Colson felt like he never understood what was going on in his master's mind.
First, there was the matter of the upcoming duel, and now Mia wanted him to capture a rat? What could she possibly use a rat for? His astonishment showed clearly on his face.
Mia noticed his expression and realized that her request must have seemed rather strange. She decided to explain herself.
"Do you remember that wind magic spell that I developed before which allows me to communicate with you at a distance of slightly over ten meters? I have an idea for a new magic spell that I need to test out, which is why I need a rat." The fight against the boss bat monster in the cave had given her some inspiration.
"…I see. Where am I supposed to find a rat, though? Back at the farm back home, I do have some experience making mousetraps. But, I haven't seen a single rat ever since I came here. Things are much cleaner here than back in my hometown!" Did he sign up for a bodyguard role or to become an exterminator?
"You could try asking some of the servants if they've seen any rats around. Or, it doesn't have to specifically be a rat. I just need a small living creature, a harmful pest that nobody will miss."
Colson nodded in realization and didn't say anything else. Although he was actually quite curious what Mia wanted to do with the rat or other living creature, he felt that perhaps it was best for him to not know. Who knew what other strange things his master would come up with?
"Alright, so there's that, and remember to go to the barracks and ask about the next tax collection trip. It'll be good for you to go out and see the world," Mia said with deep meaning behind her words and an inscrutable smile.
After parting ways with Colson and leaving him to his tasks, Mia returned to her own bedroom again. It was time for her to use the Status Stone and check on her own progress. She especially wanted to see how things looked for her after everything that happened today, after the cave exploration and her learning the [Ransack] skill.
Mia sat on her bed and injected some of her mana into the Status Stone. This was a simple process anyone could learn, as having an estimate of one's own power level was one of the most basic requirements of surviving in this world of magic and monsters. From what she understood of this world, one's power level affected social circles, the jobs one could take, potential teammates, and so on. It was about far more than just reputation.
Of course, she could choose to ignore all that and simply try having an ordinary life. However, Mia felt that would be far too much of a waste. That would mean not having the power to control her own destiny. Previously, her first life was already ended without her having any say, before she felt like she even got to do anything in her life. She didn't want to leave any regrets behind now that she had a second chance.
Since this world was one of magic and skills having real power, Mia wanted to follow down this path to the end. It was just like choosing to go to college back on Earth. Of course, it wasn't mandatory to go to college either, but didn't most people who went if resources permitted choose to do so in order to have a better life? That was how Mia viewed things.
Mia brought out a status window which hovered in midair before her, detailing her attributes with numerical stats. It had been a while since she last checked out her own profile.
Job: Wind Mage
Skills: Azure Sword Technique lvl. 1, Ransack
Magic: Light Breeze lvl. 2, Detection lvl. 2, Eavesdrop lvl. 1, Whisper lvl. 1, Still Air lvl. 1
Mia felt internally conflicted as she looked over her own status window. It was good that she was making progress, and the ever-increasing list of skills and magic available at her disposal was a concrete way for her to measure her own improvement. Yet, what was with some of her stats? She didn't have much to say about the fact that she previously had a 0 in base defense at level 1, but she still only had 1 defense now that she was level 4?
Should she say that she was just too young, and that a little girl like her was simply too fragile? Or was it the frailty of human flesh? Even Colson, who was level 12 and in a swordsman job class, had a mere 8 points of base defense. In fact, there were pieces of armor that provided more defense value than the human body itself. Then again, Mia supposed that it was reasonable. After all, what was with certain games where people had several hundred defense points even when stripped naked? That seemed absolutely ridiculous to her.
Her Attack stat was also growing at an obviously slower pace compared to her Magic and Resistance stats. Mia wondered if she would be able to obtain some permanent stat-increasing potions in the future. Those were rare and incredibly hard to come by, and impossible to purchase no matter how much money one had. Wouldn't most people simply use one immediately for themselves if they had one? Mia felt that she could only rely on the God of Adventurers' treasure chests. She still wanted to see if the treasure chests containing specific powerful items in the game would still have the same items from her memory, or if they would be completely different and randomized.
As she looked over her own status, her eyes were gradually drawn to a line that she was almost certain wasn't present before. It said that her sub-class was now "Bandit". What was going on here?
Mia recalled that she definitely didn't have a sub-class the last time she checked. For her to enter a sub-class, the game's method was that she had to receive teaching from a level 20 person in an advanced job class. That was why she had wanted to go to the Thieves Guild in the first place, so that she could become a thief and eventually go down the assassin job class path.
Mia felt a heavy feeling in the pit of her stomach. The only new skill she'd learned apart from Colson's family swordsmanship was the [Ransack] item finding skill. Could that have somehow led to this?
There was supposed to be no way to change one's job class. Some of the game's main characters had unique job classes, while side characters and hirable NPCs one could add to their party provided a high degree of customization, so nobody felt particularly inconvenienced by this when it was only a game. But if Mia couldn't change her job class anymore, being locked into the bandit class, that would completely derail her original plans?
If [Ransack] was one of the bandit class's basic skills, how was she supposed to develop herself in the future? Was she going to have to become a treasure hunter rather than a stealthy assassin in the shadows?
While Mia had plenty of knowledge about how each of the game's job classes worked, bandit was an enemy NPC-only job class. This was only natural. After all, weren't bandits supposed to be merely some low-level early game enemies? What game would ever have the protagonist dealing with bandit problems late into the game? Wouldn't that put bandits almost at the equivalent of an endgame boss?
Mia didn't even know what would come after the bandit job class. She could only rub her temple. What was she supposed to do now?
She could only take things one step at a time and play to her strengths. With her young age guaranteeing that she would remain weak for now regardless of what job class she was in, she hadn't been counting on any miracles happening overnight regardless.
Mia closed her eyes and decided to rest for the night. It was pointless to dwell on something which already happened that was unchangeable. She could ask more specifics from Dega tomorrow. Why worry about it now when she couldn't do anything about it? She would make do with whatever resources were at her disposal. It wasn't like she was in a position where she could afford to be choosy.
"Good night, Whimsy." Mia didn't know how much of her words Whimsy could really understand, but maybe talking to it would help the Wind Slime to gain in intelligence?
Mia then summoned a light breeze to blow away all her enemies – er, to give Whimsy a comfortable environment to sleep in and continuously practice mana circulation even while asleep. Her wind magic was her core ability, so only countless practice would help it to become stronger. Even if there was no way for her to summon anything like a tornado, she still considered it important to at least refine her control.
As she rested on her bed and prepared to go to sleep, Mia thought about how to improve her attack power. The fights in the cave earlier today had shown her that she was still quite helpless to damage many monsters, such as the rock monsters with high physical defense, or that boss bat monster which Dega took care of in three hits. Mia idly wondered how hard it would be for Colson to fight that boss bat monster. Perhaps it would be good to take him there sometime later for a comparison, even if there were no more rewards to be gained in that cave from the God of Adventurers.
Catching a rat or other small creature was part of her magic experimentation plan to improve her offensive repertoire. While she only used the [Still Air] magic as a disruptor earlier today, she felt that this was perhaps one of the greatest potentials of her wind magic.
In both this world and her previous one, every single living creature, without exception, needed to breathe the air and the oxygen contained within. Mia had already done her research and found out that the concept of the periodic table of the elements didn't seem to exist here. Yet, nothing seemed different about the air that she breathed. Mia wanted to experiment if she could pull off anything like oxygen deprivation with her magic, using a rat as the test subject. Well, that was the nice way of putting it. A more blunt term would be suffocation.
Mia finally fell asleep as she hugged Whimsy while dreaming such things.
The next morning, Mia woke up at the same time as usual. Although there were no alarm clocks, her biological clock had gotten used to her training schedule, so she rarely overslept.
After Mia got dressed and washed up, there was a knock on her door. Colson shouted out to her through the door, in perfect earshot of some other servants, "Milady, I've brought the rat that you requested me to capture!"
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