Mia recalled how Jared had swooped into the middle of her training session and acted as if he was doing a favor while "saving" her. Of course, such clichés had their reasons for existing. Why did boys especially like to attempt such an action? It was one of the best ways for getting into a girl's good graces, well, if you believed what television, stories, and games depicted.
Mia didn't know if the Wind Slime was male, female, or even had a gender, but she could tell that it was intelligent. She figured that since it had intelligence, if she was able to act out the role of the hero saving the damsel in distress, perhaps that would be the quickest way to the girl's, or in this case, the Slime's heart.
And that was why Mia was currently running as if her life depended on it, with a pack of approximately seven or eight Wild Boars behind her. Actually, they were still faster than she was, but she was able to keep ahead of the boar pack by making repeated sharp zigzags and turns.
This was something that she had partially rehearsed for already. She was now a few levels above the Wild Boars, and they no longer posed a significant threat to her, but this many would still be troublesome. Just in case, Colson was jogging alongside at a slight distance, keeping a watch on things.
Mia ran directly for the lake area where her target Wind Slime typically resided. What she intended was for the Wild Boars, in their rampage, to indiscriminately attack everything before them, including the Wind Slime. In her mind, this would theoretically rile up the Wind Slime, and then they would finally try fighting together for the first time which would be a bonding experience that she could use to tame it.
"Urk! Get off my head! I can't see anything!"
'I was too naïve… why did I expect that anything would change? It would seem that this Wind Slime isn't paying any attention to the Wild Boars charging right behind me and is an airhead that doesn't pay attention to the surroundings!'
That was the first thought that flashed through Mia's mind. But, she soon noticed that something was different this time.
Rather than its typical greeting of smushing itself all over her face, the Wind Slime had changed its form and was now enveloping itself all over her body. Meanwhile, Mia had stumbled when the Wind Slime hit her face, and the Wild Boars chasing after her had caught up. The first boar leading the pack tackled her, and Mia braced for impact, knowing that she didn't have enough time to dodge.
Rather than taking a somewhat painful hit as she expected, Mia felt as if she had merely been lightly pushed on her leg without even enough force to knock her over. She instantly understood what had happened – the Wind Slime's natural Defense value and elasticity had caused the Wild Boar's attack to glance off harmlessly. This was far better than she had expected!
What she had hoped for was to fight together with the Slime helping to block off some of the attacks, as a small pack of Wild Boars was still too much to handle by herself without Colson's aid, even if she was now a few levels higher than before. But if the Wind Slime had an armor form (well, that was what she called it) that could totally protect her, then she had nothing to fear from these small fries anymore.
She waved to Colson, indicating that she was alright and didn't require his assistance, as it appeared he was about to charge in to help her. Then, she purposefully stood still and allowed the Wild Boars to use their skill, Charge, on her as they pleased.
*Boing! Boing! Boing!*
The result was similar to just earlier. Although their skill usage had a slightly stronger than just ordinary headbutting, it still wasn't sufficient to even knock Mia over anymore, which she knew from experience would happen if she took once of those Charge attacks head-on. Still, her leg felt slightly sore despite the Slime's cushioning the impacts, and Mia understood from this that there were probably limits to what it could block. Stronger attacks would likely only be mitigated but still damage her.
Well, in that case, Mia leisurely took her time with the Wild Boars. Since she didn't have to fear taking damage from them, it was a piece of cake for her to knock them out one by one with her wooden sword. After that, she finally took a breather and beckoned Colson over.
Meanwhile, as she laid down, back against the ground, Mia brought out a Status Stone and checked the Wind Slime's status as she had done before as well.
[Unnamed, Mia's pet]
Race: Wind Slime
Skills: Slime Armor
Magic: Wind Support (passive) – 10% bonus to all Wind Magic skills.
Success! So the saving a damsel in distress plan had worked after all, no matter who the damsel was in the end! Mia had a hunch that the Wind Slime still saw her as nothing more than a walking food bowl which needed its protection just now, but hey, whatever worked.
Still, there were some parts that Mia was still dissatisfied with. There was just too much she didn't understand about how things worked in this world, and the lacking descriptions of skills in statuses was part of it. She decided to spend some time next experimenting and obtaining information and to work out the details later.
Right now – "Hey, Colson! Things were a success! How about I help you obtain your own pet Slime as well?"
Recently, Colson had been wondering about the sanity of his employer, as well as whether he should stay in this job or not.
It was a common sight for Swordsmen such as himself to be in the employ of nobles as guards or mercenaries. The only other jobs where he could swing his sword around would be to become an adventurer or neutral mercenary for hire.
Those jobs, however, would require more experience. His grandpa was a veteran adventurer back in the day, and had recommended against adventuring until he was more experienced and had friends he could rely on to form a party with him.
"Only the most veteran of adventurers would be able to accept requests on their own," so his grandpa had told him, recommending that he first try the military where his skills or lack thereof wouldn't be a problem.
While Colson obeyed his grandpa, he still had a heart which yearned for adventure. After joining Count Hart's private army and meeting the lord's daughter Mia, he somehow obtained the job of being her personal guard without understanding too much how that happened.
The job was fine to him, as it was relatively easy, if a little boring. All he had to do was follow Mia around and protect her from some low-level monsters, as her interests seemed to be mostly focused around going outside and exploring. Later, he went along with her wishes and started knocking out low-level monsters for her to kill, which she said was the fastest way for her to gain experience. However, Colson felt as if his skills weren't being put to good use – nor was he able to foresee any growth for himself while performing this job.
Simply speaking, he was a normal teenage boy who wanted something more exciting.
Recently, he noticed that Mia had been getting more and more obsessed over Slimes lately. She was asking him all sorts of questions on what Slimes ate, what their habits were, everything that he knew about Slimes.
She was also spending most of the past few weeks playing around with a particular Wind Slime that they found in the forest. At first, Colson figured that it was a temporary child's whim that she would get tired of eventually, but in fact it seemed like she was getting more serious as time passed!
In Colson's eyes, monsters were enemies of the human race. Not only monsters, but other species such as elves and dwarves were also on unfriendly terms with the human race. Well, he didn't hate monsters to the extent where he wanted to exterminate even a harmless Slime on sight, though. He simply didn't understand why it was that Mia spent so much time carefully researching and intentionally getting closer to this Wind Slime.
Today, he was told that his task would simply to stay back and observe, and to step in only if the situation demanded it.
What he saw was –
The little girl who was his master intentionally attracting the attention of numerous Wild Boars at once, tossing stones at them to get their attention, and running off without fighting.
Colson had been watching over Mia's growth, and knew that she was definitely strong enough now to take on a Wild Boar or two by herself now, even if she still wasn't ready for actual combat. They were the weakest monsters around, after all. So why was she intentionally doing such a thing?
He continued jogging along, watching to see just what exactly Mia intended. Then, he realized that they were heading for the Wind Slime's typical home area.
'Could this have something to do with that Wind Slime she's so enthusiastic about?'
However, what he saw next almost caused him to choke.
That Wind Slime had an almost comic method of greeting Mia, which was to always jump on her head. Still, as a wild monster itself, it should have at least known how to fight and defend itself against other aggressive monsters like Wild Boars.
Even if Colson thought that Mia wasn't quite right in the head, he wasn't one who would simply stand by and watch a little girl in danger. He unsheathed his sword, and stepped forward as Mia was obviously in a dangerous situation, having lost her balance from the Wind Slime jumping on her face, but –
A green light enveloped Mia took the first Wild Boar's tackle to her leg, and grinned. Then, she indicated with her hand that Colson should "stop," and she stood still as she even gave the Wild Boars time to power up their Charge skills and rush at her. After she allowed all those attacks to connect with her leg, without even making an effort to dodge, she shook her leg and winced in what Colson interpreted as obvious pain.
He did some mental calculations and figured that at her current level, all those attacks combined had probably taken off half her HP already. Had she awakened to a masochistic side? Was she the type that reveled in her own pain?
What he witnessed next was a total change in her fighting style.
Normally, Mia was the cautious type, who preferred to take as little damage as possible when fighting monsters. She focused on defense over offense. That was fine and all, but what was with her sudden change in style?
Mia was whirlwinding around, swinging her wooden sword at full force. She was clearly focusing on offense, not defense, ignoring any boars that rushed her while focusing on taking out one boar at a time. Mia's attacking style reminded Colson of something that he had only read about before, but never seen: the advanced job class known as Berserker, which was a job class that was supposed to focus on offense while sacrificing defense.
However, wasn't Mia supposed to be a Wind Mage? Colson knew her job class already, and was doubting his own eyes. Her job class's natural stat growths would naturally be magically oriented, not physical.
While there weren't any weapon restrictions for job classes, as everyone could freely choose as this was real life and no longer a game where people were locked into specific weapon types, there was still practicality to consider. After all, most mages wouldn't exactly have the physical strength to be wielding a heavy battle axe in combat, nor would they need to.
Mia was an exception, but only of sorts. She simply wanted to train herself physically as well as magically because of how poor her magic's power had been assessed at – E rank. Even if she trained herself physically, she didn't expect to become a Master Swordsman or anything like that overnight, as she had already noticed her own natural stat allocation being magic-oriented in both base stats and levelling up. She simply hoped to have some means of being able to defend herself and fight in this world, as all her current magic spells weren't suited for actual combat. She had no idea how far she could take this, nor did she have a particularly streamlined planned path for her physical abilities.
Colson felt that it was a pity that her main class was a Wind Mage after watching this. Perhaps she was more suited to the Swordsman path after all, and he even wondered if he should ask his grandpa to teach her the Swordsman job class as a sub class.
A minute later, Mia had finished defeating the Wild Boars on her own and laid down on the ground, taking a rest, and finally indicating for him to come over. As Colson walked over, he saw Mia taking out a Status Stone and inspecting the Wind Slime with it. Whatever she saw must have made her really happy, because she rolled around and around in the grass like a little girl. In fact, it was the first time Colson ever saw her doing anything like a little girl would. Sometimes, he also wondered just how old she really was.
"Hey, Colson! Things were a success! How about I help you obtain your own pet Slime as well?"
The way she acted and the huge seeming change in her personality and fighting style caused Colson to recall what his grandpa had taught him about the side effects of drugs before. Was all this due to the Wind Slime's influence in some way? Did it have an effect similar to drugs on a person's body? That was why, as a proper good boy, Colson's reply was –
"No thanks, I don't want to get high!"
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