Chapter 10: Birth of a Weapon
In the darkness, the light stones illuminate the surrounding area.
The light projected a few shadows. One of the shadows, provided a silhouette of someone crouching in front of a beast while chewing could be heard.
“Augh, Guu, This seriously sucks.”
Hajime ate the wolf meat with a curse. The meat was very tough, and blood dripped off as he took a bite and swallowed. This had been his first meal for the past weeks. The stomach was surprised to suddenly receive the meat. Pains shot through his body at the stomach’s protest. Hajime knew he would get such a response and ignore it to keep eating.
His appearance looked so feral. If any of the civilized humans saw what was going it they would be repulsed. The disgusting smell and taste would cause them to lose their appetite. Hajime did not even consider such a thought because he was happy to have a meal. He continued to eat in a daze.
After eating so much of this meat that his belly swelled and drinking the sacred water that the Church of Saints would be envious of. An unusual phenomenon struck his body.
An intense pain suddenly wracked his body. Erosion, that was the best word to describe what horrible sensation he felt going through his body. The pain intensified as time passed.
Excruciating pain corroded his body. Hajime thrashed on the ground. This pain was so strong that it blew away his phantom limb pain.
With his trembling hands, Hajime reached into his breast pocket and took out a test-tube made of stone. He quickly chewed the edge of the tube and drank the contents inside. The sacred water quickly went to work and the pain subsided, but a short time later the agony continued.
“Higugaa! What the…it didn’t help? Augh!”
His body started to pulsate with the pain. Thump, Thump, his body pulsed. Even the sounds could be heard coming from his body.
However the next moment, the sacred water’s healing properties started to restore his body. When it was done healing him, the pain returned. Then it was repaired again.
Even the sacred water could not stunt the effects. The tremendous healing ability was actually backfiring here.
Hajime screamed as he floundered on the ground. He banged his head repeatedly against the wall at the unending sight of his hell. Even if he wanted to die, there would be noone to grant his desire, so he had no choice but to endure it.
Changes started to form on Hajime’s body. First, his hair lost all color. Maybe because of a pain that broke his threshold, or another cause, his black Japanese hair turned white. Next, his muscles and skeleton started to thicken. Crimson lines started to emerge all over his body.
There is a phenomenon called overcompensation. This is the process the body goes through when training muscles. The muscles are broken down from the severe use and in order to compensate and adapt to the strain it creates stronger and more muscle when the body recovers. The same happens to the skeletal system. Hajime’s body was going through this phenomenon.
Demon meat was a deadly poison for humans. All of them had Magic Stones in their body, and this allowed for their wonderful physical ability with their magical power. Inside his body this magic was strongly permeating his muscles and bones.
This magic was the Special Magic that did not require the magic circles or incantation to cast, and his magic was getting altered. This kind of alteration would be fatal to a human. From the inside of the body the poison would erode the body and destroy the cells. In the past, anyone who had consumed demon flesh was broken to pieces and died. Hajime knew of this, but his starvation had caused him to be unable to recall this knowledge.
If Hajime had just ate the demon flesh than he would have collapsed and died. However, there was an elixir that prevented that. Sacred water, it will restore immediately what once was broken. Because of this constant breaking and restoring, overcompensation, his body strengthened at an unbelievable speed.
Destroy, Repair, Destroy, then Repair. The body changed while pulsing. It looked like he was being reborn. A ceremony of birth to throw away the body’s weakness,a metamorphosis. Hajime’s screams was like the first cry of a newborn.
When the pulsation stopped, Hajime went limp. Pure white was his hair color now, and crimson lines formed on his body. He was just like the monsters that plagued this level.
Hajime’s right hand twitched. The closed eyes were opened slightly. His unfocused eyes settled onto his right hand. Grasping his hand into a fist, he scratched along the ground. Hajime slowly clasped and unclasp his hand to prove he was still alive. When he finished checking if he had control of his body, he stood up slowly.
“…Oh, yeah. You weren’t suppose to eat demon meat…I’m an idiot…but he couldn’t help but eat it.”
Completely exhausted, Hajime just snorted. Both his hunger and his phantom limb pain disappeared after this incident. On the contrary, his body felt strangely light and overflowed with power. Even though he just went through that, it was in its best condition. The most clearly developed muscles was his arm and abdomen. Hajime heights also increased by 10 cm, bringing the total height to 175 cm.
“What happened to my body? There is some strang feeling…”
Not only had his external body changed, but he felt something out of place inside. The strange feeling felt cold and hot at the same time. When more of his awareness came, he focused on the crimson lines on his arm.
“Wow, how unpleasant. Makes me feel like a demon…What a joke. Oh yeah, the Status Plate!”
Exploring through his pockets, he searched for the forgotten status plate. Good thing he did not lose it. There on the plate was displayed Hajime’s current condition. Maybe it would show if something was wrong with his body.
Nagumo Hajime 17 Year old Male
Class: Synergist Level: 8
Strength: 100 Vitality: 300
Resistance: 100 Agility: 200
Magic Power: 300 Magic Resistance: 300
Transmutation ? Magic Manipulation ? Iron Stomach ? Lightning Clad ? Language Comprehension
Like always, whenever he is astonished he switches to Kansai dialect and performs a Tsukkomi. All his stats had increased significantly, and he had three new skills. He couldn’t believe it, and he was still just level 8. Levels were considered the amount of progression a person had, for Hajime, this meant he had a lot of potential to grow.
He wondered if he could directly control magic then. Hajime pondered if the earlier sensation he felt was magic. To verify his thoughts, he concentrated to attempt this “magic manipulation.” The crimson lines emerge again when Hajime concentrated on that sensation. He imagined an image where that sensation gathered into his right hand. Slowly the sensation returned and he could feel the movement of magic.
When he attempted to raise his voice at the sensation, the magic started to gather around the magic formation on his glove. The surprised Hajime tried to transmute, and the ground rose easily.
“Seriously? I don’t need to chant? But the principle of magic said that direct manipulation of magic was impossible. Only demons could perform it. Maybe after consuming demon flesh I obtained the ability?”
Right on the dot! Hajime had for sure gotten the ability of the of the demons. He wanted to test out “Lightning Clad” next.
“How do I use it? If you mention “Lightning Clad”, it has to deal with electricity. Was it what the wolves casted with their tail?”
He tried different ways to invoke it but nothing changed. Hajime did not know how the magic felt like, so he did not know what to do. Groaning, he remembered when he learned how to transmute, and recalled that imagination was important. Magic was not just about making a magical formation, another part was the image formed.
Hajime imagined an image of static electricity crackling. On the tips of his right hands emitted an electric burst.
“Oh! It came out. Now I see. For demons, the most important part was to imagine its magic.”
After he got a hang of it, he repeated created a discharge of electricity. Unlike the wolves, he could not launch his lightning. Maybe this is why it was called “Lightning Clad”, he was able to clad his body in lightning. Practice was necessary to control the current and voltage.
Lastly, the “Iron Stomach” skill. Maybe next time he ate demon flesh, he wouldn’t be wrecked with pain. There was no food in the labyrinth. Does he take starvation or the pain? This skill can maybe solve this question for him, and he anticipated it.
Hajime took a piece of wolf meat and fired it with lightning. After his starvation was cured, he did not want to eat raw meat. He fired it until it was brown.
Making up his mind, he swallowed it. 10 seconds…1 minute…10 minutes passed and nothing. Hajime started to grill more meat and consumed them. There wasn’t any pain that assaulted him. He wondered if it was because of the skill or had he just developed a tolerance for it. Hajime did not know, but he rejoiced. With this he did not have to taste hell everytime.
Hajime ate until he was full, and decided to return to base. He finally had the possibility to beat that bear demon. Determined, he decided to work hard to develop his new skills.
Other wolves were carved for their meat. Compared to his first time with them, this time it was easy. He returned to the area with the God’s Crystal and created a storage to store the carved meat with this transmuting.
* * *
A few days have passed since Hajime returned to the base, and all this time he had been training his transmuting and new skills.
Everything was going well, and all his skills were progressing well. His transmutation skill went through a change. The skill had acquired a derived skill from itself. “Mineral Appraisal” was the name of the skill. In the Royal Capital of the Kingdom, only high-ranking smiths had this skill.
Usually the magical formations needed to power appraisal magic are much bigger than the formations used for offensive magic. The facilities that could perform these huge magical formations were limited. For those that had the skill, they could easily analyze any mineral with just a chant and magic formation as long as they touch it. This derived skill was acquired by training the transmutation skill for many years, it was not an innate skill.
Hajime decided to check the neighboring minerals with his newfound skill. When a person uses the skill the description will show up on their status plate. For example,
Green Light Stone
This stone has the ability to absorb magic. Green light is produced with this saved up magic. If it is split, all the accumulated magic will be released in an instant.
What a very simple description; it did the job though. Hajime grinned and laughed as a thought came up. From here he could search for minerals to make powerful weapons that could be his trump card.
An inflammable ore. The structural component is used to fuel the combustion; continuously burning will reduce size until nothing is left. Explosion may occur if many are lit in a sealed area. Its power is equivalent to a higher level fire spell; this depends on the amount and rate of compression used in forging.
When he read the description, he felt a thought develop in his brain. This stone may play a similar role to gunpowder. If this was the case, then he could create a weapon with extreme firepower with his transmuting. Hajime was excited. There was going to be a lot of trial and error. The amount of effort needed to design it would not be small. Even though his transmuting had saved him many times before, it still lacked a real means of attack; the idea that he would get a real weapon had him rejoicing.
Ten days have passed since he ate the wolf, and finally he had succeeded producing his project.
With an attack that could exceed the speed of sound for a short distance, it was a modern weapon with great firepower. Overall length was 35 cm, it had a revolving magazine that held 6 bullets made from Tauru Ore; the hardest known ore in this area. The barrel was elongated. Bullets were made using Tauru Ore as the projectile and compressed powdered Combustion Stone was the propellant. Oversized revolver would accurately describe the firearm. Combustion Stone was not the only explosive to propel the bullet. Using his “Lightning Clad” skill, he could produce electromagnetic force to help accelerate the bullet; like a small rail gun. This equated to a power that was 10 times stronger than an anti-matter rifle. He called it “Donner”. Hajime wanted to have a partner to rely on.
“I did it! With this I will be able to deal with that monster!”
Hajime had designed “Donner” using modern firearms as the model: he looked at his masterpiece and laughed slightly. This world’s craftsmen only knew how to make a good sword or armor. Right now, a new weapon has been created in this world that was ruled by swords and magic.
* * *
Hard black ore. Hardness 8 (On a scale of 10 being the hardest). Resistant to impact and heat. Vulnerable to cold. Becomes fragile if cooled. Binds if heated.
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