Chapter 5 – Tame Skill
If I could tame the Sea Hippo, maybe it could tow the ship.
And even if I couldn’t tame it, being able to communicate with it would at least decrease the chances of a battle.
There was no harm in trying.
“Sea Hippo. What is wrong?”
I called out while activating the taming skill.
I could sense its will, though it did not come as words.
All I knew was that the Sea Hippo was very interested in us.
I didn’t sense any hostility. Nor did it seem very hungry.
If it was a monster that understood the language of demons and humans, then its will should be conveyed to me as a spoken language.
In other words, Sea Hippos were monsters that did not understand our words.
Even still, I increased the intensity of the taming skill as I talked to it.
“We have no intention of harming you.”
I could make monsters understand, and turn their will into words.
That was the true value of the ‘Taming’ skill.
There were others in this world that could use the skill, but I was the only one who could do this.
It was one of the reasons why I had been accepted into the Hero’s party.
In any case, the Sea Hippo did not seem very concerned about us being hostile or not.
It was likely the strongest creature in this sea, and feared no one.
“Why are you trying to get close to us?”
‘You looked interesting so I wanted to get a better look.’
Apparently, Sea Hippos were very curious creatures.
“I see. I think that we should be able to get along then.”
Victor was standing next to me the whole time, and so I turned to him in order to explain.
“The Sea Hippo appears to be very gentle and full of curiosity. It only approached us because it found us interesting.”
“So you are saying that there will be no need to fight?”
Victor asked in a loud voice.
As he had been with me all of this time, he already understood the situation.
And so he was speaking loudly so that the other Adventurers would hear him.
“Aye. Don’t worry. There will be no battle.”
I also replied in a voice loud enough for the others to hear.
Upon hearing these words, the Adventurers sighed with relief.
“Theo. There is something I want to ask the Sea Hippo! Please ask for me!”
“Kelly, calm down. There will be time for that later.”
Victor said, and then turned to me.
“Theo. Would it be possible to tame the Sea Hippo and have it pull the ship?”
“It depends on the Sea Hippo.”
There were steps when it came to taming.
The first step was to be able to communicate. That was what we were doing now.
The second step was to form an equal relationship.
A relationship where one may help the other for a fair price.
The third step was to make the monster a familiar.
To be precise, you made a magic connection in order to make them your subordinate. Your underling.
The first step was simple enough. But you needed the monster’s approval to go through with the next two steps.
You could not forcefully tame a monster against its will.
And so I shouted towards the Sea Hippo that was swimming in a circle on the starboard side of the ship.
“Sea Hippo. We happen to be in a predicament.”
The Sea Hippo cried once and then moved closer to the ship.
It poked its face out of the water. It was so close that it was nearly touching the hull as it stared up at me and tilted its head.
Kelly began to breathe very heavily with excitement, and she started sketching furiously in her notebook.
I ignored her and explained our situation to the Sea Hippo.
“We do not have any wind, and so there is nothing to propel us forward. Would you mind pulling us?”
‘Kyuu…I don’t mind, but…’
“You want something? Or for us to do something?”
When negotiating with monsters, you always needed to give them something of equal value.
It didn’t have to be an object. But it had to be mutually agreed upon.
‘Hmm. Not really.’
The Sea Hippo seemed to be thinking hard about it. And so I started taking out different things from my magic bag.
However, it showed no interest in any of them.
But it looked very interested in not just my hand gestures, but those of Victor and the other Adventurers.
Just like Taming, Skills were an inherent characteristic.
While you could work hard to raise their level, you could not acquire new skills.
It was like a natural gift.
And the Taming skill was especially rare.
So even a veteran Adventurer like Victor had never actually seen Taming being used until now.
Taming was basically a kind of negotiation.
And I could feel the eyes of the Adventurers on my back as I began to negotiate with the Sea Hippo.
“What about this? I don’t know if you’ll like it…”
Even when I offered it food, it showed no interest.
Perhaps it was able to catch plenty of food on its own, and did not need any from us.
I wasn’t sure what to do, as its reactions were not enthusiastic. Then the Sea Hippo suddenly spoke to me.
‘Share you magic power.’
‘My magic? But that would mean becoming a familiar. Are you sure?”
In order to share magic power, I needed to make a magic connection.
And in order to do that, I needed to make it a familiar.
So the price in this transaction would be giving it a name and sharing my power.
The second stage of the Taming was like a one time contract. While the third stage would last forever.
I carefully explained this to the Sea Hippo.
However, it answered,
There was no hesitation when it came to becoming my familiar.
“I see. Thank you.”
For some reason, certain monsters responded very well to my magic.
This wasn’t the first time one of them wanted to become my familiar.
In fact, there were quite a few monsters living all over the world in their natural habitat, that were my familiars.
“If you’re going to be my familiar, then you’ll need a name. Do you have one that you want?”
‘I’ll leave it to you.’
And so I thought about it. But I wasn’t really good at naming things.
After thinking of a name for the Sea Hippo, I gathered magic energy into my right palm and created a magic circle.
The magic circle moved to the Sea Hippo’s nose, and then I chanted.
“I, Theodore Dulcame, bestow upon you my power and the name ‘Hippolius.’ Now, become my familiar.”
‘Kyuuu. I am Hippolius. The familiar of Theodore Dulcame.’
Said the Sea Hippo, now called Hippolius. And then the magic circle glowed.
For a second, the magic circle flashed as the mark glowed on Hippolius’s forehead, and then it faded and disappeared.
And like that, the ceremony was finished.