rolls off its back with a much more pathetic noise.
“Nice, we’ve got a good bear and its liver’s probably good, too!” I hum. “You know, I think we may actually have to thank the Three Stooges.”
I finally get a good look at the ogre demon bear and realize it’s the size of a truck. It’s going to be quite the challenge to butcher it and remove the liver…
“Time to go home, everyone!” I said. “Till next time, Mt. Cuccuda!”
We finished butchering the ogre demon bear and secured its liver, then hurried back down the mountain with our loot. (By the way, an S-class magic gem also dropped thanks to Karlvint.) We take less than an hour to go back down the trail, reunited with Lumiere, and then teleported back to the front of the samurai residence with my base return item.
“Ms. Shino! Big Sis Nellie! Big Bro Walt! Laurina!” Mavin cried as she dashed out of the house and hugged us, tears in her eyes. “Welcome home!”
Did we really make her worry that much? “It’s okay,” I said as I hugged her back, “everyone’s okay. We’ve got the bear liver plus some high-quality ingredients for making medicine.”
“Mmm, all good… gather them all up…” Mavin said as she pulled away.
We head into the room where Stray is and sort out all our loot there; by the end, we make a mountain of plant ingredients.
“… Mavin, did you guys collect all this?” Stray asks as she stares at it. “There’s so much…”
“Mm, everyone gather up the cinnamon, but replant the grass and the flowers in the garden, we’ll need to use Green Thumb on them,” I said.
“Yeah, we’re going to grow them!” Laurina cried. “All thanks to Green Thumb!”
“Is this going to be enough for Stray’s medicine?” Walter asked.
“Yeah, it’s going to be fine,” I said. “Let’s just make sure we sort this all out and get it planted.”
“Yup…” Mavin hummed.
“T-This is incredible…” Stray mutters, staring wide-eyed at his legs as he’s finally free to move them. “I’m completely healed… you didn’t lie, Walter, you guys collected the ingredients as promised.”
“… I just collected them,” Walter said. “Mavin handled the rest and I just harvested what we planted.” He turns to me and says, “Ms. Shino, I swear I’ll pay you back for this.”
I chuckle and say, “Are you sure you wish to pay back all of it? Because there’s something I want your help with…”
“Oh, whatever—I mean, almost whatever–” Walter says.
“Wait, wait, wait, stop worrying so much!” I said. “I really do need your help…”
I put my hand over Stray’s ear and talked about my plan, something that wouldn’t damage their reputation like Walter’s brief stint in the service industry.
One month later…
A magnificent store was built in a corner of the Kagura House; the facade is huge, with an equally large signboard over the entrance:
The store is packed today… the line stretches on well past the doors.
“Hey, this 10 Pill…” a man asks, “does such a tiny drug really work as well as a potion?”
“Oh, didn’t you know?” a second asks. “It’s not just for wounds or poisons; so long as you’re below level 5, even if you’re dying, it’ll bring you back to perfect health with one dose.”
“Seriously? And it’s the same price, too. I guess I don’t have to worry about the bottle breaking, and it’ll be so much easier to carry, too…”
“Cure-All is also great! Almost all statuses can be cured in a single dose, when you wash clothes with it they come out like new, and your skin gets so smooth if you bathe with it… though you might not be able to get some with how popular it is with the female adventurers, they just buy it all up.”
“Almost all of them…? So not just poison, but paralysis and regular sickness too?”
“It gets better: though it’s really expensive, you can get a version that cures even Divine Punishment.”
“Really… as expected of The Creator!”
“This is The Creator’s store…?”
“Hey, Misters, you’re at the front of the line, aren’t you going to buy something?” said the young clerk at the counter—Stray.
“O-Oh, we’re buying, we’re buying! We’ll take…”
In addition to being my clerks, I hired the rest of the street kids Walter knew to take care of the medicinal plants around the property and collect wild ones outside the city. Our products include the 10k Pill, 1k Pill, 100 Pill, and 10 Pill healing series, as well as temporary buff pills like Acceleration Pill and Cure-All for status recovery.
Magic dyes that change the color of equipment were also an unexpected bestseller. I’ve got other recipes, but when it comes to cost/ratio, all these local herb-based drugs can’t be beaten. We also offer Regrowth and Divine Cure-All that can heal limb loss and other grievous injuries, but customers have to trade the materials for it.
Magic medicine in this world is in very high demand, and initially, we had to price competitively (70% the standard) and incurred some heavy losses. Still, our customer base didn’t die off and now we’re about to hit 500 gold coins net after 10 days of being open.
Well, the Commerce and Industry Guild did give me permission to open a store, and they never mentioned anything about my profit margins…
I don’t think I’ll be to keep afloat at these prices if I don’t start making them in bulk… maybe I should start teaching Mavin how to make medicine with the help of some skill scrolls.