Mia was rendered speechless.
'He doesn't want to get high? Did I hear him right?'
All she did was ask him if he wanted a pet Slime of his own, so what was up with that response?
Mia didn't know what he meant, so she decided to ignore it and move on to other things of her own. After all, she did at least understand the "No thanks" part, and she wasn't the type to force him if he didn't want to.
According to the status update, she had achieved her goal, and successfully tamed her Wind Slime, which would likely take on the role of her only pet and tank for the time being. While that [Slime Armor] ability in the status seemed interesting, the Status Stone she used which was Colson's originally was only D rank, and showed just above a bare minimum of information. She would need to obtain a higher-ranked Status Stone if she wanted to learn more details about this ability.
Besides, there were also many things to test out regarding her new companion, such as the most important one for right now: would it follow her home?
Currently, the Wind Slime was still wrapped all around her, over her clothes, giving her a faintly light green appearance. Mia definitely appreciated what it had done for her earlier, protecting her from the impact of the boars' attacks. However, now that the small skirmish against the monsters was over, walking about in such a form would certainly attract unneeded attention. What she needed was a way to control this ability, or at least hide it under her clothing.
Wearing a Slime under her clothing sounded like the plot of some hentai to her, and Mia could only shake her head. However, she would do whatever it took to gain any small advantages she could – the idea seemed like a practical one to her, at least when disregarding any context. It could become a surprise ace up her sleeve that an opponent, whether human or monster, wouldn't expect.
That meant that she couldn't go around with this glowing green appearance that made it obvious something magical was wrapped around her. Mia manipulated the waves of mana in a smaller area around herself, trying to minimize the wind mana so that the Slime would compress itself… and it succeeded! The Slime Armor now extended to roughly only over her elbow and knees.
She decided to experiment with wearing the Slime under her clothing in an unnoticeable fashion later. After all, Colson was still currently here with her.
Anyways, it was now time for her to return. There were still many things for her to try out, but that could wait for the privacy of her own room.
Upon returning, Mia asked her personal maid to bring her a blank notebook. She then began recording as much information as she could possibly remember in this notebook. Just in case this notebook was discovered by someone else, she wrote it all in English, a language which didn't exist in this world. After all, Mia didn't want to suddenly become revered as some prophet, or get locked up on suspicion of being insane if her notes were ever discovered.
Mia knew that her memories would fade over time. Several years had passed already since her rebirth in this world, and it was likely to be several more years before she was old enough to start safely journeying in this world on her own.
A few hours later, Mia finally put down her quill pen as she rubbed her aching hand. She direly missed the ease at which she could type away swiftly at a keyboard! Unfortunately for her, she was no scientific genius or technological expert on anything. Even if scientific natural laws worked the same way in this world of fantasy and magic, Mia didn't have the knowledge required to recreate anything such as a gun or a cell phone from scratch. All she could rely on was her knowledge of preordained events, item locations, and characters that would appear later down the road. Still, it was questionable how useful all this knowledge was, as she wasn't even in the same country as where these game scenarios would take place.
Mia figured that it couldn't hurt to write whatever she remembered. She had already confirmed certain aspects of the world being identical to the game, such as taming friendly monsters and how status windows existed, being treated as commonplace by everyone. The safest place to be once the demons arrived and the Age of Chaos began would be in the Rodan Kingdom, where Mia knew who the strongest and most reliable individuals were, as well as who couldn't be trusted as traitors and backstabbers.
Perhaps that would throw her into the midst of where all the action and danger was, but Mia still preferred to eventually make her way to the Rodan Kingdom rather than staying in Hoplia and waiting for almost certain disaster. Her noble status in Hoplia now seemed like a hindrance to her rather than a boon – would it really be that easy for her to visit a foreign country as she pleased? Mia didn't know, but what she did know was that she couldn't just sit back and watch forever as the citizens of the Hart domain suffered under Count Hart's rule. She would have to clean up the mess in her own backyard first.
As for the Wind Slime she just befriended and wore, it was now happily bouncing around her room all this time like a mischievous toddler. Well, Mia didn't exactly have many breakable possessions, so she didn't really mind. The rest of the time, the Slime preferred to sit on top of her head, which Mia didn't quite understand. Was sitting on someone's hair really all that comfortable? At least it was a small price to pay if it kept the Wind Slime happy enough.
While resting, Mia decided that it was time to experiment with controlling her Wind Slime pet. She found out that shaping the flow of the wind mana around her could influence the form of her Slime Armor. She could even change the Wind Slime into just about any shape she wanted, such as a weapon!
That didn't mean that the Wind Slime would be best used as a magical pet weapon, however. Its soft and elastic nature didn't make for an excellent offensive weapon. In fact, Mia had a hunch that swinging it around might hurt an enemy even less than a wooden sword would, since the latter could at least act as a blunt weapon. Not to mention, it was questionable whether the Slime would be willing to let her swing it around and around…
After using her [Detection] spell to make absolutely sure nobody was nearby, Mia stripped off her clothing, leaving only her underwear on. She then enveloped herself in a slight breeze of wind mana as always, attracting the Wind Slime's attention. The as of yet currently unnamed Wind Slime transformed into its Slime Armor form just like always as it began soaking in the essence of her wind mana.
As for what it felt like to wear a Slime right against her bare skin… Mia didn't even know how to describe it. It was a mixture of softness, warm in some places yet cool in others… She decided to put away any idle thoughts in the back of her mind and focus on practical matters instead.
It seemed that movement was basically unaffected while wearing the Slime Armor. Mia then tried putting her clothing back on, over the Slime Armor, before looking at herself in a mirror. Nothing bulged noticeably, although she definitely looked less slim than earlier. Well, that was a necessary sacrifice.
Mia also checked her status window and confirmed that the Slime Armor added the full 18 points of defense to her own defense rating. This was just what she wanted! There were no quick powerups available for herself, but at the very least shoring up her defenses should help to some degree. The overall usefulness would have to be seen later in practical combat.
Satisfied, Mia decided to call it a night. When she woke up the next morning, she found to her surprise that the Wind Slime had replaced her pillow with itself!
It was pleasantly squishy and soft, and reminded Mia of memory foam pillows and mattresses from her previous life. She spent a full five minutes playing around and squeezing the soft Slime before finally returning to her senses. There were more important things to do than just play around, after all.
After breakfast, Mia went to Count Hart's study and petitioned him to purchase a higher-ranking Status Stone for her. She considered this absolutely necessary if she wanted to try her best to level up and become stronger, as she believed in the saying "know thyself." She thirsted after more clues regarding her own abilities in this world and how they worked in order to have a better understanding of how and what to do in order to improve in power level just like a game player could.
Count Hart frowned upon hearing this request from his daughter. Previously, he had granted her requests to have her magic aptitude tested and to hire a retainer for her, but he agreed to those due to the same underlying reason – what he considered to be the honor of nobles. After all, it would be quite unbecoming for a noble like his daughter to not have her own retainers, and it would have been quite glorious if she showed great talent in magic. If only.
Ever since learning about her magic aptitude, or lack thereof, Count Hart decided in his mind to start focusing more on his bastard son, Barnaby, who was tested to have D rank fire magic aptitude.
After all, a son was still a son, even when born out of wedlock. Perhaps this would be a good opportunity to groom Barnaby… and to show his daughter that this was a dog eat dog world out there.
"There's absolutely no need for such frivolous expenditures. But since you absolutely insist, I recall that your sixth birthday is coming up in two weeks, is it not? In my home, only the worthy shall be allowed to have such extravagant gifts. On your sixth birthday, if you can defeat your older half-brother Barnaby in a duel, I shall grant your request. Otherwise, don't even think about it. This isn't open for negotiation."
Her birthday? To be honest, Mia had completely forgotten about such a thing. She hadn't celebrated it even once after being reborn in this world. Was the age of six a benchmark age in this world for children of nobles to begin being noticed and celebrated? She didn't know, but that wasn't important to her right now. A duel? Against her older half-brother?
"Very well, father," Mia replied after some consideration. "Thank you for giving me this opportunity. What will the conditions of the duel be?" Mia kept up her good girl act in front of her father as always.
Count Hart started in surprise at hearing his daughter accept, but quickly regained his composure. One would think that an almost six-year-old girl would know how obviously unfair it was to duel against a boy nearly twice her age, but it didn't matter too much to Count Hart even if she accepted. After all, it would serve his purposes either way.
"Oh? Excellent. The duel shall commence on your sixth birthday at the training grounds. No metal weapons will be allowed. All magic equipment and spells will be permitted. Of course, that's if you can even come up with anything useful for a duel," Count Hart scoffed with obvious disdain in his voice.
Mia ignored his attitude, bowed, and left the room. Having a duel in two weeks would be a good chance to test herself, even if the opponent might be slightly overwhelming.
She knew that Barnaby was considered a D rank fire mage prospect. What exactly did that D rank entail?
The "Introduction to Magic" book that Mia was studying from on her own didn't offer much help to her in the way of how to become stronger, but it did have a nice basic explanation of power ranks among mages.
E rank, the lowest, was a state where people were born with the innate talent to control what was known as mana, shaping it as the user willed. However, those in E rank would only be able to control a low amount of mana, unable to handle higher mana densities. This meant that there would be no access to more powerful spells with high mana costs or flashy effects.
D rank magic granted access to medium levels of mana density or the potential to control a concept other than the basic elements, such as summoning, teleportation, and so forth. Barnaby was pudgy and out of shape, and metal weapons were forbidden to begin with, so Mia knew that she would have to watch out for his magic more than anything else. This wasn't supposed to be a battle to the death between half-siblings, so metal weapons weren't allowed, but Mia was one hundred percent certain that Barnaby wouldn't go easy on her just so she could obtain the high-ranked Status Stone she wanted. He was the type who would shove her in the hallways for no apparent reason or provocation whenever they met. She would need to make some preparations, and she had two weeks' worth of time.
Magic items such as Status Stones and other job classes also had similar letter rankings, ranging from E to A, and a special S class reserved for the top level. Rankings were typically administered by Adventurer's Guilds and other such guilds. According to Colson, his grandfather had been an A ranked adventurer back in the day. However, he didn't know too much about the specifics.
At any rate, Mia wasn't the type to back down from a challenge, provided it was reasonable. This challenge may have seemed unreasonable on the surface, but Mia didn't consider it overwhelmingly so. She had the advantage of being a reincarnator, after all. Surely she could come up with a way to use her knowledge to her advantage, just like how she created her own unique spells that were suitable for low mana cost spells that only had a weak amount of control over the wind. Besides, she felt that there wouldn't exactly be serious consequences if she lost this particular duel. Mia wasn't the type who cared too much about her personal reputation or anything like that.
She decided to make a trip into the nearby Clearlight Town. It was time for her to try and obtain a sub-class from the Thieves Guild there.
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