I rested for a while and performed a check on the equipment and situation.
The third Thorn Token, Blade Lizard was clearly stronger than the Arachne that was the first and Moor Frog that was the second. And, above all it used a wall of thorns making sure it won't go favourably for the players.
Meanwhile, the Mischievous Fairy had shown a big reaction as if she had noticed something.
"Ah!! There's a presence of the fourth nearby!"
"I'm going back. Why do I have to fight a series of battles."
"Ehhh, our cooperation was the strongest! Let's go, come on, let's!"
The Mischievous Fairy shook my shoulder with her small body.
After the splendid victory against the Blade Lizard the Mischievous Fairy got carried away and tried to lead me towards where the last Thorn Token was.
I also prompted, raised my heavy hips and we started walking. As we approached the border of the area, the piglet began to squeal.
"Oh? What is it?"
"This kind can't go out of here, so it seems that's as far as it'll come with us."
The piglet stood still on the boundary of the area. Although I forgot since we were moving together with Ryui and Zakuro, but the Big Boar's young beast wasn't my tamed mob.
I didn't add it to become my comrade, but I still felt some regret despite the short time. However, I couldn't afford to continue staying in this place.
"Sorry. But, will you play with us next time we come?"
The piglet let out an energetic voice and started running towards the depths of the forest. The Mischievous Fairy sitting on my shoulder had responded "I'll look forward to it" in the piglet's place.
Well then, let's come back here sometime soon. As I decided so, at the same time I was surprised by the fact that Mischievous Fairy can translate the young beast's speech. Aren't her simple specs a bit too high?
While the mystery of the fairies had grown deeper, ahead of where I was guided too by the preceding, triumphant Mischievous Fairy——
"...i-it seems... like some kind of horribly dangerous existence stands in front of us."
"Yup. It's an absolutely worst guy. I can't do anything about it either."
"H-heck! He's spitting something from his mouth!"
Steam spouted from its mouth and a heat haze flickered in between his sharp fangs.
The opponent seemed like a Thorn Token parasitising on a Hobgoblin.
As a result, his body turned huge and changed into that of a muscular Demon. Between the two horns there were twisted thorns that let out white and black electrical discharges. His ominous silhouette was burned into my eyelids.
"The number of roses is four, huh."
On one of his completely white eyes there was one blooming rose, two more on right shoulder and the neck, last one at its left breast.
The club that Hobgoblin had originally was integrated into the change and turned into a green thorned bat.
"Weeell, that's some bad luck. If the order we beat them in was different, it might have been easier."
"This is the worst. I wanted to enjoy clearing the quest more."
"Anyway, just think of it as of bad luck and go try it!"
In other words, it was the strongest type of Thorn Token and I have to face it when it's in the strongest possible state.
No, not yet, I can still do it. From the battles so far I found out that their weakness are their flowers. I'll beat it here and now!
"Do your best!"
I raised the bow and aimed it at the rose weakness in the eye.
The shot I released from the from headed straight for the Demon Thorn Token, but a wall of thorns that appeared from under the ground had blocked it.
*pshh*, the hindered arrow fell to the ground. And, the Demon that noticed my attack had slowly opened up the wall of thorns and started walking my way. In meantime, the arrow that was stepped on broke like a twig.
"AAhhh! I could still use that arrow if I recovered it!"
"Is that what worried you the most? Hey, it's coming! It's here!"
Opening his white eyes, the Demon roared. As it proceeded a single step the ground was crushed under his feet and then, what appeared was mountain of something that looked like walnuts, bigger than the Demon's fist.
The Demon grasped it with one hand and then swung the green barbed bat, striking it.
From the sound, it actually seemed like something like a fruit inside a hard shell.
"Haa? HAAaAAa?! A long-distance attack?!"
"Avoid! Avoid it!"
Immediately after he punched the walnut with the bat, it flew straight towards the sky. However, the shell exploded in the air after a few seconds and small grains poured at me like a shotgun.
Unable to even avoid it, I received the storm of the small pieces with my body.
Before I realized, I was lying on my back.
"Khh, oww. What the hell. So it has ranged attacks?"
It was a greater range than that from which I was shooting at the Moor Frog. I intended to fight by attacking safely from a distance, but it was within the enemy's range as well.
"Meh, I need to refocus myse——"
That's when I noticed, the identity of the small seeds I have received with my body. They rapidly sprouted and grew, small thorns tied up my hands and legs, pressing me down onto the ground.
"You need to hurry and run! That Thorn Token is coming!"
"I know! Khh, 《Enchant》 ——Attack!"
As expected, they didn't erode my body, but with abnormal growth rate they restrained my body. I pulled out the knife from the belt at my waist and tried to cut them apart, but their number wouldn't decrease.
"Damn, all right, they're off!"
While I cut apart the thorns with one hand, from my waist and below was covered by green thorns. And, as I raised my head seeing a shadow over me, I met the Demon's white eyes.
Immediately after that, I received a blow from a straight swing of the thorned bat and my body fell apart.
My vision darkened and the menu displayed an option of using a Revival Medicine.
Even if I revived myself, I would be still tied up by thorns and the Demon was nearby. In that case I would have been taken down immediately, so I obediently chose to return after dying. My body had gradually turned into particles of light.
"...hey, what do we do?"
"What do you mean by what do we do?"
The two of us sat down on the floor of the dimly-lit 【Atelier】's workshop and started thinking.
No matter what I try, I don't feel like I have a chance of winning against that Thorn Token.
In that case, there were three methods that could be used.
First, gathering comrades to fight it. A party battle.
Second, strengthening equipment and increasing damage efficiency.
Third, self-improvement through leveling.
"Then the one we can do right away is to gather a party! Let's find someone immediately!"
"Before that... my bow's string snapped so it's impossible."
While saying so, I showed the string on the Black Maiden's Longbow to the Mischievous Fairy.
After consecutive battles and that last attack, the first thing that broke was the string.
"Well, I will have to show this to Lyly."
"Mgrr, what. And here I wanted to free the Fairy Village as soon as possible."
"It can't be helped, right? Eh, let's just do what we can."
I raised my hips heavily and immediately contacted Lyly. He was actually in the store at the moment, so I got an appointment with him.
"Now then, I need to follow up with Ryui and Zakuro."
I re-summoned Ryui and Zakuro who were forcibly dismissed at the moment of my death and return.
Most likely worried about me as I returned after death, the first thing Zakuro did was to jump towards my chest and squealed repeatedly, meanwhile Ryui had continued to head-butt me in dissatisfaction. And, for some reason Mischievous Fairy looked in our direction with a huge grin.
"What is it."
"No, I just though you sure are loved."
Hearing that, "it's not so bad to be worried about" I thought and after calming down the two, we went to visit 【Lyly's Woodworking Shop】.
"Welcome, Yuncchi. You said the string snapped, but, could you show it to me immediately?"
"Yeah, its like this..."
Lyly continued examining the outstretched bow for a while and immediately derived what was the reason for the damage.
"It looks like the endurance of the bow itself dropped. Just putting a new string on it might not suffice. Did you receive an attack in close combat or something?"
"Uhh, well, yes. A several times."
Several times I received attacks strong enough to make me use revival Medicine. But I can't tell him that.
"Ehh, even though we're almost in the Fairy Village..."
I held down the Mischievous Fairy's mouth, silencing her. Don't hurry him like that, I wanted to rebuke her, but Lyly already concentrated on his work and didn't hear what she said.
After taking out materials for a string Lyly growled and then stared at me.
"Hey, Yuncchi. If I'm not wrong you have Metallic Thread and Bamboo Fibre, don't you."
"Yep, I have some of the ones I made with 【Synthesis】 and materials for synthesis."
Certainly, I did have the Metallic Thread I made using 【Synthesis】 with Emily-san and the Bamboo Fibre I made out of Magical Bamboo.
"Could you pass some of it to me? I want to try to see whether to use the same string or one of those."
"Then I'll give you what I have now."
With that said, I took out the copper, iron and silver Metallic Thread, as well as Bamboo Fibre and gave them up.
Lyly aligned a few dozen of them, raised up to make sure they aren't spreading out and then made a string.
And then, with a serious expression he put the string on the bow for me to try and passed it to me.
I pulled the string once. With a string made out of Copper Metallic Thread on, I felt like the previous one was better.
As neither I nor Lyly were satisfied with it, we tried once again after replacing the string.
We have repeated that several times and once we went through the strings made out of expensive Metallic Thread, for the last one I pulled the string made out of Bamboo Fibre.
"Yup, this is it. Sound and everything is different."
The Silver Metallic Thread wasn't bad either. But, compared to the powerful sound and tension of the Bamboo Fibre, it was several levels below.
"I'll re-tension it immediately, carefully this time."
After saying that, Lyly re-tensioned the Bamboo Fibre string on the Black Maiden's Longbow.
"So the difference is that big. Bamboo Fibre is a hassle to make, but it isn't an expensive material. I guess it has great compatibility with bows."
"You're right. Metallic Thread is too strong so it'll make the bow's durability decrease faster instead, so it's not suitable for a Longbow or a Strongbow. For those it might be best to use something like a fibre made of a large mob's tendon."
After saying so, Lyly adjusted the string to my level and removed it again.
"I'll adjust the main part of the bow carefully later. Also, I don't know what did you lose against, but don't be too reckless."
"Yeah, I got it. I'll try leveling a bit, forming a party and then challenging it."
I paid Lyly for replacing the string and left the store.
Sitting on top of my head, she peeked into the same pot. On the side, I had a book open.
"Hey, aren't you going to get stronger?"
"I'll get stronger with this."
"Normally, doesn't getting stronger mean defeating enemies and fighting?"
"Heey, say something. Respond to my question〜."
After moving to my shoulder, the fairy started slapping my cheek with her small hands.
Since I remained silent she got bored of it and flew towards Ryui and Zakuro who were lying on a cool part of the workshop, then entered between Zakuro's tails.
In the first place, with death penalty after dying and returning there was no way I could do any proper hunting, so I calmly did crafting in the 【Atelier】.
Finally the noise subsided. I heaved a sigh of relief and looked towards the recipe book.
"Myurel Change Grass, Vitality Tree's Fruit, the male and female Mandragoras to become a catalyst, now——"
I traced the recipe in the book with my finger, checking the materials.
This recipe was one of the ones included in the book from the raid quest's reward that was called 【Private Pharmacopoeia】, one of the few for making a story potion.
The story in the book said that it was a magical medicine for treating baldness, and there was a recipe for making 【Hair-Growth Medicine】 and a 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】.
The Myurel Change Grass was one of the materials I received from the Making Box I got during the summer camp event and its random delivery, after many failures of replication I increased the material's number.
The Vitality Tree's Fruit grew on my field. And, the male and female Mandragora was a drop from Mandragora and served as a magic catalyst.
Other than this, there were a lot of recipes that used a large number of existing materials.
Although I picked it because of the appropriate degree of difficulty, there was also another reason for which I had to make this one.
"In order to stop people from treating me as a woman I need to shorten my hair."
Saying so, I lightly scooped up my long black hair.
Since I received bodily correction making me more feminine, I was mistaken for a woman time after time again. In order to become more manly, even if just a little, I'm going to shorten my hair.
"I'll definitely complete 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】."
Actually, 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】 was just a bonus recipe, but I needed it.
【Hair-Growth Medicine】 used Male Mandragora and 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】 used Female Mandragora, but the procedure was almost the same.
First the male or female Mandragora was shredded, grated and crushed.
After crushing it with the pulverizer, I further decreased the size using a mortar. And, once I finished the time-consuming creation of the catalyst, I put it aside.
The next part of work, was mixing a fixed ratio of High Potion and MP Potion and warm it up and boil carefully as not to let it dry out.
"Until it boils from slow heating up, I need to process Myurel Change Grass."
I need to grind the Myurel Change Grass and mix it with juice taken from Vitality Tree's Fruit.
I cut it into a several dozen pieces loosely with a kitchen knife and ground it on the mortar until juice had come out, after that, I added Vitality Tree Fruit's juice, turning it yellow.
The Myurel Change Grass had changed into a paste in the mortar. I will put and mix it with the liquid boiling on low heat, once combined, I will add the catalyst I prepared in advance and scoop up the supernatant.
"To make this a mountain of herbs was used and what comes out is just several bottles, so it's not profitable."
It was one of the reasons I couldn't try this recipe before. If I were to use the same amount of materials, I should just create a different potion. But now, I favoured experience over the efficiency, so I made this potion.
"Now, I'll put the mixture of Myurel Change Grass and Vitality Tree Fruit's juice in two kettles, once I put in male and a female Mandragora's catalyst they'll both be complete. There."
In two small kettles, I slowly boiled a 【Hair-Growth Medicine】 and a 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】. I mixed them carefully, once the liquid had thickened a little big bubbles started forming and burst.
"It'll take more than twenty minutes until I put the catalyst in. In meantime, let's replenish the items I used up."
The arrows I used in the combat, the Highpots and MP Potions, as well as Revival Medicine need to be replenished or I won't be able to participate in combat next time.
I had to take my eyes off the potion for a while, but on my higher-level equipment that had a function preventing from drying, so there was no problem.
"First, I need to make some Revival Medicine. After that, synthesising arrows. Also, stat-increasing Boost Tablets."
I listed up potions to make and immediately prepared the materials for mixing. Since Revival Medicines had a chance of failure when using a skill, I created them manually. For the rest of items, I crafted them by using crafting skills and MP.
Since I had the intermediate materials for the Revival Medicine prepared, I only mixed the optimal amounts and there were no problems in particular. Rather, I checked up on the 【Hair-Growth Medicine】 and 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】 and there was still time remaining.
"Hmm. Let's organise the items then."
I muttered in the workshop.
I organised the materials I have recently acquired and frequently-used items. Also, I sorted the equipment I have acquired during the quests and in dungeons.
"This is the 【Dark Wolf's Armour】, huh. There's nowhere to put it in the 【Atelier】. Maybe I should sell it next time. But, it would be a waste."
I took out the unique whole-body equipment 【Dark Wolf's Armour】 and checked it. Other than that, there were Iron Swords and Knives, maybe I should turn them into ingots or sell them straight to NPC. Lining up the selected equipment side by side I growled.
As I did that, there was an existence moving which attracted my gaze.
"Ushishishi, there's no way I can give up on mischief in such a fun situation."
The Mischievous Fairy peeked out from between Zakuro's tails, her line of sight was directed towards the automatic anti-burning kettles and the recipe book beside it.
"Oh-ho, Myurel Change Grass and Vitality Tree's juice. Then... the Antidote Potion I sneaked out, a Dried Mushroom, after that the confusion-inducing 【Confusion Grass】 and charm-inducing 【Charm Weed】 one each, and finally my 【Fairy's Scales】 to all of that."
The Mischievous Fairy had secretly put in the pot various items she sneaked out or just moved around from another spot, in the end, making her wings tremble slightly she spilled a powder from her wings which merged with the 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】.
"And last, the female Mandragora's catalyst——"Hey, the heck are you doing!"——dang it, I was found! But it's too late now!"
While I let my eyes off it, the Mischievous Fairy put a Mandragora catalyst into each kettle.
With an iron cage in my hands I hurried over to the kettles.
The catalysts were already put in and the firepower under the kettle increased all at once, powered by the Mischievous Fairy's wind.
The viscous content of the bottle had let out a nasty scent as it started to boil intensely and the fluid inside the kettle changed into bright orange, a colour different from the one described by the recipe.
"What, this i——"
Before I could finish speaking, the contents of the kettle exploded.
*puffun*, I received a direct hit from a very comical explosion and fell on my butt on the floor. My entire body was bathed in the orange liquid as well as red and pink smoke.
Reacting to the explosion in the workshop Ryui and Zakuro hurriedly stood up and took distance from the kettle.
"*cough*, *cough*... damn, I forgot about the Mischievous Fairy. There goes my precious Hair-Shortening Potion."
I coughed several times and looked at the orange liquid boiling over. I knew that something else was made from what I originally intended. With the explosion the origin of fire disappeared and the boiling in the two kettles subsided.
"Geez, the pricey materials are all ruined...hmmm?!"
What do I do to clean this up, I tried scratching my head and realized. No, it can't be, I thought, but I stood up.
"Up we go. Somehow, my line of sight is low, or rather, my limbs shortened..."
I realized something I didn't want to realize and my face paled.
"W-WHAT THE HELLLLLL?!!"
That's when the culprit, the Mischievous Fairy showed up in front of me.
"Fufufu! How's it! The effect of the secret elixir handed down among the Mischievous Fairies."
"Yes, everyone thought of it at least once. 'I don't want to become an adult', 'I want to be a kid forever'. This is the Elixir of Neverland that fulfils those thoughts! This is the 【Age-Faking Medicine】!"
"W-what did you saaay!"
I confirmed it by touching my body all over. Height-wise I returned to about ten years old, my features also seemed considerably younger.
If only the hair had shortened together with it, but it remained long.
"Hey! Is there a way to turn back?! Is there one?!"
I clasped the fairy who had a smug expression on her face with my small hands and tried to force her to tell me a way of returning back to normal.
"Sto〜oo〜op, it feels horriblee〜."
Because I was agitated, I shook the Mischievous Fairy strongly. Her eyes turned spun and she went limp on my palm.
"You'll go back to normal once the medicine's effect wears off, just put up with it until then."
"Is it really all right? Or maybe there's a recipe to turn me back——"
When I opened the menu and checked the recipes, certainly there was an addition of 【Age-Faking Medicine】, but there was no recipe for one with opposite effect.
"I want the reverse recipe! A recipe to turn adult!"
"There is one, but you don't have enough Myurel Change Grass do you?"
Told so, I confirmed the material stored in a box. Although there was some remaining, there wasn't enough to recreate the potion again.
"...I'm out of ideas."
As I sat down on the floor depressed, Zakuro had come up to me and licked my fingertips as to cheer me up as to console me.
After dazedly looking around, I recalled that I need to clean up after the explosion and slowly stood up.
The supernatant liquid remaining in the kettle——originally it should have been 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】, had changed into red 【Age-Faking Medicine】. On the other hand, the 【Hair-Growth Medicine】 that used Male Mandragora as a catalyst wasn't dabbled with, so despite spilling, it was completed.
In the end, I had three potions of red 【Age-Faking Medicine】 and five 【Hair-Growth Medicine】 potions.
After I finished the clean up, I heaved a sigh and noticed.
Even after the death penalty time had passed, probably because I turned into a child all of my stats were lowered, my limbs were shortened, my line of sight was lower and I sometimes stumbled.
As I have become powerless, there was nothing for me to do.
"What do I do? What should I do?"
"Yun-oneechan! I've come, are you here?"
I timidly opened the door connecting with the store slightly and confirmed what's happening.
"Myu-san, you'll cause trouble if you speak so loudly."
"Hey, I'mma with Rirei replenishin' MP Potions, what'cha gonna buy, Hino, Toutobi?"
"Hmm, I'll buy High Potions and sandwiches. Also, Boost Tablets and Enchant Stones."
"Righ', decided eh."
Myu's party was visiting and everyone bought whatever they needed from Kyouko-san the NPC.
I imagined what would happen were I to be found now and decided to pretend not to be here.
"It's fine. As long as I stay silent they'll lea"Yeah, I'm here! Just come in."..."
I looked towards where the voice had come from. The Mischievous Fairy had a huge grin on her face seeing her mischief succeed. She manipulated the wind to imitate my voice, calling Myu over.
Why, she's clearly high-spec, so why does she use it for pranks! This damn fairy!
"All right! We got permission from Onee-chan! Let's go!"
"Really, Myu-san you're..."
"This is bad, really bad! I don't know what she'll do to me if she finds me!"
I caught the fairy as not to let her do any other pranks and closed her mouth with my hand.
Ryui noticed that Myu and others are coming in and hid himself with an illusion, Zakuro along with the Mischievous Fairy had entered my arms.
"I need to hide somewhere! Somewhere to hide!"
In the organised workshop, there was no space to hide other than that under the table.
"I'll escape through the window! Heck, it's a bit too high?!"
Since I shrunk, I couldn't escape through the window for lighting and ventilation, it was too late to escape using a chair or a table.
"Isn't there something, something... there is!"
I used the thing that caught my attention to hide.
Immediately after I finished hiding, Myu opened the door and entered the workshop. It seems like I barely made it in time to hide.
"Eh? Straange. I'm sure I heard Onee-chan's voice."
"Yes, I heard it as well."
Myu tilted her head, puzzled, and looked towards Lucato.
Then, Kohaku and Rirei with the others peeked inside the workshop.
"What eh, Yun-san ain't here? Maybe she turned back to real or summat?"
"Fufufu, then won't she come back if we wait a little?"
As Rirei made that remark, "that's true" others agreed and sat down inside.
Since stopping by a crafter's workshop was unusual, everyone looked around with great interest.
I continued to hide while praying they leave the workshop as soon as possible.
Although the Mischievous Fairy tried to shake her head and escape from my hands, but if I let her do that I would have been exposed.
Then, Myu and the others who looked at everything in the workshop without touching, had slowly approached where I was.
"So the equipment is put down here."
"...you're right. Since Yun-san doesn't have 【Smithing】 Sense, it must be all drops from adventures."
"Isn't it just prepared for turning into ingots? Also, some might be for decorating the store. This one is the raid quest's unique equipment after all."
While saying so, Myu stared intently at the place I hid in.
The place I hid in, was inside the armour I took out for organising. I took Zakuro and the Mischievous Fairy inside, covering my shrunken body with it to hide.
"Hmm. Seems like Onee-chan isn't coming back, let's leave for today then."
Myu said that and started walking towards the workshop's door. Yess, I wasn't found. The moment I thought so——*kshun*. A sound could be heard.
In this important moment, to think Zakuro would sneeze. An improbable ambush from a different existence blanked my thinking.
Myu had accurately pin-pointed the source of the voice and moved in front of the armour, then removed the armour's clasp.
Someone muttered that. No, it might have actually been me. The moment my eyes met Myu's, I gave up on escaping.
"Kyahhhhhh! Onee-chan, what's up with that appearance?!"
Staring Myu let out a shrill voice and hugged me strongly from the front. She crushed Zakuro and the Mischievous Fairy between us, she had quickly noticed they were in pain and moved away slightly, but the hands placed on my shoulders wouldn't let go no matter what.
"Why?! Why is it! Why is it that you turned so small?! So cute! Yun-oneechan!"
Agitated all alone, Myu put her hands on my sides and lightly lifted my shrunken body, pulling me out of the mountain of armour. Even with my body shrunken the basic equipment automatically adjusted itself to the body size, so I didn't have to worry about my pants slipping down, but being lifted up was very, very scary.
"Myu-san, Yun-san is troubled."
"Haa, oh right! Why did you try to hide something this interesting?! Onee-chan!"
"You're the reason!"
I cried out, refuting.
After that, Myu and the others wanted a detailed explanation, so I was sat down in the chair where my legs didn't reach the floor.
At the same time Myu hugged me from behind, completely treating me like a child.
The Mischievous Fairy was released and she sat down on the table, flailing her feet freely and Zakuro was nestled in my arms. He stiffened with tension seeing this many people. And Ryui was still using an illusion to hide.
Surely, looking from the front, Myu, me and Zakuro must have been seen as an arrangement of big, medium and small.
"Hawahhhh, this comfortable hugginess. This springy, specific to children skin, sweet milky scent, smooth hair. Why are you charming me so, Onee-chan! No, Yun-chan!"
"Why did you rephrase it? Rather, I'm not charming you! Let go, Myu!"
"No! How cute you are. I'm the youngest child so I wanted a younger brother or sister, you see〜. Such squishy cheeks, spreading 【Charm】 bad status all over, what a bad girl!"
"Stop screwing around already!"
I tried to push away Myu's face, and although I resisted, everyone looked at me as if my defiant expression must have been treated as tantrum of a cheeky little girl.
Still, possibly because of the huge difference in physique and stats, I couldn't even resist properly.
"Umm... so it's Yun-san after all. It seems so judging from the clothes, but, why did this happen?"
"It's genuinely me. My Mischievous Fairy had changed the potion I was creating into something else for a prank."
Hearing Lucato's words I sighed and stared at my own long black hair. Normally, by now I should have had my hair shortened with 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】. The culprit, Mischievous Fairy was now flying around, laughing.
"Yun-oneechan, you turned so cute."
"I'm not cute!"
I tried to twist my body to escape Myu who was patting my head, but since her hand was embracing me over my belly, I couldn't escape. Seeing as I couldn't strongly reject her as she looked at me with a slovenly smile, I realized I was really spoiling my little sister.
"This is no good. Truly no good."
Rirei muttered quietly. She was trembling in anger aimed towards the girl who were calm in face of my turning into a little girl. Seeing her words of pity towards me in this situation, I felt like crying in defeat.
"Certainly, Yun-san is a beauty. Therefore, these clothes suited her, but now she's a cute little girl! In which case, she doesn't look good in dark clothes, thus, change."
"You, what'cha saying upon others' misfortune. Still, 'dat does feel inappropriate. We puttin' a ribbon on?"
Kohaku retorted amazed, but had casually joined her, taking out a white ribbon and a brush. Myu who received it had started fiddling with my hair happily.
"Haa, do whatever you want."
"Then, I'll take you up on those words."
When I looked up, she had started changing my hairstyle into various ones with a great smile.
A ponytail, braids, buns, a comb-up, weave with braid. Putting my hair on my forehead, tying a ribbon on top of my head, changing position my hair stopped in. She enjoyed herself with my black hair in any way she came up with. Meanwhile, my spirit was shaved away and I got fed up with it.
As I couldn't hide my grumpy mood, Myu had come up with a demand.
"Don't get so angry. Like this, make a smile."
"Haa, just release me already."
"Ehh〜, ain't it fine. Just a for a little bit."
I heaved a sigh, lowered my face once and calmed myself.
And, when I raised my head back up, I put on a perfect smile and tilted my head as a bonus.
Then, after a moment of silence that descended——
Suddenly, Rirei had collapsed and Kohaku had supported her in a hurry.
"Fufufu, hitting on me? Or maybe inviting me? Having a big smile of an innocent girl aimed at me is a great reward, isn't it."
Supported by Kohaku, Rirei made an ecstatic expression.
"Aww, as I thought, Yun-oneechan. I'll be taking you home like this!"
I stopped smiling and together with Zakuro in my arms, we protested. Since Rirei and Myu broke the mood in the place, the atmosphere felt a bit awkward.
In order to change that, I diverted the topic.
"Hey, speaking of which, why did everyone come to the 【Atelier】?"
"Eh, ohh, that's right."
At first unable to understand the meaning of my words, mystified, Lucato panicked. I thought it was a bit cute, at the same time I confirmed that she forgot all about it in this situation.
"We're just replenishing items in the middle of Fairy Quest."
At this surprisingly ordinary answer, I lacked words to respond with.
That's right. A skilled party won't be one-sidedly massacred like I was. I muttered in my mind and patted Zakuro in my arms.
"All of them are weak and boringg! I want to fight a stronger opponent! I wonder if someone got one like that."
"...it's all right to proceed with the quest easily, but it does feel like a slight let-down."
Said Myu, who languid put her chin on top of my head, and Lucato who wished to get a firmer challenge during the quest.
"Well, I'm fine with them being easy. Although the mobs get much stronger, because their compatibility is normal, they aren't all that strong."
Hino alone felt glad it was easy and spoke while stretching her body.
"In that case, I sure would like it if you helped out with mine."
"How far did you progress, Onee-chan?"
"I'm at fourth token, a Hobgoblin."
When I responded, the colour in Myu's party eyes changed.
"Onee-chan! We'll help! The stronger the enemy, the better experience! I want a formidable enemy!"
Myu swung her fist as she said so.
"Then I'll pull out of the party this time. Is that fine?"
Since parties had an upper limit of six people, to help me with the quest this time mean that one person had to leave Myu's party. This time, Hino volunteered to do so.
"See, if I attack the enemy I'll gather too much hate so it would be hard to control it. So, I'll just watch from behind."
"Roger! Then that's it for talking!"
Myu and the others ignored me and progressed with the talk.
Immediately after, I received an invitation to party from Myu and at the same time I accepted she brought me out of the 【Atelier】 while saying "This is it!".
"Myu! Wait until the medicine's effect expires!"
"I won't! Now, let's go! Yun-oneechan's fairy, guide us."
"Leave it to me! This way!"
"Y-you traitor! H-hey, uwahh?! Stop, put me down!"
I was made to ride on Myu's shoulders.
I tried to struggle and get away somehow, but my thighs were firmly pressed down. I could only move my knees and below, I also tried to resist by hitting Myu's back with one of my hands, but she wouldn't budge because of my lowered stats.
"Put me down! People are looking! Don't carry me like this!"
"Haa haa, this sight of a little girl flailing her arms and legs."
"Cut it. We goin' to be fightin' a Thorn Tokn' classified as strong."
Rirei was warned by Kohaku. But rather than that I'd like her to do something about Myu carrying me in such embarrassing manner.
"...it's kind of... cute."
"How do I say it, it's a pleasant sight."
O' Toutobi and Lucato. This is only pleasant to the people looking, the person itself has to endure the same in the presence of an entire company here!
I held Zakuro even stronger and faced downwards.
I wonder if it was that interesting, as all of Myu party's fairies have shown up at once.
In a party full of girls, one of them was happily carrying me. In the surroundings, one could see fairies dance happily.
The spreading of this happening and the upsurge of the pervert gentlemen on a certain message board, is a story for another time.
In the end, the 【Age-Faking Medicine】's didn't show any signs of expiring and with me still looking like a little girl we have arrived where the Hobgoblin Thorn Token was.
"Are you ready?"
"Not at all. I didn't bring anything with me."
As Lucato spoke to me to confirm, I could only respond with that.
The weapon I used when I fought him a few hours ago was left with Lyly and been repaired. I had no means of attacking, so in order to escape anxiety I went into the back together with Ryui and Zakuro.
"Oohhhh, so that's a Hobgoblin changed into a super mob. Looks strong."
Ahead of our line of sight, the Demon stood up in high spirits. As expected, no wonder he'll notice us if we come at it from the front.
"Well then, Luka-chan, Tobi-chan! Let's go!"
"Yes. Leave the front to me."
"Let's decide it with a swift attack."
Scatter! With that instruction of Lucato's, Myu and Toutobi headed to the left and right, leaving Lucato in the front raising her bastard sword.
The Demon's thorned bat and the bastard sword clashed, then using the recoil of their attacks they followed up with another attack.
A roundhouse slash. Instead of resisting the recoil, Lucato used it to deliver continuous attacks by slashing as she pivoted on her feet and twisted her body.
It was an action that left her open in PVP, but it was effective means of fighting against a sluggish mob.
As she forcibly modified the trajectory over which the Demon's thorn bat travelled, Myu and Toutobi alternated coming close to the mob and dealt small amounts of damage.
"It's the last Thorn Token so it has considerably high defence."
"Yer' right. Well, the weaknesses are kinda high so it's gonna be hard to get 'em."
Kohaku agreed with my murmur.
And the remaining rear guard——
"Haa, haa, fufufu, together with a little girl. With a little girl."
As Rirei slowly closed on me, Hino who was outside of the party this time had held her down by the nape of her neck.
I felt like a real crisis was coming and prayed it ends quickly and Myu comes back as soon as possible.
"Then, let's do it to end this fast. 《Zone Enchant》——Attack!"
By combining the enchant with 【Sky Eyes】 zone-type skill I put down a zone enchant on three people at the same time.
"For the sake of flirting with a little girl after this——《Fire Shot》!"
"O'well, I'll try aimin' as well. ——《Quick Blast》!"
Along with the disturbing words, even though Rirei's fire magic and Kohaku's wind magic aimed over Lucato's head, a wall of thorns appeared separating the vanguard from the rearguard which blocked the magic.
"As I thought, the enemy is strengthened even more with each stage. In various ways, too."
Unsurprised by the appearance of the wall of thorns, indifferently releasing magic, Kohaku adjusted the position of her glasses.
Since they constantly fired magic without a moment of pause, Rirei and Kohaku's MP was rapidly reduced, so I replenished their MP with a potion as they continued to destroy the wall.
"Fairies, it's yer turn! 'Dat wall, do somethin' 'bout it!"
" " "Everyone, chaaarge!!" " "
In response to Kohaku's words, Myu's and the others' fairies appeared all at once and started attacking as to overlap and add onto Rirei's and Kohaku's attacks.
Compared to my Mischievous Fairy these fairies had fairly offensive attacks, the attack power was strong enough to make me think it would defeat a weak Thorn Token, it had all continued to break the wall of thorns.
And, finally we were able to see the vanguard through the wall of thorns, but there was no significant damage dealt to the Demon.
The two sides——were at a stalemate.
"Hey, Kohaku? If I'm not wrong Myu and Toutobi hit him with their attacks. But, the enemy hardly received any damage."
"Yer right. After a wall of thorns, it's auto-recovery. My, Myu's gonna have fun with this."
Why the heck are you carefree. I swallowed those words and looked towards the front, the damage Myu and others dealt to the Thorn Token, even with the attack enchant, was all recovered by the auto-recovery ability.
"Isn't this getting worse instead?"
Although the Bastard Sword had blown away the thorn bat, shock transmitted through the sword had gradually scraped away Lucato's HP.
"Luka-chan, I'll heal you now. ——《Large Heal》!"
Myu withdrew far into the back and restored Lucato's HP. At this rate, the entire place would turn into a stalemate. Then, the demon could be seen making his move.
Raising a roar, inflating his muscles the Demon made the black and white electric shock between his warped horns to sparkle violently, painting our vision white.
"Damn!! My eyes..."
"Rirei, defence. ——《Wind Seal》"
"Fufufu, I know——《Flame Wall》"
The strong point of my 【Sky Eyes】, the great eyesight had caused a disaster, causing me unable to see after the dazzle. Also, feeling dull pain I squat down on spot, but someone had supported me from behind.
"Yun-chan, are you okay?"
"This voice? Hino? What's the situation? Heck, don't casually add -chan in there!"
Tehee, I heard Hino's laughter, but then she explained to me, who was currently blinded.
"Right now, Rirei and Kohaku, as well as Ryui are defending from an attack."
Rirei's fire wall and Kohaku's protection. Also, apparently Ryui's round water shield had protected us, the rearguards.
As I tried to look towards the front with my hazy sight, the Demons thorn bat's shotgun seed attack rained down on us, the three of them had protected us from it perfectly.
I have gradually recovered my vision, and among the seeds that rained down I saw Myu's and Lucato's appearance.
"Yun-san, as expected, continuous triggering of defence magic is harsh on MP, potions please."
Once again I used MP Potions on Kohaku and Rirei, then looked around broadly.
Lucato stood in front, Myu used magic from the back.
Although Myu's light barrier blocked the seeds, since some of them broke through the barrier at times, Lucato blocked them with her bastard sword.
While Myu and Lucato minimized the damage as much as possible, I couldn't see Toutobi's appearance.
"No way, was she taken down?"
Possibly, while I was blinded, Toutobi might have received a shotgun attack from close range or a direct blow from the thorn bat and was defeated. Then, I need to locate her figure as soon as possible and use a Revival Medicine. While such thoughts crossed my mind, Myu yelled.
"We have all the information on this strong mob! We got countermeasures for this attack too! Tobi-chan!"
"...I'm going! ——《Shadow Dive》 release!"
During the break in the seeds avalanche Myu gave a sign and then Toutobi's voice had echoed.
I looked around to find her, she was hiding in an unexpected place.
Suddenly, Toutobi who appeared behind the Demon slashed, scattering the rose at the Demon's neck. Receiving damage after being hit in the weakness, the demon turned around and swung the thorned bat at Toutobi, in response she——
The swung-down thorn bat grazed Toutobi's side and in an instant, she had moved behind the Demon. She cut the back of the Demon's knees with the dagger, making it fall on its knees.
"Fufufu, tie him up——《Flare Band》"
A band of flames created by Rirei wrapped around the Demon. Although he tried escaping from the band of loosely-wrapped flames, the more he tried to move the more it burned him and gradually bound him tightly.
"First, let's cut off those horns that get in the way! ——《Shock Impact》!"
Lucato's slash hit the Demon's horns while it was constrained and broke off both.
Although the Demon roared having his horn broken off, but the more he had rampaged the more band of flame had tightened. And while the band of flame restrained his motions, the comrades had continued attacking the Demon.
"I'll give you a return gift as well. ——《Sol Ray》!"
Myu who was stretching out defensive magic from behind Lucato released a converged beam of light, which pierced through the Demon's right shoulder and the rose on it, hollowing it out.
By destroying the weaknesses and characteristic parts, the damage dealt to the Demon increased all at once.
"Kohaku, it's about time my restraint expires."
"Then, leave it t' me! Yun-chan, enchant."
"Kohaku's adding -chan too?! 《Enchant》——Intelligence!"
Even though I retorted, I applied a magic-attack raising enchant on Kohaku.
Receiving an INT enchant Kohaku nodded with a smile, I couldn't tell whether it was to thank me for responding to her joke or for the enchant.
"Imma smash yer face as strong as I can! ——《Aero Canon》!"
Kohaku spread her fan, and as if fanning away, she fired an invisible shell.
At the same time Rirei's restraint disappeared it had landed straight on the Demon's face.
The muscular, tall Demon's body bent backwards and fell down, he received substantial damage to his face and head. The rose on the Demon's left eye had scattered when hit by the invisible shell. And for the last rose blooming on his left chest——
"...this is the end. ——《Heart Piercer》!"
Toutobi stood on top of the fallen Demon's upper body and triggered an Art at almost zero distance, striking his left chest.
Her wrist rotated as she thrust as if to gouge it, in response the rose on the Demon's chest scattered and the heart located behind it was pierced and broke down.
That blow had become the decisive factor, the Demon's body had stiffened for a moment, then warped and run out of strength.
And, at the same time as the fourth Thorn Token fell, the fairies raised a cry of joy.
"You did it! We're now one step closer to the Fairy Village!"
The Mischievous Fairy had clung onto my face, but there was something I was curious about and distracted me.
"So you're still adding -chan. Just stop it already. And more importantly, why was Toutobi unscathed?"
I wanted to know why, in the middle of a shotgun attack that was incredibly difficult to avoid, she appeared behind the Demon completely intact.
"Ah, that. Hmm, Toutobi? Will you explain to Yun-chan?"
Most likely, it's one of her trump cards. Kohaku can't explain what was it without permission, so she asked Toutobi once she returned.
"...since it's Yun-san, you won't spead information. That's the effect of my 【Concealment】 Sense's emergency avoidance skill, 《Shadow Dive》."
"《Shadow Dive》? You say you're diving in the shadow?!"
A skill allowing to enter a shadow space must have had a high versatility not limited to just avoidance.
"...certainly it's powerful, but it has limitations. While in 《Shadow Dive》 a large amount of MP is consumed. And, above all, it cannot be used in a place without a shadow."
Normally, the shadows are mostly available in caves and forests, as well as under large-sized mobs, there was also a combination with darkness magic.
This time she hid in the shadow of the demon the moment he had let out that strong flash of light and stayed concealed.
"Hee, there's still lots of skills I don't know."
Other than that, the skill that made the thorned bat go off its aim, 《Misdirection》 was an avoidance skill shifting the target of enemy's attack. 《Neck Hunt》 and 《Heart Piercer》 are dagger-type Arts that receive a high damage correction and critical rate when used on the specified locations.
In a build that uses various skills and arts, the combos were their real charm.
"As I thought, I should examine the characteristics of various skills and arts, huh."
For the typical Arts and skills, I read about them as I leveled up my 【Linguistics】 Sense from the books that were in the library, but for the higher Senses, it's all information I can learn from people who are using it.
"Fufufu, then, shall I teach you? I'll do it slowly, patiently."
"No! I'm fine!"
Before I realized Rirei stood behind me and whispered in a sticky voice, I took distance and refused at full power.
However, in the direction I moved to, Myu was waiting prepared and caught me.
"Hey, Yun-oneechan. We've helped you with the quest, so we'd like a reward."
"Haa, w-what do you want..."
"Let's seee, what would be good?"
With sparkle in her eyes, Myu wondered what to request of me.
Meanwhile, my body held in Myu's arms had began to spew out white smoke.
"Eh?!! This is..."
"Yess, I'm back to normal."
The effect of the 【Age-Faking Medicine】 that was applied on me disappeared and I returned to my original appearance. I confirmed by checking my face and limbs, and it seems like I was properly back to normal.
"That's great. I'm properly back."
"Tcheeh, and here I wanted you to wear cute clothes for a little girl."
Myu pursed her lips and complained. She casually tried to make a horrible request. It's really, really good that I returned back to normal, I was relieved from the bottom of my heart.
"Well, this time we could do some leveling with this strong mob, so let's just say you owe us one?"
Since Myu had no request for me in particular, it was decided that the matter of reward was to be postponed, all the members of her party have consented with that.
If it was known that some of the 【Age-Faking Medicine】 remained, I could imagine being forced to use it and played around with, so I kept silent about the amount left over and the existing recipe.
——【Limited Quest: Save The Fairy Village 2／4】——
Pass through the Fairy Circle and head to the Fairy Village.
Finally I have finally reached the stage where I can enter the Fairy Village.
When I thought that there's a strong boss mob even more powerful than Thorn Tokens, I felt it's absolutely impossible alone.