Chapter 131 -- Teach Me, Fer-Sensei!
The next morning on our way to the dungeon's entrance I asked Fer about the new Skill forced on me by those Deplorable Deadbeat Deities. "You see Fer, yesterday I, uh, 'received' a new Skill from the Gods called Perfect Defence, do you know anything about it?"
"Perfect Defence, huh?" Fer thought for a moment. "That sounds like a really good Skill for you to get. It protects you completely from hostile attacks. You've got my Barrier which is the same thing, sort of, but I can't keep it in place around you all the time."
"One of the Gods, Vulcan-sama I think? said you couldn't keep Barrier up continuously. I was surprised."
"Idiot." Fer said bluntly. "You've used magic yourself, you know you can't do something like that continuously. Even I can't keep Barrier up for more than five days at a time." Five days? That was a lot longer than I expected but this was Fer, after all.
Having learned that I came to the conclusion that getting the Perfect Defence Skill was a pretty good deal for me, a "Skill that completely defends from attacks by hostile forces." I felt better about entering the dungeon now and I thanked the Gods for giving it to me. Should I maybe give them something extra next offering time? Thinking about the Gods and Goddesses and the new Skill I had supposedly received I realised I hadn't checked my Status recently. Was this new Skill actually there?
[ Name ] Mukouda (Tsuyoshi Mukouda)
[ Age ] 27
[ Job ] A person from a different world who got caught
[ Level ] 13
[ Stamina ] 229
[ Magic Power ] 223
[ Attack Power ] 206
[ Defence Power ] 205
[ Agility ] 200
[ Skill ] Appraisal Item Box Fire Magic Earth Magic Familiar Perfect Defence
[ Contracted Monsters] Fenrir, Big Slime, Pixie Dragon
[ Unique Skill ] Net Super
[ Protection ] Wind Goddess Ninril's blessing (small) Fire Goddess Agni's blessing (small) Earth Goddess Kishar's blessing (small)
So there's my Perfect Defence Skill. If I shifted my Appraisal point of view to the words 'Perfect Defence'...
[ Perfect Defence ...... a Skill that completely protects against physical attack and magical attack from hostile forces ]
Oh, an explanation appeared, confirming what Fer had just said. Thinking about it when I Appraised the Mithril knife and sword that Sui made for me there was an explanatory note attached too. I didn't think it strange at that time but maybe for some reason my Appraisal Skill has levelled up? This sort of thing... teach me, Fer-sensei!
"Fer, if I use Appraisal on something like my Perfect Defence Skill, I now see an explanation..."
"Nuu, that would be because your level has increased and so has the things Appraisal can tell you." Fer-sensei said.
"Hm? How does that work?" I asked. Fer explained that as someone's level went up, it meant that they could do more with the Skills they possessed. Since Appraisal is a Skill then I could now see more detail about something or someone I Appraised. Fer didn't bother much with using Appraisal himself so the extra information wasn't important to him though.
Wait though, I'd seen this sort of explanation even before I levelled up. I had Appraised food I'd bought at Net Super, bread say and seen things like "Eating this improves magic power by 1% for 10 minutes" and the like.
"I saw explanatory notes when I first used Appraisal on something from another world, but why?"
"Nu? Is that what you saw? I also tried to use Appraisal on those other-world foods but I couldn't read what it said at all, first time ever for me." Fer shrugged. "It's maybe because they're from the other world."
I already knew that things I bought from the Net Super in this world were different. Eating them causes strength and magic to increase -- even Sui-chan received a boost when she ate the garbage, plastic bottles, wrappings etc. so they had to be fundamentally different to similar items in this world. I gave up thinking about it since there was nothing I could do about it and until now it hadn't really been much of a hindrance, other than me having to keep my Net Super Skill a secret from everyone else.
For now, knowing I can get an explanatory note during Appraisal because my level has risen is useful information. As Fer had explained all the Skills and magic someone possesses improve as their level increases which, now I thought about it was a natural result of levelling up. Fer went on to say there were some Skills that didn't improve due to increasing levels though, things like Item Box and my new Skill, Perfect Defence. Skills provided directly by the Gods and Goddesses didn't level up, apparently, just the ones people were born with or, as in my case, had been given to me when I was summoned to this world.
So that's how it works～. There wasn't anything I could do about them though so I asked Fer about another Skill I had.
"So what about my Familiar Skill?" I could make submission contracts as I had with Fer and Sui and Dora-chan, how would that Skill change as I levelled up?
"No idea. As I said before my submission contract with you was the first I'd ever agreed to. The crazy Elf said the way you make submission contracts is strange, anyway." That was true, Elland-san had said that when we had discussed the contracts I had made -- it wasn't a Tamer Skill as the Guild understood them but something else.
I shrugged, I assumed I wouldn't lose any Skill abilities even when my level rises so I wouldn't worry about it. I asked Fer about my Unique Skill, Net Super but he replied "There's no way I'd know anything about something like that. It's Unique to you after all." Well that's true, being able to order up Japanese goods in this world and have them delivered was weird to start with. I just had to be careful and keep an eye on it in case it changed somehow. As my discussion with Fer ended I found we had arrived at the market area outside the dungeon.
"Right then," Fer said, staring hungrily at the dungeon's gateway, "Shouldn't you go and register at the Guild's branch office? Like, now?"
* * * * *
After registering we lined up with a row of Adventurers entering the dungeon and waited patiently until it was finally our turn to enter. I showed my Guild card to the knights standing on both sides of the entrance and we went into the dungeon. I still had some concerns though...
"You said I didn't need a map, but is that really true?" I had planned to buy a map of the dungeon at a street stall before we joined the queue at the entrance but Fer said we didn't need it. His sense of smell and ability to see signs would be enough to guide us and it would be more reliable than any map bought from a sketchy market dealer, he said.
"It'll be fine. Trust me." Fer declared, his attention fixed on the dark entrance in front of us. Well I suppose if he said it's okay then it will be okay. It was just that a map was always an important thing in the sort of computer games I had played, getting hold of one and following it, that sort of-
"It seems like there are only small fry to start with." Fer interrupted, his head moving from side to side. I remembered he had mentioned how he could detect monsters at a distance during our trip to carry out the Mithril Lizard subjugation back when we were staying in Carerina. He was apparently using this monster-detecting ability on the dungeon entrance.
"Oh, that sounds right. Most regular Adventurers only explore the first 10 to 15 levels according to Elland-san. They can find treasure chests and also collect monster drops they can bring back out and sell. The monsters further down are a lot tougher."
"Got it. Right then, let's get going, the sooner we get to some monsters worth fighting the better. You, get on my back." Yeah yeah. I got on Fer's back as commanded as Fer looked back at me over his shoulder.
"You're going to be fine since you've got Perfect Defence." Fer said considerately. He was worried about me and trying to cheer me up? How- "You're a coward of course so I'll keep my Barrier up too, just to keep you happy." Thanks Fer, you didn't have to say 'coward' like that, just say I'm 'cautious' or 'careful'. Please?
"Dora, do you want to climb on too?" Fer said to Dora-chan.
"Naah, I'd just fall off, big guy." Dora-chan answered aggrievedly. He was hovering beside Fer, his muzzle fixed like Fer's on the darkness before us, eager to enter the dungeon. I had almost forgotten just how formidable a foe a Pixie Dragon was given how cute they looked, and this Pixie Dragon in particular seemed to be ready for the battles to come. "It's kinda insulting to all Pixie Dragons, you know, to say I should ride on your back. Our reputation is for flying the fastest and the best, after all."
Fer nodded in apology. "Right then Dora, are you ready to go in? Oh, and you too." Fer asked me as an afterthought.
"Let's go, let's go." Dora-chan answered eagerly as we advanced into the dungeon.