I kept up training my magic skills, and I would visit Akemi once in a while. Eventually she ran out of tales to tell, so instead we began play-fighting/training with some wooden swords she’d gotten from her dad. Although they weren’t too heavy to use, probably due to my attributes, it was still a bit unwieldy to swing a sword that was way too large proportionally to my body. A few months passed like this. Back in my previous life, I’d watched a few videos on sword technique, so at least I wasn’t just flailing my weapon around cluelessly like a stick, but I was still outmatched by the physically older girl.
I had decided to put a skill point into raising Sword Technique from Basic to Advanced in order to be able to be a proper sparring partner for Akemi. In the process of having chosen my first Advanced skill, I got to experience how much more they take to level up than Basic skills. I had also put a skill point into Mana Manipulation (Advanced) since I was told magic skills could only be as high as my level of that.
This is going to be one hell of a grind. Fufufu, luckily I have the mental fortitude of a professional NEET, so this will be but a trifle task, fufufu. If I had glasses, I’d have pushed them up.
Currently, my Sword Technique (Advanced) was at level 2, Akemi said hers was at level 8. Overall, My level was currently 7, and hers 8. She was shocked to learn that I was only one level below her, and since I told her I’m pretty sure she’s been pushing herself harder.
It was about midday and it was fall. The leaves on the trees had changed to their orange-brownish colors and the air was starting to get a bit chilly. We were outside in Akemi’s family’s backyard, in the middle of a sword fight.
Akemi’s family’s backyard, that’s a bit of a mouthful. Unfortunately only nobles have family names. Would it be okay to just think of it as Akemi’s backyard? I’m just gonna do that internally.
Our sparring session was interrupted when the door to the house was opened and out stepped a Kitsune man. He had a lean build, and was wearing some sort of padded armor. His eyes were orange, his hair was a light brown, and on top of his head sat a pair of fox ears of the same color. Didn’t take long to figure out who he was with Akemi’s reaction.
“Daddy!” she exclaimed cheerfully as she dropped her sword and ran up to embrace him.
I mentally slapped myself for not putting two and two together earlier. Of course he’s her father! I’d appraised this guy when I was introduced to all the villagers back when I was newborn. His level was well above the average for the village, appropriate for an adventurer. And on top of that, there just weren’t many Kitsune in the village.
“There’s my big girl!” He knelt down and held out his arms in preparation to catch Akemi as she leapt into his embrace. “You’ve grown so much since last time I was home! At this rate you’ll be towering over both your mom and me in no time!”
“Dad, you say that every time!” she giggled as she snuggled into his chest.
“Well, eventually it’s gonna happen,” he retorted, patting her on the head.
His gaze lifted from his daughter and he looked at me. “And you must be Tiye! Nau told me you were visiting. It’s been so long since I’ve seen you, ah, but you probably don’t remember me.”
Well, if I was a normal child I probably wouldn’t, no. Should probably act as if I don’t.
“Name’s Koshiro, and as you might have guessed, I’m Akemi’s father and Nau’s husband.”
“Hello mister Koshiro, “ I replied with a small bow.
“No need to be so formal!” he laughed. “A friend of my daughter is a friend of mine!”
“Dad, Dad! Tell me all about your quest! You were reconanasing the Demon army right? That means you were fighting them right? That must have been so scary, oh except of course it wouldn’t be scary to you! How many demons did you kill? Oooo did you bring home a cool trophy?” Akemi was in full hyper mode from her dad being home.
“Now now, I’ll have plenty of time for that. I’ll be staying home until your mother gives birth to your younger sibling.”
Speaking of, Nau was standing in the doorframe. My eyes fell on her belly.
However long that is. To me she looks just about ready to pop ‘em out.
“Oh yeah, I’m gonna be a big sister! I’m gonna be the best big sister in the world!”
“I’m sure you will be,” Koshiro smiled as he patted Akemi on the head.
Ehhh, the way she first reacted when having to ‘babysit’ me, I doubt it. With her father gone for so long at a time, she’s no doubt gonna be expected to help look after the baby.
~ ~ ~ ~
While Koshiro was home, he showed off some fancy fighting moves that Akemi and I tried, and failed, to copy. He certainly knew how to handle his sword, he could even do that thing they always do in anime, where he prepares for a strike, then briefly disappearing and then reappearing at his target. Granted, he told us it was his ultimate technique, and that he could only use it once per fight.
Hmm, what level was he back when I Appraised him? Gaaah, should’ve noted it down in my Encyclopedia, I just remember thinking it was high.
He also told us about the quest he’d been on. The war was not going very well, so a bunch of adventurers had been hired on to perform various auxiliary roles. His party had been doing reconnaissance on the frontlines. It was not as flashy a story to retell as Akemi had hoped. There had been a few fights with enemy scouts, but it was mostly uneventful. Scout out the enemy’s position and movements, report back to command, rinse and repeat.
I also learned that he and Dad used to be adventurers together for a short time.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Why didn't I tell you about my adventuring past?” I had asked Dad about it at the dinner table. “Well, to be honest there’s not much to talk about. I was only on two quests before I decided it wasn’t for me.” He crossed his arms as he closed his eyes in thought. “The first was an escort mission and it was uneventful. The second quest… Well, the reasons it made me quit the business is not a tale for children.”
Oh damn, I kinda forgot adventuring can actually be dangerous for beginners. This is an actual real world, no low level zones designed for new adventurers.
He sighed. “We were young and full of dreams… I’ll tell you more about what happened when you get older, but suffice to say, only me and Koshiro made it out alive. I decided to quit, he kept going.” His expression had gradually been souring as he told the last part.
He quickly brightened up. “But hey, it wasn’t so bad. If I hadn’t decided to quit I wouldn’t have settled down here and met you,” he wrapped an arm around Mom, who was sitting next to him, and side-hugged her, “and I’d have missed out on my greatest treasure of all,” he finished as he reached out to pat my head.
Aww, you big softie.
~ ~ ~ ~
Eventually the time came, and Akemi was now a big sister. One day when I came over to visit, I learned that her baby brother had been born during the night. He was a Baast like his mother, with a few strands of purple hair on his head, with matching ears and tail. I hadn’t really thought much of it, but when I asked, I was told that when two beastman of different races have children together, the childrens’ species has a fifty-fifty chance of being either parent’s race.
Akemi and her family were completely preoccupied with the baby, so I decided to head home again. When I arrived at home I decided to ask Mom more about the topic. She was initially a bit flustered about me asking out of the blue, however she calmed down when she realized I wasn’t asking about the specifics of baby making.
Besides, unless things are completely different in this world for some reason, I think I know how that works…
I learned that beastmen could interbreed with the other sapient races of the world, and if they did, the resulting child would show signs of their bestial heritage. Unfortunately this was yet another reason for discrimination as some viewed us as an invasive species that sought to replace those who were there before.
~ ~ ~ ~
Although Koshiro had made it sound like he would only be present for the birth, he stayed around for a few more months afterwards as well. The boy had been named Kiyori and Akemi was absolutely enamored with him. Since she was spending more time fawning over him and playing with him, I focused back on training my magic skills. I found myself in a tough position though. I only had 1 skill point left, and I wouldn't gain another for 3 levels.
[SPECIES]: Beastman subspecies, Baast
[AGE]: 1214 day(s)
Appraisal Level 5
Encyclopedia Level 4
Night Vision (Basic) Level 10
Fall Damage Reduction (Basic) Level 5
Sword Technique (Advanced) Level 2
Mana Manipulation (Advanced) Level 1
Mana Sense (Basic) Level 10
Parallel Thought (Basic) Level 10
Enhanced Dexterity (Basic) Level 10
Cooking (Basic) Level 6
Cleaning (Basic) Level 8
Poison Resistance (Basic) Level 4
Enhanced Constitution (Basic) Level 10
Enhanced Strength (Basic) Level 10
Fire Magic (Basic) Level 6
Enhanced Intellect (Basic) Level 10
Enhanced Wisdom (Basic) Level 10
Bludgeoning Resistance (Basic) Level 3
Fire Resistance (Basic) Level 2
Water Magic (Basic) Level 5
Light Magic (Basic) Level 4
Air Magic (Basic) Level 4
Dark Magic (Basic) Level 3
Earth Magic (Basic) Level 3
Thunder Magic (Basic) Level 2
Thunder Resistance (Basic) Level 1
Nature Magic (Basic) Level 2
Hmm, guess I should just start by getting all the Basic magic skills to level 10… Welp, better get to grinding…