"My sub-class? I haven't really thought about it. What suddenly brings this up? I thought that you didn't know very much about job classes, Milady?" Colson was understandably confused.
Mia thought about how to phrase it to him. What was she supposed to say, that she was actually quite knowledgeable about job classes and their strengths as well as best abilities? What she lacked was just the foundational knowledge about how they worked in a real world, which was why she needed to ask him the basic questions.
"Because you're mine. If you're working for me, you belong to me. I reserve the right to choose the role you act in that best fits my needs. I'll help you choose a job class that's most suitable for your fighting style in the future and do my best to help you to grow stronger as well. Depending on whether you want to focus more on offense or defense, helping allies or personal strength, I've read on this subject before in a book!"
After some consideration, Mia decided to go with the spoiled little girl route. Nobody would be able to refuse a cute little girl, right?
It wouldn't be necessary to outright force him into a specific sub-class that he didn't want. She was kind enough to offer him choices! And even though she could point him on the right path for which sub-classes were the best to choose from, it wasn't like she was actually a qualified teacher who could guide him. At most, she could describe a few skills to him and see if he could work out the rest on his own. This was all just something to think about in the future.
"My fighting style? Honestly, I think I'm still just starting out on the path of the sword myself. I'm still working on finding what I want to do, which is why I came here to join the army originally. Let's train well together and work at finding our paths of development! Of course I'll be yours," Colson promised.
He figured that Mia must have still been unhappy about not succeeding with her spell earlier, and agreed simply in order to placate her. Wasn't that one way of dealing with young children? This Mia seemed much easier for him to interact with and "understand" compared to the calm and mature little girl.
Mia looked Colson up and down, glancing over at the clothes that Colson was wearing. The red-haired boy was currently clad in a padded leather jacket, along with ordinary leather pants that were easy to move around in but offered scant protection. They were well-worn but showed signs of care, judging by the oil sheen and that his clothes were evidently old but not tattered.
Was it that he didn't even have the money to afford to buy some better armor? Even the guards in the small Hart army had access to light leather armor and rudimentary chain mail that would offer more protection.
Maybe it was true that Colson was just a poor boy who set out on a journey with almost nothing to his name when he first arrived here. But, hadn't he been receiving a salary for the past few months? What was he doing with the money?
Perhaps it was now a time to have a conversation with him about his clothing. Since…
"What have you been doing with the salary you've received for being my bodyguard? I apologize for prying into what should have been your personal freedom to spend as you like. Still, don't you know that half of getting stronger is all about the equipment? That you're supposed to constantly upgrade your equipment when you can afford it?"
"My money?" Colson paused for a moment. "I haven't really touched it. Grandfather always told me to save my money and only spend it on things that were really important to me. I just haven't found anything to spend my money on yet, since I have free food and a free room to live in here. This is actually a pretty good job, so I'm grateful to you, Milady." He even flashed a bright and shiny smile at her at the end.
Mia was rendered speechless as she thought about it. He had free food, free rent, and no bills to pay? That did indeed seem to be the case, didn't it? But why was it that a medieval world had much better working conditions than the modern world she came from? When she was a college student, she had been swamped with rent, tuition, and all sorts of bills!
The silver-haired girl couldn't help but feel slightly aggrieved at how in this aspect, life in the medieval world was actually better. It was all because the benefits from working for a noble family like hers were so good! She now felt like she absolutely had to get Colson to spend some of his own money.
Well, she wasn't actually averse to spending her own money to equip her allies. Technically, that was how it worked in every game, with the main character in charge of everyone's money and deciding how to spend it all. It was just that she didn't actually have any money right now except for some pocket change. In fact, she was actually poorer off than Colson…
"You remember how we're joining the tax collection two days from now? You should go to town and buy some better equipment for yourself. Make sure that you're prepared for any possible incidents that arise." Mia didn't mention the fact that the guards were far likelier to cause an incident than the citizens.
"Alright, Milady. I suppose I could go for a set of light armor that I've been wanting." The red-haired boy rubbed his chin.
"Don't worry, if you ever leave temporarily or permanently for whatever reasons, I won't force you to give all your equipment and clothes to me!" Mia spoke the first thing that came into her mind here. Since he was going to purchase new equipment for himself with his own money and not hers, it wouldn't be fair to have him leave it behind if he ever had to leave, now would it?
Only when she noticed Colson's mouth wide agape expression did she realize that she made a mistake with her words. She really needed to remember and watch her mouth!
"Um… if you're interested in my old clothes and equipment… I suppose I have some old socks and shoes that I can give to you…" Colson spoke rather hesitantly, unsure why Mia had a sudden interest in his clothing.
"Ahhh! That's not what I meant at all!" Even Whimsy had a mystified expression as she jumped over and patted her on the back.
What Mia had really been thinking about was that every time she knew a character would leave her party in a game, she would always strip the character of their valuable equipment and accessories… Which wasn't quite so practical or doable in real life.
She was just promising not to do something like that to him, that was all… But the problem was that her words were so easy to misinterpret!
"Don't worry about it, forget I said anything." Mia decided to forcefully ignore what just happened with a change in the topic of conversation. "Here, take these matches that you gave me earlier. Now that I think about it, you're probably better at starting fires than I am. Do you know how to start a controlled fire?"
"Erm… yeah…" Colson woodenly took the matches. He took a glance over at Whimsy, as if to say "Do you know what's going on here?" However, the Wind Slime averted its gaze from him and would only look at Mia in concern.
"What are you waiting for? Go start a fire already! This is to help me prepare for the duel against Barnaby, or do you really want to see him win? Oh, and make sure not to burn this entire area down." The best way to stop him from thinking about what she just said, obviously, would be to keep him busy.
Barnaby would be going along on the tax collection as well. No matter if he tried something during the tax collection or the upcoming duel, it was time for her to prepare against him.
In the elemental natural laws, the most obvious one of all was that water would counter fire. In that case, should she try carrying some water on her? Or even go into the duel while drenching herself in water beforehand? Should she practice trying to fight while in wet clothes and wearing Whimsy as Slime Armor? That seemed a little…
Regardless, there was no way for her to experiment with a magic source of fire at the moment. Except… maybe the torches in the bat cave? But that was the God of Adventurers' source of magic. And, should she really be messing with a God?
Mia shook her head and decided against it. It was probably best not to do anything that would antagonize a mysterious and unknown God. That would be far beyond anything she could handle. For now, she would focus on learning how to tamper with the elements.
Apart from water countering fire, the cycle was that earth was strong against water, wind was superior to earth, and fire was supposed to be advantageous against wind. Meanwhile, light and darkness were both strong against each other. This was an incredibly common element balance seen in many games.
Why was fire advantageous against wind? The way Mia understood it was that any wind magic directed at a fire had a tendency to power it up instead due to giving it even more of its fuel: oxygen.
If that was the case, then Mia felt that magical fires were more than likely to work based off the same laws of nature that she was used to.
As she was thinking all this, Colson gathered some firewood as well as stones to surround the fire with and lit the fire.
"The fire is ready, Milady. What will you be doing with it? Are you going to try and put it out with magic?"
"Yeah, something like that. This is exactly why I'm experimenting."
To be honest, Mia was quite curious how well Whimsy would hold up against a real fire. However, she just couldn't bring herself to test that on the Wind Slime. There was just no way she could treat her companion like that.
It would have to become a matter about keeping her distance from Barnaby during the duel and not allowing him to close the gap. Was it time to start trying to self-invent some of the wind self-buff spells from the game focused on her speed? Maybe she should ask Dega for assistance with that tomorrow.
Mia continually tried casting [Still Air] on the area, but was unable to snuff out the fire. The most that happened was that the fire flickered and appeared to weaken ever so slightly. There was simply no way for Mia to differentiate between oxygen and all the other gases present in the air and only remove the oxygen. Nor was it possible for her to deaden the air entirely. More air would always rush in eventually, not under her control.
Meanwhile, Whimsy was bouncing around everywhere, evidently in a happy mood. When Mia came close to exhausting her mana reserves yet again, Whimsy returned and gave Mia her support.
With nothing else to do while resting, Mia took out the Status Stone and checked Whimsy's current level and abilities. It had been a while since she last did so, and it seemed as if Whimsy was possibly growing even faster than she was ever since they all started training together. The Wind Slime had even started providing [Wind Support] to her on its own.
Upon checking the Wind Slime's status, Mia was so surprised that she almost dropped the Status Stone! What was with all these skills that it had somehow managed to learn by itself? [Raid]? [Savagery]? [Armor Mastery]? [Oil Secretion]? [Toughness]? Just what was going on?
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