The World Is Overflowing with Monster, I’m Taking a Liking to This Life - c166 Curiosity Kills the Cat
I’ll first distribute the points from the level-up.
Let’s raise “Terrain Understanding” to LV 7 so that I’ll have a firm grasp over the ground and the terrain even if I defeat other Treants.
At the current level, I can understand what’s happening underground “to some extent”.
However, only knowing “to some extent” won’t put me at ease.
It’s better to be careful after all.
I’ll save the remaining 2 points for later.
Next are the occupations.
Currently, Shinobi is at LV3, Tracker is at LV2, Jet Black Player is at LV3, and Trainee Monk is at LV3.
I guess it’d have to be either “Shinobi” or “Jet Black Player”?
Hmm, actually, should I get my Fifth Occupation which I’ve been putting on hold…?
My Fifth Occupation hasn’t been decided yet.
I can only have a maximum of five occupations, so I’ve been thinking carefully and holding myself back from coming to a decision.
I can choose one right now if I wish to do so.
The options are as follows:
Citizen, Adventurer, Clerk, Negotiator, Hiki Komori, NEET, Cook, Rider, Marauder, Monster Tamer (LV3), Hidden Weapons User, Fugitive, Carrier, Actor, Scammer, Exterminator, Prayer, Leader, Cleaner, Martial Artist, and Annihilator.
There are 22 occupations available in total including all the derived occupations and the initially acquirable occupations.
Among the choices, “Monster Tamer” has the advantage of starting from LV3.
Combined with “Profession Enhancement”, I might be able to put Named Monsters under my control like the Monster Tamer girl from before.
It’s wouldn’t have been a bad idea if all I wanted was an instant boost in power.
(But considering what happened at the School and Momo’s lukewarm reaction to the occupation, I’m not too keen on acquiring it…)
Given the previous Monster Tamer’s tragic end, I can tell that forcing monsters to submit comes with risks.
The thing is, however, none of the other occupations sound particularly attractive either.
I’m a bit curious about the “Prayer” occupation, but I suspect that the skills that come with it would be similar to the skills that Kiki has.
(“The Right to Question” only provides me with vague explanations without getting into details about the obtainable skills…)
I’ll leave the Fifth Occupation be for now.
There will come a “time” when it would be best for me to acquire it, and that moment hasn’t come yet.
Somehow, that’s the feeling I’m getting.
(I guess I’ll leave enough points for the Fifth Occupation and allocate the rest to the existing ones.)
Thankfully, the points required to select new occupations have been reduced to 1 after evolving into a Newtype.
I raise the existing occupations “Tracker” and “Trainee Monk” to LV3 and LV4, respectively.
By leveling up “Tracker”, the skills associated with the occupation will also experience a level up.
That’s why I decided on these two occupations.
I’ll save the remaining 3 points for the future.
With that, I’ve finished this time’s point allocation.
Next on the list is checking out Kiki’s new skill.
It’s important to know what kind of effects it has.
Kiki nods and stares intently at me.
The jewel on her forehead glows red, and my body begins to also glow in response.
“Is this… a status buff?”
Kiki shakes her tiny head from side to side.
I check my status.
The numbers haven’t changed.
Wait a second… Momo’s “Shadow” and Aka’s “Mimicry” are skills that contain traces of the monsters that the magic stones originate from.
In that case, does Kiki’s new skill have something to do with the Treants’ characteristics?
As a test, I turn my attention towards some of the Treants that are growing around us.
An immediate “change” washes over me.
“…I’m ‘aware’ of them.”
Until now, I had to concentrate hard to be “aware” of the Treants’ presence.
However, that is no longer the case.
“You can cancel out their ‘Cognitive Inhibition’? That’s your new skill, Kiki?”
“Amazing…! Kiki, you’re awesome! This will make hunting Treants much easier!”
“Kyuu! Kyu ♪”
Kiki makes a proud expression.
I can understand why, though.
The trickiest thing about Treants is that they’re hard to detect.
Since that’s been solved, subjugating Treants wouldn’t be any different from hunting regular monsters.
As I can be constantly aware of the Treants, I won’t have to worry as much about paying attention to my surroundings.
What an excellent skill.
Kiki, what a good child you are.
“Let us go hunt our next Treant then.”
Oh, and I should also check how long the effect lasts during battles.
Having taken a short break in the name of distributing points and checking out a new skill, we begin moving once more.
“You have gained experience.”
“Experience has reached a certain threshold.”
“Kudou Kazuto’s level has increased from LV 3 to LV 4.”
Afterwards, we succeed in hunting numerous Treants without facing any issues.
Kiki’s new skill is playing a tremendous role in dramatically increasing the efficiency of the hunt.
The Treants don’t seem to realize that we’re aware of their existence.
As a result, they don’t react even when I approach them.
(Kiki’s new buff lasts around an hour. That’s more than enough time.)
Now that I have the leeway to watch my surroundings, I can confidently use the pile bunker.
It’s a big hurrah for the weapon.
(A lot of time has passed…)
It’s been several hours since I left.
The surrounding scenery has changed considerably.
The land which was once covered by the Treants have transformed into a wasteland riddled with holes.
(Might as well head back…)
There are still a lot of Treants remaining in other locations, but it’s better to end things here tonight.
My body is telling me that it’s fine and that it can last another while.
Nonetheless, I take that as a sign that’s warning me to stop when I can.
Also, my level has just gone up, so it’s time to wrap things up.
(Now that I think about it, isn’t this the region where Nijou and the others passed through in the morning?)
Nijou and Chief Shimizu had gone along to accompany those that wished to level up.
According to Nishino-kun, they all managed to raise their levels without dying, but how much credibility does that piece of information hold when nobody’s even aware that people are disappearing?
Some of them might have fallen victim to the Treants without anyone’s noticing.
(Then again, there’s no real way to ascertain the facts since people forget about the victims in a moment’s time…)
With that in mind, I was about to return when…
My eyes land on a particular Treant.
I mutter so, exasperated.
A gigantic Treant which had swallowed up an entire house and penetrated its concrete walls.
At the tip of one of its branches, there’s a certain “something” attached to it.
A flower has bloomed on the Treant.
The bright red flower is reminiscent of blood and is about the size of a human head.
Treants with flowers.
According to “The Right to Question”, they’re considered the Superior Species of the Treant lineage.
“Flowers” bloom on Treants which have attacked enough people and gained enough experience.
Other than their stats being higher than that of regular Treants, they have an additional ability that distinguishes them from the other Treants.
“‘They can move independently’…”
Indeed, Treants that have flowers can move on their own.
Regular Treants can’t move from their spots, so they have to wait for their preys to pass by.
Unfortunately, this rule does not apply to Treants with flowers on them.
They can travel around freely and prey on even more humans.
Moreover, their targets are no longer limited to only LV 0 individuals.
They also prey on people that have raised their levels.
“Treants that can hunt silently without being noticed.”
It’s easy to imagine just how much devastation they could cause.
Why did I have to come across such a big game just as I was thinking of wrapping things up for the day?
(It’s amazing that Chief Shimizu’s group managed to stay safe…)
They were extremely lucky not to be attacked by the “Flowered” Treant despite their stay here.
Regardless, I can’t leave it be now that I’ve found it.
The light from Kiki’s buffs wrap around me.
At that instance, a change occurs on the “Flowered” Treant.
The sound of metal scratching on a blackboard.
It’s the cries of a Treant which I’ve heard many times by now.
The “Flowered” Treant apparently noticed us.
(Root attacks incoming—!!)
Or so I thought, but my worry turns out to be unfounded as the “Flowered” Treant takes an unexpected course of action.
The “Flowered” Treant moves its thick trunk, shakes its branches, somehow peels itself off from the house,—and escapes.
Wriggling its body in all sorts of ways, the “Flowered” Treant makes its escape from us.
When I read about the “Flowered” Treants from “The Right to Question”, I wondered how exactly they moved.
Apparently, it can temporarily seep through the surrounding buildings and the ground.
It’s zooming away without destroying any of the nearby structures.
This is probably also due to a skill that the Treant has.
A tree that can relocate itself—truly something one would only expect in a fantasy.
“—Rather, w-wait up!”
Although I’m taken aback by its unanticipated behavior, I promptly give chase to the “Flowered” Treant.
As if I’d let you escape.
Fortunately, the speed of the “Flowered” Treant’s movement is comparable to a normal person’s dash.
I can comfortably catch up to it with me agility which is over 700.
Surprised that I caught up so quickly, the “Flowered” Treant screeches.
Realizing that it can’t flee, the “Flowered” Treant directs its “hostility” at me.
The ground around the “Flowered” Treant rises up, and countless roots appear from underneath the earth.
Twisting like whips, the roots shoot towards us.
(Its attack patterns are similar to that of regular Treants — Never mind.)
It isn’t just the roots.
The “Flowered” Treant shakes its body and unleashes its “leaves”.
Rotating like shurikens, innumerable leaves fly towards us with tremendous momentum.
(Damn, its techniques remind me of ninjas.)
Simultaneous attacks from the ground and the air.
Avoiding everything is nigh impossible.
(That’s why I’ll be dealing with them before they can reach me.)
I put my hands together and take in a deep breath.
“—‘Fire Element Ninjutsu’.”
A huge fireball is created.
It might not be as powerful as that Dragon’s Breath attack, but it’s enough to burn through the leaves.
Then, I build a makeshift scaffold with the objects in my Item Box and leap up to avoid the attacks from the “Flowered” Treant’s roots.
Stunned that its attacks have been neutralized so swiftly, the “Flowered” Treant’s body trembles.
“Can you afford to be astonished right now?”
I close in on it by narrowing the distance between me and the “Flowered” Treant.
It shakes its body in an attempt to shower its leaves on me, but it’s too late.
The ground shakes violently as the shock-wave permeates through the earth.
The “Flowered” Treant wobbles unsteadily as its leaves sway and its trunk creaks.
(Once wasn’t enough…)
Other than being more durable, there’s something else about this Treant that sets it apart from the rest.
On the verge of getting hit by the pile bunker, the “Flowered” Treant had twisted its body, thereby diffusing the impact.
This means that it knew what kind of weapon the pile bunker is.
(It has decently high intelligence…)
Because of its high intelligence, it knew that it had to run away when it saw me.
As expected of a Superior Species.
Its behaviors are nothing like the normal Treants’.
“Here comes the second shot.”
If once isn’t enough, I’ll just have to shoot a few more times.
The moment I aim the pile bunker at the “Flowered” Treant, it twists its body again to brace for the impact.
You weren’t careful enough.
The “Flowered” Treant was too engrossed in my advances that it had failed to notice that Momo had gone around it.
The “Flowered Treant” stiffens up completely as a result of Momo’s “Roar”.
“—This is the end.”
I launch the pile bunker once more.
The sound of barks snapping spread to the surroundings.
This time around, the “Flowered” Treant collapses.
“You have gained experience.”
“Experience has reached a certain threshold.”
“Kudou Kazuto’s level has increased from LV 4 to LV 5.”
An announcement informs me that I have leveled up.
The “Flowered” Treant’s body fades away, leaving behind its magic stone.
I won somehow…
I store the “Flowered” Treant’s magic stone inside the Item Box which indicates the stone as “Treant’s Magic Stone (Large)”.
It wasn’t weak by any stretch of the imagination, so I guess it makes sense.
(These leaves should come in handy for us…)
The leaves that the “Flowered” Treant shot are scattered everywhere on the ground.
I also store these into the Item Box.
Apparently, they’re called “Treant’s Leaves (Superior Quality)”.
These can serve as some good materials.
Using my “Ninja Tool Creation” skill and Ichinose-san’s “Weapon Creation” skill, we should be able to modify these leaves.
(My level has increased yet again… it’s scary how smooth sailing things are…)
That goes to show how strong we’ve become…
Even so, it’s better to remain cautious.
Never be too prideful. Never.
“Let’s actually return this time…Hm?”
“Enemy Detection” reacts just as I’m about to head back.
This is … a human presence? At this hour?
Looking over, I notice that someone is watching me from the corners of a building.
(…I’m being watched.)
I can feel their gaze.
“Skill proficiency has reached a certain threshold.”
“‘Appraisal Interruption’ has increased from LV6 to LV7.”
I hear announcements in my head.
“Appraisal Interruption” leveled up? Out of nowhere?
“It can’t be that…”
I can only think of that intelligent Zombie from the morning, but its presence was clearly different from this one.
Is it that Zombie’s companion?
It had tamed a Golem, so it wouldn’t be that weird to see a human by its side either.
I immediately begin approaching the presence.
I can sense that the person who was staring at me is startled.
They try to leave the scene, but I’m faster.
In the blink of an eye, I arrive where the person is hiding.
The person screams lightly upon being discovered.
Now, let’s see who it is…Huh?
“W-wait! Please spare me!”
I’m familiar with this person who’s now begging me in tears.
Actually, I’m straight up acquainted with her.
But why is she here?
The person who was observing me turns out to be Igarashi Touka, the Student Council President.