The sun's rays shine down upon the land..
Under its light, the grasslands in the vicinity of "Gemini City", one of the cities in the Meteora Kingdom..
In the southern area, a wide, lush forest filled with demonic beasts, the "Souzier Forest"..
Heading in this direction were three figures..
One black-clothed youth, with long white hair, a face with an eye-patch, covered by a hood, wearing a long, dark, leather coat, which would have made you think that it wasn't the right clothing to wear under this blistering heat, walking without a care, on the dirt road heading to the forest..
The other, lagging behind, a blonde-haired girl, with pure white skin, long pointy ears, wearing a green robe with added frills, and features, and holding a staff adorned with gleaming gems and crystals, which was taller than her, in one hand. Her small stature and her delicate features would lead you to believe she was a child of the elf race..
And finally, the energetic, little blond-haired boy with long ears, which would make you believe, that in the future, he would grow up to be one of the most handsome men on the planet, with a strange bow at his back, was leading the way, walking with a grin on his face, skipping from time to time..
"Hurry up, Niichan, Ann-neechan!"
Lute said with a tone of joy spiced with a tinge of excitement..
"I got it, don't run too far off now, okay?"
I said, in a scolding but carefree manner..
"Wa-wait, for me, Onii, Lute..."
I turn around and see the haggard Anna, clutching her new staff, the [Elemental Gem Staff] while she was slowly trying to walk faster, I guess we moved too fast for her? But I thought I was moving pretty slowly though..
Ah, it seems the heat is getting to her..
Yeah, the weather has been getting warmer each day..
But Lute seemed totally unaffected, is it because of the bow?
The composite bow Lute picked out from the Rodrick-san's shop was called the [Twin Gemini Bow] which, to my surprise, when I used my [Aura Eyes], it was said to be one of the 12 legendary weapons, "The Zodiac", and this weapon had the strange ability to use any of the ten elements, but with one restriction, the elements used can only be in opposition, meaning, if you want to use it, it had to be either; fire and water, earth and wind, ice and lightning, and finally, the light and darkness elements..
He must be using the cool air from the ice element to keep his body cold, how else would a kid like him, keep walking with a happy demeanor in this godforsaken heat..
I thought it was pretty lucky of Lute to get one of the legendary "Zodiac" for his first weapon..
I wonder if his luck stat was really high..
I struggled with myself on whether I should use [Aura Eyes] on them like a creep, or don't and protect their privacy..
After much deliberation, I chose the latter, since I wouldn't want them to hate me..
Well, it's only for now, but I can't guarantee anything in the future..
Since Anna didn't have any energy left, I knelt down on the ground and said to her..
"If you're tired of walking, I could carry you all the way there.."
I say while showing my back and putting my hands behind me before her..
"Au, i-is it really okay, Onii?"
I get worried about her face suddenly turning red like a tomato, but I blamed it on the sun's rays..
She slowly walks up to me and almost reluctantly gets onto my back and clings to my neck..
Yosh, I put my hands on Anna's backside, she moves a little, but there were no problems..
Yes, no problems at all, calm down me..
She's a child, she's still a child, this is not right..
I chant repeatedly inside my thoughts like it was a mantra..
I will not succumb to the will of a certain cartoon bear back in the other world..
After I got my mind in order, we continued walking to the forest..
When we made it inside the forest entrance, I put down Anna from my back onto the ground gently..
I saw that she was reluctant to part from me when I put her down but..
No, I must have been imagining it..
Then, I look towards the forest path and use my enhanced senses to check the surroundings..
I try to expand it to 500 meters in front of me, in a semicircular arc range..
I saw multiple responses but most were far from our location, and some were harmless..
I try to look for the movements and breathing pattern of a [Goblin] among them..
Ah, I got it. 200 meters east of here, 5 groups of [Goblins] seem to be wandering around that area..
Each group consisted of 3-4 [Goblins] from a rough estimation according to my perception..
"Okay, I spotted some of them over there, let's move, but be careful.."
As we moved closer to the area, multiple beasts sensed us and started moving towards our direction..
Now, I could have let them meet, but I decided that for their first battle, was to be against the [Goblins]..
So, without letting the elf children notice, I used [Aura Sword Creation] in a 10 meter radius around me..
And when one of them entered my range, an [Aura Sword] impales them from the back of their head..
I learnt this kind of tactics from my battle with Master, I thought that if I couldn't use [Unlimited Aura Blades] normally, I could use a lesser version of it, by extending a field of aura around myself, the most I could create at one time, in this state, was only a measly number of twenty [Aura Swords] or ten [Nameless Aura Swords], by which the latter was stronger than the former, of course..
I still have a lot to learn, if I'm ever going to fight the four heroes..
After about thirty demonic beasts were killed, they finally learned their lesson and started to stay away from us..
Animals usually trust their instincts after all..
When we made it just outside the range of one of the [Goblin] troops, we hid behind the tall bushes and shrubs, and started our reconnaissance..
We found out, that this group was composed of four [Goblins] and they wore rusty armor and held chipped weapons like daggers and knives, and they seemed to be patrolling the area or something..
"Okay, we're hunting these guys for today's quest, so I want you guys to show me your skills, if anything goes wrong, I'll take care of it somehow, but I need you guys to take every precaution, okay?"
I say in a reassuring voice, while speaking in hushed tones..
"Okay, Niichan, ah, I want to go first!"
The eager Lute almost shouted and gave away our position, but realized almost immediately, and softened his voice..
"Sure, show me what you got, Lute.."
After I said that, his face showed an eager smile, then he proceeded to draw his bow and said..
"Azuel Ignis Ra Aqua Jouet"
I couldn't understand what he said, even with my divine skill, so I guessed it was a type of chanting skill, and not a language. After he said those words, particles of fire and water gathered together in forming two arrows protruding from the composite bow, directly aiming for the two targeted goblins..
Lute pulled the arrows together with the string that seemed unbreakable, drawing them in a shooting stance..
He breathed in, and exhaled a lot of air from his mouth, and then, released the bowstring..
The arrows were freed into the air, and instead of moving in a straight line, it zipped through, cutting air, moving in two different opposite arcs, the one adorned with bright red flames, shooting upward, and the one rippling with liquid, moving downward, both going straight for their respective target's heads..
It was only for a moment, but I caught every twist and turn the arrow made before landing straight into the two [Goblin]'s heads, with my enhanced senses, the [Goblins] could barely notice the silent but deadly strike, before it killed their two comrades and made their blood rain on the ground..
Such terrifying archery skill..
Yes, the bow was, without a doubt, one of the best weapons in the world, but I don't think it could have been used in such a way, a shot with pinpoint accuracy and precision and released without hesitation..
It made me more and more interested about their origins, while it also made me shudder, thinking about when Lute grows up, his skill will be further refined and even stronger than this, with such untapped potential, he would have the chance to be one of the best archers, in the likes that no one has ever seen before..
When I look at him after he shot it, he had a bright smile, unlike someone who has just killed two monsters in one blow..
"I did it, Niichan, I used my new bow and shot my targets without them ever noticing where it came from!"
He's so ecstatic, he's practically jumping up and down, so I reward him with a pat to his head, which he seemed to like..
Oops, it seems the two other [Goblins] noticed our presences, and they turned hostile..
I look towards Anna and say..
"I guess it's your time to shine"
She heard that, and did a fist pump with her tiny hands with a determined expression, then she held up her staff above her head with both hands facing towards the direction of the approaching danger, and said..
"Fulgur Adium Adtonitus Georum"
A magic circle spreads out of Anna's body and glows in a pale blue light..
The magic gathers into the staff's tip and she pointed the staff forward..
With those words as the trigger, the staff released a lightning ray towards the [Goblins]..
The bolt of plasma moved too fast to be detected by the naked eye, but I still saw it like it was going at a normal speed..
I have my enhanced eyesight to thank for that..
They didn't expect us to attack once more, so they were shocked to see that there was a pure white energy moving towards them, they tried to run, but since they were rattled by fear, and couldn't think clearly, they didn't move to the sides, instead, they ran backwards, which was a futile struggle, seeing as the lightning was faster than they could ever hope to be in their near-ending lifetime..
The sound of an explosion resounded in the area and was heard, even where we were..
The smell of burning flesh filled the air, I was worried that it would attract the others but it was for naught..
"I did it, Onii!"
She's so straightforward in the strangest times, that she is literally presenting the top of her head to me..
So I put on a wry smile and did the same as when I did with Lute, she seemed satisfied, so I left it at that..
After that, we went onward and subjugated the remaining [Goblin] troops, as we were doing this, I was slightly curious about their chants, so I asked them about it..
It turned out to be a chant to summon the [Elemental Spirits] in the atmosphere by using magic power called [Spirit Magic], which they told me further, that it can only be used by the fairy race and the like..
I was pretty envious of them being able to use the elements although they were younger than I was, but I let it go..
But I noticed something that was bothering me since a while ago, the fact that the [Goblin] troops were surveying and patrolling areas in a kind of radial shape, meaning, they are circling something, and are protecting whatever is found in the center of this formation, I plan to find the cause of this later..
When we were finished, we gathered the proof of subjugation, their ears, and I put them into my storage, a total of 18 [Goblin Ears] were the haul for today..
We started to go back and made it to he forest entrance, but I needed to do something, so I made an excuse..
"Ah, can you guys wait here? I've got to go pee.."
When I said that..
"Oh, sure, niichan, I'll protect Ann-neechan until you come back!"
One said a reliable manly statement, while the other, turned red and looked away in a hurry..
"Ah, I'll be right back.."
I say as I secretly put up an [Aura Barrier] around the two while walking towards the forest..
Once I was out of sight, I enhanced my limbs and dashed like a hurricane, the momentum of my speed couldn't be stopped and I navigated through the forest and zig-zagged through the branches and roots using my enhanced perception moving towards the area where I guessed the [Goblin]'s lair was..
I mean, it was the only logical explanation considering the formation and their numbers..
After a few seconds, I made it to a small, rocky cave..
I enter quietly but it seemed there was some [Goblins] around the entrance, so they still noticed me..
"It was as expected..(sigh)"
I sigh outward as I release my stealthy demeanor and proceeded to enhance my muscles with aura..
"Let's clean this up quickly.."
I say in one moment, and the next, I was dashing into a horde of [Goblins]..
It was over in a minute..
They were about 200 [Goblins] in there, including the remnants of the army from earlier, but they were weakened so they couldn't even put up a fight before, multiple [Aura Swords] pierced their throats, decapitated their limbs, and made heads fly, over and over again..
It couldn't even be called a warm-up..
I got depressed since I needed a stronger opponent for me to prepare for the coming battles, even more so, now that I have companions to protect while I'm at it..
"Oh right, I've got to get back soon"
I remind myself of the more pressing issue while deliberating if I should take the ears from the corpses, but I concluded that it would take too much time, so I left them be, and sprinted back to where the elf children were..
"Oh, let's go home, niichan, I'm getting hungry!"
"Sure, how about you, Anna, you getting famished?"
I decided to just stay silent and smile towards the cute antics of Anna, and start walking home..
They both follow after me with a spring in their step..
"How did you like it, doing a quest?"
I said towards the two humming happily..
"It was fun, I got to shoot [Goblins] with my new bow!"
Lute showed off his bow while waving it in front of me..
"It was a good experience.."
Anna says while turning her head towards the sunset..
"Well, I'm glad you two enjoyed it, now, let's go eat at that restaurant when we get back!"
"Yeah, are you going to cook again, niichan?"
"*Nod* *Nod* *Stare*"
An enthusiastic question from Lute while Anna nods vigorously hearing it..
"Ah, I'm going to let you taste a new dish, this time, so look forward to it!"
Their faces automatically brightened up and their stomachs responded in kind towards the prospect of food..
As I laughed at them, they got embarrassed for a bit, but started to laugh with me, soon after..
I look towards the orange sky and think..
Today was an enjoyable day..
A thought I never would have had back in the other world..
I slightly reminisce while walking back to the city with my two elf companions..
Little did I know, something was brewing in the near future..
Chapter 025 - Spirit Magic
The sun's rays shine down upon the land..