It’s been a few months since our life in the Academy started.
Olivia’s poor grades have been somewhat remedied thanks to Christina’s help.
They managed to get close thanks to that as well, so now I see them together with Amy very often.

“Natalia, I’m going to Chris’ place now.”
“Okay, take care.”

Lately Olivia also uses that nickname for Christina.

That’s good and all, but something bothers me a bit.
Actually that’s probably an exaggeration.
It’s just a trivial personal thing.

Olivia has gotten less needy than before.
In the past she used to always cling to me, or demand head pats, but now she basically never does that anymore.
Maybe she’s starting to recover from Ophelia’s passing, or she’s just going through puberty.
Maybe both.

“I’m lonely… I probably shouldn’t be so selfish though.”

I mutter as I look at the door, alone in the room.

Either way, I’m just being too emotional for no reason.
I’m sure Olivia will reach an age when she doesn’t want my care anymore, and maybe I’ll have to distance myself when that happens.

“Well, the Young Lady is working hard, so I should go train myself too.”

I’m done with housework and I finished the manuscripts for Amy last night.
There’s just one thing left to do.
Hunting plus combat training.

I’ve come to the familiar Valhen Woods.

I’m wearing the same disguise as before, masquerading as a masked adventurer.
I’m sure I could find something to do just by wandering around, but there’s one place I want to check out.
I don’t know the exact location, but I should recognize it once I’m close enough.

I see familiar monsters as I walk, and I take them out in the usual way.
Lately I’ve also learned some new non-attack spells, thanks to reading Olivia’s textbooks.
Maybe I should give them a try.

“Stand Mirage.”

“Booohhh!” An Orc Soldier, the next level after a High Orc, runs at me with his battleaxe raised.
I stand still and watch as he swings it down.


The battleaxe passes through my body, and hits the ground raising a cloud of dust.


The Orc Soldier lets out a confused grunt.
Even though the axe passed through me, I’m looking at him without moving a muscle.


The Orc Soldier can’t understand what’s happening, raising his battleaxe and swinging it wildly in all directions.
It moved so swiftly that there was a soft whistling sound as the sharp axe sliced the air, but I still wouldn’t move.

Well, I guess that proves the spell works.
Satisfied, I shoot the Orc Soldier.
A spurt of blood comes from the bullet wound and the Orc Soldier falls limp.
I undo the spell I was using.

The figure of me the Orc Soldier was attacking vanishes into thin aid, and I appear behind the monster.

“Illusory Magic is fun, but also kinda tricky.”

The Orc Soldier had been attacking a projection of me I made with Illusory Magic.
The same spell concealed my real body, so I could stand behind the Orc Soldier without him noticing.

In a way it worked better than expected, but in another way that was exactly what I wanted to happen.

The textbook mentioned that proficient warriors can easily see through such projections, so it’s best to not use it in real fights.
But it’s more than enough for decoys when fighting monsters with low intelligence.
It’s very effective in that situation.

The tricky part is making the projection move.
If done improperly, the limbs could end up detaching from the body and moving on their own, or the movements can look really robotic.
I’m not good enough for that.
I also have to move my real body really slowly, since it becomes visible otherwise.
But that much is obvious.

Either way, it’s not something I can just use without thinking about it to confuse enemies.

Anyway, I take the Orc Soldier that is still somehow breathing and drag him behind me as I return to the path I was walking on.
Soon I notice a familiar scent.
It seems it didn’t move out.
I make way through the thicket and I see the large Man Eater clinging to a tree.

“Hey, how’ve you been?”

“Shahh! Shah shahh!” When I call out to it, the Man Eater raises its vines high trying to intimidate me.
I guess that means it remembers me.
It feels like it’s trying to tell me not to get closer.

“Ah, I know how you feel but don’t worry, I won’t take anything this time.” I throw the freshly caught Orc Soldier in front of the Man Eater.

“…” The Man Eater could not understand what I was doing, staying still while looking warily at me.

“My thanks for the fruits, or I guess apology is better.
Feel free to eat him.” I stand back and sit on the ground, trying to show I meant no harm.

It slowly gets off the tree as I watch from a distance, and moves on top of the Orc Soldier.

*Crunch, rip, shlurp *

It’s like Bemstar…or I guess more like Astromons.
I watch the Man Eater swallowing the Orc Soldier whole as I think back to giant monsters from my past life.

The Man Eater finishes its meal and returns to the tree.
My business is done as well, so I stand up too.


The Man Eater sounds much calmer than before, and it seems to be ruffling for something on the tree it’s attached to.
I wonder what it’s doing.
Eventually it lifts one of its vines, a red fruit like a cherry grasped on its end, and it extends it towards me.

“You’re giving me that?”

That sounded like a yes from the Man Eater.

I didn’t expect a monster that looks so plant-like to have that kind of intelligence, so I approach warily in case it’s trying to lure me in.
But it turns out I’m worrying for nothing, and I get the tree’s fruit without issue.

Somehow the Man Eater looks a bit cuter than before.
Maybe I should come back to feed it again.

After that I continued wandering around the forest randomly, taking out monsters when I felt like it, greeting adventurers I crossed paths with, and the day ended without anything out of the ordinary.

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