There was what seemed like an eternity where nobody moved after Mia's comment. It was just like how RPG characters would stand there frozen forever in time, no matter how serious the situation was, until the player character returned and input the next command.
'Only four at a time? The little missy comes up with such naïve ideas despite her intelligence sometimes. She needs more practical experience on how the world works.' Dega thought that Mia was being serious!
Come only four at a time? Nymon was rendered speechless. Who wouldn't use an advantage of numbers when they could?
"I'm sorry, that's not how the world works, Milady. What crazy idea will you come up with next? Do you want everyone to take turns attacking and defending?" Nymon responded with a scoff as he readied his dagger.
His [Camouflage] skill had just been seen through, not to mention the blow he suffered to his groin – and his pride just earlier. It was time for some payback!
"Let's see how you handle this," Nymon muttered to himself. He started imbuing his dagger with mana, causing the dagger to begin gleaming a pale green rather than the dull tint of iron.
This was [Poison Dagger], a low-level thief technique for adding minor extra damage to the thief's attacks!
Well, it would be minor in Nymon's case. Those with highly advanced levels of [Poison Mastery] in the assassin class were capable of stealing away people's lives by inflicting even the smallest of skin wounds. Needless to say, Nymon was nowhere near this level.
[Poison Dagger] didn't work on mana alone. This skill combined the mundane with mana compression, and also depended on the quality of toxic herbs used. Although there were exceptions, one's general level would typically dictate the quality of poisons that one was able to obtain. Improved mastery of [Poison Dagger] would allow for more rapid absorption of poison through the bloodstream, improved effectiveness of poison application, and so on.
As for Nymon… the best he could scrounge up were some random grasses he found in the woods. Ingesting such herbs would likely lead to only an upset stomach with some diarrhea as the worst possible outcome. Of course, that was only the case for healthy adults – weren't younger children always at greater risk of falling ill?
Mia widened her eyes in surprise at seeing Nymon's dagger beginning to turn a visible pale green. Of course she recognized this skill as one of the basic thief job class skills! She had used it herself more times than she could count when she tried the thief class in the game!
Wait a moment, how would poison even work in real life? The game had turn-based combat where poison drained some set amount of hit points at the end of every turn, a common treatment of the "poison" status seen in so many video games. Would she experience a constant draining of her HP? Or perhaps a loss of some hit points every few seconds or minutes? Would she feel weakened at all or become weaker at fighting? But those video game characters always seemed capable of attacking at full power even while under the effects of the most toxic of poisons…
Mia shook her head. She couldn't let herself get sidetracked here! This was no time to be thinking about experimenting. That could wait until a situation where her life wasn't at stake. She needed to fix this bad habit of hers.
The most obvious and thereby best way to deal with [Poison Dagger] would be to not get hit in the first place. However, Mia instantly discarded this idea as Nymon was far larger and stronger than she was, with an age advantage of approximately ten years.
If [Poison Dagger] didn't break any flesh, then the poison wouldn't take effect at all. This skill would be rendered almost completely ineffective against heavily armored opponents, yet Mia was only out in a relatively normal noble style formal long shirt and long pants. She preferred sticking to pants over dresses as the former were much easier to move around in.
Although she wasn't showing much skin, this clothing wouldn't offer the slightest bit of protection at all against an iron dagger. However, there was another reason that Mia typically went around in such clothing – to conceal the fact that she was actually carrying, or wearing a slime on her!
"It's up to you now, Whimsy. Show me what you have if you want to continue enjoying delicious wind mana in the future!" Mia whispered to the hidden ace in her clothing. The green Wind Slime squirmed in her clothing as a response. Hey, wait, that was ticklish! Stop!
"Go over there and protect that little lady of yours!" Dega gruffly shouted over to Colson. "There's no way that she can handle three thieves by herself! I'll deal with these comrades of mine that have gotten too big for their britches!"
Colson nodded as he ran over towards the young female lord he had sworn to serve. However, sharp pains ran down his left arm, an aftereffect of his earlier fight against Dega not long ago. Although this wasn't his sword arm, Colson still winced and felt it somewhat affecting his balance.
Before Colson could reach Mia and assume a defensive position with something basic like a back-to-back formation, the two teenage thieves intercepted him at a nod from Nymon, as he wanted to have Mia to himself. And so, the fighting finally began, with the sides looking like this: Dega the bandit leader against four of his turncoat bandits, Colson versus two teenaged thief boys, and Mia facing Nymon.
Mia didn't have the time to worry about how Colson or Dega were faring anymore. She could only count on herself and Whimsy to get through this!
Nymon charged over with his green-glowing dagger at the ready. After having been surprised by Mia twice already, he was far more cautious than he normally would have been in dealing with a little girl. He was still unsure whether her having the witch job class was just a bluff or not.
Even if she knew a magical trick or two, it was common knowledge that most magic users were a lot weaker in melee physical combat. Nymon intended to close the distance, but not only did he charge at her, he even used a basic feint – he pretended to charge towards her left side, but suddenly pivoted and struck with his dagger at her right shoulder!
This was a mostly simple horizontal movement, as Mia's shoulder level was roughly equal to Nymon's arm's strike range. Unfortunately for Mia, her recent training so far was just that – training. Her only real opponents so far had consisted of boars, who only knew how to charge head on, and bees that only tried to fly directly towards and sting her. She hadn't really faced any human opponents yet who were actually trying to kill or severely injure her! Mia was unable to cope with an opponent using feints, and was therefore unable to react to Nymon's attack.
Mia tried to counter the direction that Nymon attacked from, but whiffed as she didn't successfully anticipate his change of direction. Nymon's poisoned dagger sunk into her shoulder, giving the same squishy sensation as when he previously stabbed her… Wait, squishy? Weren't shoulders supposed to be hard and bony?
Having one bad experience already, Nymon pushed the dagger as hard as he could, driving it into Mia's shoulder… the end result being that the teenaged boy ended up pushing over the little girl, losing his own dagger and balance in the process.
Once again, Mia was knocked over onto the ground, somewhat stunned from the impact. Damn that blue-haired bastard!
Noticing that he, too, had fallen over, Mia took the opportunity to quickly scramble to her feet, intending to put some distance between them. What else could she do? Her attacks with a wooden sword would be nothing more than slightly painful thwacks at most, even if an attack landed.
Only now did Mia start regretting the fact that she never bothered to ask Colson for some matches. Unless she used a dust explosion, she lacked far too much in attack power right now. This could have been a nice opportunity, with the blue-haired boy before her still somewhat covered in flour from when she previously revealed his [Camouflage]. Yet, the dust explosion also had its drawbacks, such as having to worry about herself being caught in the effective radius…
While thinking all this as she backed up, Mia suddenly noticed to her surprise that she felt a lot lighter – Whimsy was missing!
Mia looked around to see that her pet slime had now tangled itself in thief boy's legs!
While slimes were a non-aggressive monster type, that didn't mean that slimes would simply allow humans or other monsters to attack them free of consequences. From Whimsy's point of view, this blue-haired boy had attacked her unprovoked twice already. The Wind Slime now held a grudge!
Sure, the attacks did very little damage to the Wind Slime's soft body that was naturally resistant against physical damage. Slimes also had a completely different nervous system from humans, so the weak [Poison Dagger] (or perhaps [Mysterious Herb Dagger] was completely ineffective against Whimsy. The Wind Slime didn't have a digestive system for physical foods to begin with.
The real reason for Whimsy's wrath was, how dare this person even attempt to harm her food source!
I'm back! My apologies for the longer than expected absence. Had a lot going on in my life. I now hope to write Wind Mage at a pace of at least five chapters per week again.
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