I finished preparing the food and then went to wake up Daniela. After a short nap while she ate, we discussed how we should continue.
“I have a suggestion… Let’s not walk all day like yesterday. Let’s go slowly.”
“What a sloth you are… Is what I would usually say, but it is true that we were rushing things yesterday. There really was no need. And since the weather is fine, we might as well take it easy.”
She must have been tired too, because she readily agreed.
Thanks to that, I didn’t get so tired that day. It wasn’t the most stimulating, since the scenery stayed the same the whole time, but I suppose that was part of the charm of traveling.
The next day, we stood under a cloudy sky and looked up at the mountain. I could see the route through it. The bare rocks, trees and snow.
We had arrived at the foot of it, our destination.
“We have to climb this…”
“It will take years if we go too leisurely…”
Daniela would have usually said, ‘hurry up,’ and started climbing before I could finish my sentence. But this time, she stood with me and looked at it in awe.
“I suppose ‘Legs of the God Wolf’ is the only option.”
Use Eyes of the God Wolf to scan the mountain while keeping Presence Detection activated and climbing with Legs of the God Wolf. So I would be doing all of the work…
“I will set up our camp here and secure the area.”
“Alright… Well, our search for Arthur begins then.”
First, I took out my cape from the hollow bag. I hadn’t been wearing it recently, but the mountains were covered in snow and the temperature would drop the higher the altitude. And so it seemed smart to put it back on now.
Next, I prepared my weapons. The mountains were likely cold all year long. And so it would not be surprising if there were monsters that lived on it that had adapted to the climate. So I couldn’t let my guard down, even if it was nearing the end of the icesnow phase.
I took all of them out and lined them up on the ground. And after thinking about it for a while, I grabbed the Glampanzer as a sub weapon and took the Cocytus Lance as my main weapon.
The reason for this, was that as I would spend most of my time up there using Legs of the God Wolf, I would probably not get that close to any monsters that lurked on the mountain’s surface. And so it would be easier to deal with them at a certain distance with the lance. Besides, I needed to raise its skill level soon.
My skill levels for the one-handed sword, great sword and short sword had gone up quite a bit. And I was quite confident in my ability to use them. So it was the spear’s turn now. And once I was satisfied with that, it would be the bow next. It would take time, but I was making progress. It would do me no good if I kept running from one weapon to the next without spending enough time with each first.
So, my skills with the spear were not great. I would play images of different moves in my head through ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’ Moves that I saw in kung-fu films. But even when I tried to put them into action, it felt like I was being moved. And that didn’t feel right. I wanted to be able to move naturally without relying on Jack of all trades.
Which meant that if I happened to lose the spear while fighting… Well, I would be in trouble. So that was why I brought a familiar sub-weapon with me. The demon armor sword was the heaviest of my single-handed swords. I felt that it would be easier to transition from one heavy weapon to another, instead of a really light blade.
Of course, Jack of all trades would make adjustments for me, but I just liked to play it safe.
“…I guess that’s it.”
It had taken me a while, but now I was prepared for the possibility of sudden battle. Now I just needed to go to our camp and eat whatever Daniela had cooked. Then I could set out.
I put the stuff I wouldn’t use back into the hollow back and turned in the direction that Daniela was. She had pitched the tent and set up fire. That was quick. She had a lot of experience traveling solo before she met me. And she was still in her prime.
As I walked up to her, I saw that she was stirring a pot that was set over the fire. There was a swirl of bubbling soup inside and large chunks of meat and vegetables would occasionally rise to the surface.
“Yes. I love stew.”
“It should be hot now. We should eat.”
“This is the perfect meal to have before mountain climbing!”
In spite of what some people think, I really liked stew. Especially with rice, which was a controversial way of eating it. But well…we only had bread now. Bread went well with stew as well. In fact, it was delicious. I guess stew just went well with anything.
“Here. Be careful, as it is very hot.”
“Thank you! Aghghh…that’s hot.”
“I just told you… Are you a five-year-old?”
I was so happy that I lightly burned my lip. Daniela looked exasperated as I blew on the spoon and let it cool this time before trying again. Mmm… The milk and the sweetness of the vegetables and the meat…it was amazing.
“It’s great, Daniela.”
“That is good. …Hmm. Yes, it is.”
Even she agreed after tasting it.
“It is a good thing I bought it in the capital.”
“So you didn’t make it after all!”
She just heated it up. It was still good, but I felt a little cheated.
□ □ □ □
I ended up having two servings before lifting my heavy body off of my seat.
“Now… I better get going.”
“Aye, be careful. I think I will also go and explore the area.”
“Alright. But don’t do anything dangerous.”
I said goodbye to Daniela, who was clutching her bow, and then I started to run with Legs of the God Wolf.
The mountain wasn’t far from where we were. After running for a short while, the rocks became larger and there was a gentle slope upwards. If you knew what route to take, you could just walk the whole way. But I didn’t know much about mountains.
When the slope became steeper, the number of trees declined. There were bushes, but they started to be buried in deep layers of snow.
Still, the seasons change. The temperature was rising even if the snow remained. I’d have to be careful of snow slides.
“I’d be walking up this mountain if I didn’t have Legs of the God Wolf… And that’s something I wouldn’t want to do even if I had modern mountain climbing equipment…”
I sighed as I looked down at the snowy mountain below me. I somehow doubted there were people who climbed mountains as a hobby in this world. But I still wondered what kind of equipment climbers used. Had the orcs climbed up here? I couldn’t see any traces.
The higher I rose, the stronger the wind became. And maybe it was just me, but it also felt like breathing had become a little difficult. It hadn’t occurred to me until now, but I had to be wary of altitude sickness.
Hypoxia was dangerous… And so I decided that would go back down the moment I started to feel like vomiting. Then I could learn more through Jack of all Trades and try again.
“However… This mountain has a really odd shape…”
My breath looked white as I muttered.
All the mountains I had seen up until now were like the walls of the Alexia mountain ranges or the rough rocky mountains outside of Replant.
And while this was still a mountain in appearance, the overall shape was odd.
There was something precise and symmetrical about it that reminded me of the walls around Spiris. It spread out on and on to my left and right. Of course, there were dents and bumps along the surface, but it was very obvious from my position.
“I guess you can only see it if you’re in the air like this…”
You definitely wouldn’t be able to tell while you were climbing it. But it wouldn’t make much difference if you were far away either. You would probably start to realize that something was strange the more you climbed, but it really did look like an ordinary mountain from the base.
So, something that could only be observed from a perspective that would usually be impossible. What did that mean?
“Well, I guess I’ll have to find out…”
Climbing it will give me the answer. There will be a view that I can only see at the peak. That’s why people climbed.
“Ugh…I’m starting to feel sick…”
Well, it didn’t have to be today.
As I was feeling a light dizziness and the urge to vomit, I decided to return to the bottom. But before I did, I looked back one time at the mountain. I would conquer it soon. I had the power. I could do it.